A TOCKWITH man believes he had a surprise encounter when he spotted a UF0 in the sky above his home.
Dave Hartley, of Prince Rupert Drive, was minding his own business taking the rubbish bags out on Friday July 29 at around 10.30pm when he claims he saw the unidentifiable flying object in the night sky.
He said: “The object was moving very fast, from East to West with no noise.
“I didn’t feel scared, but puzzled as to what it might be, a space station or satellite of some kind.
“It had a very bright reddish light and was travelling very high and silently. It seemed to make a very slight rumble as it disappeared into the distance and that was it.”
Mr Hartley, who says he has no particular interest in UFOs but is often a stargazer, added: “I don’t believe in aliens and have no idea what it could have been.
“It would be interesting to know if anyone else had seen anything similar in the area at that time. I often look up at the night sky and have seen satellites before, but this was like nothing I had ever seen. It could be my lack of expertise, but I am curious to find out what I saw.”
Mr Hartley, 65, a retired surveyor and father-of-two, has lived in Tockwith for more than 30 years, and said that he believed that the object was ‘a re-entering space vehicle of some kind.’
“All I know is that what I saw was a UFO, though I am sure there is somebody out there who must know what it was.”
Mr Hartley, who lives alone, said he has not discussed the sighting with his neighbours and the sighting does not appear to have had any other witnesses.
Meanwhile, in the village of Thorner, 24-hour locksmith Trevor Deakin said he had seen a UFO, describing it as a ‘grey circular object’ a couple of weeks before Mr Hartley’s eyewitness account.
Driving in his car on the way back from working late one night, he said he had just passed The Beehive Restaurant in Thorner when he saw the UFO.
“I wound down the window to have a cigarette when I saw what looked like a grey circular object which was leaving a trail behind it, it was a grey cloudy night, the object was lower than the cloud and seemed to be about 200 feet above me. There was no light coming from it at all, and it was not illuminated in any way. I only saw it very briefly over the road directly above my car,”
“I don’t believe in visitors from other planets or aliens, but I do know I saw a UFO.”
Dr Richard Lawrence, a UFO expert who visited a UFO conference at Leeds University at the weekend and has spent the last 30 years writing books and talking extensively on the subject, said the public’s perception to UFO sightings has changed over the years.
He said: “Just because something is strange and unfamiliar doesn’t make it untrue. We have seen an enormous change over the past 30 years.
“A recent poll found almost 10 per cent of people have seen a UFO and more than half believed in life on other planets.
“Science has moved on greatly and people are now asking questions but this is not a new thing, it goes way back – there are references to extraterrestrial life in the bible and it was spoken about by the ancient Hindus and the Japanese.”
The sightings in Tockwith and Thorner follow the government decision to recently release thousands of former top-secret documents relating to UFO discussions, sightings and reports by the Ministry of Defence.
The documents have been made public by the National Archives, because the MoD has been receiving more Freedom of Information Acts requests on UFOs.
National Archives files are available to download from the website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos