Nothing captures the imagination quite like the supernatural.
From ghosts and ghouls to unidentified flying objects, Hull and East Yorkshire is no stranger to the paranormal.
Historian Mike Covell has been spending the past few months in painstaking research into a few of the forgotton UFO sightings from around the area.
Since May 2008, the National Archives has witnessed a slow and steady release of UFO files to the public. The files feature thousands, if not millions of files, and every time they release them, they give Ufologists, or people that study UFO’s, a short window in which they can be downloaded for free.
The files, which cover between 1965 and 2008, contain numerous articles, letters, reports, eyewitness accounts, pilot testimony, police reports, drawings, maps, plans, newspaper cuttings and parliamentary questions – all linked to UFO’s.
There are newspaper cuttings, strange claims of mind control, UFO landings, crashes, and correspondence between several well-known researchers including Dr. David Clarke, Timothy Good, and Nick Redfern.
The files include sightings reported from the general public, lots of reports from Humberside Police, reports from the public to the police, reports from the public to the Hull Daily Mail, and all of the above to the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Air Force.
Some of the strangest of these include clippings from the Hull Daily Mail, scanned, photocopied, and entered into the UFO files for researchers to read in years to come.
Here are some of the highlights.
This is a file made up of reports from across the UK, but features a large section on Captain William Shaffner, who was killed when his Lightening plane ditched in the North Sea. The accident was later linked to UFO’s and as such both the Grimsby Telegraph and the Hull Daily Mail featured two page spreads on the incident on October 22, 1992 and October 23, 1992.
This file features all the pages from the Hull Daily Mail on this incident, spread across four pages of the file.
This file also features newspaper clippings, and contains the Captain William Schaffner articles from the Hull Daily Mail. It also contains an article from the Hull Daily Mail, dated Tuesday, November 3, 1992.
The article, entitled “Making sense of lights in the sky” features the story of Mrs June Cooper, who saw lights over the region in 1970. It goes on to link her sighting with that of Captain William Schaffner, and his ill-fated flight. She claims that she believed that she saw the UFO’s that brought him down off the coast of Flamborough.
© (Image: PA/National Archives)
This file features a report from the Hull Daily Mail dated August, 17 1993, entitled “Sightings of UFO’s on the up,” in which it states that UFO sightings in Hull and East Yorkshire are on the increase.
The claim came during a conference where a local UFO expert, named as Chris Lawson, went on record to state that the number of sightings being reported by eyewitnesses is on the increase. It goes on to include eyewitness accounts from Withernsea, and talks about national and international reports of cattle mutilations.
The file also features an article from the Hull Daily Mail, dated Friday, May 12 1993, again featuring Chris Lawson, in which it claims that UFO reports across Hull, East Yorkshire, and across the world are not only increasing, but the number of genuine reports are on the increase.
Finally this file features a newspaper clipping from the Hull Daily Mail, dated September 2, 1993, but it is nothing more than a review of the television show named Strange But True, hosted by Michael Aspel.
This file features a report from Hull via the Ministry of Defence.
This file was one of many that was linked to a series of sightings seen over the city on the July 25 and 27 July, and August 4 1997. A number of sightings were reported to the offices of the Hull Daily Mail, which in turn were reported to the Ministry of Defence and R.A.F. Waddington.
The reporter listed in the report is unknown.
The file states:
MODUK AIR FOR AFDO.
A. 251930 HRS JUL 97 272000 HRS JUL 97 AND 042100 HURS AUG 97
B. SILVER CIGAR SHAPED OBJECT WITH SHARP POINTED WINGS WITH RED LIGHT ON ONE AN GREEN LIGHT ON THE OTHER
D. NAKED EYE AND BINOCULARS
E. LOOKING SOUTH FROM BEVERLEY TOWARDS THE HUMBER BRIDGE, HOVERING AT FIRST THEN MOVED OFF AT GREAT SPEED
F. LOW ION THE SKY ABOUT HALF A MILE AWAY
G. ABOUT HALF A MILE
H. HOVERING AT FIRST THEN MOVED OFF QUICKLY
I. NOT KNOWN
J. HUMBER BRIDGE
K. REPORTED BY 9 INDIVIDUALS TO THE HULL DAILY MAIL
L [REDACTED] HULL DAILY MAIL, BLUNDELLS CORNER, BEVERLEY ROAD, HULL, HU3 1XS
N. AT LEAST 9 PEOPLE THE NAMES OF WHOM ARE HELD BY THE HULL DAILY MAIL
0. 1415 HRS 7 AUG 97
P. NOT KNOWN
Q. 9 REPORTS RECEIVED BY THE HULL DAILY MAIL WHO HAVE PHONED THEM THROUGH TO RAF WADDINGTON