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If you mention the words “paranormal” and “1960s” most enthusiasts of all things creepy will immediately think of the Mothman of Point Pleasant that made his first appearance in 1966. What many are not aware of, is the whole host of other bizarre incidents that took place three years earlier all over the world – UFOs, humanoid creatures, big cats, and even some events that could be interpreted as satanic in origin. And what’s more, there appears to be little explanation as to why this is. Were these strange incidents – from right across the paranormal spectrum – all just some bizarre coincidence? Or might there really have been dark forces at work that were, and are, beyond our collective comprehension? Might an unknown event have opened a portal from our world to one unknown, unleashing all manner of manifestations and causing an equal abundance of strange encounters?
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
A “gigantic cigar-shaped UFO” is spotted over the Atlantic in 1963, but the witness is so terrified by her experiences that it takes her twenty years to come forward to tell her story. (The 1963 Atlantic UFO)
And in that same year, elsewhere in the United Kingdom, people were dealing with dark, paranormal, even satanic forces – with numerous events that still remain unexplained. (Dark Paranormal Forces Invade the United Kingdom)
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STORY: THE 1963 ATLANTIC UFO=====
An apparent incident involving a “gigantic cigar-shaped UFO” somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean in May 1963 would remain unreported for almost 20 years until the editorial team behind Flying Saucer Review magazine received a letter in late 1980 from the witness to the affair.
Part of the reason the witness left the incident unreported for so long was simply that the witness had very little knowledge of UFO reports, as well as the fact that she found the entire episode “terrifying”. Only after reading about the subject – purely by chance – did she begin to realize just how extraordinary the incident was.
Although the incident is not one of the most exciting on record, it is another incident that has a connection with such official organizations as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), who have a small plethora of UFO accounts attached to their name. If we assume these strange crafts are piloted by intelligent beings from another world, would it make sense that they would take an interest in such key organizations?
The details of the witness have been withheld from the public domain. We know that she is female and from a country in “Western Europe that are members of NATO” and was married to an Englishman at the time she gave the report. According to investigators at Flying Saucer Review, she is an incredibly credible witness meaning, in turn, that the account is likely equally credible.
They would eventually release details of the encounter in their November 1981 edition (Volume 27, No. 3). It is that from that report that we base the following account on. Just what did the witnesses see that day somewhere in the north Atlantic? And for what reason were these apparent visitors here in the first place?
According to the witness, the following incident “took place in the first or second week of May 1963”.  The witness was a NATO employee in the capacity of an English language secretary normally based in Paris, France. On the day in question, she was part of 50 NATO employees who were about to board a flight to take them to Ottawa in Canada for NATO Ministerial Meetings. It was around 10 am when the DC-8 left the runway at Orly Airport in Paris. The weather was perfect with clear visibility as the pilot took the plane to just over 35,000 feet.
The witness recalled that there appeared to be a feeling of military control on the plane that day, although the fact there was only 50 NATO staff on board the plane made it appear decisively empty. Because of this, passengers had an array of seats to choose to settle down in for the majority of the journey. The witness chose to sit next to one of the windows, which she recalled was a lot larger than a standard commercial airliner window.
It was as she was preparing to settle in her seat with her book, with the cold waves of the Atlantic Ocean below them, that she noticed a strange object below them. She would describe it as “something dark and absolutely tremendous”. What’s more, it “stood out in vivid contrast to the brightness” of the early afternoon sky. When she moved her face as close to the window as possible so as to get a closer look, she would see the object appeared to be a “gigantic dark grey ‘torpedo’”. She would elaborate that the object appeared “menacing and frightening” as she continued to watch it.
She continued to observe the strange object for several minutes. She was unable to see any wings, windows, or any apparent propulsion systems or engines, although she would describe what she believed was the back of the object as “cut off sharply and squarely”. The witness would estimate the object was around 6,000 to 7,000 feet below them.
She watched it for several more moments until it disappeared into the clouds. She suddenly looked around the plane. It appeared she was the only person who had noticed the strange object below. She would debate with herself whether to mention what she had seen. However, she feared they would not believe her.
As she sat back into her seat, she began to ponder whether the object had any connection to nuclear weapons. Although she would indeed remain quiet for the time being, she resolved that she would speak to a colleague in Paris with expertise in nuclear matters. However, as she would later reveal in her report, she would decide against mentioning the incident.
It was while she was considering these things that the plane suddenly began to “shudder and pitch up and down violently”. Although she told herself that this was just normal turbulence, she knew that she had not experienced anything as intense, or as prolonged as this disturbance appeared to be. And what’s more, she couldn’t shake the feeling that the disturbance to the flight was due to the object that very well might still be below them.
She would begin researching what the object might have been. She would do this privately before finally issuing her report to the UFO magazine in 1980.
It is unfortunate that there were no other corroborating witnesses to an otherwise intriguing account. And while this is something that skeptics to such accounts will use to their advantage, aside from the apparent credibility of the witness, as well as the credibility of those behind the one-time UFO publication, the fact that the account not overblown or dramatic in any way would suggest it to be authentic.
And, it is certainly possible that there were other witnesses on the DC-8 that afternoon. It is also equally possible and plausible that they too opted to keep the sighting to themselves in the belief that they were the only person to have seen the strange object. As we have discussed before, there are very likely a whole host of UFO sightings that go unreported simply because the respective witnesses fear being labeled “crazy” or simply a liar.
What perhaps makes this account credible is the details that show up in other, similar UFO reports. Not least the shape of the object itself. While a great many UFOs are disc-shaped or even triangular, a great many sightings of cigar-shaped objects can also be found in the mountain of UFO reports. What’s more, so can the detail that there appeared no obvious source of propulsion.
What is also interesting – and often overlooked – is the fact that the incident occurred over the water. Many UFO sightings occur on or near water, and at least according to researcher Gordon Creighton, many of the objects witnessed over the seas and oceans of the planet are cigar-shaped craft. Might this be to do with their potentially aquatic environment, perhaps as such a shape would likely cut through the water all the easier? What the connection between such craft and water is, however, remains a mystery.
Whatever the object was that the witness saw from her plane seat that afternoon over the Atlantic Ocean, we know that the details offered are very much in line with other sightings – both before and since. And undoubtedly, there will be other sightings, both in the contemporary era or from years ago that have yet to surface which will also likely contain similar details.
Should we take the incident as credible? Considering the people involved with the Flying Saucer Review magazine, we should perhaps state yes. And that such a mysterious craft – or more specifically, the intelligence behind it – should take an interest in a NATO military plane is perhaps not too surprising to many in the UFO community. For example, during the latter months of the Belgian Wave, there was an increased NATO presence in the region. And there are multiple accounts on record of UFO sightings and incidents during NATO training exercises.
Might we even consider that the strange craft was not of extraterrestrial origin at all but a secret world military craft? One which discreetly made the journey under the “cover” of the NATO flight? Admittedly this is pure speculation here on our part.
With all of that said, all we can do with the account is leave it on our mental backburners, ready to bring it to the forefronts of our minds when we spot similarities with other incidents. Or indeed, if further witnesses suddenly step forward to tell their version of events.
There are several other sightings of strange, cigar-shaped UFOs in the early 1960s, several of which are perhaps worthy of examination here. For example, according to a report in the January 1962 edition of The Honeywell World and later reported on for NICAP in 1964 by Richard Hall, at a little after 7 pm  on the 22nd November 1961 near Grafton, Nebraska, a local married couple witnessed a distinctly cigar-shaped UFO while driving along US Highway 81.
The main witness, Melvin Vagle Jr., noticed a strange red light in the starlit skies overhead. He alerted his wife to the strange glow, and they both watched it for several moments. At first, they believed it was a conventional aircraft. However, as they continued onward – essentially, heading toward the light, they could see that it was something more out of the ordinary.
They would eventually pull the car to the side of the road so they could get a better look. In front of them, each could clearly see a “cigar-shaped object hovering at a sharp angle over a plowed field”. They would continue in their report that a “bright flashing white light” was at the lower end of the craft, while a red light glowed at the other. What’s more, Vagle would recall that there appeared to be square window-like ports along the side, each of which showed a “white-yellowish light”.
They continued to watch the bizarre object, which seemingly remained completely motionless and silent. When their son, who was also in the car with them, began to become somewhat distressed, however, they restarted their car and drove on, the object eventually disappearing in the distance behind them.
Interestingly, a local farmer had reported seeing an almost identical object a short time earlier, which corroborated Vagle’s version of events.
The sighting remains unexplained.
At some time in early 1960, another cigar-shaped UFO  was spotted hovering over Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. At some point in the early evening, Miss Footner was walking with her dog in a field near her home. As she was doing so, she happened to look upward and noticed a “bright dot of light” seemingly hovering over Saanich Mountain.
Due to the recent launch of a Soviet Sputnik satellite, Footner at first believed this is what she was witnessing. She would recall that she expected to see a flash from the object but instead, it appeared to be getting bigger. She soon realized, whatever it was, it was coming toward her.
When she reported the sighting to a UFO organization a short time later, she would recall how she daren’t take her eyes from the increasing object. In what seemed like no time at all, it was directly above her. What’s more, it had now stopped moving and remained stationary.
She described the object as silver and “shining in the late sun with a number of twinkling lights along the side”. Although she knew otherwise deep down, she asked herself once more if this strange object might be some kind of experimental wingless plane. However, not only did it not look like anything she had seen before, but the futuristic-looking craft didn’t make a single sound.
As she continued to look up at the cigar-shaped craft it suddenly “veered at a right angle and swiftly disappeared over the trees” heading toward the Sooke Mountains.
Once she was sure it had gone, she set out for home. She noted how the horses in the field appeared unaffected by the strange vehicle. And the same could be said for her dog. In fact, given the size of the object, she felt sure that other people must have witnessed it. However, as she approached her estate, she realized that there was no commotion as there surely would be if others had witnessed it also. In fact, she noticed how distinctly quiet the neighborhood was, without even a single dog barking (which was relatively unusual).
She would later estimate that the object was approximately 100 feet in length (very similar to other reported sightings of such objects at the time) and was in view for no longer than a few moments.
What is interesting, is that several months later, on the other side of the world, a very similar object was witnessed. It is there we will turn our attention to next, when Weird Darkness returns.
A particularly interesting sighting occurred over the small country town of Cressy in Tasmania, Australia several months later on 4th October 1960. The incident is today regarded as one of Tasmania’s most well-known UFO events – one later described as a “cigar-shaped mothership” along with several smaller disc-shaped craft – and was reported on by The Launceston Examiner. The case was investigated by Keith Roberts of the Tasmanian UFO Investigation Center (TUFOIC).
On the evening in question, at a little after 6 pm, Reverend Lionel Browning and his wife were in their dining room looking out of the window had a rainbow that had appeared. It was as they were doing so when Browning’s wife pointed to a strange object in the skies overhead.
They noticed how the object was a particularly dull, grey color with several vertical dark bands running along it. There also appeared to be several antennae running along the top and bottom of the object. Browning was used to seeing Viscount aircraft going overhead and would estimate that the object was slightly larger than that, approximately 100 feet.
The couple noticed how defined the object was in the sky, and further estimated that it was around three to four miles away from their location. It was also their guess that the object was moving between 60 to 70 miles per hour and remained at an estimated altitude of 400 feet. After the couple had watched the strange craft for several minutes the bizarre aerial vehicle came to a sudden stop. Then, things turned even stranger.
Appearing within seconds of the object halting its progress, several smaller, disc-shaped objects appeared, traveling at “high speed” and seemingly emerging from the low-lying cloud. These smaller discs remained hovering around the apparent mothership cigar-shaped craft for several moments. Then, in a bizarre reverse manner, the cigar-shaped object and the smaller discs headed back into the clouds and promptly disappeared.
Throughout the encounter – which lasted approximately two minutes – the couple didn’t recall hearing any sounds whatsoever. They continued to watch the sky where the objects had been for several moments in case they reappeared before reporting the incident to the control tower at Western Junction Launceston Airport.
Browning had also managed to capture a picture of the object through their dining room window. Although it isn’t a clear copy, you can view that picture below.
Five days after the sighting, the reverend would speak to the Launceston Examiner, who would show a copy of the picture and report on the encounter to the wider public in their 10th October edition.
The account would take on an even stranger turn over the following weeks when Browning would receive several reports from members of the public of similarly shaped objects and even of hearing “loud explosions”. In fact, on the evening of 27th October – three weeks after the sightings – at around 9:30 pm in the evening, he himself heard a sudden loud explosion.
Although he didn’t know why or how to explain it, Browning was convinced that the strange explosions were somehow connected to the sightings of the strange and seemingly otherworldly craft. And what’s more, while he and his wife had both dismissed reports of UFOs as nonsense previously, after what they had witnessed, they had both since changed their minds.
Incidentally, the Civil Aviation Department would confirm that there was no known aircraft in the region on the day of the sighting. Furthermore, when the Royal Australian Air Force interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Browning, they would describe them as being “mature, stable, and mentally alert”.
It would come to light that there were at least two further witnesses to the mothership encounter over Tasmania. In the book UFOs Over the Southern Hemisphere, Michael Harvey would examine the case. He would mention a Mrs. Bransden who claimed that it was “a fantastic sight – like a lot of little ships flocking around a bigger one”. There are also reports that a young child also witnessed the object near the church. However, no further details are known about this witness.
However, there were, as mentioned above, several residents who reported further sightings and the strange explosions overhead. In fact, the first such explosion was heard only hours after the sighting by Reverend Browning. One resident who heard the sound was Mrs. Robson, who claimed that it felt as though some was “banging heavily on a wall” and that she could “hear the earth shake”. Another witness to the bizarre explosions, Mr. Spencer, claimed that it “shook the house” and then caused “rumbling vibrations”.
Might these explosions have been some kind of sonic boom? Or perhaps the opening and closing of a portal allowing these strange crafts entry to our world?
Perhaps interestingly, despite the apparent credibility of the Brownings, as well as the other corroborating witnesses, the RAAF would conclude that the explanation behind the sighting was likely “astronomical”, perhaps the Moon rising in the eastern sky – something that Browning himself would reject. He would state that the sun was still setting at this stage, and was in the opposite part of the sky to where the objects were viewed.
Whether the RAAF were unaware of the strange explosions heard by several people around the area or whether they simply chose to leave them out of their report is unknown.
While the previously mentioned sightings happened in the same time window as the incident over the Atlantic Ocean in early 1963, sightings that occurred, in some cases, decades later, share very similar details, and consequently are of interest to us here.
A decade and a half after the 1963 encounter over the Atlantic, a similar cigar-shaped object w3as witnessed over Clarenville in Newfoundland, Canada. According to the research files of HBCCUFO’s Brian Vike, on the evening of 26th November 1978, local resident, Chester Lethbridge made a call to the RCMP regarding a “strange object” they had spotted in the sky over Random Island. RCMP Constable James Blackwood would receive the call from the switchboard and immediately began in the direction of the Lethbridge’s home to investigate.
When he arrived, he was amazed that the object the husband and wife had reported seeing was still visible. Overhead was a clear cigar-shaped object with blue, red, and yellow lights – all of which were flashing – and a strange “curved tail” at the end. It was at an approximate altitude of 500 feet and was around the same size as a DC9 aircraft. However, there were no wings of any kind, and the object appeared to be absolutely silent.
At the same time that Blackwood was viewing the object, it was being tracked by the Department of National Defense. The police officer, along with Chester Lethbridge, viewed the glowing cigar shape for several minutes before using a device called a ball scope (which amplified light sources). It was clear to Blackwood that the object was most definitely not a terrestrial vehicle such as a plane.
Then, things turned even stranger.
Blackwood, interested in what might happen, reached into his car and turned on the flashing lights. Almost immediately, the lights on the hovering object mimicked the pattern and timing of them. Blackwood would watch the object for close to two hours before suddenly took off “like a shooting star” and disappeared into the night sky.
When Blackwood filed his report of the incident, the National Research Council (NRC) was also notified of the details of the incident, as was standard procedure. Much to Blackwood’s disbelief and annoyance, a representative of the NRC would offer that the object was “most likely Jupiter” and “several other bright stars”. The fact that he had not even been interviewed or asked any questions by the NRC before they had arrived at such a conclusion only frustrated the police officer even more. When UFO researcher Lee Tizzard examined the case in the late 1990s, Blackwood would stress to him that he and Mr. and Mrs. Lethbridge each saw a shadow from the object on the water around the island, something that a planet or star would not cast.
Six years after the sighting in Newfoundland, in the opposite hemisphere in Hexam, Australia, “Mr. and Mrs. L” were camping  at Ponderosa Caravan Park near the Hexam Bridge over the Hunter River when they witnessed something strange in the skies overhead. The incident occurred in the early hours one morning in the last week of December between Christmas and New Year.
On the night in question, at around 2:30 am, Mr. L would wake his wife, urging her to come out of the tent and “see what you think of this lot!” As she emerged from under the canvass, she could see her husband was clearly staring up at the sky. When she turned her attention that way, she could see a “cigar-shaped object with a brilliant light at the front”. And what’s more, the object was clearly heading in their direction.
As it got nearer to the caravan park, the light from the craft lit up everywhere underneath it. Mrs. L would estimate that the craft was around 80 feet in length (although it very well could have been bigger). She also recalled that the object had what appeared to be windows running along the side of it, and that these looked to her to be “closed” as they were the same grey color as the rest of the vehicle.
The couple continued to watch the object for several minutes. Then, they noticed that three more, smaller vehicles (around 10 feet across) were approaching the much larger craft, moving “like lightning”. These smaller vehicles were disc-shaped, grey in color, and with a distinct “orange or rust-colored” section toward what appeared to be the back. Within only seconds, the discs had positioned themselves with the larger cigar-shaped craft. Even more intriguing, Mrs. L believed she saw the outline of a helmeted figure inside one of the discs.
After continuing to watch the object for several more moments, the couple began to worry they might end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and so took sanctuary inside their tent. Mrs. L would state that she entered the tent wide awake from the bizarreness of the event only to fall deep asleep almost as soon as she lay down. By the time they woke several hours later, the objects had gone.
A very similar incident unfolded over Sweden around six months later in June 1985 when an anonymous woman witnessed something out of the ordinary while driving from Uppsala to Orsundsbro along Route 55. The account appeared in the public domain several weeks after it happened in the 12th July edition of the Enkopings Posten.
She had driven approximately one mile before she noticed what she believed were the blue lights of two police cars in the distance ahead of her. She continued along the road and a short time later noticed a similar blue light overhead, which she presumed was a police helicopter that was seemingly part of a police search.
For reasons she couldn’t explain, she began to feel a sudden nervousness about the situation. However, she continued along the road, trying to put such feelings from her mind. She continued to observe the helicopter overhead. Only, the more she looked at the dimensions behind the lights, it suddenly seemed to be much larger than a helicopter. In fact, it appeared decidedly cigar-shaped and unlike any helicopter she had seen before.
Whether it had come closer or not she wasn’t sure, but as she looked up there was now a “blinding” light coming from the object. She could, though, clearly make out three windows along the sides, each of which was lit up from the inside.
It was at this point that she pulled her vehicle to the side of the road and stepped outside to view the object with more clarity. She watched it for just short of ten minutes in total before it disappeared. Although she had not been threatened at any point during the encounter, the witness later claimed that she felt immediately frightened and rushed home.
It is hard to get away from the reoccurring detail of these cigar-shaped objects of smaller discs emerging from or disappearing into them. Essentially, that these cigar-like craft are “motherships” from which smaller disc-shaped scout-like craft are sent on various missions over any given location. If they are, what are these missions about? Are they merely reconnaissance missions? A way of keeping tabs on what we are doing on the surface. Or might there be a more ominous end result to these encounters?
It is also perhaps worth noting that many of these accounts of cigar-shaped crafts are often over or near water. Is this perhaps further evidence that these apparent alien visitors are not coming from the vast reaches of space but from the hidden depths of the planet’s oceans?
And might we still have to consider the fact that these futuristic vehicles – despite the apparent admissions that they are not military crafts of the United States or other countries – be the result of top-secret advanced technology? Perhaps even such technology that has been recovered from alleged crashes of alien vehicles. Might it be that the much-publicized disclosure is yet another cover for what is really taking place behind closed doors?
Only time will tell, it would seem.
While the Atlantic UFO incident took place in 1963, in that same year, in the United Kingdom, people were dealing with dark, paranormal, even satanic forces – and the events still have no explanation. That’s coming up next on Weird Darkness.
STORY: DARK PARANORMAL FORCES INVADE THE UNITED KINGDOM=====
Before we examine some of the incidents from the small mountain of other 1963 encounters on record, we will turn our attention to an incident at Sandling Park towards the end of that year. The following is based on veteran researcher and author, Nick Redfern’s account, who himself relays it from the work of fellow researcher, Neil Arnold.
On the evening of 16th November 1963, four teenagers were walking home  past Sandling Park in the town of Hythe near Kent in the United Kingdom. It was a Friday, and they were returning from a dance. Two of the friends, 17-year-old John Flaxton and 18-year-old Mervyn Hutchinson (the remaining two are not named) suddenly noticed a bright light that appeared to be moving above them.
To begin with the teenagers thought the object was simply a star. However, as it moved and approached them they began to realize it was something altogether stranger. They continued to watch as the strange glowing object descended toward the ground. It hovered for several moments and then disappeared behind the trees of the park.
As soon as the object vanished the four teenagers decided to up their pace somewhat. However, only moments later, the object appeared again. It was around 200 feet away from them and hovered around 10 feet from the ground.
It didn’t take the group long to realize the object was seemingly moving in sympathy with them. And likewise, it would stop as they did. They would later describe it as “a bright and gold oval”. They continued to watch the strange object for several more moments. Then, they heard something moving in the woodland around them. By the time they heard twigs snapping on the ground, the creature was right in front of them.
Hutchinson would later describe the creature as being the “size of a human” with “wings on its back” and that “it didn’t seem to have any head”. What’s more, it was had a general horrific and grotesque appearance. So much so that the four teenagers turned and ran from the scene as fast as they could. Flaxton would later recall how during the encounter a “strange cold feeling” overtook him.
On the same evening, in the nearby town of Saltwood,  four other teenagers were making their way to the railway station, one of whom was Tony Harrison. As they did so, they all witnessed a strange light – that they described as like a shooting star – only it was heading toward the ground. Even stranger, they would soon notice a glowing oval object hovering several feet above the ground a short distance away.
Even more bizarre is the strange figure “wearing a scarlet cloak and holding a lantern which gave out a whiteish irregular flickering light” they saw moving away from the object. By the time the four teenagers had made their way nearer to the scene, the strange figure had simply disappeared.
Another incident occurred less than a week later at a nearby football field. On that evening on 21st November, Keith Croucher witnessed an extremely similar object moving overhead.
However, it was when a local resident, John McGoldrick, and an anonymous friend went to investigate the area where the sightings had occurred when possible evidence of the incident was discovered. They would find “three giant footprints” said to be at least two feet long.
Perhaps even stranger, when several local journalists went with McGoldrick to where he had discovered the impressions, they would witness a strange glow coming from the woodlands around the park.
Then, with no further investigation into the bizarre occurrences, the incidents just suddenly stopped as quickly as they had begun. As we shall now see, though, the incidents were just one of many strange goings-on throughout the United Kingdom during 1963. And they ranged from sightings of UFOs, to strange and bizarre creatures.
There were many UFO sightings throughout the UK in 1963.  Perhaps one of the first was around 9 pm on the evening of 23rd January when the Air Ministry received a report from a woman in the Kent region claiming that a “flying saucer” was hovering near Bluebell Hill. What’s more, whatever the object was, it was causing interference with the lights of her car.
Five nights later in the town of Shilton, two women would report a strange yellow-glowing object on the ground that appeared to have four windows from which the light was emanating. It would eventually rise upward and head in the direction of the town of Rugby.
Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing incidents with a possible connection to UFO activity took place on the evening of 28th March in Norwich. At around 8 pm, Mrs. Duffield claimed to see a van suddenly pull up near the Brittania Barracks. Two men immediately exited the vehicle and quickly set up what appeared to be a tripod on the ground next to them.
A second later a “yellow and red light” emerged from the tripod and “shot up into the sky” disappearing over the barracks. This was followed by a second light. It was at this point, fearing she might be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the witness discreetly left the area. She would, though, read reports of sightings of strange lights on the night in question in the local newspaper several days later.
Whatever was going on and if these men had military connections or not is not known. However, several months later, a similar incident involving tripods and connections to experimental gadgetry occurred.
On the afternoon of 16th September in Castleton, a door-to-door market researcher known only as “Joelle” was conducting research on a housing estate in the area. However, while doing so at one particular house she was struck by all of the “unfamiliar objects and gadgets” that were seemingly strewn about the house. Noticing her interest, the woman who she was interviewing offered that her husband was a scientist and that many of the gadgets were part of his tests and experiments.
However, later in the afternoon while parked at the roadside in the Blue John Caves area of the town she noticed a sudden strange light descending from the sky. What’s more, a strange object with tripod legs landed nearby. Even stranger, a man then exited the mysterious object. He was wearing a strange “cloth suit and cloth helmet”.
It was then that she noticed another man sat in a parked car – the same car she had noticed parked outside the house which contained the strange devices. The man inside got out of the vehicle and walked toward the mysterious person who had arrived in the futuristic object. The two men spoke for several moments before the mysterious visitor followed the scientist back to his car. They then drove away leaving Joelle extremely confused as to what she had just seen.
The account would take an even stranger twist later that evening when, out of curiosity, the market researcher would return to the house in question to speak with the man. Perhaps surprisingly she would find the other man there also. They were, however, seemingly honest that they were, in fact, extraterrestrials. What’s more, they were from a planet very similar to Earth and their civilization had bases on two of Jupiter’s many moons.
Of course, we should perhaps treat the above account with a pinch of salt. However, it does suggest the possibility of a discreet presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth. And of more interest to us here, is there a connection to the account of Mrs. Duffield? If the two men were not military operatives, might they have been extraterrestrials of the same race? And were the lights some kind of message?
On the evening of 7th May in Kirkby, Margaret McCutcheon was sat watching television with her 13-year-old son when all the house lights suddenly went out. At the same time, they noticed a strange object outside their home. She would describe it in her report to the police as being around six meters wide with flashing red lights on top. There was also a low-buzzing sound which she believed came from the object. It remained hovering several feet above the ground before moving away and disappearing into the distance.
Several months later over the town of Garston in Hertfordshire, a witness with a background in aviation (he was a former RAF pilot) witnessed a triangle-shaped UFO. It appeared to remain stationary, simply hovering discreetly for a considerable amount of time before calmly climbing higher and out of sight. What’s more, corroboration of the object’s presence would come from a nearby air traffic control station.
Another incident involving apparent extraterrestrial visitors occurred in Cheshire in the summer of 1963. A schoolgirl – whose name is unknown – was walking home from school when she decided to take a short cut through some fields. However, several minutes after doing so, she spotted a strange man who was stood and seemingly staring at her.
The mysterious person wore a silver-suit that stretched from the neck to the feet. It appeared to be made from something similar to aluminum. The two held each other’s stare for a moment before the strange figure disappeared into the woodland around the field. By the time the young girl had reached the spot where the figure was stood, he had vanished completely.
Several weeks after the incident, was the discovery of the crater in Charlton in Wiltshire. We should recall that strange lights were seen by multiple people in the days leading up to the discovery. And at least one account claims there was a discovery of a cow that appeared to have suffered some type of burn as its skin was found to be peeling.
Further sightings and discoveries of similar craters in Edinburgh and Cumbria surfaced on 26th July, with witnesses in Edinburgh claiming to see a “flying saucer” over the region that evening, and a farmer in Cumbria claiming that 40 of his sheep had suddenly disappeared.
Incidentally, another bizarre outbreak of craters occurred in early December. This time in East Lothian, Dufton Fell, Flamborough Head, and Southampton.
On the evening of 27th July over Flamborough, several coastguards witnessed a strange object hovering over the area for most of the evening. What’s more, military aircraft in the middle of training exercises also witnessed the strange object.
Exactly a month later in the early hours of 27th August in Beckenham in Kent, a veteran of World War Two with a background in anti-aircraft technology, Mr. Hooper, claimed that he and his wife were awoken just before 2 am to see a strange light descending rapidly toward the ground. It then stopped dead and hovered motionless for several seconds before it vanished at lightning speed.
He would report the incident to the Air Ministry who were largely dismissive of the account. We should note, it is remarkably similar to the descending and hovering lights that were witnessed in the Sandling Park incident that would occur several months later in November.
Just before 10:30 pm on the evening of 15th September in Country Durham, a young boy noticed a strange object moving in the sky from his bedroom window. He would quickly call out to his parents, one of whom was an experienced radar operator during the Second World War. They would then themselves witness the craft for almost 15 minutes. Each would later describe how it appeared to “zig-zag” in the skies overhead. What’s more, it would change color several different times. The family would make a report of the sighting to the Air Ministry.
Another sighting of strange glowing lights – this time what appeared to be two separate objects – were witnessed by multiple people in Peterborough on the evening of 26th September. A further UFO incident occurred in Epping at the end of December when a white, glowing object landed briefly before taking off again.
Perhaps one of the strangest incidents took place at RAF Cosford on the evening of 10th December. At around 11:30 pm, at least according to most recollections of the account, two RAF apprentices witnessed a dome-shaped object come of out of the night sky and descend toward the base.
It proceeded to land within the facility, turning everywhere in sight green from the beam of light being emitted from it. The apprentices would immediately go to report the incident to their superiors. However, upon returning, it had seemingly vanished into thin air. According to some reports, a “very large transport plane” arrived at the base several days later. This, according to locals, is “unusual in itself”. Some claims suggest that the craft or parts of it were loaded onto the plane before it departed.
In the aftermath of the incident, the military would offer several explanations for the increasing rumors circulating. All of which were contradictory to the others. It is an incident, that despite these apparent explanations, continues to cause debate within the UFO community.
Incidentally, it certainly isn’t the only UFO incident to have taken place at the base. Almost 30 years later, in March 1993, multiple sightings of strange lights and objects were reported over and in the vicinity of the base. There were even reports from some corners of witnessing “laser beam” type searchlights in the region.
Whether those incidents share a connection to the apparent landing at the base in December 1963 remain open to question. Of course, there is always the consideration that the base itself might prove to be the common denominator.
There were also, it would seem, several other strange creatures lurking through the UK during 1963. Many of these would be “big cat” sightings, which appear to hit the United Kingdom in waves. However, one of the strangest is without a doubt an account from researcher, Tom Slemen. Slemen has researched strange events in and around the Liverpool area exhaustively. At some time in May or June of 1963, came reports of a “strange centaur creature” in Sefton Park. Furthermore, several different people claimed to have seen the half-man, half-horse creature, one of whom was a police officer.
The following month in Loch Ness, two fishermen noticed a strange rocking of their boat. It appeared to come from something under the water. The next thing they knew, a huge monster-like head rose from beneath the surface. It stared at them for a moment or two, before disappearing back beneath the water. The two men would later describe the creature as having black-brown skin that appeared to be hairy. Even stranger, it had the head of a bulldog. Perhaps interesting, several apparent sea monsters from around the world describe a dog-like creature with a dark, hairy body.
Later in the summer near Cardigan Bay, a man on holiday, Mr. Sherman, claimed to witness a dinosaur-like creature on the rocky coastline. Furthermore, many of the seals were quite obviously fleeing the scene in fright. Even more bizarre, several days later, the man discovered the half-eaten remains of a seal in the same area as he spotted the mysterious creature.
Several “big cat” sightings are on record throughout 1963. One of the first occurred in the summer on the afternoon of 18th July. On that day several witnesses, each on separate occasions, saw a large cat-like creature. All of the sightings occurred in the Shooter’s Hill region of London. Many people refer to the creature as the Surrey Puma.
Five days later around dawn on the morning of 23rd July – also in London – Jim Green would wake to hear an intense, beastly snarling noise. He would report the incident to police, describing it as sounding like a cat fighting but “much larger”. The police, perhaps already spooked and alert to the sightings in Shooter’s Hill, would send five police cars in response.
There were several more sightings of these big cat-like creatures throughout the year, many in and around the London areas.
There was, it would appear, a rise in satanic or occult activity in the United Kingdom during 1963. Many of which would take place in the southern regions of England. For example, there were regular burglaries of churches around the UK. As well as, quite often, the remains of mutilated animals and other grim finds. All of which we might, generally speaking, associate with satanism.
In fact, it is with the targeting of these churches that we will take our focus to next, when Weird Darkness returns.
Almost certainly connected to the alleged satanic activity were bizarre and unsettling incidents taking place at churches throughout the country. For example, on 16th March an unnamed local couple would witness two young children seemingly playing with a real human skull in the small village of Clophill in Bedfordshire.
When they asked them where they had got this macabre item from, they revealed they discovered it in St. Mary’s Church, which was abandoned and nothing more than ruins. The couple would examine the church for themselves. They would discover the “tracings of two Maltese crosses” as well as cockerel feathers. After reporting the incident, it was soon discovered that 6 of the graves – all women – had been “tampered with”. Needless to say, rumors of satanic rituals and other occult activity at the ruined church became rampant in the area.
Interestingly or not, only weeks later in the nearby village of Garston (a little over 10 miles from Clophill) a vicar, Father Albert Davey, would inform police of several satanic style threats he had received. As well as the regular finds of “twigs and red-stained rags” on the church grounds. He further claimed a group had approached him to help them with their black magic rituals. After he refused, the threats began.
However, in early April, came another grim and brutal discovery.
According to the book The Bluebell Wood Horror by Kevin Gates, a bloody and horrific discovery surfaced on 9th April. The find was in Bluebell Woods in Caddington, once more, nearby from Clophill. An employee of the RSPCA would find the decapitated heads of six horses and a cow. It appeared the bodies of the dead animals had been removed from the scene. In each of the cases, the jaws had been “wrenched apart” with four of them having the jawbones completely removed.
There is perhaps a debate as to whether this was the work of Satanists and their rituals. Some suggest there might be a connection to the cattle mutilation cases. Although these would not spread through much of North and South America until the seventies and eighties.
The explanation would appear to remain unknown. It is perhaps highly suspicious, though, that such finds would happen amid an apparent outbreak of satanic goings-on in and around the Bedfordshire area.
Another example of “Devil worship” surfaced on 21st September at Castle Rising in Norfolk. They would find clay effigies of a man and a woman nailed to a door. Each with a thorn pushed where the heart would be. Even more disturbing was the discovery of a sheep’s head. Complete with 13 thorns pushed into its head.
Perhaps the most bizarre and alarming incident took place on the afternoon of 7thDecember in Westham in Sussex. On that day, at a church that was not abandoned but still very much active with its own congregation in the community, several “Devil worshippers” attempting to perform a satanic ritual on the grounds until they were stopped by several onlookers.
1963 also hosts some simply bizarre happenings which, in themselves in isolation, are not particularly remarkable. However, when examined against the backdrop of the other dark and mysterious goings-on of 1963 perhaps take on more significance.
Whether it was a sign of things to come, for example, 1963 began with one of the worst winters on record. Something which certainly made life a little more miserable for most.
Less than a month into 1963, the leader of the Labour Party, Hugh Gaitskill, would die suddenly on 18th January. Less than a month later, well-known author, Sylvia Path took her own life in her flat in London.
The Moors murders began in the summer of 1963. They remain arguably the most shocking and appalling killing spree in British history. And, in part due to the drawn-out discoveries of the bodies due to Ian Brady’s and Myra Hindley’s refusals to reveal their locations, it has remained in the psyche of the British public well into the 2000s.
And while not taking place in the UK, the aftermath most certainly had consequences worldwide when President Kennedy was assassinated in November. An entire book could be written on how different the world might have been had Kennedy not been killed. Obviously such things can be nothing more than speculation. An interesting argument could be made, however, that a more peaceful and less sinister world might exist now had Kennedy not been murdered.
So, what should we make of the plethora of strange accounts and bizarre reports from the year that was 1963? Was it unique for such happenings? Or might we find, in fact, that each year has an equal number of strange incidents? That our collective reality is simply full of the unexplained and the mysterious? Indeed, such a research project might one day be the subject of future case studies here. It was the excellent work of Sarah Hapgood that sparked our interest in the idea of increased dark energies.
If, then, for the sake of argument here we assume that 1963 in the United Kingdom was particularly heavy with strange encounters and events, why might that be? What could possibly explain such an occurrence?
Might there be powers, unseen and bigger than we might be able to imagine that were at work? Perhaps responsible for this releasing of energies that manifested themselves as UFOs or beastly creatures. Or even the need to partake in Satanic rituals? We should note that we generally call satanism collectively envelops a whole host of practices. Ones that we collectively view as dark and sinister. Many would argue the use of the word satanic is ill-fitting, generally speaking. Indeed, the events we have highlighted here might be beyond “mere” satanism and something altogether darker.
For now, though, the explanations to these events remain a mystery.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments through the website at WeirdDarkness.com. That’s also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for the newsletter to win monthly prizes, find my other podcast “Church of the Undead”, and more. Plus if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY – or call the DARKLINE toll free at 1-877-277-5944. That’s 1-877-277-5944.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The 1963 Atlantic UFO Encounter” and “Dark Paranormal Forces Invade The United Kingdom” were written by Marcus Lowth for UFO Insight.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22
And a final thought… “You are allowed to revise your dreams; don’t let anybody tell you differently.” – Brianna Wiest
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.