One of the most unique accounts of alien abduction comes to us from the Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire, England. The witness and subject of this case is a former policeman named Philip Spencer. Spencer claims that in the early morning of December 1, 1987, he was taken aboard an unidentified flying craft, and after his release managed to snap a picture of one of the alien beings.
The Ilkley Moor is very much as you would picture it. Reminiscent of the setting of the moors of Baskerville Hall in Conan Doyle's "Hound of the Baskervilles." it is an eerie place. It has been said that "The Ilkley Moor can scare you to death during daylight, and at night it's even worse." It is a place of mystery. There is the Swaztika stone; boulders etched with strange markings; the Badger Stone; and the Twelve Apostles stone circle.
Many times the only living creatures on the moor are the sheep. Ilkley has other legends too, like the hovering lights at night, which bring occasional reports of UFOs. Strange, swirling lights that are filtered through the fog which seems to have a mind of its own. Possibly some of the mysterious sights can be attributed to the not too distant Menwith Hill Military Base, or the nearby Leeds Bradford Airport. The activities of these two facilities will not, however, explain what happened to Spencer. There were also stories of strange creatures that roam across the moor at times.
After four years of being a policeman in another city, Spencer had moved his wife and child to the Yorkshire area to be closer to her family. He was walking across the moor on this December morning heading for his father-in-law's house, and on the way was hoping to get some photographs of the strange light tricks of the moor. To be able to get the images he desired, he was using a high ASA rated film to compensate for the poor light in the area. Unfortunately, the picture that he took was somewhat blurred, but there is no doubt that the creature in the photo is a one of a kind being which basically resembled the small grays.
Along with his camera, Spencer also took a compass to navigate through the fog before sufficient daylight shone through the moor. As he was searching for some photo angles, suddenly he caught the sight of a strange looking being in the slopes ahead of him. He aimed and snapped a picture of the creature which seemed to be gesturing for him to stay away. It then ran away. Spencer gathered his wits and took off in pursuit of the being. Today he says he doesn't know why. It was just an impulse reaction. He arrived just in time to get a glimpse of a flying craft with a domed top rise up from the moor and disappear into the sky. Atop the dome was a whitish square. He was not able to get a photograph of the object.
There was silence now. When he saw nothing else of the being or its craft, he began to walk to the nearest village. This walk took about 30 minutes, and during this time, a couple of things became apparent to him. First of all, his compass now pointed south instead of north, and secondly, the village clock showed the time an hour ahead of his..
Spencer was confused now. Did he see what he thought he saw? To answer this burning question, he headed by bus to the nearest town with instant film development. Sure enough, he had a picture of the creature! It looked to be about 4 foot tall, and had a blue-green tint to it's skin. He knew he had something of importance, or at least, he thought he did. He found the proper channels to contact investigator Peter Hough.
Hough knew what he was hearing was a "too good to be true" case, and it worried him, but after meeting Spencer, he was convinced that he was a man of integrity and was not seeking fame or fortune for his picture. There was no reason to not believe what Spencer had told him. Hough began a thorough investigation. The film with the alien picture would be the first thing to undergo professional scrutiny.
The alien picture was first looked at by a wildlife photography expert. The object in the image was not an animal of any known kind. It could not be determined either way if the figure was animate or static. A reconstruction of the original site did establish the alien's height at or near 4 and one half feet. The photograph was next sent to Kodak laboratories in Hemel, Hempstead. An analysis showed that the object was indeed part of the original photo, and not superimposed. This conclusion did not, of course, determine what the creature was.
Next, the picture was sent to the United States for computer enhancement and analysis. Dr. Bruce Maccabee, optical physicist with the United States Navy rendered his expert opinion;
He stated that the slow film speed used for the low light conditions made the film too grainy for proper testing. "I had great hopes that this case would prove definitive. Sadly circumstances prevent it from being so," Maccabee stated.
Something strange was noticed in the picture. Appearing on the hill at exactly the spot where Spencer says the UFO was, is a white square. Could it be that he had gotten a part of the UFO in the shot unknowingly? He was not sure.
The final outcome of the investigation of the alien picture? There is not a way to prove hoax. There is also no way to prove that the strange creature on the moor is alien. I must state here that opinion on the authenticity of the picture is pretty much split among interested parties. Some UFO enthusiasts are hopeful that more evidence will emerge to substantiate the claims of Philip Spencer. There are those who do not believe that the figure is that of an alien. It certainly would have been difficult taking a four and a half foot dummy up tyhe top of Ilkley Moor as it quite a climb.
Hough's next step in his investigation was to look at Spencer's compass. There was no doubt that it would have had to be subjected to a strong magnetic field to alter its direction from north to south. Hough discovered that a magnetic resonance scanner would duplicate the effect. There was also the fact that there was no way to prove that the reversed polarity of the compass was accomplished at the alleged scene of the event. To perpetuate a hoax, Spencer may have affected the magnetic change before going into the moor. Hough was not done yet. He utilized a University to do radiation tests at the scene. No radiation was found. He also had Spencer tested by a psychologist. In his opinion, Spencer was telling the truth, as he knew it.
Spencer had begun to have strange dreams of starry skies, and was still puzzled by the missing time he experienced, so the final test would be subjecting him to regressive hypnosis. The session was conducted by Dr. Jim Singleton, at Arthur Tomlinson's home, on March 16, 1988. Also there were Peter Hough, and Mathew Hill, a journalist friend of Hough who was to operate the three tape recorders.
Below is a transcript of the session:
JS- I want you to cast your mind back to the 1st December last year when you set off across the moor. I want you to clear your mind back to that and I want you to re-experience that. I want you to tell me what you experienced.
Spencer- I'm walking along the moor, oh! its quite windy. There is a lot of clouds. Walking up towards some trees. I see this little something, can't tell, but he's green it's moving up towards me. (We later found out that Jon had took the photo after his abduction and the creature was waving goodbye) Oh! I'm stuck I can't move and the creature still coming towards me. I'm stuck and everything gone fuzzy. I'm, I'm floating along in the air I want to get down! (He later told us he was levitated 2 feet off the ground and the creature was in front of him like a child pulling a balloon on a string). I still can't get down and I don't like it. I'm going round this corner and this green thing is in front of me. Oh God! I want to get down! (long pause) (breathing faster) There's a there is a big silver saucer thing there's a door in it. And I don't want to go in there. (worried sound in his voice) (sigh) Everything gone black now. (pause).
JS- you say everything gone black?
Spencer- Mmm! I can't see anything like I'm asleep, can't hear anything. (short pause) There's a bright light now. Can't see where it's coming from? I'm in a funny sort of room I can hear this voice saying don't be afraid. I don't feel afraid anymore. I can still see this green thing but I'm not afraid anymore of it. I'm being put on a table. I can move now if I want to, but I don't feel frightened any more and there's a beam like a pole it's above me it's moving up toward me. It's got a light in it like a fluorescent tube. It's coming up from my feet I can hear that voice again saying "we don't mean to harm you and don't be afraid." Makes me feel warm as it moves up me it's coming up over my stomach towards my head. Close my eyes I don't want to look at it in case it hurts my eyes. It's gone! (pause) there is something my nose feels funny (shows movement of nose) that's gone as well, I'm standing up now I don't know how I got stood up? I can see a door there is one of these green creatures motioning for me to come with him. Don't really want to go with him. I'd rather stay here I don't feel afraid in here (pause).
JS- Can you tell me what's happening now?
Spencer- I'm walking towards a door there is still a bright light there is light all around want to know where its coming from its just bright all around. Walking down a corridor there is a window. Oh! God!(sounds shocked)is that real? (deep sigh) (pause) (sounds afraid) don't want to be up here want to be down there? I can hear that voice again saying you've got nothing to fear. Its pretty though didn't realize it looked so pretty. (What Jon was looking at through the window was the earth seen from high in space just like the Apollo astronauts saw. Iv gone past the window now I'm walking down a corridor. (long pause)
JS- What's happening now?
Spencer- Come to the end of the corridor. There's a hole opened in it so I can walk through. I'm in a big room-a big round room, I'm on a raised platform against the wall. My camera and compass are trying to get away from me. Going towards the ball. It's difficult to pull them back down again, and this balls moved round with strange its got some blocks on it he says we cant stay in here to long he wants us to go out again the holes closed in the wall its gone strange he says I've got nothing to fear but Id still like to go home (pause) its got such big hands.
JS- What's happening now?
Spencer- Going down a corridor again. its very bright still I wish I knew where the light was coming from. And there is another door, going through a door it's an empty room two of those green creatures have come with me. there's a picture ,it's starting to move on the wall wonder how they get the pictures?
JS- Can you tell me what's happening at this point?
Spencer- I'm looking at the pictures on the wall. (long pause)
JS- Pictures on the wall?
Spencer- Mmmm. Creatures seem concerned at the damage that its doing. Picture changing now there's another picture, another film he's asking me a question he says do you understand? I said yes. It's time to go. Everything gone black. I'm walking up the moor again, I'm walking near some trees. Some movement - I can see something. A green creature. I've shouted to it. It's turned round. I don't know what it is. I'll photograph it it's turned around now. It's moving quick want to know what it is. I'm running after it, it's gone round a corner, I can't see it now. There's ... There is a saucer (laughingly), big silver saucer! It's disappeared? I'm walking on down gone past the trees.
JS- What's happening now?
Spencer- I'm going home. It's ten o'clock on the town hall clock. Can't really understand it was only eight o'clock.
JS- You mentioned some green creatures. Would you try to describe them to me?
Spencer- It's quite small. He's got big pointed ears, it's got big eyes. They're quite dark, he hasn't got a nose he's only got a little mouth. And his hands are enormous. And his arms are long. He's got funny feet.
JS- Funny feet?
Spencer- They're like a V shape like two big toes. Must be difficult to walk like that. He shuffles rather than walks. I don't feel afraid of him although he looks odd.
JS- You mentioned big hands? Can you say anymore about the hands?
Spencer- It's got three big fingers, like sausages. Big sausages. They're just very big. Bigger than my hands.
JS- About how tall would you say these creatures are?
Spencer- It's about four foot. Comes to the lump on my stomach. He's about as high as - just a bit bigger than my stomach is.
JS- Okay. Now I wonder if I can ask you another question? you mentioned a film?
Spencer- There were two films.
JS- Two films?
Spencer- One was lots of scenes of destruction like on the news. Can see lots of waste going into the river, and people like Ethiopians who are starving. It's not very good, it's not very nice.
JS- Want to say anything more about that film?
Spencer- It's much of the same thing, only different.
JS- What about the other film then? Do you want to tell me about it?
Spencer- I'm not supposed to.
JS- I'll leave that up to you entirely, do you want to say anything about that?
Spencer- I'm not supposed to tell anyone about the other film, it's not for them to know.
JS- Is there any thing more?
As Spencer regained his missing memories, he gave us a fascinating tale of alien abduction. He was taken aboard the craft that he had seen lifting up from the Ilkley Moor. He was given medical-type examinations before being released. He could now remember that it was after his release from the UFO that he took the picture. This one fact would be extremely important:
Hough had dealt with a lingering problem with the picture, the time element. Climatic information gathered about the conditions of December 1, 1987, made it almost impossible for Spencer to have taken his picture at the time he had stated. However, and this is extremely important, if the regressive memories are accurate, the conditions would be right to duplicate the lighting conditions of the photograph, which was taken at least an hour after Spencer thought.
The witness of a UFO/alien event is as important as the report itself. The case of Ilkley Moor rides high on the character of Spencer. Through the years, Spencer and Hough became good friends, and still see each other from time to time. There has been no change in Spencer's account of what he saw that day.
He has sought no money from the case, and signed over all copyright privileges to Hough in early 1988. Spencer desires no fame from his account. Is the picture of the Ilkley Moor alien real? There is no way to say. It could be some type of mannequin or doll staged for the photograph, or it could be the picture of the century. Time will be the judge. Until that time, the search for more information continues.
Note: There was some interesting research carried out on the White Wells building and something quite odd was found. Many years back the white wells was used regularly as a spar and on one particular morning the caretaker was opening up. He had just got his keys out to open the main door when her heard some unusual sounds coming from within. He burst through the door and stood there in amazement as he watch several small creatures scurry to the opened window at the rear of the building...
Compiled by B. J. Booth
Special thanks to Peter Hough.
A number of Peter's books can be found in our section entitled - Books Worth Having.