Welcome to the Investigators Diary. This section is for members and investigators. So that they can read one an others notes, investigation talk, research etc. For those who would like to submit anything to our diary, simply send it to MAPIT Head Office and we will have it listed here. I've kicked it off with an incident that took place on February 7th 2005. Hope you enjoy it...
Bolide or UFO - Winter Hill?
Feb 7th 2005
Was it a UFO, or was there a more mudane explanation? I first became aware of the aerial sighting after a member of MAPIT informed me that she had see something strange in the sky. I looked up at the clock, it said 9.45am. Time was ticking and I wanted the answer as soon as possible! Apparently Piccadilly radio (Gold 1152) were giving mention to it on the hour ever hour.
I grabbed the phone... my first point of contact... the Manchester Evening News and the Metro News. I informed reporters of the incidents that had taken place the night before, and asked them to inform witnesses that we were looking into the matter and that they could contact us if they wish. Afterwards, I talked with a newsteam reported at Piccadilly Radio, unaware I was being recorded for the purpose of playing on air. I have to admit, my first suspicions were not that of meteorological phenomena, however, I kept my options open. I told the reporter I required more information before giving my conclusion. I finished by telling them that they could pass my telephone number on to witnesses if they wish. Well....... lets just say I never got to sit down for the following hour.
No sooner had a put the phone down, it rang. It was a man from Horrich, claiming to have seen a UFO around 7.30pm. He described the object as a white rocket like object with a tail travelling across the sky from West to East. There was no unusual odour reported nor any sound. The object travelled in a horizontal position about 25% above the horizon. I told him I would look into the matter and get back in touch.
I then immediately telephoned the Ministry of Defence and left my telephone number on their answer phone machine along with details of reported sightings, asking them for any information they had. I then telephoned Manchester International Airport block tower and talked with a Civil Aviation officer, who informed me that they had not picked anything unusual up on radar last night, nor saw anything unusual. However, they were aware of reported sightings by the following morning and presumed some type of meteorological phenomena.
I telephoned the Meteorological Office in Stockport and asked them if they were aware of such a meteor or bolide sighting last night (Feb 7th). I was told, no one knew anything of the sightings. Hmmmm.... Well... I then phoned the Manchester Astronomical Society and Salford Astronomical Society... Guess What! No one knew anything there either! Then a few minutes later the telephone started ringing again.
More witnesses... In fact quite a number of them telephoned. Ian from Bolton, followed by Tracy from Chorley, Julie from Adington, Mary from Horich , Andrew from Bury, Sean from Tintwistle and Jack from Chorley.
Tracy had seen a strange light in the sky between 8.00pm and 8.30pm. She described it as rocket like with a tail with bits of it falling off. (This I immediately recognised as 'Splintering', when parts or bits break off a meteor or bolide and burn up). Julie from Adington said that the object was a blue or green colour and moved towards Bolton around 6.30pm - 7.00pm. Mark... well... curious one this is... Mark a security officer working at The late shift, looked up in the night sky to see a strange object that was multicoloured and as an approaching Police Helicopter switched its search light on, it just simply vanished, as if it had suddenly blinked out. Strange one Eh! Mark finished by telling me that the UFO was heading towards Sheffield. Andrew from Bury claimed to have watched the object around 8.30pm - 8.45pm. Described it as a bright white light that seemed to be sparking. Sean and his wife watched as strange object from their lounge window. They described the object to be moving backwards and forwards. Jack... well... what would I have done without Jack. Jack said he saw a meteor and was steadfast about his observation. Good one Jack!
I then was to find a small article on teletex regarding the strange incident. A particular Doctor from Jodrell Bank Science Centre had claimed to have confirmed a meteor burn-up over Manchester / Bolton. I of course telephoned Jodrell Bank to ask him how did he confirm it and where and when did it take place. No one answered the telephone at Jodrell, so, I guess I’ll have to just get back in touch at a later date.
I then received a telephone call from a fellow investigator who informed me that they knew some people who had watched a large bright white UFO in the skies over Radcliffe around 11.30pm and that the object shot off at high speed. Well... what's going on? Could this be the same thing? I doubt it seriously. A bolide meteor could not have been seen in the night sky over a 30 square mile radius for over five hours. That's highly improbable. Bolide meteors don't really change direction and are not often described as multicoloured. What about that damn helicopter Eh? What did the pilots see? Could we be dealing with two events. Sounds ridiculous, but not impossible though. I mean come-on.... What’s the chance a UFO will fly over Manchester / Bolton letting hundreds see it, let alone a bolide meteor just happen to pay the area a visit the very same evening. Well... what ever went on, I'm going to try to get to the bottom of it.
Over a few days, more reports came in. One witnessed had e-mailed me stating ‘My name is Kevin Winters and at the time of the sighting I was working in front of my PC, at home, I glanced out of my 2 floor window which faces North-East and saw what I believed to be an aircraft in some difficulty as if it was in a dive. Assuming it was a light private aircraft I heard no engine noise, I could not see a fuselage, however it did have a red light at the rear and a white light at the front. These lights resembled normal aircraft lights and speed. Assuming its size was that of a light aircraft it was faster than normal and slowing down. Then literally it disappeared. I realised this was strange. I immediately checked the sky for anything that could obscure it, there where no clouds, the moon was full and it was too high to have gone over the horizon. I checked the time on my PC, it read 19:41.
The only light in the room was the monitor screen and there was no activity in the street, (Cars etc). Ruling out reflections. I stood in the window and took in as much information as possible i.e. last seen position of aircraft and that there were a number of identifiable aircraft in the vicinity, however nothing resembling the disappearing aircraft. As I mentioned I am ex-military and I served in the 46 Air defence Bty Royal Artillery and employed as a SAM section commander. I left in 1993. I have a sound knowledge of military aircraft, both fixed wing and helicopters. I now have a small Private Investigation Business. I have been in the surveillance business since leaving the Army. At the time of the sighting my camera was within arms reach, but the strange aircraft was visible for less than five seconds'.
The above witness seems to have seen a similar object to Marks, both seen on the same night. Can people make terrible observations about time, direction and colour... I suppose so, but then again, there seems to be some interesting information to suggest something else was around that night. I wrote down where the sightings occurred and constructed a map showing the possible flightpath of the bolide meteor and where alleged UFOs were seen. The meteor was travelling from West to East, had a tail, mostly described as blue, green and white, splintering occasionally leaving a large contrail. Seen about 25 – 30% in the sky travelling horizontally. Unfortunately, no one has come forward yet, claiming to have photographed or videoed the meteorological phenomena.
As for the possible UFO activity, I have had no official confirmation, nor many other witnesses. The witnesses seem sure that what ever it was they saw, was ‘No Meteor’. If this is the case then may be we did have two spectacular visitations over Manchester / Bolton.
As for now….. Keep watching the skies, you just never know……!
By Steve Mera.
The Ferret & Trouser Leg - MAPIT Investigation of yet another alleged Haunted Pub.
The Ferret and Trouser leg is situated on St. James's Street, Sheffield.
Tucked away next to the Cathedral, in the 'unexplored zone' between the City Centre and West Street lies the Ferret and Trouser Leg. Up a back street you could say, just off Fargate. The pub is nearly always a quiet retreat during daytime and week nights, meaning that you can come in, and enjoy the quietness. Weekend nights are a different story, Friday and Saturday nights is when the disco is on, whereupon a DJ is hired to entertain. The exterior of the pub looks very muck like a church (it was once a church administration building for the nearby Cathedral and was also once used as a choir practise room).
The local church (St. James) was built around 1430, which was definitely before the beginning of the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538. Therefore it is highly possible that this was a satellite church of nearby Beauchief Abbey, which was built by 'The Black Canons' in the 12th Century. Also, the cathedral site (and surrounding area) has been of religious significance for at least 1200 years. Beauchief Abbey has only its West tower still standing from its 1175 foundation but the ruins have been well preserved since the 17th Century. It can be found near the junction of the A621 and the B6068, OS Map 110.
The Ferret and Trouser Leg also has another attraction. Bar staff frequently report strange paranormal activity and on more than one occasion, apparitions of monks have been seen throughout the cellar. There may be a passage way to the nearby church, however, we are unsure at this time. Many public houses do seem to have tunnels that go off to other major town establishments, especially local churches. So, the Ferret and Trouser Leg seems to be, yet another haunted pub, adding to the suspected thousands England already has.
By Arthur Vickers.
A Review of the Wrexham Science & Technology Festival a number of years back.
On Saturday March 25th I visited Wrexhams Edward Llwyd Building to listen to Mr. Arthur Tomlinson (Chairman of the Direct Investigation Group into Aerial Phenomena) lecture on UFOs. His talk started with historical drawings and paintings that show what resembles modern day UFOs. This I found rather interesting, even though I was aware of many such art forms. Fascinating concept, as Arthur discussed the possibilities that early man attempted to visually express what was common to them. All was going well until the end. Arthur sprung into modern day experiences. One of which was the Alan Godfrey Case to which he stated was an abduction... (fact). Oh course, I was one of the investigators during 1994, to re-examine the whole case and discover over 15 discrepencies regarding his testimony, the hypnosis session and Mr. Harry Harris statements who was involved in the initial investigation.
This all came to light at Samuel Platts in Salford during a lecture in 1995. I am comfortable in stating that the evidence supports a hoax. 37 individuals will varify this, as we conducted an 8 week investigation in Todmorden, starting with family members of the late Mr. Zigmund Adamski, and proceding to the local police force for notes etc. Of course, I thought Arthur was aware of this. How can anything be (fact) when there is controversial information suggesting otherwise....? Arthur then discussed the Ilkley Moor Entity Case, where Philip Spencer claimed to have photographed an Alien Being (fact). Arthur talked about how a 30 foot silver coloured disc sat behind an outcrop on top of the moor inside a divit, which Philip Spencer apparently entered. The truth of the matter is that I also re-investigated this case in 1995 and found the divit measured 14 feet 8 inches, (not 30 foot). The photograph is interesting though but, the standard walkers compass can easily be deflected to point to South instead of North without the use of a huge electromagnet as suggested by Arthur many times.
Of course, I can look on this particular case a little different than others as I know who Philip Spencer is, what he did for a living, his contact with several different investigators at the time and lots more details. Again I find that a single photograph does not prove such an incident took place. Once again, a lack of evidence. Anyway, those who are not aware of such conflicting information or have further knowledge of such cases loved it, and praised Arthur for his talk. He finished by showing a photograph of a Yeti that was snapped whilst in a swap. Funny, I swear I saw the very photograph on a program on Sky One a few months back called, The Worlds Greatest Hoaxes....
Even though Arthur may have had some details wrong. It was probably not his fault. He was obviously just trying to give out the information he had at that time. I did know of Arthur personally and had great respect for this man, who had spent his life searching for evidence. When in fact, Arthur passed away I held a conference in rememberance of him and I am pleased to say his family attended. Arthur will be sadly missed... Anyhow, on with the details...
The second part of the conference was one I'll never forget. This was the highlight of the day. The lecture titled 'Beyond Imagination' was described as a fantastic aventure through the stars, into space, and across the universe. This second lecture started at 7.00pm in the William Aston Hall, in Wrexham. The first speaker was Professor Mike Bode, Head of Astrophysics Research Institute, at the Liverpool John Moores University. Professor Bode's talk was very interesting. He talked of his involvement with the Liverpool Telescope Project which involves the manufacture of a huge robotic telescope that will be placed at the top of a mountain in La Palma. This robotic telescope will be controlled via satellite link up from the UK. Computers will send a signal out to a satellite which will in turn relay to two other satellites as it travels around the globe and eventually trigger the computer terminal at the facility in La Palma. This can open the roof of the facility allowing a large view of the sky or being positioned to protect the telescope from the wind. It will be routinely checking parts of the sky and relaying the information back to the satellites and back to the UK for analysis. The new robotic telescope will be involved in with a project called the 'Schools Asteroid Detection' which will involve a link up of three such telescopes. The other two belonging to Japan. Children at school will be able to assist the search from their own school computers. Sounds a good idea... You can learn more about this from a television program that is to be shown on April 7th called Final Frontiers.
The next lecturer was Dr. Ian Morison, who I've met a few times. The last being at the Manchester SETI Conference where I was lecturing. Dr. Morison is the Co-ordinator of Project Phoenix for SETI Observations at Jodrell Bank. Also, he is the Vice President of Amature Astronomy. His talk was aimed at the younger generation that I was pleased to see had attended in large numbers. A general talk regarding SETI, how it came about and what they do. Also, we were told of a possible asteroid threat to Earth in the year 2138, however, it is presumed that it may change trajectory throughout its years of travel before getting to us, or we will have the technology by then to deflect its path. That is, if we haven't got it already. Finally, we were told how over the next month, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will seem to form a conjuction as a bright star in the Western sky. Jupiter is visible at the moment.
Last but least, and well worth waiting for, was the Russian Cosmonaut Colonel Commander Alexander Volkov and his associate and translator Alexander Martynov who is head of bolistics and in charge of several Russian missions. Commander Volkov's talk was titled, 'From Mir To Here'. It was clear within seconds that Volkov did not talk English, his translator was welcomed. A very interesting lecture regarding life on the Mir and how they got back home. This was followed by a 20 minute video of the Mir over the Earth. It seemed as if the video was showing selected shots and not continous for long periods. His flights were interesting. Below is some details :
Aleksander Aleksandrovich Volkov Status:
Trained as: Cosmonaut.
Marital Status: Married.
Birth Date: 27 May 1948.
Birth City: Gorlovka.
Birth State: Donetsk.
Birth Country: Ukraine.
Affiliation: Soviet Air Force.
Group: 1976 Air Force Group.
Date Selected: 23 August 1976.
Date Departed: 20 August 1998.
Number of Flights: 3.
Total Time: 391.50 days.
The lecture ended with some questions which everyone had to place in a box at the beginning of the lecture. Of course these were randomly picked. I did not expect my question to be one of the four questions asked.
I askled 'Have you at any time or are you aware of USV, Unidentified Space Vehicles that resemble ball of light that have been apparently filmed and shown throughout the world. Some of which have been filmed around the space station Mir' ?
A good question.... But what about the response. The translator put the question to Volkov. Then there was a debate between the translator and Volkov for a while, which to me, indicated that he was deciding on the best response. After a short time, the translator turned and said...... 'No'.
This to me sounded suspicious as if not quite sure what to say. I wish I could speak Russian. One of the photographs Volkov showed was the space command centre where a huge screen, similar to NASA's own at the space centre at Houston, was clearly visible showing the Mir. This particular photograph coincides with the recently released video film known as 'The Secret Nasa Transmission : Smoking Guns'. where a small part of it showed the Russian space centre where the Mir was on the huge screen along with several unidentified objects moving around it. This match was 100%.
So, even though I think some of the recently released video ' Nasa's Secret Transmission' is not all authentic, this section did seem to fit perfectly. A most enjoyable day. Tickets were £5.00 for the three late lectures, and Arthur Tomlinsons just £2.00. It was nice to attend a scientific lecture and not see the unusual nutters sat in the ordiance. I really enjoyed it. Many photographs were taken of all the lecturers, including myself shaking Volkovs hand, plus autographed tickets and program sheet.
It was worth going, even though I never got home until 12.15 am.
By Steve Mera.
The Valentine Ghost.
At midnight on Thursday, 14th February, 1867, two lovers stood on the bridge in Sefton Park, Liverpool, England. Their names were William Roberts and Alice Harwood, and they both knew that very soon, they would be going their separate ways through life, because William's stern middle-class parents had pressured him into an engagement with a wealthy heiress.
So, upon the bridge at midnight, as a distant clock chimed the twelfth hour, William tearfully told Alice that their three-year affair would have to end, for the sake of his future bride. Alice said nothing in reply, but stared into the reflections of William and herself in the waters below. Then she suddenly turned and kissed him and closed her eyes as the tears streamed out of them. Before parting, Alice said in trembling voice: "Grant me one last favour, the only one I will ask you for on this earth." William waited for her request with a burning sorrow in his heart.
"Promise to meet me here twelve months from tonight at this same hour." Alice said. William wasn't keen on that suggestion, but somehow, deep in his tormented heart, he knew that he had to see his first real love once more, and so, in a broken voice, the young man replied: "I will come". The year dragged by, and exactly twelve months later, William and Alice were reunited at the bridge, but William told Alice that he was now married and no longer cared for her in a romantic way. Despite William's frank admission, Alice was still deeply in love with him. and before they parted, she begged him for one further, final reunion at the bridge in a year's time, again on February 14th at midnight. William said that would be impossible, as he certainly had no intentions of jeopardising the loyal relationship he was enjoying with his wife. But Alice started to sob and reminded him of the promises they had made to each other during their long affair to stay together.
So William reluctantly agreed to one - and only one - further meeting. As before, they both vowed to turn up at the bridge. In February 1869, William was involved in a shooting accident, and suffered a leg injury which left him unable to walk without the aid of crutches. On the night of the prearranged meeting, William wondered how he could possibly get to the bridge on his crutches, and even considered postponing the journey. But being a man who kept to his word, he decided to go to the park bridge. The old trusted servant of William's family, Bob, already knew of the affair, and agreed to help William to the park bridge. They arrived at the bridge, Old Bob watched William walk unsteadily on his crutches until he reached the middle of the bridge. The young man then waited impatiently for Alice to arrive. William shouted to Bob: "What on earth am I doing standing here upon this bridge on this freezing night, waiting for a girl who I do not care for anymore?"
Old Bob wisely stayed silent. The clock in the distance started chiming midnight, and the approaching figure of Alice was suddenly visible at the end of the bridge. "About time, too." William was heard to mutter.
Alice reached him, but showed no signs of slowing her pace, so to stop her walking past him, William instinctively tried to embrace the girl, as he suspected that his insensitive comments had upset her.
But his arms passed right through her. Alice glanced back at the astonished William and with a terrible look of sorrow in her eyes, she whispered: "I will always love you..." William trembled as he watched Alice continuing her walk to the end of the bridge - where she disappeared in plain sight of Old Bob. On the following day, William visited Alice's family and told them of the strange encounter. Alice's parents looked at each other and Mrs. Harwood broke down and sobbed.
The father then told William that his daughter had died from a fever last night, shortly before midnight. William almost fainted when he heard the dreadful news. The nurse who had attended Alice during her final hours then said that upon the girl's deathbed, the girl had constantly repeated the words: "Dead or alive, I must go to the bridge to see William..." "I must tell him that I love him". It is said that every year at midnight on February 14th, the lonely loyal ghost of Alice Harwood is seen crossing that bridge in Sefton Park, Liverpool, still apparently hoping to meet her long-dead lover. As recently as May 2001, a park ranger saw a beautiful young outdated-looking woman strolling through the park with a parasol. As she crossed the bridge, the lady vanished in to thin air. I suppose the moral of this true story, is, that even in death, love never dies...
Close Encounters of a Cadbury Kind!
Strange objects have recently been seen over Lancashire and Manchester. Mrs. Sprockett from Dunham watched in horror as the strange craft lifted from the near by field. She immediately alerted the police regarding the extraterrestrial landing. Police at the scene found a strange white and yellow substance which was collected and placed in a sample bag by Miss Ann Erack from the ‘South Trafford Ufology & Paranormal Investigations Department’ (S.T.U.P.I.D).
The sample was later concluded to be high in sugar content and also contained several preservatives. A radiation expert from Dumplington Green said ‘I’ve never come across a case like it’. Mrs. Sprokett who was clearly in a state of shock said ‘It was like a huge egg, it lifted making a splodging sound’ Then it moved out of sight as it traveled at hyperspeed towards Manchester Town Centre.............
In fact.... the truth of the matter is that several people did see this particular object in the skies over Manchester and Lancashire a couple of weeks ago. After a discussion with Cadbury’s advertising manager Simon Barnet, it was confirmed that they did have several balloons that were advertising in the Manchester and Lancashire area......
By Steve Mera.