The Little-Known UFO Encounter Of Ethel Field

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
May 23, 2018
Last Updated
September 5, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
Aliens, Encounters

Shortly before midnight in late-September 1977, 62-year-old, Ethel Field would go out to her backyard to fetch washing in from the line. It was a chore that would result in her witnessing an event that would forever change her view of the world, if only privately.

A superimposed UFO over a typical English street

Just what happened to Ethel Field?

It was also an account that only came into the public arena once Ethel Field finally decided to report the incident to David Haith of the Bournemouth Times, from where it made a minor splash on local and national newspapers. Although the encounter was largely forgotten, Kenneth John Parsons of the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society would give it a place in their online files. Ethel, incidentally, had wished to report the incident the very night it happened. However, her family, rightly or wrongly, dissuaded her from doing so.

Now, with the benefit of time and the informational treasure trove that is the Internet, such previously isolated cases can be reexamined and, in some cases, viewed alongside other equally isolated affairs. Sometimes, as very much might be the case with the sighting of Ethel Field, such lonely incidents look to be part of a larger, coordinated plan, of which we don’t know the intelligence behind, or what the ultimate end goal might be. The fact we might be able to make such connections, however, is perhaps a significant step in the right direction.

A Dorset Autumn September Evening, 1977, England

As her husband, Maurice, and their 24-year-old daughter, Teresa, were watching television in the family living room, Ethel stood alone in the back garden of their property in Poole, Dorset, in the south of England. As she unpegged washing from the line she suddenly noticed a “humming” sound. She quickly scanned the night sky – which was clear – but initially didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Then, as she was about to turn her attention back to the drying clothes, she noticed the “round object” heading in her direction.

The airborne craft was a “greyish” color and there was a prominent dome on top. The object glowed constantly and projected light all around its immediate vicinity, but especially down towards, but not as far, as the ground. Merged within the grey-glow was a much brighter blue-yellow light. Ethel thought, at times, she could see a “pattern” within the light.

She would estimate the size of the craft to be around twenty-feet in width. She would also assert that it must have been relatively low to the ground as she could see “occupants on board”, in the dome.

Humanoids “Looking Out” From The Windows

Ethel would elaborate that the dome had two very clear windows which would take up around two-thirds of the structure. On the other side of these windows were “two humanoid creatures”, one in each frame. Each figure was of the size and proportions of a human. Both adorned a one-piece silver suit that covered every part of the body aside from the face (although Ethel believed the headwear was separate from the suit itself). Each of the figure’s facial features were “slender” but each appeared to be male.

As she focused on the craft and the humanoids inside, the object came to a stop and hovered over the garden. All the while, the rest of the Field family remained inside watching TV. Ethel would put up her arms, using her hands to shield her eyes from the intense light now shining directly at her. She began to feel a heat coming from above as well as a “trembling” in the ground below.

One of the figures had his attention downwards and appeared to be manipulating unseen controls. The other, however, was looking directly at Ethel. He used his hand to make a gesture that she took to mean they intended on landing.

Now beginning to become frightened, she turned and headed towards the back door of her house. She would turn her attention back to the craft before entering her home, however. She did so just in time to see the now disappearing object speeding away. Ethel quickly looked at her watch. The whole encounter apparently lasted no more than thirty seconds.

Ethel Fields

Ethel Fields

Purposeful Inaccuracies In Reporting

Perhaps part of the reason the case was so quickly forgotten at the time was down to several factors. Firstly, Ethel Field had no desire for publicity, and she had no interest in UFOs per se (although she would maintain what she saw was real). She would be more than willing to speak with Haith of the Bournemouth Times, and did a handful of interviews with other outlets, but would decline all further requests shortly after.

Secondly, many of the reports in the newspapers and magazines were vastly exaggerated, and in some cases contained outright untruths. For example, one newspaper report would claim that the UFO was a “saucer (that) swooped on her”. Another would speak of severe burns on her hands, which was, in reality, “peeling skin”. Whether this itself was a result of interaction with the UFO is open to debate. According to the initial report, Ethel only mentioned her hands in passing and wasn’t sure herself if the condition was there before the incident.

Yet another report would state that a corroborating witness at the coastguards also witnessed the UFO. Investigations since would reveal this to be based on an interview with Ethel from ‘Radio Solent’. The interviewer had mentioned his auxiliary coastguard father had also seen a UFO years previously.

Despite the distortions involved in the case – perhaps an unfortunate consequence of shutting oneself away once the story is public – the account is widely regarded by many to be genuine.

Similar Sightings Worldwide

Interestingly or not, there were several very similar sightings in September 1977. And what’s more these incidents occurred in drastically different parts of the world.

In Spain, for example, in the town of Huesca, a bright blue flash of light would disturb an art teacher eating dinner at her apartment with a colleague. Upon looking outside, they could each see a round machine-like craft hovering overhead. It had a dome on top as well as windows going most of the way around. As each continued to look they could see “moving shadows” inside the dome part of the craft. Although there were several different colored lights, a bright blue light was the dominant one. After several moments the craft began to spin, making a “whistling sound” as it did so before speeding off into the night sky.

In North Plainfield, New Jersey on 18th September 1977, an unnamed witness from Morris County would report a “strange light” in the sky while driving along Route 22. He would further state the object was a “saucer-shape” with very distinct rows of windows on its side. Furthermore, he could clearly see “figures” moving inside the object through the window. There were corroborating sightings of this incident by drivers on Route 46 in Parsippany and on Route 20 in Flemington.

In Northampton, England, in early-Autumn, a motorist driving at shortly after 1 am, would witness a “large circular object” emitting a “bluish-green” light with “large oblong-shaped windows”, behind which stood three humanoid figures. Several weeks later, in East Sussex in England, a young woman witnessed a “domed disc” flying overhead as she waited at a bus stop shortly after 5 pm. Although she would black-out shortly after, she had a distinct memory of a “telepathic communication” with an entity on board.

The Apparent Abduction Of “Mrs. G”

Although there is nothing to suggest an abduction of any kind took place that evening over Dorsett in 1977, or during the other encounters above, the incidents are remarkably similar – particularly in terms of the attire of the alleged abductors – to that of a witness known only as Mrs. G, whose encounter itself was part of a wave of apparent alien abductions in the United Kingdom in 1978.

In broad daylight of a cold, 1978 February day in Ermington, Plymouth, “Mrs. G.” was hanging out washing in the garden to her home. She would suddenly notice a blue-white light heading towards her location. It would hover for several seconds, around 100-feet from the ground. Then, before she realized what was happening she was “rising in a column of light”.

When she emerged from the light she was on board the craft. Three humanoid figures, each wearing a “tight, shiny metallic” one-piece suit, were looking at her. Something akin to a balaclava almost completely covered their faces. The next thing she knew she felt a “sharp blow to the back of my neck” and she was standing back in the garden. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed but it was considerably darker than when she began hanging out her washing – none of which, incidentally, was on the line.

A depiction of a Blue UFO

Did more alien abductions take place in the late 1970s than we think?

The John Day Incident

The apparent alien abduction of John Day and his family from an Essex road in the south of the United Kingdom in December 1978 also share similar details as to the appearance and clothing of both the “Mrs. G Case” and the sightings mentioned above, including that of Ethel Field.

After setting off from Harold Hill, with his wife, Susan, and their three children, the Day family expected the regular thirty-minute journey to have them home by no later than 9:30 pm. When they finally did arrive home and were preparing their children for bed, they would notice the clocks in their house declaring it was almost 1 am. They had no memory of over three hours of the evening.

As much as the Days tried to put the incident out of their minds, the intense nightmares and daytime confusion wouldn’t allow them to do so. John would contact a local UFO group. Through them, he would get in touch with, Leonard Wilder, a hypnotist. Wilder could regress the Days back to the night in question so that they might unlock the memories of the missing three hours.

Although John was eager to do so, Susan refused to let their children undergo hypnosis. Nor had she any desire to go through the ordeal herself. John, however, would go ahead with the sessions. And would reveal an evening unlike any other he or his family had ever experienced.

Tall Humanoids With “Balaclava-Type Helmets!”

According to John, under hypnosis, a bright light began following them shortly after they had set off from Susan’s parents. At around the same time, an unusually thick mist enveloped their vehicle. The strange light continued to follow them. It finally came to rest, hovering over one of the fields at the side of the road. Without warning, a beam of light shot out from the craft directly at the Day’s car.

This light-beam would then lift the entire vehicle, with the Days inside, from the road. It would “pull” it towards the craft. The closer they got to the strange object, the more it “looked like a spaceship!”

Then, with no memory of how he arrived there, John was in a “giant room”. Also inside this room were three humanoid creatures, each around six-feet tall and wearing a tight one-piece silver-grey suit. They also had on their heads a “balaclava-type helmet that covered the bottom of their faces!” Their eyes were visible and appeared to be pink “with no eye-lids!”

Suddenly, he was on a table like one in an operating theatre. As he lay motionless a “metal arm swung over me, scanning my body”. Several other, smaller creatures were performing examinations, as well as poking him with “pen-like objects!”

John recalled vague memories of walking through a corridor on the ship, with “furniture that was molded to the wall”. The next clear memory, however, was of driving back on the road, a short distance from his house. Incidentally, although Susan Day refused hypnotic regression, several memories did return in time. One of which was of a tall humanoid “with a balaclava-type hat on!” She also had memories of being “prodded with pens by small creatures!”

Artist's impression of John Day's humanoids

Artist’s impression of John Day’s humanoids

A Step Towards A Bigger Picture?

Is the encounter of Ethel Field and the other similar incidents involving sightings of “alien entities” within the UFO itself, connected to the abductions of Mrs. G and the Day Family? There is, for example, the same time and similar geographical area (many incidents occurred in the south of England). And the descriptions of the craft and the occupants are also amazingly alike.

And was the sighting of Ethel Field only a sighting? Or was she too abducted, but with no memory of the incident? While Ethel, for example, was only outside for thirty seconds and didn’t experience any missing time, as we looked at in the case of Judy Doraty, it is apparently possible in some abductions to be both on the craft and at the location of the abduction at the same time? Furthermore, Field had no desire to speak about her story extensively. Therefore, it is highly unlikely any further information will come forth regarding the incident.

Or, if we assume all of the above sightings are of the same intelligence, might the fact that Ethel Field wasn’t abducted show a very purposeful and selective abduction program, as opposed to an opportunistic one? This is, remember, something that many researchers and abductees have stated also.

As with the alien abduction question in general, there are more questions than answers. And indeed, questions that we no doubt are not yet aware that need asking. The short video below looks at the complexities of the UFO and alien question.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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