In the early-to-mid-1950s, UFO sightings, much like in the United States, were increasingly common in the UK. Even incidents of landings and humanoid encounters were relatively rife. Although officially, there was no governing body investigating these reports, we know from our article looking at Room 801 that this wasn’t the case. In fact, to some, the sudden decline in sightings as the fifties bowed out to the sixties, and more specifically how the media would treat them (if at all) was suspicious.
Writing in ‘Flying Saucer Review’ in 1960, journalist Roger Muirfield states, “Although I cannot explain why the truth is being suppressed, I am certain it is merely a rearguard action that is being fought, consciously or subconsciously, by those who are responsible for the molding of public opinion”. Muirfield, was one of many, who would suspect a “censorship” of such mainstream reporting by “officialdom”. And while he is perhaps prepared through his words to give the benefit of the doubt, many researchers today are not as forgiving. And given that the sightings, as well as contact incidents and abductions, have continued since it is hard not to share their perspective.
One sighting that enjoyed multiple witnesses during this time was the Bexleyheath Landing in July 1955. Not only did an apparent alien craft land in the middle of a busy street in a London suburb, but the incident took place in the middle of the day.
A “Thing Had Landed In The Roadway!”
It was somewhere between 12 and 1 pm on the 17th July 1955. Fifteen-year-old laborer, Rodney Maynard, along with the rest of the workers at a building site in Bexleyheath, a borough of London in the United Kingdom, were in the middle of their lunch break. As they ate and chatted noisily among themselves, news reached them that “something was happening” in a nearby street, King Harold’s Way. After a second or two of quiet contemplation, the group of thirty men moved, as if as one, to the nearby road.
When they reached it, they could see a “thing had landed in the roadway”. It was so large it stretched across the entire width of the road and onto the pathways. Maynard would recall in the early 2000s that “it had about eight massive suckers” on the underside which touched the ground and appeared to hold the craft’s weight. He would further state that “the center was still, but the outer rim was spinning slowly”. White lights also flashed “like a camera flash”. There was also a low but very audible humming noise.
Maynard further remembers the craft had “windows but the glass was concave and molded together so you couldn’t see it”. This is an interesting detail. In our article looking at the sightings of the late UK UFO investigator, Tony Dodd, he mentions how the glass of the UFO had an effect like that of modern bathroom glass that prevents one from seeing through it.
When one or two of the builders became brave enough to move forward in an attempt to touch the craft “it began to spin faster”. It then began to rise and moved towards Bedonwell Primary School. The apparent spaceship hovered for several moments before shooting directly upwards and disappearing.
Not A Hoax Or A Prank
Maynard’s sixteen-year-old brother also witnessed the incident. He too would recall years later that the craft was “black, sleek, and streamlined”. It also had a polished metal finish to it. Furthermore, there was not a doubt in anyone’s mind that the incident was a hoax or a prank.
Another key witness to the Bexleyheath encounter was Margaret Fry, who was a young woman in her twenties at the time of the incident. On the day in question, Fry was on her way to an appointment at the General Practice in King Harold’s Way. During her visit with Dr. Thukarta, the pair noticed such a commotion outside in the street that both would witness the object land for themselves.
According to Fry, the craft was “saucer-shaped” and had a mixture of dark colors. She would state over four decades later that it was “blue, silver, grey, pewter (in) texture, yet none of those colors”. Furthermore, the craft had three spheres on the underside. One of these “flopped out” just prior to landing (this perhaps contained the “eight suckers” witnessed by Maynard). A group of children eventually walked towards the craft, intrigued to get a closer look. However, it would rise beyond their reach as soon as they entered its immediate vicinity.
The sighting is still unexplained, and with many of the witnesses in their advanced years, with several having passed away, it is a sighting that will perhaps hold its secrets ever tighter as the years go by.
Recent Sightings Over Bexleyheath
Although the landing in Bexleyheath is over half-a-century away now, more recent sightings have put the area back on the UFO map. In 2010, two separate reports within weeks of each other had many in the UFO community looking intently at the London borough.
On the evening of 20th April, Deborah Perry witnessed around “thirty flying crafts” in the sky overhead. She at first thought they must have been part of the traffic at London City Airport. However, after viewing them for over twenty minutes she began to realize there was something more mysterious than mere planes to them. She would recall how they were not behind each other and in a definite group formation. They all also moved at the same slow pace. Furthermore, “there was absolutely no noise” with each light having a “bright white light like an aura” around it. She continued to watch as they moved across the sky before vanishing.
Less than two weeks later on 2nd May, Debbie Fitzgerald, along with her husband, would notice a “bright orange light in the sky” over their home in Bexleyheath. It was moving at a considerable pace, faster than a plane, yet was completely silent. Several moments later, a second “red pulsating light” was visible. Both lights then disappeared.
While these more recent sightings were both from a distance, six years previously, another pair of sightings in Bexleyheath took place in closer proximity to the witnesses.
Another Near Landing In King Harold’s Way?
In September 2004, two separate UFO sightings again put the eyes of UK UFO enthusiasts firmly on it. On 13th September 72-year-old, Dorothy Godfrey would report to the London media platform, ‘News Shopper’ that she witnessed three UFOs hovering over her home. From the grounds of her bungalow, Godfrey claimed to see three “light bulb-shaped” crafts overhead, which then “zipped” through the air and vanished.
Only five days later, on 18th September, came another sighting. This time, from King Harold’s Way, the location of the 1955 landing. As 52-year-old, Diane Taylor sat in her living room watching Saturday night television, a mysterious glow suddenly invaded the room from outside.
She would later describe the object in much the same way as Godfrey, “like a light bulb”. According to Taylor, her daughter was the first of her household to actually see the craft. As she was looking out of the window, her daughter rushed into the room claiming “it’s a UFO” excitedly. Taylor would state that almost as soon as she had focused on the object it sped off.
She would further claim that her husband also saw a UFO near their home, thirty years previously. Bob Taylor saw what he claimed to his wife to be “something resembling a fireball”. Although she dismissed his sighting at the time, she is now in two minds regarding the UFO phenomenon.
The short video below is a recent clip of a UFO filmed over the Bexleyheath area.
A “Mushroom Without A Stem!”
Perhaps it is worth examining a case that occurred almost exactly a year previously to the initial Bexleyheath sighting, in July 1954, in Lyddon, Kent. At around 5 am, Harold Carpenter, an employee at a stately home, awoke to the sound of humming coming from outside. This had happened almost every morning, at the same time, for the last few weeks. On this occasion, and partly through irritation, he got out of bed, dressed, and went outside to determine just what the source of this humming was.
Once outside, the sound seemed to emanate from a wooded area known to the workers and locals as Sunny Calvert. He made his way to the area, and in turn towards a steep looking slope. It was then, when he looked down, that he could see the strange object and what surely was the source of the annoying humming.
The object seemed to be hovering around ten feet from the ground. It was a dark grey color and resembled a “mushroom without a stem”. He moved slowly down the slope, eventually settling under a group of trees for cover. From here, he could see underneath the craft. He would estimate it to be around twenty feet in diameter. Even stranger, though, were the five “peculiar looking” entities on the ground directly below it.
They were no taller than five feet high and each carried what looked like “jam jars with handles” in one hand, and an instrument they used to pick things up from the ground in the other. All were dressed in identical one-piece grey suits which covered everything but their faces. Their faces, incidentally, appeared “human but expressionless”, aside from the nose. Their noses were similar to that of a pig’s.
A Brief Meeting Of Stares!
It was then that Harold noticed the humming had stopped. He also noticed that in his excitement at watching this most remarkable event unfold before him he had unwittingly walked out from his secure spot under the trees. In fact, he was now only ten feet away from this other-worldly vehicle. Then, one of the humanoids noticed his presence and turned towards him.
As Harold stared back at the figure, the others stopped what they were doing and turned to face him also. A surge of fear went through him as he began to back away as calmly as he could. He realized the figures were also retreating and boarding the craft, which now hovered only a foot or two from the ground.
After all of them were on board, the craft began to rise into the air. It would move to one side in order to negotiate the trees above it before beginning to increase its speed. Harold remained where he was, watching as the craft grew steadily smaller. Then, without any warning, a bright flash filled his vision. When his eyes focused a second later, the craft was gone.
The 1954 Encounter Of Jessie Roestenberg
Around three months after the encounter of Harold Carpenter, came a similar incident in October 1954. This time in Staffordshire in the West Midlands. Late in the afternoon, with the sky beginning its rapid descent into darkness, Jessie Roestenberg suddenly heard a sound like “water being poured on a fire” coming from outside. She quickly went to the door of her small cottage, going outside to check her two sons were safe. Each lay on the ground, staring upwards. When they noticed her each shouted, “There’s a flying saucer!”
As Jessie made her way outside she suddenly felt a compulsion to look upwards. Above her was an object shaped like a “huge Mexican hat”. It shined brightly and was made of a “metallic-silver substance” and had a dome on top of it. Further still, she could clearly see two “beautiful occupants” inside the dome. Each had long, golden hair, and each wore the same style pale blue one-piece suit. From her vantage point, she could see that the bottom of the faces were human-looking. She could also see, however, that the top half of their heads were “proportionally larger”.
Jessie would later recall how the atmosphere changed and she had the feeling of time standing still. She was also “paralyzed with fear” during the encounter. She suddenly thought about her children and moved her focus in their direction. When she looked back to the UFO, it was no longer there. They managed to pick out a small dot in the sky. It was circling in a bizarre manner. Jessie was satisfied this was the craft, even more so when it “shot away” and vanished completely.
The short video below features an overview of the Staffordshire incident. Just one of many in the UK in the 1950s.
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