The Cosford Incident – “The British UFO Mystery!”

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
March 9, 2018
Last Updated
October 13, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
5 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

Not only did more than one-hundred people witness the Cosford Incident over the skies of Shropshire in the south of England in March 1993, many of them were military personnel and police officers, lending the sighting even more credence than it already has.

A depiction of a UFO shining a light into a field

A depiction of a UFO shining a light into a field

Spread across two nights, the sightings are some of the most credible on record and were documented extensively by one of the UK’s leading UFO researchers, Nick Pope. Further to this, Pope was active in his role with the Ministry of Defense investigating such sightings, and so has first-hand insight into the events.

Not only are the sightings some of the most credible, the two-day incident is arguably one of the most detailed due to the sheer number of different witness reports. Given that many people wouldn’t report seeing a UFO for fear of ridicule or disbelief, in the words of Pope, “We can only guess at the number of sightings that went unreported that night!”

March 30th,1993, South-West England

A little past 8:30 pm on 30th March 1993, sightings of a large unknown object began to reach the police. The first detailed report came from an off-duty police officer. [1] He and a group of local scouts were out in the Quantock Hills when they all saw the mammoth object overhead. The officer would describe it as “like two Concordes flying side by side and joined together!”

Reports would continue throughout the evening. All similar in description, and for the vast majority, all from sound and stable witnesses. Furthermore, from the reports and their locations, a timeline of events slowly built up.

An entire family in Rugely in Staffordshire would report they witnessed the craft in front of them extremely low to the ground. It appeared to be around two-hundred meters across, and after following it for several minutes believed it had “landed in a field” near to the road. By the time they had tracked down the suspected location, the object was nowhere to be seen.

One bizarre report would come courtesy of UFO researcher, Doug Cooper. He had spoken with a farmer whose cattle were “unnerved” shortly after midnight on the first evening. By the time the witness had made his way to the field where his cattle were, to his amazement, the entire herd stood in a circle completely silent.

The Next Evening – More Sightings And Laser Beams

The following evening was just as active, if not more so. Sightings again began to hit police switchboards in much of the south of England and as far as the West Midlands. This evening, however, many police officers were alert and on location.

Both RAF Shawbury and RAF Cosford would witness sightings over their bases. An object with two white lights and a “faint red glow” zipped over RAF Cosford “at great velocity!” As well as the official report from the base there were numerous sightings from civilians in the area.

The sighting at RAF Shawbury was even more dramatic. The Meteorological Officer at the base would report seeing the strange craft approach the base with slow control. Moving around thirty miles-per-hour, a strange laser-like beam emerged from its underside towards the ground below. It would sweep from side-to-side as if “looking for something!” An unpleasant rumbling began, which the officer could feel as well as hear. Then suddenly, the light went out and the craft shot away at breathtaking speed. The officer in question wished to remain anonymous. He did, however, state to Pope the encounter was “unlike anything” he had ever seen.

A point noted at the time by Pope was despite the obvious presence of “something” over the bases, neither could pick anything up on radar. This was of “considerable defense significance”, and in terms of the MoD, required immediate investigation. Interestingly or not, a high-ranking MoD official would state in the official report that “there would seem to be evidence on this occasion that an unidentified object (or objects) of an unknown origin was operating over the UK.”

Before we look at some of the aftermath of the sightings check out the video below. It looks at the Cosford incident in a little more detail.

Satellite Interest and Triangular Lights

Skeptics would argue that what people were seeing was the re-entry of the Russian satellite, Cosmos 2238. While that could account for some of the sightings shortly after midnight on the second evening, it doesn’t explain the events of the 30th March. It certainly doesn’t explain the report from the family who claimed to see the object land in a field.

An interesting point by respected ufologist, Jenny Randles, is that many such re-entries result in sightings and reports of UFOs. It is, she claims, as if it is “something of interest” for them – or whoever guides them.

Many of the Cosford sightings would state the craft had a “triangular” shape to them. More specifically, the orange lights on the underside gave this impression.

Coincidentally or not, exactly three years earlier, almost identically shaped crafts were spotted over the skies of Belgium. It was the latest in a wave of sightings that hundreds of people witnessed. Indeed, the world’s press descended upon the nation. Even the authorities themselves would issue statements and advice on how to make reports of sightings. This particular sighting of this wave would be tracked by military radar. This would result in the dispatching of F-16 fighter jets in an attempt to “intercept” the object.

The Belgium Wave, as it became known, actually began in November 1989, almost six months before the attempted interception. Were these objects over England in 1993, the same that had befuddled residents of Belgium three years previously?

UFO from the Belgian Wave

UFO from the Belgian Wave

Black Budget Projects?

Given the response of the MoD, it is clear the Cosford sightings were out of the ordinary, even for UFO incidents. As Nick Pope would state, the summary by his one-time employers was “about as close as the MoD will ever get to saying that there’s more to UFOs than misidentification or hoaxes!”

Many people suggest that the sightings were not extra-terrestrial, but top-secret, black-budget programs. Incidentally, many suggest likewise for the aforementioned Belgium Wave. What is interesting regarding the descriptions of “triangular” crafts at both sightings, is a recently discovered patent from 2004.

According to the story, the patent, if it is genuine, is for the TR-3B a “Triangular spacecraft, A spacecraft having a triangular hull, with vertical electrostatic line charges on each corner that produce a horizontal electric field parallel to the sides of the hull. This field, interacting with a plane wave emitted by antennas on the side of the hull, generates a force per volume combining both lift, and propulsion.”

Incidentally, the MoD did enquire with the US military if the sightings were their crafts. Perhaps there had been a breakdown in communication before a test? According to Pope, the response was that they too had been seeing such crafts over their skies. Furthermore, they had pondered whether to enquire if the crafts were secret RAF aircraft! Make of that response what you will.

The video below looks at the TR-3B in a little more detail.



1 Cosford UFO incident, Nick Pope, Psychics Forum, February 20th, 2007

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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  • Stewart roy Goldsmith says:

    since when has RAF Cosford been in somerset ??

    • Marcus Lowth says:

      That is our error! Thanks for the heads up. It has now been corrected 🙂

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