The 2008 Torquay UFO Sightings – Further Signs Of An Alien Presence Off The UK Coast?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
July 13, 2022
Estimated Reading Time
13 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

During one weekend in late April 2008, residents in and around Torquay on the south coast of England were witness to several strange UFO sightings. Indeed, what at first appeared to be a random sighting of something strange by one family turned out, upon further investigation, to be a 48-hour period where multiple people reported seeing the same object moving very purposely over the region.

Picture claiming to show a UFO

Does this picture show a real UFO?

What’s more, these apparent otherworldly crafts appeared to travel the exact same route each time they were witnessed, further suggesting a predetermined location – and reason – for their sudden appearance over the south coast of England. Indeed, as we will examine later, these sightings could be further evidence of some kind of permanent residence under the waters off the coast of the United Kingdom.

Whatever it was that was spotted during those spring evenings in 2008, it would appear they were not a conventional aircraft, nor were they a satellite or Chinese lantern, or any other usual explanations offered by those who are of a more skeptical nature. That is not to say that these objects were definitely extraterrestrial vehicles, but they are certainly something anomalous, strange, and most importantly, unexplained.

The incidents were documented on several local media platforms at the time and then reported to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC).

The Quiet Before The (UFO) Storm

According to the witness who submitted the report to the NUFORC, after witnessing something strange himself on the weekend in question, began to seek out, investigate, and log as many of the other sightings from other witnesses in the area as he could. Consequently, he had managed to compile a timeline of sorts of the events that unfolded.

This first witness was, according to the report, an amateur photographer, who unintentionally captured a photograph of the bizarre object at around 5:30 am on Saturday 26th April 2008. He was, however, involved in a “sensitive” community project as part of his work and so wished to give his report anonymously.

He claimed that on the morning in question, he was on his way to go fishing on a friend’s boat at Brixham, a short distance from Torquay. As he was driving along the still quiet road he decided to pull the car over and take a picture of the sunrise overlooking Tor Bay. A moment later he took another picture, this time with the camera on a different exposure setting. He then went back on his way. He went out on his planned fishing trip, taking multiple other pictures during the day, one of which his friend requested a copy of.

Upon arriving home, he began downloading the picture from his camera onto his computer. It was at this point that he saw the shot of the sunrise he had taken at the very start of the day. And it was then that he noticed a strange “bright spot of light” in the early morning sky. He knew that Venus was not visible at that time in the morning, so he quickly ruled that out. In fact, the more he looked at it, he realized the light appeared to be below the clouds, meaning that it was not any kind of celestial object, but something in the sky itself.

A superimposed UFO off the Devon coast

What were residents of Torquay witnessing?

When he enlarged the picture and zoomed in on the craft, he realized that it appeared solid and had a definite shape, like a “squashed bell” or a “truncated triangle”. It also appeared that there was a “dark cross-shaped object at the leading edge” of the object, and a cone-shaped tail suggested that the object was moving when it was photographed.

He then turned his attention to the second picture he had taken only moments later. This time, the strange light was nowhere to be seen. He was almost certain that the first picture did not show a lens flare and so contacted the Cornwall UFO group who would state that he had certainly photographed “something of interest”.

Given that the photographer didn’t notice the object at the time, it is safe to say it was completely silent also. When investigators visited the area where the photograph was taken, they noted that any aircraft of a terrestrial nature was easily heard, meaning it was unlikely that the strange light photographed belonged to a plane or helicopter.

This was, though, the first of many sightings to hit this region over the next 72 hours.

Two Separate Lights Flying Over The House

Later that day, at around 9:20 pm, the compiler of the NUFORC report witnessed the object for the first time himself. He explained in the report how their lounge window looks out in the direction of Exeter Airport, which was a little over 20 miles away. Because of this, he and his wife were used to seeing airplanes coming and going at various altitudes and at all times of day.

Perhaps more importantly, he noted that although they do sometimes see smaller aircraft using these air routes, they are always at such a low altitude that their engines, much like the larger commercial planes, could easily be heard. This was much the same for the police and coastguard helicopters that often flew overhead.

On this particular night, although there was still a little light left, dusk was rapidly approaching when the witness’s wife noticed a strange light that appeared similar to a “landing light of a low-flying aircraft”, although the witness noted there was something decidedly different about it. They continued to watch the object as it approached them at a relatively steady pace. The light remained a bright white color, although the witness noticed a fleck of red as it moved. He also noted the light appeared to be a solid object, possibly of diamond-shaped dimensions, and that it remained completely silent and contained no navigation lights.

The object soon passed over the house causing the pair to run to the other side of the property and view it from the backyard. The object continued to move away from them, eventually disappearing behind the trees.

Although he wasn’t immediately aware of it, the witness’s son also witnessed the object from his room. It was as they were discussing what they had seen when the witness’s wife claimed that she could see another light heading in their direction. When they all looked at this second approaching light, they could see it was almost identical to the first one, although it appeared slightly redder. It appeared to be heading toward them at the same speed as the first light and eventually disappeared over the trees.

Incidentally, the witness would later contact Exeter Airport to see if there were any landings scheduled during the time of their sightings – there were none. And when an airplane did fly over the house around 30 minutes later, they could all clearly see its shape, the lights of the cockpit, and could hear its engines. In short, whatever they had seen previously, it wasn’t a conventional aircraft.

The Testimony Of The Webley Family

Around 10 minutes later, at 9:30 pm, another family witnessed what was likely to have been the very same objects. From their home, around three states away from the witness’s house, the Webley family’s encounter appears to offer corroboration of the main witness’s sighting.

According to their version of events, Mr. Webley was in his back garden (with the rear of his property facing the front of witness’s) burning rubbish when he noticed a strange glowing object heading in his direction at a steady, but considerable pace. He immediately called to the rest of the family, who rushed into the backyard and witnessed the object also. They would later estimate that it was at an altitude of between 500 to 600 feet and had an orange-red glow to it.

They reported that it stopped momentarily and hovered a short distance away before heading off into the distance and out of sight.

Then, two or three minutes later, a second object, almost identical to the first appeared and followed the exact same course. It too came to a stop for several moments (in the exact same place as the first object) and then it too went on its way, disappearing into the night sky.

One of the family members managed to record footage of the object using her mobile phone. When this footage was watched and enlarged by investigators, it appeared to show a very definite solid object with some kind of green ring around or in the middle of it.

When the person who submitted the report of the timeline of the sightings, they were able to determine that the Welbey family appeared to witness the objects around a minute after his sightings.

A Bizarre Red Object That “Shot Off” Into The Sky

The main witness would also discover another family – who also wished to remain anonymous – who had a further sighting of what would appear to be the strange object. On the night in question, at around 9 pm, the witness claimed to have seen a bizarre-looking “red object” moving in the sky before coming to a brief stop. Several moments later, it “shot off” toward the Dartmouth area.

Around an hour later, the witness’s husband witnessed a very similar red light hovering in the night sky. It didn’t make a sound and appeared to have come from the same direction as the object witnessed by his wife. Even more remarkable, this object appeared to be shining some kind of spotlight down toward the water below.

A superimposed UFO over the docks of Torquay

Could there be an underwater alien base off the south coast of England?

After several moments, the light went out and the object headed out into the distance, eventually disappearing from sight.

Despite the fact that it didn’t make a noise and that there didn’t appear to be any kind of navigation lights, the witness simply put it down to being a police or rescue helicopter. However, when the witness checked the following morning with the coastguard if there had been any helicopter activity in that area the previous evening, he was assured that neither the coastguard or the police had been in the air at all.

What’s more, this family also had another encounter a little over 24 hours later, an encounter that would leave them feeling compelled to make a report to the local newspaper, and that what they had witnessed was a little more out of the ordinary than a helicopter.

A White Object Moving In Circular Motions Over Tor Bay

At around 3:50 am in the early hours of Monday 28th April, the witness was unable to sleep and so got up to make her way to the bedroom window which overlooks Tor Bay. This was something she often did when she struggled to sleep. Normally the view was serene and peaceful. On this occasion, though, the witness was immediately drawn to a strange, white object in the sky that appeared to be moving in wide circles, and was doing so at a significant rate of speed.

She immediately called to her husband, waking him and urging him to come to the window. By the time he arrived, the object appeared to have moved a considerable distance out over the sea, still moving in the same purposeful circles. They would later describe the object as “white with an apparent cone-shaped tail”.

They watched for several more moments before it suddenly “shot off” into the distance, seemingly in the direction of Dartmouth. As it moved, it appeared to take on the shape of a “truncated triangle”.

The couple were uncertain of what the object was, but were sure that it wasn’t a helicopter or small aircraft, not least as there was no engine noise and no navigation lights, not to mention that it moved much too quickly for a conventional aircraft.

Just what was witnessed by multiple people during that 48-hour period remains unknown almost a decade and a half later.

It appears quite clear that what the witnesses saw during their respective sightings were of the same object. And what’s more, this object, rather than being taken by the wind and drifting aimlessly, were under some kind of intelligent control and had a predetermined route to follow and destination to arrive at. Was that intelligence human, perhaps testing an experimental aircraft? It is certainly a possibility. Or given how the details of the sighting resonate with so many others from around the world and across the decades, is it more likely that this intelligence could be extraterrestrial in nature?

While there hasn’t been a repeat of that spring weekend in question (which again suggests it was something purposeful and unique as opposed to some aerial phenomena), UFO sightings in and around the south coast of England continue to happen regularly today.

And while these sightings are certainly not the most dramatic, they do cause us to think just what might be in our skies at any one time, and how often they might be there. With that in mind, it is certainly worth our time examining further sightings of anomalous objects around the same time.

The Bolton Rugby Ball-Shaped Portal Case

Several months earlier, at around 8 am on 7th February in Bolton, a similar sighting occurred, although this one saw the witness a lot closer to the object. According to the report, again from the National UFO Reporting Center, the unnamed witness was making their way to a ring road where they had arranged for a friend to pick them up. It was a cold morning, but dry and bright, and so upon arriving at his pick-up point, he turned and enjoyed the view of the houses stretching out in front of him.

As he looked around, although there was the odd car on the road, there were no other pedestrians. As he realized he was alone, he noticed something truly remarkable in the early morning sky. There, right in front of him just above the housetops at a distance of no more than 20 feet, was a “rugby ball-shaped object”. He estimated the object was approximately 30 feet across and it appeared to be made of “angled shape panels”, and was “very shiny”.

Even more amazing, though, was that the object appeared to be floating in some kind of rugby-shaped opening in the sky. He would recall that it was like he was “looking into another reality” and that the object appeared to be moving back and forth within this strange gap in the sky.

A UFO in the afternoon sky

Did a portal open over Bolton?

At this point, the witness looked around the street once more, now desperate to locate just one passer-by in order that there would be another witness to this mind-bending encounter. There was, however, only himself in the vicinity.

When he turned his attention back to the sky, the object had moved upwards and was just about out of sight. The rugby shape in the sky, though, remained, although now it appeared to be a strange brown color which eventually faded away.

Had the witness seen a portal or gateway opening in the sky from another part of the universe, or perhaps from another dimension? And might this be how these UFOs are traveling here in the first place. Might it be that the events witnessed in Torquay were the end of a similar entry process? And if this was a portal incident, does that suggest that these portals open in very specific places around the world, or could they open at any, random place at the whim of those who seemingly created them from an unknown destination?

Something Strange Over Southampton

On the last evening of 2008 – technically just after midnight on 1st January 2009 – another sighting of strange, glowing lights occurred in Southampton in the south of England. According to the report – which was submitted to an online reporting website – the witness was preparing to go to bed for the evening and pulled aside their bedroom curtains so they could view any of the New Year’s celebratory fireworks that might still be going off. They had not spent the night celebrating, and so were completely sober.

As they looked out of their window, however, instead of fireworks, they saw four very bright orange lights, unlike anything they had seen before. The lights were in a straight line and evenly spaced, and they were moving across the sky, but very slowly. The witness estimated they were at an altitude of only several hundred feet and were approximately a mile or two away from their home. It also appeared as if they were traveling from the direction of the Isle of Wight and were headed toward the Docks area of the city.

The witness continued to watch them, noting that they had no navigation lights of any kind and appeared to be completely silent, which reinforced that they were watching something truly out of the ordinary. At this point, they decided to run downstairs and view the lights from outside of the house. To their disbelief, however, by the time they burst out of their front door and into their yard, the lights were nowhere to be seen.

It was as they were scanning the skies that they suddenly spotted several more of the same lights, again in a straight line, approaching his home from the backyard, heading in the same direction as the first set of lights. Although the witness recalled that they couldn’t make out any specific details of the objects, they were appeared to be moving very purposely.

He quickly ran inside to wake his girlfriend. However, when they returned outside, the lights had once more vanished. The witness stared into the sky, amazed when a few moments later, he could make out several orange glows in the distance in the direction the lights had disappeared. His girlfriend saw them too, although she was less convinced, he had seen something extraterrestrial, believing he had likely seen Chinese lanterns let off as part of the New Year’s celebrations.

The witness might have allowed himself to be convinced that this was the case, had it not been for another sighting he witnessed two weeks later.

A Solid Object That Passed Directly Overhead

At around 10:30 pm on 15th January, the witness was on shift, driving an ambulance from Southampton to Totton. As he did so, he noticed that one of the lamppost lights didn’t appear the same as the others. The more he stared at it, however, he realized it wasn’t the light from the lamp, but a different glow altogether that was a lot higher up.

He continued driving, every few seconds taking a look upward, noting the light appeared to be heading in his direction and was seemingly moving in a straight line. By the time he pulled the ambulance to the side of the road and wound down the window, he could see that it appeared exactly like the objects he had witnessed on New Year’s Eve, also noting that once more, there was no sound whatsoever coming from the glowing craft.

A moment later, the object went directly over the top of his vehicle. He would later estimate that this mysterious vehicle was no more than 200 feet above him. As it passed over him, though, he could make out some of the details of the object. He could see, for example, that it was a “very broad, flat, silver, grey metal” and definitely had the shape and dimensions of some kind of nuts-and-bolts aircraft. It appeared as though the glow enveloped the object as opposed to shining from it. One thing he was certain of, it was not a small airplane or a helicopter.

By the time he had made his way out of the ambulance and to the roadside, the object had passed over him and was heading in the opposite direction, toward the Southampton area. The witness went back on his way to his next location, periodically catching sight of the orange-glowing object as he did so.

The following day, he heard a news report stating that several residents had contacted the station claiming to have seen a strange orange object overhead. Although the witness didn’t contact the station about his report, he was fairly certain that these other sightings were of the same object he had seen.

Just Another Small Piece Of The Big UFO Puzzle

While the sightings in and around Torquay are not perhaps the most dramatic incidents on record, they could potentially be some of the most important. And perhaps this lack of drama only adds to their credibility. We might imagine, for example, that had a person been “pulling a prank” they might add more exotic details. We don’t see this here which could suggest that the events did happen exactly as has been reported.

Furthermore, the location on the south coast of England is also of interest. Although it has been spoken of for decades, the assertions in recent years of UFOs having a connection to and presence in the world’s seas and oceans have increased. And there could very well be a good reason for this. Like many places around the world, the United Kingdom is said by some researchers to have at least one subaquatic alien base off its coast, with one of those locations being off the south coast of England in the Atlantic Ocean (others include off the coast of Wales and off the north coast in the North Sea).

Might such sightings as those witnessed in Torquay that spring weekend in 2008 be a result of these strange and mysterious crafts entering or leaving these bases, and so sending them on a certain route across the land? Perhaps, if there is any accuracy to bases being based off the south coast of England and the coast of Wales or in the North Sea, these sightings are a result of these bizarre vehicles traveling from one base to another?

For now, admittedly with the unanswered questions piling up ever higher, we must place these sightings somewhere on the drawing board that will morph into the eventual big picture of the UFO and alien question so that, in time, and as more and more cases and their details come to light, we begin to understand the true nature of UFOs, how they fit into our reality, and what it means for our collective existence.

The video below looks at some of the best UFO sightings from the UK.

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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