The Malvern Sighting, And The Late-1970s UK UFO Wave

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
August 16, 2018
Last Updated
November 14, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Waves

In the late-1970s, particularly 1978, the United Kingdom, like many other parts of the world, experienced a surge of UFO sightings. Many of these would even result in claims of alien abduction, all of which were surprising in their similarity.

A depiction of a fleet of UFOs over the English countryside

A depiction of a fleet of UFOs over the English countryside

While many other sightings were just that, sightings of strange lights or aerial objects, they still offer further evidence that “something” out of the ordinary was in the skies over the UK during this time. One perhaps can only imagine how many more sightings might be on record if the Internet had been available for witnesses to log and discuss their encounters.

What follows is a mere selection of what is a vast amount of strange aerial sightings over the United Kingdom at the end of the 1970s.

Strange Sighting Over Malvern

On the evening of 8th August 1978, sixteen-year-old Richard Upson and his friend Kevin were returning home after watching the stars in the night sky from the Link Common in Malvern, Worcestershire, England. [1] As they approached Richard’s family home, he returned his focus upwards to the clear skies overhead. It was then that he saw what he thought was a particularly bright star.

He remained still, keeping his focus on it. Kevin, now realizing his friend was watching something turned his head upwards too. Then, the bright “star” suddenly separated, becoming two separate objects. In the same fluid-like motion, once separated, the two lights continued to move away from each other. And they did so at great speed. One of the objects would head in a straight line while the other would perform a large arc in the sky, eventually settling on a course and disappearing into the distance.

The boys would estimate the encounter lasted around ninety seconds, certainly no longer than two minutes. They immediately ran inside the house, calling to Richard’s mother, Anne, to tell her what they had seen.

She would recall several decades later how her son and his friend came “rushing indoors” that summer’s night in 1978. Both teenagers were “white-faced and breathless” as they told her of the strange light that split in two above them. After allowing the two boys a chance to calm themselves, Anne called the local police.

Although a Malvern police officer would attend the Upson property later that evening, there was little he could do. He did, however, recommend that the family contact Skyscan, a Worcester UFO group. Richard would also write to the MoD asking of any further information regarding the sighting. He did receive a reply. However, it contained no further information.

“Two Discs of Light” Over Berkshire

Perhaps the most interesting detail of the above sighting is the light splitting itself into two separate objects. As bizarre as this sounds, it comes up in a lot of UFO reports, some of which are at much closer proximity than the two teenagers in Malvern. This would certainly suggest materials, and even scientific laws, which are themselves alien to us. Although the detail doesn’t appear in our next incident, a similar sighting not too far away in Slough, Berkshire several months earlier is worth looking at.

In early-January 1978, another teenage skygazing enthusiast lay on a camp bed on the small balcony of his family home. It was around midnight, and with his telescope trained upwards, the young would-be astronomer hoped to witness a meteor or two before turning in the for the night.

As he moved the telescope into the blackness, a sudden and brilliant flash of light filled his vision. He managed to make out “two discs of light” moving with great speed across the sky. Such was the speed with which they moved he wasn’t sure if the two discs were part of the same craft or were independent of each other. They did, though, “seem to be connected in some way”. As if the discs were “pivoting about a central axis”.

The two objects “crossed the whole of my field of vision” before the houses of the estate blocked the view.

A depiction of UFOs over a hill

A depiction of UFOs over a hill

Sighting From The Top-Floor Flat

Over a year after the sighting of the two teenage boys in Malvern and nearly two years following the Berkshire sighting, another little-known encounter took place in Norwich, Norfolk. At around 11:45 pm on the evening of 24th November 1979, Dennis Kemp, along with his wife and their new son, were in their top-floor flat. Dennis watched the last of the football highlights while his wife slept next to him on the sofa. When the highlights had finished, the young father rose and went to the large full-length windows to see if the weatherman had been correct in his prediction of snow showers.

After pulling the curtain back and scanning the ground below, satisfying himself that no snow had fallen, he focused his gaze upwards in search of any snow-producing clouds. There was none. He remained at the window, though, looking at the sparkling stars in the clear night sky. Then, after several minutes, something strange appeared in his field of vision.

As he looked outwards, a bright circular object “appeared overhead from behind me”. Dennis would state that the strange object was an “off-white color with no other coloration or marks”. The strange craft remained completely silent throughout the encounter. It was in view for around five seconds, moving in a completely straight line and disappearing behind another high-rise block of flats. Although he could only see it for a matter of seconds, Dennis would also remember how the object appeared to “change its shape from circular to elliptical” as it passed overhead and into the distance.

He remained where he was for several moments afterward, his mind and, in turn, his body in shock.

No Further Witnesses!

After regaining his senses Dennis would open the two large windows and step onto the small balcony outside. He scanned the skies as far as he could see them from his vantage point, hoping to catch another glimpse of this mysterious object. He then looked down to the ground below. Maybe someone else was down there, equally as confused as he. A quick glance told him that the street was empty.

He would go to bed and attempt to sleep. His mind, however, was racing and replaying the five seconds when the craft was in view over and over again. In the morning, he would tell his wife of the incident. However, her reaction was far from favorable, leading him to drop the matter immediately. He would suffer from a brief spell of depression following the sighting as the realization that nobody would believe such a story fully dawned on him.

Even so, he would eventually report the incident to the local police. He would also do the same with an official at RAF Coltishall. However, no explanation was ever reached.

A depiction of a UFO over Berkshire

A depiction of a UFO over Berkshire

The Mini-Flying Saucer Incident

Without a doubt, one of the strangest encounters is that of “Carol W” from Gateshead which would last for several weeks in the late-summer of 1979. The first incident occurred one morning in August as Carol lay in bed waiting for her husband to return from the night shift. She was particularly aware and alert that morning due to an intense toothache which throbbed unforgivingly.

As she nursed a cup of tea a sudden red glow pushed through the curtains from outside. Placing her cup down and leaving the bed, she went to the window. To her disbelief, a huge disc-shaped object “sparkling with multicolored lights” hovered silently over the street below. Then, without any warning, the glittering disc would shoot upwards and disappear. Strangely, Carol simply returned to bed as if nothing out of the ordinary had taken place.

However, only minutes later, a miniature version of the disc, exact in every way although only one-and-a-half feet in size entered the bedroom through the window. As it moved “glittering specks” trailed behind it like magic dust. As it came closer to the bed Carol was aware of a loud “buzzing” sound. A bizarre sensation took over her entire body, almost numbing. Then, with as little warning as it gave when it entered the room, it left.

Carol didn’t mention the incident to anyone. Although she knew she wasn’t, she reasoned with herself that it was just a bizarre dream. Two weeks later, however, she would have another encounter with the miniature craft. She would call out to her husband, but by the time he arrived in the room, the object was gone.

Humanoids With “Unreal” Doll’s Hair!

Several weeks later Carol’s husband was again on the night-shift. Not wishing to stay at home on her own, she would take her children and spend the evening at her mother’s home. All was well until she awoke at 4 am, unable to move. To her disbelief and terror, the small flying disc hovered in front of her.

Even more terrifying, however, was the several two-foot tall humanoids who were also in the room with her. Even while in the grip of absolute fear, Carol couldn’t understand how creatures this big could fit inside a craft that small. Each adorned a white, one-piece suit with “unreal” hair which Carol would liken to that of doll’s hair.

Several of the humanoids came over to the bed. All the while, Carol could hear a disturbing “clicking” sound. Then, the next thing she knew, the creatures and the small disc were gone, and she was able to move.

The strange incidents continued for several weeks. Although her husband nor her children actually saw the crafts themselves, they did on occasion hear the strange buzzing sound. Also indicative of their arrival was the family dog who would become extremely agitated at their presence. Perhaps most strange, after several weeks the activity suddenly ceased as quickly as it had begun.


1 August 1978 – Malvern Glowing UFO Sighting, Dave Hodrien, The Birmingham UFO Group 

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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  • Mark Marsh says:

    My friend and I saw three strange lights in the sky over Woodingdean in the late 70’s as we were returning home from the valley where we were playing. As we came out of the valley I looked back and saw what looked like two lights rising up from where we had just come from. The two lights then turned into 3 lights, like balls of light that formed a triangle but we couldn’t see any actual form of craft. It came right over us and we were both stunned and felt we had lost time like an hour or so.

  • Me says:

    I had my main encounter with a saucer type craft in the Midlands UK in the 70’s. It too, like one of the above stories, was hovering over the houses before shooting off.

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