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13 November 2014

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You are in: Berkshire > Entertainment > Outdoors and Attractions > Features > A close encounter in Berkshire

Chippenham's flying saucer

One of the flying saucers found in UK

A close encounter in Berkshire

On the morning of 4 September, 1967, people began finding 'flying saucers' which appeared to have landed in the UK. Historian John Keeling wants to hear from anyone who remembers the two UFOs found in Berkshire.

If you can remember back as far as September 1967, a historian is looking for people's memories of an 'alien invasion' which took place 41 years ago in Berkshire.

A landed saucer (C) John Keeling

A landed saucer

On the morning of Monday 4 September 1967, people in southern England began stumbling across several small flying saucers.

Two were found in Berkshire, one at Welford and another at Winkfield.

Police initially laughed off the reports of the small gleaming saucers, and made derisory comments about 'little green men'. But the smiles were wiped off their faces as  they realised the strange 'flying saucers' were no figment of the imagination.

Soon army bomb disposal units, RAF helicopters, the Aldermaston atomic weapons laboratory and six police forces were involved in trying to solve the mystery of the 'UFO's

Historian John Keeling has been researching the events of that fateful day.

"1967 was the year that had seen an explosion in flying saucer sightings. People were obsessed by space travel." he said.

"When these flying saucers started arriving, the army blew up one with explosives.

According to John, the Welford Saucer was discovered by Fred and Eva Rood in field at Tullock Farm, which was owned by landowner John Puxley.

The Winkfield Saucer was discovered in Paddock of Nyewood House belonging to Christoper Lever (now a Knight of the Realm) and close to Winkfield Satellite Tracking Station.

John said: "The station engineer Roger Kenyon threw pennies at the Winkfield Saucer to see if it would explode or disgorge little green men! He then contacted the police at Bracknell who moved it to Ascot Police station."

"The saucer from Welford was taken to the police station in Newbury, and it started leaking a foul smelling grey gunge.

"That sparked an alert with the Aldermaston atomic weapons laboratory, and a chemical weapons alert went out."

Newspaper reports of the time show po-faced policemen carrying away flying saucers, with headlines such as 'The Thingummybob'.

It was 12 hours before the 'alien invasion' was revealed to be a giant hoax by engineer apprentices at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough.

John said: "The news had spread to Canada, America, even India. But it had all been carried out by some students.
"They staged an alien invasion of Britain for £30."

Now John is working on a book and possibly a documentary about the fateful events of 4 September, 1967.

He would like to hear from any BBC Berkshire listeners who remember the flying saucers, or have a story to tell about that day.

Contact him on 01376 570652 or by emailing

last updated: 05/12/2008 at 12:08
created: 04/12/2008

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