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24 September 2014

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Moonraking: Spooky Stuff: UFOs
Old Sarum
Over the last fifty years thousands of people across Wiltshire have recorded seeing strange sights in the skies - and in many cases the same pulsing lights hovering above one town have been witnessed by hundreds of people. What have been your experiences?
Cley Hill: UFO spotter's domain
• UFOs
UFO reconstruction

Despite being know as the home of the School of Infantry, Warminster, which sits on the edge of Salisbury Plain at 120 metres (400 feet) above sea-level, is also reknowned for being the country's UFO capital.

To the west of the town lies Cley Hill, an Iron Age Hillfort that has become an unofficial UFO observatory and for almost forty years has been a meeting place for UFO spotters, drawn by talk of lights, flying objects and other unidentifiable oddities.

Anyone who climbs the path to the top of the 240 metre (800 feet) hill and takes in the 360° view is certainly in the right place to witness extraterrestrial activity.

And if they do see anything, Warminster has a designated National Reporting Centre for UFOs - so people don't have far to go to make their findings known to the authorities.

Cley Hill trig point

Warminster's UFO connection took off in the mid-1960s when what was described as the "Warminster Thing" started to make an appearance and was witnessed by a number of people.

The phenomenon started with several occurances of weird noises heard coming from the skies above the town. Then a strange shimmering light was observed and eventually captured on film by Gordon Faulkner in August 1965.

The photo was published by the local paper and even made it to the nationals but in the 1990s it was claimed that the photograph was faked by one of the people around at the time.

More recently, a report in the local press highlighted the experience of several people who witnessed a UFO in the skies above West Wiltshire in June 2001.


According to one eyewitness, a slow moving, bright light was spotted at Semington, which was buzzed by an aircraft - possibly an RAF jet. Later four people in Trowbridge saw an object comprising three lights in a trangular formation. Everyone involved said they were convinced what they had witnessed was a UFO.

But considering the proximity of the military training area on Salisbury Plain, isn't it more likely that the UFOs people have been seeing during the last fifty years or so are more attributable to military activity rather than visits by alien life forms?

What do you think? What have been your experiences? Have you ever seen a UFO in Wiltshire? Use the links below to share your ideas.

• Multimedia

video gifVIDEO: Click here to see a report on Warminster becoming heralded the UFO capital of the UK, featuring Lord Bath and eye-witnesses to strange happenings. (Courtesy of BBC Points West)

VIDEO: Click here to see the 1996 Marlborough Summer School course for people interested in suspected extraterrestrial activity. (Courtesy of BBC Points West)

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Click here for The Moonraking Gallery

• Add Your View



Alastair Phillips
When the average person see's stranege lights in the sky, the immediate responce is that they are witnessing a UFO, an unidentified flying object. However the leap is made straight away that these lights or whatever is seen are attributed to extraterrestrial activity. It is my belief, that the large majority are simply either misidentified objects or anomalous astronomical phenomena. There is so much we don't know, even scientists, astronomers etc about the universe. Who is to say we simply are witnessing rare energy phenomena. If aliens really were trying to make contact, surely if they are so intelligent they would of found better ways at communicating with humans. The whole messages left in the corn in the form of crop circles is both ridiculous and nonsensical. As Scully said on the x files " I just don't see the point in investigating a bunch of youths who happened to ace geometry in high school."

Jorden-Williams Paranormal
Being a premier team of paranormal in warminster and based in salisbury we are going to look into this field of U.F.O sometime in the future. fasinating subject and i believe that we all have seen something sometime of another but maybe we all just dismissed it as nothing ??? we can be found at

Mike Booth
Ive seen three UFO white metalic craft while out cycling on the evening of June 21st 2005 at lockeridge in broard daylight. These craft were hovering in the top of the wheat making random trails down the hillside. I watched for about 3 or 4 mintues and despite every effort to get off my bike and take some pictures or call someone with my mobile phone I eventually rode off. I have absolutely no doubt about the nature of what i was watching and the fact that having been sceptical in the past , albeit open minded; I have no doubt what so ever that we are being visited by other levels of intellegence. Although dont ask me why or where from.

Marc Pyle
I saw about 5 or six lights above Dezies before xmas! Did any one elss see them? I love Wiltshire full of wird things lol

Rob Spooner
I have video footage of some very strange light formations that took place over near Atworth on Tues 27th April 2005. Im desperate to find out what it was. Do you know of any reports of around 20 very bright lights in the skies between melksham and atworth?

have experienced ufo activity with my sister at home in Warminster about 1976 strange noise and paralsis.

robert brannigan
I saw two ufos in sunderland in 1997. Briefly,they copied each other blinking on and off,did right angled turns,joined up together,split apart, flew at great speeds and stopped suddenly. Ufos are real, as to what they are? don't know.

michael duvall
I used to wonder what E.T was short for, but now I know it is coz he has such little legs.

i want to know if ufo's are real

I'm not from there, But I am from here.U.S.A! In 1994 my daugter, my son, & I saw in late afternoon, in late September, but still it was clearly daylight, a black black Trianular object, aproximatly 40 feet on all three sides at the bottom, (triangular points were rounded) with A big bright, white light at each rounded corner. As we saw (at one point) looking straight up, as it hovered over us Approximatly 60 feet straight up above our heads. NO sound at all! It could take off & stop, what appeared to be instantly, at enormous rates of speed. Speeds that brought it from so many miles away that when it looked like a tiny speck in the sky, it...., in a blink of an eye would rush toward us, & stop instantly above our heads. We saw it at one point fly about 400 feet in front of us, as it crossed the rural black top road, no more than 60 feet from the ground, as crawling speed of mabie 5 miles an hour as it stopped in mid-air, piveted in place, to make a right turn, so it could fly down beside us traveling west, as we were stopped in our van, as we were facing east. From the side veiw of this craft as it crossed the black top front of us, we could see green, red, & amber trailing lights moving in a circular motion around a dome shaped roof, that has been designed to form into from the Triangular flat bottom base. There were no windows visible anywhere. Only a black metalic look, with the exception of lights that I described! These things are real People! I only pray, before I die that I may know, who, & what they are! Where they come from, & what do they want!!

Scrappy doo
I have seen UFO's on two different occasions. The first was about three in the AM when I couldn't sleep. I was lying on the ground in my field looking at the stars when I saw six large objects in the sky flying in formation, circles, triangles etc. It lasted for about five mins then they all spereated and sped off in different directions. The second one was on a summer afternoon when i was riding my horse on the hill behind my house. We were bumbling along when all of a sudden my horse froze : all her muscles were locked and she was shaking but didn't bolt. I looked up and saw what looked a bit like a stealth jet hovering about 5 feet above the ground. it was silver/blue and had a huge heat haze around it. there was very little noise and it wasn't particularly scary. I looked at it for about 2 mins,blinked, looked again and it was gone.My horse relaxed and started bumbling along again!

I lived in married quarters facing Copheap Hill, we lived there in the early eighties as my dad had been transfered to the S.O.I. and one night my dad took me up the hill which overlooked the base and we were surprised to see that many people would congregate there with binoculars and telescopes looking for other worldly phenomena. Anyway, this one particular night I did see something which I couldnt believe, I wouldve written this ff had it not been for the fact that my dad saw it too. A triangular object above the base moved in formation slowly over the base before leaving at an astounding speed upwards without a sound - that memory will always stay with me

Trevor Wylde
I live in Dudley and would be very interested in Josie's story.

i saw a ufo once whne i was a child no where near wiltshire unfortunalty, it was in dudley kn the west midlands, it was summertime and we had just had a sun shower, a rainbow then came out, my friends and i were admiring the rainbow in the sky when we saw a round object with red lights all around the botoom of it and just a bit higher up there were green lights also all the way around it,,,it was definalty not a plane or any posh military aircraft, and about 10 of us saw we all ran home to tell our parents but it got dismissed as children seeing things i was 10 years old and am now 31, and ther picture is still very clear in my minds something that i have never forgotton there are other species out there.....

A Warminster Resident
I have lived in Warminster all of my 22 years, and am yet to see anything - despite living pratically next door to cley hill!

thomas woodhouse jones
i think their are 2 reasons for sighting around military areas. 1. they may be checking out our weaponry and technology. 2. its just people seeing realy posh military planes that dont look like planes and thinking its U.F.Os

frank litson . warminster
Having lived in warminster as a child in the 1960s. Between the 60s and the late 70s I have seen five.I moved away in the 1980s and returned to the town in the late 90s and havent seen a thing yet I live very close to cley hill.I still suspect army or airforce activity for the sightings both then and now.But still a facinating subject.

Catherine Davies
I find this very interesting

Cassie Long
Hi!When I was ten, i experienced a U.FO sighting with my cousin. In wiltshire. It was DEFINETLY real, because it couldn't hav been anything else. If anyone would like to ask me any questions feel free to add in your views. xx

Derek Howard, Trowbridge
It would make sense for the government encourage the perception of the Warminster area as a UFO centre. The more this becomes accepted the more the Ministry of Defence can do without any questions being asked! It is interesting to note that most UFO centres seem to be Military sites as well.

Alex Hallam
I think UFO's are real.It's hard for me to believe Earth is the only planet with living beings or creatures in the universe,The Solar System isn't the universe you know!

john hanson
I am trying to email a letter re UFOS the server will not let me send it to you. Can you help please? John, sorry you've had difficulties getting hold of us. You can email BBC Wiltshire here:

Stewart Brockman




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