I went out for a fantastic Thai meal with my girlfriend and her mum and dad tonight, which was absolutely lovely. However, as belt-poppingly amazing as the evening was, it isn’t the reason I’m writing this blog post. Because in spite of the gorgeous food and wonderful company, it was the short walk to the car after the meal that things started to get really interesting.
As we were all walking to the car (up Bear Lane in Henley-in-Arden) we spotted a bright orange light travelling silently across the sky above us. It was significant enough to draw our attention, and we were all baffled as to what it could be. However, what I thought would be a fleeting moment of bafflement – before conversation swiftly returned to the superb Thai meal on which we’d just gorged ourselves – subsequently developed into bewildered excitement, as one…two…three…four orange lights followed silently behind in relatively quick succession.
For the next 10 minutes we all stood in the road, eyes transfixed on the clear night sky, watching several bright orange lights travelling silently overhead, one after the other. (I checked my watch after the sixth light flew over and it was 10:35pm.) All in all, we believe we saw approximately 21 orange lights. My girlfriend’s dad estimated that they were perhaps flying at 1,000ft, but I really couldn’t say. One thing I can say, however, is that they seemed to be travelling at a fair speed, but were completely silent. None of us heard a thing.
To our surprise, at one point, a man pulled up alongside us in a black Audi and announced: “They’ve been coming over all night; all going in the same direction. My mother’s counted around 35. I’m going to follow them.” He then drove off at speed into the night. To be honest, the fact that a complete stranger believed that these lights were something out of the ordinary simply added to the weirdness of the whole situation. It also confirmed that the lights weren’t a side-effect of the Singha beers we’d just drunk. About five minutes later another car drove past us with the windows down, shouting: “The aliens are coming!”
We eventually retreated to our own car and set off for home, while trying to keep our eyes on the 21st orange light as it travelled across the sky above us, eventually flying out of sight.
Unfortunately, all I had with me was my iPhone, which is capable of so much – but taking photos isn’t really its forte. Nevertheless, I snapped away furiously as the orange lights travelled across the sky. Some of the photographic results, while typically inconclusive, are included in this blog post.
I hit Google as soon as I got home and discovered that there have been several sightings of unexplained orange lights in the sky all across the UK over the last few months. The most recent (and relatively local) report ran in the Halesowen News on September 1st. It’s been suggested in some of these news reports that the mysterious orange lights could in fact be Chinese lanterns, which may well be true in some cases (or maybe in all cases).
Whatever we saw flew in a controlled manner across the sky. The orange lights appeared in twos and threes and maintained a perfect distance from each other as they travelled overhead. They were completely silent, moving at speed across the sky, and they didn’t display any blinking or flashing landing lights that one might expect from a conventional aircraft.
At one point, I could see four orange lights flying into the distance in a near perfect straight line. They can’t possibly have been helicopters. And in my opinion, they were going too fast to be balloons. As has been suggested, it’s conceivable that they could have been sky lanterns. Who knows, maybe they were flying over from a wedding at Henley Golf & Country Club? They did appear to be flying from that general direction.
I’m not saying that I’ve witnessed extraterrestrial guests arriving at Gordon Shumway’s son’s Bar Mitzvah, but I’ve definitely seen several Unidentified Flying Objects. If anyone has seen anything similar (or even saw these very lights over Henley-in-Arden tonight), then by all means drop me a line.