Last week, we talked about crop circles, so this week it’s UFOs before we head back to go some ghostly tales for Christmas.
Back in the summer, I shared with you many stories about Cley Hill. This hill, near to the market town of Warminster, really does have it all; UFOs, the Devil, elementals, ghosts and history. If you missed it or would like a recap, you can find it here:
Following this blog Nicola Phillips got in touch with me. Nicola is involved with the Andy De Codes channel on YouTube about all things High Strange. She is another enthusiast of the weird and strange and had a good story to tell me about a UFO sighting over Cley Hill in Wiltshire. It’s been a struggle to type it up today because I have been distracted by the cute little face of my Jack Russell, Bingo, resting his head on the keyboard. But, such are the distractions in my Weird Wiltshire life!
Anyway, on with the story. Cley Hill was very much at the epicentre of the Warminster Thing UFO phenomena of the 60s and 70s. It was around this time Nicola’s dad, Victor, had his own strange encounter with something unexplained. Could this have been a sighting of the infamous Warminster Thing?
‘Did me and my friend see the Warminster Thing in 1977 at Cley Hill? Some friends of mine were having a conversation about UFOs in 1977 and we decided to visit Cley Hill one night for a vigil. We arrived around 11pm but I can’t remember what the date was.
We managed to climb to the top in virtual darkness. It was a clear night and from the top we could see for miles and saw all the lights from nearby villages and towns, saw helicopter activity from nearby army bases and watched satellites for an hour or so. Other than that, there was nothing out of the ordinary flying or moving about.
We bought a tent so we decided to scale back down the hill and find somewhere to pitch the tent. Heading back to the car we drove around some local lanes but it’s hard to find somewhere when you are in the country in darkness with no streetlights. I found a gated field entrance which I pulled up to and my friends got out the tent and stuff from the boot, including a couple of torches. I admit I was starting to feel a bit vulnerable being in the middle of nowhere near the bottom of Cley Hill in UFO country.
I stayed near the car while my friends tried to stake out the tent in the field. They were saying the ground was too stoney and hard as I noticed a light coming towards us up the lane, like a swinging latern. There was a house 300 yards or so away so I wondered if it was someone from there. I was trying to figure out what it was when the light disappeared from view going down and leaving a light showing then popping up again at a low level a little closer to her. I shouted to my mates to look, ‘what is it?’ We watched and saw a very bright ‘arc-light’ perfectly formed and round like an orange corona around its circumference. It was now a lot bigger than a lantern size.
It approached us steadily before bouncing up and down, disappearing as it dipped and reappearing again. This must have been some time well after midnight. I was getting pretty scared but one of my braver mates tried to attract this light thing with his torch. It was already coming towards us, growing larger in size by the second, and noiseless I may add. I remember saying something to my friends like ‘If you want to stay here, you stay. But I am getting out of here.’
With that we picked up our gear, threw it in the back of the car and jumped in. We wheel span out of the gated field like a bat out of hell and sped away from the area and whatever that ‘thing’ was. It was definitely coming our way and we did not want to wait around and find out more.
After a short while we pulled over to compose ourselves, found a track between farm fields and decided to stake out the tent there and brew a cuppa. Surprisingly we did manage to sleep for a couple of hours until the sun came up. It was in the daylight we decided to head back to the field entrance where we witnessed the ‘thing’. In the light of day and using the landscape, we managed to figure out the light was around the size of a house and the reason it appeared to bounce as it moved was because it was following the contours of the land, fields and trees very tightly, disappearing behind copses of trees and popping up over them again.
I know this was not a helicopter. I am an amateur aviation photographer so I am familiar with all types of aircraft and their lights. Plus, it was silent! No noise whatsoever and no flashing lights, just a huge extremely light, pure white and orange-tinged object.
We went back up the top of Cley Hill and could see the field where we had witnessed the ‘thing’. It allowed us to figure out how the light had been disappearing and reappearing as we could see the tree boundaries around the fields. We could also see it would have been quite some distance away at first before moving towards us.
I ask myself if I would have like to see something similar again and I will admit I am a bit of a wuss in the dark. The whole experience terrified all of us. However, I have lived back in Wiltshire for the last eight years and I do still look up in the sky and check, just in case I catch another glimpse of the Warminster Thing!’
I wrote an account of the Warminster Thing which appeared in Haunted Magazine back in the summer. After a deep dive into the subject, I do feel that although there would have been mistaken identifications within the 1000s of accounts reported and some admissions of fakery and trying to set people up, there was definitely something very strange going on around Warminster back then. Were they visitors from outer space? Maybe! I guess we will never truly know!
Don’t forget, I’m always on the lookout for spooky and weird stories from Wiltshire and beyond. If you have a tale you would like to share I’d love to hear from you. Contact me via Twitter (or X as we are supposed to call it now) or here.
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Stay spooky everyone!