The Moigne Down Hover Cross Incident
Location: Moigne Downs, near Holworth
Watch for the Skies
The following articles chart the events leading up to one of Dorsets most famous UFO sightings.
Dorset Evening Echo, 24th October 1967
'A cross in the sky' - and P.c.s give chase
Two police constables had an 80 m.p.h. chase after what they described as unidentified flying object over a Devon road early today.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The constables said it was very large, bright and in the shape of a cross."
Later the constables reported seeing the object again and this time it was joined by a second similar object.
P.c. S Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott were in a patrol car at 4 a.m. when they first saw the object an the Holsworthy to Hatherleigh road.
P.c. Willey is based at Okehampton and P.c. Waycott at nearby Winkleigh. Both are family men and in their thirties.
The nearest they got to the object was about 40 yards, they said. It was at about tree-top height.
The spokesman said: "It followed a course virtually over the road on which they were travelling and they were doing 80 m.p.h. at one time."
It was at 4.16 a.m. that the constables reported that they had been watching the object for 15 minutes.
At 4.23 a.m. they reported that it reappeared. This time a second object made its appearance.
The constables were joined by a motorist, Mr. Christopher Garner, of Hatherleigh.
The police spokesman said: "He told the constables that he thought he was having a nightmare."
At Okehampton a senior officer was waiting to interview the constables after they had their sleep.
Dorset Evening Echo, 25th October 1967
That thing is seen again, still roving
The unidentified flying object - bright light in the shape of a cross - which two constables said yesterday they had chased over a Devon road at 80 m.p.h in their patrol car was seen again early today, this time in Sussex.
Again it was police reported the sightings. The Chief Constable of East Sussex, Mr. G. W. R. Terry, called a mid-day conference of police officers today at his Lewes headquarters to discuss five reported sightings of a bright cross in the sky.
The first, at 4.45 a.m., was at Halland, and within minutes the crews of four police cars in different parts of the county had also reported the object.
One theory was that the cross might be Venus, which is very bright at present. The sightings were reported by police headquarters to Herstmonceux Observatory.
Yesterday, P.c. Roger Willey and P.c. Clifford Waycott, of Devon and Cornwall police described the object as very large and bright and having "a sort of pulsating movement about it."
It disappeared after about 15 minutes, having first seemed to have stopped in a field.
A few minutes later, the officers reported that it had reappeared with a second object. Both disappeared nearly an hour after the first was sighted
Mr. Christopher Garner (29), a motorist, also reported having seen the object yesterday.
A spokesman at the Royal Observatory, Herstmonceux said today that no one at the observatory had seen the object reported by the police.
He added: "I cannot think of any astronomical reason for it."
Dorset Evening Echo, 27th October 1967
'Hover-cross' sighted near Weymouth
An unidentified flying object has been spotted over South Dorset.
Fifty-four-year-old Mr. Angus Brooks, a former administration officer with B.O.A.C.'s Comet fleet, who lives at Owermoigne, made the sighting.
He said today, "I was walking across Moigne Down, near Holworth, with my dogs at 11.25 yesterday morning. The sky was clear and I saw a very fine 'con trail very high in the sky over the Portland area.
"This disappeared and then into view, descending at a very high rate from the same area came a craft which slowed to level out about a quarter of a mile to the south of me and at about 200-300ft."
Mr. Brooks added that the craft's shape on descent consisted of a central-circular chamber with a leading fuselage at the front and three separate fuselages together at the rear.
"On slowing to a Stop, two of the rear fuselages moved into position at, the side of the craft and formed four fuselages in the form of a cross at equidistant position around the centre chamber," he said.
"The craft remained visible for 22 minutes. It made little noise, if any, and its hovering attitude seemed unaffected by the strong wind."
Said Mr. Brooks, "From my position the craft's construction appeared to be of a translucent material. It took on the colour of the sky above it and changed with clouds passing over it.
"There could have been a clear material top to the fuselages and centre chamber, but this could not be seen from my position. There appeared to be dark centre shadows down the floors of the fuselages and at the base of the centre chamber."
Twenty-two minutes after Mr. Brooks' sighting, the fuselages, he claims, moved around to line up with a centre third fuselage and the craft climbed at immense speed in an east-north easterly direction towards Winfrith, but the lead fuselage was a different one to when it arrived.
Mr. Brooks considers that the centre chamber was 25ft. in diameter and l2ft. high. The fuselages were 75ft. long, 8ft. wide and 7ft. high.
Last night people over a wide area of Southern England claimed to have seen a strange formation of lights in the sky. Among them was the Rev. Lawrence Inge, who operates an "International visual satellite tracking station" from his vicarage at Stourton Caundle, near Sherborne.
He is convinced the mystery is solved by his view that the U.F.O.s are in fact R.A.F. air-refuelling exercises. These, he says, Involve one tanker and well-lighted planes.
Dorset Evening Echo, 28th October 1967
The ' hover-cross' looked like this
Former B.O.A.C administration officer Mr. Angus Brooks, of Grasshoppers, Chilbury Gardens, Owermoigne, who sighted a strange flying object over South Dorset, has made a full report of what he saw to the police at Weymouth.
A report of the strange "hover-cross" which Mr. Brooks (pictured left) sighted when he was walking across Moigne Down near Holworth was published in the "Echo" yesterday.
Today Mr. Brooks has drawn a diagram which is reproduced above. It shows how the object appeared to him as it approached, hovered and then flew off.
Mr. Brooks said that the craft's shape on descent consisted of a central circular chamber with a leading fuselage at the front and three separate fuselages together at the rear.
On slowing to a stop, two of the rear fuselages moved into position at the side of the craft and formed four fuselages in the shape of a cross.
After 22 minutes the two centre fuselages folded back and the craft flew off again at great speed.
Mr. Brooks estimated that the centre chamber was 25 feet in diameter and the fuselages 75 feet long by 8 feet long and 7 feet high.
He would be bold sceptic who would dismiss the latest crop of U.F.O. sightings over Southern England as "nonsense" and "imagination." Even Experts at the Royal Observatory are saying, "there is something up there which is not a star or a planet."
In the unlikely event that these phenomena are linked in any way with experiments by the Ministry of defence, we can hardly expect the Government to issue a statement. But if defence is not involved, surely the time has come for the authorities to take U.F.Os rather more seriously than they have done up till now.
Some months ago the U.S. Air Force charged a group of scientists at the University of Colorado with the task of investigating the problem. A British university should be invited to undertake a similar project in this country.
Hitherto most scientists have regarded U.F.Os as common objects misidentified, hoaxes or hallucinations. But how many scientists have looked seriously into the matter?
A Dorset Notebook by the Wanderer, Dorset Evening Echo, 22nd November 1967
U.F.O reports from Dorset for America and Russia
A Former B.O.A.C administration officer Mr. Angus Brooks, of Chilbury Gardens, Owermoigne, it will be recalled, sighted at the end of last month a strange flying object. Now, after the lapse of a few weeks, I have spoken to him to find whether he had re considered his opinions of what it was.
Mr. Brooks spotted the object during the day-time while walking across Moigne Down, near Holworth. "It was very remote spot with no one around at the time, but since then I have had plenty of time to reconsider it and still believe what I saw was no hallucination.
"People can quite easily make mistakes. Anyone who doesn't know anything about aviation could misinterpret flight refuelling exercises in the sky. They are always lit up brightly and to someone who doesn't appreciate what it is, it could seem really strange."
The object seen by Mr. Books consisted of a central circular chamber with a leading fuselage at the front and three separate fuselages together at the rear. The centre chamber was 25ft. in diameter and the fuselages 75ft. long by 8ft. long by 7ft. high. At the time a drawing by Mr. Brooks appeared in the "Echo."
Mr. Brooks is now preparing reports and diagrams for two of the world's leading organisations which deal with unidentified flying objects.
The report will be dent to a Russian Commission, formed only last week. This new commission, which will be operated by Soviet Air Force, is under command of General A. Stolyarov and will be receiving a report from Mr. Brooks later this year.
The University of Colorado, where an American Commission on unidentified flying objects operates under Dr. E. Condon will also get a facsimile report from Mr. Brooks.
A third organisation, the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena (N.I.C.A.P), have written to Mr. Brooks asking for information on his U.F.O.
"N.I.C.A.P have sent me a very detailed form. This came via London from someone named Hennessy, who may be a representative of N.I.C.A.P. I am writing to the American Air Attache to ask whether N.I.C.A.P is a branch of the University of Colorado.
"The N.I.C.A.P. questionnaire is really comprehensive. There are 37 questions to be answered, including date of observation, weather conditions, where I saw it, military service, education, special training."
Nothing from Dorset People
But although Mr. Brooks will be contacting these three organisations , he has not so far received any correspondence from people in Dorset.
U.F.O's have never been satisfactorily explained. Some sightings are mere figments of people's imaginations, like the people who swore blind that they saw Russian soldiers with snow on their boots in Britain during World War One.
Other objects have been explained by the R.A.F. and other similar bodies who are involved in experiments.
But there are those weird phenomena that cannot be spirited away by explanations. Mr. Brooks' U.F.O was one of these.
"If you look back on these things, they seem to take place about ten days at a time at three-monthly intervals. I went to Moigne Down on the two days following the object and took my Alsatian "Tana", with me. The Alsatian was distraught immediately and showed every sign of being upset. On the second day she just ran away from the area.
Changed the venue
"It seemed to upset her so much that I changed the venue for our walks. I took her back there last Sunday and she couldn't get away quickly enough. Dogs can pick up ultra-sonic sounds, and it was probably this that frightened her the first time."
There is no organisation in Britain dealing with reports of this nature. Mr. Brooks has put forward suggestions that the R.A.F appoint a panel of experts to deal with U.F.Os but so far nothing has been done.
Mr. Brooks is hoping to send his reports to Russia and America by the end of the month. Before then he plans to meet a B.O.A.C. technical adviser to help him with the drawings.
- The Editor's Postbag, Dorset Evening Echo, 29th November 1967
Unidentified Flying Objects
I had meant to write to you some time ago to congratulate you on your excellent article headed "Up There" in your editorial column of Saturday October 28.
While I now do this, I must protest most strongly at a statement made by Wanderer on November 2, that there is organisation in Britain dealing with reports of this nature.
Let me hasten to assure him that dedicated groups have pursued the U.F.O. enigma for many years, and the better to coordinate research, most groups affiliated in the autumn of 1962 into one national body called the British Unidentified Flying Object Research Association.
Apart from this body, a bi-monthly magazine called Flying Saucer Review , subscribed to and in touch with keen researchers all over the world has been published in this country for 12 years now.
I can assure you that if no apparent notice was taken of Mr. Brooks' "sighting." Copy on it is already in the hands of the evaluation officers of both these organisations.
We as investigators have to make very careful appraisals of cases brought to our notice and very often an "under cover" approach is made, the better to weigh up the area and individuals concerned.
This is something I was trying to say on a T.V. interview granted me by BBC Channel 3 on their South Today programme on allotted time was up. If people who see these objects will only have the courage of their convictions and refuse to believe the "experts" view of Venus, marsh gas, balloons, car headlights, etc., and then seek out someone who at least has studied the phenomena of the U.F.O. and has cross files for reference, they will not suffer the indignities always heaped on them by people who can't just admit the possibility of something that does not conform to what the "Establishment" says it should.
For goodness sake don't go to the R.A.F or the Air Ministry, the military, or unless you are personally in danger, the police. We don't know much ourselves, but at least we won't send you away feeling that perhaps, after all, you are a nut case.
Don't think we have heard the last of U.F.Os. there is every evidence that we are in for quite a flurry of unknown intruders. Now the Russians, who have had more than a fair share of U.F.Os are to investigate. Believe me, if they are getting worried, it's no myth.
Keep an open mind and don't be fooled.
F. E. Marshall
Area Investigator No. 44
[Editor's note: Wanderer is not unaware of the unofficial bodies who are studying reports of U.F.Os in this country. What he intended to convey was that there is no Government sponsored organisation appointed to deal with such reports]
- A Dorset Notebook by the Wanderer, Dorset Evening Echo, 1st December 1967
Another theory on Dorset U.F.O
The unidentified flying object sighted by former B.O.A.C. administration officer Mr. Angus Brooks, of Owermoigne, could have been refuelling from a Winfrith atomic pile, he believes.
He has discussed his sighting a month ago with a friend, a former B.O.A.C. pilot who flew Comets and Boeing jets and is now a flight administration officer with the Ministry of Transport.
Mr. Brooks said, "During our discussion the possibility occurred to us that the 'craft' could have been refuelling from the 'pile' by some means, and it would be intereseting to find out from Winfrith if on the date and time in question any unusual readings had appeared on their instruments. If these craft are atomic powered recharging would be necessary, and statistics of sightings over and or near to atomic stations might produce confirmation of this need if there is any evidence of unusual readings.
"I shall certainly make this suggestion in my report to the United States Air Force, to the Russian teams to the Royal Observatory director and the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena in Washington. This could tie in with other reports they are considering."
Mr. Brooks has received a letter from Mrs. Gladys Webster, of 26, Grandby-close, Weymouth who claims to have seen a green or grey coloured U.F.O.
Mrs. Webster wrote, "it seemed to me to be larger than the plane I flew to America in. I cannot say the exact measurement, but I feel sure it was not one of our aircraft or one I have ever seen. I am confident it was something entirely different. There was a glow of light around the object." She watched it for four or five minutes. It was a dull, cloudy day with a stormy sky.
Mr. Brooks says that the N.I.C.A.P may form a European sub-committee in London to undertake initial investigations into U.F.O. sightings. "It would appear that in spite of Government inactivity there will be an organisation in this country willing to collate U.F.O. information.
A spokesman at Winfrith said yesterday there were no untoward power fluctuations in any of the nuclear reactors between 11 a.m. and noon on October 26. Asked if there was a possibility that a U.F.O could refuel from an atomic pile the spokesman said, "No comment."
Footnote: More information regarding the "Hover Cross" and other encounters with cross-shaped U.F.Os, can be found by visiting JOHN WATSON'S UFO WEBSITE As feature here, the Dorset Echo, our county's daily newspaper, have some interesting articles and reports regarding folklore, strange phenomena, UFOs and Big Cat sightings within their archives. Click here THE DORSET ECHO to find out more! If you want to find out more about new UFOs sighted in Dorset, visit local ufologist and paranormal researcher David Kingston's website UNIVERSITY OF LIFE or UK UFO Sightings. The site contains a wealth of information covering all aspects of ufology, crop circles and other phenomena. David has also made available to BBC News South, amateur film footage of mysterious objects flying over Dorchester and over Bridport. BBC NEWS SOUTH