19 August 2011


John Hanson and Dawn Holloway. Haunted Skies: The Encyclopedia of British UFOs, Volume 2, 1960-1965. CFZ Press, 2011.

This second volume of what promises to be a giant compilation of British UFO stories takes us up to the period of the start of the Warminster 'Thing' and contains many tales to stir the nostalgic memories of ageing ufologists. Here we see an account of the Charlton crater and similar ground markings, with a brief mention of our former science editor, Alan Sharp's explanation of Charlton in terms of lightning.
A full account can be found HERE 🔻 Other brief mentions point to Magonia's dim and distant past. Among other interesting pieces are accounts of the Liverpool leprechauns (see HERE) for details, along with similar stories from Belfast and Durham. Also included is the long buried accurate version of the story of the Saltwood apparition, sans headless, bat winged monstrosity!

Many other classic tales from the period are covered, and the authors have managed to get access to the files of the former Isle of Wight UFO society which for many years produced a duplicated newsletter called UFOlog that featured nothing but raw, unedited UFO stories. Hopefully all of these files will find their way into the huge AFU archives, in the absence of any similar archive being created in the UK, and be saved for posterity.

They have also re-interviewed several of the people involved in these old stories, but this does raise some problems as it is obvious that several have remodelled their stories to fit changing ufological fashions.

The book also provides a fairly candid picture of the state of British ufology at the period, still largely dominated by devotees of George Adamski and various forms of occultism. Some like Arthur Constance thought UFOs were "God's own angels" and others such as Gavin Gibbons believed in the nice space people, but thought they (and presumably the space people) were being got at by evil spirits, while still others such the Rev Eric Ingelsby thought everything was due to evil spirits.

The photos and reproductions of newspaper clippings are fascinating and add to the nostalgia. -- Peter Rogerson.

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