‘There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds’.
Sang Bowie in ’72. Over the years there’s been many songs written about UFO’s and aliens. Back in the ‘50s Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman wrote ‘The Flying Saucer’ which landed at no.3 in the American charts.
In the ‘60s The Byrds sung of a ‘Mr Spaceman’ and in the ‘80s the Ramones ripped through ‘Zero Zero UFO’ about aliens visiting earth.
Some Native American tribes believe they have gained knowledge through extra-terrestrial contact with their star ancestors. But when you find a mystery closer to home, it can add more interest.
This was the case for former South Shields resident Dan Green. Dan is a British author, broadcaster and researcher, he recently got in touch and told me some interesting stories that he researched when living in the town. One of them reminded me of an experience I had back in Summer 2013.
I was walking on South Shields beach around 6pm, above was bright blue sky with a few clouds. I was enjoying the sun and listening to the gentle waves – my mind was just wandering.
Out of the corner of my eye and way up high, I saw a small silver disc moving slowly. I thought it might have been a plane because there is a flight path nearby. I watched the disc move slowly for a minute or two, looking around for maybe a reflection off something else in the sky ?
It was silent and moving very slowly then suddenly it shot off very fast and didn’t leave a trail. What was it – who knows.
In 1988 author Dan Green wrote an article for The Shields Gazette chronicling close encounters in the town including incidents now referred to as ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’. He found that in 1967 the UK was besieged with a flurry of strange lights appearing in the skies.
The newspaper reported ‘A bus driver said he saw a cigar shaped object surrounded by a bright green glow over the coast near Brighton. Sparks were coming from it’s tail and for a short time it travelled parallel with the bus’.
Not to be outdone was our own South Shields, with the Gazette reporting some boys claimed to have seen a bullet shaped object hovering over Horsley Hill electricity sub-station.
One boy glanced up and saw the glowing green outline of an 8ft long cigar shaped object hovering 100 yards away – ‘It must have spotted us, cos it just shot back up into the sky’.
Below is part of Dan’s article in The Shields Gazette from 1988.
‘I was an impressionable 10 year old when the Shields Gazette popped through my letterbox with a page reading ‘UFO over Tyne Dock’.
‘On the night of October 21st 1967 residents living near the river had been invited to the spectacle of three dazzling white triangular lights stationary in the sky. They had been hanging for a full half hour before vanishing’.
‘People craned necks out of their windows to witness it, and one in particular had called the police. This enterprising fellow, later nicknamed Ronnie Rocket – took his enquiry as far as the Ministry of Defence who eventually sent him a reply that ‘Everybody had seen a weather balloon that had blown over from Liverpool!’
‘That October week saw more puzzling sights in the skies of Shields, as early morning workers catching the ferry viewed a host of fiery ‘Flying crosses’, and a sighting of a cigar shaped object was reported by a couple walking their dog in the Bents Park during the day’.
‘Residents in Whiteleas saw an object streaking across the sky ‘like a bullet’. The 1967 UFO flap was never given any plausible explanation, but I’m sure as hell it wasn’t a scousers balloon’.
For further information about the work of Dan Green contact – www.dangreencodex.co.uk/
Gary Alikivi October 2019.