The strange case of the Skelmersdale UFO and the wind turbine
The following UFO report has appeared in my book – UFO: THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH and elsewhere. It is an account that stays in my mind as being most bizarre, therefore it is my pleasure to share it with you here.
North West UFO Research
Report by Pat Regan
The Skelmersdale UFO – was it related to the destruction of a giant wind turbine?
On Wednesday 7th January 2009 Jo Kelly from the Southport Visiter contacted me.
Jo stated that she had been contacted by a lady, Lynn Johnson, who said she had seen a UFO and wanted to speak to someone in the area who might be able to shed some light on it.
As Jo requested, I telephoned Mrs Johnson who was out at the time. Nevertheless, later on the evening of 7th January Lynne’s husband, Andy, phoned me back. Andy explained at length what had happened.
Monday 5th January 2009. On this dark and very cold night, Lynne and Andy had been walking their 2 dogs along Tanhouse Road in Skelmersdale, Lancashire.
They were walking through an underpass when they noticed a strange oscillating sphere of about 4 inches in diameter that shone blue, yellow and green light. This object was at head height in a stationary position.
As they approached the sphere it suddenly moved towards them as if startled, causing Andy to throw up his hands in defence. He thought it was about to hit them. It then flew right between the couple and disappeared behind them. Andy, a local delivery driver, told me that they were both left stunned by the event and in a state of disbelief.
Andy explained that the strangest thing was that the UFO seems to be acting under its own intelligence and as if stunned by their presence.
I do not know what this UFO was. However, I explained to Andy that it sounded like reports I had heard of Ball lightening although this natural phenomenon seems to be more common in thundery weather when it is warmer. I also mentioned that the actions he described reminded me of the so-called ‘Foo Fights’ (strange balls of light that whizzed around aircraft) of WW11 that frightened many pilots at that time.
I rang up Andy Johnson to check the accuracy of the above report and he agreed it was correct. However, Andy also drew my attention to a fascinating UFO report that has just hit the headlines.
The Sun newspaper reported (8th Jan, 2008) that a wind turbine stood wrecked yesterday with one of its giant 65ft blades torn off after it was hit by a UFO. Mystified power bosses said of the smash in Conisholme, Lincolnshire: “We have a team investigating.”
There was no sign of the missing blade. In fact the turbine’s huge 65ft blade was ripped off in the collision and cannot seem to be found (the blade ‘was’ later discovered, see below) A UFO expert told the Sun: “We are very excited.”
Allegedly dozens of people saw mysterious flashing orangey-yellow spheres over Lincolnshire where the turbine was left in ruins. Records show there were no aircraft in the area at the time of the initial UFO reports, or at the time of the incident.
One man said he spotted a massive ball of light with tentacles going right down to the ground over the wind farm. He claimed it looked just like an octopus. Moreover, a female motorist claimed she saw a UFO streaking towards the turbine prior to the peculiar collision. Others said they saw balls of flames.
Filey-based UFO hunter, Russ Kellet, also mentioned that dozens of UFO reports had poured in before the collision. Incidentally, Russ was most helpful to me when I first photographed the Lancashire twister UFO last summer.
This is potentially an air safety issue, just like the UFO I photographed at the Southport Air Show last year that was very close to a Red Arrows jet.
Have these latest sightings got any relationship to the sphere of oscillating lights that Andy Johnson saw?
The Sun reported that The MoD said of the latest scare: “Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting.”
In the Sun’s report, Nick Pope repeated the ongoing call for the MoD to take more action as this is another air safety issue. Nick said that the Lincolnshire event could be the “most significant UFO incident for years.
Another point in the Sun report was quite remarkable.
A witness called Lesley Whittingham photographed strange lights in the sky, which were pictured in the account.
I recall coming home one afternoon through Southport my home town and seeing a very similar sight. I was driving home with my teenage son at the time (early December 08) and we thought that the lights were just some form of natural phenomenon comparable to the shades of a rainbow, but of a circular shape. We thought no more about this until we saw it again in the Sun’s report.
Nevertheless, what more verification does the MoD need (i.e. huge wind turbine blades flying through the sky) that these are serious air safety issues that it ‘should’ be investigating immediately? What are we paying the MoD brass for?
A spokesperson for Ecotricity, which runs the wind farm at Conisholme, Louth said the wind turbines have apparatus which registers things like extraordinary vibrations that can be examined as part of their investigation into what happened. Today they have confirmed that the 'missing' blade has been found on the ground at the site. Nick Pope said:
"This of course, raises another question – are the right people doing the investigation into this? I think the police should be involved and cordon off the site and launch a detailed search and sweep of the area. They could bring in metal detectors to search for debris from the blades.”
Above: Nick Pope
"My view is something big must have hit the wind turbine to cause that damage and it appears in this case that the UFO witnesses are very respectable, and clearly not people who are making this up."
County councillor and turkey farmer for the area Robert Palmer said he had seen a "round, white light that seemed to be hovering". He added: "I am not counting it out that it was a UFO." The councillor wants local authorities to investigate what caused the damage.
Dr Peter Schubel, from the University of Nottingham, is an expert in the design and manufacture of wind turbine blades. He told the BBC that if the turbine blade was still, it would take the equivalent of a 10-tonne load to do that kind of damage, but if it was rotating, or hit by a moving object, the force could be a lot less.
However a mechanical failure was also cited as a possible cause. Fraser McLachlan, chief executive of GCube, which insures more than 25,000 wind turbines worldwide, said such incidents occurred about five or six times a year. "I reckon something the size and weight of a cow would do it," Dale Vince of energy firm Ecotricity told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "If there is a rational explanation – we will come up with it."
Of course sensitive wind farm bosses would not want to alarm the public with safety issues concerning the dangers behind giant turbine blades, yet 'flying cows' seem rather implausible at this time. However, whatever the cause the mystery continues.
This issue then calls into question the safely aspects surrounding these massive and costly wind turbines, which many experts allege to be highly inefficient devices.
Whatever one’s view’s about the UFO phenomena questions need to be urgently asked.
Authoritarian apathy will not do!
Above: Sam Clack (left) of Dune FM Radio with Pat Regan
Sam Clack, top reporter of Dune FM Radio station, interviewed me on 9th January 2009.
Sam was particularly interested in the way the MoD have limited interest in the UFO stories at hand.
As a footnote I may add that more recently the MoD has closed its UFO facility. Possible reasons why this closure occurred may be accessed on this link from committed UFO researcher Andy Russell.
Pat Regan © 2010
Pat Regan © 2010
UFO: The Search for Truth
What others say...
“This book is no dry analysis of a quaint mystery. It's a muscular thesis that isn't afraid to take on the difficult issues and ask the questions that more traditional UFO researchers have avoided. Buckle up, readers, and get ready for one hell of a ride.”
(World renowned Ufologist, Nick Pope)
UFO: The Search for Truth (2012, extended edition)
UK Paperback version:
US Paperback version:
Peter Swift and the Secret of Genounia
The New Pagan Handbook
The Torch and the Spear
Fly Fishing on Wild Becks
Author site 1:
Author site 2:
UFO on Facebook:
UFO on Facebook:
Pat on Goodreads.com