The Secret Files»
UFOs in History»
DC: So what happened then, presumably you went and made a report?
SH: When it went out of sight I turned straight around...I guess I should have gone to see to the young lady...but I turned straight around and walked back to the Flying Control building and stomped straight up to my Wing Commander’s office and barged straight in, I’m afraid, and said: ‘Hey, excuse me sir but I’ve got something I really need to tell you.’ And he said, relax and tell me about it. I told him and he asked me to repeat it and I did and we discussed it very briefly and he said: ‘OK, we have to report this very quickly.’ He called the Air Ministry, because that was our channel of command, and apparently they put him straight onto Scientific Intelligence. That was before noon, and they were down within two hours.
DC: The same day?
SH: Yes. They were civilian people, and I was warned at the outset not to ask names and not to inquire where they were from and all that. They started asking questions and I guess it was about two hours. I was a little bit put out, or more surprised, because they weren’t really taking in what I was telling them.
DC: Did you think they were taking seriously what you were saying?
SH: They appeared to be taking it seriously. What I was telling them appeared to surprise them so much that their questioning guidelines became illogical.
DC: Do you remember any of the questions?
SH: How high was it? How big was it? How fast was it? What was it? Where do you think this was made?
DC: What were your answers?
SH: Well I said I can only give you an idea of how big it was, I don’t know how high it was but the angular altitude when I first saw it and when it disappeared was somewhere in the order of, I forget what I said now, I told them some degrees that I thought it was, which would coincide with round about 1,000 feet altitude. If it were 1,000 feet it had to be 100 feet across and it would have to be travelling at about 500 knots. There were a lot of questions that didn’t seem to be directly pertaining to the subject. They were asking about esoteric subjects.
DC: What was the most unusual question of all?
SH: Where was it made? And my answer to that was: ‘Well it certainly wasn’t made on this planet.’ I remember saying that.
DC: And what was the reaction to that?
SH: Oh, god [throws arms up in despair]...’we’ve got one of those’ sort of thing.
DC: How did the interview end?
SH: It ended by them saying: ‘You must NOT discuss this with anyone, not even your boss. You are not to ask questions and you are not to call friends in the ministry, or make inquiries.’ They were quite serious about that; there is no doubt about that. Quite serious. I thought it was very strange.
DC: That was the end of it, and you heard nothing more.
SH: Nothing. Not until the second time! And two of the same people came the second time. One of them, who I thought was the leader, he said: ‘Oh – my – God – not you again!’ [laughter]. Which put me off a bit for starters, that was a bit unprofessional. But anyway, there were much the same sort of questions, and I remember them saying: ‘We’ve got to make this brief,’ it wasn’t the leader it was one of the others. ‘We’ve got to make this brief because we’ve got to go back and catch a plane to Brazil where we’re going to interview people who’ve been watching flying saucers.’
DC: What a strange thing to say!
SH: Yes, wasn’t it [laughter]. That sticks out in my memory very clearly.
DC: So the second sighting you made, how long after was that?
SH: It was getting on for a month. I forget the date, it was September 1950. We were up by the flying control building. This was on an afternoon. It was an overcast day, and it was quiet, and there was a cloud base, about 8/8 cloud, at about 4-5,000 feet. There was a layer of cumulus, and we’d watched the first test take off of the P1081, which had been built by the Hawker company but had been finally been assembled at Farnborough. Wimpy Wade, the chief test pilot took it up to do the first flight, very important, he was going up for 15-20 minutes for the first flight and we were gathered on the roof of the old control building to watch him return, which he eventually did.
But meanwhile, down south of the airfield I saw this object. And I thought, ‘my goodness me.’ I grabbed hold of the chap next to me, which happened to be Jack Spencer, our civilian boss, my immediate boss, not the Chief Test Pilot, and I said: ‘Hey Jack, what do you think that is?’ pointing....and he shouted: ‘MYYY...GOD! Go get a camera, quick!’ Nobody went to get a camera. ‘Go get some binoculars!’ Somebody did go off, I think it was ‘Taffy’ Evans...I think he went off to grab a camera and some binoculars. He came back with binoculars later, but a number of other people had gathered by this time and we watched it for seven or eight minutes. And what a performance – it really was. It was incredible. The hovering was, an unstable hovering over a spot, and then it would suddenly take off...pppphhhewww...fast...and it was going, the angular distances were quite wide... »