Case Histories : Howden Moor Incident> [1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ 10 ¦ 11 ¦ 12 ¦ 13 ¦ 14 ¦ 15 ¦ 16 ¦ next]



by David Clarke and Martin Jeffrey


It was a story which could have been lifted straight out of a plot from the X-Files TV series: An unidentified flying object hovering in the clear night sky; callers jamming police switchboards to report a light aircraft skimming rooftops on a collision course with the hills west of Sheffield; RAF jets screaming through the sky as if in pursuit of something...And finally, a deafening explosion which sent gamekeepers rushing from their isolated cottage on a Yorkshire moor.

Did - as some have claimed - a UFO crash into or explode above the Howden Moors, on the border between South Yorkshire and Derbyshire Peak District, shortly after 10pm on the night of Monday, March 24, 1997?

Has the evidence for this “crash” been covered up by the authorities ever since? Is there a massive cover-up underway to hide the truth from the public?

Or was this “incident” simply the product of a series of unconnected events and coincidences including a military exercise and the misperception of natural and man-made aerial objects by a comet-sensitised public?

Whatever the source of the phenomena, it is clear that the authorities took the initial reports seriously. The emergency services mounted one of the region’s largest ever air and ground rescue operations in response to a suspected air disaster - an operation which involved almost 200 personnel and cost in excess of £50,000. For 15 hours emergency services from four different counties, co-ordinated by South Yorkshire Police, were involved in searching up to 50 square miles of the most barren Pennine moorland for wreckage from a suspected aircrash - a crash which we now know never happened.
This report aims to clear away the aura of mystery which has continued to surround these events, cutting through wild speculation to reveal the truth behind the Howden Moor Incident. In the process, the twists and turns of the investigation has led the author into the very core of the melting pot of belief and experience which gives birth to the UFO phenomena and provided a unique insight into the psychology behind those who promote beliefs in Extraterrestrial Visitors and conspiracy theories. For while the Howden Moor Incident was not initially UFO case, it has all the hallmarks of one and has been promoted as such more recently by those who today have become the self-styled proponents of modern belief in alien visitations.

It is a story which begins on a clear, cold spring night in the Peak District National Park, a night when many necks were turned skywards in search of the spectacular Hale-Bopp comet which at that time was prominently visible in the night sky.

However, this particular night something else was stirring which would make this evening a very long one for the emergency services, and spark a mystery which remains a uncompleted jigsaw puzzle to this day.... »

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