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UFOs in History»
DC: Much further away than the first time you saw it?
SH: Oh, yes. The first time it went right overhead. It went from about 180 degrees to about 330, that’s quite an angular step...and it was quite a distance away. The speed it must have been travelling must have been enormous. The acceleration from standstill to stop, the deceleration to standstill was fantastic. Then it would go into this flickering, hovering mode, obviously on the margins of stability. The only thing I can liken it to is...you know these Chinese conjurors who get plates spinning on the end of sticks...when it slows down the plates lose stability...when they speed it up it flattens out...well it was that sort of thing.
DC: What was the reaction amongst the people who were watching?
SH: Awe-struck. Absolutely awe-struck. I remember Jack Spencer saying: “Sorry Stan, I didn’t believe those first stories.” It was very interesting. It made my day! Anyway, this was reported again to the Wing Commander, in fact to our immediate boss Jack Spencer, he went up and told the Wing Commander what we’d seen and reported it on the telephone. The same group came down, with the results I’ve mentioned.
DC: How soon did they come down this time?
SH: I think it was the same day.
DC: How many were there in the group from Scientific Intelligence?
SH: I think five in all, but they weren’t there all the time, some kept coming and going. There was a lot of telephone calling, they were reporting in to some office.
DC: Wasn’t there an incident where someone played a joke upon you?
SH: Yes, that was after the first sighting [laughter]. We received at my home a tea chest. Stencilled, with my name and address on it. My wife said: ‘There’s a tea chest out there that you ought to have a look at, it’s got your name on it.’ We prised our way into it and found another box. That was odd. We got that box out and opened that up, looked down and there was a cardboard box about 2 inch cubed, and inside it was a demitasse, a tiny little cup, with a note from my colleagues saying: “Stan...put this in your saucer and have a cup of tea.” [laughter]
DC: You knew who that was from then?
SH: I did eventually, yes. They were pulling my leg.
DC: This group that came to interview you, did they tell you who they worked for, what they were doing?
SH: No. I found out later, the Wing Commander said, ‘They are from Scientific Intelligence, and you must obey their instructions.’ And that was that.
DC: You weren’t asked to sign anything or write anything down?
SH: They just took notes, and I think I did have to sign an affidavit of some sort.
DC: They were very specific that you weren’t to speak about this to anyone else?
SH: That’s right. They were very, very specific about that.
DC: At pains of what?
SH: The threat was never specified, but it was ‘highly classified.’ That was the way they put it.
DC: Did you hear anything else after they left on the second occasion?
SH: Nothing. They interviewed some of the others who were present on the second occasion, including Frank Jolliffe. And I asked him what they asked. And it seemed they were the same sort of questions that I got. They certainly talked to us all as a group, some of the chaps were flying when they came down but, there was a group of us and they spoke to us all and gave us the same warning. I don’t recall having to sign anything after the second time.
DC: So what was the next time that this subject reared its head?
SH: When I got your letter! I had heard from other people descriptions of other things that pinged in my mind, oh god; they’d seen exactly the same thing.
DC: So until you got the letter from me you’d heard nothing else about your report?
SH: No. It came right out of the blue when I got your letter. Oh my god, here we go! [laughter]
DC: And when you read the Flying Saucer Working Party report that mentions your sightings, what did you make of their conclusions?
SH: Well it confirmed my view that recorders in the interviewing party were amateurs. They didn’t get anything right. Now whether that was deliberate or not I just don’t know. But they were not right. I was not reported correctly. In fact, from their conclusion I felt quite insulted. We were specially trained and we were constantly being crosschecked against instrumentation, observations, occurrences in aircraft, flight recorders in aircraft, so that our reports on speed, altitude, aircraft behaviour, G-loadings and things of that nature were being constantly crosschecked against instrumentation. We prided ourselves on being accurate observers, even under duress, in a spinning aircraft for instance when you are being thrown around in the cockpit. You have got to be accurate when you are describing your experience in an aeroplane. So I find it a little insulting that our detailed observations were treated so lightly and further, reported so inaccurately.DC: Do you think there was any reason behind that?
SH: Well since it was official, I had to believe in the absence of any knowledge of my own, that there had to be some official reason for it. I couldn’t imagine why. And then when I learned that the Prime Minister [Winston Churchill] had asked the same questions about these unidentified flying objects and was told that it was myth, I thought my god, they’re even pulling the wool over the old man’s eyes.
DC: What do you think it was that you saw?SH: I don’t know what it was I saw, but I know what I saw. DC: Do you think it was the same or a similar thing that you saw on the two occasions? Or do you think they were two completely separate occurrences?SH: Oh they were completely separate occurrences, but the object was identical.
DC: You do think it was the same object that was involved?
SH: Yes, or similar. Oh yes.
DC: Do you think there was any possibility this was some kind of secret aircraft on test, an enemy aircraft or some description, or something from terra firma?
SH: This was 52 years ago. Even today, we have nowhere near the technology that would be required to produce an object of that sort, and capable of that performance. The stability, the speed capability, the acceleration capability, the deceleration capability, the manoeuvrability and performance. We don’t have the power sources. There was just absolutely no way this was of this Earth.
DC: How do you feel about all this so many years afterwards? Have you any thoughts, feelings or observations about what was going on in 1950?
SH: I know that it’s about time that the truth and the seriousness of all this should be recognised. There has to be a very important purpose behind secrecy of this sort, but I can only think that it was deemed to be of a subject nature that could have been either positively or negatively classifiable. Negative intelligence is sometimes almost as important as positive intelligence. I don’t know. But there is no doubt at all in my mind. I can see it as clearly today as I could on the day it occurred. I have thought a great deal about it, and I have got no more opinions on it, except to say that we still do not have anything near the technology, or airframe, stability and control and power sources that could possibly do what this object did.
DC: Thank you very much Stan, for your time and for giving such a comprehensive account.
*Transcript Copyright 2002 David Clarke