Opaque White Object – South Woodham Ferrers, Essex

Location Of Sighting :
South Woodham Ferrers, Essex- End of November 2010
Date Of Sighting :
End of November 2010
Approximately 20:00 to 20:30 Hrs
Witness Name:
David W
Witness Statement
I have just replied to another witness statement on here regarding their own recent observation as it looked similar to my experience and I therefore thought that I should really log mine as it was so unusual.
I was bolting on my 4 x 4 vehicle roof bars in my drive at the time and facing up at my roof and so had a visual of a large patch of dark starry night sky with the odd fragment of cumulus blowing in the strong cold northerly wind. (I am a Fellow of the royal Meteorological Society and therefore the weather is a real interest to me). An object caught my attention which initially looked similar to a white sea bird slowly flapping it’s wings which was reflecting the town’s sports ground lighting in the town centre. It was high up and an opaque white and as I watched it I realised that it wasn’t a bird because it was changing shape, then I thought it must be a huge white plastic bag blowing high up in the wind, but it couldn’t have been because it was moving against the very strong northerly wind. There was a fast moving small cumulus cloud running south in the wind and the object started to fade away as I watched it go behind the cloud. I waited as the cloud moved away but I never caught site of it again. It really bothered me because I know I am an excellent witness of anything in the sky and I can almost always identify everything i see through the process of elimination. However, this has always dumbfounded me. It was moving, it was silent, it was sort of translucent, it was changing shape and it faded away right infront of my very eyes as I was racking my brains and trying to fathom it out. I told everyone at work the next day but I didnt make a careful note of the date which I regret. I wanted to contact the CAA the next day about it but I was so busy at work that week that I just let it go. I have never witnessed anything like it before or since. If you wish to get in touch with me then please do feel free.


Add a Comment
  1. Hi David,

    “I know I am an excellent witness of anything in the sky…”

    I’m sure you are, and your description is interesting. I’d like to bring up a sighting that is well-known, the ‘Cosford Incident’ of March, 1993, in relation to the above quote. This involved a UFO being seen over RAF Cosford (which coincided with a Russian booster rocket re-entering the atmosphere at the same time) and the surrounding area. It was seen as heading towards nearby RAF Shawbury, hence a message was despatched to the observer on duty that night at Shawbury to look for anything unusual. The observer, a meteorologist and trained RAF observer, later saw an object not overhead but visible perhaps 15km away, which he described as ‘unlike anything he’d seen before’ and added detail about lights, and about a ‘strange humming noise’. Many UFO ‘experts’ got quite excited about this, including the one and only Nick Pope. However, it later transpired – and the observer himself agreed, that what he had actually seen was, and I quote, ‘the police helicopter following a stolen car down the A5’. What you saw was clearly not a police helicopter – unlike the sighting a few below this one – I’m simply relating this as an example to show that no matter how good we are at identifying things in the sky, we’re not quite as failsafe as we think we are.

  2. Hi Steve,

    I thought I’d just copy & paste this to give interested parties a more detailed insight of the sighting from Mr Wayne Elliott’s (the Met Officer’s) perspective……..

    However, the file released under the FOIA reveals that Elliott’s sighting actually took place at 2.40 am – one hour and thirty minutes later – after he left his office to take his weather observations. Pope’s original account does not mention a “triangular shaped” UFO but includes a guesstimate of size “somewhere between a C130 and a 747 [jumbo-jet]”. The UFO carried three red lights “two side by side and one larger red light slightly behind”, which may be where the idea of a triangular object originated. Elliott was indeed familiar with military aircraft and helicopters, but said this was unlike anything he had seen before. He said it hovered for several minutes 15-20 kms away before moving across the airfield at a speed estimated at hundreds of miles per hour. As it passed over Elliott heard what he described as “a low humming noise” and at one point when the object was 400ft above the ground it projected a thin shaft of light, like a laser beam, which “appeared to be searching for something on the ground.”

    Clearly the object seen by Wayne Elliott wasn’t the Russian Tsyklon rocket. What else carries red lights, moves erratically at low altitude and uses a beam of light to search the ground late at night? The answer seems obvious. But it wasn’t until 2005 that an airman serving at RAF Shawbury read Nick Pope’s account of the sighting and decided it was time to speak out. “The UFO supposedly seen at RAF Shawbury was later identified as a Dyfed-Powys police helicopter following a stolen car down the A5 between the A49 junction,” he wrote. “The observer was using his NiteSun to illuminate proceedings.”

    A couple of points to note, the object passed over his head (we have no info on height) and he heard a humming sound (no mention of downwash or rotor noise!) & projected a thin “shaft” of light as if “searching for something”.

    A police helicopter’s ‘NitSun’ couldn’t be described as a ‘thin shaft of light’, (at 400ft) & if it was chasing a car, why turn if off?

    The lighting configuration doesn’t correspond to that of a helicopter.

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