74 years ago, American aviator Kenneth Arnold reported what is considered to be the first sighting of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) in modern times.

He spotted nine unusual objects flying in tandem near Mount Rainier, Washington.

A strange light hovers over Lenham in 2006. Photo by Eric Tankard

Since 1947, countless UFO sightings have been reported around the world – some quickly debunked as fakes, and others remaining unexplained to this day.

Britain has not escaped its fair share of mysteries and indeed Kent is the county with the second highest number of UFO reports.

And in a new book released today to mark World UFO Day, Maidstone author Neil Nixon examines many of them.

The 1979 Dechmont Woods incident in Scotland made it into his top 10. On November 9 of the same year, forestry worker Robert Taylor encountered a hovering craft and two robotic beings before losing consciousness and losing consciousness. to not have enough time.

Mr Taylor was seen shortly after by a doctor and local police treated his bizarre report as an assault which resulted in forensic investigations, which found unusual marks on the floor and tears in Mr. Taylor’s clothes.

Author Neil Nixon
Author Neil Nixon

Various explanations have been put forward, including that Mr. Taylor suffered from an epileptic seizure. But the site has now become a Mecca for UFO tourists and is even marked with an information board.

Another incident is the Solway Firth Spaceman photo from 1964. On May 23 of that year, Carlisle firefighter Jim Templeton took five photographs of his five-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

The middle photo was returned with a fuzzy figure, apparently wearing a helmet and fullsuit, in the background. Mr Templeton took the photo to the police and his local newspaper. He insisted that no one else had been in the Solway Marshes that day.

His story elicited an angry reaction from skeptics, but he stuck to it until his death in 2011.

The Rendlesham Forest incident in 1980 is known among ufologists as the “British Roswell”.

Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail
Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail

Strange lights were seen across the fields in the early hours of Boxing Day. Residents called the police and rumors quickly grew that a UFO had landed in a nearby forest near a US air base.

Later, a memo emerged from the base, attributed to Lt. Col. Charles Halt, describing a decision to send personnel to investigate. At the end of 1983, The News of the World reported a UFO landing in Suffolk “and it’s official!” “

Many books, documentaries and sometimes contradictory testimonies have emerged.

Among the explanations is one that the US military who claimed to have seen the lights were in fact receiving hallucinogenic drugs by their own commanders as part of a mind control experiment – which sounds like a whole new theory of the conspiracy. Whatever the truth, the area has now also become a UFO tourist destination.

The book is out today (48507091)
The book is out today (48507091)

Mr. Nixon, who is the author of 28 books, has written for Viz Comic, New Musical Express and The Guardian. He founded and ran the UK’s first university course in professional writing for the University of Greenwich and currently works in public relations where he is campaign manager for the Maidstone-based Pennies Day Nurseries.

Although clearly intrigued by the entire UFO concept, Mr. Nixon writes as a hard-line reporter rather than believing in a fanatic.

His book is called UFOs, Aliens and the Battle for the Truth.

He said: “It’s a mystery that has fascinated me my whole life. But I learned not to trust anyone offering a simple explanation. I realized that there were a lot of right answers, explaining small parts of what people are reporting, but at the same time, there are still a lot of other unanswered questions right now. “

Part of his skepticism stems from his own experience chasing a UFO incident in Kent, when he and then-Kent Messenger editor Justin Williams got carried away.

This photo taken in the rain by Martin Seare in 2009 claims to show a UFO in flight over Romney Marsh
This photo taken in the rain by Martin Seare in 2009 claims to show a UFO in flight over Romney Marsh

Mr. Nixon explained: “I got a call from Mr. Williams, who was looking for material for a series in Kent Messenger called Kent’s X-Files.

“I went to see him and one event he brought up with me was the Dargle Cottage affair.

“It revolved around an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Verney, who lived in a semi-remote cottage in Biddenden in the late 1970s and claimed their lives were being ruined by strange phenomena from a secret bunker nearby.

Mr Verney even wrote to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher about it.

“One explanation that did the trick was that it was a military bunker used for low frequency radiation experiments.”

Look closely to see this UFO photographed over Dymchurch in 2009 by Terry Gifford
Look closely to see this UFO photographed over Dymchurch in 2009 by Terry Gifford

“The terse response Mr. Verney received from authorities has led those who believe in conspiracies to become even more suspicious.

“Upon returning from KM’s office, I was struck by the fact that I had never written anything about the Dargle Cottage case myself.

“So the following Saturday, April 13, with my wife away for her annual psychotherapy conference, I took my three year old son, Thom, to see Thomas the Tank Engine at the Kent and East Sussex Railway in Tenterden.

“We had a great afternoon and Thom fell into a satisfied sleep as we started the journey home.

“Dargle Cottage is located on a quiet road near this steam railway. I wanted a photo of the sign on the property gate, and the cottage is not visible from the road.”

Unexplained flares over Hythe on Valentine's Day 2016 taken by Fred Parker
Unexplained flares over Hythe on Valentine’s Day 2016 taken by Fred Parker

“The site of the alleged experiments is underground on farmland, which in 1996 had been turned into a pitch-and-putt golf course. I could take pictures of both locations in 15 minutes and still be home on time.

“I had just received the second hit when a car came around the corner and pulled over to the side of the road.

“When I left, he withdrew to follow me. The couple inside, a man and a woman, were young, smartly dressed and wearing sunglasses, everyone looking like Mulder and Scully. Not. quite normal for the Kent countryside on a Saturday afternoon.

“I drove to the main road, picked a parking area and dived at the last minute, leaving no time to follow me and no room to stop.

“I took their number, fell back and followed them.

“A few kilometers later, after a quick overturn of a farm road, they were behind me again.

“It was for real. My young son was sleeping soundly in the backseat and, if U15 had to charge me for running into a big problem, I didn’t want him in the crosshairs.

“We got to Maidstone and I lost them turning late into a series of back roads that I knew well.

The following Monday I called Justin Williams, but before I could speak he stepped in. “I really want to talk to you,” he said, “There’s always something going on at Dargle Cottage.”

“Yeah, tell me about that,” I said, launching into my experiment.

After a pause, Mr. Williams swore. The rest fell into place in seconds.

He was the one driving the other car with his assistant Beth Mullins as they did their research for the Kent X-Files.

Three days before, we hadn’t been more than six feet apart for about half an hour, both agreeing that we had an interest in the subject but had a skeptical and pragmatic approach.

But this Saturday afternoon neither of us recognized the other.

“To a few smart and clear-headed skeptics, we were a shame that afternoon.”

Mr Nixon said: “I had jumped to the conclusion that this was a security operation linked to Dargle Cottage.

“Mr. Williams had seen two security passes in my windshield (my wife’s KCC pass and my academic pass) and, with the fact that he eventually lost me near the seat of county police on Sutton Road, he had convinced himself that he had also come across something big.

“To a few smart and clear-headed skeptics, we were a shame that afternoon.

“However, it taught me a valuable lesson – your state of mind at these times is everything.

“Get into a UFO-related location, suspect the place might be under surveillance and all you need is a few hydrogeologists in the area, dressed in wetsuits and bringing a soil sample to a Land Rover,” to prove you were right about this UFO crash from the start. “

UFOs, Aliens And The Battle For The Truth is published by Oldcastle Books, priced at £ 9.15 and can be ordered online here.

For more information on author Neil Nixon, visit www.neilnixon.com

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