Have you ever looked up at the sky and seen something that has left you quite baffled? You have seen something you cannot properly explain? You're absolutely sure it's not an airplane or a helicopter. It is definitely not a weather balloon or a hot air balloon, not even one of those Chinese lanterns, or a group of them. (I tried, but couldn't find the collective noun for Chinese lanterns, although the word float would seem apt, or drift maybe... being the collective noun for hot air balloons).
You may not believe in aliens as such, but what if you were convinced you'd seen what can only be described as a UFO? (A UFO is not necessarily a spaceship, just an acronym for Unidentified Flying Object; the word used when all rational explanations have been exhausted). If you saw a UFO, would you tell anyone? Friends and family of course would think you were crazy, if they didn't think that already of you. Suppose you phoned the police or the local papers, would you want to draw all that attention to yourself? Probably not. Apparently, only one in a hundred of so-called UFO sightings are ever reported and filed.
Eight years ago, on the 23rd July, I honestly believe I saw something "other-worldly", and to this day I'm still in search of some answers. I was driving through Northamptonshire, near the town of Rushden. It had been a lovely summer day, and it was still quite light even around 9.30pm. As I drove along the dual carriageway, I noticed to my right across the fields, a bright orange object floating just above the horizon.
Obviously I needed to keep my eyes on the road ahead, even though there was not much traffic, yet I kept glancing through the window, intrigued as to what the orange object could be. It looked like a giant glowing Belisha beacon. Soon enough, I pulled over into a lay-by - hoping to safely try and better observe whatever the object was. However, when I looked again, to my amazement, there were now TWO objects! Where had the other one come from?
Meanwhile, cars were driving past me. I was surprised no other people had stopped to take a better look at these strange orange lights. There I was, by the side of the dual carriageway staring across the fields and watching in fascination at these two bright orange objects. “What the hell are they?” I was wondering.
The two orbs began slowly rising higher into the sky. Next it gets more weird. A third orb suddenly appears, as if it had just "blinked on". There were now three large orange orbs, pulsating softly, hovering against the sky in an equilateral triangle formation.
As you can imagine, I'm trying to rationalise in my mind what I'm seeing. Being an artist of science fiction and fantasy, I am well used to thinking up the strange and the wonderful, but this is real life. "Who will ever believe me when I try and explain this" I'm thinking, as I continue to watch the orbs.
They orbs are not moving, and eerily, there is no sound at all coming from them, not even a faint hum. One of the orbs breaks formation, then a second orb moves away in the opposite direction. Suddenly, they both disappear, and "blink out"... gone! The remaining orb moves slowly to the right, then faster, then faster still - then shoots right across the sky. "Nothing can fly that fast" I'm thinking, but it just did!
"Oh no... they're gone". I'm looking all over the sky, a little sad that the display appears to now be over, but wait. I then notice in the distance a faint orange light which is getting slowly brighter and brighter, and larger. Suddenly there is another, then another... then yet another! There are now four orbs.
High in the sky, on a warm July evening, I am watching four mysterious orbs hovering above the town of Rushden. The orange lights keep blinking on then off. Periodically the formation dissipates, with the orbs moving off in varying directions, before darting across the sky and vanishing... and then one by one, reappearing.
I have never seen anything like this, ever. Fascinated, I observe this spectacle for approximately ten minutes, before the orbs gently glide away towards Oxfordshire and into the sunset. The question in my mind arises whether or not the orbs are anything to do with Croughton airbase, as this is roughly the direction the orbs fly towards as they gradually fade from view.
To my annoyance, my mobile phone had no battery charge in it, having run out of juice ten minutes into my journey over an hour earlier from Oxfordshire. Of all the occasions when I needed a charged-up phone...
As soon I recharged my phone later that evening, I got in touch with the local police. I was doing my best to recount what I'd seen. The officer on the other end of the phone politely listened, taking in what I was trying my best to explain... that is, until he asked me what my job was. With an ironic laugh I said that I was a science fiction artist... and then came the silence. Yes, Mr Policeman hung up on me; I can't understand why :-)
No surprise, but the same thing happened the next day when I phoned the local newspaper. I tried to phone the Croughton airbase, yet all I got was bureaucratic waffle about filing a report and that they are not allowed to discuss such things, national security and all that. I even went there in person the next time I happened to be near the airbase, but despite my best charm and persuasion, no one would listen to me or even see me.
My friends naturally thought I'd finally gone totally bonkers. "It had to happen sooner or later" they'd say. "Danny has at last flipped. Little surprise really - all these years spent creating aliens... and now Danny thinks he's seen their mothership, poor thing".
Even my parents, who know I would not make something like this up, sounded skeptical. I turned to the internet for comfort, to hopefully find a valid explanation for the orange orbs, even if it turned out to be boring and quite ordinary.
“Orange Orbs in the Sky” I typed into the search engine.
And yes... to my delight I was not the only one who had seen orange the lights in the sky. Better still, many people had uploaded video clips. Despite plenty of sightings and eye witness accounts similar to my own, I could not find any feasible explanation as to what they were, other than possibly being Chinese lanterns, which they definitely were not. Lanterns do not fly across the sky at alarming speed.
The next afternoon, my Dad phoned me.
“Danny, me and your mum had a right good laugh last night after you telling us about your alien friends and the imminent invasion of Earth... and yet, I think we may believe you”. Switch on the radio”.
It transpired that the orange orbs had also been spotted over Wales and Ireland, with many people phoning their local radio stations. I listened to eye witness accounts similar to my own... of the same four orange orbs, blinking on and off, suddenly shooting across the sky, then reappearing somewhere else.
Eventually I discovered then tracked down the only book on the subject of the Orange Orbs written so far, called "The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs", by Terry Ray.
Mr Ray is a former military pilot, and believes the orbs are in fact of extra-terrestrial origin, and states his case with plenty of convincing evidence. He has a map of the USA together with all the orb sightings, along with the accounts of hundreds of people who claim to have seen the orbs.
Mr Ray suggests the creatures inside the orbs are gently preparing us as a race for an eventual definitive introduction at some point in the future to us all, by which time most of us will have heard all about them.
Does this mean that I am a small part of the aliens’ plan, spreading the word? I’m not sure if I believe what Mr Ray says, yet I do believe that he, like myself, definitely saw the orbs. It affected Mr Ray enough to compel him to properly research the orb phenomena and publish a book about the orbs, which at least deserves some respect.
Mr Ray does not think the aliens are harmful or a danger to us in any way, the opposite in fact. If they really are alien, not of this world, and can fly across vast distances of space, they are obviously superior to us, at least as avionics engineers. The question is though, why would they be here on Earth, almost in secret, and what do they want with us?
I still often look up at the sky, in the hope of seeing the orange orbs again, but so far it hasn't happened. All I know is that back in the summer of 2010 I definitely saw something in the skies that still remains a mystery.
So... did I really see four alien spaceships that evening? If I did, then naturally l would feel very privileged and honoured. If Mr Ray is sure the creatures are harmless, then I only wish the aliens had chosen to meet me properly. They must have been aware I was was watching them from the lay by.
I would have loved to have been a guest aboard their ship and would then have happily taken them to a pub for a few beers... especially enjoying seeing the look on their faces when I told them my profession is thinking up aliens!
Still, I'm not sure how I would have explained the aliens to the local bar staff... other than to smile and say some strange friends had just dropped by to visit me, from far away...