One moonlit night in winter at 7:20 PM, a practical, and down-to-earth retired solicitor’s clerk, Miss Bertha Humphries of North Walsham in Norfolk, stumbled upon the inexplicable. She recalls... “It had been snowing heavily, and when I took my little dog for his evening walk, the ground was thickly carpeted with snow, so I decided to go for a short walk down one side of the road and up the other”. Sooty was on a lead, and at the bottom of the Mundesley Road (where she resides) near to Crows Lane, they crossed and returned on the other side, walking slowly because it was slippery underfoot. She recounts... “I glanced ahead and at the top of the road where it swerves at the bend I saw a dull, red glow moving above the ground from side to side.
“At first I thought it was the rear lights of a car reversing. Then the glowing still persisted moving, I thought possibly it was snow spots I was seeing, just as one sees sunspots. I rubbed my eyes – we walked on. Then I stopped and stared, as the object had now emerged from the narrow part of the road and was floundering along.
It was a jet black oblong shape, dark and bat-like, and in the centre was a circle of dull red light. I stood still, mystified, when the next thing I knew it was coming towards me slowly and taking up the complete crown of the road...
When it reached the wider section of the road, near the Orchard Gardens public house, it floundered and fluttered and slowly rose into the air across the open space until it reached the housetop level, the red circle still glowing and the black shape flapping and billowing like a cloak... Then I observed it was dragging behind, as it were the tail of a kite, a miniature of itself – black, oblong, with a glowing red circle in the centre.
It stayed for a second or two at rooftop level, then with renewed effort shot up to a much higher level, floating again. Then it shot up higher still and disappeared in the clouds. All this was in complete silence as the object made no noise whatsoever, although it struggled hard to get airborne... it would seem that the object got caught in the narrow section of the road, as the red glowing was drifting from side to side.
It was not until it came floundering to the wider part that I could see its shape, which took the form of an oblong sail and it floated towards me.... After it became airborne and had disappeared from sight, a gentleman came along. I asked him if he seen an unusual object in the sky. He unfortunately had been gazing down watching his step, as it was very dangerous walking... He had seen nothing and suggested that the object might be something sent out from the radar station to warn ships... Needless to say, I did not tell how the object became airborne – and that it had previously been floundering along the Mundesley Road!”
She told no one of her uncanny experiences as she was sure that nobody would believe her, but stressed it was perfectly true. She later wrote to the Astronomer Royal about the incident, but no expatiation was forthcoming.
This article was first published in the Fountain Journal (No.2, 1976 Vol)
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