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  1. HOW I FAKED BRITAIN'S FLYING SAUCER ‘SIGHTING’ Roger Hooton shudders at the terrible trick he played on his fellow Britons…. 'Oh my Gawd! I knew the joke had gone so terribly wrong. ‘Twenty-nine years ago, my friend, Gordon Faulkner, and I, built a toy flying-saucer, photographed it, and handed the picture over to the editor of the Warminster Journal, circulation at the time: 2,000 a week. With a Letter to the Editor saying Faulkner had seen a UFO in Warminster. ‘The only problem was the joke went too far. And it caught the imagination of millions of people, starting a UFO stampede to Warminster, before Gordon and I could admit what we'd done and stop it. ‘A freelance journalist had seen the joke letter and photo on the editor's desk, "borrowed" them and then took off by train to London and sold the picture to a national newspaper. It was splashed all over the centre pages of the Daily Mirror with a front-page headline saying a 'Thing' had been sighted. 'The Thing' was in fact made from a sawn cotton-reel, a black button and a silver-foil milk bottle top, bent and painted black. Gordon and I had photographed it being dropped, taking the film to the local chemist to be processed.’ Within 24 hours of the Mirror hitting the streets sleepy Warminster was being overrun by reporters and photographers with interviews of its citizens splashed around the world. ‘It started the whole UFO-sighting industry in Britain, the UFO experts now admit. And it was all our fault... ‘This is actually how it happened. And it's the first time I've told the real story…’ Warminster, Wilts., in 1965, had 14 pubs and a population of 10,200. There was a lot of noise about as the defence departments experimented with their 'flying bedsteads', vertical take-off jets. Salisbury plains were the scene of gliders and weird-shaped objects being towed behind aircraft. And small rocket firing outside the town added to the racket. Otherwise it was a sleepy little village. It wasn't far from the mysterious Stonehenge circle of stones; it wasn't far from the famous Westbury horse, carved into a chalk hill. And it is at the crossing point of the mysterious Ley lines that some people claim have an earth 'power' going back thousands of years. So it was at the right place for something odd to occur. ‘I was a printer, aged 23, working on an old Wharfedale press that printed the Journal. It took two full days to clank out the weekly 2,000 copies, and at the time there was a tradition among the staff to insert a "joke" letter now and again to the editor. The paper was really a village notice-board. ‘One night Gordon and I were having a pint with several other staff members of the Journal in the Weymouth Arms, and someone started talking about flying saucers. That was it! That would be our next joke Letter to the Editor, Charlie Mills. Ideas were awash in the hazy atmosphere of the pub on how a flying saucer photograph could be faked. We chatted about boy scout hats, saucers, plates, the bedroom urinal pot..Gordon and I were both keen photographers and so we took on the challenge. ‘One of the chaps in the pub was a reporter called Arthur Shuttlewood, a tall, thin man not unlike the classic Sherlock Holmes. Arthur could ferret a story out of a stone; but in his freelance capacity had never managed to find a big enough story for the national newspapers. But his time was approaching. ‘Arthur had a son working as a compositor for the Warminster Journal and it was he who told him that another joke letter was on its way to Charlie Mills, the editor. ‘In the meantime, Gordon and I were experimenting with my Praktica single-lens reflex camera on a tripod. We reckoned we needed a small image, nothing in the foreground or background to indicate distance. And of course nothing that would indicate size. It also had to be a 'lucky' photo, taken on a film already half-used. ‘We took many experimental shots and developed them in our own homes. But for one reason or another they weren't right. We'd suspended the 1-ins. wide 'UFO' on black cotton, but that also showed up. It took two weeks for perfection. We photographed ‘The Thing’ as we dropped it. ‘And at the same time that we were experimenting, we were steadily building up the joke. Other "sightings" had to be reported first, so gossip was spread about people seeing weird lights in the sky at night. There was a mysterious "discovery" - after someone had seen flashing lights - of a line of rats all found dead and facing the same direction, with scorch marks on the ground. The rats looked like they had been subject to intense heat. ‘On a quiet Sunday afternoon in Cradle Hill, a lonely cow field, Gordon took several shots with the Praktica, and then, while I dropped ‘The Thing’ in front of him, the historic shot. Next day he took the film into the chemist to be developed. Neither Gordon nor I, made any comment to anybody about our "sighting". ‘On Thursday, 9 September, 1965, the editor's office at the Warminster Journal was open, but the editor was not there. Arthur Shuttlewood happened to be passing. There, on Charlie Mills' desk, was the UFO photograph and the negative. Staff in the shop noticed him go in and walk out. ‘Several people on Warminster station saw Arthur on the station, waiting for the London-bound train, and passed the time of day with him. He did not tell them why he was going up to London. ‘At the Daily Mirror office he was vetted by senior staff, and he remained in the building all night until the first edition was printed. Next day all hell broke loose in Warminster. The Mirror had a scoop picture of an historic event. On the front page and all over the middle pages they called it ‘The Thing’. And they called Arthur Shuttlewood 'the Editor of the Warminster Journal,' doubling its circulation to 4,000. ‘Reporters and photographers from other papers rushed down. And hard on their heels were UFO "experts" and eventually "government investigators". ‘Arthur was interviewed by press and radio and instantly became the town's leading UFO expert. Gordon and I stayed out of the limelight. I shot off to London on my motor-bike to stay with my parents. ‘Three days after the national publication of the picture an angry Charlie Mills, owner/editor of the Journal, was heard in his office having a heated interview with Arthur. Charlie also refused interviews. ‘I became so scared of being found out I gave notice and moved back to Harlesden, in London. Gordon Faulkner had already completed his papers to migrate to Australia. He told Shuttlewood to keep the negative as he wanted nothing more to do with it. ‘Letters poured into the Warminster Journal from around the world. Now there were other "sightings" of UFOs in the village and stories of people being taken away by them. Psychic News moved in and did a special edition. ‘Shops and hotels began to do a roaring trade with the tourists. An industry was spawned. ‘One of the world's foremost UFO authorities, Mr. John Spencer, years later listed the sighting in his respected UFO Encyclopaedia that has recorded most world sightings and interviews with people claiming to have been abducted: "In 1965 Gordon Faulkner photographed a banded, disc-shaped UFO over Warminster which was highly publicised in tabloid newspapers such as the Daily Mirror. Immediately there were rashes of photographs of similar objects making headlines in newspapers. "All came from Warminster, which instantly became one of the most famous UFOcals in the world. For around a decade it was to remain the British Centre of UFOlogy. Largely due to the diligent efforts of the local devotee, Arthur Shuttlewood, Warminster was a collection of UFO cases." Mr. Spencer went on to hint that there might well have been abductions of Warminster citizens into flying saucers, but they were "passed over" through lack of investigation into particular cases. ‘And Mr. Spencer, who is also Investigative Secretary for British UFO Research, said the other day: "That photograph really did focus everybody's attention on Warminster. It kicked off the entire Warminster thing." ‘In March, 1992, I decided to confess all. I, too, had migrated to Australia and on a trip back to England I contacted Mr. Spencer. ‘He and his wife came down to see me and put me through a three-hour grilling. Two years later, having returned to Australia, I went public with my confession. Mr. Spencer said: "He actually felt terribly guilty about it. He wanted to put the record straight. I think he was glad to get it off his chest. He was almost worrying that he had committed some offence." ‘He added: "He and Mr. Faulkner had lined up dead rats in a field and set alight to them, saying a flying saucer had just taken off and the rats had been burned. The sighting’ was at the time a very important one. It brought Arthur Shuttlewood, the freelance journalist, to the fore. He became a guru on UFOs and wrote several books, even leading expeditions over the hills looking for space-ships. "I am not a believer in space-ships and little green men. But Warminster was a window-area for UFO sightings in Britain; there were lots of glowing lights and objects in the sky. "We had cases where there were elements of abductions having taken place. People were reporting missing time and there were "entity" sightings. At the time it wasn't acceptable to talk about aliens. It is now acceptable; and it is quite possible that a lot of stuff that wasn't investigated then would be investigated today." Said Roger: ‘I’m still terribly embarrassed.’
  2. My wife and I are planning a trip back to the UK later this year with our recently born son, who will be 5 months old when we travel. We're both Aussie PR, and he is dual UK/Australian (with both passports). Our current plan is to fly Vietnam Airlines premium economy, in a bulkhead row with bassinet, with a few hours hotel layover in Vietnam each way for a bit of relaxation and recuperation. We've flown a similar itinerary with Vietnam Airlines before, albeit when it was just the two of us! At the moment our son is exclusively breast fed, but we may have added a few formula feeds to his daily routine by the time we travel. To date he's been a pretty good sleeper. The longest journey we've taken him on so far was a night away in the Blue Mountains (we're in Sydney) which was a lot harder than we expected. I'm really interested to hear anyone else's stories of traveling back to the UK with young babies, along with any recommendations or cautions you might have from your experiences!
  3. SharonCheryl

    Flying my dog from Perth to London

    Hi All, Help! We have a gorgeous 10 year old Bichon Frise dog that we need to fly from Perth to London. Which is the best airline, route, shipping company for him. I am so nervous about his trip that I am frozen and can’t make the decision.
  4. missmouse

    Pet Services from Perth to London?

    Hi everyone. I'm current;y getting quotes to take my cat from Perth to London in Feb next year. I've received prices from JetPets and also the Pet Travel Specialists - I've heard of JetPets and can find out info and reviews for them, but I can't seem to find anything for the Pet Travel Specialists, who are based in Willeton in Perth. Their quote has come in a little cheaper than JetPets, and they also come out to your home to do the rabies vaccination, which I quite like. Apparently both recommended Thai Airways as their preferred choice for my cat's route, but as of next year, Thai Air will only be doing one flight out of Perth, so they are a no go. And Emirates / Qantas charge and extra $300 on top of the $2500 already quotes to hold my cat in Dubai for six hours transit, as that is their policy there. Singapore Air and Malaysian Air don't charge, but I'm not sure how good they are for transporting pets... So may worries and questions!
  5. missmouse

    Flying cat back to the UK

    Hey. Has anyone flown their cat or pet back to the UK from Australia, specifically Perth, and if so, did you use a pet service or organise it yourself? I feel awful for my cat (she's three), but the alternative is to re-home her to a stranger, and Perth is overrun with cats needing homes. I hope she will just curl up and sleep... the good thing is there is no quarantine needed in the UK. I'd love to hear some positive stories of people flying with their pets and everything being fine.
  6. Hiya, just hoping for a bit of advice. We're currently in the process of applying for a Spouse Visa for my OH and estimate it will be processed mid Oct to mid Nov. I am also pregnant and this wait for the visa means that I will probably have to give birth here in December (as we would need to put notice in at work, arrange shipping etc.), then travel over when the baby is about three months old. Has anyone flown with a baby this young? I know they are all different but I'm hoping that he/she will sleep through, leaving both myself and my OH free to handle the temper tantrums of our toddler! Has anyone had any experience of this? (I won't even go into the migraine I get when I think about looking for a rental/jobs/sorting out all the red tape with two young ones...) Any advice very welcome!!
  7. Hi, I will be flying to Oz with Singapore Airlines at the end of July and I've just started looking for the checked luggage... and I'm a bit worried. Everybody keeps talking about the baggage weight, which is obvious enough (apart from the 20-23-32-40kg limits). But after checking on Singapore and then on a few different airlines it seems that they also impose some restrictions on the size of checked baggage. What's more, it seems that if I later wanted to use the same suitcase for flying internally within Australia the size limits for checked luggage are smaller. Here's an example of what I have found: Singapore - max standard IATA bag: 90 x 72 x 45cm British Airways: 90cm x 75cm x 43cm (35.5in x 29.5in x 16 in), including the handle, pockets and wheels.Virgin: Up to 90 x 75 x 43cm / 35.5 x 29.5 x 16ins Quantas domestic: Total dimensions of each piece must not exceed 140cm (54in). Quantas international: no 1 piece exceeding 158cm (62in) Virgin Australia domestic: exceed a total linear dimension (length + width + height) of 140cm Virgin Australia international: Total linear dimension (length + width + height) must not exceed 158cm (62in) per piece Cathay: a bag of 158cm (62in) in size: Does any of you remember if any airline has ever checked the SIZE of the checked luggage? Either on international or domestic Oz flights? I'm just not sure if I can buy the biggest bag that I can carry or if I have to limit myself a bit:-) Thank you!
  8. Hi Me and my partner are making the big move soon and are about to book our flights. We have an 18month old toddler and was wondering if anyone could advise on the best way to plan our flight. We are going to have 1 stop, should we pick a flight that has a short 1 hour stop or a flight that maybe has an 8 hour stop. We don't know if after 20 hours of flying we will just want to get there ASAP or if the stop will do us all good. any advice will be greatly appreciated.
  9. well its official !!,we have been picked to do the pilot episode for a new BBC show,called 'Wanted Down Under'.Fly from Heathrow to Brisbane on wednesday for a couple of weeks filming all courtesy of the BBC,I cant thank them enough as what an insight this should give us into the life we want to lead ,should hopefully be called for our medicals on our return so i guess its one way of passing time.Will let you all know how we get on when we return ,if anyone has any tips on keeping my 2 and 7 year olds occupied for the journey i would be most grateful cal x
  10. Just seeing if anyone is flying out to Perth 3rd Jan from manchester.... might feel better if someone else on the flight is making the big move. xx:biggrin:
  11. emmyb123

    Flying with kids.

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could offer me a bit of advice. We are due to move to Victoria next may but my children have never flown before, they are 15, 11 & 7. Is there anything I could do to make it a little easier on them. I know it's not ideal their first time on a plane being such a long flight. I have only ever flown once before myself so I have to admit I'm not that confident with flying. Thankyou in advance :biggrin:
  12. I didn't know the extent of the 'pest menace' in Australia until I read Janine the Party Queen's recent posts. So please please please use this thread to share tips and tricks to deal with these kinda things both preemptively and after the fact...
  13. Guest

    Teacher flying solo...

    Hey everyone, I currently link in the UK and I've just recently decided to emigrate to Australia for a new start in the next 18 months or so. I'm a secondary school teacher in my second year. So far, I've only taken the Online Skilled Visa Assessment which I passed and I'm now starting to think this is something I could really do! I'll be going on my own, which doesn't worry me, but I do want to make sure I plan and prepare as much as possible to make the transition as smooth as possible. Not too sure on the best place for a single young female to relocate to so I'll need to start doing my research. I was planning on emailing various states in Australia to see what was available and then I guess taking my application from there. I'd greatly appreciate some advice about where to settle and how to start the ball rolling. Also, it'd be great to hear from anyone else who has taken the plunge on their own! What was it like? How is it going now? Thanks Ashes
  14. We have flights booked from Manchester with Singapore Airlines and just wondered if there were any PIO members on the same flight? We fly out on Fri 13th Jan :eek: in the morning with the Newlands :wub::biggrin: Mandi x
  15. OK without a doubt one of the best threads on here this year was the May gangs one. As most of us now have our visa when are you making the big step and flying out and where you settling ? I will start the ball rolling we are leaving on 28th November this year and heading to Rockingham initially. Counting down the days!
  16. oldgit

    Flying fox/Zip Wire ride

    Hi, Do any of you Guys Know anywhere in the Brisbane/Brown Plains area that I can get hold of a Flying Fox/Zip Wire ride? I'm looking for one around 40m long and that will take the weight of a normal size adult. I've looked on ebay but I would rather go into a shop and see what I'm buying. Cheers The oldgit
  17. What do you do about it?? Please jump to page 3 for any useful contributions anyone may have - no joke.
  18. cornish78

    Anyone else flying next week...?

    Well the time has finally come...we're flying next Tuesday evening from Heathrow. Virgin flight to Sydney :biggrin: Spending a week there before then flying down to Melbourne to settle. Both of us now have jobs (YAY!) and start work on the 24th, so hoping we can find somewhere to live in that time...:mad: Big party tomorrow night, let the emotional goodbyes begin... Good luck to anyone else who is making the move soon Maddie x
  19. Guest

    Flying with a toddler

    We are due to emigrate from the UK in January and are wondering how we will survive the flight with a 2 year old, very active boy! We are flying heathrow to singapore then onto adelaide. Just wondering if anyone has had this experience and how it was? Only part of emigrating that we are not looking forward to!!!
  20. Guest

    Flying to Perth tonight - OMG!!

    I can't believe today is finally here and we are flying to our new life down under this evening. I really cannot describe how I am feeling at the moment but Im hoping the excitement kicks in when we are on the plane. Good luck to all those awaiting their visas you time will come Gillian xx:hug:
  21. Anyone flown with Emirates? WE're going to Perth via Dubai with them and wondering if anyone can tell me how they got on with them?!!! Company bought the tickets so I think they are the cheapest option. Any input appreciated! :biggrin:
  22. Hi, just wondering if anyone has managed to secure a residential let (unfurnished, not a holiday let) before leaving the uk? Flying out on 14th September to Perth and staying with my brother for the first week or so. Not sure if I'll manage to sort out a rental in such a short space of time so wanted to know if it was possible to arrange one before leaving. Checked a few of the real estate sites and found several suitable properties but they all require a viewing of the property before you can apply. Any help / thoughts will be much appreciated.
  23. Hi, Just wondered if anyone is flying to Melbourne tmw eve with Singapore? X
  24. There has been an uproar up in Queensland at the minute with 9 horses either killed or being PTS'd with the deadly Hendra virus. Now I am sorry but the public seem to think that by culling all the flying foxes (especially those who call Cairns central home) it is going to protect them. Although Hendra is a zoonotic disease it usually needs a host for us to become infected, ie bat to horse then horse to human. It is no where near as serious as Lyssavirus which is a strain of rabies which can come from being bitten or scratched by a bat. Now as far as I know there have still only been two deaths caused by Lyssavirus one was a carer in NSW in 96 and the other was a lady in Mackay in 98. I really think that the public needs educating rather than saying we must kill everything. You have more chance of being struck by lightening than you do of getting either virus, especially if you don't come in to contact with horses and bats. Ok, sorry I will get off my high horse now. Kate
  25. oidara

    Flying with kids

    We are planning a 6-month trip to Oz next March to have a look around before deciding any further about emigrating. By the time of departure, we will have 3 kids: age 4, age 2 and age 4 months. We're wondering how on earth we're going to manage the flight! We're planning to stop in Singapore both ways and are wondering if it's best to opt for a night flight or a daytime flight. We thought night at first in the hope that the kids might sleep so wouldn't be so bored. But now we're worried about what will happen if they don't and they are making a noise in the night and making our fellow passengers angry! We have done a couple of overnight driving trips in the past few months and the eldest hardly slept a wink as she couldn't get comfortable enough in her car seat. In daytime flights, do they also instigate a "sleep time" where we'd have just the same problem? Any other tips for flying with 3 little ones?
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