UFO expert Nick Pope has his say on Derbyshire ‘flying saucer’
One of the world’s leading experts on UFOs has given his opinion on a picture which appears to show a flying saucer in Derbyshire.
As reported over the last few days, Stephanie Marsden was driving along Chesterfield Road, Matlock, on the evening of February 27 when she spotted the spectacular full moon.
The 45-year-old, of Rowsley, stopped at a location off the road and used her mobile phone to take a picture of the bright, big celestial object through her front windscreen – and when Stephanie returned home, she saw what looked like an alien spacecraft on the image.
Stephanie said: “It’s all so weird and I just want an explanation.”
So we showed the picture to Nick Pope who investigated UFOs for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Mr Pope said: “At risk of people thinking I’m still secretly working for the Government, debunking all this, I’m afraid I agree with the people who say this is a reflection – probably of one of the dials on the dashboard.
“Although the witness said the engine was turned off and that none of the lights were on inside the car, there’s enough ambient light – from the moon, the streetlights and from lights in some of the houses – to illuminate one of the dials on an instrument and cause a reflection.
“These sorts of effects are particularly likely to occur when taking a photo through glass.
“And attempting to recreate the effect later, but not succeeding, doesn’t prove anything, because you’d never get the exact same position, angle, lighting and suchlike – there are too many variables.
“Another big clue that this is a reflection, as opposed to an actual object in the sky, is the fact that the witness saw nothing unusual at the time.”
Why is Derbyshire a UFO hotspot?
Although it seems this wasn’t a flying saucer, Mr Pope described Derbyshire as ‘certainly something of a UFO hotspot’.
He said: “Nobody really knows why – and I’ve received a number of reports from the county over the years, some of them back when I was investigating UFO sightings officially, for the Government, and others afterwards, in a private capacity.
“That said, now that I've left the MoD and moved to the US, I'm not really able to investigate these sightings, and tend to refer witnesses to civilian groups like the British UFO Research Association.”
Perhaps the most famous UFO report in Derbyshire came in 2000 when Sharon Rowlands used her camcorder to film a huge craft above her house in Bonsall one October night.
Her video was classed by some alien experts as ‘one of the most important pieces of footage ever taken’ and Sharon reportedly sold it to an American producer for £20,000.
As far as we are aware, no documentary or film has been aired as of yet.
She told reporters: “It resembled a giant disc with a bite taken out of the bottom.
“As it hovered over the woods, it seemed to expand and then get smaller again.
“We could see it pulsing as if it started up and then it just went it came really close at one stage and I thought it was going to land in the field.
“You can hear me on the video say ‘wow’!”
In 1994, a member of the public reported seeing a large orange light close to Ladybower Dam.
A Derbyshire Constabulary record reads: “The person reported seeing a large orange light moving horizontally and dropping slowly until it went below a line of hills.
“A cloud of smoke was seen to billow out from the light and it then disappeared behind Kinder Scout.
“The light did not reappear.”
Police contacted Manchester Airport but staff could not confirm any aircraft operating in the area – and the strange light remains unexplained.
And on the evening of September 28, 2016, a number of people witnessed two flashing lights in the Derbyshire sky.
Fiona Jordan, of Houfton Road, Bolsover, said: “They were like little cloudy lights – they were dancing about.”
‘There are lots of fascinating reports out there’
What would Nick say to people who don’t believe in UFOs and aliens?
He told us: “I know some people are still sceptical about UFOs and extraterrestrials and I understand that, because after investigation, most sightings turn out to be misidentifications.
“However, sceptics have to be right every time, whereas believers only need to be right once.
“So let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater, because there are lots of fascinating reports out there, including sightings from pilots, and cases where visual sightings have been corroborated by radar evidence.
“Finally, people should pay really close attention to what's going on in the US right now: the Department of Defense released videos of UFOs that were filmed from US Navy jets; the Office of Naval Intelligence set up a task force to look at the issue; there have been classified briefings in Congress; and now DNI (Director of National Intelligence) is drafting a report on UFOs for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Suddenly, this subject is being taken very seriously at the highest levels.”
The truth is out there…
Nick Pope factfile
Mr Pope ran the British Government’s UFO project.
From 1991 to 1994 he researched and investigated UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles and other strange phenomena, leading the media to call him the real Fox Mulder.
Mr Pope’s website states: “His Government background and his level-headed views have made him the media, film and TV industry’s go-to guy when it comes to UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories.
“Nick has consulted on and helped to promote a number of alien-themed movies, TV shows and video games.
“He has hosted, consulted on and contributed to numerous TV shows, has written six best-selling books, and lectures all around the world.”
For more information, visit www.nickpope.net/wpte19.