By: Gordon W. Cammell
Royal Air Force, retired
On those occasions when the subject of UFO's has been
discussed, I have recounted experiences, some personal, and
some second hand, of which I have some knowledge. I have now
been asked to record details of these incidents and although one
of them occured fifty years ago, they are still quite clear in my
I am a retired Royal Air Force officer and spent a combined
total of more than twenty years as a pilot in the Royal New
Zealand Air Force and R.A.F. In May, 1943 I was the captain of
a Lancaster bomber aircraft, and as we crossed the English
Channel upon returning from a bombing raid over Germany,
I and all of my crew saw what appeared to be a huge orange
ball on or near the sea, seven or eight thousand feet below us.
It appeared to be stationary as we observed it for about ten
minutes, and its light intensity was bright and constant. We
decided that it was not an aircraft or ship on fire, since we
could not see flames or changing reflections on the water.
After landing back at our base at R.A.F. East Wretham,
Suffolk, England, we reported our sighting to the debriefing
officer who also had no idea of what we had seen.
In 1953 I was based at R.A.F. Coltishall, Norfolk, England
as a jet pilot flying Meteor night fighters. During a routine
night flying exercise one of our crews, Captain, F/OJ. Allison,
and radar operator, F/OI. Heavers, reported sighting a cigar-
shaped UFO with internal green lights visible through windows.
When this crew entered our flight room upon their return,
they were both very excited and convinced that the object
they had seen was extra terrestrial, because of its very high
speed and unusual configuration.
The next day we learned that
the crew of another night fighter jet of number 85 Squadron,
flying near their base at R.A.F. Maidstone, Kent (over one
hundred miles from Coltishall) had reported an identical sighting
only three minutes after our crew's encounter.
Three minutes to
cover a distance of 100 miles meant that the UFO was travelling
at about two thousand m.p.h., which was well in excess of the
capability of any aircraft in the U.K. at that time in history.
It was within the same general time frame of the above
reported UFO sighting that during one afternoon, I was doing
duty in the aircraft control tower as "Duty Pilot". Fog covered
the area, giving very limited visibility on the ground for take-
offs and landings, and so flying had ceased for the day.
an order was received from the officer commanding the ground
control interception radar site at R.A.F. Neatishead, to scramble
two radar equipped Meteors, and the crews were instructed to
climb to 30,000' and attempt to intercept and identify two UFO's
that appeared on the radar screens moving at a speed in excess
of 1700 m.p.h., inland after crossing the Norfolk coast from the
However, well before our aircraft could reach their assigned
altitude, the UFO's turned and travelled back towards the
European Continent and were no longer visible on the ground
radar screens. Our aircrews did not see the UFO's visually or
on their radar screens, since they were out of their range by the
time they had completed their climbs.
For some years my wife and I owned a holiday home near
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and spent two or three
months there each summer. Our house commanded a wide un-
obstructed view over farmland to Horo Straight, 1 1/2 miles
distant, which runs between Vancouver Island and the San Juan
Islands of Washington State.