UFOs in Normanton, Wakefield: Aliens or from nearer to home?

An illustration by David Sankey of how the UFO landing in Normanton could have looked.
An illustration by David Sankey of how the UFO landing in Normanton could have looked.

THREE mysterious figures dressed in silver suits were seen in a field in Normanton before taking off in a “dull grey” object shaped like a “Mexican hat”.

The unusual sighting on July 7, 1980, has been revealed in a new book about UFOs.

And its author is keen to track the family who saw the landing.

Retired policeman John Hanson has compiled volume seven of Haunted Skies (1980), which catalogues everyday reports of UFOs seen in and around the UK skies.

His latest book includes an account in Normanton by Joyce Westerman and her six children, including Sandra, eight. They recounted their encounter to researchers Philip Mantle and Mark Birdsall a few years later.

In the book Mr Mantle said: “Joyce ran outside and saw, just a matter of a few hundred yards away, in the fields adjacent to her house, an object on the ground, described as being dull grey in colour, and had the appearance of a Mexican hat.

“Around the object stood three very tall ‘men’, all of who appeared to be dressed in silver suits.

“These ‘men’ seemed to be pointing a dark instrument at the ground. The children and Mrs Westerman made their way over the field, towards this object, and stopped at a fence.

“The ‘men’ walked to the rear of the object and it rose vertically, stopped in mid-air, and then shot off at an angle at a high rate of speed. Needless to say, they were speechless.”

Mr Mantle and Mr Birdsall, then of the Yorkshire UFO Society, also interviewed friends Danny Shore, 13, and Andrew Lewis.

Mr Hanson, 67, said if anyone had reported such sightings during his 30 years with West Midlands Police Force, he would have “considered them candidates for psychiatric help or suffering from delusions, or the worse for drink.”

But that changed in 1995, when his son Chris, now a detective inspector in Coventry, witnessed a saucer-shaped object hovering over a tree in Birmingham.

Mr Hanson, of St Alvechurch, Worcestershire, has now spent the past 17 years cataloguing reports, with his partner Dawn Holloway.

He said: “I don’t claim that aliens or UFOs exist. What I do claim is that there is irrefutable evidence of phenomena which is more likely to be indigenous to our planet rather than the incursions of any extraterrestrial life force.

“I also feel that this evidence should be preserved as forming a very important part of our social history, and will continue to do so, if only to salute the courage of so many who have decided, often in the face of ridicule, to tell us of the experiences.”

The area in Normanton was described as being near the end of a cul-de-sac, behind some fields containing electricity pylons.

Mr Hanson believes the Westerman family or relatives may still live in the area and would like to hear from them.

Volume seven of Haunted Skies (1980) is now available from Amazon.