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Elsie's UFO encounter on the A45 in south Northants

One of the most famous UFO experiences in Northamptonshire is the 1978 tale of Elsie Oakensen who believed her car was stopped on her way home to Church Stowe by a flying machine.

"As usual I turned off the A45 on to the A5 towards Towcester," she said. "The journey had been uneventful, but then directly ahead of me I saw two very bright lights, one red and one green.

"There was a lot of traffic but it seemed as if everything had gone into slow-motion. I could see a dumb-bell shaped object, made of very smooth plastic material, and there were no openings or windows."

Elsie continued her journey but when she came off the main road she stopped her car to take a closer look.

"A green light started to flash. I decided to restart the engine but when I turned into the village something strange happened – the car, which had just been serviced that day, completely cut out.

"Eventually it restarted but I had only travelled about 100 yards when it stopped again. The natural light disappeared and everything was in absolute blackness.

"Then suddenly a brilliant white circle of light about a yard in diameter shone on the road. The very next moment, as if someone had flicked a switch, natural light returned and I was driving my car normally."

The whole journey took 15 minutes longer than normal although Elsie cannot account for the extra time.

Elsie was so mesmerised by her experience that she went on to write several books about her close encounter of the third kind.

Today Elsie still lives in Church Stowe and, despite a recent fall in Daventry affecting her memory, she is still convinced she had an extraterrestrial encounter.

She said: "I looked at my books and I can't remember what I had written, but it must be true."

Other cases of UFOs

On March 23, 1909, PC M Kettle of Peterborough (then part of Northamptonshire) reported a strange airship. There were many other reports of this object from around the country.

Around 1954/55 an eight-year-old boy was digging in his garden near Rushden when he saw a strange ovoid-shaped cloud and heard a voice giving him instructions. He has also had a number of subsequent UFO experiences.

In 1977 researchers carrying out a skywatch exercise saw two separate strange lights over Harrington, then in May 1978 at 11.30pm a witness saw strange manoeuvering lights in the sky over Finedon.

In 1980 a man in Northampton General Hospital saw a strange object over the town when he looked out of the window.

In 1997 a woman from Kingsthorpe in Northampton reported round red objects moving fast over the town. In October the next year, two witnesses from Kingsthorpe reported seeing two triangular objects moving from the south to the north.

In June 1984 a man saw what he described as being a Chinese lantern over Northampton. It was an octagonal object about 20 feet long and 35 feet in height. At each of its eight corners was an orange light. It made a sound like electricity shorting out and there were occasional blue sparks. The witness estimates that the object could not have been more than 100 feet from the ground.

In November 1995 two separate sightings of lights were made – one over Yardley Hastings and the other above Derngate in Northampton town centre.

In September 2003 the MoD recorded two small, star-size objects, dark orange or rust in colour, followed by two others doing manoeuvres over Northampton.

 
 
 

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