It may seem strange, but, in the 1960s, British military intelligence was secretly opening files on those citizens of the U.K. who were suspected of being alien abductees. This was, I should stress, post-Betty and Barney Hill. We have to focus on the intriguingly weird story of a young woman named Diane Foulkes. The year was 1966, the month was November. It was a month in which NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 2 was launched, John Lennon met Yoko Ono for the first time, and Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California. Those historic events all paled against what Diane Foulkes had to endure: a close encounter with a strange craft in the sky and a period of missing time. As the U.K.’s Freedom of Information Act has shown, it was the Royal Air Force’s Provost and Security Services who secretly oversaw the investigation into Diane’s trauma-dominated experiences. We would almost certainly be completely oblivious to the facts of the affair, today, were it not for one significant thing: Diane Foulkes’s family decided to contact the military – in an effort to try and understand the nature of her experiences. At the time, twenty-two-year-old Diane – a typist working at a local company - was living with her parents in the old English town of Shrewsbury, in the county of Shropshire. It’s a town which was founded way back in the 9th century and its ancient architecture would not at all look out of place on the likes of Downton Abbey – nor would its surrounding green fields and hills, little old villages, and expansive woods.
As for Diane’s encounter with something definitively unknown, it occurred on the night of November 8, 1966. Although, she kept silent about what had happened for two days; finally confiding in her mother and father on the 10th and revealing all. So shocked were Diane’s parents by what she had to say, her mother promptly contacted the local military base, Royal Air Force Shawbury, which was constructed in the latter stages of the First World War and that, today, is a training facility for military helicopter pilots. She spoke to a Flight Lieutenant Williams, who took a few notes and promised to pass the data onto the right people. We will soon learn who they were. We’ll likely never know what was going through the mind of Diane’s mother when she made that call to RAF Shawbury, but one can imagine it would not have been the easiest of things to do. After all, she was about to share the details of her daughter’s encounter with what may well have been a spacecraft constructed on another world. If Diane had worries about what the authorities might say, she had no need to. It’s most intriguing to note that the military took her story very seriously. To the extent that, four days later, a three-man team arrived at the Foulkes’ home. Questions were about to be asked and a secret file was about to be created.
It was around 7:00 p.m. when the knock on the door - that Diane Foulkes may have been dreading or looking forward to – finally came. Diane herself opened it and was confronted by three men dressed in plainclothes. The man who knocked on the door identified himself as Corporal Robert A. Rickwood, of the Royal Air Force. Notably, Corporal Rickwood carefully avoided adding that he also happened to be attached to the P&SS' Special Investigation Section, the SIS, which undertook investigations of events with national security implications attached to them. Diane invited the three men into the living-room. They sat down, while her parents hovered awkwardly in the background. In typical English fashion, cups of tea were made for everyone and the interview began. Corporal Rickwood, perhaps aware that Diane was somewhat nervous, simply asked her to relate the facts, and added that he was here to help and try and figure out what it was that she had seen just a few nights earlier. Diane took a deep breath and began. She had been out for an evening with friends and, with midnight barely five minutes away, she was approaching the little village of Great Ness, which even today has a population of less than one thousand. Then, something weird happened, something totally unforeseen: Diane had an encounter of the UFO type.
Then, before she continued with her story, things became even more notable. As a quick aside, Diane said that this was not her first encounter of this particular type. She had had another close encounter – late at night, and in the same area – two years earlier. This was, of course, a surprise to Corporal Rickwood’s team. As a result, he suggested that Diane go back to the beginning, to ensure that they had all of the data in-hand and in chronological order. An incredible tale was about to be unfold. Corporal Rickwood’s now-declassified report states, in part: "The first occurred two years ago in November 1964, when she had been driving from Shrewsbury to her home along the A5 road. This was at about 0200 hours as she neared the Montford Bridge over the River Severn. Approximately midway between Shrewsbury and Great Ness a brightly lit circular object appeared in the sky above her car. She had been frightened and had accelerated along the road. The object had kept pace with her remaining at the same height until she arrived home. She had told her mother and father who also watched the object. She described the object as an especially bright light in the sky which remained stationary due west from their home for about half an hour. It had then rapidly diminished in size and they assumed it had accelerated away from them. No sound was heard from the object. The light was yellow in color and became red as it diminished." That's just a portion of the Provost and Security Services' files.
As fascinating as all of this certainly is, it was yet another aside from Diane that had the P&SS guys sitting up and really taking notice. According to Diane, there was a lapse in time: although it was around 2:00 a.m. when she reached the Montford Bridge, it should actually have been much closer to 1:00 a.m. Hmm...