Aug 11, 2022 I Nick Redfern

UFOs of the Small Kind: A Fascinating Collection of UFO / UAP Cases

If you have been following the UFO phenomenon over the past few years, you won't have been able to miss any of those small-sized "UFOs"/UAP pictures and footage shown on screen, radar and by the eyes. However, though, there is nothing new about them, as you'll see. In the early part of 1996, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) declassified under the terms of the Government’s “Thirty Year Ruling” (legislation designed to ensure that all documents, regardless of classification, were withheld from public scrutiny for a minimum of 30 years) a file that detailed a variety of UFO reports that the MoD received during 1965. Contained within the file was an 11-page report concerning an unidentified object that was seen to come down in the vicinity of March, Cambridgeshire, England on January 5, 1965. A man named Max Beran, one of those who witnessed the descent of the object, quickly wrote to the Meteorological Office Unit (MOU) at Huntington Road, Cambridge.

Beran stated: “While in the sunlight it remained visible, giving the appearance of a curved object. Perhaps a parachute, but I would have thought too fast for that. Before falling too low to be visible in the low sun it appeared to be falling to a point perhaps a mile or two Southeast of the town center from where I was watching. What could the falling object have been?” Indeed, what was it? Well, the craft was very small. In fact, barely bigger than the wheel of a truck. The Senior Meteorological Officer at Cambridge immediately contacted his headquarters at Braknell, Berkshire, regarding Beran’s letter. Recognizing that this was a matter for the Ministry of Defense, Braknell prepared a one-page memorandum for the MoD outlining the facts. The MoD quickly swung into action. According to a one-page handwritten note contained within the file, the police at March had been directed by the MoD to look into the matter. “[The police] sent a car out to look for the object in the vicinity of the ‘Sixteen Root Drain’ but without success,” stated the note. 

(Nick Redfern) This is a mock-up photo, but it demonstrates very well the kind of small UFOs that have been flying around for a long time

The MoD also put numerous questions to a host of other official departments as it sought to locate and identify the UFO, including the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Aviation, and various civil aviation bodies. Whatever the object was, the MoD claimed, it was not a piece of military hardware.“Things which may on occasion fall from aircraft include external fuel tanks, drag-chutes, cockpit canopies, access panels on doors, and sometimes accumulations of ice,” the MoD informed Max Beran. “We have looked carefully into all these possibilities so far as our own aircraft are concerned, but have drawn a blank.” Now, onto another case that parallels what's being going on for a long time.

“A close encounter between a British Airways jet with 60 passengers on board and an illuminated, triangular-shaped, unidentified flying object at 13,000 feet above the Pennines is under formal investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority,” stated the Times newspaper on February 2, 1995. The incident had actually taken place on January 6, 1995, as Captain Roger Wills and co-pilot Mark Stuart began their descent towards Manchester Airport, England, in a Boeing 737 twin jet. Seventeen minutes before touchdown, all was normal until a mysterious object flashed past the right-hand side of the aircraft at a distance described as being “very close.” So close, that the crew actually “ducked down” in their seats as the object sped past them. An immediate check with air traffic control at Ringway revealed that nothing had been picked up on radar, save for the 737 itself.

Anticipating ridicule, the crew of flight BA 5601 did not report the incident to their colleagues; however, British Airways management was ultimately advised of what had occurred. In line with set procedures, a full report, complete with sketches of the UFO, was sent to the Joint Air Miss Working Group, a part of the Civil Aviation Authority. A CAA spokesperson said that any suggestion that the object had been a UFO was “purely speculative,” adding that the investigation could last up to six months. The spokesperson told the press: “A very small proportion of near-miss situations involving untraced aircraft remain unresolved.” This was one of those “unresolved” cases.

(Nick Redfern) The U.K. National Archives, a "home" to U.K. "UFO" documents.

A brief UK Ministry of Defense document reveals the salient data on a UFO encounter involving a highly respectable source, an airline pilot who sighted a small UFO in the airspace of Ireland. The report states:  “5 Feb 86 5427N 0530W – Bright light passed upwards in front of A/C. A/C was crossing east coast of Ireland on descent. Light travelled towards A/C from a 2.30 position range approx. 11/2 miles and passed 1000 feet above travelling right to left 1 mile ahead. Burst of green light observed at peak of its ballistic flight. A/C ht [height] 1450 ft. CAA closure – possibly flare fired at about time of OCC by Aldergrove. Pilot considered this unlikely but no other explanation has emerged.” Here's another case; this one dates from March 6, 1988. In April 1964, the New Mexico town of Socorro became the site of a now-legendary UFO encounter between police-officer Lonnie Zamora and an egg-shaped craft and a pair of diminutive ETs dressed in white coveralls. Nearly a quarter of a century later, however, aliens returned to Socorro. On this occasion, there was no oval-shaped spacecraft and no aliens in white. Instead, according to “Mac” Sparks there was a small, circular-shaped UFO – only about two feet in diameter - that flew over his head as he changed a tire at the side of the road, early in the morning. Sparks said that the UFO was grey in color, gave off a buzzing noise, and flew in a slightly erratic fashion. Today, we would likely conclude that Sparks saw nothing stranger than a drone. it probably was.

April 13, 1964: and there’s something in the river. At around 8:40 p.m. on the night in question, bus-driver Bob Fall was driving alongside the River Lea in the town of Walthamstow, England when his attention was drawn to a fast-moving aerial object that barely missed his bus as it plunged into the depths of the river. He said: “I just glanced into the sky and saw something coming towards me very, very fast. It flew straight across the road and, had I been a few yards further forward, it would have hit the top deck of the bus. At first I thought the back windows of the bus had come in and, as I turned around, I saw all the passengers looking out towards the river. There was a big splash in the water. I stopped as soon as I could to report it. The thing was at least nine feet long, cigar-shaped and silver,” he insisted. “If it had been a bird or birds I [would] have seen the wings. Besides, it was going too fast.” As a result of the media publicity afforded this event, a British UFO investigator, Ronald Caswell of Harlow, Essex, looked into the case and uncovered a wealth of data that had been almost completely overlooked by his contemporaries.

Fall's notes state: “I have a piece of one of the telephone wires broken by the object. A newspaper shows great coils of it on the towpath. The police spokesman’s suggestion that a duck, or even four ducks, could have broken those wires is ridiculous. Neither could a swan. The length of the wire across the river would have moved away at the pressure of a plummeting bird, and the bird would certainly have been badly injured, if not killed.” Notably, Caswell also said that he learned “…when it was late enough for the general public to have cleared off, heavy lifting equipment was brought in and a find was made in the early hours of the morning.” What that “find” was, has never been disclosed.The incidents, however, continue.

On the night of April 21, 1991, the term “close encounter” took on an altogether more significant meaning for the crew and passengers of a London, England-bound airliner. At 9:00 p.m., Captain Achille Zaghetti – who was piloting a McDonnell MD-80 aircraft – was amazed to see a missile-like unidentified flying object pass his aircraft as it flew over the English county of Kent, at a height of more than 22,000 feet. As the UFO was no more than 1,000 feet above the airliner, and the incident was therefore classified as a “near miss,” an official inquiry was launched by the Civil Aviation Authority. Approximately two weeks later, the CAA issued a statement to the media that read as follows: “The pilot said the object was light brown, round, 3 meters long, and did not describe any means of propulsion.” The statement continued: “The aircraft was under the control of the London air traffic control center who had no other aircraft in the vicinity but consistent with the pilot report, a faint radar trace was observed 10 nautical miles behind the Alitalia aircraft.”

In conclusion, it was stated: “The air traffic controller submitted an occurrence report and investigatory action began immediately. Extensive enquiries have failed to provide any indication of what the sighting may have been.” One of the most interesting things about this particular incident is the attitude taken by the British Ministry of Defense at the time: “What happened is a mystery. It was yet another UFO,” said a spokesperson for the MoD on the same day that the CAA issued its findings on the case.

On May 15, 1978, the U.S. Department of State hastily circulated – from the American Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia – a document concerning an event which occurred three days earlier. It reached the U.S. Secretary of State, the CIA, the NSA, and NASA. Titled Report of Fallen Space Object, the document outlined the extraordinary facts: “The Bolivian newspapers carried this morning an article concerning an unidentified object that apparently recently fell from the sky.  The object was discovered near the Bolivian city of Bermejo and was described as egg-shaped, metal and about four meters in diameter. The Bolivian Air Force plans to investigate to determine what the object might be and from where it came. I have expressed our interest and willingness to help. They will advise.”

“Request the department check with appropriate agencies to see if they can shed some light on what this object might be. The general region has had more than its share of reports of UFOs the past week. Request a reply ASAP.” The CIA was soon on top of things, as the following memo, also of May 15 shows: “Many people in this part of the country claim they saw an object which resembled a soccer ball falling behind the mountains on the Argentine-Bolivian border, causing an explosion that shook the earth. This took place on May 6. Around that time some people in San Luis and Mendoza provinces reported seeing a flying saucer squadron flying in formation.”    Officially, nothing was found: no wreckage, no bodies, and no craft. Unless, that is, the CIA secretly knows better.

June 19, 2012, a miniature UFO: a brief report from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority states that the pilot of a light aircraft coming in to land at an airfield in Wiltshire, England encountered a small UFO, around the size of a Mini-car, that passed by his plane at a fast pace and which was sparkling white in color and that moved in a “rolling” fashion. Checks made with local military bases – to try and determine if some kind of sophisticated drone was the cause of all the fuss - drew nothing but blanks. The following documentation is scant, but offers an interesting insight into a case that quickly caught the attention of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority several days earlier in 1982: “21 Jun 82 Brindisi – Unidentified object sighted by pilots. Object passed down left hand side at same height as aircraft (FL230) & 2 miles away. Black shiny doughnut shape about the size of a car. Object was tumbling and judged to be stationary.”

Having addressed this issue of small UFOs, I have a strong suspicion that none of these craft were from other worlds. Just like I believe that the UAP craft we've seen over the past few years are ours and not "theirs."

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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