2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Warminster UFO mystery that transformed the small Wiltshire market town into a centre of pilgrimage for flying-saucerers.
From the Christmas of 1964-65, if local journalist Arthur Shuttlewood can be believed, the town was virtually under siege from ‘The Thing’, a terrifying airborne sound.
Soon afterwards visits from flying saucers and nocturnal lights became as regular as clockwork.
Shuttlewood’s updates for the weekly Warminster Journal became headline news in the Daily Mirror and other London tabloids.
From 1966 every weekend and bank holiday, UFO watchers camped out on Cradle Hill, which borders the British Army firing range on Salisbury Plain, to watch the space people fly past.
By the 1970s interest began to wane and when I visited the town in 2006 there was no mention of the ‘mystery’ in the town’s Tourist Information literature.
But times are a’changing thanks to Warminster stalwart Kevin Goodman, who revived the annual August bank holiday skywatch tradition in 2007.
As a teenager Kevin made regular trips from his home in the West Midlands to skywatch at Warminster and had a number of extraordinary experiences there.
In February this year, when BBC2’s peripatetic antiques show Flog It! visited Warminster, presenter Paul Martin made the town’s UFO legend the centrepiece of the show.
Afterwards pilgrims can join a coach trip to Cradle Hill and take a trip back to the good old days of UFO-ology.