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The UFO Phenomenon

Britain's best UFO invasion hoax turns 50

By T.K. Randall
September 7, 2017 · Comment icon 6 comments



The hoax managed to fool everyone. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jason Rogers
Back in 1967, a group of students managed to pull off one of the most convincing UFO hoaxes in history.
The infamous stunt was masterminded by a group of young apprentices at Farnborough's Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) who all happened to share a love of science fiction.

To fool as many people as possible, they came up with a distinctly alien-like flying saucer design with no windows, doors or other recognizable features. Six fibreglass saucers were created in total, each packed with sound equipment so that they would make eerie, otherworldly noises.

"When you turned the saucers upside down, it flicked a switch and started a battery," said engineer Chris Southall. "We were putting them out in secret, in the middle of the night, in the early hours, and we didn't want them to make a noise until then."

"Only when we left, we turned them upside down and the noise started - and then we got away quick."
On the night in question, separate teams quietly placed the saucers at strategic locations across England. By the time they were discovered, the hoaxers had all returned to their hostel.

The whole country fell for the hoax hook, line and sinker. Even the police and armed forces attended the 'landing sites' to examine and retrieve the saucers for further investigation.

The 'invasion' managed to make major headline news both in the UK and abroad.

"The times we live in now are much harsher, and I don't think we could do it now," said Southall.

"We would end up in trouble."

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sweetpumper 5 years ago
Huh. Never heard of that one.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Gary Meadows 5 years ago
That makes two of us. How'd that happen?
Comment icon #3 Posted by stereologist 5 years ago
My question is, does anyone still list this as a real event?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Bathtub 5 years ago
It certainly happened - see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1363151/UFO-fever-gripped-Great-Britain-late-Sixties--handful-students-perptrated-big-hoax.html I was 13 at the time and remember that on the one hand, the public and the press in the UK were hungry for 'flying saucer' related stories, but also unsurprised when they turned out to be hoaxes.  The incident predated my own serious interest in ufos by a year or two (though my late mother told me I was preoccupied by them from about age 6). I'm not surprised I turned out to be a sceptic, despite (or because of) a couple of experien... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by ChrLzs 5 years ago
Never heard of it either.  I guess I don't read enough books from the $2 shops..  I guess the hoaxery was uncovered so soon, and it was so laughable even for then, that it never made the top ten lists..
Comment icon #6 Posted by Hammerclaw 5 years ago
They got nothin' on Orson Welles.


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