UFO book penned by former Cheltenham copper
NO one knows if spaceships really exist, but retired police detective John Hanson has spent 15 years trying to find out.
The 65-year-old, who used to live in Knapp House in Cheltenham, has penned a book with partner Dawn Holloway, Haunted Skies: The Encyclopaedia of British UFOs.
His interest in the extra terrestrial began in 1995 when his son reported seeing a UFO while on duty as a police officer in Birmingham.
He said: "When he told me, I was completely sceptical. I began to read books about it all. And being an ex-police officer for 27 years, 15 in the CID, I decided I would investigate."
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Mr Hanson, who now lives in Worcestershire, lived in Cheltenham for eight years where he worked as a chef.
He said there has always been rumours of sightings in Gloucestershire, particularly over Cleeve Hill. But his book covers the whole of the UK.
One account was from June 4, 1960 when two black burnt rings or circles were found in a field at Poplar Farm, Evenlode, near Moreton-in-Marsh.
Farmer Bill Edwards reported: "They formed two apparently perfect circles, the inner circle being equidistant from the outer.
"I paced the outer circle and found it to be approximately 23 feet in diameter, the inner 16 feet by four inches
across. The grass on the edge of the imprints was showing definite indications of burning, but no burning in the central areas."
Retired Air Commodore, Michael Swiney, OBE, spoke of what he witnessed, nearly 50 years ago, on October 21, 1952, when he was stationed at the Central Flying School, Little Rissington.
He said: "As we broke cloud cover, I saw what at first I took to be three parachutes in front of the path of the aircraft. I realised the three objects were not parachute flares but two perfect circular objects, with a third object being on edge, showing a fuzzy white.
"I contacted Little Rissington control tower by radio and told the controller, after some deliberation, he had three UFOs in front of the aircraft.
"A check confirmed the objects had been plotted on radar as three 'blips', which then merged into one echo."
Mr Hanson said: "I never thought UFOs existed, so I decided to examine the evidence myself."