TTGU, Ep. 1, Ch. 9 – An Odd Experience
This chapter deals with a strange happening which occurred in the early Summer – if I remember rightly – of 1959.
One afternoon, as E6 platoon marched back up the slope towards our billet, The Ying-Tong Song almost audible, someone noticed a bright light in the sky to the West. A whisper ran round the marching men and we all took a glance at the reported light.
It was there sure enough. When we reached our billet and were dismissed, we all went to have a look at the light. It was still there, looking something like a big star in the clear, daylight sky.
No-one could make out what it was. The words “flying saucer” were bandied about – but it was not flying, it was stationary. None of us had ever noticed it up there before. In fact, none of us could remember seeing anything like it before.
Having done whatever we had to do in the billet, we wandered down in twos and threes to the cookhouse for our evening meal. The light was still in the same position: more or less over our company-lines. It was still there when we drifted back. And, as the Summer night crept on, its glow became brighter.
That night, with comments about being invaded by aliens, we slept fairly normally. But those who had to go to the ablution-block after lights-out let us know that the light still shone brightly in the same position. Next morning, though not shining so brightly in the clear sky, it was still there and hadn’t moved its position.
It seemed to be a circular object bigger, perhaps, than the size of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and it had a yellowish tinge. During the day, it seemed to reflect the sun’s light; during the night, it seemed to emit its own light. It was there – in the same position – for three days and the two nights between them.
We heard via the grapevine that planes from RAF Farnborough had been scrambled to investigate it.
Then, when we returned to E-Company lines on the third day, it had simply gone. Disappeared. Nobody had noticed it go, though we tried to see it from the parade-ground although it would have been hidden from there by trees and the slope of the hill.
There was much discussion about it, I can tell you. We wondered if it could have been an alien craft or something sent to spy on us by the Russians or a terrible portent of The End of The World. One lad who had a pair of binoculars had tried to study the object: he concluded that it was spherical in shape and had a few things which looked like dents in its surface. But nobody really knew.
A couple of days later, CSM Ampleford paraded our company and gave us the official version. It had been an escaped meteorological balloon.
Each company on that camp was told the same.
Of the two-thousand men stationed there, not one of us believed the official explanation. A met-balloon would have floated about; this did not even flutter. And, as far as I know, no satisfactory explanation was ever made, nor has ever been.
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