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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

OCTOBER 18, 1955, WEST HAMPSTEAD, GREATER LONDON, U-K., REV. PITT-KETHLY:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

One Jonathan M. Caplan reported in the Flying Saucer Review in May 1969 that in West Hempstead, England, on October 18, 1955, at 1610, from a train stopped for a signal, Rev. Pitt-Kethly noticed a "flying platform" sail into view at about 20 miles per hour, reddish brown and gray, the size of a small bus, flying a straight course at an altitude of about 120 feet, in silence.

There were about 30 motionless helmeted human figures in khaki uniforms on it. Some of them were seated and staring fixedly forward "like robots."

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000436
Date of event: October 18, 1955
Earliest report of event: May 1969
Delay of report: 14 years.
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Jonathan M. Caplan via ufology magazine FSR.
First certain record by: Ufology catalogue Rosales.
First alleged record type: Someone via ufology magazine.
First certain record type: Ufology catalogue.
This file created on: March 26, 2008
This file last updated on: March 26, 2008
Country of event: U-K.
State/Department: Greater London
Type of location: Populated urban area.
Lighting conditions: Day
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Uncertain
UFO departure observed: Yes
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Adult or aged.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Clergyman.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 30 approximately
Type of entities: Human
Entities height: Not reported.
Entities outfit type: Uniforms.
Entities outfit color: Khaki.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported.
Entities head: Yes.
Entities eyes: Yes. Stare right ahead.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Not reported.
Entities voice: None reported.
Entities actions: Were on UFO, departure.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Possible confusion, soldiers on vehicle. Insufficient information. No credibility elements.
Explanation category: Extraterrestrial beings.
Explanation certainty: None.

Narratives:

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in West Hempstead, England, on October 18, 1955, at 1610, from a train stopped for a signal, Rev. Pitt-Kethly noticed a "flying platform" sail into view. Reddish brown and gray, the size of a small bus, it was flying a straight course at an altitude of about 120 ft. It bore about 30 immobile helmeted human figures, in khaki uniforms; some of them were seated and staring fixedly forward "like robots."

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is Jonathan M. Caplan, FSR 3/69, Humcat 1955-25.

[Ref. mk1:] MARTIN KOTTMEYYER:

Rev. Pitt-Kethly; 18 October 1955 thirty immobile helmeted figures with human faces, dressed in khaki uniforms

[Ref. me1:] "MAGONIA EXTRA" WEBSITE:

[... Other case ...]

ANOTHER FLOATING PLATFORM

I am grateful to Peter Hassall (New Zealand) for drawing my attention to another platform report, concerning a sighting by the Reverend Pitt-Kethly in London on 18 October 1955 (Jonathan M. Caplan, "Another floating platform", Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 15, No. 3, May/June 1969). At 4.10 p.m. he was travelling on a train which was halted by a signal at a West Hampstead viaduct when he "immediately noticed the strange craft as it sailed effortlessly into view. As in the Aldeburgh case, the platform was travelling on a perfectly straight course at a speed of about 20 m.p.h. The craft was reddish-brown and grey, quite soundless, the size of a small bus, and at a height of approximately 120 ft."

"During the three to four minutes that the object was in view, Reverend Pitt-Kethly noticed about 30 immobile helmeted figures with human faces - all apparently dressed in khaki uniforms - some of whom were seated and staring fixedly forward."

Points to consider:

I know the neighborhood well since this station is one I often used during several visits in London, while residing nearby.

The places are in a populated urban zone; it is almost impossible that in several minutes of observation, if there had been something of as intriguing as a platform floating in the airs 40 meters high, nobody else would have reported that.

It is not possible that the platform was some portion of bridge in a fog masking the remainder of the structure: all the viaducts, footbridges, bridges, at this station, and in the surroundings before and afterwards to the next stations, are no more than a few meters in height above the ways.

Gare de West Hamsptead Gare de West Hamsptead

The height given by the witness still poses another problem: if the platform had been 40 meters high in the sky, and more or less above the witness, it would have masked the people upon it sufficiently to make it impossible to count them and to the expression of their faces. If the platform had been not only 40 meters above but also sufficiently laterally so that the people on it could be seen and counted, then, it would have been too distant to distinguish expressions of faces.

Distances

Still another problem relates to the reported speed. It is said that the platform moved at approximately 30 kilometers per hour and was observed during 3 or 4 minutes. In such a duration with such a speed, the platform would have flown between 1.5 and 2 kilometers above a extremely populated and animated zone, in the middle of the afternoon, and only one person supposedly saw it.

This shows that a short story not accompanied by a formal investigation report describing exactly the positions, locations, distances, visual angles and conditions of observation leads to nothing useful; at best, one can speculate that some confusion occurred, perhaps the "entities" were soldiers on an open coach passing by under bad conditions of visibility, with someone distorting the story.

In any event, the described "occupants" are really described as human people, soldiers, and that makes extremely doubtful that the case is really a "close encounter of the third kind" with UFO occupants.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe March 26, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not available. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe March 26, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Nature of report unknown: newspaper, letter, investigated case...? Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe March 26, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross No sign of investigation. Help needed. Opened.
4 Ufology Severe March 26, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Object upon highly populated and animated urban area, high visibility, long duration, lon displacement, but not one other known witness. Help needed. Opened.
5 Ufology Severe March 26, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross No information on witness profile. Help needed. Opened.
5 Ufology Severe March 26, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Insufficient information: distances, angles, angular size, direction, exact place etc. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Possible confusion, soldiers on vehicle. Insufficient information. No credibility elements.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 26, 2008 Creation, [ar1], [me1], [mk1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 26, 2008 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 26, 2008