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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.

JULY 1990, WORTLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE, U-K., JUDY AND DAVID SIMPSON:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

Dozen stories of encounters with "ghosts" on the road of the Stocksbridge bypass in the south of Yorkshire, U-K, are told since its opening in April 1988. These stories grow on several urban legends in the area: a monk who had been buried there whose last stay would have been disturbed by the construction of the deviation, another version where the monk becomes a catholic priest who got lost and whose soul wanders in the hills, stories of a group of kids who disappear as by enchantment around a pylon. But no historical document supports these legends, no tomb was not disturbed.

The police force indicates that a high rate of car accidents made the place a "blackspot." This also mixed with the alleged ghost encounters in the local rumors, generating tens of accounts vague origin, many appearing on the web told by local people sector still in the years 2000, the oldest sometimes distorted in the course of time.

A case is told by various sources, with clearly identified witnesses, Judi and David Simpson, who were interviewed for example in a TV series on the "paranormal" in 1994.

Their story, dated according to sources from 1987, 1990 or 1992, occurred one Friday night in July at an unknown exact date and unknown exact time in the night or evening, whereas Judi drove along the B6088 towards the village of Wortley, near the "haunted bypass", with her husband David, a businessman, as passenger.

Judi reported that while she approached the bypass, or was on the bypass bridge, she saw just a figure hopping or jogging in the field on the left of the road.

She really saw no contour, no face, no details, nothing like clothing. There was something like a head, shoulders, arms and legs that agitated in all direction in a disordered way, and it ran aimlessly through the field.

She first thought it was a jogger, until she realized it did not touch the ground, but floated approximately 1 meter above the ground.

It "leapt" from the field over a fill going up to the road and landed in the middle of the way in front of the car, it should have been hit by the car, Judi hit the brakes and stopped the car, but there was no sensation of a shock, as if the thing had been immaterial or had disappeared.

Her husband also saw it. They went out of the car, looked all around but found no trace of anything.

Both very upset, unable to believe what had occurred, starting to admit that they saw a ghost whatever a ghost is meant to be, they went down to the Wortley pub to calm down with a drink, and told their story at the bar. Nobody scoffed at them, which is hardly astonishing considering the reputation of the place.

The story was more or less correctly picked up and summarized in paranormal books and UFO literature, but obviously nobody had considered that that it could have been some large bag plastic half in scraps and floating in the wind, interpreted in all good faith as a ghost because that it what it could have looked like, floating above the ground and causing no shock, and because it was is something one was expected to encounter at the bypass.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000450
Date of event: July 1990 ou 1992
Earliest report of event: 1994?
Delay of report: Hour, years?
Witness reported via: Told in the pub, on TV.
First alleged record by: Skeptikal book on the paranormal.
First certain record by: TV show on the paranormal.
First alleged record type: Skeptikal book on the paranormal.
First certain record type: TV show on the paranormal.
This file created on: January 24, 2008
This file last updated on: January 24, 2008
Country of event: U-K.
State/Department: West Yorkshire
Type of location:
Lighting conditions: Night
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 2
Witnesses ages: Not reported, adults.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Married couple, businessman.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Humanoid or indistinct.
Entities height: Not reported.
Entities outfit type: Not distinct or none.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Head, legs and arms agitated aimlessly.
Entities head: Yes. Not reported.
Entities eyes: None visible.
Entities mouth: None visible.
Entities nose: None visible.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Yes, agitated aimlessly.
Entities fingers: Not reported or not visible.
Entities fingers number: Not reported or not visible.
Entities hair: Not reported or not visible.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Run aimlessly in field, came on road, disappeared.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, stopped, looked for clues, reported.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: Ghost, whatever a ghost is.
Explanation category: Unexplained. Possible confusion. Not UFO-related.
Explanation certainty: Medium.

Narratives:

[Ref. dc1:] DAVID CLARKE:

British foklorist, ufologist and "UFO debunker" Dr. David Clarke writes on stories of ghost-like encounters on the road at the Stocksbridge bypass in South Yorkshire since it opened in April 1988.

He mentions several urban legends associated with the area: a monk who had been buried in unhallowed ground whose resting place was disturbed by the building of the bypass, another version where the monk into a Catholic priest who became lost and whose spirit continues to wander the hillsides. No historical record supports these legends, and no grave was disturbed. He also mention that a high car accident rate made the place a "blackspot" and these accidents became associated with the so-called ghost sightings in local lore, and proves a number of example of such stories that are of untracable origin and get distorted in time.

He however specifies that in these cases, many of the witnesses are clearly identified, and he knows a number of them personally and vouches for their sincerity. He give as an example the story by Judy Simpson.

She drove in July 1990 along the B6088 at the village of Wortley, adjacent to this haunted bypass, with her husband David, a businessman in the passenger seat.

David Clarke quotes what Judy Simpson told him. She said that as she saw approaching the carriageway, she "just saw this figure bolting or jogging" in the middle of the field on the left of the road.

She was unable to actually see an outline, or any facial expression, and there were no clothes as such, as it was just a grey outline of a person. There was a head, shoulders, with arms and legs flying everywhere, and it run aimlessly across the field.

She thought it was a jogger until she realized that it was not touching the ground, but around three feet above it.

It leapt over the field over an embankment that comes up to the road and landed in the middle of the road in front the car, it seemed to hit the car, and just vanished.

Mrs Simpson said she just screeched to a stop and the figure just seemed to melt into the car and all of a sudden it was gone.

She then looked at her husband, asking: "What's happened? It's just gone." They got out of the car, looked around but could not find any trace of anything.

They were both really shocked and upset and she could not believe what had happened, thinking that it must have been a ghost, "whatever a ghost is."

The couple then went to the pub in Wortley for a drink, to calm down, and told several people at the bar what they had seen. To their surprise, their claim was accepted in a matter-of-fact way rather than being scoffed at or disbelief as they had anticipated.

David Simpson confirmed entirely with his wife's report to David Clarke, who provides no definite theory or conclusions about this episode or such episodes.

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that near Wortley, England, in July 1987, at night, on the B6088 Road, Judy Simpson and her husband saw a figure running through a field next to the road. It was "just a gray outline of a person" and was not quite touching the ground. It leapt from the field over an embankment landing on the road in front of the Simpson's car. They screeched to a halt too late to avoid impact, but the figure just seemed to melt into the car.

Rosales indicates that the source is Paul Devereux, Haunted Land.

[Ref. st1:] SEAN TUDOR:

Sean Tudor evokes many of the strange stories of the Stocksbridge bypass and finally ends with July 1992, when David and Judi Simpson were returning home a Friday evening after visiting Judi's parents. They were crossing the bridge over the top of the bypass and both noticed off to their left a grey, featureless apparition apparently running across the field towards them.

It oddly seemed to be running above ground level, and its arms and legs were flailing about in an uncoordinated manner. It came up the embankment, across the road and disappeared into the car.

Mrs Simpson braked quickly, but there was no sense of a collision.

The sources are indicated as the "Strange But True?" TV series, presented by Michael Aspel, LWT Productions, 1994; and Jenny Randles and Peter Hough, "Strange But True?" Piatkus, 1994, Chapter 6 ("Highway of Horror?"), pp.70-82.

Points to consider:

Judi and David Simpson
at the Strange but True TV show.

Paul Devereux is an author, researcher, lecturer, broadcaster, artist and photographer based in England. Devereux is a Research Fellow with the "International Consciousness Research Laboratories" group at Princeton University. He writes about "cognitive archeology", "ecopsychology", the so-called "ley lines", geomancy, unusual geophysical phenomena, and consciousness studies, spanning the range from academic to popular.

He saw a UFO, could not explain it, and then proposed a theory that claims many UFOs, and a whole range of phenomena such as fairies stories, are actually so-called "earthlights", clouds of plasma with strong electromagnetic fields occurring in areas of seismic activity; areas that fit the so-called "ley lines."

When UFO occupants are seen or complex event are reported, he puts forth that the "plasma cloud"'s electromagnetic fields are creating this as "false perceptions" in the brain of the people who see these "earthlights".

In 1987, David Clarke was a founder of "Project Pennine", a British version of Project Hessdalen in Norway to survey record weird lights activities, ant it provided material to Paul Devereux and Paul McCartney which appeared in Devereux's book "Earthlights Revelation" with David Clarke, Andy Roberts and Paul McCartney in 1989. This is probably how Devereux picked up the story for his book "Haunted Land".

The Stocksbridge bypass.
Judi and David Simpson say they were driving on that bridge.

In February 26, 2005, the Youth Yorkshire newspaper The Star published an article about the claims of a clairvoyant who offered to banish the evil spirits that haunt the Stocksbridge bypass. The authorities told: "We have thanked this man for his letter but we fail to see how we can take this any further. ... we haven't had any reports of haunting on it for five or six years now."

What the couple told very likely relates to a real experience of some sort. However, it was in the night, it must have been of short duration as they were driving, and the various versions are very poor, apparently only recollections of the witness' say with no further research, and they are contradictory. What are we to make of a story dated 1987, 1990, 1992? Why does David Clarke spell "Judy" and everyone else "Judi"? Why is there no sign of any search for any commonplace explanation? What if it was some half-shredded big plastic bag floating about in the wind interpreted as a ghost because that is what it would appear to be and because it is what you are expected to encounter at this particular location? Where is the formal investigation report?

And of course, the chances that this has anything to do with UFOs seem rather slim to me.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe January 24, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Missing earliest sources, TV interview. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe January 24, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross No sign of investigation or search for explanation. Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe January 24, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross At least one possible classical commonplace explanation; which does not seem to have been considered by anyone. Help needed. Opened.
4 Ufology Severe January 24, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Size, color, distance of entity not reported and apparently not asked for. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Unexplained. Possible confusion. Not UFO-related.

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 January 24, 2008 Creation, [dc1], [ar1], [st1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 24, 2008 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 24, 2008