20 years since Cosford UFO mystery

UFO watchers will be looking to the skies tonight to see if there will be any repeat of Shropshire’s most notorious ‘X-File’ incident – 20 years on.

At about 1.15am on March 31, 1993, in what has been dubbed the Cosford Incident, there were dozens of sightings across western Britain of triangular shaped UFOs moving across the sky at speed.

There were sightings in Devon, Cornwall and the West Midlands but it was accounts given by military and Met Office personnel at both RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury which gave the reports greater prominence. A report to the MoD by Nick Pope, who ran the government UFO project, said: “It seems that an unidentified object of unknown origin was operating in the UK Air Defence Region without being detected on radar; this would appear to be of considerable defence significance, and I recommend that we investigate further.”

An MoD police patrol reported seeing bright lights in the sky over RAF Cosford.

The officers called the meteorological officer at Shawbury to tell him to look out for a UFO. He then claimed to have seen ‘a vast triangular shaped craft flying at about 200ft’ which made a low humming noise and fired a narrow beam of light which swept the ground.

Most described two bright white lights speeding to the southeast, leaving trails of luminous vapour. Some described a third light, giving the impression of a triangular object. UFO websites cite the incident as a major indicator of the existence of alien life.

Sceptics, however, have put forward rather more prosaic explanations. On the evening of March 30, 1993, Russia launched a radio satellite into orbit. The rocket booster which took it into space later re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, breaking into two or more pieces as it did so.

All of the sightings of ‘bright lights’ coincide with a computer simulation of where the fragments would have been visible.

And meteorological officer Wayne Elliott, whose evidence at Shawbury was central, has pointed out that his sighting was an hour after the one at Cosford – and he now believes what he saw was a police helicopter.

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Comments for: "20 years since Cosford UFO mystery"


Actually the computer simulation only regards the high altitude break up of the rocket. Most sightings by witnesses were at low level by police and military personnel, who all describe a large structured and solid black triangle shape or similar. These sightings started from approx 8:30pm in Somerset and actually were still happening at 5am and 6am in the morning.

Mr Elliot changed his story after being interviewed by the MoD, and despite being in contact with Darren Perks regulary he will not speak out about the incident. But Staffordshire and West Mercia police confirmed that during the evening and early hours, neither of their helicopters were operating anywhere. It is clear that the high altitude sightings around 1am were the re-entry of the rocket booster which fragements would have burned up in the atmosphere, but this did not cause the low level sightings of a solid object. There is also the case that it may have been a top secret military test aircraft which has not been ruled out. This sighting prompted the Government and authorities to place a D-Notice on the media for a period of time, which stopped them reporting on triangle UFO sightings.

To date new witnesses have been found and Nick Pope has confirmed them along with information investigated and researched by Darren Perks who also witnessed the incident. More information on the Cosford incident can be found on the UFO Shropshire website, and Nick Pope is set to give a rare and exclusive interview live on radio this Sunday evening, which will air worldwide.

The Cosford incident remains unexplained to date and although the MoD has released some UFO files, not all files on the Cosford incident have been released.

Sophie D

I think that UFO sightings etc should be reported more it's really interesting. Some of it can be explained away, but this Cosford one is massive and it looks like it was not the reentry thing if you actually read into it all. I found an exclusive blog on this too here: http://planetxlive.co.uk/planet-x-blog-x/7-blog-x/381-the-cosford-ufo-incident-an-insight-by-darren-perks.html

Cool stuff


Direct quote from Nick Popes Facebook which I thought might be good to share here after getting his permission to.

Great quote from Nick Pope on the anniversary today via Facebook;

"MoD knew about the Russian rocket re-entry from very early in the official investigation and factored this in. As for the 'police helicopter', the contemporaneous investigation included the compilation of a complete picture of civil and military air activity that night. There was no police helicopter. I've heard it suggested that a skeptic made up the police helicopter theory by faking a letter to the Daily Mail. Bottom line: the Cosford incident remains unexplained, though ufologists (believers and skeptics alike) have their various pet theories."

ogden lafaye

Now, a significant sighting by an official....Now, it is a helicopter


This is a great well known UFO sighting and one that is know outside if this country. Nick Pope is well known but still bound by the official secrets act etc. there is a local man called Darren Perks who witnessed it I believe and he found new witnesses and evidence. It was definately not a police helicopter it says so in the official files that the MoD released.

Joe McGonagle

Where in the file does it say it wasn't a police helicopter?

Checks were made with the military air traffic organisation, who confirmed that military helicopters were active in the SW of England until midnight (possibly accounting for earlier reports), but they would not be aware of police helicopter flights.

Nick Pope cites an anonymous source "...heard it suggested that a skeptic made up the police helicopter theory by faking a letter to the Daily Mail". Well my anonymous source told me that a junior civil servant desk jockey was out to make a name for himself and turned a blind eye to the actual cause of the majority of reports.


it really has come to the point where there really is no point reporting anything to any person in any kind of power structure...they are taught/blackmailed/forced/threatened to lie or else!

we can pretty much tell which sightings are real by the lies put forward by the powers.....if they don´t mention it , it is probably because it wasn´t a real sighting... but if they put up the usual BS swampgas , helicopters etc etc BS, then we KNOW IT IS FOR REAL!

thanks fools, you have given us an almost foolproof way to tell the real from the lie!

Joe McGonagle

The bulk of, if not all of the reports at around 01:10 were due to the re-entry of a rocket booster from a Russian satellite (Cosmos 2238). No witnesses reported seeing 2 events at the time, we know the re-entry occurred at the approximate time and location of the reports.

This is just a case of a junior civil servant soiling his underwear because he got excited and he is now too embarrassed to admit it.


joe: You need to read more into this my friend there were many low level sighings ad a map was made if these. Witnesses who saw it low level describe a solid triangle shaped craft no rotor blades or otherwise. Yes some if the reports were obviously the re-entry but its the other reports which make this special. Wish people would research this better before commenting as there has been new research into this and new information and witnesses found. One of the best documented UFO cases to date.


Just this week I talked to a gentleman here in the U.S. Who told me he was involved in the early days of the stealth aircraft project.

He told me they would fly to European including the UK. The MOD were usually informed of these flights. However the pilots knew people obviously didn't know these aircraft existed. They would put on the wing lights and fly at very low speed. From the ground they looked like UFO's as they were almost silent and the wing configuration didn't match conventional aircraft.

So there you have what people thought were UFO's, which were nothing more than top secret experimental aircraft


Likely to be the US military secret test aircraft but we will never find out...