Go Back Report # 587


Close encounter in UFO alley
by Jenny Randles.

        …I had no idea at the time that we were in the midst of a major wave centering on Rossendale. We figured this out only when we had enough data to see what was going on. In fact, a week after the above incident, on August 14-15, 1980, there was another reservoir encounter at Helmshore (five miles southwest). This certainly [was not] 1 a mirage. Two night fishermen saw a circle of red lights reflected on Ogden Reservoir. Looking up to see what was causing the effect, they were shocked to find nothing was there. But looking back at the water, they could see that something was beneath the water and rising to the surface.

       They fled in terror, leaving their expensive fishing gear to the mercy of any passing thief and refusing to return until daylight. An independent witness in nearby Haslingden saw a rotating ring of red lights crossing the sky and flooding her bedroom with light that same night.”             
This Reference: International UFO Reporter (IUR), Spring 2001, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 3-8 &28-29 “Close encounter in UFO alley” by Jenny Randles.

Original: The Pennine UFO mystery’ by Jenny Randles, Granada Books 1983.    

Additional information forwarded to me via e-mail by Ms. Randles, in reply to my question as to whether this was a valid report, she responded:       

       Yes, it ‘is’ a valid report. I went to the site and spoke with the witnesses myself and a photo of the reservoir is in my book ‘The Pennine UFO mystery’ (Granada Books 1983). I have no doubt these witnesses reported what they saw.  
       The location was Ogden Reservoir, Helmshore and the sighting began just after 9 pm. It was a miserable night - raining hard (good fishing weather apparently). There were about a dozen lights in the circle and it was about 10 yards off shore. They looked up - saw nothing causing a reflection - looked back and watched the circle for about 30 seconds. It did not move. There are no pylons or houses to cause this effect. The area is fairly isolated. Then the ring just disappeared. They shrugged - puzzled - and continued fishing but several minutes later the lights appeared again - rising and pulsating. This apparent attempt to move out of the water (which they never saw happen BTW) was too much. That’s when they dropped their gear and fled back to the car - only returning about 10 hours later to collect it in daylight.      
The other witness - a woman of 75 - saw an identical circle (not pulsating) but bright enough to illuminate her window and wake her up. She reported this at about 2 am (over 4 hours after the men fled) but under a mile from where they were located.          

These witnesses were completely unrelated. 

During neither sighting was there any sound.

At the time I did some checking and found a number of similar cases on file - both involving fishermen and others seeing the same circle of lights effect. 

Two other witnesses at Stacksteads (between Helmshore and Heald Moor in the Rossendale Valley) had a spectacular close up view of the circle of lights and saw it attached to a large bell shape. This landed in a quarry at 2 am on 24 February 1979. The witness had my number (I was born in this small village - although I had not met this man before that night). He called me as he was watching the UFO!                                                                                                             
My thanks to Ms. Randles for permission to post this article and for a follow up e-mail to clarify a typo by IUR 1, and additional information not included in the necessarily brief treatment of the case in the larger article.        

UFOCAT PRN – NONE           

Europe - United Kingdom

Ogden Reservoir - Lies between Helmshore and Haslingden (See below)

Stacksteads     Latitude 53-41 N, Longitude 2-13 W   (D-M)


Heald Moor as explained by Ms. Randles, is not a town/village which is why it has no listing in our gazetteer. However it is located 3 miles north-northwest of the town of Todmorden which has the coordinates of: Latitude 53-43 N, Longitude 2-05 W


Helmshore        Latitude 53-41 N, Longitude 2-20 W

Haslingden       Latitude 53-42 N, Longitude 2-20 W

Rossendale      Latitude 53-43 N, Longitude 2-15 W [Forest of]. The Rossendale Valley is actually ¾ of a mile south of the forest, between the towns of Rawtenstall and Bacup. However in checking the coordinates of these two towns, the Lat. & Long. work out to the same as given for the forrest, and probably vary in only seconds of a degree.

Reference: United Kingdom gazetteer, Prepared in the Division of Geography, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., April 1950.     


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