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With the possible exception of ghosts, there are few supernatural subjects that divide opinion quite like unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
David Spereall chats to Mike Covell about strange and suspicious sights in the sky, and finds Hull has more than its fair share of stories.
Whether you believe it or not, the phenomena of UFOs has long been discussed and debated, with annual conferences held internationally on the subject.
But while many will associate UFO stories with places like Nevada, with its mysterious ‘Area 51’, Hull has had more than its fair share of UFO reports.
1. The ‘Splitting Moon’ of 1801
The earliest sighting of a UFO in Hull can be traced back to June 1801. The sighting of an unidentified object over the city featured in local and national press, as well as contemporary science journals.
Whatever it was came from the south west towards Hull and resembled an immense moon with a black bar across the middle.
It then split into seven smaller globes of fire which subsequently vanished over the Humber, before reappearing like the face of the moon and again split into five circular balls of light, not unlike stars.
At the time, Hull and the Humber was supposedly bathed in a mysterious blue light.
The event prompted much discussion. Could it have been a celestial object like a comet or meteorite or was it something more sinister?
2. The 1909 Scareship
In 1909 a Mr Walker of Coltman Street in west Hull contacted police after an airship was seen over the city. This was part of a wave of similar independent sightings reported across the country that year.
3. Is it a bird, is it a train? Mystery at the Paragon
In 1913, crowds of residents and policemen stood in awe as a strange object complete with red and white lights hovered over Paragon Station.
Press reported that it was seen over the area for about an hour.
4. The Longhill Landing
One of the strangest cases came in 1967, when a UFO was said to have landed in an east Hull park in Longhill.
The story goes that on November 15, a group of children saw a cigar shaped craft descend and hover over the park, leaving burn marks on a hill.
Two police officers attended the landing site and found the marks but no sign of the aircraft. Initially it was thought the children were fibbing but their stories were too similar to one another.
Other eyewitnesses described seeing a similarly-shaped object flying over Hull but the dates did not appear to tally.
Another said it was a helicopter from the Yorkshire Electricity Board making an emergency landing, but the matter was never fully resolved.
5. Football match disrupted by UFO
In October 1986, 20 people in Bransholme saw a moon-shaped object with a curved cone on the top and red lights flying in the direction of East Park.
The group, who were playing football at the time reported the sighting to police, who in turn contacted RAD Binbrook.
But the event was never explained and remains unsolved. Such was the scale of the encounter, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) kept a file on it.
6. That aircraft, it has three corners
In July 1990, a Hessle woman claimed to have spotted a giant flying triangle in the sky. Seen for around 45 minutes, she and her son watched the extraordinary sight together through a pair of binoculars.
Three months later a teacher at Winifred Holtby School in Bransholme had a similar experience as he stood in the car park at 7pm. The object remained in the sky for several minutes before vanishing over the horizon.
7. The alien in the window
One of the strangest chapters in the region came in December 1994 when the Hull Daily Mail reported what appeared to be an alien photographed looking through a window of a property in Sproatley.
It was claimed that huge dents had been found in the grass outside the property. Weeks later, it was said the photo had been sent to NASA for an explanation. The case was taken up by the British UFO Research Association, but the trail ran cold and the outcome remains a mystery.
8. Rocky ’09
In 2009, Mr Covell himself investigated the case of Peter Welton from west Hull, who had witnessed, with his wife and family, a large piece of hot rock hit his property and smash through the roof.
Mr Welton was in the bedroom of his home when he heard the loud bang, and on investigating, discovered the rock which weighed 4lbs. It was dark grey, round, and about the size of a football.
It was so hot it took an hour and a half to cool down and when it was removed the family used oven gloves.
Initially the MoD reported it could have come from an aircraft or satellite, prompting a media frenzy and the story being followed around the world.
Three months later, the MoD confirmed no military aircraft was near the property at the time and all those who had been nearby during the day were all intact after inspection.
They put forward the theory it was probably debris from space that had entered the atmosphere after its orbit decayed.