12.56am, Saturday 13th July 1985.
On Friday evening 12th July 1985 the band decided to meet at our bass player’s home in the north side of Glasgow. After a few games of snooker and discussing how the band was going we settled down to watch a movie. I can’t remember exactly what the movie was only that it was so good that CR fell asleep before it finished! This would prove to annoy him for a very long time!
It was around 12.30am Sat morning when we decided to call a taxi. As it was the weekend this could take at least a half hour to arrive. The sky was clear and the temperature outside was fairly warm so we left CR snoring on the couch, grabbed a pair of binoculars before Brian Jnr, GS and myself headed out to the garden to get a bit of sky watching in.
We stood in a triangle pointing out various constellations and talking about the band and any plans we had for the weekend. We saw at least two aircraft, some small circular flashes and a few satellites.
We were out for around 20 mins when GS shouted "What the hell is that? Did you see that?". I turned and looked up and saw a small fuzzy amber coloured ball high in the northern sky. It was about the size of a bright star. It became obvious within a few seconds that it was getting bigger and descending. The time was now around 12.55am, Saturday morning.
Even with the naked eye we could clearly see this was nothing quite like we had ever seen before. It was getting closer now and Brian Jnr was first to view the object through the binoculars (see his report below). After viewing the object through the binoculars for a brief time he passed them to me for a look. When I saw it I remember I just kept repeating "I don’t believe this!".
The sighting lasted long enough for myself and Brian Jnr to get a good look at the object.
It came down then across our position heading south. It was like a slow skipping movement. You could see the top as it seemed to lean back then the bottom as it dipped forward. It continued in a straight trajectory. These movements could be seen easily with the naked eye but when using the binoculars the sight was phenomenal. We all agreed it gave the impression you could almost touch it! As it disappeared low over the city we rushed into the house to waken the fourth band member. He obviously wasn’t too pleased he had missed the ‘overhead’ views.
We stood around going over exactly what each of us had seen. We all agreed the whole sighting had lasted around 20 to 30 seconds. I can only speak for myself and how I personally felt as I witnessed this object.
When I first saw the fuzzy ball high in the sky it was more a red orange but as it got closer it became a bright amber colour. At the time I said the colour movements on the surface reminded me of a hot poker taken from a fire and cooling down. I definitely got the impression as it was slowing down the atmosphere was ‘cooling’ it in some way! Small dark individual lines seemed to be dancing all over the surface. City lights were amber but this object was not reflecting these. The fact we saw the same colours on top of the object proves this point.
Oddly my first good look through the binoculars made me feel embarrassed, like I shouldn’t be seeing this! I’ll never know why I felt this way. It continually annoys me that this had gone through my mind at the time.
The amber colour, shape and movement conveyed this to be an object of complete beauty. As I watched it close up I kept thinking that the design was perfection. No sound whatsoever came from the object and I think this added to the mystic of it all. I could see no door/window lines, or any lines showing a possible join anywhere. I’ve often thought if a model of this object were to be made it would have to be one piece of amber glass blown to shape. We all had different ideas regarding the surface, one band member swore it was reflective like perfect mirror glass and the other thought it transparent.
The following report is taken from notes Brian Jnr had made the morning after the sighting.
After watching the video my dad, GS and myself went out to the back garden to sky watch and see if we could see anything unusual. CR remained in the living room. A few small flashes caught our eye but we never bothered too much as we had seen these before on numerous occasions.
After a few minutes GS grabbed my arm and brought my attention to a light moving slowly in the distance behind a neighbour’s tree. As it emerged from the top of the tree it became obvious that it was an aircraft. At the same time my dad was pointing out some flashes high in the sky to the north. Another light appeared close to the aircraft we had just viewed. This was another aircraft and I remember at the time we all thought they were dangerously close!
A few moments later GS pointed to the north and shouted "Did you see that?". My dad saw it too and made a comment. I looked up and saw nothing but as we all moved round the side of the house for a better view I then spotted an orange circular object. It was big, about the size of a 5p piece held at arms length. As I looked through the binoculars the object filled my view completely. I felt it was like aluminium and seemed to glow an amber colour. I watched through the binoculars for around 7 to 8 seconds. Most of this time I was attempting to take it all in! I remember saying "My God - I don’t believe it! It’s a flying saucer shape!". At this point my dad shouted to get CR out so GS ran back into the house. As they came back out (CR half sleeping!) it shook me back to reality (like I was paralysed watching it) and I handed the binoculars to my dad. He began describing what he was seeing. GS just stood quietly gaping at the object; this surprised me as I would have expected him to be running around excited, like his normal self. He too was frozen to the spot. I can only guess we were paralysed through the awesome wonder and close proximity of the object or the object itself could project this feeling!
Immediately after the sighting I felt sickly and couldn’t stand properly. It took at least 5 mins before I felt normal again.
Standing around afterwards it seemed half an hour had passed yet it was only minutes. My watch alarm had gone off at exactly 1.01am. This I thought unusual but honestly can’t put any real credence as to why this should happen!
End of Brian Jnr’s report.
As it passed above our heads and across the city it remained high above the flats in the distance, about the same height again as the flats. The circumference of the object seemed to match the width of the 20 high multi-story flats. Calculations would have the object around 500 ft above ground with a circumference of about a 60ft. The speed could not be calculated with any accuracy but because of the close proximity and the time it took to pass overhead we guessed it must have been approx 80mph. During the week that followed we attempted to work out where the object was heading. Using maps and judging by the angle and direction (SSW) we estimated it would be very close to the ground around 20 miles south of the city. That would be the Fenwick Moor area, adjacent to the M77 motorway.
In the weeks following the sighting we decided to write to a couple of UFO investigators. They were very sympathetic regarding our experience and agreed it was an interesting encounter. Looking back I suppose they got lots of reports and couldn’t determine exactly what the object was just by reading our letters and looking at a sketch.
Later that same year there was an open day at Glasgow University Observatory. We agreed we should go and attempt to find a possible answer to what we had seen. Obviously we didn’t lead the astronomer in any way; we just explained what we saw and asked what it could be. He listened very carefully then said he would return in a few moments. We thought it interesting that he went to the other side of the room and spoke to two others before returning with an explanation for our sighting! His reply was quite amazing, ‘Yes chaps! What you actually saw was a puff of smoke from a rocket range’. Keeping our faces as straight as we could, we thanked him and left the building. I guess he had to be there!
As the years pass I have to admit we don’t dwell on the unanswered questions regarding this sighting. We are simply content that we were able to view this fantastic object and at close range. There is no doubt in my mind that it was a craft of sorts but I wouldn’t attempt to answer all the questions involved with this. We put in hundreds of hours sky watching yet this sighting occurred so unexpectedly, simply waiting on a taxi at a friend’s house!
Since this experience we have certainly witnessed other unusual objects but none as distinctive and certainly not at so close quarters.
Brian Snr. Brian Jnr