MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
The Silpho Moor saucer was found in an area of the North York Moors that has some similarities to Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, home of the famous UFO incident. The tiny village of Silpho (with less than 100 inhabitants) sits below a wooded escarpment covered by the ancient Broxa Forest. Parts were cleared in the Bronze Age and it contains several earth barrows and a series of deep earthworks known as the Thieves Dikes. Today, the mixed woodland is managed by the Forestry Commission who planted the slopes with pines and conifers. From the top of the ridge, Fylingdales Moor, site of Britain’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station, can be seen six miles away to the northwest.
Between 1953 and 1992 RAF Fylingdales’s iconic white golfballs, now replaced by a single pyramid, provided the UK with its chilling ‘four-minute warning’ of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. The station became operational in 1963, at the height of the Cold War, when its top secret overthe-horizon radars replaced a wartime mortar range. When the Silpho saucer was discovered, the local newspapers were filled with speculation that the mystery object could have been part of a hydrogen bomb, a secret surveillance object dropped by Soviet spies, or a wartime mine.
Even more bizarre, the Broxa Forest became the centre of a huge security operation in March 1989 when a cache of guns, ammunition and bomb-making equipment was found buried there. The discovery was made by a local man searching for leaf compost for his garden in part of the forest known as Turkey Carpet. The cache included Czech-made Semtex explosive, a key component in bombs used by the IRA in their terror campaign on the British mainland. Police and security forces were alarmed because the weapons were found just days before the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was due to speak at the Conservative Party conference at Scarborough. Four years earlier, Mrs Thatcher and her cabinet had a narrow escape from an IRA bomb planted in a Brighton hotel that killed 31 people.