Fortean Times - - Blasts From The Past -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.