Visit Warminster the Wiltshire town near Longleat where UFOs were often sighted

The Wiltshire town of Warminster was once in a UFO Flap

Warminster is a usually quiet country town in the English county of Wiltshire but it was once at the centre of a "UFO flap" that had the world's ufologists focused on the skies there.

It all started back in the mid '60s and began with a sound that was being heard by residents rather than sightings of anything unexplained in the heavens above. The mysterious sound got dubbed "The Warminster Thing."

But then reports of strange lights in the sky started to come in and local newspaper editor Arthur Shuttlewood of the Warminster Journal became involved. Very soon he had become a local "expert" on the subject and the author of several books on the subject of UFOs and Warminster had become known as a UFO town.

Warminster photos

The Flying Sorcerors by Arthur Shuttlewood Photo by Steve Andrews
The Flying Sorcerors by Arthur Shuttlewood Photo by Steve Andrews
Top of Cley Hill. Photo by Steve Andrews
Top of Cley Hill. Photo by Steve Andrews
Cley Hill, Warminster. A small black object can be seen in the upper left of the photo. Was this a UFO? Photo by Steve Andrews
Cley Hill, Warminster. A small black object can be seen in the upper left of the photo. Was this a UFO? Photo by Steve Andrews
Longleat and Warminster sign. Photo by Steve Andrews
Longleat and Warminster sign. Photo by Steve Andrews

The Warminster mystery

Warminster is near the neighbouring towns of Frome and Westbury and is situated with Salisbury Plain surrounding it. This happens to include a lot of land that is used by the British army for manoeuvres and testing and not surprisingly it has been suggested that it was the army responsible for a lot of what was heard and seen around Warminster.

Whilst this is of course likely as the explanation of many reports in the area it doesn't answer what a lot of residents and non-residents who travelled to Warminster saw and experienced there. There were a lot of very bizarre reports that included alien beings and landed craft as well as strange sounds and mysterious craft in the Warminster skies.

A lot of the paranormal activity was centred around the local hills known as Cradle Hill and Cley Hill and sky-watches were often held at these locations by teams of ufologists and paranormal investigators.

Arthur Shuttlewood found he had more than enough material on his hands to write his books and to become known as a British expert on the subject of UFOs. I met him in the late '70s and still have a copy of his The Flying Saucerers , which was published by Sphere Books and which he signed to me.

The opening page has "To Steve - a fellow seeker of Eternal Truth and Universal Verities - Good luck! Arthur Shuttlewood."

As it happened, both Arthur Shuttlewood and myself ended up as regular contributors to Magic Saucer (Junior UFO News). The magazine, which was published by Crystal Hogben in Kidderminster, became popular with adults as well as youngsters.

Almost as mysterious as the Warminster UFO and alien sightings was how it all went quiet there towards the end of the '70s when reports of incidents and interest in the town by ufologists became far less.

It has been suggested that it was Arthur Shuttlewood that was generating all the publicity for Warminster as an English town where you could expect to see UFOs, and that he exaggerated reports in his books and writings.

Whilst this would have no doubt added to the "UFO flap" that Warminster experienced for around a decade at least it doesn't explain what was going on there and many people would be unconvinced by this explanation of the Warminster mystery.

In recent years, Kevin Goodman is one person who was very involved in the original interest in UFOs in Warminster, and who has helped bring the town back into the news again. In 2007, Goodman became the author of UFO Warminster Cradle of Contact .

Kevin Goodman Warminster UFO-spotter and author

Warminster and crop circles

Being located in Wiltshire means that Warminster is in an area of the UK in which people who are interested in the ancient history of Britain and alternative history tend to look. Some researchers have linked places where UFOs are seen with the theory of ley lines that act as a sort of planetary energy grid.

Hills like Cley Hill are thought to be marker points on these ley lines and it is perhaps not surprising that renewed interest in Warminster has also been fanned by crop circles that have appeared in the area.

Warminster is fairly close to Stonehenge, an ancient monument and prehistoric site that has fascinated millions of people worldwide. And then there is also the famous Westbury White Horse carved out in chalk on a hillside outside the town it is named after.

Wiltshire is often associated with mysterious forces and unexplained happenings so for it to be a town where lots of UFO sightings have occurred isn't really that surprising.

Warminster and Longleat

Warminster can be reached by road or train and it has its own station. The A36 (east-west) road bypasses Warminster, and the A350 (north-south) trunk road also serves the town.

The River Were runs through Warminster and its course goes right through the middle of the town's park. The Minster Church of St Denys is situated on the River Were and has an ancient and might Yew tree in its grounds.

The name Warminster is first known from in the early 10th century and would seem to be linked with the name of the river. However, according to Wikipedia: "The town's name is sometimes claimed to refer to the River Were, which runs through the town, and a supposed Saxon minster or monastery. However, the first record of any version of the name Warminster is in a document dating from about the year 900, in the form 'Worgemynster', and there is no evidence of any minster or monastery anywhere in the neighbourhood at that time."

Warminster has a number of churches and a chapel. Otherwise it has the usual range of shops, public houses, hotels and business you would expect in an English town.

Of great interest to tourists and visitors to Wiltshire is Longleat House which lies just a few miles outside Warminster. Longleat House is the home of the eccentric Alexander Thynn, the 7th Marquess of Bath, who is known for his long hair and beard, flamboyant dress sense and paintings of an erotic nature. He was once known as Viscount Weymouth, and is a politician, an author and artist.

Longleat is also well known for the Longleat Safari Park and the Lions of Longleat.

© 2010 Steve Andrews

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Comments 19 comments

omcj1234 profile image

omcj1234 6 years ago

Another new place to visit on my tour of UFO hotspots.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I hope you like it when you get there! And even better have a sighting!


markbennis 6 years ago

I have to say Bard of Ely I could learn allot from you, what a cracking Hub.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Mark!


pendora profile image

pendora 6 years ago

Wonderful piece, Bard. I'm going to put a link to it on my paranormal blog.

Janet


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Janet!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Interesting. But why Warminster, one might ask. Is it the air, the water, the local museum? The pub, the restaurant? What might the attraction be? So many questions, so few answers. Lynda


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Actually the answers are a combination of in my opinon: army testing and secret weaponry plus Arthur Shuttlewood giving it all loads of publicity (as conventional explanations), ley lines and closeness to Stonehenge, Westbury White Horse, etc (as the alternative mystical answer).


Shona Venter profile image

Shona Venter 6 years ago from South Africa

They live among us... :-)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for that!


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

This is the first of your hubs that I have read, but I'll be coming back for more. I like the way you write.

I visited Stonehenge a long time ago. I wish I could have been there at dawn, as Tess was, but -alas - I was with a tour group in the afternoon.


Classic Ink profile image

Classic Ink 6 years ago from Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Ah! My ancestors are from Wales and I wish we could claim kinship! Your writing style intrigues me.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Mysterylady 89 and Classic Ink!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

UFO's must be military hardware, then what else could it be? There is a mystical quality in the area. Thanks for sharing.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Could be alien or inter-dimensional craft too as many people believe?


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Interesting, intergalactic, and intriguing. Another thing to add to my list of things to do before I die. The Best and thanks for sharing Bard of Ely. :0)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for posting, Lilly!


garydow profile image

garydow 6 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

A highly interesting read. I'm not into UFO's but live in Frome and can clearly see Cley Hill from my kitchen window so will keep my eyes peeled for anything unusual.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for your comments, Garydow!

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