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.
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
Arthur Shuttlewood links
- Arthur Shuttlewood: books by Arthur Shuttlewood @ BookFinder.com
Search engine that finds the best buys from among 150 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books for sale, including books by Arthur Shuttlewood.
- UFO Warminster - Shuttlewood Biography
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.
- Warminster Town Website, Wiltshire, UK
Warminster Town Council website
- Warminster: The Thing - UFO Encounters (UK)
In the mid 1960s the town of Warminster in Wiltshire found itself at the centre of strange events. Curious things in the sky were first heard and then seen. Soon UFO mania arrived.
- Warminster Wiltshire a tourist information travel guide
Warminster Wiltshire tourist information guide with places to stay, what to see, and where to go
- Somerset News, Sports, Homes, Cars, Jobs | This is Somerset
The latest news, sports, Jobs, cars & what's on info from Somerset, Taunton, Weston Super Mare and Yeovil.
- Warminster UK - An online guide to the small town of Wiltshire in the UK
- Warminster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
© 2010 Steve Andrews