"The missing wreckage of a miniature UFO that ‘crash landed’ on the North York Moors 60 years ago has been found - hidden in the archives of a London museum.
The story has been claimed by some experts as Britain’s answer to the Roswell incident.
When the Yorkshire object was opened a tiny book made of 17 thin copper sheets was found inside, held in place by a coil of copper wire. The sheets were covered in more hieroglyphics and these were deciphered by a Scarborough café owner, Philip Longbottom...
He claimed they contained a bizarre 2,000-word message allegedly sent to Earth by an alien called Ullo who wanted to warn us about atomic warfare. It contained the warning: ‘You will improve or disappear’...
But for half a century the missing pieces of the puzzle have been sitting inside a tin cigarette box at the Science Museum Group’s archive, more than 200 miles away from the wild moorland where they were found at the height of the Cold War.
Papers in the museum archives reveal the remains of the ‘Silpho Moor Object’ were sent to London for examination by experts in 1963.
Sceptics claimed the ‘saucer’ was made from a domestic hot water cylinder in a back-street garage and planted on the moor as an elaborate hoax.
Believers such as Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, who led the RAF during the Battle of Britain during WW2, revealed in 1959 that he had ‘actually held and examined’ the Silpho object. He described it as a ‘a miniature pilot flying saucer’ - and was convinced it was a genuine artefact from space...
Tests carried out at Manchester University revealed the object’s shell contained lead and the copper parts were of unusual high purity. But a metallurgist concluded it could not have arrived on Earth from space as there was no evidence it had been exposed to high temperatures...
The story first broke on 9 December 1957 when the Yorkshire Post revealed how ‘a mystery object’, shaped ‘like a large flattish spinning top’, 45cm in diameter and weighing 15kg, had been found on the moor north-west of the town two weeks earlier.
Scarborough businessman Frank Dickenson, then 42, claimed he and two friends were driving up Reasty Hill near the village of Silpho at night when his car stalled and they saw ‘a glowing object in the sky’ that appeared to fall to the ground on a ridge above Broxa Forest.
Mr Dickenson left the car, climbed a steep bank and found the metallic saucer lying in a patch of bracken. But as he returned along a footpath to alert his friends he passed a young couple walking towards the scene. When the three men returned to search the moors, the object was gone...
Mr Parker’s fascination grew after he, Mr Dickenson and Philip Longbottom prised open the two halves of the object. Inside they found traces of ash, fused glass and the copper book ‘that had a coil of hollow tubing wrapped around it’.
The story made headlines just two months after the Cold War space race began with the launch of Sputnik. Some of those who examined the Yorkshire ‘whatnik’ initially feared it could have fallen from the spy satellite or was part of a bomb or wartime mine.
And in a bizarre twist, over thirty years later a cache of IRA guns and bomb-making equipment was found near the same patch of isolated moorland shortly before Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was due to speak at the Conservative party conference in Scarborough.
The arms cache included Czech-made Semtex, a key component in bombs used by Irish terrorists. It was found by a man searching for compost in Broxa Forest, close to Silpho Moor, in March 1989 and sparked a huge security operation."
"The village of Silpho, tucked away deep in the North York Moors, has become an unlikely focal point for an army of Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) hunters and paranormal investigators searching for definitive evidence about alien life...
"The British Flying Saucer Bureau, which was set up more than half a century ago, is leading the investigations to establish whether the Silpho saucer did come from outer space.
Its head of investigations for the north of England, Russ Kellett, has been researching the case for more than a decade.
He said: "This really is one of the original X Files, and it is the British equivalent to the Roswell Incident over in America (where a UFO was supposedly found in New Mexico in July 1947).
"It is such a fascinating case and provides us with one of the first incidents where something tangible was found.
"We are trying to track down anyone who was about at the time of the find, and ultimately we are trying to find out if the saucer is still in existence.
"If we can find out more about the flying saucer then, who knows, we might be able to prove that this was conclusive evidence that the human race has been contacted by alien life forms.
"That in itself would mark perhaps the most important development known to mankind, giving answers to some of the world's mysteries but also opening up a whole host of new questions.
"It really is such an exciting time."
The Silpho case hit the national headlines after the Yorkshire Post carried an article on December 9, 1957, under the headline, "Has Yorkshire got a flying saucer? Mystery object found on Scarborough moors".
Once the saucer had been opened, 17 thin copper sheets were found inside engraved with a lengthy message in hieroglyphics.
The mystery surrounding the object has been heightened with the passing of time after the exact ownership of the flying saucer has become increasingly murky...
Harry Challenger is the editor of the Flying Saucer Review, which was established in 1955 and is the oldest English-language publication of its kind.
Mr Challenger said: "The Silpho disc, like the Roswell Incident, appears to be a signal or a wakening call, although we cannot be certain from whom. There is the enigma that this object has gone missing, and it has never been authenticated.
"But if it had been, it could have given clear and tangible evidence that something is out there."
However, the intriguing find has not gone down in the folklore of Silpho, with many villagers unaware of the bizarre find almost half a century ago.
Richard Coates, 60, who has lived in the village with his wife Diana since 1970 and is the vice-chairman of the parish council, said: "I keep an open mind about these things – you shouldn't discount something until you have got definite proof that it is a hoax. It really is an intriguing case, especially as it is so close to home."
All very Prudom ..
"The Energy Secretary, Mr Anthony Wedgwood Benn will today open the valve which will bring ashore Britain's first North Sea oil. The oil arrived at the BP refinery on the Isle of Grain, near Rochester, Kent, last night on board the Liberian-registered tanker Theogennitor. The 18,000-ton cargo of "black gold" came from the Argyll Field, 225 miles off the Scottish coast.
The oil is being produced by a consortium which includes the American Hamilton Brothers company, RTZ, Texaco and Associated Newspapers. The consortium plans a big welcome when the oil is pumped ashore from the tanker this morning. Mr Benn will open a ship-board valve to allow the flow to begin.
Argyll is the smallest commercial North Sea oilfield and will soon be producing 35,000 barrels of oil a day. Another company confirmed its plans to land its oil in England by the end of the year. Mobil, whose development in the Beryl Field, 95 miles south-east of the Shetlands has been going ahead on schedule and and they expect oil to begin flowing in December.
Mr Benn yesterday hit back at Conservative claims about the vast cost of Government participation in North Sea oil. Some Tories have quoted figures as high as 5bn. Mr Benn said, "Our aim is that these outgoings will ultimately be recovered in such a way that participation places no net burden on public funds. It will, over a time, be self-cancelling."
One hour after this Yorkshire Post story was published & went Wobbly it was pulled.
Interesting, Heritage. Mind it could simply be that One is in residence.
Watch this space ...
Ah, so ...
"Fragments of a mysterious object dubbed "Britain's answer to Roswell" have been unearthed after being hidden away for decades in a Science Museum archive.
In 1957, newspapers reported a small "copper-bottomed flying saucer" being found on Silpho Moor near Scarborough.
Despite tests finding the object was likely to be terrestrial in origin, the unusual item sparked wide intrigue.
Shards held in the archives have been re-examined after archivists were told of their "cultural significance"..."
About that tin opener.
"Doubts about its authenticity were quick to emerge, with tests at the Natural History Museum and the University of Manchester finding it was likely to be an "elaborate hoax".
Despite this, Dr Clarke said, the object created an urban legend, provoking many conspiracy theories.
While at a recent conference about the National Archives, Dr Clarke was told about "alleged UFO bits" lying in a cigarette tin in the museum's collection.
"Dr Clarke said: "He opened the tin box and took out the pieces, it was an amazing revelation - it had just been sitting there for half a century.
"There must be a lot of it still out there, sitting in someone's attic, or maybe these are the last remaining pieces."
He added: "I thought it was a prank, but the question remains - who went to all that trouble at great expense and what did they gain from it?
"It has been described several times as Britain's answer to Roswell, and I don't think that's too great an exaggeration."
Mr Thirlaway said: "We didn't know there was this massive cultural history behind it, it really brought the items to life for us.
"There's a chance they may go on display as we're now aware of their cultural significance."