UFO over Archway in London

archway.jpgBe the holy! It’s been a while since Blather found itself in the middle of a UFO flap. That is, we mean, in the actual *middle* of one, with a spate of UFO sightings in the area of Archway, near to Crouch End in north London, where this particular BlatherGoon resides. The sightings appear to have taken place on February 1st at 5.30pm with the Police recieving a brace of phone calls to report the objects…

On the street
Writing on the 7th of February, the Islington Gazette reports:

Alix McAlister, 34, a market stall trader from Bredgar Road, Archway, said: “I just picked up my son from nursery in Bredgar Road. I had just come out of the door when I noticed what was going on in the sky.
“There were a group of them – 10 to 15 of them moving together. My first impression was that they reminded me of a squadron of aeroplanes in formation. But they didn’t have a proper formation and they were all moving at the same speed.
“I thought for a while that something was happening in the centre of London. Bombs and planes crossed my mind. But I realised very quickly that they didn’t look like any aircraft I’d seen before.
“They were coming from the north and moving south. And then they kind of stopped and they were hovering. There was no sound. They seemed to fade away and I saw more coming and then they stopped. It lasted about 10 minutes.”

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On camera
Two days later, on the 9th, the Muswell Hill Gazette claimed to have dramatic footage of the incident:

WE HAVE extraordinary video footage giving first-hand evidence of the Archway UFO phenomenon which brought the area to a standstill.
Here’s YOUR chance to decide whether aliens were actually hovering over Archway – or whether there was a more innocent explanation.
Amateur camerman John Zimmerman, of Bredgar Road, Archway, filmed the spectacle from a vantage point in Holloway Road.
The “squadron” of around 15 orange lights spread panic among passers-by who witnessed it at around 5.30pm on January 31.
People screamed – some fearing it was a terrorist attack. Police received 999 calls within minutes.
The lights moved in a southerly direction then hovered above Archway before disappearing and appearing again. The eerie display lasted about 10 minutes.
Mr Zimmerman, 50, said: “I was watching from Holloway Road. I realised I had my camera and started filming. They moved steadily and slowly, all at the same speed.”

You can see the footage here.
On the record
A quick perusal of the electronic database doohickey over at the Ufoinfo.com website (always a great resource) records that this is not the first UFO sighting in these parts either. From an e-mail interview on the site:

On Sunday, February 21, 1999, at 7 p.m., Niall S. was at his home in Muswell Hill, North London, where he was “watching two bright lights hovering in the sky to the northwest of London. They were too bright for stars but simply hung there, one higher and slotted to the left. Then, after fifteen minutes, one simply vanished. My mother came to watch, and a bright light came from its right side. The same happened five minutes later to the lower one,” as it, too, disappeared.
Niall reported that “they had the appearance of stars but much brighter. They were comparable to police lights but clearly at a greater distance. The higher one was about 45 degrees above the horizon, and the lower one about 38 degrees. Condition of sky–some light clouds. Its size was the size of the nail on my small finger.”

It may also be worth mentioning that the location of the sighting is within a short walking distance to Highgate cemetery.
Muswell Hill Gazette
Islington Gazette
Video of the UFO sighting.
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Aliens Ate My Buick

Damien DeBarra was born in the late 20th century and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He now lives in London, England where he shares a house with four laptops, three bikes and a large collection of chairs.


  1. It may also be worth mentioning that there’s a fair probability that the Archway UFOs (and others, in England’s recent spate of sightings) were Chinese “Kongming” lanterns, which can be purchased on the internet for three dollars apiece, and have become increasingly popular at weddings and parties, in the UK, and elsewhere. Indeed, they had been released at a wedding in King’s Lynn, on the day of the King’s Lynn sightings.
    See here for more…

  2. great blog that fink, thankyou. i’ve added a link to the body of the post above. so, how high do they float, these lanterns?

  3. Up to a several thousand feet, from what I’ve read. Seems like, being made of paper, they might be pretty vulnerable to wind and rain, but they apparently do very well in calm weather. I know that they have one or more fire-balloon festivals in china, where thousands are released at once.
    The balloon company linked to at the URL I posted makes all different shapes and sizes of fire balloons, including ones designed specially for weddings, parties, etc. (I should not I’m not some secret balloon pusher from China) 🙂
    At $3.00 U.S. a pop (which is about a 1.5 British pounds, one could order a gross (12 dozen) for less than 250 pounds, and watch the UFO stories encircle the globe.
    I watched somebody release an ordinary shiny 24″ mylar party balloon at night, in suburban area with a lot of lighting, and as it was ascending it looked positively uncanny, reflecting the ground lights as it rose – without any “onboard” light source, at all.

  4. fink,
    i’m seriously considering buying some, letting ’em lose on a clear night and waiting to see what happens…

  5. Yeah, Chinese Lanterns or party balloons (reflecting the setting sun at 5.30pm?) would be the first thing to tick off the list. From what we can make out of the video it seems they are just drifting, rather than zipping around, which would make them much more interesting.
    But without getting a proper look at the way they were moving – the video isn’t really good enough – it’s very hard to be sure.

  6. Lanterns would flicker and disperse, due to variations in air currents. It’s unlikely that lanterns would move in formation, then hover. Of course, they still remain unidentified. However, there have been others that are identified–as non-human, and as doing maneuvers that show a warping of their physical structure that defies human technology. See, for example, astronaut Gordon Cooper’s recounting, in his book Leap of Faith, of the disks that he chased in a jet and how the disks then accelerated beyond human capability, straight up.

  7. Hot dang, that’s the kind of photo I’ve been looking for..except maybe you could make it larger?
    Why is it that every UFO photo available is always distorted in some way or fashion..maybe too blurry, too far away, not large enough, etc.
    This gives more fire power to the critics.

  8. alex,
    that was a crop i took from the main image on their page. not much to it i’m afraid. if anyone has a larger image please post it.

  9. damien – you absolutely, positively **HAVE** to buy some and release them there! Just imagine the possibilities if they float up as high as the video!

  10. This was something that intrested me greatly as i actually spotted these lights in another part of north london. I watched them for a while as i found them extremley disturbing, this was definately something out of the ordinary, and im a major sceptic so that must mean soemthing if i even believe in it.

  11. Hi,tonight,07/07/07 at 11.35 pm, two bright objects flew from south to north.we watched them from garden in southagate,no sound,very bright,shiny,orange.another two flew about 5 minutes later.where can i send pictures and video to?

  12. hey mate you can send copies of them to me if you like and i can get them posted on a very informative ufo research site with runboard forum send them to drgt@hotmail.co.uk . thanks .

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