Published: 2:42 PM 7/12/2014
FOR nearly 20 years a dedicated couple have spent their life investigating UFO and close encounter sightings.
For John Hanson and partner Dawn Holloway, from Alvechurch, it has been an ongoing challenge of hunting down information and witness accounts about strange things in the night sky.
It has involved contacting hundreds, if not thousands, of people in order to ascertain whether there was any substance to reports of UFO activity, rather than relying on other unsubstantiated sources.
All the collected information makes up Haunted Skies, a day-by-day account of UFO activity in the UK since the 1940s.
The couple are just putting the final touches to volume 10, which spans the years 1987 to 1988.
Mr. Hanson, a retired police officer who served for a number of years in the CID, said: "The public still continues to be fascinated by the UFO concept, as can be seen in the plethora of programmes continuing to be shown in TV documentaries.
"Unfortunately, their understanding as to what the phenomena is actually about is influenced firstly by the way in which the media continually sensationalize such accounts and is also due to cultural misconceptions about UFOs, and the stigma still attached to the subject.
"Admittedly some of the sightings would no doubt fit into the category of celestial objects, such as fireballs or meteorites, which we felt should be included to provide an invaluable source of information to astronomical societies, who may have been unaware of this activity."
Mr. Hanson, who has sent copies of the volumes to both Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid and PM David Cameron, added: "We are pleased that the MOD has made available many declassified sighting reports through the Public Records Office. However, we would like to point out that the role of the MOD has never been to investigate UFO sightings but to catalogue reports from the public.
"It is clear to us, despite the release of declassified files made available by the Government over the years that they do not reflect accurately what took place at all.
"We hope that the Haunted Skies series of books will complement existing files declassified by the MOD, and provide an excellent reference guide, and are pleased that some libraries are beginning to stock them."
He said: "Over the years we have had many UFO and close encounter sightings from the Worcestershire/Herefordshire border, confirming the existence of something or someone whose existence can be traced back hundreds if not thousands of years.
"At the end of the day its history and should be recorded for future generations."
The couple urged anyone who may have witnessed anything extraterrestrial to get in touch by contacting Haunted Skies on Facebook, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Haunted Skies books are available from the couple or via Amazon.com.