Published: 4:32 AM 1/11/2015
UFOs spotted in the town's skies...
By Staffordshire Newsletter
IT’s not everyday that you bump into someone who describes himself as a flying saucer investigator – but Wilfred Daniels was no ordinary person.
On the face of it, Wilfred Daniels was an ordinary chap, a family man who worked as an assistant buyer at English Electric’s Stafford works. But back at his home on Weston Road he kept an amazing amount of local evidence of flying saucers and had a passionate belief in UFOs (unidentified flying objects) and creatures from outer space.
Back in 1969, this 47-year-old man was quite serious in expressing the suspicion that we are being watched by beings from another planet and are frequently visited by them.
Wilfred Daniels’ name is writ large on the whole business of UFO sightings and the gathering of evidence and he was also a frequent contributor to magazines devoted to the subject.
His passion for UFOs resulted in him being invited to give talks to more than 100 organisations in the Midlands ranging from youth clubs to women’s groups – all enthralled by what he had to tell them.
That very year, while addressing a gathering at the Rising Brook Secondary School, a bright blue UFO hovered above the Highfields Estate just a few hundred yards away and its sighting was verifying by host of independent witnesses.
Wilfred Daniels confessed that he had never witnessed the UFO at close quarters but said: “If one landed, I would hope to be considered a suitable material to go aboard. But I must admit I would be scared absolutely stiff!”
His interest in flying saucers was sparked in 1950-51 when national newspapers began running articles on sightings. From that time, Wilfred began collecting press cuttings and reading up witness accounts.
The summer of 1954 was a marvellous era in Stafford for UFOs, according to Wilfred, with one appearing over Seighford in June, another over Stafford and Stone in August and one at Ranton in October.
The Rev Cedric Wright, then vicar of Seighford, is alleged to have seen a flying saucer hovering above his vicarage. Unfortunately, Mr Daniels and his family were on holiday at the time, but the vicar’s family described the object as being like an inverted saucer, glowing bright yellow and with crab leg extensions.
In August 1954, Mr Daniels was leaning over the front gate at his home when he saw a short circle moving across the skyline behind Stafford Castle. A few days later it was reported that a UFO shaped like a Mexican hat was seen hovering above Meaford Power Station.
The most impressive of the 1954 sightings, according to Wilfred, was the Ranton one witnessesd by Mrs Jessie Roestenburg and her family who watched as a flying saucer reached the roof level of their Old Vicarage Farm home.
Mr Daniels told how Mrs Roestenburg then described ‘weird people’ sitting on the side of the craft, having long golden hair and high foreheads. “She said they were quite grotesque.”
The craft glistened like a jewel before vanishing in a flash of violet light.
In 1959, a 50-year-old Hednesford accounts clerk had seen a ‘little man’ on Cannock Chase in an incident which occurred as a trio drove one dark night along a lonely road from Brocton to the German cemetery.
When their car came to a halt with suspected petrol pump trouble, the three got out and began pushing the vehicle uphill and the man suddenly turned round to see a person standing at the side of the road. “He was about three feet tall, dressed in black, wearing something like an inverted goldfish bowl over his huge head,” Mr Daniels was told.
He went on: “In perfect English, the tiny figure asked if anything was wrong, then walked to the rear of the car and began to push the heavy car up the hill at a terrific speed.”
Other sightings include three bright lights hovering over at Stafford at around 5pm on Saturday, 26 July 1969 – a sighting which was verified by several motorists travelling in the Dunston area.
Mr Daniels said: “I always like to have an independent witness to the local sightings.“
Underlying his passion, Wilfred Daniels believed sincerely in flying saucers and men from outer space and came to the conclusion that world governments were trying to hush up the whole business of UFOs.
He agreed that he and fellow investigators with the British Unidentified Flying Object Research Association (BUFORA) were busybodies. As for critics and those who poo pooed his claims, he had a simple message: “They can either be believers, disbelievers or keep an open mind on the whole subject. It’s as simple as that.”