The moon (2008)
One evening, a confused local in south Wales called 999 to report a “bright, stationary” UFO that had been hovering “in the air” for “at least half an hour”. The police arrived to investigate. The transcript of the ensuing Control Room conversation reads:
Control: “Alpha Zulu 20, this object in the sky, did anyone have a look at it?”
Officer: “Yes. It’s the moon. Over.”
Roman soldiers (1953)
A young apprentice plumber was working in a house in York when an apparently solid Roman soldier walked through the wall, followed by more than 10 others, some on horseback and all moving at a lower level so their feet could not be seen. It turned out that an old Roman road ran through the building. This is a candidate for the Stone Tape theory, in which past events somehow leave a “recording” in the environment that is replayed to witnesses – though how this works remains a mystery.
A group of schoolchildren reported hearing a bell-like sound and then seeing 60 small, gnome-like men with long white beards and red hats emerge from the woods in Wollaton Park, Nottingham. They were driving little red bubble-cars and playfully chased the children. It’s hard to see what could be misidentified as bubble-car driving gnomes, which would suggest these kids were fibbing – although they all stuck to their story, and adult witnesses also came forward to claim similar sightings in the area.
Wil (Willibrord Joseph) Huygen (June 23, 1922, Amersfoort, Netherlands – January 14, 2009, Bilthoven, Netherlands), was aDutch book author. He is best known for the picture books on Gnomes, illustrated by Rien Poortvliet.
Huygen, a painter in his own right, was born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The seventh of ten children, his primary occupation was that of a physician. This helps to explain the method he used to give realism and a sense of authenticity to his children’s books about gnomes. He was married and had five children.
The first and most well known in this series is Gnomes (published in 1977, and originally known as Leven en werken van de Kabouter in Dutch). It was on top of the bestseller list of the New York Times for over a year. In the second book (De oproep der Kabouters) both Huygen and Poortvliet make appearances themselves in both the story and the illustrations as they get contacted by the gnomes because of Gnomes book they have written together. Huygen died January 14, 2009. He was 86 years old.