Here’s some useful - if really quite spectacularly obvious - advice... If you want to watch birds, look out your window. Better yet, head to a nature reserve. If it’s trains you fancy spotting, well, head to your nearest train station.
Okay, but what if you think gulls are dull and you say ‘no way’ to railways? If you’re more interested in, say, UFOs (and why wouldn’t you be?), you’re gonna need to know where to look...
For your viewing convenience, we’ve put together a list of the top four British cities you need to head to for catching sight of an unidentified flying object. And here they are:
In 2009, a special branch of the Royal Air Force tasked with monitoring and analysing UFO sightings was shut down by the UK military. A recent Freedom of Information Request from this year found that in the 50-odd years of existing, the department dealt with an average of 626 ‘credible UFO sightings’ each and every year. The highest number of which came from the English capital.
London is easily the most populous city in the UK, so it should come as no surprise that it’s seen the highest number of officially reported glimpses of UFOs. There were 56 places on the list, with The Big Smoke easily sitting top with an average 54 sightings looked into each year.
Here’s an example of the kind of thing that was reported: 'An object with a white and alternating red lights at an angle. Came from South East London towards Canary Wharf. It stopped in mid-air and an alternating sequence of red lights flashed at 180 degrees. Lights switched side instantly.'
London has some impressive numbers historically. But for a city with a more recent history of hosting unidentified flying objects, you’re best off heading to Merseyside.
Residents of the suburbs of Knowsley and Prescot have reported seeing mysterious lights and what look like green flying saucers in the city for some four decades now. The first major ‘flap’ (a term for a concentrated wave of sightings) was reported back in the summer of 1967.
Since then, the whole city has reported hundreds of incidents involving enormous circular objects in the sky, often accompanied by unusual buzzing sounds. There have also been many, many reports of cigar-shaped objects in the night sky, as well as emerald green spheres that shoot off above people’s heads at terrific speed.
So for consistent local UFO sightings, the city of the liver bird is a lively option.
If you don’t fancy Liverpool, there’s only one other metropolitan area in Britain to head to for consistent viewings of the same unidentified craft… Dudley.
The birthplace of none other than Lenny Henry himself, Dudley has become something of a Mecca for UFO spotters in recent years. Ufologists make the pilgrimage in order to try and spot ‘The Dudley Dorito’, a craft said to look not unlike the triangular snack from which it gets its rather unique alliterative name.
21 year-old Dudleyite Munesh Mistry describes his brush with the nacho-shaped object like this:
'Me and my closest friend saw an amazing fast-moving and silent craft in the shape of a triangle made up of what appeared to be three lights fly across the sky at a mind boggling speed. At first it looked like three birds flying in unison, then when seeing the triangle shape, we both were amazed and immediately discarded that explanation.'
The Ministry of Defence have received hundreds of similar calls reporting sightings down the years, but have never released any firm explanation as to what might be behind the phenomenon.
Okay, so Bury’s not technically a city, but we’re featuring it anyway (come to think of it, neither is Dudley). More of a market town than a city, this former mill town sits just a few miles northwest of Manchester, near Rochdale and Bolton. Yet while it may only have a population of some 80,000 or so people, there’s a bizarrely high amount of UFO activity there.
A triangular craft was spotted above the area of Radcliffe in mid-2020, with images going viral all across social media. Some locals who witnessed the craft will have remembered the spate of UFO sightings there between 1997 and 2000.
‘Bright white lights’, ‘defined masses spouting fire’ and even batches of a dozen or more ‘saucer-like objects’ have been reported over the years. Add to that ‘fireballs’ and ‘oblong shapes zooming through the sky’ and it all adds up to Bury being something of a UFO hotspot.
Good luck on your UFO-spotting mission, eh?