A very dear friend of mine, who we'll call 'J', lives on the Sussex coast,
to the east of Brighton. He has been interested in the UFO phenomenon
for many years and has had a single previous personal experience: a cylindrical
craft that passed in front of his van at close range near the well-known
beauty spot of Ditchling Beacon.
His second experience took place in 2015, but I have only recently (2019)
had the opportunity to visit the site of his encounter with him and record
the details. On the October evening in question my friend had driven from
his home at around nine o' clock to the beautiful clifftop at Beachy Head.
He stopped in the empty car park to reflect on some family problems he
had been having at the time: after a while he decided to return home,
passing the Belle Tout lighthouse, driving down the hill towards Birling
Gap. As he approached the National Trust centre, he became aware of a
bright orange light nestling among the sheep-cropped grass some two hundred
metres away to the north of the road. At this stage my friend assumed
the light was originating from some everyday source: to his astonishment,
however, the light resolved itself into a large sphere which rose up to
a height of perhaps five or ten metres. The object was glowing with such
intensity that it was almost impossible to look directly at it.
My friend was alarmed to
see that the sphere was moving towards his car: he continued westwards
past the Birling Gap car park. To his horror, the object followed, growing
ever nearer, until the glow almost filled his car's side window. In near-terror,
'J' accelerated towards the small village of East Dean, passing through
a belt of trees before stopping at a lay-by near the Tiger Inn. Climbing
from his vehicle, my friend scanned the skies: the object had disappeared.
After a minute, he drove back to Birling Gap, pulling into the National
Trust car park: despite a good scan of the surrounding area, he had no
further sightings of the strange object. The image above is a reconstruction
of the initial sighting.
I should say: my friend is a quiet, steady businessman, who is not prone
to flights of fancy: when he 'phoned me the following day he was still
in a state of anxiety: three years later the memories of that night still
cause him some trepidation...