Letter from John H. Killock
to Martin Shough
late Feb 1988
(Handwritten original, responding to questions inserted in square brackets)
Dear Mr. Shough
Many thanks for your letter, and apologies for keeping you waiting so long for this reply. 32 years is a long time to recall every detail but I will have a go.
1) [Is there anything you particularly remember which definitely fixes the date of your sighting as Aug 13/14 1956?]
I remember the date because I married in September 1956 and some incidents remain in the memory.
2) [Can you remember the exact time of the first sighting?]
Can not remember exact time of first sighting, 9.30 - 11.30 PM [Note by MS: this would BST, so Zulu time would be 8.30 - 10.30]
3) [Can you remember the rough compass bearing of the first start-like object?]
4) [How long was this object in sight overall? What were the durations of each phase of its movements: i.e., approach, hovering and departure?]
First object in sight 20 seconds - approach six seconds, hovering 4 seconds, departure 10 seconds.
5) [Roughly how high above the horizon was it (in degrees or a measurement at arm's length) i. when you first saw it, ii. when it was closest to you, iii. when you last saw it?
70° when first seen, lost height very quickly, and flew so low over the fen I looked down on U.F.O. before it shot up 70° and stopped dead, returned along same flight path again to 70°.
6) [How would you compare its brightness (eg. in terms of stellar magnitudes ir a source such as a car headlight at a certain distance) i. when you first saw it, ii. when it was closest to you, iii. when you last saw it?
In terms of steller magnitude when i) first seen like Sirius, ii) at closest approach twice that of Venus, iii) last seen again like Sirius.
7) [Could you describe the number and rough apparent location of the searchlights? Did they appear to be located in the direction of Lakenheath, and did their movements appear random or did they bear some relation to the movement of the object you saw?]
Number of searchlights (2) from direction of Lakenheath, and (1) from direction of Mildenhall. They did bear some relation to the object but were a little too far to the north of the object as this was static and very low 50-70 FT. This was the second object and maybe twenty to thirty minutes after the first sighting.
8) [What drew your attention in the first instance? Was it the searchlights or the object, and did the searchlights continue to be seen afterwards?]
The object, and I think the searchlights were extinguished soon after object went straight up.
9) [Can you confirm (as I believe you stated on the phone) that the aircraft noise appeared to approach from the SW and roughly overflew your location? Also that you felt able at the time to identify the aircraft engine tone as that of a Venom?
Aircraft approach from SW heading E. Red navigation light visible to my right. Aircraft engine tone, certain that it was de Havilland Ghost.
10) [Can you say something about the other witnesses with you (without compromising their anonymity)? How many were with you? What were there own ages and backgrounds? Did they all see the entire sequence of events (including the second sighting)? What were your own and their opinions about what happened? Did you discuss it afterwards? Have you remained in touch with any of them, and have they recently renewed their decision to keep silent since your letter to the Express? Would you consider asking them to reconsider?]
Four others, one dead, one in Germany, lost contact with other two. All of us from working class backgrounds, three totally disinterested. I think I mentioned on the phone one was a young lady, the other two young men all in late teens, and as you said no contest. My own opinion and also that of my friend was the we had witnessed U.F.O.s, we did not discuss the incident after that night.
11) [Did you have any idea at the time of the height(s) and speed(s) of the object(s) you saw? Would you care to guess at the altitude of the aircraft you heard?]
Height of the starlike object 1,500 FT down to almost cutting the grass, up again to 200 FT. Speed not less than 600 MPH? As to altitude of aircraft 400 to 500 FT.
Please find enclosed map.
s/ J. H. Killock