Date and time of The Thunderbolt Incident
Beginning with the date and time: 12th November 1987. Where does this date come from? What are the sources? Can we confirm the date? Is it correct? Have different events been mentally merged together?
This is the first real test of the investigation into the Thunderbolt Incident. Though we have already collected accounts and some statements. Shared conversations on the matter. Read some of the existing investigation material. There is some concern over the date and time.
“This is simultaneously a fact-finding exercise and ongoing blog into aspects of the case. These pages are designed to be updated with new information building a resource of facts as it is learned. They are subtitled with Investigative Blog.”Kristian Lander.
The alleged first date is the 12th November 1987. This date came to light for myself cited in that published news article. As this was the date scribbled on the top / right corner of the A4 piece of paper in the local studies library. Which the source clipping was stuck to. As well as the newspaper name and the date of its publication. Someone locally had a paranormal ufo interest, likely who worked at the library or was manually contributing to this library folder. So was looking to get a copy of that or another copy of the clipping of inclusion.
Blog – We can ascertain that this news clipping was from 1997 published as a result of the presentation by Dominic and Andrew at the EM-UFORA meeting. My memory-challenged on this fact as it was initially 2007-8 when I first saw this piece and later in 2011. In seeking to verify this, I ventured to the Hucknall Local studies library on Wednesday of the last week of September 2020. To find the local studies library closed, but not unusable. Was allowed access. However the red folder entitled ‘Paranormal/ufo’ was no longer to be found. With the assistance of a library colleague and the manager. Accessing a non-public section. This folder has vanished. They made mention it may have gone to the Nottingham City Archives.
– possibility it was now at the Nottingham City Library. I ventured into the city, to discover the City Library now closed with no option for reopening. It was due to be relocated into a new building at the Gateway of the city the former Broadmarsh site. Currently all bets are off, as INTU the owners of said site, have gone into full administration and all progress halted of the new building and access to the city. Following a conversation with an online team member of Inspire Libraries – there is no option or facility to access any material even for them and no details of if and when it will ever re-open. So am unable to verify where I first read this date.
This also throws the ability to view Microfilms stored at the libraries of Nottingham Evening Post, Hucknall Dispatch, Mansfield and Ashfield Chad, Free Press / Recorder who ran stories on the matter. To view the complete press reports of the time. (Those with press clippings – would be incredibly useful if I could include them to this investigation. Could you scan and email any you have to firstname.lastname@example.org )
Skywatch – The Ashley Rye Report.
There are 2 websites that have reproduced a post allegedly that was once posted to a Skywatch UFO News server, unfortunately, the original source doesn’t appear accessible.
“Ashley Rye wrote to SKYWATCH (Internet UFO News Server) the following e-mail report concerning an event that occurred in the early hours of November 12, 1987, at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, UK.”
The formerly geocities page was transferred to the present oocities page in 2009. Unfortunately, we do not know if Ashley Rye is the original curator of the information on the page. Just that he/she posted this information to the Skywatch server. https://www.oocities.org/sutton_in_ashfield/aliens.html
It does state that this has also previously been available on CSETI.org Dr Steven Greers website.
Nexus magazine, an Australian based UFOlogy publication. Has a mirrored copy. Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Issue 403 and Volume 4, #6 (October-November 1997). http://cruinthe.tripod.com/nexus/articles/bskies4.html citing the same report by Ashley Rye from the Skywatch server. So we can at least say, the earliest citation of the November date come from as far back as 1997.
The Oocities page post does feature some additional commentary about energy weapons and highlights they may have been in use here in shooting down the object.
The date is a point of contention.
Because in the File #31 report published by Investigative Journalist Jon King, former editor of UFO Reality magazine in communication with both Dominic Belgin and Andrew Emerson. Jon King relays that he was in frequent correspondence with them, making for a source of quotes of an investigative exercise that was conducted mere days after the incident. This report was published in Jon Kings book Cosmic Top Secret in 1998. ISBN 0 34070621 2
blog – Cosmic Top Secret. I sought [update 21/10/2020 Have obtained] to obtain the physical copy after coming across a copyright permission version online available on a website, a tripod hosted website “xposeufotruth”. Have been in contact with the publisher Hodder and Stoughton. Regarding copyright permission request to include the files of the book in the documentary. As well as to forwarding correspondence to the author himself. As his online presence and contact details are all unavailable. Ultimately seeking further details he discussed with Dominic and Andrew.
This report known as “Jon King #File 31 report” states the date is not the 12th of November 1987. But the 12th October 1987.
The great storm confusion potential
There was a possibility that both dates are in fact wrong. the event is a misremembered menagerie, that could be put down to the passage of time. Quite early into reading posts and reports, there are a few phrases that are often repeated. The “glass windows shattering”, “chimney damage” and “an apparent chimney collapsing”. The others being the Battle of Britain and the references of the Blitz which are detailed below. Everyone glued to their TV sets, of the 15th Oct 1987 watching the developments of a category 2 storm gathering off the coast. Michael Fish the beebs most trusted long time weatherman famously assuring the public, that the hurricane-like storm brewing would not make landfall. The UKs greenery was ripped apart as more than 15million trees were uprooted. Power lines were downed. Windows were shattered. “18 people lost their lives were in a number of places across the country, some being killed by falling chimneys and trees, whilst others were at sea.” – Metro. https://metro.co.uk/2017/10/16/what-damage-did-the-great-storm-of-1987-cause-7002914/
” John Dowling, who was deputy editor of the Bexhill Observer, remembers how Ronald Davies died at the Queens Hotel in Hastings when a chimney crashed through the roof.”
More than a 2 billion pounds worth of damage at the time, adjusting for inflation would estimate that at £5.6 billion today.
http://www.metlink.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/articles/the_great_storm_of_1987_burt_mansfield.pdf A metlink.org featured article on the matter – The National Grid sustained heavy damage during the event, as crashing cables short-circuited, which in some cases overheated the main system.
Home Secretary Douglas Hurd called it the worst, most widespread night of disaster since the Blitz. Indeed Sadie from Gillenham, quoted on BBC Kent from 2006 in remembering the event – “The 16th was definitely a case of the Blitz”http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/content/articles/2006/10/05/weather_great_storm_1987_feature.shtml
My question is [update 20/11/2020] rather was; Are people misremembering and mentally merging stories of the same few days when winds of more than 134mph were recorded ravaging the UK and France? I was told a chimney fell on a street in Kirkby In Ashfield in the Coxmoor estate by B.S. and also a gentleman who is involved with the Rotary Club. It’s this very estate where this struggling vehicle is alleged to have clipped a building. I was told in a conversation, that it was a person home where the chimney had collapsed and it went through the bed. It is highly worthy of not here there is an account of Cyril Homewood, who was fast asleep in his bedroom when the chimney collapsed – the force of which pushed the legs of his bed through the ceiling into the kitchen. Resulting in his death during the storm. The similarity of resulting damage and stories must be taken into consideration. Particularly if it is indeed the October that the Thunderbolt incident occurred.
[Update 20/10/20: Have since attended the house/flat 8 Abbey Road. where the Thunderbolt struck on the 18/10/20, have seen the repair of the damage. A whole new chimney stack, replacement bricks of a large area of the back wall. Have shared correspondence with the fire and rescue team member Roy Burchell who attended the property that day, who spoke of how bricks were embedded in the wall of the home. After the explosion of the back boiler. Have also shared correspondence with the contractor Richard Smiler Thompson who removed the damaged chimney and conducted repairs.
Numerous houses received damage nearby. 13 homes according to the Jon King File 31 report were damaged. Roy could not confirm any other fire and rescue attendance to his recollection at the other sites where fires were reported. As dispatch control would have assessed and sent teams to those areas, he was just on the team that dealt with the Abbey Road matter.
The Battle of Britain conundrum
It dawned on me, after reading a few of the reports that there’s another regular comment. One directly related the quotes of the Blitz. Its possibly the most quoted line when people talk about it, and could be the deal-breaker on confirming the Date and Time of the Thunderbolt Incident. Watching the Battle of Britain on television at the time. Just when the Germans are about to bomb the airfields, the explosion happened outside! Marker: Find the air date, find the real date of the incident! Whether it is Oct or Nov. 12th/13th/15th. A film, doesn’t get shown regularly. Should be relatively straight forward…
The conundrum is this, it is 1987. The UK is served by only 4 television channels. It is 1.30am. Battle of Britain the 1969 movie, starring Michael Caine, Suzanne York, Trevor Howard and Lawrence Olivier. Whose running time is 2hr 13minute. This is before the 1991 TV guides and combined listings came along. TV schedules were literally the wild west!
BBC 1 and 2, ITV and Channel 4. This was a time, when television was not 24 hours. Each channel had a start time and an end time. BBC once it reached the end of the evening/night operation, viewers tuning in, yes it was on TV frequency tuner at the time too. Would be greeted by a smiling girl with a clown Carole Hersee, was the Test Card F Girl along with Bubbles. ITV in 1987 did not start until 7am with TV-AM due to cutbacks and operating costs. Channel 4 would end then begin the day at 6, with the awesome Ulysses 31. 6.30 with Schools. Education programming. So who would be airing a warfilm at 1.30am?
I contacted the BBC, who referred me to their recently enabled “BBC Genome Project” The complete listings of all radio and television transmission, production information from 1923 to 2009.
https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/ Can confirm that all dates cited whether 12th/13th October and Nov. Battle of Britain did NOT air on BBC 1 or 2.
[Update 20/11/2020 Since obtaining the TVTimes Magazine of the dates, these questions are answered below.]
Channel 4 confirmed they used to go off-air at between 12midnight and 1pm based on the end time of the programme or film in 1987.
ITV also used to go off air. Did it go off air on the 12th October or 12th November in the year of 1987 or were they showing a war movie?
ITV….Ahhh ITV. ITV stands if you didn’t know stands for Independent TeleVision. A network of regional separate but collaborative stations, who were funded by advertising. Anglia, Carlton, LWT, Yorkshire, Granada, Tyn Tees and the Nottingham region was covered by Central. Central was the innovator. Pushing technology, computer graphics, production studios producing large amounts of content, inc Childrens ITV which aired on the other ITV regional stations. If you were geographically fortunate you could get other regions too! Outside of national shows like TV-AM, Coronation Street, News at 10. The schedules though largely similar, were different. At this time, ITV and Channel 4 schedule listings were still not even in the same magazine! TV Times had been around since 1981, but had to produce regional variants of the magazine. So the trail is to track down back issues of 30+ year old TV guides. Remarkably Kelly Magazines is just such as site.
Undeterred, I contacted Transdiffusion https://www.transdiffusion.org/ An independent broadcasting authority source of information since 1964. Insightful yes, ultimately no joy.
Since the ITV regions have since progressively integrated and amalgamated. I contacted ITV Viewer services who directed me to ITV Central News Team
Tillysvintagemagazines and they do have the Oct 12th 1987 and Nov 12th 1987 editions of the TV Times listed! Albeit Yorkshire editions, but they always include the regional overlap of local stations in a small box at the bottom of the page. I have purchased that issue – going for a tidy sum of todays £13.95 each. View Blog post of The Battle of Britain 1987
[Update 20/11/2020] In great condition, with a cover of Jimmy Tarbuck sporting a shirt. With cameras rolling, I unpackaged and went to respective dates.
Here is what I can confirm!
1* Confirm Channel 4 did indeed close between 12-1am. Battle of Britain was not airing during 1.30am of the 11th into the 12th. 12th into the 13th. Ending at 12.40am and 1.15am respectively.
2* Confirming Channel 4 15th into 16th ended broadcasting at 12.45am.
3* ITV Central 11th into the 12th showed Donahue at 12.25am, then Film Black Torment at 1.55am until 3am.
4* ITV Central showed 12th into 13th showed film The Pawn from 1.10am til 2.55am.
5.* ITV Central the night of the Great Storm 15th into the 16th was not airing the Battle of Britain! Was airing Central Sports world from 12.15am then The Euro Cops from 1.15am to 2.15am.
Gah, what a waste! No, not at all. It helped the concrete set on definite answers. Ones that we did not know before. The Ashley Roe report and the Jon King #File 31 reports dates are thus wrong, despite being the better sources of The Thunderbolt Incident.Battle of Britain 1987 – http://kristianlander.com/?p=2677
What conclusions can we draw here so far?
We have been able to confirm, that the dates in October and the potential for the Great Storm date getting cross-wired as the actual date of the “Thunderbolt Incident” as incorrect. Doesn’t mean aspects have not meshed together in peoples mind, the reports and citations are so similar. That it cannot be discounted. The damage would still have been present and clean up operations ongoing. Whilst the East Midlands and North of England did not get the full force that the south of the country received.
Will keep you all posted!
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This is simultaneously a fact-finding exercise and ongoing blog into aspects of the case. These pages are designed to be updated with new information building a resource of facts as it is learned. They are subtitled with Investigative Blog.
With the end goal to produce a documentary.
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