2 months deep into researching and investigating. Have spent a lot of time been speaking with local people who remember the Thunderbolt Incident. Filming on location. Disseminating reports and statements. That there is now a maturity in the content that can be discussed, times, eyewitnesses and the events. “The Crash” remains a challenging aspect, because there wasn’t just one Crash.

Going through the original Sources and bringing together many local reports and accounts. Firstly we don’t know what it is that was struggling in the air over the area. With reports from a wide-reaching span from Selston, Blidworth, Sutton, Hucknall, Mansfield, Ravenshead – who have historically made statements and more recent ones. An airborne vehicle is observed bobbing up and down over the hills and valleys of the area, over some of the highest terrains in the county. Which is where speculation leads to UFO and Lights In The Sky territory. As one report describes the object performing a loop to loop and another zig-zagging in unusual patterns. Its description varies from a “ring of fire”, “green lightning”, “nuclear sun-like white ball”, “bright plasma ball”, with the newspaper citing an official explanation as a “Thunderbolt out of the blue.” Despite possessing physical characteristics, very unlike a ball of plasma. “It was like thrusting engine, a turbine”. Was a wave-like rumble up the street (Abbey Road), the burnt and smouldering hedges all up the road Abbey Road, Beacon Drive, Walesby Drive and surrounding streets. Multiple windows shattered and cracked.

Of course, the chimney of Number 8 Abbey Road, where the back boiler was superheated, causing an explosion. Heard for miles. A house on the corner of Diamond Avenue and Derby Road, being physically struck. So much that the doors within the home, could not be closed as the structure of the home itself had been shifted to the side.

8 Abbey Road. The chimney 33 years after rebuild.

“Shook me out of bed”.
“We thought it was an earthquake”.
“I can’t explain it, the whole house was shaking”.
“It threw me off the sofa!”
“I expected to look out of the window and see a crash site, it was like a jumbo jet had come down.”
“I remember! Was on Welbeck Street – thought it was the end of the world!”

“Suddenly I heard this incredible explosion,” he said, still trying to come to terms with the events that followed. “My immediate reaction was to race upstairs and make sure my family were okay. I’ve never heard anything like it. I honestly expected to open my front door and find corpses in the street.”

#File 31 Cosmic Top Secret.

From Annesley, on Forest Road, there’s a report that the object was seen to be in distress. Struggling. Coming over Elm tree Road in Kirkby in Ashfield, firing straight ahead with a huge tree-branch like flash extending horizontally across the sky. The object veering right. Assuming this is where it makes it turn towards Abbey Road. Multiple reports, up the main road of Abbey Road and from connected streets. Then shooting across the adjacent field. As seen from the owner, of a home/business on the near corner of Diamond Avenue/Derby Road as an object with two lights described coming forward at him from the field to where he stood within seconds. The object striking the house. Scattering a metallic dust substance over the house and cars.

Fire service personnel have confirmed they attended first the Ashfield school due to the alarm being activated there and then the Abbey Road address.

Thieves Wood

Observed banking left, from the end of Abbey Road. “It looked like it banked left”. Which makes sense in the timeline of events, as this is where the first Crash is alleged to have occurred. Thieves Wood. Not so much a crash, but cited as a “bounce”, though no citation has been attributed. But the mention of the bounce exists in both the 1997 Ashley Rye Report and the Jon King File 31 Cosmic Top Secret report. Though Mr Walton, the regional Fire chief is quoted having attended the Thieves Wood fire, giving a statement.

Where the UFO had first impacted – and seemingly “bounced” – an intense fire ensued, and the local fire brigade were called in to deal with the blaze. Many trees were burnt down, while others turned to carbon; many remaining trees are still badly burnt to this day. Indeed, even the local Fire Chief was bemused by the nature and intensity of the fire; he commented that he was “quite surprised to find that the trees facing the fire did not have a mark on them, yet the backs of the trees were smouldering.” This was certainly odd. Especially when added to the further fact that pine cones were found that had seemingly been burnt from the inside out!

File 31, Cosmic Top Secret – Jon King. Quoting Mr Walton.

Having been on-site at this location can confirm the trees at a considerable height even today do have remains of burn damage. Blistered wood. With the strikingly different colour of bark, compared to the rest of the tree. Totally dry and where the tree has survived and grown. These trees stand more than 15ft-20ft taller than the adjacent plantation of a monocrop of silver birch in rows. Was this the crash site? Have spoken to the Forestry Commission at Sherwood Pines, who requested, I put my questions in writing and they can potentially bring up information from the archives of when this was planted. Along with the purpose of having done so. The soil here is soft, pushing ones hand through the soil, it is indeed the case that there is sand beneath. Investigators at the time, who are cited by Jon King and who presented at the EM-UFORA, Dominic Belgin and Andrew Emerson who attended with an apparent scientific team in 1987. A few days later inquiring, found the site to be burnt. The whole area of approximately 60ft-90ft across, all soil removed and filed with a layer of clay and sand, with top soil scattered on top. This area was also covered allegedly in the metallic dust-like substance.

“My Dad worked as a security Guard at the Old Kodak Site that same night and witnessed it. He saw a circle of fire in the woods when he went to investigate but quickly got moved on.”

The Warren

So this was Crash site 1, now we move to Crash site 2, its final resting place where the vehicle came to its end. Is alleged to be the Hollow. Yes, have seen this listed as Annesley Hollow at The Warren. In the 1997 Ashley Rye report. Not fully sure, what this means, and neither can any local I spoke to. The Warren is a considerable-sized land property of the estate of the owners of Annesley Hall. Extending behind Derby Road, where a sign on a house proclaims this spot to be the highest place in the county. Though a number of houses, continue after this address, each a little bit taller than the former. All the way to Newstead Abbey grounds, and extending a number of miles south. It’s remote, with high banks and very few houses at the time looking into and across the picturesque Byron landscape.

” One weird night. I agree, I know people that live near the Warren and they didn’t see or heard any police or army that night.

“I lived close to one of the (various) claimed UFO crash sites at Annesley Warren and was a regular visitor. I didn’t see evidence of any crash or any increased Police or Army presence at any time, either near the Warren or Annesley Hall. I didn’t hear any local rumours about any UFOs.”

Of the commentators on social media and locals I have spoken too, none can say they’ve heard of the second crash site. Many will agree they heard the explosion, some will say they saw the “vehicle”, a few may know of the crash and fire at Thieves wood. Scant few know about the second crash site.

The military response, involving helicopters, lynxes, several in one report, 2 in others, and a Chinook. HGVs, recovery vehicles, trucks and personnel. Secured the area. Roads were blocked off to users and traffic redirected. A conversation with a person with a passion for military aircraft who worked for or owned a local taxi firm, put forward their regular runs from Ravenshead into Kirkby were being redirected due to military blockades. National Express driver confirming their regular route up the A60 was redirected. Military vehicles parked over the M1 bridge going to Selston have been described. Police roadblocks were cited on Coxmoor Road and Bildworth Road.

“People from Ravenshead, who would regularly shop in Kirkby. (As) There is more shops on the high street and that. We had to take different routes. Going down as far as Hucknall and coming back up again.”

Apparently, it was just a freak lightning bolt.
“Freak thunderbolt”.
“A thunderbolt out of the blue”. The media declared the case closed, despite the events and stories.

I reached out to Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council in late September 2020. To currently, as of end of November no response. Other approaches are taking place.

Because of all the secrecy and chatter amongst the residents. It all leads to this veil, that has created the urban story of Did a UFO crash in Nottingham?

“It’s the most interesting thing thats ever happened in Kirkby”.

Nigel Crowley puts forward as a speculative answer in Ben Emylnn Jones videos recorded with guest Daniel Bostock, (2013 and 2014 respectively) that the military actively shot at an airborne vehicle using Electromagnetic/Lightning/Microwave based weapons, and that’s what brought the vehicle down. Mass electrical disruption was indeed reported across the region during these events. The electrical topic is one we will come back to in a different Investigative Blog.

Is there a more down to earth logical conclusion?

It is worth noting, that the explosion itself is also cited as being The Crash. In the Ashley Rye report, it says the explosion happened in the air. That the sky turned red. This is where the assumption has come from that the object was shot down, that is simply not the case. The explosion was the back boiler of the flat at 8 Abbey Road. Which 2 council workers, including the repairman who removed the damaged chimney and a fire crew member, have separately confirmed to me. There was a confusion of it being a gas explosion. These homes in 1987 were not fitting with gas central heating at the time, according to residents I have spoken to. There are reports of multiple airborne objects, though this be confused with the different descriptions.

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Courtesy of Laurine Stafford

Rules of engagement

Whilst if an object of unknown origin is in British airspace, particularly during the 1987 continuing Cold War, it would have been serious. Inside the Ministry of Defence document Doctrine UK Air Space JDP30, it outlines the UK effectiveness and deployment options. The four roles of air power the UK commands. • Control of the air secures our freedom of action within the air environment. • Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance informs the development of understanding across all environments. • Attack can coerce and influence actors into changing or maintaining behaviour. • Air mobility enables movement, manoeuvre and sustainment. To maintain air dominance and superiority, the rule of engagement is to intercept. Whilst the theatre of war has changed in recent years due to technology and cyber. 1987, the rules of engagement to intercept would have been as valid then as they are today. It would have been aircraft like the F4 Phantom and Panavia Tornado on the challenge to confront an “enemy” in UK airspace. Whether Soviet or an unknown bogey. These interceptors were not the ones seen, going after the object in response to its presence. What we have is 45minutes later at 2:15am local time is a military recovery operation.

Potential conclusion?

Using a 5 point likely scale. Between Very Unlikely, unlikely, indifferent likely to highly likely. I would like to throw this your way, and consider this event as the scenario. If it is not an enemy, and the rules of interception have not engaged. It is a known entity. Was it one of our own? Got into distress, knows he’s potentially going down. Looking for somewhere clear. Not sure of the height of the terrain, it is the highest land in the area, a pilot realizing he’s too low to the ground, pulls up, the thrust pushing behind to maintain its velocity. If the jet is perhaps angled upwards, the exhaust firing behind. Not wanting to crash catastrophically over residential housing. Clipping the chimney, that superheated thrust, overheating the back boiler of Abbey Road. Scorching the hedges along the road there, aiming for open ground ahead.

“The terrifying rumble”.

“….just walking back to bedroom and the house moved felt weird “

“I cannot explain it, but the whole house was shaking!”

“…burned all the hedges up the streets…all these trees along here were singed”.

“My next door neighbour was going to bed, as they closed there curtains it whizzed by their house!”

“….our children’s galvanised steel slide on St John’s Avenue”.

“Melted the metal slide!”

” The house shook TV and video blew up and smoking”

” while TV aerials were split in two.”

“Aerial was melted, bent”

As one witness says, she heard the explosion. Sat up bolt in bed, her bed directly under the window. Turned head left to look out of the open curtains. Sees a ring of fire glowing out the window having had come over the house and was now soaring forwards at great speed before banking left. A view only her home at the end of Abbey Road could have seen facing out over the wide-field view. Banks left, over the open ground. Thieves Wood.
This person, not confident in what she saw other than a ring of fire moving away at speed. Kept quiet on the matter. She described that years later, she was watching television and a broadcast of 1980s Tom Cruise classic with the legendary Kenny Loggins soundtrack, Top Gun. She interest piqued with excitement, as the jet engines of aircraft matched what she saw as a youngster on the morning of the 12th November 1987. A jet exhaust.

As it roared away. Going to the near-complete black. Realizing its trees, pulls back, sending the jet back towards the sky. The “bounce”, more of a blast thrust with a hard push on the throttle. Burning a large area of trees in its wake. Causing those ones to wilt and bend, leaving the scorched earth behind. Before coming down in The Warren.

The helicopters a more measured recovery response to finding a downed allied aircraft. Rather than helicopters with high power searchlights and personnel and equipment carrying Chinook chasing a UFO/or enemy air penetration.

A 4-day investigation and recovery operation seems proportionate. Secure the safety of the pilot, secure crash site. Day time. Investigate, plan and organize recovery and clean up over a few days.

Very unlikely, unlikely, indifferent, likely or very likely?