In the early hours of December 10, 1963, RAF Cosford transformed from a routine military base into the epicenter of an extraordinary event. The two apprentices who witnessed the UFO described it as a dome-shaped object, exuding an otherworldly glow and enveloping the vicinity in a greenish luminescence. Their accounts were detailed and vivid, portraying a scene that seemed straight out of a science fiction narrative. This close encounter set off a chain of events that would embroil not only the base but also the media, the public, and various governmental entities in a web of intrigue.

As the story broke, local and national newspapers pounced on the sensational event. The Wolverhampton Express and Star, among other publications, ran headlines that captured the public’s imagination, driving a surge of interest in the Cosford incident. The apprentices’ detailed descriptions of the UFO, coupled with the green light that bathed the area, added layers of authenticity to their accounts. Yet, this increased attention only seemed to deepen the mystery.

UFO investigator Wilfred Daniels’ involvement brought a new level of scrutiny to the incident. His conversation with Reverend B.G. Henry hinted at a deeper, more clandestine side to the story. Henry’s supposed reluctance to facilitate further inquiries or meetings between Daniels and the apprentices suggested a narrative far from straightforward. This hesitance and the perceived pressure from higher authorities pointed towards a concerted effort to keep the incident under wraps.

The divergence in recollections between Daniels and Henry became a focal point of the unfolding drama. Daniels’ account of Henry’s guarded statements and the latter’s subsequent denial created a maelstrom of accusations and counter-accusations. The situation escalated when Flying Officer R.A. Roberts’ correspondence to the Air Ministry categorically denied Daniels’ claims, adding another layer of complexity to the already convoluted affair. Henry’s consideration of legal action against what he termed as misrepresentation underscored the severity of the allegations and the impact on his reputation and career.

Waverney Girvan’s determination to unveil the truth took the controversy beyond the confines of RAF Cosford. His letters and articles highlighted the inconsistencies in the official explanations and posited a cover-up at the highest levels. The various theories floated by the authorities—ranging from drunken pranks to misidentified steam trains—only served to stoke the flames of suspicion. Girvan’s relentless pursuit of the truth resonated with a public eager to understand the reality behind the bewildering event.

The Air Ministry’s internal memoranda, laden with frustration over media persistence, reflected a government caught in a delicate balancing act. On one hand, there was a clear intent to downplay the incident and prevent a public outcry; on the other, the relentless media coverage and public fascination made it impossible to completely suppress the story. The Express and Star’s decision to report the apprentices’ claims, despite official discouragement, exemplified the media’s role in keeping the narrative alive and public curiosity piqued.

As the months wore on, the immediate furor over the Cosford incident began to wane. However, the questions it raised lingered in the public consciousness. Pro-UFO groups saw the incident as a cornerstone of their advocacy, using it to bolster claims of government cover-ups and the existence of extraterrestrial life. Conversely, skeptics and authorities leaned on the inconsistencies and the character assessments of the apprentices to undermine the credibility of the UFO sighting.


The credibility of the main figures involved—Girvan and Daniels—lent a significant weight to the UFO narrative. Girvan’s reputation as a meticulous researcher and Daniels’ military background provided a counterpoint to the Air Ministry’s dismissive stance. Yet, the conflicting testimonies, especially from Flight Lieutenant Henry, and the Air Ministry’s documented desire to see the apprentices leave the service, painted a picture muddled with personal and institutional biases.

The crux of the controversy lies in the Air Ministry’s shifting explanations. If the incident were a mere fabrication or misunderstanding, the need for multiple, often contradictory, official narratives seems excessive. This defensive posture suggests an underlying truth that the authorities were keen to obfuscate, whether due to national security concerns, fear of public panic, or other undisclosed reasons.

The declassification of the Government’s file on the Cosford incident has breathed new life into the decades-old mystery. The detailed accounts, official correspondences, and media reports contained within provide a rich tapestry of information for researchers and enthusiasts alike. As new generations delve into the released documents, the 1963 UFO encounter at RAF Cosford continues to captivate and provoke debate, ensuring its place as a significant chapter in the annals of unexplained phenomena.




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