Monday, 16 February 2015

The Warminster 2015 Conference

By Warminster Ufo Skywatcher

In the early 1960s, Warminster was a quiet, unremarkable town. Arthur Shuttlewood, a journalist on the local paper, the Warminster Journal, had little to report except court cases, local meetings, small crimes, and so on. For Shuttlewood, and for Warminster, things were about to change.

In the early hours of the morning of 25th of December, 1964 a "sonic deluge broke with full fury" on some residents of the town. The reports of these sounds found their way to Shuttlewood, and then into the pages of the local newspaper, the Warminster Journal.

In August 1965, a meeting was held to discuss the Thing. There was a lot of talk, but no answers as to its nature.

That it was unsolveable only added to the mystery. For the next decade or so, skywatchers came to the hills to look into the sky and wonder. Warminster provided a perplexing mystery, that continued to baffle and amaze for over a decade.

The Warminster 2015 conference marks and celebrates fifty years of an enduring mystery. Veterans of the local hills will talk about how Things were. Other ufologists and skywatchers will talk about their experiences with their own mysteries. The conference will be held in Warminster on Saturday, 29th August, 2015.

The Warminster 2015 Conference will be held in the Old Bell Hotel, in Warminster.
The Old Bell, 42 Market Place, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 9AN.

The Old Bell is a 14th Century coaching Inn and is quite possibly the oldest licensed premises in Warminster. It is situated within easy reach of central Bath in the rolling Somerset countryside, and a 25 minute journey south will bring you to the Historic town of Salisbury.  Nearby is the famous Longleat estate and Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury are all within easy driving distance away.

Because the hotel has listed status, there is no disabled access to the conference room. We will endeavour to offer assistance for those who require any help, depending on crew and hotel staff availability.

Please be aware that the crew and speakers will be staying at the hotel; we urge that you find alternative accommodation in the area.


The ticketing process has yet to be cofirmed; we want to make this as smooth an operation as possible for you. While we seek the best solution, tickets cannot currently be obtained; you can, however, register your interest by emailing We will then contact you when the ticketing process becomes available.

The Waminster mystery became intimately associated with skywatches. People came to Warminster and gathered on the local hills to watch for UFOs, and to drink in the atmosphere and explore the mysteries that might be seen and heard there.

Every year since 2007, a skywatch has been arranged on Cradle Hill for the Bank Holiday weekend.

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the first Bank Holiday skywatch, in August 1965. On that weekend thousands of people were drawn to the hills around Warminster.

After the conference on Saturday night, the annual skywatch will be held on Cradle Hill. If you have never been on a skywatch before, this is your opportunity to experience the suspense, the sense of expectation, the cameraderie, the bad jokes, and, possibly, the chill in your bones as you stand on the hill, waiting for some Thing.

Cradle Hill, the traditional viewing spot for skywatches, is about a mile to the north east of Warminster. You can walk to it from the centre of Warminster in half an hour, or you can drive there. The hill affords views to the south, east and west. Views in a more northerly direction are obscured by the ridge between Cradle and Arn Hills, and by Cradle Hill copse.

Cradle Hill copse features strongly in the lore of the Warminster mystery, and for those who have the energy, worth the walk. In the dark, the trees enclose you, but offer glimpses of town-lights through their trunks and branches. If you walk out of the copse to the north or north-west, you will have fine views to the west over Westbury, Trowbridge and the Vale of Pewsey.

Much of the land around and including Cradle Hill is managed by the Ministry of Defence. We advise that you strictly adhere to the notices and warning signs you will find around the hill. The annual skywatch is tolerated by the MOD given that we respect the local restrictions.

The more adventurous can make their way to Cley Hill, further out of town and for which motor transport would be required. There are striking views in all directions from this hill, although more strenuous walking is required to reach its summit.

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