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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

JANUARY 28, 1967, STUDHAM COMMON, BEDFORDSHIRE, U-K., ALEX BUTLER, TONY BANKS, TERRY CAHILL, COLIN LONSDALE, DAVID INGLIS:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

The alleged event occurred on January 28, 1967 at approximately 01:45 p.m. just after lunch, close to Whipsnade Park Zoo in Studham Common in Bedfordshire, U-K. It involved five or six or seven young boys aged 10 and 11, Alex Butler, Tony Banks, Terry Cahill, Colin Lonsdale, David Inglis, who were playing before the afternoon schooltime starting at 02:00 p.m. at the Studham Lower School.

It had been raining earlier but now the sky had cleared. The boys were skirting a footpath that lead to the low valley of Dell, a place surrounded with bushes and trees, besides Studham Common; which was ideal to play hide-and-seek.

As the boys were chattering, a sudden flash of lightning struck nearby. One of the boys, Alex Butler, aged 10, who was a little way ahead of the others, reached the edge of the bank above the Dell, and stopped in surprise when he saw a small bluish silhouette, or a "little blue man", standing in a clearing near some bushes down at the foot of the opposite bank, at approximately 20 meters from him.

He stared in amazement at the silhouette for a moment, then shouted to call his friends and they came running and watched the being in bewilderment. After an initial moment during which they were too amazed to move, the boys all ran down to the figure. It did not move, but he seemed to emit some sort of cloud of yellowish-blue mist or a "puff of smoke"; which moved towards the boys, and then the small figure literally vanished in an instant.

The figure was described as about three feet tall, plus a two feet tall sort of hat or helmet; which was described as domed at the top like a bowler hat but without edge. The overall body was dark grey-bluish and it was gleaming so that it obscured the contour and the details of the character. It wore a large black belt descenging down. In the front of the belt was a 6 square inches black box.

The face had two round eyes, a strange flat triangle instead of a nose, there was a forked blue or bluish beard with the two parts running down each side of the chest, a fringe of hair or some sort of line or edge to the helmet vaguely seen above the eyes. The arms were short and were were held at his side and did not appear to move at any time. The legs and feet were only hardly visible.

At that time the boys were seemingly more curious than frightened and their eyes searched the Dell to see where the figure had gone. They spotted him again on the opposite side of the Dell. They all reached the spot where he had been standing, but there was again no sign of him, instead return at the bottom of the Dell gain about twenty meters away, and again disappeared in a mist.

At this point, the boys heard voices babbling in a foreign-sounding tone in the bushes and became frightened. They saw the being a fourth time, and then the school's whistle resounded and they left the place to go to school.

Their teacher, Miss Newcomb, noticed that they were excited, and she aksed why. The boys did not want to tell what had excited them as she "would never believe" their story. Miss Newcomb separated them and had each of the boys write down his version of the event, and noted that the stories matched.

A booklet with theses stories was later gathered, possibly by Miss Newcomb, titled "The Small Blue Man of Studham Common", which might still be at the school's archive but unfortunately does not seem to have been cited in ufological literature.

On March 3rd, 1967, the Dunstable Gazette apparently ran a short article on the little blue man, and that attracted ufologists Bryan Winder, Charles Bowen, Gordon Creighton and one Moulster. Research apparently revealed that there were UFO sightings in the area in the few months that followed the appearance of the blue man. Some sources tell that there were two "UFO landings" at the place where the boys had seen the figure but nothing precise and no dating seems available and the boys reported no UFO.

At least Bryan Winder heard the details of the sighting of the "blue man" from the children, having questioned them in the presence of their teacher.

Ufologists investigating the case later suggested that the black box at the figure's belt could have been some sort of a receiver and the forked beard some kind of breathing apparatus, while later still, proponents of the thesis that alien visitors are actually fairies proposed that the blue man must have been some sort of goblin like those of the British folklore and ghost hunting circles obviously propose that it was some sort of ghost.

Basic information table:

Case number:URECAT-000043
Date of event:January 28, 1967
Earliest report of event:March 3, 1967
Delay of report:2 months.
Witness reported via:Not known.
First alleged record by:Teacher's booklet about the story.
First certain record by:Ufology magazine FSR.
First alleged record type:Booklet by witnesses' teacher.
First certain record type:Ufology magazine.
This file created on:October 11, 2006
This file last updated on:March 23, 2008
Country of event:U-K.
State/Department:Bedfordshire
Type of location:Open brush country with slopes.
Lighting conditions:Day, covered.
UFO observed:No
UFO arrival observed:No
UFO departure observed:No
UFO/Entity Relation:No
Witnesses numbers:1 to 6 to 7.
Witnesses ages:Around 10.
Witnesses types:Not known.
Photograph(s):No.
Witnesses drawing:No.
Witnesses-approved drawing:No.
Number of entities:1
Type of entities:Humanoid
Entities height:1 meter, 1.60 when "hat" included.
Entities outfit type:One piece with large belt extending down, with box, vague.
Entities outfit color:Slightly luminous grey-bluish, vague.
Entities skin color:Not known.
Entities body:Not known.
Entities head:With some sort of helmet or domed hat with no edges.
Entities eyes:Two, round.
Entities mouth:Not known.
Entities nose:Some sort of flat triangle instead of nose.
Entities feet:Indistinct.
Entities arms:Short, struck at body.
Entities fingers:Not known.
Entities fingers number:Not known.
Entities hair:Forked beard.
Entities voice:Uncertain, foreign sounding babble.
Entities actions:Vanish when witness get close, reappears elsewhere.
Entities/witness interactions:None.
Witness(es) reactions:Observed, chased, went.
Witness(es) feelings:Curious then frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation:Not reported.
Explanation category:Extraterrestrial beings, unknown entity, confusion, or hoax.
Explanation certainty:None.

Narratives:

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

In his listing of cases of UFO landings, Vallée indicates that on January 28, 1967 at 01:45 p.m. in Studham, Great Britain, children observed "a little blue man with a tall hat and a beard" that disappeared in a puff of smoke; they later saw him again, and heard "foreign-sounding" voices. Vallée indicates that the sources are FSR 67, 4; and his book.

[Ref. jv2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that on January 25, 1967 at approximately 01:45 p.m. in Studham Common in Great Britain, close to Whipsnade Park Zoo, there was suddenly a fast flash, the rain fell and the atmosphere "was heavy."

Seven young boys went to the school while skirting the low valley of Dell which was ideal to play hide-and-seek. Among those was Alex Butler, 10 years old, who suddenly saw in the south a small man in blue with a beard in a clearing above Dell.

He called his friends and they ran towards the silhouette. When they were within 20 meters it disappeared like a puff from smoke. As the silhouette had not frightened them, they searched it, and saw it on the opposite side. It again disappeared to return at the bottom of Dell this time.

They then heard voices in the bushes and started to be afraid. They saw the being a fourth time before the whistle obliged them to go to school.

Their teacher, Miss Newcombe, noticed that they were excited, and the children told her that she would never believe them, but she immediately separated them from one another and had each kid write down the story. The accounts were later gathered in a book titled "The Small Blue Man of Studham Common", of which Winder notes that it constitutes an attractive reading and will without any doubt occupy a place of honor in the files of this primary school.

Jacques Vallée indicates that Winder, Moulster, Bowen and Creighton made research that revealed that a certain number of occurrence of this kind took place in this area, including two landings of UFOs in the surroundings of Studham in the few months which followed the appearance of the blue man. He notes that the investigators heard the details from the children, having questioned them in the presence of their teacher. Vallée quotes Winder as writing:

"They estimated that the small man measures three feet (by comparing its size with theirs), to which it is necessary to add two feet, considering the height of the hat, or of the helmet, better depicted by the expression a large bowler hat without edge, i.e. rounded at its top. The blue color was rather a dark gleam gray-blue which obscured the contours and the details. However, they could distinguish a line which appeared either a fringe of hair to them, or the edge of the visor of the hat, two round eyes, a sort of small triangle in the place of the nose, and a clothing of only one part, with a broad belt which went down until the bottom and to which a square box of six inches was attached. The arms appeared short and remained hanging, tight all the time along the body. The legs and the feet were only hardly visible. As for the "puff of smoke," it was apparently a moving cloud of bluish fog sent against the kids."

[Ref. cc1:] JEROME CLARK AND LOREN COLEMAN:

The authors indicate that on January 28, 1967, at 01:45 p.m., Alex Butler was one of seven schoolboys on their way to school in the rain on Studham Common, near Whipsnade Park Zoo, an isolated area in the Chiltem Hills, U-K. He happened to look in the Dell, a shallow valley where the children often played hide-and-seek, and was startled to see "a little blue man with a tall hat and a beard."

He and another boy rushed toward the mysterious intruder, but he vanished in a "puff of smoke." The two boys kept looking for him, and the little man reappeared on the opposite side of the bushes from where he had first stood. They tried to approach him again, but he vanished again, and reappeared at the bottom of the Dell.

The boys then heard a foreign-sounding babble in nearby bushes, any the two boys started to feel uneasy for the first time. The little man appeared for the fourth time, but the boys were considerably relieved to hear the school whistle of their school, the Studham Village Primary School, "summoning them back to mundane reality."

Their teacher Miss Newcomb noticed that the boys were excited, commented about it, and got them to reluctantly tell their story of meeting the little man. They first had told her that "You'll never believe us." Miss Newcomb did not believe them and she interviewed all seven boys separately and heard substantially the same story. She wrote the story down and it appeared in a booklet called "The Little Blue Man on Studham Common."

English ufologists including R.H.B. Winder, Gordon Creighton, and Flying Saucer Review editor Charles Bowen, conducted an investigation of the incident and discovered that several local people had reported seeing UFOs in recent months, including reports of two UFO landings near the place where the "little blue man" had appeared.

The boys told ufologists in the presence of Miss Newcomb, according to a summary by R.H.B. Winder:

"They estimate the little man as three feet tall (by comparison with themselves) with an additional two feet accounted for by a hat or helmet best described as a tall brimless bowler, i.e. with a rounded top. The blue color turned out to be a dim grayish-blue glow tending to obscure outline and detail. They could, however, discern a line which was either a fringe of hair or the lower edge of the hat, two round eyes, a small, seemingly flat triangle in place of a nose, and a one-piece vestment extending down to a broad black belt carrying a black box at the front about six inches square. The arms appeared short and were held straight down, close to the side; at all times. The legs and feet were indistinct. The "puff of smoke" seemed to have been a whirling cloud of yellowish-blue mist."

The authors indicate that they do not call such creatures aliens but fairies.

[Ref. cb1:] CHARLES BERLITZ:

The author reports that seven boys went to the school in January 1976 though a way at the bottom of a valley called Dell. One of the boys, Alex Butler, aged 9, threw a glance beyond Dell, towards the south, and saw "a small blue man with a beard and a top hat."

He immediately pointed it to a friend who was walking with him and they both decided to approach to examine him more closely, starting to run in his direction. Arrived at 20 meters of him, he "disappeared like a puff of smoke."

The boys alerted the other boys and all started to look for the small man, who reappeared soon on a side opposed to the coppices where he had been seen initially. When the boys approached, he disappeared again and reappeared at the bottom of the valley.

At about the same time, the boy heard voices speaking in foreign tones in the close bushes, and they then became frightened.

When they arrived at school after midday, their teacher, Miss Newcomb, noticed that they were particularly nervous. The boys initially did not want to tell about the story and repeated to her that she "would never believe" them, but she took them one by one and had them each write down what had happened. All the texts agreed so much that Miss Newcomb was convinced that something extraordinary had occurred.

The accounts of the boys were thereafter published in a booklet titles "the Small Blue Man of Studham Common", which fell into the hands of two British investigators, Bryan Winder and Charles Bowen, who learned that in the previous months, people of that country had said to have seen UFOs, including two UFO landings reportedly at the very location where the small blue man had been seen.

Berlitz notes that nothing proves that these UFOS have something to do with the blue man since the boys did not mention any UFO.

The investigators interrogated the boys in the presence of their teacher and Winder wrote thereafter: "They give him one meter in height, plus 70 centimeters, if one counts the top hat or rather, the helmet in melon shape with no edge. They distinguished a horizontal mark, which could be as well be a fringe of hair or the lower edge of the hat, two round eyes, what seemed to them to be a small flat triangle in the place of the nose and a clothing of only one piece crossed at the front with a belt at which a black box of approximately fifteen square centimeter was fixed."

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Rosales indicates that according to an article by R.H.B. Winder, in the Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 13 # 4, in Studham Common, Bedfordshire, England, on January 28, 1967, at 13:45, a group of 6 children aged 10 and 11 including Alex Butler, Tony Banks, Terry Cahill, Colin Lonsdale and David Inglis, were playing in the Dell, near Studham Common, on their way to afternoon school, when a flash of lighting struck nearby. A few moments later, Alex Butler saw "a little blue man with a tall hat and a beard" standing near some bushes, about 20 yards away. Alex and the others ran toward the little man but he "disappeared in a puff of smoke." This appearance and disappearance was repeated twice, then they heard voices speaking in an incomprehensible tongue, as they saw the little man for the last time.

The little man wore a one-piece suit with a broad black belt at whose buckle was a 6 inches black box. The arms, held at his side, were not seen to move and the beard was a forked one.

The children ran off to school, where their teacher wisely had them write down all the details separately.

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

The webmaster indicates that some reported cases seem incoherent or absurd by the appearances or behaviors produced, among those, that of "the bouncing blue man described by Jacques Vallée."

[Ref. wi1:] WIKIPEDIA:

The web encyclopedia Wikipedia indicates that Studham Common "was the site of the "Blue Man" extraterrestrial sighting incident in 1967."

Points to consider:

From the briefs accounts of the ufology literature that were the easiest to find and that I read before starting this file, I could almost have created a mental image of this character as like some sort of dwarf from the Snowy White team or Alice in Wonderland kind, in traditional blue suit and bowler hat. Well, how surprising, it appears according to Winder that this pretty ready-made image is probably without much similarity with the reported character. In place of the chic blue suit, we have a luminescent gray-bluish silhouette making the perception of contours and details difficult. The bowler hat was only an image to indicate what could just as well have been a space helmet rather than really a bowler hat. Instead of a merry goblin hopping around with joyful gestures, the goblin has the arms permanently stuck at the sides and legs and feet said to have been indistinct.

Irony aside, it seems obviously unreasonable to me not to take part in this kind of Rorschach test game played to interpret this character according to the one or the other thesis, extremely risky interpretations if you agree to consider the big unsolved problem of the absence of the obviously primary documentation, that of the booklet containing the accounts that each kid is said to have written separately. Just the absence of this essential piece justifies the most extreme reservation, instead of forcing this blue man really not that blue and not that much of a man, it seems, in one or the other category.

It might not be to much an outrage to note, moreover, that there is no ufological investigation report available, no situation plan, no drawings of the character, no search on the sociopsychological aspects concerning the teacher and the pupils, obviously no physical evidence - not even alleged - no clear cut explanation of the exact participation of each kid in the various phase of the observation, not to mention rumors of UFOs or UFO landings in the area or at the exact spot of which nothing is said and so on. Can it really be sensible to see in all this an "example" to put forth one or the other UFO-theory, when it regrettably looks only like one more example of the too frequent lack of availability of precise data?

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe October 16, 2006 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Booklet with original testimonies not available. Help needed. Opened.
2 Data Severe October 16, 2006 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Article in the newspaper Dunstable Gazette for March 3, 1967, not available. Help needed. Opened.
3 Data Severe October 16, 2006 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Report by ufologist R.H.B. Winder in FSR not available. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Original source missing, extraterrestrial visitor, or unknown entity, or confusion, or hoax possible.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 16, 2006 Creation.
0.2 Patrick Gross October 16, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 23, 2008 Conversion from HTML4 to XHTML Strict.

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