A Close Encounter at Alton Priors (An eye witness account)

by Andrew Pyrka 

What you are about to read is a witness account by two people who by chance had an experience which left them traumatised. Traumatised enough to leave the area which they loved for many years.

First of all, I as the author of this statement, feel that there are several fundamental aspects which must be covered and clearly stated to protect the good name of the two witnesses, myself and Crop Circle Connector who have kindly offered to host this story. There are countless of stories related to UFO sightings throughout the world which most of the time there is no physical or other proof, so in most cases we have come to accept the written and spoken statements by  public who have been brave enough to come forward to tell their stories. The two people in question and their account of what happened might just give some insight to the crop circle phenomenon so therefore please read their statement with an open mind and make your own choice of belief.  This story has been brought to awareness by chance which had not been disclosed for many months for reasons of fear and media ridicule. The couple in question are both retired and are in their late sixties. It is therefore with understanding that they do not wish to have further stress and anxiety placed upon them but they felt strongly enough for their story to be told, they just simply waited for the right time. It is with understanding that by freely giving me their statement and verbally stating “Do with it what you like” , they have given permission for the story to be published and announced in an appropriate manner by who ever chooses to do so, providing that no media, websites, would be reporters, or other authorities do not hound the author, or any hosting websites and most importantly the couple themselves. Should anyone other than the couple themselves claim rights to this story then it would be a fair request by the author or hosting sites for the claimant to provide sufficient evidence in their claim.

To provide further protection to the couple in question I have taken the steps to change  names and location of residence. So the location will be stated as Wiltshire / Gloucestershire and the gentleman’s wife’s name has been changed to Jane. The original statement is addressed to a name which I have changed to “ Dear Mr. Jones”. The main story remains unchanged. 

While visiting crop formations in summer 2008 I have spoken to many people who claim to have experienced and witnessed many unusual things, I have seen video footage and still Images of orbs and lights in the sky but yet all this wonderful information sadly stays buried in your cupboards and draws. A wealth of treasure which could help solve many mysteries, remains hidden in the abyss of the mind. The general reason for this appears to be (that the fear of men in black may come knocking  on your door!) , this indeed is referring to the curious reporter who has a spare bit of space to fill in the local or national press and has a habit of wearing dark suits and a pair of cool shades. They wont come knocking on your door unless you knock on theirs first.

With hope this story may just arouse you and others who have had similar experiences but have been afraid of public ridicule. If you have a story to tell, please do not sit in silence as there are people out there who will listen. Each story will be treated in confidence and handled in a professional manner. 

How the story came to light 

I am currently a Hackney Carriage Driver in the county of Gloucestershire. In March 2009 I picked up an elderly couple in Gloucestershire who requested me to take them to location within the county. On my dashboard I always leave on display Lucy Pringles Pitkin Guide to Crop Circles and I have three stems of corn dangling from my interior mirror. This attracts attention to the curious mind and generally a conversation begins about the crop circle phenomenon, at least this prevents the usual question “are you busy tonight mate?” and “how many kids have you got?”.

For the first few minutes the couple sat quietly with the occasional whisper to each other.

It wasn’t long before the question came, “What’s with the corn driver?”. As always I go into the crop circle tour guide mode and start to real of  memorized script of words. On this occasion I was interrupted by the gentleman who said “I fully understand what you are saying, would you be prepared to listen to what we have to say?, I warn you its out of the ordinary”. I have an open mind and I would be more than happy to listen to what you have to say – I replied. There was a loud intake of breath, I looked in the mirror and the couple were nodding to each other as If they were both in agreement to begin what they had to say.

By the time we arrived at the couples requested destination I was speechless to say the least!. I have heard all sorts of tales from my customers but this story was spoken with clarity and with no pause to think about the next set of words and as if the whole experience had only just happened. The lady became very tearful, apologised to me and left the vehicle. The gentleman paid his fare and asked if I could wait for a few minutes. Approx 10 minutes elapsed when the gentleman returned with an envelope in his hand.

For next 15 minutes or so I was able to ask him some questions. The questions are as follows:

Me: Is your wife Ok?

Gentleman: I'm sorry about that, my wife gets upset about that episode in our lives, we try not to talk about it anymore.

After the incident my wife started to have nightmares and anxiety attacks. She wouldn’t leave the house on her own or be left in the house on her own. What made things worse was that from our bedroom we could see two corn fields  which were separated by a road. So any traffic passing at night made her think of the lights again. We ended up buying black out curtains, this didn’t help. The nightmares continued, we were both waking up at silly hours of the night and catching up with sleep during the day. We both became exhausted. One morning she collapsed on me and that was the final straw! We decided to sell and move on.

Me: I'm surprised that whatever was out there took the decision ( I was interrupted and didn’t complete the question )

Gentleman: I was surprised to. What shocked me the most was the way my wife reacted at the beginning of it all, Its as if she was being attracted to that particular spot. Its only when we started to walk back things just went totally mad.

Me: Why didn’t you tell anybody about this?

Gentleman: On the evening of the day I sat at my laptop and typed the whole experience while everything was still fresh in my mind. I had intentions to let someone know but my wife didn’t want any attention from this. Locals in the pub near  by used to always laugh and ridicule anyone who even mentioned UFOs. As we were surrounded by military bases, my wife was afraid that this story might reach them in some way and officials would start knocking on our door. 

There were 1001 questions I wanted to ask but I could clearly see the gentleman was reaching for the door handle. With his hand shaking and a tremor in his voice he gave me the envelope and said “do with it what you like but please do not come looking for us, please promise me that, Its not fully finished but most of it is written down”. I agreed to his wish and accepted the envelope. He stepped out of the car and was about to close the door, his final words were “One more thing on August 13th this year, there will be a crop formation of importance”. He closed the door and walked away at pace. I was stumped by the last comment and felt like jumping out of the car and running after him for more info. The whole experience left me glued to my seat. I started to look around to see if this gentleman was still around but that was the last I saw of him.

I drove of, but the curiosity got the better of me and had to pull over to see the contents of the envelope. What I read was almost word by word to what I heard only a few minutes ago, but left me with questions in my mind, “what’s not finished?,  is there more?, what else happened? And how and where did he get the date of August 13th from? 

This whole encounter happened by chance and the two innocent artefacts in my car attracted attention and told a story of another encounter which also happened by chance. Could it be a coincidence , yes it could but sometimes things happen for a reason and being there at the right time in the right place can lead you in the right or wrong direction, such encounters can alter your life for better or for worse and perhaps one event such as this can even alter the course of history. 

This couple were presentable, well spoken and appeared to be physically active. Their story was told with a distinct credible tone. They had nothing to gain from this, they didn’t  want publicity of any type,  they just wanted to have a quiet retirement which was disrupted.  


The 2 artefacts which attracted attention.

The Story

Dear Mr Jones

We have lived in the Wiltshire for the last 15 years with a wide interest in the local phenomenon of crop circles. Myself and Jane are now both retired and spent most of our time rambling through the hills of Wiltshire. We enjoy our walks especially when a new crop circle is formed as we simply enjoy the energy from such creativity. We must truly say that we have never ever seen or heard the crop circle makers in our time of living within the county.

Last night we were driving back from a very good friend of ours who lives in Wiltshire . Jane always keeps her eyes wide open when we start to approach Avebury – time was approx 23.15 . As we passed Silbury Hill Jane shouted out “STOP” with a sense of excitement in her voice. I quickly pulled over and Jane shot out of the car quicker than I could get my seat belt off. She pointed towards the sky – at first I couldn’t see what she was looking at. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, there high  in the sky was an oval shaped object. Rough estimation of the size of the object would be approx 50ft from tip to tip as the naked eye would see it. There was no light or sound coming from the object at this time. We both agreed to what we were witnessing and watched this oval object for about 10 to 15 minutes which didn’t move at all. Then this object begun to fade away until it disappeared completely. We kept looking around for approx another half an hour, but nothing, the skies had nothing more to show for the time being. We returned to the car and strangely we both had the same thought to lock the car doors at the same time. First time in our lives we both sensed fear. As we were discussing what we had just seen two young lads with back packs  walked up to our car and asked if we were ok and then asked the best way to Alton Barnes – we directed them and didn’t think anything of it at the time – apart from how late it was for someone to be hiking at this time of night. I suggested that enough was enough and we should head for home, but Jane didn’t want to go, she was adamant to see the night through even if it took till dawn. She was right, in all these years of walking and wondering what makes these crop circles – here we have an opportunity to possibly witness something and my old mind is telling me to go home. So we sat for a while and chatted about this and that until I felt an elbow being poked into the side of my ribcage – I had fallen asleep! Excitedly Jane is pointing to the skies again. This time three orange lights flying in horizontal formation towards Alton Priors very fast – approximately 10ft apart from each other and very low altitude – then in a split second the formation fanned off into three directions and then the lights disappeared. We continued to look at the skies and this time I noticed a strange swirl in the clouds as if something was passing causing the cloud to swirl behind it, but no object of any sort was visible. I pointed this out to Jane and she instantly said its moving towards Alton Priors, quick lets get in the car and follow its direction. Dear God – two retired people chasing lights in the dark hours of Tuesday morning – whatever next I questioned quietly in my mind. It was 02.17 on my dashboard clock when we arrived at the base of South Field. We pulled in at the opening to the field and stopped the car on a slight incline, switched the lights and engine off and Jane stepped out of the car which I wasn’t happy with. My heart started racing and in a loud whisper I shouted at Jane to get back in the car but she refused and proceeded to walk towards the first visible tramline – I called out to her again but this time she didn’t answer. I started to sweat profusely when I lost vision of Jane and went to the boot of the car to get the torch. I shone towards the tramline and couldn’t see Jane at all.. Then I heard Jane “ Switch the bloody thing off” . In the time I have known Jane I have never heard her swear but a sense of relief came over me knowing that she was ok. I finally caught up with her and I like never before lost my temper and accused her of being totally mad. Here we are standing in a corn field in  complete darkness having an argument.

Slowly I got my breath back and my body cooled down – we looked around but could see nothing.. We stood there in total silence like a couple of statues staring at the night sky and into the horizons around us. I was getting very tired and wanted to check the time but Jane insisted not to switch the torch on. Eventually we both agreed to go home and put the whole thing down to experience and started to walk back slowly along the tramline. I was in front of Jane with her hand on my shoulder for support as she to was now getting tired.

THEN – she pulled me on the shoulder – I turned around and Jane whispered “Get down someone is here”. We both crouched down, as we did Jane lost her balance and landed on her backside. We were now on our knees peering over the tops of the corn thinking that we may have been spotted by the farmer or a passing car that may have reported us to the Police. My ears heard nothing and started to accuse Jane of her mind playing tricks on her.

THEN a burst of white light spread across the sky and we both ducked expecting a lightning bolt to follow – but again – nothing. As we raised our heads a very moist and almost hot breeze flowed through the corn. The content of the moisture must have been quite high as our skin and clothing became very damp quickly. Then we heard a  muffled thud behind us as if something hard hit the ground, again we ducked. I placed my finger on Jane’s lips and made hand signals to stay down. At this point Jane became very frightened and I sensed her fear as she grabbed my hand and held it tightly. I whispered to her “ we need to get out of here NOW” . Just as I was about to stand up we both heard some kind of whirring noise which became louder indicating that it was getting closer to us. Jane almost screamed as the noise was almost a few feet behind us. My fear was of concern for Jane rather than myself and then my instinct was to have a look!!!!!! . I waited till the noise got further away from us and then I stood up. My heart was thumping – Jane started crawling on all fours along the tramline, once again the noise was getting louder and louder. I had anticipated whatever it was to be in front of me but it came like a bat out of hell on my left. The object was no more than 2 to 3ft in front of me – I stepped back thinking it was going to hit me and I lost my balance hitting the ground hard with my elbow. Sharp pain went through my arm. My first reaction was where is Jane and tried to switch on my torch but all I got was a faint glow. This time I shouted out loud “Jane are you ok” Jane responded by a loud “Yes”.. I stood up again and started to take slow steps backwards. This object was round in shape a large disc to be more precise with a distinctive faint orange glow around outer rim. It passed me in the upright position but its height was no more than the height of the corn itself. As I was walking backwards I saw the object briefly for the last time but this time it appeared to be going up and down as if it changed its position from upright to flat. As the field slopes down, eventually I lost all sight of it but could still hear faint sounds of hissing and whirring in the distance. I finally came out of the field to find Jane sitting on the ground crying and shaking. We finally made our way back to the car and I think we were both in shock as we sat in silence and made no attempt to drive away. Daylight started to peak through on the horizon and its only then when I placed the key in the ignition and we drove home very slowly as my arm was still pulsating pain.

When we returned  home we both embraced and cried, why Im not sure! Perhaps it was a sense of just being alive. Sounds very dramatic doesn’t it, but I can assure you it was.

After a short sleep we discussed the entire experience and hoped that it was just a dream but it was not to be as we had a few reminders, the metallic taste in our mouths, clothing smelt of harvested corn, grazed knees a swollen elbow and memories of nightmare rather than something beautiful. We lost all sense of time from the time we stepped out the car..

What we experienced on this night I can truly say that whoever or whatever the crop circle makers are – they were not shy in hiding their machinery, technology and ability.

I state the term machinery as this object behaved as a machine which had maneuverability and agility. Where it came from or what controlled it – its something myself and my wife can only speculate and ponder on.. I cannot say to you its alien simply because I don’t know what it was.  In fact it would be wise for me to warn any would be watchers who may wish to sit in or enter fields in the dead of night. Please be cautious especially if any of the signs which I have described are visible to you.

We had an experience which we didn’t go and look for – an experience which has changed our views and possibly our life. We will no longer be adventurous, our days of youthful courage disappeared in matter of minutes. I wrote this statement not because we want attention and limelight, far from it, I simply needed to write a record of what we experienced. We are both OAPs and we don’t need anyone to ridicule and make comments which I'm sure would be of distressing nature to me and my wife.. How you treat this statement is entirely up to you. 

Added section – 2 days later 

As we do not have Internet connection I was curious what was created in South Field and decided to drive to the field to see for myself, my wife Jane decided to stay at home on this occasion.

I retraced my steps to the best of my memory. On the night in question we parked the car in the middle opening to South Field ( Not the first main entrance). The tramline we walked on was the fifth from the main entry to the field. I walked along the tramline until I reached the first part of the flattened corn. At first I couldn’t make any sense of the formation until a tourist showed me a printout of the full formation from above. After seeing the image I can tell you the exact point where the object shot passed me. We stood exactly at the point of the first swallows tip (beak) nearest to the tramline. I didn’t stay long as there was a feeling of being watched by a presence I could not see. 


Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike


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