Warminster is located in south-west Wiltshire, near to the Somerset border. The town is surrounded by six hills, providing shelter and security for earl settlers. The area is made up of chalk, which provides good drainage to the nearby River Wylye, providing plenty of arable and pasturable land near to the village. The Wylye is a tributary of the River Avon. Warminster is also close to Selwood Forest.[5]

More recent additions have been the Warminster Sports Centre run by Wiltshire Council,[17] the Warminster Running Club,[18] and the Warminster Adventure Sports Club.[19]

UFO investigator Matt Lyons described how many motorists in the Warminster area had reported their cars failing following a UFO sighting or hearing strange noises.

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In 1907, a committee was put together to advertise the town, creating a town guide and advertising in national publications. Unfortunately the committee could not come to an agreement with Lord Bath over the location of a new hotel. Between 1937 and 1961, a military presences formed at Warminster, with the addition of camps, a permanent Barracks at Battlesbury, married quarters and workshops for vehicle repairs.[3]

The town had a large amount of accommodation for visitors to the market, and in 1686 it was ranked fourth for number of places to stay in Wiltshire, with 116 beds. By 1710 there were approximately fifty inns and alehouses in the town. The town was an early adopter of the Turnpikes Act to improve the roads around the town. Unlike many roads improved at the time which would link to towns, Warminster chose to improve seven roads around the town, all under three miles long.[3]

“They flew over the top of the hill and Battlesbury Barracks where they stopped and hung there for about a minute.

Breaking his near 40-year silence on the matter, he produced a painting at the conference that he claims records his UFO experience in the town in the mid-1970s.

The town was significantly redesigned in after 1807 when George Wansey, who was from a family of clothiers in Warminster, left £1,000 (equivalent to £71,775 in 2015) to improve the town, provided it could be matched by fundraising. The money was spent on demolishing houses to widen roads, allowing for new houses to be built. In 1851, a railway line from West[3]

The interest - and mass sightings - continued into the 1970s and up to 1980.

Mike Thompson, former member of staff and honorary OV takes on a mammoth bike ride. — Read more

*August 25 1975: A serviceman driving near Warminster reported to a police patrol that his car malfunctioned after seeing a bright-red light in the sky 

There were also reports of strange sounds killing flocks of pigeons that year, as had also been claimed 12 months previously in 1964.

He added: "I told my colleagues at work and they just laughed at me, so I never told anyone else and I was never interviewed about it." 

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Another of those hoping they would finally get an answer for the outbreak of unexplained events in Warminster was army veteran Doug Stewart.

The town is served by the Warminster Community Hospital, under the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,[24] although the hospital does not include an Accident and Emergency department, the nearest is at the Royal United Hospital in Bath[25] while ambulances are from the South Western Ambulance Service.[26] The town comes under Wiltshire Police's jurisdiction,[27] and its retained firefighters are provided by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service[28]

Several seasoned UFO researchers, who descended on Warminster throughout the 1960s and 70s, spoke at the conference.

As Warminster is in an area of fertile land, much of its early economy was through farming, especially corn. William Daniell commented in 1879 that Warminster lay 'in the midst of a fine corn-country', and Warminster's market provided the backbone of the economy through the 16th to 19th centuries. Alongside corn, wool and clothing were traded and there were a number of maltings in the town.[3]

Whatever happened, the conference revealed there is still interest within Warminster over solving the mystery.

“Then one shot out of the sky at a 90 degree angle at great speed before it was followed a minute or two later by the other three."

*August 20 1965: A couple on a motorcycle felt it stall as two white spheres of light hovered overhead, changing colour

Warminster (/ˈwɔːrmɪnstər/) is a town and civil parish in western Wiltshire, England, by-passed by the A36 (between Salisbury and Bath) and the partly concurrent A350 between Westbury and Blandford Forum. It has a population of about 17,000. The River Were runs through the town and can be seen running through the middle of the town park. The Minster Church of St Denys sits on the River Were. The name Warminster first occurs in the early 10th century.[2]

After the 1965 public meeting received national then international media interest the town became a gathering point for UFO hunters and investigators, with a series of books also written about the mystery.

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He revealed previously unseen files documenting the accounts of witnesses whose cars were affected in and around Warminster.

A group are now planning more "sky watches" from Cradle Hill in the hope of finally discovering the identity of the 'Warminster Thing'.

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The Warminster case is one of the strangest cases of mass paranormal sightings cases registered in the UK.

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*Approx. 1967: A businessman driving past Clay Hill felt his car become hot and heard a high-pitched noise before the engine failed. He got out and saw a glowing white disc overhead before it sped off.

Half-a-century on from the bizarre year of 1965, a conference was held in Warminster on Saturday at the Old Bell Hotel to mark 50 years of the mystery.


During the 20th century, the economy became more dependent on the Army and associated service industries, but other new businesses came into the area, such as chicken rearing, banana ripening and shoe component manufacture. During the late 20th century and early 21st century, the leisure industry has grown in Warminster, with Longleat and Center Parcs Longleat Forest being significant employers.[5]

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*September 7 1965, 8pm: Major William Hill's car cut out and was "shaken by air vibrations". He got out and heard a whining, crackling noise.

Most of the sightings were around the Cradle Hill and Clay Hill areas surrounding the town next to military land on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

They included metallic orbs, lights, cigar and saucer-shaped UFOs, plus droning and whizzing noises.

Kevin Goodman, another UFO enthusiast who spent prolonged periods in the 1970s investigating the Warminster mystery, later wrote the book 'Cradle of Contact' about his and other researchers' experiences.

At Cradle Hill in Easter 1977 he saw something that left his jaw hanging.