This experience can be found in a letter to the editor of the Todmorden Advertiser from 1932, and is perhaps the strangest of the pre-saucer era sightings I uncovered in researching Weird Calderdale. It is signed ‘Old Lydgatian’ and is reproduced below in full.
A CURIOUS PHENOMENON
“Sir,- One day this year, in about the third week in September, I was witness of a curious phenomenon. As I was walking the Royd hills in the cool of evening I happened to lift up my eyes unto the hills (somewhere in the direction of Orchan Rocks), and to my intense surprise I saw, hanging in the heavens a glorious globe of green. This object was semi-transparent, and moving from North to South (i.e., from right to left) at a high pace, emitting a high-pitched whistle as it went. When it was – as far as I could judge – directly over an historic monument known as Stoodley Pike, it suddenly changed from green to yellow, and from yellow through all the remaining longer wave length colours of the spectrum. When it had reached a fiery glowing red, it hung for a moment motionless, and suddenly faded away as a tale that is told.
Could any of your readers give me an explanation of such a curious – shall I say – manifestation?”[i]
None of the paper’s readers could explain this strange sighting, but it goes to show that strange things have been witnessed in the skies above Todmorden and its neighbouring towns for a long time.
[i] Todmorden Advertiser 18 December 1931