An obscure UFO hoax that captivated a town in England back in 1957 is now being celebrated by way of a monument dedicated to the elaborate stunt. Sixty-one years ago, residents of Biggleswade, England report seeing mysterious flashing lights in the sky. With flying saucer fever gripping much of the western world, many suspected that the eerie anomalies came from another world and even the UK government began investigating the strange spate of sightings.
However, after a relatively short period of time, a rather eccentric inventor named Frank A Russell stepped forward to reveal that he had been behind the oddities spotted by so many people. He subsequently explained that the 'UFO' was, in fact, a piece of a jet fuel tank attached to a weather balloon and designed to look like a flying saucer. Once the mystery was solved, Russell's story was largely relegated to the dustbin of history and, if remembered at all, looked at as a quaint example of how speculation surrounding the UFO phenomenon had gripped so many people during the 1950's.
The hoax would have likely continued being forgotten were it not for a group of friends who stumbled upon the tale a few years ago and decided to pay tribute to Russell and his DIY flying saucer. David Appleyard told a UK newspaper that, after considerable searching, they were able to find a airliner piece similar to the one that Russell had used back in 1957. They then, presumably with the permission of town officials, placed the conical object in a busy part of Biggleswade, where it no doubt has already caught the attention of a number of curious onlookers.
Should they approach the makeshift monument, they'll see that there is a plaque attached to the piece which tells the story of Russell's odd flight. "Frank wasn’t pranking people for the sake of it," one member of the group behind the project mused, "he wanted to make people talk and we want to do something similar. It’s a celebration of imagination." While one can appreciate that perspective on the somewhat historical UFO case, let's just hope that the monument doesn't serve as inspiration for modern hoaxers looking to leave their mark in the minds of unwitting witnesses today.
New monument pays tribute to little known Biggleswade UFO hoax— Dan Mountney (@JournoDanM) June 6, 2018
“He wanted to make people talk and we want to do something similar. It’s a celebration of imagination.”https://t.co/cp0BRblNZB pic.twitter.com/jH7f1raG1c