CLOSE ENCOUNTER AT THE SHAMROCK CAFE
Special Report by Keith Beabey and Pippa Sibley
Strange red and white lights hovered overhead as three women drove home from their weekly night out. Mysteriously, their car came to a halt outside the Shamrock Cafe on the A5 in Shropshire, though the driver had her foot hard down on the accelerator.
Then the lights suddenly vanished and the trio rushed excitedly to a nearby police station, where they reported a close encounter with a UFO.
But that was when they noticed something even stranger had happened. The drive to the police station should have taken five minutes. Instead, it took twenty-five. Only now, with the help of hypnosis under the strictest supervision, has an explanation been found for those missing twenty minutes. And it is amazing.
Each of the women has independently told the same story -- that they did indeed have a close encounter, far closer than they first imagined. For each says she was taken aboard a spacecraft, examined by alien beings and then released.
None of the three had been drinking on that fateful Thursday night. They had all stuck to Coca-Cola. But, although hypnotized separately, they each describe the spaceship and its inhabitants the same way.
They say the ship was steel, circular and brightly lit. They speak of 4 ft tall aliens dressed in green, and imitated the spacemen's distinctive gruff voices.
And they have each made similar drawings of what the ship looked like. The News of the World has videotape recordings of the women reliving their astonishing lost moments. And a panel of expert witnesses, including doctors, a lawyer and a police chief, have also been present during the hypnosis sessions, which are still going on. All the experts are convinced that the women's claims are genuine. The police chief, Det. Chief Inspector Norman Collinson of Manchester's fraud squad, says: "I am perfectly satisfied that this is not a hoax."
And one of the medical men, Dr. Albert Kellar, says that under hypnosis one of the women's pulse rate and blood pressure shot up. "These conditions cannot be simulated." he says. "Whatever happened to her was real."
The three women all live on the outskirts of Telford in Shropshire. They are pretty blonde divorcee Rosemary Hawkins, 27, a mother of three, and her housewife friends Valerie Walters, 26 and Viv Hayward, 27.
Most Thursdays they would go off in Viv's Avenger saloon to Tiffany's disco in Shrewsbury, for a "girls night out" with their menfolk's blessing.
And it was while they were returning from there in the early hours of the morning near the tiny hamlet of Atcham, that they first saw hovering lights.
Rosemary tells what they remember before hypnosis. She says: "I opened the car window to get a better look. "The lights hovered -- four white and two red -- about 200 feet. "The lights became blinding. There was no noise. By then I looked at my watch." It was 2 a.m. and the trio should have been five minutes from home. Rosemary says: "It became obvious we were looking at a flying saucer - a UFO. It followed us along the road.
"We were very frightened. Viv tried putting her foot down but it was as if the brakes were on." Instead of roaring along the deserted road home, the car was almost at a standstill when it reached the Shamrock Cafe in the shadow of The Wrekin hill.
"Then the lights dimmed and the craft disappeared" says Rosemary, "We were so excited we drove straight to Telford police station."
They arrived at ten minutes to three and their sighting was logged. But the trio couldn't account for that missing 20 minutes.
Then they were contacted by UFO expert, Mr. Harold Harris, a lawyer, and agreed to be hypnotized.
Three Manchester medical men undertook the hypnosis - Dr. Joseph Jaffe, Dr. Leslie Davies and Dr. Albert Kellar.
Each of the women was interviewed separately in the presence of witnesses, with most of the questions being put by Mr. Harris, the lawyer.
This is Rosemary's version of events under hypnosis: "Bright lights. White tinged with yellow and red. So strange it's there. No sound. "We are so frightened. The lights are attached to a spacecraft of some kind.
"I am floating and I'm not in the car any more with Viv or Val, I feel big and bloated. It is a semicircular room. I'm on a bed in the room, like a long table on a stand. There's something coming. I can hear them. Something is in the room. It's metal. It doesn't walk -- it sort of rolls on wheels.
"It's about four feet tall, round on the top with a round body and round legs.
"It's looking at me. There's more coming. It's the same noise. There are four. They are around me. "They haven't got a face. Their heads move up and down. That's how I know they are talking about me. "They don't seem to be nasty. They just want to have a look. I feel so relaxed and they feel friendly, I like them.
She adds: "I am floating again. I can see the car. Everything has gone black. I'm in the car now. Val and Viv are there with me. Viv's got her foot down hard on the accelerator. We are trying to get away from it."
Rosemary's friend, former nurse Mrs. Viv Heyward, says under hypnosis that she had been driving the car but it was suddenly taken from her control.
"I feel I'm floating," she says. "I'm being drawn up. The car is being taken up." Sobbing, she adds: "I can't see the road any more. I see a white cloud. I'm on my own. I can see the door of the UFO open. It is round. I'm looking through the car window. The car roof is going in first. It's like two big doors opening. It's made of steel."
Inside the craft she describes windows, the lights, and a bank of computers with TV screens. She says: "I can feel these aliens holding me down. They seem as though they have taken me out of the car. I'm in a chair. They're holding me down. They feel very strong. They are trying to find out things from me. They want to know how we're made. It feels as if they are taking something from my body. My legs. There is a lot of pain in my legs. They are putting their hands inside my legs and pulling my bones. They are telling me not to be frightened." In a gruff voice she imitates how the aliens spoke to her.
"Somebody in charge is talking to me. I feel that they are hurting me. They seem to release their grips but I can't move. They have scanned me. My top half and then the rest of my body.
"They carry me to my car. The car is back on the road."
Asked to describe the creatures, she says: "They are four feet tall. They have no hair. They are ugly. They have a strange looking nose: thin arms. I can't see their legs. They are dressed in green cloaks. They look like men."
Valerie Walters, the third girl on the mystery trip, says: "I can see the lights. It's hovering and gliding towards us. There's a bright light in my head and I feel big and clumsy. I'm walking down the road looking for Rosemary."
Then she cries out and says: "Somebody has touched me on my shoulder. Somebody is carrying me. I can feel them but I can't see them. I hear voices. They seem to be telling me: 'don't be afraid.'"
Back at home, Rosemary says: "That night will live with me for the rest of my life. And the hypnotic sessions are not over. I have to tell more with the doctor's guidance. It seems the aliens were waiting for us three because we are so different in our personalities and outlooks.
"I know people may laugh. But we know what happened and we're telling the truth."
Her friend Val says: "I know from what happened to me that beings from another planet have been here and I'm proud they chose me to visit."
The aliens that Valerie met were like those seen by her friend Viv - but Valerie also saw a female alien. Val says: "I told the doctor and the experts I'd seen a man and a womanlike creature dressed in long, green robes. The woman was fascinated by my shoes. She took them off me and tried walking in them. She had bare feet. The creatures kept feeling my clothes and my hair. I wasn't afraid of them, but was frightened of what was happening."
Article written in 1983.