SHU Researchers involved in recent mass UFO sighting at Todmorden, Yorks

On Saturday 11th May 2024 SHU researchers Dr David Clarke (CMS) and Andrew Robinson (A&D) hosted an event at the Centre for Folklore, Myth and Magic in Todmorden to a sold-out audience of over 50 people where they introduced who their research into visual representations and public perceptions of UFOs and UAPs (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena).

Dr David Clarke (R) and Andrew Robinson (L) outside the Folklore Centre

The research, titled ‘In The Eye Of The Beholder’ explores the role of images in the creation of folkloric narratives and visual rumour legends through the sharing of the complex and intertwining narratives that surround reports of UAPs and UFOs. As part of the event attendees took part in a drawing exercise providing the researchers with more than 40 different visualisations of UFOs for use in their creation of a taxonomy of UFOs as part of their study which will ultimately lead to research publications, exhibitions and further public engagement.

Images produced by participants at the event including work by Kate Lyall (centre top), Britta (top right), and Paul Weatherhead (bottom right).


As part of their presentation Senior Lecturer in Photography Andrew Robinson introduced a number of  photographs that were used to provide evidence of classic U.K. sightings of UFOs but have since been shown to have been staged. This was accompanied with a demonstration of how this might have been achieved resulting in a mass sighting of UFOs within the venue (pictured above).


Part of the exhibition of visual artefacts and MoD documents on display at the Folklore Centre (A Robinson).

To accompany the talk Andrew also curated an exhibition of photographs and artefacts from his and David’s personal archives of UFO imagery and artefacts alongside with facsimile copies of previously top secret Ministry of Defence documents now available from the National Archives.

The research project will continue with a virtual presentation at ‘In The Cloud of Unknowing: Encounters with UFOs’ being hosted at Midred’s Lane Arts Complex in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania in July of this year (more details here) and a further participatory even at the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies in London in November.