High Wycombe UFO: The Tale of William Robert Loosley

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High Wycombe UFO? EDDIE BRAZIL scans the night sky in search of extra terrestrial life, and finds flying saucers over the Chiltern Hills

High Wycombe UFO: The Tale of William Robert Loosley 1

One night in October,1871, William Robert Loosley, a High Wycombe businessman, was standing in his garden to get some fresh air after waking with a slight fever.

The time was 3am and when looking at the sky, he saw what he thought was a star which seemed as if it was falling to earth with a great roar.

In shock, he realised that the plummeting light was not a star but some kind of craft whose trajectory would bring it down on Plomer Hill in Downley, west of the town centre.

The object disappeared from sight within the dark folds of the hills, but Loosley did not hear any sound of an impact.

The following day he set out to find evidence of the craft which surely must have crashed to Earth.

Loosley discovers ‘unusually shaped metal objects’

On reaching the site, Loosley found no sign of debris or evidence of any resulting fire, but did discover two unusually shaped metal objects that moved by themselves and made whizzing and whirring sounds.

He says that they shone purple lights in to his eyes where upon he could see amazing futuristic visions, including ghostly images of himself.

Terrified, he fled the scene back to his home.

Although Loosley was totally shocked by what he had experienced he nonetheless felt compelled to write down an account of the incident: “An account of a meeting with denizens from another world.” 

However, he was also aware that if knowledge of what he saw was made public, he would be ridiculed and his reputation ruined. So he decided to hide his written account of what we would today call a UFO in a secret draw of a desk.

And there it lay for a century before being discovered by his Great-Great-Granddaughter, Edith Salter.

Mrs Salter passed the written account of the UFO on to the science journalist, and science-fiction writer, David Langford, who was given permission to publish it in a book he was writing on flying saucers.

Langford was nonetheless worried almost as much as Loosley that the account of the UFO would be debunked as the madness of a crank.

He needn’t have worried, for when the book was published in 1979, Loosley’s story entered in to flying saucer lore as an amazing and detailed account of what could only be explained as an alien visitation.

And yet there was a problem: The truth of the matter is that the whole story was a fraud perpetrated by Langford as a practical joke played on believers and lovers of UFOs.

High Wycombe UFO tale was a hoax

What is fascinating about Langford’s hoodwink is that he chose to use an obscure High Wycombe business man as central to his charade.

He goes as far as acknowledging Loosley’s Great-Great-Granddaughter for her help, and also includes photos of Loosley’s grave in Wycombe cemetery, and one of his shop on Oxford road taken in the 1880s, to lend substance to his story.

Strangely, the incident is still considered by uninformed authors as a true, first-hand account of a UFO sighting.

However, despite the hoax, Langford’s story might not be the hood wink he claimed to have orchestrated.

In recent years there have been a number of reported sightings of UFOs in the High Wycombe and Thames Valley area, many of which were looked in to by the areas police force. 

Perhaps the most remarkable occurred in December 2022 when several people reported two bright lights appearing in the sky over the town.

They seemed to remain motionless for 20 minutes before moving off or dispersing.

It is interesting to note that the lights appeared above the Downley area of the town. The same location that Franklin reported William Robert Loosley saw his UFOs.

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