The Ilkley Moor (Philip Spencer) Alien Abduction


In the early morning of Tuesday, December 1, 1987, Philip Spencer an ex-big city policeman, recently moved to the Ilkley area of West Yorkshire in deference to his wife’s wishes, set out southward across Ilkley Moor equipped with a compass for navigation and a camera (
he was apparently hoping to catch on film some of the strange anomalies that the off time spooky moor is noted for while on the way to visit his father-in-law in East Morton).

Within minutes he was surrounded by a cold, damp Yorkshire fog, the mist itself almost a living thing and it was through a parting of the mist that he allegedly first glimpsed the alien, a diminutive being waving at him as though telling him to leave. At this time Spencer remembering his camera took a shot, then yelled, the creature as though startled moving out of site. A few moments later it was the policeman’s turn to be startled as a strange craft looking like two saucers stuck top to bottom with a domed top lifted off from behind an outcrop and with a loud humming sound disappeared skyward. 

Unsure of what had just happened and perhaps doubting his sanity Spencer decided to call off the visit to his in-laws and head instead for the nearby village of Menston a thirty minute walk. On the way he noticed the needle on his compass now pointed south instead of north and upon arrival that the church clock indicated the time to be 10:00 a.m., not the 8:15 a.m. which by his reckoning it should have been.

Thoroughly confused and needing confirmation of what he had just seen he decided to head to Keighley and get the film in his camera developed. A short time later he was looking at what appeared to be an image of a four foot creature with long arms and bluish green skin. An analysis of the photograph by Kodak laboratories in Hemel Hempstead, revealed that as far as they could tell it had not been doctored in any way. The photo was then sent to the United States and computer enhanced, the results inconclusive.


As for Spencer, he purportedly began to have strange dreams. Having already contacted Peter Hough, [1] a UFO investigator, he now agreed to undergo regressive hypnosis, the gist of which was that he had been abducted, given some sort of examination, a tour of the spacecraft and a quick trip into orbit after which he viewed some videos (the first concerning a future apocalypse, the second he was forbidden to talk about) before being returned to the moor unharmed, the snapshot apparently taking place after the abduction, the creature waving goodbye.

Was the event a hoax? The answer depends greatly on the character of the only witness:

Spencer was a policeman with a solid background whose story over time has never changed.

When looking for clarity a foggy moor is not the best place to take a photograph. (The alien picture was extremely blurry, its authenticity debatable.)

No photographs of the spacecraft, more difficult to fake, were ever taken (interior or exterior).

Spencer never received any money either from the story or the picture, copyright privileges (allegedly)
being signed over to Peter Hough.


[1] Hough was instrumental in the investigation of Spencer’s abduction the two eventually becoming fast friends.





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