Cop has passion in UFOs
BY day detective Gary Heseltine tracks down murderers and muggers just like any other cop but by night he scours the skies and the information superhighway for signs of other life.
For the Crofton-based transport policeman is the new editor of UFOmonthly.com.
Det Con Heseltine, 45, has been running the internet-based magazine for 16 issues and the dad-of-two also supervises the PRUFOS database, where policemen list their close encounters with unidentified flying objects.
His quest to discover whether UFOs exist was sparked by his own sighting in Scunthorpe 30 years ago. He was 15 and was taking his then girlfriend home when they became aware of a moving bright white light, which was much bigger than the stars. The object seemed to be causing power cuts to homes under its flight path.
Mr Heseltine got home just before the craft glided over his parents home. He said: “I ran into the front room and my parents were having a cup of tea. I said, ‘you are not going to believe this, but I think there is a light and it may cause a power cut’. They looked at me bemused.”
They ignored his pleas to go outside and witness the phenomenon. The wild-eyed teenager’s prediction came true – there was a blackout.
He said: “That inspired my lifelong interest in UFOs.”
Mr Heseltine said his sighting was a few years before the film Close Encounters of The Third Kind so there wasn’t the wealth of literature on the subject that you can find nowadays.
But he did find Major Donald Keyhoe’s Flying Saucers from Outer Space. He was impressed by accounts from “high calibre” witnesses like pilots – whom people entrust their lives to every time they board a plane.
After a stint in the RAF police, he joined the transport police in 1989. He had no more close encounters until August 1999 when he saw a UFO from his back garden in Crofton. He saw a triangle of three lights but his RAF experience and the flying formation told him these were no earth-based pilots.
Mr Heseltine felt a sense of frustration that sightings weren’t being treated properly by the media. He said opinion polls have shown that 80 to 90 per cent of people believe UFOs are real, but those beliefs aren’t shared by the sceptical press.
His interest in the subject was strengthened after spotting UFO Magazine on the newsstand. He got involved and became a guest writer on it, after setting up the police reporting of UFO sightings database PRUFOS on the hobbies section of the transport police’s intranet site.
Since 2001 he has had 122 cases, going back to 1950, involving 302 on and off duty British police officers.
He said: “My original aim was to create a body of evidence from people I believed were credible, who would add weight to the positive story that there really was something to the subject.”
One of the cases on the database is from 1978, when two officers spotted a brilliant light over Buckinghamshire. It states: “The object was travelling at a slow speed at an altitude of 500 feet. No noise was heard. The light was described as the size of a football field.
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