Sometimes, fascinating ‘small’ stories can materialise out of nowhere, many decades after the event. For UFO researcher, Richard D. Hall, this occurred in Sept 2008 when advertising a presentation about UFOs and aliens that he was due to give at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead, Newcastle, in the UK. The details of the case seem ridiculous, but the witness himself is an amiable, matter-of-fact individual with no outward reason to lie about an event that stretches back to the Spring of 1940 – even before Foo-Fighters, the ‘Invasion of LA’, Ken Arnold and the Roswell mess. That alone makes this a fascinating abduction story.
“Well, I’ve seen them,” said an emphatic Robert Hall (above, no relation to Richard D. Hall) in a telephone call. He was 5-years-old in 1940 when, with a friend, he witnessed a UFO appear from behind an “invisible barrier” in his street in Bensham. Both boys were allegedly abducted and examined by “horrible creatures”. Robert’s uncle, Ernie, a coal merchant who lived in the next street, also witnessed one of the occupants.
Robert claimed he’d been ridiculed since 1940, and was initially reluctant to go into detail again. He’d previously spoken to researcher Gary Heseltine in 2003, the latter informing Richard Hall that, in person, Robert seemed entirely genuine. Sadly, his uncle Ernie’s senile dementia made him an unreliable witness, but Robert’s sister, Rhoda (aged 7 in 1940), without prompting from Heseltine, remembered seeing scientists in the area days after the event, as well as a reporter from The Chronicle ‘threatening’ Robert to tell his story. It seemed that something strange had definitely occurred, and a subsequent interview with Richard Hall helped to flesh out this bizarre tale.
Robert was a maverick child, rebellious but kind and helpful, too. One morning in 1940 when he and a friend were watching an endless array of marching soldiers, he spotted an extremely bright light zig-zagging across the sky. Bored of the marches, they later made their way home and came across a curious sight in their street:
You know when you look through a fire, and it’s wobbly? Well, that seemed to be their barrier. All you could see was the railway, because we didn’t see it till you got through, like a barrier. And we ran into these horrible creatures. Now, they seemed to be pleased because they had put something at each side of the wall, and if you were too tall it affected you, or something.
The creatures grabbed hold of both boys, Robert describing 18 or 19 beings: one very tall one resembled “Bigfoot”; some were 4-foot-tall ‘grey’ types; one seemed to wear a “diver’s mask”; and another was a tall, blond, long-haired “very good looking bloke… he had a kind of robe on”. Agreeing to be examined, Robert went into the egg-shaped craft measuring 12 to 14 feet, which was now located in a back lane.
Incidentally, abduction researcher Derrel Simms had collated the following illustrations of reported alien abductors – curiously similar to Robert Hall’s descriptions:
He took me through into there, examined me, took some blood out of the back of my neck, and he said, “If you ever lift your head up, you will be killed instantly”. And I was petrified, I was nearly peeing myself. They examined me, they brought me out and they were as pleased as punch with me, but I was really bad, I tell you, I was shaking, and I stood beside these other creatures who were like men, but the tallest one was about 4-foot, and they went down to about 2-foot. There were three of them.
Now outside the craft while standing beside these small “men”, Robert saw some nearby girls hysterical with fear, and a large black dog appeared to threaten them until Robert grabbed a thing off the belt of one of the ‘short men’ and pointed it at the mutt, which instantly became docile. Curiously, he also saw a woman exit the craft holding a baby. Urged to escape by his friend, Robert ran towards the local paper shop, meeting soldiers on the way…
I said to the soldiers, “There’s some horrible creatures down the lane. “Ohhhh,” he says, “it’s children having a game, man”. I said, “Look at the marks on my face, man. It isn’t!” Of course the officer said, “Come on, there’s a pistol, go round the corner”, making himself look big, and when he saw what went on, he fired the pistol. All hell broke loose.
People began running everywhere, the craft having raised high into the sky by then. Robert has always wondered how all the creatures managed to fit into such a small craft, and also believes hundreds of other people must have seen it.
His parents didn’t believe this wild tale, telling him to keep it to himself, but three days later, events took on a very strange turn indeed. The next morning, on the way to the paper shop, Robert claims a “grey” chased him up the back lane, and as he screamed, his uncle Ernie…
… smashed its head in with a shovel. He says, “I’ve never seen anything like it. Get Sergeant Brooks on Saltwell Road”… And Sergeant Brooks comes along and I says, “He’s killed it, he’s killed it!” He says, “Killed what?” and he went for his truncheon; he had his old-fashioned police mac on and he came round the corner… he crossed himself and said, “By God, I’ve never seen anything like it!” They put it in a coal sack, and pulled it into the back yard. The coal place is still there to this day – they pulled it into there.
The copper told Robert to go home but he refused, protesting “There is your proof!” Twenty minutes later, a vehicle took the body to a secret location half a mile away, underneath St Cuthbert’s Church where it was stored for three months in a small chamber. The next day, men in white overalls carrying little suitcases searched all the houses in the street; indeed, professors, scientists from Edinburgh and London investigators came to Robert’s home, much to his father’s chagrin.