UFOs giving town a miss
It is 50 years ago today that a 19 old woman sparked the biggest UFO search that Rochale has ever known.
When Gwynneth Fitton reported seeing a circular object with a light suspended underneath hovering above moors in Wardle, the story became the centre of a national controversy.
But despite Rochdale's alleged close encounters with unidentified flying objects there have been no recent sightings in the borough.
Freedon of Information Act powers have revealed that there were two sightings in Manchester in the past year. Three silver UFOs were reportedly hovering above Chorlton and an orange ball was spotted high above Irlam.
Others were reported In the North West hovering bright lights in Crewe and a spinning object in Macclesfield -and there were more sightings nationally including an oblong shape that looked a bit like a scooter over Stevenage in Bedfordshire.
But the ministry of defence UFO section which keeps records of reports and analyses many of them in detail, has recorded none in Rochdale.
Defence officials keep a close eye on reported sightings of UFOs because of the implications for national security.
Flollowing the Wardle incident of 1951, local MP Tony Leavey demanded to know in parliament if the Air Ministry had been releasing objects which are normally described as flying saucers.
A ministry of defense investigator quizzed five witnesses in the village including Mrs Fitton, and warned them to keep quiet about his visit.
Inquiries into the strange occurrence came to an abrupt halt when a top man from the ministry of defence read the Official Secrets Act to Observer staff.