If you went down to the woods that day, you were sure of an out-of-this-world surprise – a strange green light darting through West Harling woods accompanied by a feeling of dread.
This area of Norfolk is filled with ancient secrets.
Created by melting glaciers, the landscape attracted early prehistoric people thanks to a water supply from the River Thet, forest cover, wildlife, and the opportunity to use the rich abundance of flint for tools.
Burial mounds have been found here as has the site of two early iron-age round houses with a well-defined ditch and bank enclosures at Micklemoor Hill.
In July 2014, five friends were using metal detectors on this spot at around 11 pm (always check you have permission to detect on land you do not own) when their attention was drawn from the ground to the woodland in front of them.
There between the trees was a glowing turquoise green which swiftly moved through the woodland at great speeds, darting at strange angles and moving soundlessly.
As the friends watched, they noted that the light never wavered, but stayed resolutely bright and moved too fast to be either a torch or a laser.
All felt a wave of dreadful unease engulf them as they watched.
After just a few minutes, they decided they’d seen enough and ran away towards lights of a more welcoming nature.
In 2008 there had been reports of more strange lights in the sky, namely a beam of light darting from side to side in the sky for 10 minutes just a mile from where the friends had seen the unnerving glow.
A witness in East Harling said: “I saw a light going across the sky from left to right repeatedly. It was kind of spooky as the sky ahead of me was very dark so this showed up as a white spot of light. My son also saw it from the recreation ground across the fields.”
Norfolk UFO Society committee member John Sayer, who has been researching UFOs for nearly 40 years, told the Diss Express that it sounded like an unusual sighting.
“That is not a very common description. People usually talk about a ball of light or a visible craft of some kind so this is quite unique.”
Sarah Cubley of East Harling added: “I too saw the lights in East Harling. It was about 11 pm on Friday, when my niece Chloe Breeze, rung me all excited, to say that, traveling home from New Buckenham, with her parents, they saw the lights and they seemed to follow them back to East Harling.
“I went out into my back garden and standing on my picnic bench, I could see the lights.”
Another witness added: “We too saw lights in the sky over Thetford on Friday 4th July. It was at 11.15 pm and went on for approximately 25 minutes.
“It was a white beam that went from right to left in a wave effect, then from left to right. Very strange and nothing that we have ever seen before.
“We contacted our neighbors, a retired American from the USAF and his wife and they also saw the lights. It was not a beam from the ground but a strong beam from above the clouds.
“There was no noise and it was not an aircraft or helicopter.
“On Monday my wife mentioned the strange experience to her colleagues in her office and was advised that some of them had also experienced the lights over Old Buckenham and Kenninghall at the same time about 11.30 pm.
“Since then several other people have confirmed they also saw them. Very strange.”