Provoked by my inner curiosity into the UFO scene in the United Kingdom, A Hand Shake with a Martian is a personal investigation into the British UFO phenomena. I embark on a journey that takes me across the UK to try and understand what has occurred. Supported by official declassified documents, this project is a photographic response to my journey. I meet the people who believe in and research ufos, as well as visit the locations where these famous sightings happened.
I had spent several months exploring the ufo phenomena in the UK as part of my graduate project for university, however I was having difficulty finding the people who studied them. My journey led me to Birmingham to meet a former police officer and researcher named John. He told me about Britain’s most famous ufo event at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk and a group of people who believe in the existence of ufos who live nearby. The images form this location are the ones I am submitting.
I visited Suffolk and the Site of the apparent ufo event. This happened directly opposite an old USAF base at RAF Woodbridge and next to another, RAF Bentwaters. Both of which, stored American Nuclear weapons during the Cold War. In 1980 a series of unexplained lights were witnessed opposite Raf Woodbridge, sparking one off the most famous ufo coverups and events the world has ever seen. (Supposedly)
John had arranged for me to meet a man called Derek. Derek knows everything about the event and was my guide for the weekend. He is what is known as a medium. Mediums are people who believe in the existence of spirits, extraterrestrial life, ghosts and other paranormal entities. Derek claims he had arranged to shake hands with a Martian, thus giving birth to my title: A Handshake with a Martian. Not only this, he says he has been escorted out of the forest by shadow guards, and has been assaulted by spirits. (I know how crazy this sounds)
Derek had then arranged for me to meet the leader of this group, Brenda. Brenda is a famous medium and individual within the UFO world. Derek had arranged for me to walk through the forest with her and her group at night, to see if we could see anything unusual, thus presenting the night time images you will see. The goal of the walk was too see if we could witness anything paranormal, as the group believes that aliens and other entities live in the forest and are active at night, believing that on that night in 1980, they tried to make contact.
Photos and text by Samuel Fradley