NUFORC UFO Sighting 143611

Occurred: 1918-06-12 03:00 Local
Reported: 2018-10-29 07:07 Pacific
Duration: 30 seconds
No of observers: 10

Location: Wadi Dhahal (Syria), , Syria

Shape: Light

Brilliant glowing ball crossed the sky silently, leaving no trail.

This is taken from Sir Alec Kirkbride’s book, “An Awakening - the Arab campaign 1917-1918”, Chapter 5, ‘The Regulars’.

It is therefore dated to June 12, 1918 (not 2018).

I am posting it here because I don’t believe it has been reported before.

The text reads as follows: “On the night of 12th June” [1918] “we climbed up the Wadi Dhahal for the last time. [....] At about three o’clock in the morning I was aroused from a walking doze by seeing a large incandescent globe which passed quite slowly across the sky. It moved without noise, coming from behind one range of hills and going behind another; but it illuminated the valley in which we stood for about half a minute. In reply to my ‘Good God, what was that?’ one of the camel minders answered, ‘That was an aeroplane of course. What did you think it was?’ He was wrong; it was not an aeroplane.

Most British people to whom I afterwards described the experience either produced silly explanations or assured me that no such thing existed.

Many years later, in Jordan, Glubb told me that he had seen the same phenomenon in the desert on the Iraq-Kuwait frontier. He had also been told that there was no such thing.” I live in France.

Your witness contact information doesn’t appear to allow for details from non-US residents.


Dear Peter,

Thank you for your rapid response to my post - I wasn't expecting it to attract your personal attention, but I'm very pleased it did. I'm delighted that Kirkbride's sighting will be given the recognition it certainly deserves.

It seems to me to be an interesting demonstration that "UFOs" or "UAPs" are not a product of the vivid imagination of post-WWII citizens fed on a diet of science fiction and alternative cultures, but a genuine phenomenon, observed throughout history. When Alec Kirkbride saw his luminous sphere he had obviously never heard of "UFOs" or aliens, and neither had General Glubb.

You may like some background details: at the time of the sighting, Alec Kirkbride (1897-1978) was a 20 year-old junior officer in the British Army in the Middle East theatre, where he worked alongside charismatic figures like TE Lawrence and the Emir Feisal. His book of reminiscences of that period is long out of print, but having a special interest in the period, and in TE Lawrence in particular, I acquired a copy recently and was delighted when I came across the unexpected passage describing what was clearly a UFO. I was amused to learn that reactions to his tale were much the same then as they tend to be to similar experience today.

Kirkbride went on to become a career diplomat, and spent most of his working life in the Middle East, including a long period as "British Resident" (something between an Ambassador and a Political officer) to the Kingdom of Jordan.

My comment about your witness contact details wasn't a complaint: I posted my report from my tablet, and although that shouldn't have made any difference, I didn't see the box for "foreign country", which a quick visit to your site from my laptop confirms is there ... perhaps I misread it in my haste.

Kind regards ,
((name deleted))


Posted 2018-11-09

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