May 2008 Archives
TOP secret files on UFO sightings have been released revealing Cheshire was once home to an "alien base".
Hundreds of reported sightings have been made public by the Ministry of Defence as they have been inundated with Freedom of Information requests to release the documents.
Among Britain's own X-files is a report from one ex-navy man from Kingsley who contacted Liverpool Airport's civil supervisor in December 1986.
Describing himself as a keen astrologer, he reported seeing six golden spheres moving "very fast" and leaving a vapour trail in the sky. He added they appeared to move from Speke Airport, Liverpool toward Manchester for about two minutes.
Another alarmed witness in Blacon called Cheshire police after seeing a red and yellow bright light on a clear night in December 1981.
They described the unexplained object as being steady in the air for five minutes before moving towards Mollington.
The recently unclassified information includes figures for the number of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects.
Numbers peaked in 1978, with 750 sightings - suspiciously a year after Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars first hit the big screen. By 1984 there were only 214 reports.
The most outlandish claims come from a man who wrote to the MoD in 1985 saying he had been in regular contact with an extra terrestrial named Algar since 1958 and visited alien bases in Cheshire and the Wirral.
In a three-page letter, the man described seeing an alien that was "green and very large, that had eyes all over it," and another with "fat worms sticking out of her head".
He claimed to have seen six UFOs shoot another down near Wallasey Town Hall, sending it splashing into the Mersey before disappearing.
He continued: "In June 1981, Algar was ready to approach the government in person. I was over the moon with pride to be used as the medium between alien race and our own race."
But before the historic meeting could happen, Algar and his "team of scientists" were apparently killed by other aliens in 1981.
The would-be emissary added later that year the same aliens tried to "dominate" him but died in their attempt.
AS voters go to the polls today (Thursday) in the high-profile Crewe & Nantwich by-election, local baker Chatwins is giving people alternative politicians to vote for.
This version does not give speeches and campaign promises or make U-turns! Instead, the Chatwins gingerbread men are taking political sides by dressing up in party colours.
The gingerbread politicians are on sale at Chatwins shops in Nantwich Square and at Victoria Street in Crewe and, rather than waiting until, the early hours of tomorrow morning for the result of the election, the bakery will announce which of the political gingerbread men is the shoppers' top choice at 5pm today.
An evergreen family's oldest living member celebrated her 105th birthday with a huge party last week.
And for Fanny Billington and her five surviving siblings it was their 575th annual celebration, making them Britain's oldest family.
Fanny and her 102-year-old sister Jinny, who both live at Crossways residential home in Lostock, were joined on Thursday by sisters Mary, aged 98; Sally, 92; Anne, 90 and "baby brother" Arthur, 88.
Fanny and Jinny have lived through the reign of five monarchs. Their dad John and their mother, Jane, were both in their late eighties when they passed away in the 1960s.
Crossways manager Sue Houghton said: "Everyone adores Fanny and Jinny, they are the life and soul of the place.
"They're both quite late risers but can be up until midnight or 1am watching telly!"
The 12 Billington children grew up in a three-bed end-terrace in Lostock.
Fanny said: "We are part of a long-lived family and it must be down to our genes. Everyone says it is amazing, but to us it's normal.
"We were a large family but in those days, it was common for families of nine, 10 or even 13. I can't remember anyone in the area having fewer than six children."
Sue admitted the home's oldest resident has a special medicine which helps keep her young. "Fanny loves a sherry!" she laughed.
"She just has whatever she wants whenever she wants - and why not? It hasn't done her any harm so far!"
A marine biologist has scotched rumours that a carcass washed up on the shore at West Bank last week was that of a baby whale.
The aquatic mammal, later identified as a "harbour" or "common" porpoise, was found yards from the Mersey Hotel on Monday night.
Manager Dean Gleavey said: "It wasn't alive but it wasn't stiff, so I don't think it had been dead long.
"Today (Tuesday) people have been saying that another one has been found at Spike Island on the sandbanks.
"And people have been talking about news reports that a whale is coming towards Liverpool - who knows, maybe it's the mother looking for its babies!"
Dr Julian Chantrey, of Liverpool University's Veterinary Pathology Faculty, identified the creature as a porpoise.
His department receives carcasses and carries out post mortems on behalf of a monitoring project at London Zoo.
He said: "They live in the Irish Sea and you find them in coastal waters looking for fish. Sometimes the young ones get separated and the juveniles can become disorientated as they move away from the family group.
"The babies are about cocker spaniel-size and the adults can weigh 150kg - I would say this one is a juvenile."
A council spokesman said staff had gone to dispose of the carcass but particularly high tides had hampered efforts on Tuesday.
Hacks up and down the country may have had a few things to say about Coleen McLoughlin being a journalist.
The WAG gave her occupation as "journalist" on the wedding banns posted by her and future hubby Wayne Rooney at Crewe Register Office.
But let's give the 22-year-old the benefit of the doubt - she does write a weekly column, Welcome to My World, in a national magazine - but what about the rest of her credentials?
Has she crammed in hours of shorthand as well as her public affairs and media law exams for example? Or has she done an in-house training course at her local newspaper or on a magazine? We just can't be sure.
Apparently, Coleen received extensive media training for her show, Coleen's Real Women, and receives ÃÂ£100,000 for her column about her day-to-day life in Closer magazine.
It seems it's fame that lands you a column these days, so we have called on Coleen, pictured, to take up a challenge at the Chronicle.
The WAG's agents agreed to put our proposal to Coleen of some paid work experience at the Chronicle. We are hoping she will jump at the chance of showing us what she is made of.
Allison Little, a journalism student at Chester University currently on work experience at the Chronicle, said: "Most of us have to work really hard to get into the business. Placement students work 9am-5pm every day without pay. I would like to see her do what we do."
Celebrity 'journalist' Coleen McCloughlin has had to decline to our kind offer of paid work-experience at the Chronicle because of wedding commitments.
The 22-year-old, who is to marry Manchester United star Wayne Rooney next month, says she is "too busy" with wedding preparations to impress us with her journalistic skills.
The offer followed Coleen and Wayne's posting of their wedding banns at Crewe Register Office when the future Mrs Rooney, who writes a magazine fashion column, gave her occupation as journalist.
MANCHESTER United star Wayne Rooney and his wife-to-be Coleen McLoughlin have signed up for life at Crewe!
The England ace and sweetheart Coleen, both 22, have had their wedding banns posted at Crewe Register Office in Delamere Street.
The banns of marriage, commonly known simply as 'the banns' - from an Old English word meaning 'to summon' - are the public announcement that a marriage is going to take place between two specified persons.
The purpose of banns is to enable anyone to raise any legal impediment to it, so as to prevent marriages that are legally invalid, either under canon law or under civil law.
In England, under the provisions of Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, a marriage is only legally valid if the reading of the banns has taken place or a marriage licence has been obtained.
It is believed that Wayne and Coleen, who are preparing to tie the knot in June in the Italian city of Genoa, would have had to pay a visit to Crewe in order to sign the forms in front of a registrar because it is the registration administrative centre for Cheshire where they live.
A Crewe registrar could not confirm that, but added: "All I can say is that we have the notice here."
But unfortunately on the paperwork, Wayne's job description is misspelt as a 'proffesional' footballer - while Coleen has listed her occupation as a journalist.
"That was a clerical error on our part and none of us had noticed it," said the registrar.
The pair are expected to throw a second wedding celebration party for extended family in the UK.
Meanwhile, Coleen has flown out to Miami Beach for a relaxing holiday with girlfriends.
Magistrates only found out a criminal was in jail when they read about it in The Chronicle.
Puzzled court staff could not work out why Liam Anthony Guest, 18, had not turned up for his trial.
But the question was solved when they were handed a copy of The Chronicle - and read that Guest was already in prison.
The Court Service has admitted it does not check whether a defendant has already been jailed for another crime, and relies on solicitors to let them know.
Chairman of magistrates Mike Cooper told alleged assault victim Chris Murphy and his family: "We attended this morning hoping to try him. Unfortunately we were not aware he was in custody. All I can do is apologise to you on behalf of the court for your wasted time."
Mr Murphy, who took a day off work to attended court and give evidence, said: "It's a total mess-up - I'm a bit disappointed."
Guest, of Queensway, Frodsham, pleaded guilty to punching unconscious dad-of-two Gareth Gregory, from Elton, in October last year. Last month Chester Crown Court sentenced him to six months in a young offenders institute.
He was then due to appear at Vale Royal Magistrates Court on Tuesday of this week for an alleged beating in January.
But the trial had to be rescheduled to June 27 as no transport was arranged to get Guest to court.
The clerk to the court told defending solicitor James Robertson: "You could have avoided this situation today if you knew he was inside. I would have thought it was fairly obvious he was in custody, why he was in custody and how he would get to court. It would have made sense to have averted it.
"It seems to me an entirely avoidable situation."
An HM Courts Service spokesman said: "I can confirm that courts do not routinely check if defendants are in custody. Parties to criminal cases are under a positive duty to inform the court if information comes to their attention that may impact on the conduct of a trial.
"In this case the court received no such notification and the trial could not go ahead."