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It has been said that “The Ilkley Moor can scare you to death during daylight, and at night it’s even worse.”

In 1987 an ex-policeman named Philip Spencer took an early morning walk across Ilkley moor towards his father-in-laws house some miles away. He took with him a camera loaded with fast film with the intention of photographing the mysterious lights which are often spotted on the moor. When he was part way into his journey he noticed a small strange figure waving at him from near a hollow in the ground. He managed to take one photograph of the creature before it disappeared and shortly after he was stunned to observe a ufo take off out of the hollow at great speed. He didn’t manage to get a photo of the ufo as it happened too fast and he was in shock but he was convinced he had captured the creature on film!

Spencer walked to the nearest village to get his film developed and was surprised to find his compass pointing in the wrong direction – and also the village clock showed a different time to his watch – 2 hours ahead. The photo was analysed by a wildlife expert who declared that the figure was of no known animal and Kodak verified that the film hadn’t been tampered with.  Under hypnosis Spencer was regressed and it appeared he was taken aboard the spacecraft. You can read about the abduction here and here– and also numerous other places on the ‘interweb’.

The Ilkley Moor creature taken by Philip Spencer

I once lived in a flat backing directly onto Ilkley moor – or as the locals call it ‘Rombalds moor’ after a legendary Giant who stalked these moors – for about 10 years and I spent a great deal of my time on the moors. I did see weird lights on one or two occasions…and experienced some strange pockets of fog in broad daylight with full sun shining. A good friend of mine even claimed to have seen a strange creature “similar to a chimpanzee” on the moors once (could it have been the same creature Philip Spencer saw)? Even to this day 30 years on he says he saw something. There are always people reporting strange lights on the moor or ufo sightings. Maybe it is because the moor is only a few miles away from Menwith Hill.

The moors are strange indeed – there have been human settlements here for over 10,000 years and the moors are covered by weird rock carvings – ‘cup and ring’ stones, a stone circle (‘The 12 Apostles’) and a very strange ‘swastika stone’ which is only one of a couple found in the world. A map of the moor shows the location of the mysterious stones. The moors even had a hermit, Job Senior who lived about 200 years ago and is buried in a nearby village churchyard.

Now I don’t want to give the impression that the moor is out of bounds – it isn’t. It can be a wonderful place to be on a summers day, and it attracts climbers to the old quarry and the famous ‘Cow and Calf’ rocks, and walkers and even picknickers come here – most blissfully unawares of the strange ‘goings on’ on the moors.

But those who know the moors well and have seen it in all it’s moods will tell you that there is something ‘not quite right’ about Ilkley moor.