For some months, something had been flying over the High Hurlands Home (a home for mentally handicapped children), near Passfield, Hampshire, England. The nurses told investigator Hilary Porter that the object usually appeared to be headed from the northeast towards the southwest. In late July (July 18th, about 8:30 in the evening to be precise) they again heard a humming sound and rushed outside to see the object – but instead of disappearing in the direction of Portsmouth, as it usually did, on this occasion it descended over the orchard adjacent to the property. It descended to about thirty feet and hovered there for quite some time, at some point vanishing.
Later that night (around 12:15), Helen Monger heard the sounds of someone outside and got a quick glimpse of a person passing the window. She and fellow nurse Diane Edworthy were calling the local police when, as Diane put it:
I saw a figure in black, at least six ft. tall, looking in through the window at us. He was completely in black, and had a huge helmet over his head…We could not see his face, but he just ‘shone’ as though his clothing was all leathery, or was some fabric that glistened. He seemed to be ‘padded out.’ By the time we had just gasped, he stepped back into the darkness and was gone.
Within two or three minutes, the telephone rang. It was nurses at the far quarters on the other side of the orchard (a distance of nearly a half mile) reporting the black figure at the windows there.
The police arrived at the hospital within fifteen minutes and could find no footprints despite the fact that the soil just outside the windows where the “man” had been seen was quite soft. Likewise, no footprints could be found in the grass. They searched the area of the orchard thoroughly, with dogs, but could find no clues and the dogs picked up no scent. Finally, they were forced to conclude that the nurses had imagined the whole event.
There had been previous incidents of a prowler, a long-haired young man, around the Nurses’ Quarters a few weeks before. So was the “man in black” of that night simply a prowler, who as investigator Omar Fuller noted may have been wearing a motorcycle outfit (accounting for the leathery appearance, lack of facial features, and recklessness)? Was it all a product of the nurses’ imaginations, wrought already with fear of a previous prowler and doubtless the stress of dealing with mentally handicapped children? Or was it indeed an encounter with some unknown being?