WELCOME to Haunted Wirral, a feature series written by world famous psychic researcher, Tom Slemen for the Globe.

In this latest tale, Tom asks "did The Men in Black visit New Brighton?"

IN March 1978, Amanda Wilkes from Wallasey received a £12 Kodak Ektra 12 camera for her 16th birthday, along with many other presents, but being interested in photography, cherished the simple snapshot camera.

She took a few snaps here and there over the months, and in July, she met a boy named Spencer Lofthouse, who lived on Ennerdale Road in New Brighton.

One day in August 1978, Amanda and Spencer were at West Kirby Beach when they asked a man passing by to take a photo of them as they held hands.

Selfies were not a concept in those times and the man said: "Of course, back up a little," to the couple.

Amanda and Spencer started to lose patience as the man struggled with the simple controls of the Kodak camera and Amanda said: "Watch you don't take a picture of your thumb!"


The first picture was taken, and the man said: "Smile you two; you're like two shop-window dummies!"

The young couple forced smiles.


Now there was just one shot left in the camera.

The man's mouth opened wide. He pointed to the sea behind the couple and said: "What in blue blazes is that?"

Amanda and Spencer looked around and saw a silvery ball, about the size of a car, whizzing about silently as it skimmed the waves.

It was a hot bright summer’s day and the rays of the sun were reflecting off the silver globe as it flew at a phenomenal speed.

After about 10 seconds, the baffling sphere shot silently upwards and was soon lost in the blue sky.

"I got it!" cried the impromptu photographer. "I took a picture of it!"

"That was the last shot in the film roll!" Amanda shouted, letting go of Spencer and hurrying to the man.

He handed her the camera and said: "You could sell that picture to the newspapers - a picture of an actual UFO!"

The roll of film was put away in a drawer when Amanda got home.

In early December Amanda decided to get the roll developed when she went to a Birkenhead chemist.

When she went to collect the prints three days later, the pharmacist said the photo-lab that had developed the pictures had definitely sent them to him - but they had gone missing in the post.

"Don't be disheartened young lady," the chemist told her, "they might still turn up."

But they were still missing a week later and the chemist gave Amanda a free roll of film as a form of compensation.

That evening, the telephone rang in the hallway of Amanda's home and the girl’s mother, Mary Wilkes answered.

"Is Amanda Wilkes there?" asked a monotone voice.

"Yes, who's calling?" Mrs Wilkes answered.

"The C.I.D." the man answered, "can we talk to her?"

"What’s she done? Hang on a moment," said a panicking Mrs Wilkes. She put her palm over the mouthpiece and shouted: "Amanda!"

Seconds later, Amanda came into the hallway.

Mrs Wilkes stammered: "The C.I.D. want you - what have you been up to?"

"What's the C.I.D.?" Amanda asked with a puzzled look.

"Look, can you tell me why you want her?" Mrs Wilkes asked the caller. "I’m her mother."

"We have her boyfriend, Spencer Lofthouse in custody. He and Amanda took photographs of a top secret military plane, and we need to speak to Amanda. It’s very important. Amanda could go to prison if she doesn’t talk to us."

"Oh my God, what have you done?" Mrs Wilkes gasped, looking at her bewildered daughter and feeling very unsteady on her feet.

"I haven't done nothin' mum," Amanda protested, gazing at the phone.

Her mother said to the caller: "Oh, okay, yes - yes, that's our address, okay."

And she put the handset down.

"They're coming to pick you up. Wait till I tell your father about this,’ said a stunned Mrs Wilkes. Literally a minute later there was a heavy knocking at the front door. Mr and Mrs Wilkes answered and saw three men standing there, all in black suits and black ties with white shirts.

"We have come to take Amanda Wilkes to the police station," said one of the trio in an almost metallic-sounding voice.

"By law, you've got to tell us why you're arresting her," said Mr Wilkes, smelling something fishy about the visit.

Amanda was then escaping via the backyard door and on her way through thick snow to Ennerdale Road to see if Spencer was alright.

At Ennerdale Road she saw Spencer coming towards her. He had not been interviewed by any police and was on his way to see his girlfriend.

They were chased by three men in black suits, and the faces of these men did not look real - they looked as if they were plastic.

The young couple ran off, and bumped into a policeman.

"Officer, we're being chased by - "Amanda was saying - when she saw the policeman also looked as if he had a synthetic face.

Amanda screamed and she ran off with Spencer.

"Amanda, look!"

Spencer pointed to the night sky.

There was a gigantic craft with twinkling lights on, floating stock still, a few hundred feet above the rooftops.

As the teens looked on, the huge UFO vanished, along with their weird pursuers.

It would appear that the Men in Black - well-documented mysterious "silencers" of UFO witnesses, had possibly intercepted the envelope containing the photograph of the silver sphere at West Kirby beach, and under the guise of policemen, had probably intended to erase the teens’ memory of the incident.

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