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

In this latest tale, Tom tells the tale of a close encounter.

TO say that 2020 is a strange, chaotic year is a gross understatement.

On the first day of what was optimistically hoped to be the beginning of "The Twenties" - a new decade of progress in all spheres, we saw - on the first of January, the Hong Kong protests and strained relations with China, and on the second day of 2020 came the start of the Australian bush fires, followed by volcanic eruptions, airline crashes, a catastrophic stock market crash, the Royal Family rocked with scandal and the departure of Harry and Meghan, unprecedented global social unrest over the killing of George Floyd, Biblical locust swarms, floods, hurricanes, a worldwide pandemic that is still raging, the Beirut Blast, the Brexit Saga, and so on.

Amongst the tragedy and chaos of this seemingly cursed leap year, the Pentagon announced that UFOs really do exist, and in April they declassified three main videos showing strange tictac-shaped craft (filmed with infrared cameras) being observed and pursued by a special task force set up to investigate UFOs.

The official announcement of UFOs being real went over most people's heads.

It was always thought that Western Civilization would collapse and people would panic once the Government admitted that we were being visited by beings from other worlds, but it was as if the populace just flipped to Netflix with the remote or turned the page to the horoscope section as they took the acknowledgement of UFOs being real with a pinch of salt, or perhaps such an otherwise shocking revelation was simply too tame compared to the other earth-shattering events going on.

So there we have it: most of the reports of flying saucers and UFOs that were routinely pooh-poohed by the likes of astronomers such as the late Sir Patrick Moore were real after all.

In February 1970, for example, a certain well-known scientist dismissed a flying disc report made by a Wirral gentleman who happened to be a former RAF Officer.

The circular silvery craft he saw flying over Barnston was seen by numerous people from all walks of life, but a scientist described by ITN news as an "expert" said the thing must have been a meteor or even birds reflecting the lights from lamp posts – even though the UFO was seen in broad daylight.

The expert stated that flying saucers did not exist because it is impossible for races 'out there' to span the vast distances between the star systems; impossible for us maybe - but what about space-faring races that are centuries ahead of us?

Some years ago I interviewed a man named Geoff Jones who told me how, one afternoon in October 1967, whilst driving his girlfriend Laura home along Barnston Road, his car was followed a strange craft which resembled the classic flying saucer shape, only it had opposing domes on the top and bottom of the structure.

Geoff's girlfriend didn't notice the car was being followed at first and Geoff didn't want to alarm her so he watched the gravity-defying craft in his rear view mirror tailing them at treetop level.

Laura then said: "Geoff! What's that?" and she was referring to a small globular red metal object flying alongside the car (a 1961 Triumph Herald coupe).

This object had rods projecting from it so that it resembled an old naval mine - or something modern eyes would no doubt compare to a cgi model of the Covid19 virus.

The flying sphere was shining laser-like beams of light at the vehicle and they also dazzled Geoff and Laura. Geoff then noticed to his horror that the huge UFO following behind at a distance of fifty feet had now been joined by two identical craft - and Laura noticed them and naturally started to panic.

Seeing that Barnston Lane was deserted, Geoff put his foot down on the accelerator and the Triumph was soon doing its maximum speed – around 70 mph - but the three large UFOs and that football-sized globe with the protuberances were steadily closing in on the vehicle.

"What are they?" Laura asked, and Geoff told her: "I don't know."

He felt the car jolt as a beam of intense green light shone from the UFO to the back of the vehicle.

It was as if something was pulling at the Triumph and the car started to shake and the engine made strange sounds.

Laura then let out a scream as the crimson metal sphere drifted into the car through the driver's open window.

It hovered inches from the heads of Geoff and Laura as it emitted a humming sound like a giant wasp, and then the thing flew back out of the car and was lost to sight.

A vehicle which turned out to be a Morris Oxford appeared in the distance, and as soon as Geoff spotted it he noticed the three UFOs veer away across farmland in tight formation.

He decelerated and he and Laura watched the unearthly trio make a synchronised right-angled turn before they climbed into the clouds.

The Morris Oxford pulled up alongside the Triumph and the driver, a man in his 60s, leaned out of his window and calmly said to Geoff and Laura: "I hope they're friendly."

The stranger said he had seen them in the area the night before last and cryptically remarked that "The Ministry of Defence chaps have been up here trying to establish communication with them I hear."

Laura urged Geoff to get out of the area and so he drove off.

At that time there was a spate of sightings (known as a “flap” in UFO parlance) across the UK.

I wonder if they’ll be back soon? It is 2020 after all ...

• Haunted Liverpool 33 is out now on Amazon.