Ghost Bombers

The Pennines are known as the backbone of England and probably have more unusual phenomena happening here than at any other part of the country. The Derwent dam complex was constructed between 1901-16 and Ladybower dam was added in the 1930s, this dam was made famous by 617 squadron during the Second World War by Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his squadron when they trained here in preperation for the dropping of a bouncing bomb on Germany’s Mohne and Eder dams in 1943.

There have been many sightings over the past twenty years of a Lancaster bomber seen skimming across the top of Ladybower resevoir, on a night in October 1982 a couple, Mr and Mrs Shaw were returning along the main road from Glossop which runs past Ladybower resevoir, when Mr Shaw caught sight of an object moving above the waters of the resevoir. As it approached him there was a break in the clouds and the moonlight revealed a Lancaster bomber, it continued flying for another two hundred yards before it disappeared before their eyes.

Vic Hallam who runs a small museum dedicated to the Dambusters sqaudron and which is housed in one of the towers of the Derwent dam relates the following tale, a couple were in the lay-by overlooking Ladybower resevoir having a cup of tea one sunny afternoon when they saw out of their window a large Lancaster bomber fly past with its propellors turning but no sound coming from its engines, they watched it as it disappeared into the trees without any sound and no evidence of a crash.

Although there has been no reported crashes of bombers into the dam in the past, the nearest reported crash of a Lancaster was on a hill known as Bleaklow, west of a valley in which all six of the Canadian crew were killed on the 18th May 1945.

There have been other reports of a silent aircraft which has been identified as a Douglas C-47 Dakota flying so low that witnesses have been forced to duck! Even though emergency services were called out to this incident no wreckage was ever discovered.

There has been a report by a person walking past Derwent resevoir which is located above Ladybower, early one morning, of a pilot dressed in a Second World War sheepskin flying jacket emerging out of the misty waters of the resevoir. The first thing the walker saw was a light beneath the waters of the resevoir, as the pilot emerged out of the water the source of the light became evident, the pilots jacket was on fire! He walked out of the waters of the dam and headed into nearby Hollinsend wood according to the walker!

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