Sir Victor Goddard’s Flight To The Future

Sir Victor Goddard
Sir Victor Goddard photographed in 1946 by Walter Stoneman. (Image source: National Portrait Gallery, London)

Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard was a senior commander in the British Royal Air Force in the 1940s.

What would be remembered as a distinguished military career began some years earlier, in the 1920s, when he read engineering at the University of Cambridge. From there Goddard became an instructor to the university’s air squadron and later served as a commander of a bomber squadron. In 1935 he was appointed deputy director of intelligence at the Air Ministry. It was at this point that Goddard experienced something that would both haunt and fascinate him for the rest of his life.

Flight Towards Reality

In his 1975 book, Flight Towards Reality, Goddard recalls a flight he made in 1935 to Edinburgh, Scotland from Andover, England. As he approached Edinburgh, his plane passed over a dilapidated airfield in Drem, Scotland. From Goddard’s observations, the base had clearly been abandoned for some time: vegetation had overtaken most of the area, and cattle from a nearby farm had moved in. Thinking nothing more of it, Goddard continued his flight until he reached Edinburgh.

A few days later Goddard was due to return to Andover. Following the same flight path as before, he headed in the direction of Drem. However, before he reached the airfield, he flew into bad weather. Goddard described the storm as strange. Along with strong winds and torrential rain, the storm clouds were yellow. Disorientated and quickly losing control of his plane, the experienced pilot climbed the clouds, hoping to burst through into the clear sky. However, they appeared to have no end. It was at that moment that the storm clouds broke finally beneath him, and Goddard was able to see the ground again. Ahead of him was the Drem airfield. Relieved to see a familiar sight, he left the storm behind him and flew into sun and clear skies.

Yet, as Goddard got closer, he realised that the Drem airfield was not so familiar after all. In fact, it was completely different.

Far from being reclaimed by the surrounding nature, the Drem airfield was alive with activity. Not only was it no longer abandoned, it looked pristine. Mechanics were bustling on the ground below, and four planes, each painted bright yellow, sat on the runway. Most strange, however, was how Goddard was unable to identify one of the planes – it was a monoplane unlike any that the Royal Air Force used. In addition to the strangeness of the yellow planes, Goddard was also surprised to see the mechanics dressed in blue overalls. To his knowledge, all RAF mechanics wore brown.

The Miles M.14 was first flown on 20 March 1937. (Image source: Public Domain)

Having little time to digest what he was seeing, Goddard passed over the airfield at Drem and flew back into the storm. The clear skies and bright sun were replaced by the same torrential rain and yellow clouds as before. Once again he struggled to keep control of his plane. Eventually he was able to wrestle free of the tempest and make it back safely to Andover.

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When he told his friends what he had seen during his flight he was greeted with scepticism. The airfield at Drem had, after all, been vacated in 1919, and from 1933 had only seen occasional use from visiting squadrons. There was no possibility of there being an active squadron, with planes and mechanics, at the airfield when Goddard made his flight in 1935.

Four years after Goddard’s peculiar experience, in 1939, the overgrown airstrip at Drem was resurfaced, and the whole airfield transformed and reactivated, becoming home to the No. 13 Flying Training School. Not only that, the RAF began to paint their training planes yellow, and a new monoplane, the Miles M.14 Magister, joined the roster. By that year, even the mechanics’ overalls had been updated, to blue instead of brown. Goddard’s vision had become a reality.

After that Sir Victor Goddard developed a fascination with paranormal phenomena. He was certain that he had visited the future during his flight in 1935. 1

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About Laura 56 Articles
Falling more strongly on the side of scepticism, Laura's passion is for the details. She is fascinated by the culture implications and psychology of strange phenomena. Some of Laura's main interests are parapsychological experiments; the paranormal in history and folklore; and, haunted locations.