The flying cross story from Devon is an intriguing one. Yes, Venus is a likely candidate but these coppers were often out on night patrol and would surely have become familiar with the night sky, especially as that part of Devon has very little light pollution, To my mind it could equally have been a NATO aircraft and possibly a tanker engaged in in-flight refuelling. Cornwall had an active US Airbase at that time (St Mawgan) and RAF Chivenor was also still open to the north. I suggest this as a similar sighting of a 'flying cross' in the sky above Exmouth some years later was demonstrated to be in-flight refuelling. Apparently the tankers have powerful lights that light up the fuselage for operational means (source: The Rising of the Moon by Jon Downes and Nigel Watson).Angus Brooks was alone (other than his dogs) lying down watching the clouds passing, and saw an unusual cross-shaped UFO - this at a time when there was a major news story about the "flying cross" seen by two policemen in Devon, and which was later shown to have been probably Venus. He was a 'credible', sober and sincere witness but the conditions seem right for him to have slipped into some sort of waking dream state.
By contrast the equally sober and credible Rev Browning was standing up at his dining room window, and the object was first pointed out by his wife (there was supposedly another independent witness in the Cressy area but the details are a bit vague). While there was a subsequent UFO 'flap' in the country, presumably partly due to reports of what Browning saw, I don't think there was anything obvious going on at the time to explain it. So misperception is possible, but I think in this case it would have more to do with two conscious observers reinforcing each other's initial error, rather than an altered state of consciousness.