Is Anybody Out There?
STRANGE lights in the sky, humanoid visitors with no faces,
and even stories of people taken to faraway planets. Since
the dawn of space travel and science fiction writing early
in the 20th century, man has been fascinated by the possibility
of life on other worlds. With films like Close Encounters of
the Third Kind and ET in the 1970s came a rapid increase in
reports of flying saucers and men from Mars. Wales in particular
has become a hotbed of evidence that we're not alone.
ACCORDING to reports of sightings over Denbighshire, we could
be under regular surveillance by more advanced life forms struggling
to understand our primitive earth ways. Are aliens carrying
out their own 10-year census of life on Earth, unbeknown to
the unbelieving majority? In spring 1964 a woman was walking
her dog in the grounds of the haunted Denbigh Castle when the
dog gave a sharp yelp. She found the animal cowering under
a beam of light in the bushes. The woman rescued her beloved
pet but felt a burning pain in her arm as she came into contact
with the light.
Ten years later two women saw a bright orange light hovering
in the sky above nearby Denbigh Hospital. A similar sighting
was also reported in 1984, and again 10 years later in 1994.
Will the visitors be returning next year?
ONE family claimed to have been abducted by visitors from outer
space while travelling through North Wales on November 10,
On the same night an elderly man from Llandudno had been frightened
by unusual beams of light in the sky above the Great Orme.
The family were driving near the village of Llandernog, Denbighshire.
They saw a purple triangular craft which then swallowed up
their car. The purple object seemed to vanish. The family had
lost several hours but could remember nothing about what had
taken place during that time.
Meanwhile, another man driving along the Llandernog road that
night claimed he saw a spaceship as big as a football pitch
with hundreds of bright lights emanating from it. The man whose
family were abducted was reportedly instructed by the RAF not
to speak publicly about what had happened to him.
1977 was a busy year for Welsh ufologists, with a wave of sightings
over Anglesey and West Wales known to alien watchers as the
Broadhaven Triangle. On February 4 a game of football between
children at Broadhaven School was interupted when a glowing
cigar-shaped object landed in a nearby field. David
George, nine at the time, said he saw a "silver man with
spiked ears" near the craft.
On February 17 the ship was seen by one of the school's teachers
and then later in the day by two dinner ladies. One of the
dinner ladies claimed to have seen a figure climb into the
craft before it made its departure.
In the months that followed, up until June, there were numerous
sightings of flying, cigar-shaped objects in the skies above
Dyfed and Pembrokeshire. Many people reporting seeing white,
humanoid figures, with pointed, apparently faceless heads.
The cynics and those in officialdom suggested they were simply
MoD personnel in radiation suits carrying out routine training
Were these dome-headed beings talent scouts for some intergalactic
sports academy? The same month that they landed next to the
playground kick about in Broadhaven, the cigar-shaped ship
was also spotted by Bronwen Williams, who was teaching girls
netball during a PE class at Rhos-y-Bol school on Anglesey.
In September the following year, a group of boys were playing
football in Llannerchymedd, Anglesey, when they saw what they
thought was a helicopter land nearby. The boys went to investigate,
finding a small white object with a red glow stuck in the ground
where the helicopter had been. They also claimed
to have seen two hooded humanoids near the craft.
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
MANY people put UFO sightings down to the armed forces testing
new designs and equipment, but there have been sightings in
North Wales as early as the 18th century. In 1743 William John
Lewis, a farmer from Peibio, near Holyhead, saw an object sailing
through the air above the nearby mountains long before man
had mastered flight. He claimed he had seen similar crafts
at roughly 10-year intervals.
Historian James Buckley interviewed descendants of miners from
Mold who saw a UFO in the 1880s. The men, who were struggling
to feed their families on the miserable wages they were being
paid, had gone to nearby Padeswood to collect some snares they
were using for poaching. Already tense at the prospect of being
caught stealing by the landowner, they were terrified when
they saw a large, bright, purple sphere hovering above the
field. The men ran away, but when they returned again to pick
up their snares there was a circle of scorched grass where
the craft had been.
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE
THE Egryn lights are a famous phenomenon that have baffled
people in Meiryonnydd for centuries, but in the last few decades
they have also attracted the attention of ufologists. In the
17th century balls of flame were seen crossing the sea near
the west coast of Wales. In Harlech in 1662 it was claimed
that these strange lights were setting fire to crops and barns
and infecting grass, although they seemed to do no harm to
people who were in the fields at the time.
In 1877 blue lights were seen over Pwllheli and the Dysynni
Estuary, and in the early 1900s the lights were adopted by
Mary Jones and the Revivalists as proof that God was trying
to communicate with them.
Ms Jones was widely discredited as being barking mad, but with
the increase in UFO sightings over the 20th century the lights
became a focus for people convinced of the existence of little
The lights were the subject of an investigation in Flying Saucer
Review in 1971, and have aroused alien conspiracy theorists
across the world.
A WOMAN from Halkyn, Flintshire, has been visited by aliens
on a regular basis since she first saw a UFO in July 1982,
according to North Wales UFOlogist Margaret Fry. The woman,
who was interviewed anonymously by Mrs Fry, thought she was
witnessing a meteorite hurtling towards the earth until the
large, round object stopped over a neighbour's home. It was
yellow, had two rings around it and made a humming noise as
it hovered above the house.
Then, one night in November 1983, she was woken by a bright
light shining into her bedroom. Outside her window - 20ft off
the ground - was a face looking at her. She claims the figure,
who had a human appearance, then appeared in her room before
finally disappearing. The woman says she has been in regular
contact with people from outer space ever since.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
MANY people, known as contacted, reckon they are visited regularly
by aliens on their jaunts to our corner of the universe. But
for one young girl from Flintshire, frequent visits from space
travellers resulted in the chance-of-a-lifetime trip to visit
their home planet.
Gaynor Sutherland, from Oakenholt, claimed she was taken on
the journey by aliens she had met when she was nine. In 1976
Gaynor was playing in fields near her home when a flying saucer
landed nearby. Two figures, which she supposed were male and
female, emerged from the ship and began to carry out what appeared
to be scientific tests on the ground.
The aliens continued to make contact with the Sutherland family
over the next few years and at times Gaynor seemed to be possessed
by the visitors and unable to control her own actions.
The girl's claims were backed up by her family, who all gave
matching descriptions of the aliens.
DANCING TO AN ALIEN TUNE
IN 1896 Welsh Folklore, by the Rev Elias Owen, recounted the
story of Dafydd Fawr, a farmer from Penrhyndeudraeth who thought
he saw a fairy dance but may actually have had a close encounter
of the third kind. Dafydd was on his way home from market when
he saw a small comet fall to the ground, followed by a hoop
of fire. Two small figures appeared from the flaming hoop,
drew a circle on the ground and started to dance around it.
Dafydd watched amazed as more little people, both men and women,
seemed to appear from nowhere and join in the dance. The fairies,
as Dafydd supposed they were, danced for a few minutes until
the first two figures climbed back into the hoop of fire and
flew away. The rest of the fairies vanished.
Dafydd continued home, a journey which would normally take
him about 20 minutes. When he got home he found he had lost
three hours. According to writer Richard Holland the "fairy
episode had all the cult hallmarks of an alien landing - a
strange object comes out of the sky, unusual humanoid figures
emerge and leave a circle imprinted in the ground, and the
incredulous earthling watches spellbound before realising he
has lost hours in what seemed like minutes.
TEN years ago a Colwyn Bay woman and her boyfriend spent the
night in Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen, when they were disturbed
by a huge craft hovering in the sky above them. The two had
been dared to stay in the supposedly haunted ruins of the abbey,
but halfway through the night the abbey lit up around them
and, looking up, they saw a diamond-shaped object above them,
its red and yellow lights beaming down on the ancient monastery.
A group of campers also saw the ship, which stayed for about
five minutes before silently zooming off at a speed no man-made
craft would be capable of.
ONE of the most famous UFO sightings in Wales occurred in the
village of Llangernyw, Conwy, in the 1970s. After farmers reported
seeing strange lights in the sky military personnel cordoned
parts of the village off and evacuated civilians from the area.
The incident attracted worldwide interest from ufologists,
but to this day the Ministry of Defence has never come up with
an explanation of what the lights were or why the village was