What has become known in UFO circles as the “Welsh Roswell” or Berwyn Mountain incident splits the UFO research community into two distinct camps, those who believe that an alien space craft crashed on the Mountain range and those who believe the seemingly out of this world events can be explained by a combination of natural phenomena and the popularity of shows such as the X-Files which feed the public’s need to believe in the unexplained. What is not in any doubt is that something happened on the Berwyn Mountain, North Wales on the night of January 20, 1974. The events on the mountain range were witnessed by the whole community. Police Constable Gwilym Owen stated, “there was a great roar and a bang. The Sky lit up over the mountains. The colour was yellowish but other people in the valley described seeing blue light.”
Annie Williams who lives in the nearby town of Llandrillo told investigators about what she witnessed that January night. “I saw this bright light hanging in the sky,” she said.
“It had a long fiery tale which seemed to be motionless for several minuets, going dim and then very brilliant, like a dormant fire which keeps coming to life. It would have been like an electric light bulb in shape, except that it seemed to have rough edges. Then fell somewhere behind my bungalow, and the earth shook.”
Other witnesses also reported the ground shaking as if something had crashed into the side of the mountain. David Hughes of the local village post office at Ysbyty Ifan reported that, “The whole house shook violently and suddenly. It began quite suddenly, lasted for a few seconds, then stopped just as suddenly.”
Hundreds of locals fearing a plane had crashed on the mountain phoned the emergency services, and within an hour police were searching the mountain. Five days after these mysterious events, January 25, 1974, it was reported in the British press that an RAF mountain rescue team had also been dispatched to the area, but allegedly found nothing.
One member of the public who heard an explosion and was convinced something had crashed into the mountain was district nurse Pat Evans. Thinking that a plane had crashed after contacting Colwyn Bay police she made her way up the mountain to offer assistance to the survivors while they waited for the emergency services to arrive. Instead of finding a crashed plane, however, she saw a bright ball of red light on the mountainside.
“There were no flames shooting or anything like that. It was very uniform; round in shape … it was a flat round”. As she watched, she observed the light change in colour from red to yellow and then white. Smaller “fairy lights” could be seen nearby. Too far away to reach on foot, the nurse turned back to head home, puzzled by what she had seen.
After the initial frenzy of media interest the story gradually died down and was almost forgotten about, until the mid-Nineties when the Roswell UFO crash was approaching its 50th anniversary and the alien autopsy hoax was generating new interest in an old topic.
Alien bodies and Wreckage
In 1996 retired police sergeant Tony Dodd published in UFO Magazine an account of a man who claimed he was in the British Army at the time of the Berwyn Mountain crash . According to this anonymous whistleblower in January 1974 his unit “received orders to proceed with speed towards North Wales.” After arriving at Llangollen, North Wales on the evening of January 20, Dodd’s source noticed a great deal of “ground and air” activity in the area. “We, that is myself and four others, were ordered to go to Llandderfel and were under strict orders not to stop for any civilians.”
Upon arriving in the small Welsh village his team were then ordered to load two large oblong boxes into their vehicles and to take them to the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, England. Warned not to look inside, some hours later they arrived at Porton Down and delivered the mysterious cargo.
It is then alleged that the staff at Porton Down opened the boxes still within sight of Dodd’s informant and others. Inside we are told were the remains of two alien beings “five to six feet tall” which had been put inside “decontamination suits.” The Porton Down staff removed the suits, revealing creatures to be “so thin they looked almost skeletal with a covering skin.”
The Army source also told Dodd, “Although I did not see a craft at the scene of the recovery, I was informed that a large craft had crashed and was recovered by other military units.” Even more bizarre was this former Army man’s claims that he was told by others in his unit that they had also delivered extraterrestrial beings to Porton Down, but that these creatures were “still alive.”
While the claims of Dodd’s British Army source have never been proven to have really occurred, it is interesting at least that someone that nobody disputes investigated the UFO phenomenon for the British Government, Nick Pope, wrote a science fiction novel, Operation Thunder Child, in which alien creatures are taken for study at Porton Down. “In any contact with an extraterrestrial civilisation the key strategic objective would be to open lines of communication and facilitate peaceful contact. Secondary objectives would include information exchange, with a particular emphasis on science and technology,” Nick Pope told me in an interview for my Sci-Fi Worlds column in 2009.