Welsh UFO sightings from 1922. For sightings from other years please click HERE.
Flying Officer Brian Holding set out in an Avro 504k from an aerodrome near Chester at 10:30 for a short flight. About 11:00 he was seen near Llangollen, heading back towards Chester - but he never arrived. Although a search for signs of Holding and / or his plane continued for weeks, under the assumption he had gone down over a populated area, no trace was ever found. (Official RAF records are much less mysterious; Holding set off from RAF Shotwick in Flintshire and was presumed to have crashed into the Irish Sea off the coast of Barmouth.)
Charles Fort quoted the Daily Chronicle of 30/03/1922 as stating, "It is incredible, but nothing has been heard of Holding."
The papers carried a little bit of background on Holding. The Banbury Guardian (23/03/1922) reported that he had left Mill Hill School at 15 to train as an officer in the Flying Corps. Since WWI he had been working as an instructor at Chester. Not sure if he was the same Brian Holding of the Officers' Mess, Uxbridge RAF Depot, who was fined £2 for getting a driver to break the speed limit for him to catch a train to Dover in 1920. (Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette, 05/03/1920) Presumption of his death was reported in August 1922 - Liverpool Echo, 03/08/1922.
Saturday 9th September
John Morris, steersman of the local lifeboat and William James saw an object fall into the sea "with extraordinary slowness", so slowly that it was thought to be a plane. A boat was sent out but nothing was found. No aircraft was reported missing.
Source: www.nicap.org/magonia.htm citing Charles Fort.
I looked up the original news reports which were a little less mysterious. The Dundee Evening Telegraph (11/09/1922) reported that "Mr William Jones was on the coast at Barmouth when he observed that an aeroplane over the sea was in difficulties. He called the attention of Mr John Morris, coxswain of the Barmouth lifeboat, to the predicament of the machine, and Mr Morris, by means of his binoculars, saw the aeroplane nose-dive and disappear into the sea with the engine in motion. The incident happened about seven miles away, and in a northerly direction. The coxswain and others jumped into a motor boat immediately and raced to the spot. They cruised over the place for several hours, but could find no trace of the aeroplane or its occupants. It is feared that there has been loss of life."
The Westminster Gazette (11/09/1922) said their correspondent had interviewed John Morris who 'was positive of what he had seen'. In October the newspapers, eg. Westminster Gazette 10/10/1922, noted that Morris had just completed 50 years service with the Barmouth lifeboat. The Shields Daily News (11/09/1922) also reported on it: