Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Hits of 1985

What I'm Listening To

My top ten hits of 1985!



19 - Paul Hardcastle

Stayed at the UK #1 spot for five weeks and for many years as a kid represented just about everything I knew of the Vietnam War. It's still pretty powerful to listen to, though I'm not sure if the embedded video will play - YouTube gave me a warning message that it was only suitable for older viewers!




Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush

Just as hauntingly amazing now as it was then.




The Whole of the Moon - The Waterboys

Peaking at #26 it would later go on to reach #3 when it was re-released in 1991.




Holding Out For a Hero - Bonnie Tyler






Kayleigh - Marillion

Single handedly responsible for putting Kayleigh in the top UK girls' names lists ever since.




We Built This City - Starship

This US #1 peaked at #12 on the UK charts. At least until LadBaby covered it in 2018 but, surely, the less said about that the better!




Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds

The Breakfast Club soundtrack for the win.




Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens

1985's Christmas Number One.




You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) - Dead or Alive

It took 17 weeks to get there but Dead or Alive inched up and up the charts until they hit the top spot in March '85.




Frankie - Sister Sledge

You've got to love a bit of Sister Sledge! This one hit #1 in the UK chart.




What was your favourite hit of 1985? Let me know in the comments. :)



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What I'm Listening To



Monday, 17 May 2021

Doll Guide 20 - A*Teens

A*Teens


The A*Teens were a Swedish pop group who formed in 1998, originally as an ABBA tribute act - their debut album consisted of updated covers. They later branched out into their own material, achieving chart success around western Europe before the band split in 2004.

Play Along Toys released an A*Teens fashion doll line in 2000.

A*Teens Dolls
Picture Source: Flickr.

Marie - box front / box back.
Sara - box front / box back.
Amit - box front / box back.



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Dolls



Sunday, 16 May 2021

This Week - 16/05/2021

The Future Starts Today



This week has been kind of boring on an individual level. Various online meetings, trips to the park, UFO research... same old, same old. There was some good news politically though. Drakeford has appointed Torfaen's MS, Lynne Neagle, as minister for mental health and wellbeing - it's great to see it being taken so seriously at such a senior level. 

Drakeford has also committed to running a pilot for a UBI (universal basic income) scheme, and said the UK needs to reconsider the future of devolution. :)


Back home, my very first order from Shein arrived! I was seriously impressed with it. The clothing was much better quality than I expected for the price - I paid £87.50 including shipping for 2 longline cardigans, 2 jumpers, 2 t-shirts, a scarf, 2 necklaces, stickers, 2 headbands, 3 pairs of earrings, and 10 pin badges - and it was all packaged really nicely too. So, yeah, if you're on the fence about ordering from there, I wholeheartedly recommend the place.

I have almost completed my wardrobe update now. Basically I just wanted clothing that made me happy, so it's been out with the dull and the sensible and in with colour. Rainbow cardigans, fluffy cloud jumpers, slouchy pastel t-shirts, 50s style circle skirts... It's already been making a huge difference to my mood. 

And my productivity. I spent a lot of time this week working on UK media coverage of UFOs and aliens in the 1950s. It's really interesting to see how the phenomena goes from, well, this is something that could very well be real and ought to be explored by science, to it's utterly ridiculous and the only people who believe are little kids or weirdos in the space of a few short years.

On the blog I posted a guide to Dream Seekers dolls, some thoughts on the proposed new Voter ID scheme, and scans of another Just Seventeen magazine. I wrote up the Welsh UFO sightings for 1989, and started a media timeline of UFO mentions in the UK during the 1950s.



Deal of the Week -

Reward points at Wearth London with referral link / code: https://www.wearthlondon.com/?referrer=3824348



Song of the Week -

Northern Lights - Renaissance



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This Week - Weekly Overviews




Friday, 14 May 2021

Charting UFOs in the UK Media - 1950s

Charting UFOs in the UK Media

As anyone who's glanced at this blog over the last few months will know, I've been working on a research project into UFOs in Wales. Not so much the investigative side of the sightings - though that is fascinating - but more how they were reported, publicised, and became part of the public consciousness (or not as the case may be).

To help with that I'm putting together a timeline of UFO coverage in the UK popular media. Received widsom tells us reporting of sightings goes up in the wake of publicity, and down in times of disinterest. It will be interesting to see if the Welsh cases match up with that!

I'll doubtlessly be adding to this for months. For now, here are some TV, radio and film listings for the 1950s... From what I've collated so far there is a surge in serious interest in the mid 50s - but it doesn't last long. By the end of the decade the idea of visiting ETs seems to have been firmly relegated to comedy / kids' media, or else fringe interest publications.

*A note on films*

The post in original form focuses mostly on British made films as it is obvious when they were actually released in the UK. For release dates of US features and their reception I've been relying upon other sources like British Science Fiction Cinema (ed. I.Q. Hunter) and Matthew Jones' Science Fiction Cinema and 1950s Britain: Recontextualizing Cultural Anxiety (2019). He argues convincingly that rather than worries about nuclear power and communism, these films were decoded in the UK as representing fears about race and the decline of Britain as a major power. 

As Britain's international importance declines throughout the 20th century, I think you can see a direct impact on how people see the UFO phenomena, helped along by Hollywood. When the ET wants to be taken to 'your leader' they aren't asking for Macmillon, Eden, or even Churchill. On the one hand there's the belief that these overdramatic 'crazy' events only happen across the pond, but on the other it's this growing quiet recognition that if aliens were visiting Earth, they probably wouldn't be interested in the UK.



1950

FLYING SAUCERS
June 8th, 19:45 - BBC Home Service (radio)

"Talk by Charles Gibbs-Smith. Flying Saucers came into the news during July 1947, since when official pronouncements and unofficial reports on the subject have followed thick and fast. Charles Gibbs-Smith discusses what is known, believed, and speculated about the phenomena."  

Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith (1909 - 81), according to his Wiki page, has been described as 'the greatest of all historians of early aviation'. Born in 1909, he studied at Harvard and became assistant keeper at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the 1930s, where he was responsible for the photographic collections. During WW2 he was seconded to the Ministry of Information, where he became the director of the photographic division and an instructor in aircraft recognition for the Royal Observer Corps.

What I'm saying is that you'd be hard pushed to find someone better qualified to tell you what random object you were seeing in the sky! Gibbs-Smith was also interested in the full spectrum of the paranormal and unafraid who knew it. HERE's a clip of him from a 1966 show saying he believed about 5% of UFO sightings represented extra-terrestrial craft. 



1951

Science Survey: Flying Saucers
January 11th, 22:30 - BBC Home Service (radio)

In this programme three speakers try to get at the truth about flying saucers. They are:

George Edwards
an expert on aeronautical matters, who explains what 'flying machines' can and cannot do.

James Paton
a meteorologist and expert on things seen in the sky, who explains how we may misinterpret things that are really there.

W.D. Wright
a physicist, who specialises in the physics of vision. He explains how we may think we see things that are not there.

George Edwards (1908 - 2003) was an aircraft designer who would become the managing director of Vickers Armstrong in 1953, and later served as President of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1957-8. James Paton (1903 - 73) was a lecturer at Edinburgh University, going on to head an independent Department of Meteorology in 1964, and became Director of the British Astronomical Association's Aurora Section in 1952.

The show was deemed a big enough deal to be mentioned on the front cover of that week's Radio Times.

--x--x--

The Man from Planet X

US sci-fi film The Man From Planet X was released to UK cinemas in October 1951.



1952

picturegoer

--x--x--

The Day The Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still was released to UK cinemas in January 1952.

--x--x--

Superman and the Mole People

Superman and the Mole Men, the first feature length Superman film, was released to US cinemas in November 1951. It made it across the pond sometime in spring 1952, renamed Superman and the Strange People.



1953

Spring 1953 saw the first issue of Flying Saucer News, 'the official journal of the Flying Saucer Club.'

--x--x--

The spring 1953 edition of the Lancet also raised the topic of UFOs. Their explanation was soap suds swilled down drains on wash days, which then collected as froth at sewage farms. This could blow away and stay in the air for a couple of hours, being mistaken for saucers. It sounds ridiculous but examples were observed in 1954! (See FSN#6)

--x--x--

The War of the Worlds

April 1953 - The War of the Worlds was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x--

Donald Howard Menzel (1901 - 76), a professor of astrophysics at Harvard University, released Flying Saucers. The book argued that flying saucers "are as real as rainbows. No one should be ashamed of seeing them and reporting them. I have seen them myself." They were, in fact, misidentified natural phenomena.

--x--x--

Are There Flying Saucers?
June 14th, 19:30 - BBC Home Service (radio)

A review by A. C. B. Lovell Professor of Radio-Astronomy, University of Manchester.
Professor Lovell reviews a recently published book on 'Flying Saucers' by Donald H. Menzel, Professor of Astrophysics, Harvard University.

Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell (1913 - 2012) was a physicist and radio astronomer who served as the first director of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, from 1945 to 1980. Its radio telescope, completed in 1957 and still the third largest steerable dish telescope in the world, is named for him. He was a skeptic who did not believe in the existence of UFOs, and so likely took this opportunity to agree with Menzel's stance that the UFO phenomena was nothing more than misidentification.

--x--x--

Saturday July 8th 1953 - the first episode of BBC TV six part serial The Quatermass Experiment is aired at 20:15. 5 million people watched the final episode on August 22nd, more or less the entire TV owning population! 

--x--x--

Abbott and Costello Go To Mars

July 13th 1953 - Abbott and Costello Go To Mars was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x---

Summer 1953 brought the second issue of Flying Saucer News. They discussed the various reviews published on Menzel's book, and particularly the BBC broadcast by Lovell. The club wrote to Lovell who 'declined further comment' but 'offered to pass on any reports he receives.' There was more positive comment on the early press surrounding Desmond Leslie's as yet untitled book.

--x--x--

Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie (1921 - 2001) and George Adamski is published. The book was reviewed in all kinds of newspapers and periodicals.

--x--x--

It Came From Outer Space

September 25th - It Came From Outer Space was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x--

September 30th. Illustrated published pictures and excerpts from Flying Saucers Have Landed.

--x--x--

October 8th. Eastern Evening News. (See FSN#3) The witness, Mr Potter, was interviewed shortly later by Hardiment Scott for the BBC Midland Home Service.

--x--x--

Snapshot
Wednesday October 18th, 21:40 - BBC1 (tv)

John Irwin presented the show which featured Mr Potter's UFO sighting. The Daily Mail (02/11/53) reported that James Harrison, Socialist MP for East Nottingham, had asked Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, the Home Secretary, to confirm or deny the story which had 'seriously disturbed' hundreds of people in the Midlands.

--x--x--

October 21st. The Eastern Evening News published a piece about a lecture given in Norwich by Desmond Leslie the night before.

--x--x--

Flying Saucer News #3 was published in autumn 1953.

--x--x--

November. Extensive press coverage was given to UFOs tracked on radar. Questions were asked in parliament. The official Air Ministry response was that they were balloons.

--x--x--

Flying Saucers: an investigation 
Wednesday December 9th, 21:15 - BBC Home Service, North (radio)


Flying Saucer News

--x--x--

Are There Flying Saucers?
Thursday December 10th, 22:00 - BBC1 (tv)

"Arthur C. Clarke, Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, puts forward some theories." That week's Radio Times explained,

A recent edition of Snapshot contained an item about those elusive 'flying saucers'. A short programme on Thursday presents another view of the same phenomena. The speaker will be Arthur C. Clarke who, when we saw him the other day, defined his attitude as one of 'open-minded scepticism' - and this after a visit this summer to the U.S.A. where he interrogated some of the people concerned in a recent alleged landing of a flying saucer.

Now thirty-six, Clarke was a government auditor before the war, then joined the R.A.F., worked with the first experimental blind landing unit, and published a great many technical papers on electronics and radar. He took his degree in physics and mathematics after the war and his now a full-time writer of science fiction (his last book was called Expedition to Earth), and of such studies as The Exploration of Space. Clarke is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society.

FSN



1954


--x--x--


--x--x--

April. British Flying Saucer Bureau and the Flying Saucer Club amalgamated.

--x--x--

Spring 1954. Flying Saucer News #5.

It carried an interesting report on a saucer photograph taken on February 15th by 13 year old Stephen Darbishire of Lancashire. Stephen was invited to Buckingham Palace on March 23rd so a report on his sighting could be prepared by one of the Duke of Edinburgh's secretaries, then forwarded on to him in Australia.

--x--x--

Devil Girl From Mars


This UK production was released to UK cinemas on May 2nd.

--x--x--

People Talking Flying Saucers
May 20th, 20:30 - BBC Light Programme (radio)   

First of a series of three feature programmes of argument and fact devised and written by Denis Mitchell. For centuries people have been reporting strange sights In the sky. And now— flying saucers. What might they be?

That week's Radio Times mentioned the programme in their Both Sides of the Microphone section:

From Outer Space. 

When it became known that a programme about flying saucers was to be broadcast in the North of England Home Service last December many people wrote or telephoned Denis Mitchell with accounts of their personal experiences. 

Some of these accounts will be included on Thursday when a new production of this mixture of fact and argument is presented in the Light Programme. 

Other contributors to the programme will be Group Captain Douglas Bader, G. Tilgman Richards, the aircraft designer, Desmond Leslie, part-author of a best-selling book on flying saucers, and Professor A. C. B. Lovell, Professor of Radio-Astronomy at the University of Manchester.

The programme is the first of three to be broadcast under the general title of People Talking. The other two will be devoted to 'The Drifting Sort' and 'The English Sunday'. 

--x--x--

May 31st. Flying Saucers From Outer Space is published in the UK.

--x--x--

July. Every newspaper and its supplement publishes stories about a UFO sighting by passengers and crew of a BOAC Strato-cruiser on June 30th.

--x--x--

Summer 1954. Flying Saucer News #6.

--x--x--

Leonard G. Cramp publishes Space, Gravity and the Flying Saucer.

--x--x--

Cyril Richardson publishes Venus Speaks.

--x--x--

Cedric Allingham publishes Flying Saucer From Mars.



1955

People Talking 2 - Unusual Beliefs.
Tuesday January 25th, 19:30 - BBC Home Service, North of England (radio)

A series of programmes devised and presented by Denis Mitchell.

--x--x--


--x--x--

The Wolverhampton press and Junior Sketch reported on a flying saucer photograph taken by 16-year-old schoolboy Harold John Cummins over the Christmas holidays.

--x--x--

February. Flying Saucer News Bulletin #1 published by the British Flying Saucer Bureau in Bristol.

--x--x--

March 24th. A bright ball shaped UFO was seen in the skies across Britain. Many newspapers reported on it over the following few days. See FSN#10 for a full investigation.

--x--x--

Spring 1955. Flying Saucer News #8.

--x--x--

Children's Hour
Saturday 9th April, 17:00 - BBC Home Service (radio)

Ann Price's short story 'Jane and the Flying Saucer' was read by Gillian Andrews. 

--x--x--

People Talking - Unusual Beliefs.
Monday 18th April, 20:30 - BBC Light Programme (radio)

The recorded broadcast of the North of England Home Service of Jan 25th.

--x--x--

April. Major Patrick Wall MP asked a question about UFOs in parliament. 

--x--x--

This Island, Earth

June 27th - This Island, Earth was released to UK cinemas. The BBFC issued various cuts to allow it a U (universal - suitable for all ages) certificate.

--x--x--

The Quatermass Xperiment

August 26th - Hammer's The Quartermass Xperiment was released to cinemas. This remake of the BBC TV show from 1953 had a slight name change to highlight the fact it had been given an X certificate by the BBFC. Introduced in 1951, the X certificate meant a film was extremely graphic and only suitable for over 16s. (In 1970 it was bumped up to 18s and over, and renamed '18' in 1982.)

--x--x--


--x--x--

M. K. Jessup publishes The Case For The UFO.

--x--x--


--x--x--

Saturday October 22nd, 20:00 - BBC TV airs the first episode of their Quatermass sequel, the imaginatively named Quatermass II. This time around the episodes were telerecorded and repeated on Monday nights at 22:15. 9 million people tuned into the final episode on November 26th.

--x--x--

Children's Hour - Jennings at School
Thursday December 22nd, 17:20 - BBC Home Service (radio)

' Jennings at School'
A series of plays by Anthony Buckeridge
3—' Jennings and the Christmas Spirit'
Produced by David Davis

It was Jennings' idea to send Mr. Wilkins his hand-made and unconventional Christmas card of space ships and flying saucers landing on the moon. True, it carried Christmas greetings, but there was also an ulterior motive, to which, as you will hear, Mr. Wilkins was slow in responding!

--x--x--

George Adamski publishes Inside the Spaceships.



1956

Spring. Flying Saucer News #11. Lack of sales saw it return to a simple duplicated affair for this issue.

--x--x--

Forbidden Planet

June 1956 - Forbidden Planet was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x--

Fire Maidens From Outer Space Movie Poster

Fire Maidens From Outer Space

This rather cheap British production hit cinemas on September 6th.

--x--x--

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

November 1956 - Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x--

Flying Saucers Do They Exist?

First Hand: 3: Flying Saucers - Do They Exist?
Tuesday December 4th, 21:45 - BBC (tv)

--x--x--


--x--x--

Saturday December 15th 1956 - ITV aired the first episode of their six part series, The Trollenberg Terror.



1957


Children's Television: Studio E
Monday February 25th, 17:00 - BBC (tv)

Vera McKechnie introduces: Jet Morgan investigating waves ripples, and flying saucers with Andrew Faulds, Desmond Leslie, Kit Richardson, Arthur Garratt. Followed by Mr. Plackett's Rocket starring Clive Dunn (Mr. Plackett is interviewed by Tony Bateman).

--x--x--

Children's Television: Studio E
Monday April 8th, 17:00 - BBC1 (tv)

Vera McKechnie introduces: Desmond Leslie with Kit Richardson reporting on flying saucers.

--x--x--

Children's Television: Studio E
Monday May 6th, 17:00 - BBC1 (tv)

Vera McKechnie introduces:

Kit Richardson talking with Pat Hansford about Flying Saucers.

Jet Morgan presenting Robots at your Service with Andrew Faulds and Arthur Garratt.

--x--x--

Quatermass II

Quatermass II was premiered in cinemas on May 24th. It went on general release on June 17th.

--x--x--


--x--x--

Invasion of the Hell Creatures

November 1957 - US film Invasion of the Saucer Men was released to UK cinemas as Invasion of the Hell Creatures with an X certificate.

--x--x---

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

November 1957 - Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, a US film from 1956, was released to UK cinemas.



1958

The Strange World of Planet X.

Released to UK cinemas on March 4th. It's better known by its US title, Cosmic Monsters.

--x--x--

Flying Saucer News Bulletin #9

--x--x--

September 14th. George Adamski gave a lecture at Caxton Hall in London. It was tape recorded and has been uploaded to Youtube. They also have a short interview he did before the lecture, along with a recording of him being interviewed by Desmond Leslie.

--x--x--

The Phil Silvers Show: Bilko and the Flying Saucers
Monday September 22nd, 20:20 - BBC1 (tv)   

--x--x--

Children's Hour - Birds, Balloons, Meteors-or Flying Saucers?
Thursday October 2nd, 17:15 - BBC Home Service (radio)

Ever since ' Flying Saucers ' first came into the news in 1947 thousands of people all over the world have reported seeing U.F.O.s (Unidentified Flying Objects) moving across the sky. This programme includes reports of some of these ' sightings' and of the efforts that have been made to find out what lies behind them.
Script and presentation by Nan Macdonald.
Produced by Herbert Smith.

--x--x--

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

October 1958 - It! The Terror From Beyond Space was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x--
 
The Trollenberg Terror

October 7th 1958 - The Trollenberg Terror (known as The Crawling Eye in the USA) was released to UK cinemas. The story was based on an ITV show of the same name from 1956.

--x--x--

For The Schools - The Jacksons: Spaceman Ken (recording aired at 14:30)
Monday November 10th, 13:40 - BBC Home Service (radio)

--x--x--

Monday 22nd December, 20:00 - BBC1 (tv)

The second Quatermass sequel began on December 22nd. The final episode aired on January 26th 1959, attracting 11 million people.

--x--x--

Children's Hour
Friday December 26th, 17:00 - BBC Home Service (radio)

Leonard Henry as Simple Simon in an original radio pantomime 'Spaceman Simon' by Philip Bentinck.



1959



Children's Hour - More about U.F.O.s
Tuesday March 24th, 17:25 - BBC Home Service (radio)

A follow up to the programme
' Birds, Balloons, Meteors or Flying Saucers? ' broadcast last October
Script and presentation by Nan Macdonald
Production by Herbert Smith

--x--x--

Queen of Outer Space

May 17th - Queen of Outer Space was released to UK cinemas.

--x--x--

A-Z: Q
Wednesday May 27th, 20:45 - BBC1 (tv)

Alan Melville takes you from A-Z through the world of entertainment.
This week's programme deals with Letter Q and is produced by Bryan Sears.
Artists include:
The quartet of Tony Kinsey
Quatermass discussed by the author, Nigel Kneale
The Questors Theatre and its founder, Alfred Emmet
The music of Roger Quilter and The Eleven-Plus Quiz
(Tony Kinsey and his Quartet are appearing at the Flamingo Club, London)

--x--x--

July 12th 

LUFORO (London Unidentified Flying Object Research Organisation, predecessor of BUFORA) is set up.

--x--x--

Front Page
August 13th, 13:10 - BBC Home Service (radio)

     Stories behind the headlines told by the people who made them
3-The Nine-Days' Wonder
From time to time a new sensation fills the newspapers only to disappear from the front page after a few davs. Flying saucers, the Girl Pat, Amy Johnson's flight to Australia, the Loch Ness Monster-these and many others are recalled with contemporary recordings.
Written by Gordon Cruickshank
Narrated by Alexander Moyes
Produced by Denys Gueroult

--x--x--

Woman's Hour
September 15th, 14:00 - BBC Light Programme (radio)

Including 'Flying Saucers: fact, fancy or hoax?' Three speakers give their views.

--x--x--

Children's Hour
Saturday September 19th, 17:00 - BBC Home Service (radio)

' Tammy Troot-Spaceman ' :
Willie Joss reads a story by Lavinia Derwent
The Burn is overcrowded-that is quite ohvious-what with the Trout's Granny, his friends Rab Rat and Froogy, the millions of minnows attending Sam Sole 's Academy for Mixed Infants, and the Rubbish Heap. Is it any wonder that Tammy Troot , Esq. has decided to explore outer space?

--x--x--

LUFORO (London UFO Research Organisation) published their first bulletin.



OTHER UFO RELATED FILMS

(aka films I have yet to establish UK release dates for...)




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Weird Wales


Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Welsh UFO Sightings 1989

Welsh UFO Sightings

Welsh UFO sightings from 1989. For sightings from other years please click HERE.

In October the Grand Hotel at Port Talbot played host to a UFO conference organised by OUGRAP, the Open University Graduates' Research into Anomalous Phenomena. Check out Amskaya #16 for an in depth write up of the conference.

Western Mail 1989

Other general UFO coverage that year included pieces on ufologists Margaret Fry and Gary Rowe in the local papers:

The Journal 08/02/1989

Wrexham Leader 11/04/1989



PRESS
Sunday January 1st, 01:00 - 02:00
Ebbw Vale

A low flying streak of light travelling at high speed was seen by multiple witnesses.

Doreen Doak, a retired 'strict teetotaller' who lived at Queens Villas, Ebbw Vale, said: "At about 1am, when all the street lights were off and it was pitch dark, my front room was suddenly filled with light. I looked out of the window and saw a huge ball of fire over the mountain by Beaufort Road. It was the size of the sun and level with my house.

It spiralled down, landed on the playing field behind the Territorial Army building, and fizzled out on the ground. I would expect to see a burn mark on the field where it landed. I couldn't imagine the TA men carrying out operations on New Years Day. But for a horrible moment - these things flash through your mind - I thought it was something trying to land on the building. I'm surprised that no one else saw the light."

Joan Hodges, 66, of Curre Street, Cwm: "I saw the light in the early hours of Sunday morning. I sleep in the back bedroom of our house, facing the mountainside, and at about 01:45am my bedroom wall was suddenly lit up. At first I thought it was a flash of lightning, but when I looked out of the window I saw a huge streak of light. It was going down towards Aberbeeg and travelling fast.

I was terrified. It reminded me of the war days when the searchlights would be in the sky tracking down enemy planes. It was almost on the ground, and so bright. It was that big that its light showed up all the grass and the trees. I told my hubbie about it and he said, 'You've actually seen a UFO.'"

Chris Holloway of Garden City, Ebbw Vale, was looking out over the Garden Festival site from her window with her daughter Louisa. She rang the Gwent Gazette at the beginning of February: "I'd forgotten about it, but after reading about the lights in the paper, I wondered if I had seen the same thing. We saw weird bright lights flashing across the sky, they were coming from Cwm.

There were streaks of white light, but not like lightening, as these were more vivid flashes, rather than the light breaking across the sky. My husband said that it could be because of the changes in temperature. It was a little bit unnerving when you saw it at first. I haven't seen it again after that night and no one around here has said they saw it. Maybe we were lucky to look out and catch it when we did."

Gwent Gazette, 26/01/1989



MOD FILES
January 7th, 14:35
Blaenavon

A witness who, according to Gwent police, 'appears in full control of faculties' was in the their back garden on a fine clear day when they saw 'two pencil shaped rockets with fire trailing'. They seemed as high as regular commercial aircraft and were travelling in a straight line, south to north. The sighting lasted 30 seconds and was reported to police.

DEFE-24-1952 216



MOD FILES
January 16th
Llandudno

Witness saw a 'very bright yellow orange object trailing sparks, about the size of the sun.' It appeared to be lower than usual aircraft height.

DEFE-24-1952 207



MOD FILES
January 19th
Pontypridd

Witness saw a UFO shaped 'like a shell and flat fronted with numerous lights and no sound at all.'

DEFE-24-1952 206



PRESS
January 19th, 16:30
Ebbw Vale

A long streak of light was seen in the sky over Ebbw Vale, seemingly travelling towards Tredegar. An eyewitness phoned the Gwent Gazette who subsequently asked readers (26/01/89) to write in with their own sightings.

A follow up piece (02/02/1989) quoted Andrew Puckette, 31, of St Cynidre Close, Ebbw Vale, who noticed the phenomenon on the Thursday afternoon, at about midday, as he was on his way into the house. He said: 

"A group of lights went across the sky. It seemed to turn and disappear towards Tredegar. I was really shocked. I told my mate, Neil Morgan from Hilltop, about it. We went up to Scotland the next day, so we didn't see the Gazette's report on it. When we came back and saw it in the paper I realised that that's what I had seen."       

Gwent Gazette 02/02/1989



PRESS
Wednesday February 1st, 07:30
Sageston, Pembrokeshire

Edward and Irene Ward of Hoyland Drive, Haverfordwest, were driving to Tenby swimming pool. As they turned off the main A477 road, at Sageston, passing RAF Carew Airfield, they saw: "....a round silver coloured object, very high up, moving through the sky. It then stopped in front of us, but still high up, before darting across the sky over Kilgetty, then over the coast, followed by its appearance, once again, overhead, at fantastic speed - as if in a blink of an eye."

Source: 'Haunted Skies' John Hanson citing a Haverfordwest newspaper 7 February 1989: 'Close Encounter For Local Couple.'



MOD FILES
Saturday February 11th, 09:30
Beaufort, Ebbw Vale

Very fine clear day. A husband and wife, together with their daughter, from Blaina, were in their car at the top of Beaufort Rise, near Ebbw Vale. The driver (man) saw a silver-coloured cylinder-shaped object at bout 30 degrees elevation, 200-300 feet in altitude.

It was pointed at one end, stationary and rotating slightly. Duration of sighting: 5 seconds.



PRESS
March 15th
Cynon Valley

A flash of light on the mountain between Mountain Ash and Aberaman was reported by two separate witnesses to police in Aberdare. Despite severe weather conditions a search was made, assisted by RAF helicopters from West Wales and Devon. Checks with the Civil Aviation Authority showed no missing aircraft, but a foot search with dogs was made by police on Thursday before closing the inquiry.

South Wales Echo 20/03/1989



CONTACT
May, early evening
Llandudno

Early one Monday evening, Douglas Haig Hughes, aged 68, from Queen's Road in Llandudno Junction, an ex-RAF gunner of five years in World War Two, was strolling along Ffordd Maelgwyn with his wife, Catherine. They then saw a grey cylinder-shaped object in the sky.

Douglas said: 'A cylinder-shaped object approached from the Glan Conwy area about 600 ft up and proceeded towards Llandudno. It was massive in diameter. I could see it with my naked eyes. 

It appeared at first to be moving at about 45 to 55 miles per hour. Then it slowed down and flashed a bright red light, like an infra-red light, from the window of the cylinder onto us. 

We didn't feel anything. When the light went out, it travelled on towards Llandudno. It was definitely not from this earth. We have been trying to get an aircraft for years and years that doesn't make a noise. There was no noise at all with this. 

I used to be very sceptical about such things, but what I saw on Monday convinced me beyond doubt that there is life on another plant.'

A spokesman for RAF Valley, Anglesey, said: 'We haven't been flying any planes over the last three days.'

Weekly News Thursday May 4th 1989

Douglas Haig Hughes

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MOD FILES
June, between 01:30 and 2:00
Crumlin

Fine and clear. A husband and wife at home saw two large brightly illuminated circular objects, spaced some distance apart, but appeared to be joined by a row of brightly lit spots, low in the sky over Trinant - Penyfan Pond area, about two miles distant.

It was not moving but appeared to be hovering. They did not report it at the time for fear of ridicule, however the man reported it to Blackwood Police Station on 8 July 1989.

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MOD FILES
July 3rd
Colwyn Bay

Witness saw a cigar shaped UFO with orange lights at each end. It was very noisy. The sighting lasted ten minutes and was reported to the police.  

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MOD FILES
Friday July 14th, 22:34
Bridgend

The witness was in Bridgend and saw an object slightly east of north at 8 – 10,000 ft. It was holding a steady position in the clear sky which had a full moon. At a distance of 6 miles, it was described as being cone shaped and displayed a steady white light, with a blue/green/red flashing light. The duration of the sighting was 20 minutes.

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MOD FILES
July 16th / 17th / 18th, 21:50
Bridgend

Witness saw a large round object with rings around it, bright blue and red lights. They watched it with the naked eye and through binoculars for 20 minutes, and reported the sighting to police.

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PRESS
July
Llanthony

Newspapers excitedly reported that 98 crop circles had been discovered on hilltops in Llanthony. ...It turned out they had been cut by the landowner to encourage the grouse population! For more on this and other Welsh crop circles I've got a dedicated post HERE.

Western Mail 01/08/1989



MOD FILES
Monday August 7th, 21:40
Ystalyfera

A family in Ystalyfera observed an oval-shaped object with silver, red and white flashing light, moving steadily from east to west. The duration of the sighting was two minutes. They reported it to the police.

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PRESS
Saturday August 12th, 01:30
Morriston

A strange dome shaped object was seen moving through the night sky above Morriston.

South Wales Echo 26/09/1989



MOD FILES
October, 23:00
Canton, Cardiff

Slightly misty conditions. The witness was in the rear garden of home in Canton and observed two large white or orange lights, from separate sources, one following the other. They were moving north to south, fast and steady, overhead. Duration of sighting: 2 to 3 minutes.

(I'm hoping to find a more clear version of this to embed... still trawling the files at the moment!)       

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PRESS
Tuesday October 24th, 05:00
Pontypool

Husband and wife, Glyn and Toni Edwards were in the attic bedroom of their home in Pontypool when they saw an unexplained and very bright object in the sky above the town. Glyn Edwards, a 39-year-old music teacher, said:

"I got up to have a drink of water and saw the ball of light moving north to south along the valley. It was a clear night and we have a view of the entire valley from our attic bedroom. The object was travelling at a very slow speed - far too slow for it to be a plane or helicopter but what I found more striking was the fact that the object made no noise of any kind. Noise carries a long way at night in the valley but we heard nothing, the object did not make a sound."

Glyn's wife, Toni, a local school meals organiser, also described the sighting:

"I saw very bright lights like searchlights trained on trees. It was moving so slowly that the object was almost static. Also it was completely the wrong shape for a plane."

The couple contacted the South Wales Argus after reading about the sighting by the three boys in Cwmtillery (2 November 1989). They said:

"From the description the boys gave it was the same object that we saw, it moved the same way. I certainly cannot explain what we saw", Mr Edwards added.

South Wales Argus 16/11/1989



PRESS
Thursday November 2nd, 17:30
Cwmtillery

A disc-shaped object with a flat base and domed shape, which was glowing white was seen flying very fast and at a low altitude, making a circuit around the valley.

It was witnessed by three schoolboys - Lee Holt, Sydney McLoughlin and Carl Jones, who were playing by a nearby lake in Cwmtillery. They saw a bright light coming down the hillside, and one of the youngsters Lee Holt drew a picture of the object. "It was really low in the sky, clipping the tops of trees. It circled above our heads a number of times then flew off really quickly," Lee Holt stated.

"It was silver and disc shaped with a domed top with luminous lights and about the size of a car but it made no noise" Lee added. A few minutes later it vanished. Then a huge fireball came down by a nearby farm. "We had been really scared because we thought that whatever the object was had come to take us away," Lee added. Lee Holt's mother Melinda told the paper that the boys had been terrified when they arrived back at her home shortly after the sighting.

Source: www.deltapro.co.uk citing L. Williams-Davies - NUN 162 / 'UFO Wales' David L. Richards 2012 page 79 citing 'South Wales Argus' 9 November 1989.
  South Wales Argus 07/11/1989



November, evening
Beacons Reservoir, Brecon Beacons

Early evening - just got dark. Clear. Janice was driving with her great Niece, Katie (11) and great Nephew, Tim (5) from her home in Leamington Spa to the childrens' home in Neath and was driving south on the A470, passing the Beacons Reservoir, just south of Story Arms. They saw a possibly disc-shaped object which displayed large red, green and white lights, behind the car. Janice stopped the car and got out to get a camera from the boot, while the object hovered about 100 feet up and to the rear right of the car. But, due to the fear displayed by the children she thought better of it and drove off. They did not see the object again, but not long after they had re-started, a blue flash of light was visible across the landscape ahead of them which lasted a few seconds, which Janice thought was maybe connected to the object.

Source: Full report by David Hodrien of Birmingham UFO Group, who later married the Katie in the report: http://reported-sightings.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/november-1989-brecon-beacons-multi.html



MOD FILES
November 18th, 17:40
Severn Bridge

The witness, who had no prior interest in UFOs and was medically retired from the RAF, was driving a tanker in thin fog. They saw a bank of white and yellow(ish) lights heading towards the Severn Bridge. They were very low flying, about headlamp height, and seemed to keep pace alongside the tanker, coming to within 12 feet of it. The witness reported the sighting to an American Ufologist and, later, to the RAF.

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MOD FILES
December 29th
Llandudno

Witness saw a single bright light moving slowly in the direction of Llandudno. The sighting lasted five minutes.
 
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SUFON
Winter 1989-1990
Brecon Beacons  

The witness was with family members and saw a silent black triangular craft with three red lights on each side and one at the rear as it moved at a very slow speed and twisting through the air.

Source: SUFON files.



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