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Llanerchymedd UFO Landing 1978

Last week I wrote about the February 16th 1977 UFO sighting at Rhosybol primary school on Anglesey. While researching that post Google pulled up much more about another Anglesey sighting I couldn't even remember hearing of, this one from 1978. 

So, inevitably, here's a write up of that sighting from Llanerchymedd...

September 1st 1978 was a Friday. On the Maes Athen estate in the village of Llanerchymedd, Anglesey, a group of children were playing football at about 8:15pm. David Hesketh, aged 12, spotted a strange light in the sky - initially he thought it might be a helicopter attempting to land. He and some other boys ran over to a gate leading onto Oldsmith field to get a closer look.

Llanerchymedd Map

Whatever it was it quickly became clear it wasn't a helicopter. 

At first it seemed bullet shaped, bright white with a glowing red light around its perimeter. As it moved lower it seemed to have two protrusions, one on each side. Next it was best described as two circles of light, an inner dull red surrounded by an outer circle of brilliant white. 

The craft then dropped below the tree line and out of view, over half a mile away from the boys, though David said he could see the branches shaking violently. It made no noise - but animals in the surrounding fields were severely distressed. Some of the boys ran off to get help. David was about to make his own way home, around 8:20pm, when he looked to the right and saw two strange figures walking across Oldsmith field. 

He estimated both figures to be about six foot tall and, as best as he could tell in the now failing light, dressed in one-piece suits. The first figure wore a grey suit with a vertical black band down the back, and a horizontal red band just above the waist. It had its arms raised above its head and at one point shook them from side to side; David shouted out and waved his own arm, but received no response.

The second figure wore a grey suit with wrinkled material at the waist, and a horizontal white band just above the waist. It walked stiffly with its arms by its side. 

David watched them walking slowly in single file for about two minutes until the darkness and elevation meant they disappeared from view. It was now 8:23pm and David and his friend ran to call the police from the nearest phone box. They were put through to Amlwch station but, though there had been no problems before, the line was distorted with crackling and a high pitched hum, making it difficult to communicate. 

Nevertheless, a patrol car arrived on scene around 8:35pm. 

The officers interviewed a few witnesses but spent most of their time helping one of the owners calm the horses in the nearby field down. Although they pledged to return the following day, the officers' departure around 9:15pm actually marked the end of police involvement in the case. 

David was identified as the key witness to the sighting but he was far from the only person to see something strange. Earlier in the evening Helen Roberts and Glynwin Hughs watched a strange 'cloud' for half an hour whilst out walking their dogs, and Betty Owen stood on her doorstep with a neighbour watching a 'silver ball' in the sky for five minutes. Eilian Williams was playing with friends in Oldsmith field when he saw a strange light at about 8pm; they ran off afraid before it landed.

Various adults were alerted to events by the frightened children. One of them, Patricia Owen, who was 21 at the time, saw three figures in the field from her upstairs window and shouted to the children to call the police. She spoke to SUFON (Swansea UFO Network) about it in 2018:

Later that night, at about 10:30pm, Jeremy Burford was driving with friends when they pulled over to watch a strange light in the sky for around 30 minutes. Over the next few days numerous people saw strange lights in the sky, including Jeremy's sister and step-mother, and on Saturday afternoon there was a lot of low-flying by aircraft. In the early hours of Sunday September 3rd some witnesses were woken by the presence of a military jet and helicopters over the fields, allegedly dropping flares.

RAF Valley denied any involvement, and the police similarly stated they were unaware of any military exercises - something they would usually be informed of at short notice in order to allay public concerns. Utility companies and the local authority confirmed the figures did not belong to their workforce and though the story attracted a fair amount of press attention no satisfactory explanation was ever produced.

Flying Saucer Review published a report on the sighting by Martin Keatman, the regional investigations co-ordinator for UFOIN and BUFORA. Here are the relevant pages:

Flying Saucer Review Flying Saucer Review Llanerchymedd Report Flying Saucer Review 1979 Flying Saucer Review Anglesey UFO Flying Saucer Review Wales UFO 1978 Flying Saucer Review 1970s Flying Saucer Review Llanerchymedd UFO Report Flying Saucer Review

Not to be outdone, the November 1979 edition of the BUFORA (British UFO Research Association) Journal published a very detailed report of the investigation carried out by FUFOR (Federation UFO Research of Crewe). The full issue is available on their website, and I've embedded the relevant pages below:

BUFORA Nov 1979 3 BUFORA Nov 1979 4 BUFORA Nov 1979 5 BUFORA Nov 1979 6 BUFORA Nov 1979 7 BUFORA Nov 1979 8 BUFORA Nov 1979 9 BUFORA Nov 1979 10 BUFORA Nov 1979 11 BUFORA Nov 1979 12 BUFORA Nov 1979 13 BUFORA Nov 1979 14

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