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Welsh UFO Sightings - 1954

Welsh UFO Sightings

UFO sightings from 1954. For Welsh sightings from other years please click HERE.

This was the busiest year of the decade for Welsh reports. 

Flying Saucer News reported that their Cardiff rep, Miss W. B. Knowles, arranged a talk by Desmond Leslie at the Cardiff Temple of Peace on February 19th.

July, 11:00

A male witness saw a black circle in the sky over Newport, which when it turned sideways, it looked like a silver saucer. It was moving across the sky.

Source: MOD Files - witness reported it 3 January 2008.

July 27th, afternoon
St Athan, Glamorgan

Brilliant sphere which changed to a 'pancake' shaped object before making off at speed - watched by RAF control tower at Airfield, through high-power binoculars. "Not an identifiable aircraft." Seen in afternoon. Est. height 10,000 ft. No balloons up at the time.

Source: Flying Saucer News #7, winter 54/55.

August 6th, 19:00

Large number of people witnessed a "very bright mushroom-like object" west of Barry. It was stationary long enough for observers to call witnesses from nearby houses and was pulsating. It changed shape a number of times before assuming a 'pancake' shape and making off at speed.

Source: Barry Herald and South Wales Echo, 7/8/54.

The Western Mail of Saturday August 14th reported that on the same day at 7.15 PM. Mr. W. G. Weeks, a photographer, of Lincoln Street, Canton, Cardiff said he saw "two silver balls" hovering in the sky.

Peter Paget wrote about the Barry sighting in his 1980 book UFO-UK:

5.45 PM. Clear blue sky. George Hortop and his fiancee were sitting on the pebble beach at The Knap, Barry, when their attention was drawn to a stationary object to the south-west over the Bristol Channel in the direction of, and well out past Rhoose Point. He said it was a brilliant silver colour and “conveyed the impression of a strong light reflecting on a chromium or silver-plated body.” They were struck by the fact that there was a slight westerly wind but the disc-shaped object was not moving.

At the same time members of the RAF Gliding School were completing a series of flying operations from St. Athan airfield at the time. All were witness to the object, including the commanding officer, several instructors and a number of air cadets. A flying officer took off in a glider with a pupil t investigate the object from a closer position. He stated:

"The form I observed was that of a large double-convex lens viewed in vertical profile. It was not possible to estimate its true size or distance at which it was stationed, but on the southern and eastern legs of the first circuit of which I flew, the object was perfectly clear against a blue sky and very sharply defined and a bright silver colour."

He was also impressed by the fact that it was so immobile, despite the wind.

They landed after one circuit and took off again with the same pupil for a second circuit similar to the first. The object was in the same position but had changed its shape to that of a silvery dumb-bell. Again there was no movement apparent during the course of the glider’s flight past. This ruled out the possibility of it being light reflected from a conventional aircraft, or of it being a weather balloon.

George Hortop and his fiancée watching from the beach at The Knap, could not see the shape-change, but could pick out the RAF glider near it. During this second approach by the glider the obect suddenly vanished. It had been in view for about two hours prior to this.

It had also been seen by observers at Rhoose Airport.

Peter Paget included this case in his UFO UK, with a report in George Hortop's own words:

"The flying saucer incident we witnessed occurred on 6th August 1954 in the early evening. Time noted down as 17:45 hours. Both of us were sitting on the pebble beach at The Knap, Barry, when our attention was taken by a stationary object over the Bristol Channel in a south west direction well out past Rhoose Point. This object was a brilliant silver colour and conveyed the impression of a strong light reflecting on a chromium or silver body.

The thing that struck us, was that although there was a slight westerly wind the object, disc-shaped, was not moving. The weather was perfect for any August evening, the sky was exceptionally blue and clear of cloud apart from one or two small patches of fractocumulous cloud, so more or less broad daylight as you can imagine. Also take note that this sighting was witnessed, as we both found out later on in the week through the national press, by a considerable number of keen and experienced observers at RAF St Athan and Rhoose Airport.

Members of the RAF Gliding School were completing a series of flying operations from St Athan airfield at the time. The commanding officer, several instructors and a number of air cadets were present; all of whom bore witness to the entity that appeared over the Bristol Channel that August evening in 1954. A flying officer, it was stated, took off in a glider with a pupil to investigate the object from a closer angle and I quote his words:

'The form I observed was that of a large double-convex lens viewed in vertical profile. It was not possible to estimate its true size or distance at which it was stationed, but on the southern and eastern legs of the first circuit of which I flew, the object was perfectly clear against a blue sky and very sharply defined and a bright silver colour.'

Another thing that impressed the officer flying near the object, as he stated, was the immobility of the thing. It remained quite stationary and was seemingly unaffected by wind or air currents. This, of course, was also the talking point between my fiance while I was watching it from the pebble beach.

The officer landed after one circuit and took off again with the same cadet for a second circuit similar to the first. During this flight towards the object they found it was in the same position but had altered its shape to that of a silvery dumbbell. There was no apparent approach or recession or lateral movement of the form over the critical six to seven minutes of observation from the glider. This discounted the idea that it could be light from a conventional aircraft.

The immobility of the object equally discouraged the idea that it was a free meteorological balloon. From the beach, we could not see it changing shape but could pick out the glider near it. On this last circuit by the glider, the object suddenly vanished. On the beach we had been watching this object for an estimated two hours when we noticed it disappear. This aerial phenomenon really baffled us both. For a daylight sighting, this was unique, as it is for an aircraft to get such a good close up of such a phenomenon."

Barry and District News published a piece on May 3rd 2018 about a sighting on August 7th 1954:

THIS week the nostalgia section features a photograph taken on August 7, 1954 when a UFO was seen from Redbrink Crescent. "The houses on Redbrink Crescent, Barry Island, have always had a stunning view from the coast of Barry since they were built in 1898. A member of staff at the lifeboat station reported a round silver transparent object hovering in the direction of St Athan.

The UFO shot off at great speed but not before two mess sergeants at St Athan also caught sight of a "flying saucer". Further mystery objects were seen in the sky above Barry a week later a "bright red star" moving at great speed. Airport officials and RAF control tower staff also confirmed seeing unidentified objects around the same time.

In the autumn of 1954 there was a great wave of UFO sightings across Europe especially in France and Italy. It seems to me the 1954 UFO phenomenon, started in Barry first, before moving eastwards into Europe." The Barry & District News would like to thank Cllr Shirley Hodges for the photograph and information.

August 13th

Many Cardiff residents, including the Lord Mayor and Mayoress, reported "two silver spheres" or discs at 7.15pm which remained still for about 5 mins. It was like "two huge spheres suspended one above the other and joined by a bar," said the Mayor. 

Later, the RAF Met Station at Rhoose issued this statement: "At 18:50 GMT a bright object was sighted. Bearing 190 degrees, elevation about 70 - visible for half a minute, being lost behind cloud. No obvious movement. The object was similar in appearance to a balloon."

Source: Western Mail, 14/08/1954. 

7.15 PM. Mr W.G. Weeks, a photographer, of Lincoln Street, Canton, Cardiff said he saw "two silver balls" hovering in the sky after his wife drew his attention to them. He said he saw them the Friday before also (6 August) "at exactly the same time, I made a note of it." He said he saw the objects against a clear blue sky.

"They were a little farther apart than they were last week, they hovered in the sky for about four or five minutes and then made off in the general direction of Barry at a rapid speed."

Many other people in Lincoln Street and other streets looked up to see the 'saucers'.

The discs were not seen by the coastguards at Barry or Llantwit Major.

Shortly after two discs were seen over Cardiff, the RAF Meteorological Station at Rhoose issued the following statement:

"At 18.50 G.M.T. a bright white spherical object was sighted. Bearing 190 degrees, elevation about 7 degrees, visible for half a minute, being lost behind cloud. No obvious movement. The object was similar to a large white balloon."

The object at Rhoose was sighted 25 minutes after the two 'silver discs' were seen over Cardiff.

These reports inspired Douglas Morgan of Caerphilly to write into the Western Mail (25/08/1954):

Western Mail 25/08/1954

Saturday August 28th, 23:30
Crumlin / Pontypridd

Bryn Lewis, of Bronybryn, Crumlin, saw a cigar-shaped object having an orange glow over Crumlin.

"The glow seemed to go on and off. The object was quite a size, about 8,000 feet up and stationary. The light could be seen going on and off for a little while and then the object just disappeared".

Source: Western Mail, Monday 30th August 1954. The following day, Tuesday 31st August, the Western Mail reported:

Mr. C. Rae of Thurston Road, Pontypridd saw an object in the sky. 

"It began as a dull orange glow with a white cone of light piercing the centre, and was in view for about a minute. Suddenly it started to extinguish from the top downwards."

Tuesday 31st August

The Western Mail of Wednesday 1st September 1954 reported that in the late afternoon, Mr. R. Bennett, of Grand Avenue, Ely, Cardiff saw a silver disc which went in the direction of Barry. 

"It was at least a couple of feet long," he said.

In the evening five youths who had just returned from a trip to the seaside and were talking near Albany Road, Roath Park when they saw a strange object in the sky. One of them, Brian Murphy said: 

"It was a long shape and of a pale blue colour. It was moving fast in the direction of Newport, and we had it in sight for well over a minute." 

His statement was supported by his four friends.

Friday September 3rd, 20:30

Mr. L. Bailey of David Street, Porth, who was with his wife and child at the time said that the object was flying in an easterly direction over the top of the Rhondda Valley. He described it as having a yellow head and a red tail. His wife was the first to see it and then Mr. Bailey saw it for "just over a second" before it disappeared.

It came back, however, and he saw it again.

Source: Western Mail Saturday 4 September 1954

Sunday October 3rd, night
Cathays, Cardiff

A couple were getting off a bus near Gladstone School, Cathays and saw an object in the sky. It appeared to be oval with an orange glow, alternately dim and bright, and with "a sort of searchlight ray" at the front.

It disappeared in a south-westerly direction, but after the couple had walked through a side-street to Fairoak Road the object was again visible in the south-west. It was motionless for about seven minutes, disappeared and then reappeared as a bright light moving very slowly towards the west.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 4th October 1954.


Mr D. Evans, caretaker of Parc Beck Nurses Home, Swansea, described an object he saw pass over the town. "Long black pencil-shaped-glowing with an orange light. The speed of the thing was fantastic. It travelled so quickly it seemed to eat everything up in front of it."

Source: Western Mail, 5th October 1954.

Friday November 12th, night

A strange blue light was seen in the sky over Llandaff by Mr. Spencer Thomas, a farmer of Gwernigeddrych Farm, Peterston.

Mr. Thomas was driving his car towards Cardiff, and was near the Star Inn.

"I thought it was a falling star at first, but then it levelled out over Whitchurch golf course and went away in a northerly direction. As it went away from me the light was flashing still the same colour, at intervals of about one second."

An officer at St. Athan RAF Station said that flying there ceased before nightfall, and they had no reports of anything unusual in the sky.

Source: Western Mail, Saturday 13th November 1954.

c. 1954
South Wales

'Jayne', who had had previous abduction experiences in 1934 and 1943, was abucted along with her then boyfriend. Margaret Fry wrote up the details in Who Are They?

"On this particular evening when Jayne was 21, she and her boyfriend had driven out in his new car; they were parked by fields, in a lane by the sea. It was a clear evening (I was not told the boyfriend’s name). They were talking, when they both noticed a dark rolling mass of mist creeping up the fields towards them.

She felt quite alarmed and suggested they should make for home immediately, but he wanted to stay on. He went on talking as the mist which she was apprehensively watching, crept up and encased the car. At this stage, the boy exclaimed he could see bright lights and they were ships. “What ships” she said, “For God’s sake, let’s go”. He then edged very slowly along the lane, but he kept commenting on the ships with bright lights, but she did not want to look, and felt very irritated with him, for placing themselves in this frightening situation. She kept repeating, "Lets get home quickly."

They had gone into this lane on a clear evening at 7.20p.m and by the time they emerged on to the main road it was past 9.00p.m. The lane Ron and I motored on in a few minutes emerging on to the main road. Both Jayne and her boyfriend were aware of the time loss, the boy was very worried about it, as he kept saying “didn’t you see the very bright lights”. Her recollection is of being vaguely lifted from the car, but not with the boy. The boy was also taken and vaguely recalled this, but he did not go at the same moment as her. The mist had continued thick as they edged their way around, but once on the main road, it was immediately clear.

The following day the boy came over to collect her and show her his car. He was extremely upset that his car bodywork was ruined with many circular rings in threes towards the rear part. They then tried hard to recollect what had happened to them in the two missing hours. They did have vague misty flashes of recollections, but none that they could confirm with words, they seemed to be vaguely at the back of their minds. This was something they continued to do in the following weeks, when sometimes they would recall these flashes.

At this point, as we were near a very rocky beach, my dog Mattie elected to wander, and I was constantly being distracted so I am afraid I do not remember this part of the conversation. I was told what some of these flashes of memory were. If I remember the usual abduction scene there were some forms of examination. One thing I recall her saying was that she was taken before The Khan again. This name Khan was one she gave him in her mind, but as she did this first as a small child before the War, it should be remembered there was no television, Star Trek, etc. then at all. I don’t think people in the British Isles especially rural Wales concerned themselves much with tales from India then either.

The boyfriend was disturbed, deeply so, for many months after this incident. She again said she had to finally admit to herself the experiences she had had in childhood were real ones and connected to this.

At this stage of the interview Jayne was looking very strained and tired, she said again she was very sorry, she knew we had come a long way and had been very considerate with her, but she could talk no more. She then started walking slowly towards my husband and our car. So I asked after a bit, if this was the final abduction she had experienced. “No, but she and her boyfriend drifted apart possibly because of it”. But then she met her husband, they got married and she had a baby daughter. At the time she and her husband were out walking. They were “abducted into a craft.” “I am sorry I am too tired to go into it, it would entail a whole day’s telling” and apart from which she did not wish to think of it any more."

For more like this please click the image below:
Weird Wales


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