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Welsh UFO Sightings 1913

Welsh UFO Sightings Welsh UFO sightings from 1913. For sightings from other years please click HERE.

In the early part of the year there were numerous sightings across England and Wales of a mystery airship... The Cambria Daily Leader (06/02/1913) took it every bit as seriously as you might expect:

The Cambria Daily Leader

Friday 17th January, late afternoon / early evening
South Wales

16:45 - Captain Lionel Lindsay, Chief Constable of Glamorgan, saw a large airship trailing dense smoke passing in a westerly direction. He was reported in the Cambria Daily Leader (21/01/1913) as saying: "At a quarter to five on Friday evening last I noted the object in the air. It was then dusk and rather foggy, so that one could not define it. It was much bigger and moved faster than the Willows airship, and it left in its trail a dense volume of smoke. I called the attention of a bystander to the object, and he agreed with me that it was some large air-craft. It disappeared quickly, thus giving us evidence of speedy movement, and it was taking a direction as if making for Swansea. I have failed to meet with someone else who saw it, and am anxious to solve what appears to me something like a mystery."

17:15 - Mr Steven Morgan of Merthyr believed he saw the same object as Capt. Lindsay from his bedroom window. It was flying from Merthyr over a mountain summit into the Aberdare valley. (Cambria Daily Leader, 22/01/1913)

c. 18:00 - Sara E. Hanmer of Bettisfield, Rogerstone, saw a low flying airship with a searchlight. She wrote (23/01/1913) a letter to the Western Mail which was printed in the 25th January edition: "Sir, - My sister and I also observed the mysterious airship on Friday evening last, at about six o'clock. It was wobbling considerably over Fox Wood. It seemed to carry a searchlight, which flashed brilliantly at times, and at others was quite obscured it seemed to us. From this we concluded the occupants were in difficulties. It was so close to earth that we could distinctly hear the whirr of the machinery. Eventually it only appeared to be a darker object travelling in a westerly direction. This is the third time we have seen a similar object in the last four or five weeks, but this one was much nearer, and looked an immense object travelling very swiftly."

The Western Mail of Monday 27 January 1913 printed a map showing the probable route that the 'airship' took. This started at Barry. The object was seen above Barry by an observer in Bonvilston, some miles inland. It was next seen above Cardiff by a witness in Roath Park. At about 6 pm it was seen above Newport. Merthyr Tydfil was next, also reportedly seen at about 6 pm. It was seen over Glanamman between 6.30 and 6.45 pm, finally seen by an observer in Sketty, Swansea.

The newspaper said: "....probable route of the mysterious airship which hovered over South Wales on Friday, January 17, according to the times and places of correspondents who wrote to say they had seen it. The following night an airship was also stated to have been seen over Essex and Surrey."

Saturday 18th January, 20:00

Mr. Marshall, a ship-broker residing in the Uplands, informed a "Leader" representative that he could not say with certainty whether the object which he saw at eight o'clock on Saturday evening was an airship or anything else. He observed what he at first took to be a star. The light, however was diffused, and he watched it for some time, observing that it appeared to be moving at a fairly good speed. He went into the house to call the members of the family to see it, and when they came out it had disappeared.

Source: 'Cambria Daily Leader', Wednesday 22nd January 1913.

Saturday 18th January, between 20:30 and 21:00


Master Harold Gibbs, son of a superintendent of the estate department under Swansea Corporation, claims to have heard the aeroplane between half-past eight and nine on Saturday evening on the Parade Mayal of the Town Hall Garden City, Swansea. 

"I was taking the bread home," he said, "when I heard a hooting noise from St. Thomas way, so I stopped and put down the bread. My brother was with me; we stopped to listen to it. We heard it whizzing overhead, and there was a hooter in it, and then it passed over in direction of Sketty. We both looked up, but we couldn't see anything. We could hear the whizzing of the propeller and a sound like a motor horn. It passed as soon as anything. It went over between Honey's Farm and Sketty."

Source: 'Western Mail', Friday 24th January 1913.

Saturday 18th January, 19:00
Clyne Valley, Swansea

A postman named J. Bowen, of Sketty was going towards the Clyne Colliery when he saw a large bright light hanging over Clyne Woods. He had been reading about the airship only an hour before, and noticing the brilliancy and unsteadiness of the light, he was convinced that he had at last seen it.

Arriving home at No. 2, Harry-street, Sketty, about an hour later, he could still see the light, which had moved very little at all. He called out his brother and his next-door neighbours, but they were at first sceptical, saying it was only a star.

Then, as they were gazing at the light, it began to bob about, and finally went out. It re-appeared shortly in a slightly altered position, and was seen to be considerably larger than the brightest star.

Spoken to by a "Leader" representative this morning, J. Bowen said it looked twice as large as Venus.

"Do you think it was a searchlight?" asked the "Leader" man.

"No", said J. Bowen, "it looked like a head-light. A very bright one and when it went out it died out slowly. It looked as if they put the light out, flew a bit, then lighted it again."

The latter remark was in answer to a suggestion that perhaps the disappearance of the light was caused by the tacking of the airship, which would have put the stern towards the observer.

On these details all the witnesses agreed. Mr. James, of No. 1 Harry-street, describing the light as having a bluish centre throwing off sparks. The only thing lacking in the airship theory of the light is, that, in spite of the exceptional clearness of the atmosphere and the bright moon, no one saw the body of the ship; neither did they hear the propellers, which latter fact could be explained by the fact that they locate the position of the "mystery" as being over Clyne Common - a distance of a couple of miles from their point of observation.

Mr. Bowen went to the top of the hill and once more saw the light, which appeared to have moved considerably in the direction of Tenby, then it slowly died down and disappeared, as on the previous occasion. After he had mentioned the light, he said, several other people said they had seen lights during the last few nights, but had thought them to be only stars.

Source: 'The Cambria Daily Leader' Wednesday 22 January 1913.

[SUFON Note: compare this sighting with that of the boys in Kidwelly on the same evening. No time given but it could have been after the Clyne sighting, and it being to the west of Swansea, could have been the same object - bluish centre, sending off sparks. - E.W.]

More on this sighting in the 27th January edition:

Tuesday 21st January

Richard Williams, a Standard VII pupil at Kidwelly Castle Council School who saw the mysterious light many days ago wrote the following bright and intelligent description of it at the request of his schoolmaster, Mr D. O. Jones -

A Mystery, 28th January 1913

Last Tuesday, as I was playing with some friends in Bridge street, my attention was drawn to some curious object, which took the form of a star, and moved slowly to and fro in the sky. A strange thing about the object is that it did not keep its shape for a long time. When my friends and I first saw it, it was a brilliant star situated in a lighted atmosphere, and appeared to be sending out sparks in all directions. Then it got smaller and smaller until we could only distinguish its bluish centre, which at times went out of sight. It then re-appeared and kept on disappearing and re-appearing for a very long time. After gazing at it for some time we lost sight of it altogether, when it appeared to be going in the direction of Carmarthen. We then parted, greatly puzzled at the wonder we had seen.

10 Bridge St., Kidwelly. 13 years.

Source: The Carmarthen Weekly Reporter, 14/02/1913. [SUFON note: I have since discovered that this news cutting from The Carmarthen Weekly Reporter of 14 February 1913, was originally printed in the Western Mail Monday 10th February 1913.]

carmarthen weekly reporter

Saturday 25th January, 20:00

Sir, - You may be interested to hear that on Saturday last, at about eight p.m., my wife and self saw what we believe to have been the lights of an airship. We were returning from Fishguard to Goodwick by the Priory-road, and saw the lights, which appeared above the high land to the southward of Pen Cae. It moved to the northward at a fairly rapid rate, and we watched it for some minutes when it was hidden by the higher land. While we were observing it the lights varied in grouping, as if the direction were being altered.

ANDREW MORTON, Anstruther, Goodwick, Pem. Jan. 29.

Source: 'Western Mail', Tuesday 4th February 1913.

Saturday 25th January, 20:25


More Reports About The Light In The Sky - Contradictions

Is it an airship? If so the mystery of the elusive aircraft grows more mysterious. It has been seen again flying by night as usual and this time on the coast of Mid Wales. It was seen by country people a few miles south of Aberystwyth at 8.25 on Saturday night. At first it headed out over Cardigan Bay but its searchlights which swept the hills evidently revealed the nearness of the ocean for it turned south and left in the direction of Carmarthenshire.

This is at least the fifth time this month that the mystery airship has been seen flying by night and yet no one has seen it rise or decend [sic] and no one knows whence it comes or wither [sic] it goes. On Tuesday it was reported that five persons declared that they had seen it going over Liverpool between 7 pm and 8.30 pm on Saturday night, yet at 8.30 pm it was seen near Aberystwyth! At Liverpool as in Wales it carried a light or lights. We have already recorded the statements of persons at Cardiff, Merthyr and Swansea and other places who claims to have seen "the strange light" in the sky.

Source: BUFORA BULLETIN No.18 July 1985 citing CAMBRIA DAILY LEADER Thursday 30 January 1913.

Saturday 1st February, 20:30

Hundreds of witnesses saw what was believed an airship, going in the direction of Fochriw and Bedlinog.

Source: 'Western Mail' Tuesday 4 February 1913.

Saturday 1st February, 22:50
Tongwynlais, Cardiff

The flight of an airship near Tongwynlais on Saturday night is stated to have been seen by two men-servants of Colonel Henry Lewis of Greenmeadow. It was at ten minutes to eleven that they observed its movements. The first to see it was a groom. He states that he saw a dark object with a red light at the rear approaching from the direction of Cardiff and following the course of the road. Immediately he called another servant, who states that he also is convinced that it was an airship. Together they watched it for about four or five minutes. After following the road for some distance, its course was turned westwards over Tongwynlais and between Tynant and Radyr, eventually disappearing. It was travelling at a fairly good rate and several hundred feet above the ground, and the light carried is described as "a big red lamp".

Source: 'Western Mail' Monday 3 February 1913.

Newport - A Newport resident states that on Saturday night he noticed a moving light over the docks or the river, and for some minutes when first seen it was difficult to tell whether it was a very high land light or a mast-head light. Slowly the light rose, and at the same time gradually travelled in the direction of Cardiff. No sound of engines could be heard, but that was not to be wondered at, seeing that the airship, if it was one, was much too far off. Then suddenly the light disappeared as though the craft was enveloped in a dense cloud.

Source: 'Western Mail' Tuesday 4 February 1913.

Sunday 2nd February
Port Talbot

Whilst on special duty on the Aberavon Beach, Port Talbot, at about 6.30 on Sunday evening, Police-constables Church and Hurley plainly discerned an airship proceeding from a northerly to a south-westerly direction towards Swansea or the Mumbles. Its outline and also its light were clearly made out, and its flight was also followed by a number of people who were on the beach.

Police-constable Church told a Western Mail reporter that there was no possibility of any mistake, as he could see it distinctly, and also heard the action of the machinery. After some minutes it disappeared in some mist in the direction of Swansea. The other officer supported these statements, and declared that he was sure it was not an optical illusion.

The Neath and Swansea police were communicated with to keep sharp look-out over these locations.

Source: 'Western Mail' Monday 3 February 1913.

Wednesday 5th February, 19:30 -
South Wales

7.30 PM. Cardiff. An 'airship' displaying a bright light was seen hanging over the west of the city. Large crowds soon gathered in the streets. Inside the Western Mail offices, one or two members of the editorial staff went up to the roof for a view of the object. Towards the west hung a bright light amidst the stars, but some cynics decided it was just Venus, and so they descended again. But many in the streets were still watching. A few minutes later, the Swansea office of the Western Mail telephoned to say that the same occurrence was taking place there, with many out, watching a light. So could this indeed have just been the planet Venus?

However at Taffs Well a powerful light was seen in the sky which brought everyone outside to see it. It was described as being bright enough to illuminate the whole area before it disappeared in the direction of Llantrisant. The light did not travel across the sky but receded into the darkness.

Witnesses in the Llantrisant area reported that a headlight and searchlights were clearly visible. The object seemed to approach from the direction of Cardiff (east of them - so could not have been Venus).

At Llanharry the object is said to have hovered over and around the same spot for about ten minutes. It made descents and ascents, and once came so close to the ground that a number of people declared that they clearly discerned the wings of the machine. It then proceeded in the direction of Swansea.

Witnesses in the Aberdare area heard "something" overhead. Between 7 and 8 o'clock Police Sergeant Evans and a number of other people in Abercynon said that they saw a powerful searchlight, and could distinctly hear a "whizzing noise" as of an air machine. It was travelling at a fast speed in the direction of the upper part of the Aberdare valley. From some parts of that district, similar accounts came to hand.

From Seven Sisters in the Dulais valley, Police Sergeant Morgan and Police-constable Foster, of the Glamorgan County Police saw the light. Its presence was first revealed to PC Foster. He was standing at the rear of the police station when he was startled by the flashing of a brilliant light which shone down right upon him. He described it as a searchlight. Looking up, he distinctly saw an airship of the dirigible type speeding swiftly at a considerable height in the direction of Swansea, and he watched it for a full twenty minutes, when it disappeared from view. This statement is confirmed by PS Morgan.

Hundreds of people in the Newport area saw a light soon after 7 PM and continued for over two hours, which was assumed to be that of an airship. It was seen distinctly by people in Rogerstone and Risca, who observed that it seemed directly over Foxwood, about 5 miles to the north-east of Newport. It appeared to have come from the direction of Cardiff (the opposite direction to the progress of the object above). It made turns and sometimes the light would grow dim and almost disappear. Then it would become visible again and seemed to be stationary. The light at times became so bright that it had the appearance of a searchlight.

An 'airship' was seen over Wenvoe and Barry and passengers on the last train from Pontypridd to Barry followed its movements for some time. It moved about at a great height, making rapid progress through the air in an inland direction from Barry (so could not have been Venus).

Source: 'Western Mail' Thursday 6 February 1913.


Aberdare Leader

Source: Aberdare Leader, February 8th 1913.


At about 9.45 pm, George Winterson, of Ashfield Cottage, Crickhowell said, ' attention was called to an airship sailing in a North-West direction, apparently coming from the South, at a slow speed and not very high; after travelling three or four miles beyond Crickhowell on the West side of the River Usk; in the direction of Brecon it suddenly turned to the left and disappeared.

Source: 'Western Mail' Monday 17 February 1913.


The Cambria Daily Leader were of the firm opinion by this point that these sightings were of Venus see 07/02/1913 and the article below from 06/02/1913:

Saturday 8th February

Mrs Bassett, Little West, Southerndown, wrote to Captain Lindsay, Chief-Constable of Glamorgan, reporting that she saw, '.....out of a west window an airship going over the mouth of the Ogmore River, and bearing to the right. It had a bright red light and was going very fast. There was not any wind; I distinctly saw the shape of it. It was most certainly not Venus. The light disappeared as it was going,and did not reappear.'

Source: 'Western Mail' Wednesday 12 February 1913.

Note - I haven't got a newspaper archive sub at the moment, so I'm using NLW which only goes up to 1910 for the Western Mail. I'll add snips to these SUFON transcripts next time I have one.

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


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