Sunday, 31 October 2021

Trade to Aid - Reusable Sanitary Pads

Trade To Aid Reusable Sanitary Pads

A couple of weeks ago Trade To Aid got in touch and asked if I would be up for reviewing their reusable sanitary pads. As a not-for-profit social business, Trade To Aid put all their profits into funding emergency sanitary kits for refugees and running menstrual health programmes. Ending period poverty is a cause close to my heart, so it was a very easy choice to make and go ahead with the review!

Research by the AHPMA (Absorbent Hygiene Product Manufacturers' Association) suggests that the average woman in the UK can 'look forward to' around 38 years worth of periods. AKA 500 periods. Each one of those will, on average, require the use of 22 disposable sanitary products. Which means that by the day Mother Nature decides you have served your time, Annie Average will have put some 11,000 sanitary products in the bin.

That is a lot of rubbish - and a lot of money. The charity Bloody Good Period reckon the average woman in the UK will sink about £5,000 into period management over her lifetime, to pay for sanitary protection, painkillers, and new underwear to replace that lost to those little accidents.

So, long story short, I've been thinking about making the switch from disposables to reusables for a few years now. For me the main stumbling block has been that kind of visceral reaction of 'I'm a modern woman, why should I have to go backwards to my great grandmother's day?' Ever since I began menstruating at 11 the older women in my life told me how lucky I was. I didn't have to wear a brick like wedge of a pad attached to a belt. I didn't have to boil up a pile of bloody rags each month to reuse again next time.

https://tunglo.tumblr.com/post/657266345475506176/ads-for-period-products-from-pink-magazine-1974

In other words, I was so free and liberated I could spend the whole time roller blading in white short shorts if I chose to, and getting rid of the results was somebody else's problem.

Except that wasn't the whole truth. Even if I got my hands on some painkillers strong enough to mask the agony - thankfully numbed a little today, who knew there was an upside to ceseraean section nerve damage? - I most certainly wasn't going to be flouncing about in shorties. I never got on with tampons, and my periods have always been heavy enough to make leaking a real issue.

Trade to Aid Sanitary Protection

So where the eco credentials and the cost couldn't quite sway me, laudable reasons though they were, the deciding factor was ultimately the prospect of better protection. Reusable towels come in a range of sizes and absorbencies, as you might expect, they also fasten much more securely than the supposedly adhesive strips of disposables. I was seriously amazed at how much of a difference this made, not just to protection but also to how comfortable they were to wear.

Soaking and washing the pads was more hassle than just putting it in the bin, there's no denying it, but the increased comfort was worth it. Everything else - the financial savings, the waste reduction - was just the icing on the cake. And then, on top of that, there was the cherry of knowing that for every pack of reusables Trade to Aid sends out, they give a free pack to someone in need in a refugee camp.

If you fancy making the switch yourself, you can get the Trade To Aid starter box for £29.95.



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Saturday, 30 October 2021

[Almost] Death on the Canal - 1902, Sidney Strange

Death on the (Mon & Brec) Canal

I did the basic research for this blog series a couple of years ago. Then, as usual, flitted along to the next thing that caught my interest. Now I'm trying to flesh the cases out and present to you my justification for not being a fan of walking along the canal on dark and lonely nights... For more canal deaths, check out the master post.

--

Not everyone who ended up in the canal lost their lives in it. While researching this series there were plenty of reports of 'near misses' to be found in the newspapers. So, to make the whole project slightly less morbid, every last Saturday of the month will be the case of someone who survived the Mon & Brec!

This week's case is that of Sidney Strange, a Cwmbran labourer whose encounter with the canal doubtless did little to endear it to him! The Evening Express of Tuesday 18th February 1902 had fallen into the canal the night before - Monday 17th February - and had to be pulled out by a boatman with his hook. A police constable was sent for from Griffithstown, while Sidney was put in a barrow and wheeled away.

Evening Express Tuesday 18th February 1902

The same report featured in the Weekly Mail of Saturday 22nd February. Looked over by a local doctor, Sidney was found to be rather the worse for drink. So much so that he was charged with being drunk at a special police court in Pontypool the next day, where the presiding magistrate fined him 5s for the offence, and ordered him to pay the doctor's fee of 7s 6d.

It wasn't Sidney's first mention in the papers either. The 26th December 1893 edition of the South Wales Daily News - and the 30th December 1893 edition of the Cardiff Times - reported that he had been charged with stealing 3lbs of tobacco worth 15s from grocers' E. and J. Richards at Pontypool police court. He was duly sentenced to 21 days hard labour.

South Wales Daily News 30th December 1893

The 1901 census revealed that Sidney was a general labourer at the ironworks and living as a boarder at 6 Spring Street. Born in Bristol in 1851 Sidney had moved to Cwmbran by at least 1891, in time to feature on the 1891 census, already lodging with the Pasks at Spring Street as he would be ten years later.

Sidney Strange 1901 census

Sidney's luck didn't improve much after his brush with the Mon & Brec. The records show Sidney had been living at 4 Spring Street when he died in 1906, aged 55. He was buried on Sunday 22nd April 1906 by Rev. Gomer Davies.

Sidney Strange Burial Record 1906



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Weird Wales


Friday, 29 October 2021

Everyone's Talking about Paddle Boarding

Everyone's Talking about Paddle Boarding

Aquaplanet have some really interesting research on the rise in UK interest in paddle boarding. Their research shows that Google searches for the term have increased by 300% in 2021 compared to 2019.

My visit to Pexels to find pictures for this post was instructive. Instead of the expected photo or two there was a whole page of paddle boarding pics to choose from. It's not surprising, really, given the fact it is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It's good fun and great exercise, without being brutal on the joints.

For more about giving paddle boarding a go yourself - the equipment you need, and things to keep in mind - Aquaplanet have a handy downloadable 31 page guidebook. For a few rather more random factoids about the history of paddle boarding, read on...



John Webber

The concept of paddle boarding goes way back. All the way back to early dynastic Egypt in 3000 BC, at least, and probably much further besides. One of the earliest depictions from more modern times is the above engraving by John Webber, who accompanied Captain John Cook to the Sandwich Islands in 1778.

To put it another way, it's a sport with an impeccable pedigree!



Thomas Edward Blake

Surfing legend Tom Blake kickstarted the sport as we know it today by creating the hollow board in the 1920s. Combine the new lightness of the board with the efficiency of the paddle and you have something that is a whole lot more fun than what is possibly the first photographic record of stand-up paddling, Peter Henry Emerson's 1886 Quanting the Marsh Hay...

Quanting the Marsh Hay



Craig Lockwood

Over the following few decades, although its popularity ebbed and flowed, paddleboarding remained essentially a niche sport. But the tides, as they say, were changing. In the 1980s Craig Lockwood (above) developed his 'Waterman' paddle board, and in Hawaii the annual Hui O' He'e Nalu Paddleboard Race was pulling in a few hundred competitors. In the mid 1990s interest really began to pick up, and in July 1997 the inaugural Molokai-2-Oahu race - soon to be rebranded the paddle board world championships - kicked off with 35 competitors. By contrast, well over 100 people competed in the 2019 event. paddle board world championship



In the mid 2000s paddle boarding crossed the pond to the UK. Initially a bit of a novelty, it didn't take long before people all over the country were falling in love with paddle boarding. By 2007 stand up paddling had its own association - BSUPA - and has since been joined by the GBSUP national race series and even a dedicated magazine, SUPM UK.

One of the last obstacles left to the growth of the sport now is the UK's water quality. No matter whether you prefer to be in, on, or beside the water, check out Surfers Against Sewage for more on how the UK can clean up its act.

Surfers Against Sewage

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Welsh UFO Sightings 2008

Welsh UFO Sightings

Welsh UFO sightings from 2008. For sightings from other years please click HERE.



PRESS
Sunday 6th January, c. 01:00
Rhydymwyn

Ten-year-old James Holmes, of Rhydymwyn, said: "On the night of Sunday, January 6, at around 1am, I was woken up by some strange white lights spiralling across my bedroom ceiling. I wasn't frightened because I live near a football club and the Rhydymwyn Institute which has a very bright light at night. I knew it wasn't them because I was used to them."

"When I got up in the morning, I heard my mum talking about lights so I guess she saw them too. My mum thought it was the wind moving a tree so that the light of a lamppost behind the tree would move, but I don't think it was because my bedroom is on the other side of the house to hers."

"We then thought it may have been a search helicopter but there wasn't any noise. She said there were several of them in quick succession a few times that night."

Source: The Evening Leader, January 10th 2008.



PRESS
9th February, 18:00
Abertillery

The Sun reported that "there was an object in the sky like a glowing red ball. A strange substance like molten metal burst from it as it went overhead. It made no sound."



CONTACT
17th February, 03:00 - 05:00
Brecufa / Unnllwni Mountain

Awareness V29/N3 reported a sighting of strange light travelling across the sky.





PRESS
Friday 29th February, c. 06:00
Overton, nr Wrexham

The Wrexham Leader of 4th March 2008 reported that a man who wanted to remain anonymous had seen a UFO above Overton.

He said: "I don't want to be made a laughing stock, but I thought I'd let you know I saw a UFO this morning over Overton at around 5.40am. I viewed it for three minutes or so. I hope it was a plane or something but I was watching it for a while and it didn't ring of a plane to me. I'm just hoping someone else has seen it so I don't look silly."



UFO WATCH
Wednesday 16th April, 08:47
Ebbw Vale

Nathan Jennings (18), saw a disc-shaped object which was grey in colour. It displayed bright red, white and blue pulsating lights along the edges. The object hovered over the steelworks site for about 10-15 minutes before zooming straight upwards at speed.



UFO WATCH
Wednesday 14th May, 00:30
Tonfanau, Gwynedd

Clear sky.

David O'Connor (25) at Tonfanau on the Cardigan Bay coast, north of Tywyn, saw a bright light moving over Tal-Y-Garreg Mountain to the east:

"A bright white light, not a normal light, the only way to describe it is if you look at a lamp post and squint your eyes and you see the lines of light coming off the main light, it was sort of like that. It was hard to tell the size or how far away it was, it was up high in the sky, hard to tell how high, but the ball of light was quite big. It was moving quite fast and then slowing down then speeding up again, it was either moving up and down or side to side as it was travelling, it was hard to tell, it was travelling north west. We viewed it for about 3 minutes before it went behind Tal-Y-Garreg mountain then about ten seconds later came back up over the mountain and travelled back in the direction it originally came from then the light started fading and eventually disappeared. After it came back up from behind the mountain we saw it for roughly about another 1 minute.

It was a clear night with no clouds and there was not much natural light as we were in the countryside. The two other people I was with also saw it. About 20 minutes before the sighting we saw 2 satellites and a shooting star. The UFO was many many times bigger and brighter than the satellites and was most definitely not a shooting star as it lasted for about 4 minutes, changed direction and moved much slower than a shooting star."

Duration of sighting: 4 minutes.



MOD FILES
19th May
Rhydwyn / Caergybi

"A round, bright white object. It was moving from SW to NE, and moved slowly and quietly."



PRESS
June
The Vale of Clwyd News of June 23rd 2008 featured an article written by David Simister on a 'UFO Sighted In The Skies Above Bala.'

"One family, from Llanuwchllyn, reported seeing orange circular objects flying around above the Berwyn mountains, in events which echo a suspected flying saucer incident in 1974. Hywel Rhys Roberts, from Caernarfon, was visiting family in the area with brother Alwyn earlier this month when the pair spotted strange flying objects in the skies above Bala.

"My brother saw it first. We were in the lounge and he looked out of the window in the direction of Bala and called us over. It was a circular shape moving towards the Berwyn mountains," he said.

"We sat down and minutes later we saw another light much closer on the other side of Llyn Tegid in front of the mountain. It was more than a helicopter light flashing - it was very odd. It rose up quickly and we could see it silhouetted against the side of the mountain."



SUFON
June, c. 01:00
Rhossili, Gower

Clear night.

Louis Love had been night fishing for bass on Rhossili beach and had returned to his Renault Scenic car in the National Trust car park in the village. He put his seat back and looked at the stars through the double sun roof. He suddenly saw a bright white light go directly over him, heading south to north towards the Burry Holms end of the bay.

"I could tell straight away it was strange then it split into two lights and carried on going then they both just disappeared to no where as if the lights was just turned off. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was in shock for about 15 minutes."

As he lay back down, again looking up at the stars and wondering what the lights had been, a light approached again from the north end of the bay towards him. It then split into two separate lights again, flying next to each other. Louis jumped out of the car and watched them as they joined together as one light again and shot straight upwards.

"I'll never forget it. It shook me up. 100% wasn't any new military testing or anything like that. This thing shot upwards within half a second. The way it split into two then back to one was unbelievable and the way it shot upwards was unreal. It was a bright white light and I remember them looking like neat circles. I think that's what seemed strange at first. The first time it went over it was visible for about 10 seconds then the lights just went. The second time it came over I must have been watching for about 20 seconds but this time it shot upwards with the lights still on. Within a second it had gone, like nothing a human could ever make. It went upwards faster than a shooting star coming down."

Source: SUFON Files - witness report by Facebook and interview by Emlyn Williams September 2020.



UFO WATCH
Wednesday 4th June, 16:33
Bangor-on-Dee

Clear blue sky.

Darren Evans (32) saw three circular white lights flying side by side with approximately the same gap between all three. They then suddenly shot up at a perfect angled curve, again keeping the same gaps between them.

Darren said, "They had almost like a jet stream coming from the back of them. However the jet stream trail disappeared on all three at the same time, at the point when they shot up in the air at the angle. We then looked in the sky for the jet stream again and couldn't see it or trace where they had gone."

Duration of sighting: 15 minutes.



PRESS
Wednesday 4th June
Caerwys

The Daily Post of June 6th 2008 featured an article by Owen R Hughes on a local UFO sighting.

Reports Of UFO Over North Wales

Drinkers at two village pubs spotted what they believe were mysterious UFOs. The bright orange circular objects were seen shooting across the sky above Caerwys on Wednesday evening by drinkers in the Royal Oak and Piccadilly Inn pubs.

Steve Griffith, 52, who was in the Piccadilly, said: "Someone in the pub spotted these strange lights and we all went outside to look. There was a strange bright orange circle and it moved in a way that no normal aircraft would move."

Sion Davies, 37, who was in the Royal Oak, said: "I was in the pub with the Caerwys amateur dramatics group. We went out to look and at first a few people scoffed at the idea they were UFOs but then they started to move and you could not explain away what we were seeing. I am a sceptic but I cannot explain what was going on in the sky that night."




MOD FILES
Friday 6th June
Llanuchwllyn, Bala Lake

A witness reported seeing lights in the Llanuchwllyn area of Bala Lake:

"Two orange lights were seen. They were fast moving. One moved to the east to Bala and the other one climbed vertically."



PRESS
Saturday 7th June, c. 15:00
Llanelli

Schoolboy Shaun Williams, 12, went out to photograph a light aircraft performing stunts above his home in Llanelli at around 3 PM. Later he looked at the pictures on his digital camera – and realised he had also captured a saucer shape against a clear blue sky. Shaun said, "I couldn’t believe it when I looked back at my pictures and this strange object was there."

Source: The Sun, 21st June 2008.



PRESS
Saturday 7th June
Aberdare

Dawn Williams, 45, spotted an object in the sky above Aberdare Country Park, hours before the police helicopter/UFO incident at St. Athan.

She said: "It came over the horizon and was travelling for about a minute and a half before it disappeared. It was circular and had a dome on top – it looked like a planet with rings. I didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t think anyone would believe me."

Source: The Sun, 21st June 2008.



PRESS
Sunday 8th June

St. Athan

On 20th June 2008 The Sun reported that "a police helicopter was coming in to land at it's base at RAF St. Athan, when at 500 ft and waiting to land, the crew saw an object speeding towards them from below."

A source said: "It closed in at great speed aiming straight at the helicopter. The chopper had to swerve sharply to avoid being hit. The guys said if they'd stayed where they were, they'd be dead - it would've been a direct hit. They are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they are certain they saw a UFO. After the near-collision they decided to follow it to find out what the hell it was. They belted across the Bristol Channel on pursuit, but it was too quick."

The helicopter is equipped with hi-tech cameras and surveillance gear, but the object somehow avoided being caught on video (or was it?) The crew could not see the craft with night-vision goggles, but all said it was "clearly visible" to the naked eye. The helicopter followed the object for a little way but had to turn back due to being low on fuel.

South Wales Police said, "We can confirm the Air Support Unit sighted an unusual aircraft. This was reported to the relevant authorities for their investigation ."

The MOD said at the time, "We've heard nothing about this. But it is certainly not advisable for police helicopters to go chasing what they think are UFOs." SUFON Notes:

"On 10 August 2018, the helicopter pilot was interviewed by SUFON's Emlyn Williams. He added more to the above newspaper report with a correct description of the object, to that reported in the newspaper (omitted from above for simplification). He told Emlyn that as the helicopter was coming in to land at St.Athan at the end of a flight, he saw a spherical object, about the size of a basket ball come up to meet the helicopter as it descended.

It stopped immediately in front of his face, about three feet outside the cockpit window. It then kept pace with the helicopter, the down-wash of the rotor blades having no effect on it at all. It was translucent, like a bubble, and the surface was a definite surface as it reflected some light. Inside the 'bubble' he could see a small red light and a small green light, side by side in the centre.

He called the attention of his two colleagues and they too saw it. The object then shot off down into a farmyard and disappeared. They followed it and hovered while they searched for it. The translucent sphere then reappeared, and flew over a nearby road towards the Bristol Channel coast, and they again followed, but turned back after a short time due to running low on fuel. The object continued across the channel.

Interestingly, as per the newspaper article, they could not see it with the night vision, the object HAD NO HEAT SIGNATURE. The pilot radioed Cardiff Airport ATC to report their encounter. Someone there leaked it to the press, which is how The Sun got to hear about it."

UFO Data Magazine 2008 UFO Data Magazine Issue 15 UFO Data Magazine Police Helicopter and UFO UFO Data Magazine 2008 Issue 16 UFO Data Magazine South Wales Police

The MOD claimed not to have received a report about the incident:

defe-24-2090-1.pdf The media explanation is that the lights were chinese lanterns set off at a wedding in Cowbridge. E.g. This is the piece the BBC published on it on Tuesday 24th June 2008:

Wedding Couple Sparked UFO Alert

Special glow lanterns set off at a wedding could have been mistaken for a UFO by police officers in a helicopter. The three-man crew spotted an unusual object in the sky above St Athan on 8 June in the Vale of Glamorgan. It made headlines around the world but it was only when newlyweds Lucy and Lyn Thomas saw reports on honeymoon that they realised what could have happened. The lanterns were lit in Cowbridge and floated off towards St Athan, close to an RAF base and Cardiff airport.

"There's no doubt in my mind it was our lanterns," said Mr Thomas, 30, a salesman from Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan. "We went on the internet on our honeymoon in Turkey and saw a report about this UFO. I thought, 'oh no, it was exactly the same time and I remember they were going straight towards St Athan way'."

The couple first saw the glow lanterns at the Glastonbury festival last year and thought they would make an ideal alternative to fireworks for their "mini festival" wedding party for 150 guests in a field near Cowbridge. Mr Thomas bought 100 lanterns on an internet auction site and set off about 30 - with guests making wishes - from about 2300 BST on 7 June until 0200 BST on 8 June.

"I can see how they'd look like UFOs. They are about 2ft 6in (0.79m) high and are paper lanterns with a wax ball underneath. You light them and they inflate and float off - exactly the same principle as a hot air balloon," said Mr Thomas, who said he checked aviation regulations and made sure the lanterns were set off five miles away from Cardiff International Airport.

"You can't judge their size [in the air] because they're so bright. They just look like a big ball of light. When you light them they just go up and up and up. Strangely enough we saw them in Glastonbury last year and sat there for hours trying to work out what they were."

Wedding guest Geraint James, from Llantwit Major, said he did not think about the connection between the lanterns and the UFO sightings until his newlywed friends rang him on Tuesday after returning from their honeymoon.

"They rang me and said 'do you realise that was probably us?' It was the exact time we set them off," he said. "A few people had said they looked like UFOs, kind of spooky as they floated off. I read about the UFO on the BBC website and saw it had had coverage in India and in the New York Times. It made us laugh. I suppose this sheds a bit of light."

The police helicopter crew reported seeing the UFO at about 0040 BST on 8 June but could not capture any images before the object vanished over the Bristol Channel. South Wales Police said the helicopter did not give chase and described the crew as very experienced. The sighting has been reported for investigation.




PRESS
Sunday 8th June, 16:20
St. Mellons

Around 16:20, George Withrington, a pensioner and ex-RAF glider pilot, was in his garden in St. Mellons, reading a book. He spotted an object in the sky which he described as peculiar with lots of flashing lights:

"I was looking at an aeroplane overhead when I spotted this thing in the corner of my eye. It shifted direction very quickly, in the blink of an eye. I looked at it for quite a while. I was watching it for at least 10 minutes. It flew off towards the east, towards Newport."

He reported it to the police and was given an incident number.



PRESS
Thursday 12th June 2008
Talybont-on-Usk

A doctor of psychology of Cardiff University, Dr. Simon Griffey, 50 and his son Jack, 23, were driving near Llangynidr Mountain in the Brecon Beacons at 11.40 pm, when they spotted lights over Talybont-on-Usk.

He said: "There was no noise whatsoever, it was a bit eerie. I've driven over this mountain for 17 years and have never seen anything like it. There were seven lights and having read the description from the soldiers in Shropshire, there are some similarities. They were the same sort of colour and the same spherical shape that they reported. I know I wasn’t seeing things because Jack saw exactly the same thing as I did – and two other cars pulled over to look."

Sceptics have suggested the sightings could be huge man-made lanterns floating into the sky. But the boffin, of Llangynidr, said: "It was too big. It was way above the horizon and stayed there for 15 minutes. It was a bit smaller than a full moon – quite big and high up."

Jack recorded the phenomenon on his mobile phone – but when they examined the pictures later, they found only three of the seven lights showed up.

Dr Griffey said: "The police helicopter crew (8 June) said they failed to record the sighting on their equipment. If it had been a natural phenomenon you surely would have been able to photograph all of it. I’d like someone to explain – because I have no idea what to make of it. I think it’s plausible that there could be life on other planets."


Source: The Sun, 27 June 2008. (Reporter - John Coles.)

UFO Data Magazine Issue 15 2008
Amskaya #75 July 2008



UFO WATCH
Monday 23rd June, 20:45
Pantside, Newbridge

Blue sky with clouds.

Steven Williams (31) was outside looking at aircraft and con trails when he noticed a dark object at a high altitude. He could not make it out clearly, but he thought it looked round. The object remained stationary for about 15 minutes before it slowly started to move further away from him and upwards. It was getting harder to see before it was finally obscured by clouds before and he lost sight of it.



PRESS
29th June
Cardiff

The Sun sent their very own ET onto the streets of Cardiff for, well, some reason best known to themselves.

The Sun June 30th 2008



PRESS
4th July, 13:00
Colwyn Bay

Margaret Fry saw what looked like a police helicopter that seemed to be searching for a strange object she saw in the sky. She included the sighting in her reports to Awareness V30/N1.

Awareness vol 30 no 1



PRESS
Saturday 12th July, 22:37
Pencoed

The Wales on Sunday of August 17th 2008 featured an article written by Ben Glaze on a sighting of some 24 orange lights caught on camera. The MoD community relations officer for Wales said they were almost certainly chinese lanterns.

Could this prove that UFOs are targeting Wales? Housewife Jane Usher (38) claimed she watched in amazement as the crafts buzzed her property while she sat in her garden on a warm summer evening. Mrs Usher said:

"I was with my husband, aunt and uncle when I spotted a bright orange light coming over the trees. Two more came side by side, followed by many more - about 24. There was no noise, they just came over. We watched in amazement until they all disappeared."

Mrs Usher, who was just starting her second glass of red wine and insisted she was sober when the flying objects arrived, rushed inside to grab her eight-megapixel Lumicron LDC825 digital camera. But despite trying to focus on the lit-up sky, she was unable to capture a clear image. Instead, she snatched a picture on her two-megapixel Nokia 6300 mobile phone and filmed a 24-second clip, which can be viewed today at www.WalesOnline.co.uk. It shows exceptionally faint orange lights moving across the night sky as witnesses can be heard exclaiming in amazement.

Mum-of-four Mrs Usher, whose children are aged from 14 to 22, says: "I don't know what that is. Oh my God! How amazing! Look at that, it's going on forever!"

She was enjoying a drink in the garden of her detached home in Pencoed, near Bridgend, having just finished dinner when she noticed the illuminations approaching from half a mile away at 10.37pm. Mrs Usher said the objects were at 100ft in the south-west sky and flew over the high-speed Bridgend to Cardiff railway line. They cruised above the fields backing onto her property before vanishing near pylons alongside the A473 dual carriageway, which leads to Junction 35 of the M4.

"It was pitch black when I saw a big, bright orange light coming over the tree line followed by two more side by side," said Mrs Usher. "They were going higher and higher but getting closer and closer. My neighbour came out with her daughter and they saw them too. First I thought they could be aeroplanes or helicopters, but when I saw the others there was no way in this world they were planes or helicopters. I counted 24 in total, but one by one they just disappeared."

Mrs Usher admitted she has always believed in extra-terrestrial life, but said her photo and video were conclusive "proof" that had made her "definite". She added: "I can't explain it, but they were absolutely fantastic. If people don't believe me, tough."

South Wales Police and the Ministry of Defence said there were no reports of any UFO sightings that night. MoD community relations officer for Wales, Squadron Leader Peter Sinclair, believes the lights may have been Chinese lanterns released by guests at a wedding reception.

"I have nothing I can put my finger on for that night," added Sqn Ldr Sinclair. "But I'm personally convinced they were lanterns. Even on a still night or one with very gentle breeze they can travel miles."

The latest incident, on Saturday, July 12, follows the well publicised apparent near-miss above RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan on June 7. Smash hit American investigative show UFO Hunters, which screens on the History Channel, visits St Athan a week tomorrow to explore the incident and discover if the truth really is out there. Producer Dave Peroni said: "We have been monitoring what has been going on in Wales over the summer and it has been absolutely crazy."




PRESS
Saturday 26th July, 22:30
Abersoch, Lleyn Peninsula

Terry Williams and Richard Jones, both from Pwllheli were visiting friends in Mynytho. Terry (39) who works for Cerrig Stonemasons said:

'There was a group of six of us when Richard spotted something in the sky above Abersoch. It looked like a flare as it was an orange colour, but it didn't move for around a minute. I ran into the house and fetched a camera to take video footage of it. The light then shot off into the sky and drifted to the left. There was then a white light, before it disappeared.

Source: North Wales Daily Post, 7th August 2008. Full text:
"UNIDENTIFIED flying objects, hovering in the skies over Abersoch, have been captured on film.

Terry Williams and Richard Jones, both from Pwllheli, were visiting friends in Mynytho when they saw an orange light then a white light shoot off into the sky.

They claim others have seen similar activity in the skies in recent weeks.

The unexplained events coincide with reports in the national press of strange lights off the Cardigan Coast and in the Bristol area.

Mr Williams, 39, who works for Cerrig stonemasons, described what he saw on Saturday, July 26, around 10.30pm.

"There was a group of six of us when Richard spotted something in the sky above Abersoch. It looked like a flare as it was an orange colour, but it didn’t move for around a minute. I ran into the house and fetched a camera to take video footage of it. The light then shot off into the sky and drifted to the left. There was then a white light, before it disappeared. It wasn’t flashing so it couldn’t have been an aircraft. It’s difficult to say how big it was, but it was bigger and brighter than any star." It was the only thing in the sky that night."

He said he has spoken to two other people who have seen something similar in the night sky – one was seen from Pwllheli Rugby Club and the other from Rhydyclafdy.

Richard Foxhall, from Talysarn, has written the only Welsh language book about UFO sightings. He was spurred on after his investigation into strange lights above Dyffryn Nantlle drew a blank.

"When you don’t get answers about what you have seen – that’s when conspiracy theories start."

Mr Foxhall has had an interest in UFOs since he was a child growing up in the 60s on a diet of sci-fi B-movies and the original Doctor Who shows.

In 1996 he saw a strange light above Tal-y-Mignedd mountain which he reported to the Ministry of Defence.

He said: "I thought it was a helicopter at first, but it made no noise."

The MoD, Civil Aviation Authority, North Wales Police and CIA had no record of flights in the area at that time.

"When I was researching my book I spoke to so many people – down to earth, responsible people – who had seen strange things and just wanted answers."

"Some wouldn’t even allow me to use their names for fear that people wouldn’t belive their stories."

A spokeswoman from the MoD said they had received no reports of sightings.

"The MoD examines reports solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity.

"Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting reported."




UFO WATCH
Saturday 26th July, 23:00
Connah's Quay

Andy Gregory (44), observed through binoculars, a light moving at high altitude which he initially thought was a meteorite, but it moved a little slower. Then is suddenly changed direction at speed at about a 90-degree angle, and then changed direction again to travel the way it came from. It did this five times and then just disappeared.



UFO WATCH
Wednesday 13th August, 20:20
Aberavon

Low cloud.

A man (29) with his girlfriend were taking their dog for a walk at sunset on Aberavon Beach. They spotted a huge ball shoot past them and out to sea.

"It was all in a blink of an eye, bright bright white light. It was like something from a film! We both saw it, and were both saying, 'did you just see that?' It was so weird. 3 fishermen on the beach about 300 yards away did not see it, which freaked us out even more."

The two then stopped walking and watched for anything else in the sky, but nothing appeared. They then walked back up the beach in the opposite direction, when their dog started growling at nothing.

"Then again in a split second we saw another smaller round bright white ball appear and mega mega quickly move sideways in the sky and then just vanish. My girlfriend screamed, and we were both really shaken up!"

Duration of sighting: 5 seconds.



SUFON
Late Summer 2008
Townhill, Swansea

Witness – Nigel Morgan says he thinks it was late summer because the children next door were collecting for the harvest festival and he gave them some tins of soup and that helped him to remember the time of year. One night about 2 AM, he awoke from a night paralysis episode, and experiencing a feeling of being watched, in bed at home at Gomer Gardens, Townhill, Swansea.

He was usually a light sleeper due to suffering with arthritis in his spine, and he suddenly got up and went to the window and shouted out: "No stop it! You can’t take her!"

In the street he said he saw a blonde woman standing on the pavement his side of the road, and a beam of light shone down onto her from above. She was lifting off the ground and suddenly all was gone in an instant. He did not recognise the woman.

He dressed and went outside, after which he has no recollection until waking up again in his bed, but fully clothed, with shoes on.


Source: SUFON Files - witness interviewed by Emlyn Williams, 24 October 2015.



9th September, 04:00
St. Mellons, Cardiff

Amskaya #73 reported that a witness "saw an incredibly bright star but it suddenly started moving up and down and side to side swiftly and then flashing lights appeared around it like cameras."



CONTACT
20th to 25th September
Wrexham

Awareness V29/N4 had a report by Frances Copeland on the Wrexham flap during September 2008.






PRESS
Thursday 25th September, c. 20:10
Wrexham

On 30th September 2008 the Evening Leader reported on sightings of strange lights in North Wales.
UFO Affected TV Reception - Wrexham Woman Claims

The Evening Leader has once again been besieged with calls and emails from members of the public reporting fresh sightings of strange lights in the night sky over North Wales.

The bizarre objects were spotted by numerous readers in different areas of Wrexham last Wednesday and Thursday evening. One resident even claimed her television reception was affected as a result. The sightings come exactly a week after the Evening Leader was handed footage of slow moving lights, arranged in a triangular formation, over Rhos. The latest reported incidents add fuel to claims Wrexham is now the region's number one UFO hotspot.

Paul Griffiths, of Gwalia Terrace, said he had spotted three red lights over Pen-y-Cae on Thursday, September 25, just before 8.10pm, along with his wife and son. He said:

"At first we thought they were stars but when I looked around there were no other stars in the sky as it was cloudy. I believe we have viewed what others have viewed over the same area in the past week - unexplainable red lights in the sky over Rhos, Johnstown and now Pen-y-Cae areas."

Meanwhile Beverley Davies, of Ponciau, reported seeing the same lights over her village at around the same time. She said:

"I was letting the dog out into the garden when I saw a bright red light and when I looked up another two red lights were following it, so I called my husband Heath to come and take a look. We watched and after a few minutes as they started to form into a triangle. We did not hear a noise like it was an aircraft. It was the strangest thing we have ever seen. Then they just moved across the sky in the triangle."

The lights were also spotted the previous night - Wednesday, September 24 - by a number of residents in the county. Peter Davies, of Ponciau, said:

"I saw the UFOs over the Rhos village at 8.15pm on Wednesday, September 24 - they were travelling at the pace of a helicopter, yet there was no sound to suggest they were helicopters. Me and my sister-in-law watched as the glowing red lights, five in all, sped off across the Pen-y-Cae mountain."

Zoe Morris added: "We saw five flashing lights around quarter past eight around Ponciau. Three were making the V-shape and the other two were travelling much faster. We also lost reception on Channel 4."

Sceptics say the lights are nothing more than so-called Chinese lanterns, claims backed by rugby player Simon Hughes, of Rhos, who contacted the Leader on Wednesday evening. He said:

"To put everybody at rest about the UFO sightings - they are definitely lanterns. I saw four in total, three were in the triangle shape that everybody is seeing and there was one on its own only about 30 to 40 feet up. You could see very clearly the flame and the lantern shape. It went down in a field at the top end of Pen-y-Cae. There were several people that saw this as we were rugby training for Rhos."




PRESS
Saturday 27th September, daytime
Bagillt, Flintshire

Clear blue sky. Pamela Walkden (50), saw a 50 ft- long, thin cylindrical object hovering in the sky over Bagillt. At first she thought it was a banner being pulled by a plane or a stray balloon, but there was no plane in sight. She with other witness/s watched it move across the sky. It turned around and moved from side to side before then disappearing 'into thin air'. This lasted for 20 seconds. (Source: UFO Watch)

--

1.30 PM.

Flint Mayor, Terry Renshaw, saw a 'tube-like' object travelling silently over his home in Flint. He contacted the Evening Leader newspaper to ask if anyone else in North Wales had seen something similar.

Gwyneth Davies of Buckley, said: "I saw the object Cllr. Renshaw saw in the sky at lunchtime that day. I thought it was an odd shape to be a plane and it was so silent. It was tubular shaped, and I was going to mention it to my husband, then the phone rang and I came in from the garden. It was only after reading about this sighting that I remembered it."

--

The Evening Leader reported Cllr Renshaw's sighting on October 2nd 2008:

Flintshire Mayor Calls For Witnesses After Seeing 'Pipe-Like' UFO

Flint's town mayor is seeking witnesses after spotting a mysterious 'pipe-like' object in the sky. Flint mayor Terry Renshaw was making lunch at his home in Bagillt at about 1.30pm on Saturday, when he noticed a strange pipe-like object flying through the air.

"I thought at first that it was a plane trailing a big streamer behind it, but then I realised it was something else," he said. "It looked like a big, flexible aluminium pipe and it was travelling very fast, with no sound. I took a picture of it on my camera and carried on watching it for a bit and then it disappeared, behind what I thought was a cloud, but there were no clouds. I then looked at the picture on my camera but there was nothing, just a clear blue sky."

However, the sighting is not the first unusual object to be spotted in Flintshire's skies in recent months. During the Christmas and new year period, dozens of residents reported seeing a series of strange orange lights travelling quickly across the sky.

So far, no-one has been able to offer a concrete explantion as to exactly what these objects were. Following this latest sighting, Cllr Renshaw is looking for anyone in the area who may have noticed something similar. He said:

"I have contacted the UFO Society to see if it has received any similar reports, but I have not heard anything from them yet. I would be really interested to know if anyone in Flintshire spotted the same thing."




UK UFO
Wednesday 1st October, 23:00 and Thursday 2nd October, 01:00
Bagillt, Flintshire

An un-named Bagillt resident reported seeing a strange object, "hanging in the sky."

Witness: "I thought it was a helicopter at first, it looked like a bog black balloon. It just hung there, but I knew it wasn't a balloon the way it quickly shot off through the clouds."

Source: www.uk-ufo.co.uk citing Evening Leader - uploaded 2 October 2008.



PRESS
Sunday 5th October, c. 18:15
Bagillt

The witness was travelling to work at the Corus steelworks in Shotton. He looked towards Bagillt and noticed a large, shiny, tube-like object in the clear blue sky, which did not seem to be moving. As he arrived at work he mentioned it to his workmates, who looked towards Flint and the object was still visible.

"Whilst travelling to work Corus on October 5, at about 6.15pm, I looked towards Bagillt and noticed a large, shiny, tube-like object in the clear blue sky, which did not seem to be moving. As I arrived at work, I mentioned this to other work mates, who looked towards Flint and the object was still visible."



UFO WATCH
Saturday 11th October, 22:30
Llwynypia, Rhondda

Daz Owen (43) saw:

"About 50 feet high white light about two or three feet triangle" It flew overhead from behind him before disappearing into the dark about 200 feet ahead of him. "It just disappeared. It was silent. It was not a normal thing to see here but I don't know what it was but it was real."

Duration of sighting: 3 or 4 seconds.



MOD FILES
29th October
Erbistock / Wrexham

Not many details; the MOD summary is just "an unusual sighting."



PRESS
Friday 28th November, c. 19:44
Shotton

The Wrexham Daily Post of December 5th 2008 reported on the multiple UFO sightings of town councillor William Barton. He saw six lights in the sky, then got his binoculars and informed neighbours. The lights appeared to be flying higher than 1500 foot, which would have been breaking air traffic regulations. ATC at Liverpool John Lennon Airport told the paper that "nothing out of the ordinary was seen at this time."

William Barton, of Mill View, said: "They seemed to come from the Ewloe area and float towards Shotton. There were about six of them and they appeared and then vanished for a while. They were bowl-shaped, orange blobs, with a glow of light around them. If this has been a prank, it is very irresponsible, it could have caused a terrible aircraft accident. I thought these objects may have been created by a glider towing fireworks, but there was no smoke. lt is very alarming to think what they could be."



PRESS
8th December 2008, 19:00
Holywell

Various witnesses saw lights in the sky. They reported the sightings to the Evening Leader and Margaret Fry included it in her reports for Awareness V30/N1.

Awareness vol 30 no 1



Tuesday 11th December, 17:00
Lisvane

Martin Dupres and two friends saw a strange light in the sky. Source: Amskaya #78, 2008.

Amskaya



MOD FILES
Friday 26th December
Old Colwyn

A witness reported seeing an object in the sky over Old Colwyn:

"Bigger than a helicopter, 250 metres up, silent, with something like a bar coming off it. 30 seconds later flew off over the sea followed by a helicopter."



PRESS
31st December
Harlech

Numerous witnesses saw a cluster of five lights float upwards and then disappear over Harlech Castle.

Awareness vol 30 no 1



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Weird Wales


Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Cream Magazine Guide

Cream

Founded by Bob Houston and launched in May 1971, Cream was a monthly title that lasted 29 issues before folding in October 1973.

My googling for content scans was hampered by the similarly titled - and way more famous - Creem magazine...    



1234
5678
9101112
13141516
17181920
21222324
25262728
29303132




#1. May 1971.
#2. June 1971.
#3. July 1971.
#4. August 1971.
#5. September 1971.
#6. October 1971.
#7. November 1971. (7 | back)
#8. December 1971.
#9. January 1972. (2/316/17 | 18/1945)
#10. February 1972.
#11. March 1972.
#12. April 1972.
#13. May 1972.
#14. June 1972.
#15. July 1972.
#16. September 1972.
#17. October 1972.
#18. November 1972.
#19. December 1972.
#20. January 1973.
#21. February 1973.
#22. March 1973.
#23. April 1973.
#24. May 1973.
#25. June 1973.
#26. July 1973.
#27. August 1973.
#28. September 1973.
#29. October 1973.



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Magazine Cover Guides


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