“Berwyn Mountains Incident: Revealed” – State sponsored hoax or the dismal state of UK UFO research?

One of the main criticisms that many UFO sceptics level at the UFO community, is that researchers/authors etc continually keep re-hashing key UFO incidents. Which is easily explained, because many of these incidents are never adequately explained. Or there may be more information that comes to light, or maybe that they are so pivotal to the UFO phenomena people will keep digging until they are satisfied they have got to the bottom of the incident. One incident that continues to fascinate many is the Berwyn Mountain incident. It is one of those incidents that has so much intrigue I find it hard to understand why people wouldn’t want to keep digging for the truth. Just as much as I would find it hard to understand why someone would want to re-write the event and turn it into a UFOlogical travesty which seems to serve no other purpose than muddy the waters of the original incident.

What I am referring to is “The Berwyn Mountains Incident: Revealed” by Steve Lumley. So far, it has had a fair old kicking from many people who can see the holes in the story spun by Lumley and his main source Russ Kellett. On the Exopolitics UK Facebook Page, the book has been systematically been torn apart by Scott Felton, one of the few people to have thoroughly researched the incident.

Scott starts off by explaining, “The whole book is based on the theory that there were multiple UFOs out and about on the night of January 23rd 1974 and that at least one was shot down by the RAF and which crash landed aside a main road near the village of Llandderfel which runs between Bala and Corwen. This particular alien vehicle it is claimed housed 5 ETs three of which were captured along with two injured. The alien craft was forced out of the sea near Puffin Island and shot with an air to air missile over Capel Curig in Snowdonia. Of course the claim that military vessels were anywhere near Puffin Island (an islet of the larger Welsh island of Anglesey) is ludicrous; the sea even at the highest tides are simply too shallow. It is no coincidence that the Irish ferries embark from Holyhead on the north coast where the water is very deep and is part of the shipping lane into Liverpool. Even a passenger ferry cannot operate in the waters off the east of Anglesey. It is simply too dangerous and shallow and a huge chunk of it dries out at low tide, exposing massive sandbanks. The sea bed is littered with shipwrecks.” 

Scott goes on to explain, “Puffin Island is all but high & dry at low tide. The main body of the island is 800 yards from the Anglesey coast but less if one includes the low tide spit. The author wants us to believe that several military ships flushed UFOs out of the water near Puffin Island, then engaged in a mini battle with a battleship getting fried, with not a single witness to light or sound and the only record is a document refering to Operation Photoflash of which there seems to be only one copy as no one else has seemingly been able to getting any similar or identical confirming literature.”

Scott continues, “When I first started collaborating with Margaret Fry [North Wales UFO researcher], I came across in her notes two mentions of witnesses who claim to have seen presumably UK fighter planes involved in pursuit of a UFO/UFOs. In both cases, the information had been supplied to her anonymously. There was uncertainty of the dates but seemed to be mid-1990s.  One witness at Harlech on the west coast of Wales claimed to have seen two RAF jets pursuing a UFO off the coast. It travelled parallel to the coast then swung inland near Porthmadog. Another purported witness claimed a military jet fired a rocket at a UFO and hit it. This was allegedly seen by a farmer near Beddgelert a few miles inland from Porthmadog. There is no proof that these incidents (if they were even real) were linked to the Berwyn event of January 1974. It was however the mention of these which also helped me look elsewhere for a Puffin Island.  Oileán na gCánógis immediately adjacent to vastly deep Atlantic Ocean water and is much nearer the edge of the continental shelf the whole of the British Isles lies on. So, I summised that ‘What if Oileán na gCánóg was used as a real place to falsify a UFO event elsewhere? UK military jets could track UFOs over Ireland but could do nothing militarily until such vehicles entered UK airspace. In theory, this could have happened and the scenario described could have been real; but I doubt it. UFOs have been seen leaving and entering the waters off County Kerry in the Irish Republic, so I gradually concluded that the vague reports fed to Margaret Fry were disinfo’ and that she was a target for such an attack however, somewhere along the line, Russ Kellett got involved and those behind the disinfo’ campaign were able to go much further. It then became his baby and a reliable disinfo’ conduit was opened up into the UFO community.

Scott pours further scorn on the theories within the book, “It was low tide soon after dusk on the evening of the Berwyn event, rendering it impossible for any ship larger than a fishing trawler to operate anywhere within ten miles of Puffin Island. I already established from nautical charts that it was impossible for military ships to operate in the area as claimed by Russ Kellett and in the book. Now it seems the water was even lower and as it coincided with a New Moon too, the high tide just before midnight was only just 8 metres and not ten as you’d get on the highest tide of the month, rendering the claim even more impossible. It doesn’t matter what anyone believes about the claims of Mr Kellett as published, a huge, significant proportion of the story simply cannot be. But then I’ve known for years that was the case but now the claim is even more damned. Even if there was a crashed alien vehicle aside the road nr Llandderfel, the story of how it arrived there is total rubbish.”

“Not only is the area of sea too shallow for warships (I’ve always known this), but the state of the tides on the 23rd of January 1974 show quite categorically that at the time the alien vehicles were allegedly forced out of the water, the tide was out! It was low tide, so the alleged area of operations was even shallower. Which begs the question, if a small flotilla of warships couldn’t be there for the highest tides, how could they be there at the lowest? The nearest permanent and deep water ships of any size can operate in is at least fifteen miles north of the alleged area of altercation. The alleged document Mr Kellett received from the coastguard as far as I’m aware is the only copy and it has never been made available for public scrutiny. A part image of it appeared in a newspaper and that is all. It is unsurprising therefore to find that everyone who ever approached the coastguard since then about this document has been answered with the words ‘We know nothing of this document’.  There is no copy of it, no record of it, no archive of it. Russ won’t even say who signed it so that person can be pursued. I actually believe the coastguard and I believe the Operation Photoflash document is fake and was deliberately supplied to Mr Kellett purporting to come from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. It seems he was told of the Operation Photoflash event and naturally enquired of it. That enquiry was of course expected and in due course he received a reply albeit a bogus one.”

So not only is the theory unsound, but the “evidence” used to back up the claim is highly suspect. But what of the alien bodies that a few witnesses claimed to have seen? Scott, explains “The only alien casualties were dead ones in the crash, though two apparently survived. This was I understand meant to tie in with the rumour that an undisclosed witness who contacted Tony Dodd claimed that alien bodies were removed from the Berwyn ‘crash’ on Cader Berwyn and taken to Porton Down. This bio-material was in body bags and in crates and the delivery boys even had the privilege of seeing the boxes and bags opened to view the ET contents. That of course is rubbish as even in the mid 70s the fear of ET contamination was well founded and no way would people be exposed to such bio-material unnecessarily. Dodd’s witness claimed that {he?} saw four soldiers on presumably January 24th 1974, removing two oblong boxes off the Cader Berwyn hillside and loading them onto an army truck. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, Dodd accepted that the informant knew enough to confirm that these were the corpses of two aliens which were shipped to Porton Down. In Russ Kellett’s account, we get the same total of dead ETs – two, but more survived, but they were not taken to Porton Down directly, but to an undisclosed military base near Chester – I assume this to be RAF Sealand. They of course came from a different crash according to him by virtue of being shot down. The location difference between Mr Kellett’s crash and the Cader Berwyn UFO is about 5 miles as the crow flies (he won’t identify the exact field aside the road). Dodd’s informant was very specific about the location of those soldiers and boxes and the parked truck.Personally, I’ve come across no evidence that alien corpses were recovered anywhere in the Berwyn area and the locals certainly don’t accept it and based on that, I believe at present that the claim of such recovery is a hoax be it from Russ Kellett or Tony Dodd.”

Despite not reading the completed book (or so he claims) and obviously not doing any due diligence on the theory or the evidence, Nick Pope has written an endorsement for this thinly disguised tissue of lies.  As usual, why let facts get in the way of a good story? I think it highlights many, many interesting issues. Firstly, it is so easy now to get a half-arsed theory into book form and onto the Amazon selling platform, that the quality of many current UFO books is laughable. Secondly, judging by some glowing reviews for this nonsense on Amazon, your average UFO buff isn’t really prepared to do some background research themselves and will believe any old BS if it’s in a book. Thirdly, is this state of UK UFOlogical research these days or is this planted purely to muddy the waters on such a contentious UFO incident? Answers on a postcard to the usual addres…

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