1910s - Reports: 16
22 AUGUST 1910 - CARDIFF
A SKY PHENOMENON
A correspondent informs us of an extraordinary spectacular effect witnessed on Monday evening. In the south-western sky he saw two long bars of light, perfectly straight and parallel, suggestive of bars of red-hot iron. Perhaps other readers also observed the spectacle, or can afford some explanation.
Source: Evening Express 23 August 1910.
17 JANUARY 1913 - SOUTH WALES
An 'airship' was seen traversing a large area of South Wales. Reports came in from various locations which, if the reported times of the sightings are to be considered accurate, meant that the object was able to cover the distance at high speed.
A letter written by Sara E. Hanmer of Bettisfield, Rogerstone on 23 January and was printed in the 25 January edition of the Western Mail:
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 being 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.'
Source: Western Mail Saturday 25 and Monday 27 January 1913.
18 JANUARY 1913 - UPLANDS, SWANSEA
Mr. Marshall, a ship-broker residing in the Upands, 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 22 January 1913.
18 JANUARY 1913 - SWANSEA
Between 8.30 PM & 9 PM
SWANSEA BOY AND A WHIZZING NOISE.
Master Harold Gibbs, son of a superintendent of the estates 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 24 January 1913.
21 JANUARY 1913 - UPLANDS, SWANSEA
Mr H. J. Marshall, of Eaton Crescent, Swansea, stated that he saw either an aeroplane or an aircraft of some kind coming from the direction of Llanelli. It was travelling from west to east at a fairly good speed, and the light was of a peculiar reddish warm colour.
Source: Western Mail Thursday 23 January 1913.
21 JANUARY 1913 - 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 that 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.
[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.]
21 JANUARY 1913 - KIDWELLY
THE WONDER LIGHT
A Schoolboy on the Sky Mystery.
It is interesting to read what a schoolboy thinks of the mystery in the sky which excited the amazement and inventive powers of explanation of adults throughout South Wales last week.
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.
28 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.
(Signed) RICHARD WILLIAMS
10 Bridge st.. Kidwelly. 13 years.
Source: Western Mail Monday 10 February 1913; The Carmarthen Weekly Reporter Friday 14 February 1913.
25 JANUARY 1913 - FISHGUARD
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 4 February 1913.
1 FEBRUARY 1913 - PONTLOTTYN
Hundreds of witnesses saw what was believed an airship, going in the direction of Fochriw and Bedlinog.
Source: Western Mail Tuesday 4 February 1913.
1 FEBRUARY 1913 - TONGWYNLAIS
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.
1 FEBRUARY 1913 - NEWPORT, MON.
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.
2 FEBRUARY 1913 - SWANSEA BAY
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 a sharp look-out over these localities.
Source: Western Mail Monday 3 February 1913.
5 FEBRUARY 1913 - AROUND 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 occurence 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 distnctly 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.
At about 9.45 pm, George Winterson, of Ashfield Cottage, Crickhowell said, '..my 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.
8 FEBRUARY 1913 - OGMORE-BY-SEA
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
SEPTEMBER 1914 - CAERPHILLY
Two children named, Uden and Hopkins, said they were wandering on a mountainside after school on their way home, when they suddenly encountered a widespread mist at the edge of which were two small humanoid figures totally white all over. They advanced towards the children who became frightened and fled. Both beings wore abnormally tall hats, rather like those worn by chefs, and had piercing eyes.
Source: Humanoid Encounters - Albert S. Rosales 2016 citing Rupert Drew.
16 OCTOBER 1916 - SOUTH-EAST WALES
South-East Wales was on tip-toe on Monday evening between 7 and 8 o'clock gazing excitedly at a luminous shape in the sky, away towards the south-east.
Locally, in common with other districts opinion was divided as to the nature of the apparition, some inclining to the belief that it was the northern lights, others that it was a peculiar light from Dowlais or other works. Very few believed that the mysterious light was an airship.
Major Baird, M.P., of the Air Board, in reply to an enquiry from Mr. C. B. Stanton, M.P., who watched the "light" in his own constituency has informed that gentleman that "There is no doubt that the airship seen over Aberdare and Merthyr was one of ours. You will not ask me where it lives. The main thing is that it is ours."
Mr. Stanton was given authority to make the fact known.
Source: Labour Voice (Llais Llafur) 21 October 1916.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday Mr. J. H. Cory (U., Cardiff), asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he was aware that a British airship's sudden appearance over parts of South Wales on Monday night week, created a good deal of excitement that would have been avoided had any warning been the practice in London; and whether he directed the officials responsible for these flights by British airships to give warning whenever possible of such proposed visits?
Dr. Macnamara: Airships were over South Wales, during Monday, the 16th October but returned to their base in day light. No reports have been received indicating that any alarm was caused.
Source: Labour Voice (Llais Llafur) 28 October 1916.