The Pentyrch Incident


Case summary below - or see full results of still ongoing investigation here: http://mmaunder747.wixsite.com/swansea-ufo-network

Multiple witnesses of a huge UFO and other lights. Military planes and helicopters, a chase, explosions, physical effects such as shaken buildings, damaged trees and wreckage on the ground. An apache helicopter landing with its cockpit on fire. Weird snow and mystery men in white coveralls. Could be a scenario worthy of an episode of the X-Files? Certainly, but this really happened on a cold winter night in South Wales in 2016.

A lot of miltary aircraft activity in the area around Llantrisant woke people up, and some claim to have seen unidentified lights which don't seem to conform to the normal idea of  military aircraft. It has been reported that these lights were chased and fired at by the military aircraft.  Explosions were heard, and buildings shaken. The official line is that it was part of an Armed Forces exercise  - but why would they perform a military exercise in a populated area at that time of the morning - using live ammunition? The military helicopter that reportedly had to make an emergency landing due to a fire in the cockpit, landed at Cardiff Airport - a civilian airport.

The activity, which continued through the morning, has been officially explained to have been a bi-annual training package known as exercise Chameleon.

Just after midnight, Mike Henbury was taking his dog for a walk along Tyn-y-Coed Road, and watched a plane circling in the sky. There had been a lot of military activity in the air for much of the day and night before. Suddenly another plane appeared and joined the circling of the first plane. Others joined to make 5 large planes flying a circular search pattern. He watched as he thought this very strange.

A red pulsing light appeared, followed by two more to form a triangle descending from the clouds. Mike: "It looked very large indeed. I don't think it touched down totally but about 10 to 12 feet from the ground it lit up fully, showing the full outline of it, then it dimmed down ."

Black, red and green orbs emerged from it, "as if they were dancing and moulding into one pulsing from red to green slowly". A green orb then shot up in the centre of the aircraft. It started pulsing very fast and bright, then it slowly headed towards the north west, with a bobbing motion and glowing. Two of the aircraft came out from the circling formation and followed it. The other orbs remained, glowing red and dimming in the area where the large craft had come down. 

Mike had seen enough by this time, and wondered who was more scared, him or his dog. They hurried on home and Mike thought he had seen something he shouldn't have. He couldn't sleep for hours. At about 4 a.m. he heard a huge explosion in the distance, followed by a second explosion about 3 or 4 seconds afterwards.

Another witness, Peter Piper: "I tried to identify the helicopters around 3.30 to 4.10 am but due to their altitude and cloud base this proved difficult. I didn't hear any Chinooks, (very distinctive low frequency twin rotor sound). What I did see sounded and looked approximately the size of US Sikorsky Black Hawk Helos.

Caz Clarke, who also witnessed the events said: "I can categorically state that this was NO EXCERCISE! Last night I saw absolutely everything and what they were chasing were not planes! I will take a lie detector anywhere for anyone but what I witnessed last night will stay with me for the rest of my life. What is more, the military knew they were coming and had a spotter plane in the air for two days waiting for "the event". When it came four planes chased the "green" object whilst the spotter plane circled approx'  "six "red oval objects" which formed a pyramid shape.  Several red spheres hovered silently above the fields until the helicopters came..."

Michael Hopkins commented on the online thread: "Just heard from two people from Pentyrch who also saw 6 red and 1 green light in pyramid formation over Talbot Green area. Apparently they saw the green light being chased and shot down by an aircraft. There were 6 chinooks and a few smaller helicopters, 3 apache helicopters and RAF jets.  I also heard from someone who works in the Royal Glam hospital who said that the explosion shook the hospital to the foundations and the windows rattled. There was a second smaller explosion just after the large one. When he went outside to see what was going on there was smoke everywhere"

Diane Blackmore, of Pontyclun, said: "There were three helicopters flying very low for hours. I phoned 101 and they confirmed it was a military exercise. I was worried that something horrible had happened."

Christopher Buckley of Llantristant, said he was awoken by an explosion in the middle of the night. "There were helicopters and planes everywhere and then something hit and made an explosion."

Representatives of South Wales Awakenings! attended a talk by Richard D Hall in Merthyr on Sunday 28th February 2016. They reported that a number of people in the audience reported and discussed some strange sightings on the night of 26th February in the Llantrisant and Pontyclun area:

"One lady recalled a number of red and green lights appearing to be chased by apache-type helicopters, followed by an explosion causing her to believe that the ‘UFO/s’ with green and red lights was shot down. Several audience members reported multiple explosions, one particularly loud one. And many reported seeing strange lights, apache-type helicopters, chinooks and other military aircraft."

A contributor to the online chat below the Wales On-line article, identified as 'alfisti', referring to the landing at Cardiff Airport, said: "Google South Wales Aviation Group, go three quarters of the way down the page to 'Aircraft Logs Archive'.  Then look at the Cardiff airport logs for friday 26.02.16  Second main photo down reports an Emergency landing @ 04.34 by an aircraft that does not usually hang out at a commercial airport in the early hours of the morning !!" The photograph does indeed show an Apache helicopter on the tarmac of the airport.

On 6 October 2017 SUFON's Emlyn Williams took a trip to Pentyrch to meet Caz Clarke (not real name), together with other witnesses Dave,  Steve and Donna (not real names). Michael Hopkins and his son, Adam were also there. After meeting at the village's only phone box, the group walked a short distance to a field on the western edge of the village, near Caz's home. Caz said that planes had been seen circling the area for two days before the night's event, and she is adamant, and it certainly seems the case, that the military authorities knew that something was going to occur. They knew where but they didn't know exactly when, hence why they were waiting. When one plane departed another would arrive to continue the surveillance. At about 2.40 a.m. on the night in question she and Dave were in her house and heard a lot of aerial activity so decided to go outside to see what was happening. They walked to the gate at the eastern corner of a field at the end of a lane off Heol Penllwyn, on the western edge of the village. A lot of planes were in the area, including an E3 sentry plane which circled the area approximately seven times, taking about 5 mins to do one circuit. It was about this time that the smaller spotter planes left the area.

The two witnesses spotted a red light to the west above, and beyond the line of trees that mark the field's western extremity. This was followed by other red lights, that formed the outer edges of a huge triangle standing upright, tilted to the right, with a convex, rather than straight lower edge. They did not see it 'arrive' but rather just appeared in front of them, and Caz suggests that it travelled inter-dimensionally.  A small green-lighted object, emerged from the top of the large object. The lights were so bright it was difficult to see their individual shape.

Caz explained that as the green object emerged from the top of the large one, four military planes arrived, two from the direction of RAF St Athan and two from the direction of Cardiff. The green object flashed or strobed three times and headed off to the north-west towards Llantrisant and the aircraft chased it. Three apache helicopters approached low across the fields from the south, in a pyramid formation. They were so low that the witnesses could see the grass moving. 

The large object then dipped to the right, turning on its axis. It descended below the tree line, but due to the trees having no leaves, the witnesses could see through them, showing that as the object was turning on its axis, it was descending into the field to the north of where it had initailly appeared. As the object neared the gound, the bright red lights towards the bottom of the craft became brighter and changed to street-light orange. They gave off so much light that the sides of the craft were illuminated, showing a pyramid shape to it. The lowest lights now became really bright, almost white/orange and releasing several fingers of light arcing down to the ground, like coloured lightning. The red lights then went out and the large object was no longer visible.

All this time Caz and Dave were standing at the gate to the field, watching it all going on. After the large object had disappeared they decided to enter the field and walked towards the site, reaching the gate at the opposite side of the first field, leading into the second (above which the large object had appeared. However they lost their nerve when they again became aware of the E3 sentry plane, and so they decided to turn around and head back to the gate.

Caz and Dave's description seems to corroborate that given by Mike Henbury who was on on Tyn-y-coed Road with his dog. The road is a narrow lane which lies to the north of the 'landing' field, and runs along its northern boundary. So we have two witness locations describing the same event, one from the east and one from the north.

Caz and Dave now saw two upright barrel-shaped red lights about 30 feet above them at the gate. One came across the top of the oak tree next to the witnesses, and the other over the hedge. The one over the tree suddenly changed from red to green 'like someone had flicked a switch'. 

Caz explained later, "This was the size of a small car and looked like it was covered with lots of tiny light bulbs not as small as leds more like the bulbs you would find on a fair ground ride! It was tail light red and turned traffic light green.... I was close enough to see the individual bulbs it was practically above my head."

The other one stayed red and went off to towards the south-west. There was no sound. The green one went towards the north-east in the direction of Garth Mountain. The two witnesses went home as the E3 plane came back. One interesting fact was that the witness's mobile phones each lost their charge during the event.

Emlyn Williams walked with the group through the field, turning north and across into the adjacent field where the large craft had descended. This field was marshy and filled with scrub, rising to the north. 

The group investigated in the days that followed the event and had discovered that the green object had headed over Llantrisant Common and a missile or missiles had been fired in the area of Smilog Wood (Forestry Commission conifers), which lies near the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant. Caz and Steve went to Llantrisant Common and found that areas of the common had been cordoned off with yellow tape, and piles of metal (probably parts of the missile/s) were arranged in neat piles ready to be picked up. So a meticulous search had apparently been made of the common and every piece of metal had been picked up. A dog-walker had told them that there had been an explosion in Smilog Wood behind the hospital. In Smilog Wood itself, Steve and Donna explained, the top half  of trees had been snapped off, showing that something had flown very low and had come into contact with the trees. They had also found out that a section of the M4 motorway between Port Talbot and Swansea had been closed to traffic at the time. A line drawn from Pentyrch-Smilog Wood, if continued to the north-west, in the direction of travel made by the green object and military aircraft, heads straight to that section of motorway.

That wasn't the end to the mystery, however. For two days after the event it snowed in the field over which the large object had descended and nowhere else and the snow was very strange. Donna compared it to the little foam balls you get in a beanbag, it was squashy like marshmallow and round and didn't melt in your hand. It rolled off your clothes as it fell. They had never seen snow like that before or since.

A day or two after that, tents appeared in the field to the south of the gate. Caz showed a photo which she had taken at the time to Emlyn Williams. It showed two white gazebos with sides and several green one or two-man tents in two neat rows along one edge of the field. Figures in white paper overalls were seen walking around. Caz's neighbour had told her that she had been told, on enquiring the reasons for the camp that they were a fracking survey team. Another explanation to someone else was that they were a team working for Vodaphone (but as Caz pointed out - "Vodaphone don't wear digital cammos and carry guns!"). The Pentyrch group had approached the tents and were challenged by a young man who tried to move the group on and acting very "twitchy". Caz asked the man what they were doing there and he said he'd have to check with his "commanding officer". The 'officer' then appeared and explained that they were on a mlitary exercise in case of emergency  looking for mock land mines! The mystery team had a vehicle parked nearby, a rental van with 'Enterprise' written on it. The reason for the camp, so soon after the night's events of the 26th could not be anything but connected. Donna kept an eye on the strange activity and saw that they were doing a finger-tip search of the area to the east of the quarry which lies on the far west of the site. Caz explained that one of the figures in white coveralls was standing in the first field (the one that the gate leads into) with a laptop opened and the words, 'We must find it..' were distinctly heard, emphasising the fact that they were looking for something. 

The Pentyrch group continued to research the event and discovered that there were no commercial flights over Wales at all on the night of the 26th February. Implying that they had been re-routed. Radar records show a circular pattern of flights by the military aircraft around the Llantrisant area and Caz managed to obtain a photograph of the apache helicopter that had been forced to land at Cardiff Airport, despite RAF St. Athan being just a few miles to the west, showing that it had indeed run into difficulties.

Michael Hopkins, of Pontypridd, although, like Steve and Donna, not a witness to the main event, had made contact with the Pentyrch group and offered help in researching the incident. He produced a CGI of the large object from the description given by Caz and Dave. However Caz says that it is not fully accurate and has made some drawings by hand.

On 19 October 2017 Emlyn Williams returned to Pentyrch, this time accompanied by Mike Maunder. They met Caz Clarke, Donna and Dave. Caz took Emlyn and Mike around the fields in question, and an EMF meter was used. There were definite spikes in the south-east corner of the field where Caz said they saw the large object come near to the ground and where lightning was seen arcing down to the ground. Mike took 24 photos during the survey, but when he got back to Swansea he found that not one photo had been recorded. He checked his phone, taking some photos and it was working fine.

Subsequently we have received more information from members of the public:

Matthew Cousins who works at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital explained that he was working the night shift that night. He can't remember the exact time but a loud bang shook the whole hospital. He ran to the window for he thought something like a lorry had crashed into the side of the ward. Shortly after that, there was a smell like sulphur coming through the vents, which lingered all night through the corridors of the hospital. He said he went outside to try to work out what had happened because he was puzzled, and noticed smoke coming like mist through the air. He said it seemed to be coming from the direction of Llantrisant Common. He thought a nearby factory might have had an explosion. He added, "There were helicopters circling right throughout the night from the early hours right up to 6ish maybe in the morning." 

Pentyrch lies on the southern slope of Garth Mountain, known locally as 'The Garth'. The summit is just above the village to the north and is surmounted by a bronze age burial mound, on top of which is a trig-point at 1,007 feet (307m). The mountain is easily recognisable for miles around, due to the 'pimple' on the top. Caz explained that several ley lines intersect near the village, and they have had many UFO sightings here over the years. Garth Mountain figures strongly in local folklore, and the events of 26 February 2016 seems to be continuing this tradition.

Sources: Walesonline                         How military training planes and helicopters kept parts of South Wales awake

Sources  South Wales Awakening     Strange explosions/ ufo over Llantrisant

SUFON meeting with witnesses 6 October 2017 / Michael Hopkins image. / subsequent correspondence with Caz Clarke.



Pencil drawings courtesy of Caz Clarke.

CGI images courtesy of Michael Hopkins.