Berwyn Incident : Article > [prev ¦1¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ next]


The logic and conclusion is inescapable. Neither Huw Thomas nor the police saw the light seen by the nurse. Conversely the nurse did see the police, though she didn’t realise it at the time. The drawing on her BGS notes clearly shows and describes ‘vehicles’ and ‘torch lights’. This was the search party. Between them, very close to both, is the anomalous light source. Whatever she was seeing must have been visible to the search team and the poachers. So either the farmer and police lied about what they saw to the BGS in 1974 and myself in 1998, or it wasn’t noteworthy at the time.

But what was it? Well, there is one possibility which would account for it. The BGS notes also confirmed the poachers were using powerful lamps made from car spotlamps powered by car batteries. Pat Evans recalls the weather was clear but drizzling. Lights seen in those conditions can appear to change colour and size by refraction and to ‘glow’. As for the size, which she described as larger than vehicle lights, this may be a perceptual trick. Remember that Nurse Evans was looking across a dark mountainside with no visual points of reference and expecting to see a ‘plane crash or some other scene of devastation. On the evidence available it is certain that the nurse saw the poachers with their lamping lights at the point they met and talked to the police.

Some ufologists claim that although bolide meteors were seen throughout the evening, the beams of light seen on the mountain immediately after the explosion were not astronomical in origin and were connected to the UFO crash. Several of the BGS notes refer to people seeing these beams ‘on the brow’ of the hill, ’sometimes on and sometimes off but always vertically into sky’. Another witness saw one beam ‘processing about the vertical’. These accounts were puzzling until I looked closely at the locations of the witnesses.

All the witnesses who reported seeing these ‘light beams’ were in the village of Llandrillo at the time. The land rises sharply to the south and to an observer in the village the ‘brow of the hill’ is not the summit ridge of the Berwyns (actually over three miles away), but the plateau area around the 548m point. The exact area in fact where the poachers with lamps were. The BGS records note the poachers, ‘continued work for half an hour to forty five minutes’ after the 8.38pm earth tremor, and it was early in this time period the beams were seen. Some villagers were convinced that poachers lamps couldn’t be responsible for the beams, others not so sure. One witness told the BGS he had seen the poacher’s lights on previous occasions and they were exactly the same as the beams seen that night.

This theory may appear to be debunking or to be twisting the facts to fit a theory. But we must use logic and probability in solving any case and the facts are that poachers with powerful lamps were in the exact area where the beams of light were seen. When questioned by the police the poachers claimed their lamps were not responsible, that they had kept them trained on the ground. Yet they also said they had not seen anything unusual. It’s reasonable to suggest that as the poachers and their bright lamps were in the same location as the beams of light seen from Llandrillo, it was their lights people were seeing and misperceiving. Perhaps because of excitement caused by the earth tremor, perhaps because of belief in a crash of some kind.
The poachers had very good reason for not wishing to own up to causing bright beams of light in the sky as it was reports of ‘light beams’ which partially led the police to believe an aircraft had crashed. However there were a very small number of genuinely unexplained lights seen that evening. One witness opened her curtains immediately after the tremor to see a ‘big bright glow in the sky over the brow of the hill’. Another saw a ‘glow several times brighter than the sun’ to the south east which ‘came and went’. Maria Williams of Llandrillo saw this white glow at the same time as the poacher’s lights. Some scientists have suggested this short-lived white glow was caused as a result of the huge tectonic stresses involved in the earth-tremor. An earthlight. But witnesses to this were few. And as it was seen at the same time as a bright meteor and the poacher’s lights, it may well be yet another misperception. Indeed one witness described the ‘glow’ as ‘ a streetlamp seen through heavy rain’, just how a bright lamp would appear.

Claims by ufologists that a military presence was on the scene immediately following the 8.38pm explosion and in subsequent days also bear close examination. As we’ve already seen nurse Pat Evans, by her own admission, was not stopped by soldiers or police and saw no-one out on the mountain roads. She set off at 7.00am for work the following day and saw nothing unusual in the village. So how did stories of a massive police and military presence arise? To understand that we need to return again to the official records.

Following the 8.38pm earth tremor the police opened a Major Incident Log. This log shows that the police initially thought a ‘plane had crashed and Fire and Ambulance services were put on stand-by. At 9.09pm the police contacted RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team (VMRT) based at Valley on Anglesey some seventy five miles away. A three man team left Valley at 9.20pm and, arrived at Llandrillo at 00.10am. The VMRT log lists the incident as ‘Unidentified lights and noise on hillside’ and comments, ‘VMRT requested to investigate lights and noise on hillside. Advance party covered relevant area with negative results. Incident produced much local excitement.’ The fact that VMRT only deemed it necessary to send a three man team argues strongly against the event being of any significance. On their arrival in Llandrillo the mountain rescue team consulted with local police who suggested they wait until morning before initiating a search. »

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