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Secret Ministry of Defence (MoD) files detailing sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) in Wales have been made public for the first time.They are among hundreds of sightings of UFOs across the UK released in eight MoD files to the National Archive.
Detailed accounts of sightings over Anglesey, Aberystwth, Cardiff and Swansea are included in the files.
They cover the period from 1978 to 1987 and have been released as a result of Freedom of Information requests.
The information can be downloaded from the website of the National Archives for free for the first month. There will be almost 200 files released in total over the next four years.
Among them are the following sightings:
- In Cardiff in January 1982 when a "very bright silver light" with a red tail traversed the sky from east to west and "disappeared before reaching the horizon".
Another eyewitness in the city saw a ball of bright red light intensifying to a brilliant red light moving in the direction of Caerphilly mountain in November 1981.
- Three people saw a "very large" triangular object with three bright lights on each corner and one flashing white light in the middle three times in November 1981 in the Amlwch area of Anglesey.
It was first sighted stopping over Amlwch before making a 90 degree turn and accelerating inland.
- Police in Gwent were told about an "aerial phenomena" with large white flashing lights spotted by a motorist on the mountain road between New Tredegar and Aberbargoed in March 1982.
A similar object appears to have also been spotted on the same night from Pengam "darting in a southerly direction".
- A object which moved up and down like a bouncing ball was observed by a aircraft enthusiast who had been closing his curtains in his living room in Cwmbran in January 1985.
- A UFO was also seen above Glan Conwy in February 1982. It had "one solitary flashing light plus deep throbbing noise".
- A huge bright orange circular light along with two smaller lights which appeared to separate from and rejoin the main light, were spotted over Caernarfon, Gwynedd in December 1981.
This was also the location where a comet-like object was observed travelling south west in October 1986.
- In January 1985 an "exceptionally large reddish" star "several times the magnitude of Venus" was seen by three generations of the same family in a stationary position 12 miles south of Aberystwyth.
Sightings of a variety of objects including cylinders with bright lights, round grey objects, oval and triangular shapes have been spotted from places like Bridgend, Swansea, Bethesda, Port Talbot and Caerleon.
- However, the MoD in a memo written in 1983, has its feet firmly on the ground when it comes to an explanation.
- Although it does not deny there were "strange things" to see in the sky, there were adequate explanations for the phenomenon.
- These include space junk burning up in the atmosphere, unusual cloud formations and weather balloons.
- "The sole interest of the Ministry of Defence in UFO reports is to establish whether they reveal anything of defence interest (e.g intruding aircraft)," said the memo.
- Visitors to the National Archive website will be able to listen to a podcast from Dr David Clarke from Hallam University in which he will discuss the files and their release.
Dr Hallam said: "It has taken 10 years of campaigning to get these papers out and now that they are it lays to rest some of the claims of a cover up by the MoD.
"But I don't think for a minute that the conspiracy theorists will drop their theories."
28 reports of UFO sightings in Wales
THE Ministry of Defence has investigated 28 official reports of UFO sightings in Wales in the past three years.
The close encounters include a black object hovering over Rhyl, a flying disc over Newport and a spinning craft with legs spotted in the skies above the Valleys.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that there were seven sightings in 2002, eight in 2003, four in 2004 and nine so far this year.