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Europe’s Roswell – 40 Years Since Impact.

Time has a habit of slowly erasing the fragile traces of history. Where the

dry sands of the Roswell desert in New Mexico preserve faint traces of a

metal object that fell to earth 86 years ago in 1947, the unforgiving limestone

rocks and frequently harsh wet weather of Lanillar in Mid-Wales have eroded

away all traces of the crash which took place there just 40 years ago at the

beginning of 1983.

However, the crash did not go unnoticed at the time, and a small dedicated

band of ‘ufologists’ acted with sufficient speed to preserve material from a

little-known but highly significant incident that remains a mystery to this day.

We don’t have an exact chronology for events surrounding this incident

outside the sleepy village of Llanillar but we do have some significant clues.

Two weeks after the incident took place a newspaper report was published

in the Sunday Express for 23 rd January, which means the crash probably took

place during the first week of January 1983, between the 1 st and 7 th , and was

reported to the press by some unknown individual when the offices of the

Sunday Express opened after the New Year. Possibly the individual was

someone connected to the incident clean up teams, police, or the local North

Wales press.

Author of the article, Andrew Chapman, has no record of the exact source in

his archived notebooks and assumes it was just ‘passed to him’ to write up.

The article reads:

“Strange debris out of the sky. AN ASTONISHING sight greeted farmer

Irwel Evans as he trudged across his fields to tend his newly-born lambs.

Hundreds of pieces of honeycombed metal foil were strewn over an area the

size of three football pitches. Huge twisted alloy plates, painted green on one

side grey on the other, lay every-where. And in a nearby copse branches had

been sheared off trees.”

“Mr. Evans phoned the police. Soon his farm at Llanilar, near Aberystwyth,

Wales, was like a set from a spy thriller. Police took away fragments of metal

for analysis. A team of uniformed RAF men with plain clothes officers

combed the land and nearby woods using flashlights as darkness began to


“Baffled. Amoung the pile of debris taken away was an aerial and a large

chunk of metal with part of a serial number on it. Everyone concerned was

convinced that whatever it was that covered Mr. Evans’s field had fallen out of

the sky at dead of night. But after two weeks the riddle still remains. Police

are baffled. So, too, are the RAF. No-one in the close-knit Welsh community

heard a plane that night. Nothing unusual showed up on RAF radar


“Mr. Evans, 29, who farms his 260 acres single-handed, said: “Whatever

tumbled from the sky broke up on impact. It must have been a fair size.

Wreckage was scattered across four fields. Had it hit a building there’s no

doubt the devastation could have been terrific. It must have come down the

night before I found it for the area was clear in the afternoon when I checked

the flock. Yet I heard nothing at all unusual. Although the pieces themselves

were extremely light they must have fallen with some force to sever branches

off trees. It is all very disturbing”.”

“Mr. Emyr Hughes, secretary of the Cardiganshire farmers’ union, said: “I’ve

asked the Ministry of Defence for an explanation, but so far have had no

reply. The RAF say they had no aircraft out at the time this debris must have

landed, nor were there any manoeuvres. Not only that, their radar scanners

picked up nothing unusual”.”

“Meanwhile, villagers are still speculating about the debris. Could it be part

of a large weather balloon? “No,” say Aberystwyth police. “Too much metal.”

Part of a satellite: “Unlikely. Any remains would be charred. We have no

explanation as yet. It’s baffling.” An RAF spokesman said: “The debris

certainly had nothing to do with us. We are examining the fragments to try to

piece them together in the hope of a clue to where it came from and what it


It would have been during the first few days of 1983 where Irwel Evens,

farmer and discoverer of the extensive crash debris, made phone calls to the

local police and closest RAF base which resulted in a very thorough overnight

clean up of his fields by a large military and civilian team.

Apparently no records of this operation were kept by the MOD according to a

recent FOI (Freedom Of Information) request.

In the week that followed, between the 24 th and 31 st , Gary Rowe received a

copy of the above article, contacted Irwel, and investigated the crash site with

his small team from ‘The Wales Federation of Independent ufologists’.

They recovered about half a dozen pieces of metal and foil from the wooded

area adjacent to the fields, where whatever it was had clearly hit treetops and

fragmented leaving an approximately 25 foot (8 meter) wide swathe of

destruction and scattering debris before flying off apparently without a


Despite what some subsequent sensationalist internet reports may say, the

craft was never found, and the wooded area was cleared away by the

Forestry Commission at some point early in February before Gary and his

team could make a second investigative visit. But they had the newspaper

article, a credible eye witness, and the fragments.

So the new 40 th anniversary book (released this year through AMAZON on

‘Flying Disk Press’) begins with the greatest missing piece of the entire

international UFO puzzle still lying there physically before us demanding an

explanation – the half a dozen fragments of a mysterious craft of some kind

that clearly physically existed and probably should not have been able to

survive the extreme impact back in 1983.

Of the millions of books written on the subject of ‘UFO’s crowding

bookshelves the world over, this is that final missing chapter that no

investigator has yet been able to produce. It’s not the actual ‘flying craft’ itself,

but it’s about as close as we are going to get short of ‘full disclosure’ but, like

the 1947 New Mexico incident so many years before, it still remains a

complete mystery despite scientific tests on samples undertaken

internationally in 2023.

There have effectively been three independent analysis reports; the first

done by Gary Rowe and his contacts at British Aerospace UK back at the time

of the crash, the second done this year by a lab in Australia, and the third

done this year by a lab in the USA.

Each end report is approximately the same page length, although the

original UK report lacks photographs, and all were done without the other labs

knowing multiple tests were being undertaken. Broadly speaking the analysis

only adds to the mystery.

UK concluded the sample was an advanced alloy of Duralumin/Aluminium,

Australia that this was not the case and that their sample was Aluminium

Foam, and USA showed in detail that their sample was Lanthanum/Lanthium

alloyed with other exotic elements. As far as is known, none of these

materials existed in these forms at the end of the 1970’s and should not have

been ‘flying around’ in the skies of Mid-Wales early in the 1980’s.

In a very recent twist of fate, a tiny fragment of honeycomb foil that looks

exactly like the Llanillar fragments has been recovered from the Carona crash

site in the USA further cementing a link between both incidents, a physical link

unknown when the original documentary was titled and produced back in


In the new book you will find detailed first-hand accounts from those

involved, the best images of the crash debris available to date, up-dates from

those same sources, unreleased archive paperwork, how and where the

original 25 year anniversary documentary was produced back in 2008, details

drawn from the original UK report and the two recent international report

results in full, and hopefully marvel at how, in this day and age, physical

evidence can still remain a mystery over four decades later.

As Gary himself concluded at the end of the 2008 production:

“No aircraft was missing, no pilots were missing, no mechanical things were

found on the site associated with it, there were no rivets in the construction of

any of this material, and whatever this strange thing was that flew that night

over that farm, it managed to explode all this material, cover four fields with it,

and then fly off again undisturbed it appears! It’s quite remarkable.”

By Mark Olly

“And as this has not been identified in the last twenty odd years we can only

conclude, and this is as far as I’m happy to go, that this remains debris from a

UFO – an Unidentified Flying Object.”


Mark Olly is an internationally recognised author, TV producer/presenter,

writer, lecturer, broadcaster, musician and artist. He is a Visiting Lecturer at

Wilsmlow Guild and the University Of Chester, heads up his own

archaeological unit, and runs a DVD production and props company MythCo. 

He lives in Cheshire, UK.


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