A willing accomplice or a "useful idiot"
See also: Six - Russ Kellett
Although the so-called "Operation Photoflash" (see footnote) is a hoax which has involved a lot of effort from multiple parties to uphold as well as, I dare say, a not inconsiderable amount of finance, it must be noted that without the input of self-styled UFO investigator Russ Kellett, this whole sordid enterprise would have died around the closing months of 1999.
Prior to that, John Williams, aka JW Conway who appeared on the scene some time seemingly in 1996 and in good time to subvert the claims by Tony Dodd that evidence was emerging that the Berwyn UFO crash was in fact a controlled landing and departure, thus undermining any crash claim, first contacted Margaret Fry to present her with his bizarre claim of how the Berwyn Mountain UFO came to crash. What is irrefutable is the story first related to her by this John Williams character. This story was fundamentally different to the story later related to Russ Kellett in 1999.
Some time in the early 1990s and possibly before that, the concept of a UFO crash and even a retrieval of wreckage and extraterrestrial entities both dead and alive gained traction. Margaret Fry was well acquainted with her own information collected from witnesses be they first, second or even third hand. At that time, even she believed a UFO had crashed on to Cader Berwyn and the reason for that was simple - there was no evidence to support anything differently. However, there was. Margaret Fry had secured testimony from two separate witnesses from Llangynog, a village on the eastern flank of Cader Berwyn and from a gentleman called Mike Saville. This latter testifying to what appeared to be a controlled landing and the former claiming to have witnessed a UFO passing over their village about 10.10/10.15pm.
If the UFO landed and took off again, there could be no crash yet, the public belief was in the early to mid-90s, just that. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that much if not all of the crash claim was invented and promoted in the public domain by a person or persons wanting to divert attention from what really was on the slope of Cader Berwyn that night in January 1974. This was reinforced of course by the plethora of 'witnesses' all anonymous who contacted both Tony Dodd and Margaret Fry with the same claims that they had insider info' or were part of a clear up team etc. As mentioned above, if there was no crash, then all these anonymous people were simply lying. There was by 1995 an importance being attached to the crash scenario so much so that a man seemingly previously unknown to anyone in the UFO community suddenly appears and immediately set about contacting Margaret Fry and attempting to sell her his outrageous claim. The underlying reason for the claim was to uphold the crash scenario in the face of increasing evidence of a non-crash event.
The story as related to Margaret Fry was simply that five professional gentlemen who had attended a meeting of some sort in Bala (no venue etc ever given) were driving home. They left the main road, the A 494 at Llanfor, then taking the B4401 which is the road serving the villages of Llandderfel, Llandrillo and Cynwyd, before meeting with the A5 trunk road just outside the small town of Corwen. Upon reaching that junction with the A5, the five vehicle occupants experienced the now well known earth tremor which almost everyone seems to agree was at 8.38pm.
For some very odd reason, the presumably baffled men decided to turn around and retrace their steps back along the B 4401, passing through the village of Cynwyd and upon nearing the outskirts of Llandrillo, discovered a covert military operation in a roadside field where military personnel were recovering a partially damaged craft and its occupants. This event was so top secret that 5 men were able to view this. They were discovered and sent on their way. After that, the men resolved to learn more of what they'd witnessed and in due course passed this information to John Williams who then tackled Margaret Fry trying to sell her this version of events.
Now the problem with this story is one of geography. By claiming the UFO was recovered just outside the village of Llandrillo, it diverted attention from the location of the true landing site several miles away on Cader Berwyn. The story of a Llandrillo village crash sat comfortably with the reality that several Llandrillo residents believed a plane had crashed above the village when the earth tremor occurred. So this location was a ruse.
Secondly, the fact that five occupants of a car took the B4401 from Bala and headed towards Corwen, suggested heavily that the men (had they actually existed), were to head into Corwen and beyond on the A5 road. Clearly the driver was dropping off the other passengers. Had the men stayed on the A494, it too would also meet the A5 trunk road some two miles from Corwen and even in 1974 was a much faster road to travel. Now maybe the guys wanted a scenic drive although it was dark, but logic dictates that they would lengthen their journey home by taking that road. But take it they did - or so JW Conway claimed.
The men having experienced the tremor then return to Llandrillo on a whim that they might see something. So now we have a time frame. It is about a ten minute drive from Llandrillo to Corwen covering a maximum of five miles. So these men passed a seemingly uninteresting stretch of road with no activity at a little before 8.30pm. At 8.38pm they are at Corwen and experience an earth tremor. They then return whence they came so another five miles at the most and another ten minutes. So, in a space of twenty minutes, the military move in and are detaining dead and alive aliens and putting a saucer-shaped craft on the back of a lorry.
However, it wasn't twenty minutes. It was much less making the claim even more unsound.
The men were already at Corwen when the tremor occurred and in later years, ufologists would claim an impacting/crashing alien craft triggered the earth tremor. So the men actually only had about ten minutes to return along their route and discover the recovery operation. I know the military likes to be efficient, but even that is stretching matters!
John Williams had not thought this through.
Regardless of that, that story was the one fed to Margaret Fry. Of course she was having none of it. Although she still at that time believed the crash theory, she knew full well that the UFO was several miles away on Cader Berwyn and clearly visible to local district nurse Pat Evans and her two accompanying daughters. Margaret Fry had accompanied Pat Evans to the location on the B 4391 road where her and her daughters witnessed the Object sat on the side of the mountain about a mile or more off the road.
It seems that because Llandrillo was the nearest village to the Cader Berwyn crash/landing site and most of the initial activity was centred on the village, it would be handy to associate this early hoax claim with the village location.
I've always claimed that multiple agencies were involved in subverting the reality of whatever was on Cader Berwyn. Whatever it was, shadowy persons wanted it covering up.
Margaret Fry received a lot of anonymous phone calls from persons claiming to be involved in clearing up the Berwyn Mountain UFO crash debris. However, some were most definitely not singing off the same hymn sheet as John Williams; their information contradicted his.
Both Tony Dodd and Margaret Fry were informed anonymously that an unknown witness had observed four soldiers coming off the mountainside on presumably the 24th of January 1974 and loading two wooden boxes into a waiting army truck and this truck was tucked away inside what Mrs Fry called 'the hidden car park'. This version was an attempt to fit in with the outlandish claim that alien bodies were taken to Porton Down. Again this is all disinformation created by enemies of the ET visitation belief.
The hidden car park has recently been blocked off and filled in. Essentially it is a short 100 yard long track from the B 4391 ending in a flat area and surrounded by a high bank. If a substantial lorry was within, a passing motorist would need to stop and drive some yards or walk the same along the track to view what was inside. At no point did any anonymous informant suggest this happened and I contend that the story was created remotely by someone who had never visited the location. They seem to have looked at a map and then claimed an army vehicle was in the car park assuming it was openly visible to passing cars. For someone, anyone to claim they saw four soldiers carry two oblong boxes between them and load them onto an army truck suggests observation for at least ten minutes, if the men were actually only yards from the vehicle. The author of that disinformation was also totally ignorant of the terrain.
This bit of disinformation would prove useful to John Williams in his later dealings with Russ Kellett.
Now returning to Russ Kellett, we spring forward to 1999. He'd contacted Margaret Fry claiming he was interested in UFOs and had heard of the Berwyn UFO crash. He wanted in on the action. Margaret Fry did not believe in holding onto information and would willingly share it. This she did with Russ Kellett. Unlike her, Mr Kellett was totally opposite in his belief and he jealously guards all information he gets on UFO sightings etc. In more recent times he has been forced to guard certain information as he has come to realise he'd been duped with false claims and going public would destroy what little credibility he has left.
It is debatable if Russ Kellett was ever genuinely involved in UFO research or whether he was put up to it by another party. Either way he wanted to be the Berwyn UFO guy. A climb to the top so to speak was either to satisfy his ego or to secure a position from where he could assassinate any claims other than the crash scenario.
Mrs Fry - then an old woman in her 80s - would be reduced to tears after being threatened by Russ Kellett because she dared to ask for documents back which she'd lent to him and which he'd abused the content of. He rang her up ranting and raving, screaming at her she'd given him the information and it was now his and if she persisted complaining he'd come to Wales and beat her up. He once also threatened to come to Wales and sort me out and anyone else who didn't agree with his research. I've published this before, but it is his version of events which he was so keen to defend which is most disturbing.
After Margaret Fry rejected John Williams' crash claim (the military shooting up a UFO out in the Irish Sea which eventually crashed into the side of Cader Berwyn), he took Russ Kellett under his wing and decided to use him to promote the Operation Photoflash hoax. What was astonishing is that until John Williams engaged Russ Kellett more closely, Russ was fully informed of the version related to Mrs Fry, yet bizarrely, he dismissed this older version for a completely revised newer version tailored for Russ himself. He unquestioningly went along with the revised scenario.
The revised version moved the location from Llandrillo three miles down the B 4401 towards Llandderfel to a new crash site field aside the road. This move was important for John Williams as the Llandrillo site was becoming untenable as by late 1999 it was obvious that no UFO had crashed or landed anywhere near that village. So, he simply re-wrote the claim, moving the event to the outskirts of Llandderfel.
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Unfortunately for JW Conway, he didn't think through the finer detail of his claim and Russ Kellett having already known that JW had changed important details still chose to go along with the hoax and failed miserably to examine the field in question. Had he done so he'd have seen immediately that bit was impossible for much of the revised story to even happen in that field. If he did consider this and still then chose to ignore it, that would make him entirely complicit in upholding a UFO hoax and disinformation scheme.
There is another option and that is one of cognitive dissonance. I have considered that Russ Kellett (assuming he wasn't a willing part of the hoax) was so rabid to be top dog in this case, he just rejected everything which threatened it. Russ Kellett is prone to outbursts of verbal abuse from the safe end of a telephone line or keyboard which he is all too happy to blame on his ME condition. That is just an excuse and he displays hallmarks of narcissism. And like most narcissists, he wouldn't be so brave face to face. This is further attested to with his desire to see the Operation Photoflash claim turned into a Hollywood blockbuster! This idea was invariably sown into Russ' mind by John Williams who himself had tried and failed to get a video recording company to make a film promoting the original hoax version of events; more damning evidence against him for orchestrating this hoax and pushing it into the Ufology community.
The revised version of events was built on a framework of the original. The location had changed but the story of the five men had to change with it. Again they left Bala following a meeting and again they inexplicably took the B 4401 road. Russ has presented two separate versions of what happened next.
1) the men discovered a crashed UFO, entered the field and were then ejected by an arriving military and
2) the military were already there and attempted to stop them witnessing what was going on.
Russ also claimed the men witnessed the stricken craft come down yet in another version the craft was already crashed. The shape changed too. In one version he related the craft was saucer-shaped. In another it was cigar-shaped.
Russ Kellett was involved in the making of a DVD called Dragon Lights which was put together from two different time periods. One related to the crash site at Llandderfel and the other half related to an interview with John Williams in his home. JW of course is heard to speak but is not seen. He likes to be elusive!
In the film, Russ is seen standing on the base stone of the Llandderfel war memorial. Win Keech, seemingly doing the filming, captures Russ scanning the field where the UFO crashed.
There appears to be some very careful filming. What is not obvious to any viewer unfamiliar with the location is that right in front of Russ is the River Dee which is just two feet lower than the road. As he scans the field, the river is blotted out and the visual impression is that the field starts right next to the edge of the road. It does not. Several yards of water several feet deep separate the field from the road.
Please click on Google image above to view full-sized version
Please click on image above to view full-sized version
When the river floods just a little, the road floods and is closed. So too the field itself. This is evidenced by the mediaeval bridge (Pont Fawr) which crosses the Dee a few yards to the left if facing the field.
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The low-lying field is also crossed by an extension of the stone bridge which has several tunnels through it to allow flood water on the field to flow off.
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Although the field rises gently towards the firmer railway embankment at its top end, the only entrance into the field is near the lodge house to Pale Hall (now an hotel). It is barely wide enough for a tractor yet Russ totally ignored this despite claiming the military took a flat bed truck into wet, ditched field and flew a partially missile-shot spacecraft on to the back of the truck which then took it off somewhere.
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As the field is entered, a vehicle must negotiate a steep slope to the field proper:
Most of that field is some 10 feet plus below the road bridge yet, in one version, Russ claims the men entered the field - How? Clambering over the wall and dropping down might be feasible for some but they certainly couldn't get out the same way.
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His story was further embellished by claiming the disgruntled men after being told to leave the area (at road block or field eviction) then went to a vantage point overlooking the field and one just miraculously had a camera so state of the art it could take pictures in the dark with such magnification and clarity, insignia and side arms could be seen on the arrested entities.
Of course the field is in no way overlooked. The nearest hill is behind the nearest farm hundreds of yards away. Russ and John Williams both seemed to forget the field is slap bang in the middle of a meandering river flood plain.
It is also plainly obvious that any crash retrieval is going to take time. If one assumes there was a road block as claimed in one Kellett version, then there would need to be two road blocks to preclude people viewing what was going on, not one aside the crash site in full view of everyone. Even in 1974, the B 4401 road was busy. The village of Llandderfel is accessed via a lane which intersects with the B road at the war memorial. No villagers met any road blocks.
Villagers walked and drove to the Bryntirion Inn across the bridge unobstructed throughout the evening (image below shows the approach to the Bryntirion Inn from bridge)....
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....and the most damning evidence against this location is that Pat Evans, the district nurse who is credited with first seeing the UFO on the mountainside, left her home about 9.40pm to make her way to the B 4391 mountain road across the Berwyns. She certainly saw no one at that field location nor did she see anyone on her return arriving about 10.30pm. Both Williams and Kellett seemed to forget the foremost witnesses lived in Llandderfel!
I have said it before and I still hold the same claim that John Williams sought to discredit any alternative to the crash scenario. When it became untenable and Russ Kellett got involved, he was recruited by this JW to advance the hoax. Why Mr Kellett chose to ignore the freely available information that John Williams had changed the story and location is anyone's guess but it cannot be disputed that the original story related to Margaret Fry changed significantly to accommodate Russ Kellett and account for new emerging information which undermined the crash claim and Russ willingly took this on board then actively promoted it.
It seems John Williams' original claim was malicious in its intent. I maintain the plan was to get one of the UK's foremost and respected UFO researcher of her day to swallow the story, then promote it into the wider UFO community. This would divert attention from what was actually a controlled landing. In due course, the whole thing, if necessary, could be publicly announced as a hoax, terminally injuring Margaret Fry's credibility. This, of course, failed as she saw the holes in the claim from Day 1.
Russ Kellett was only useful to keep the hoax going.
After being fed disinformation by accomplices in the Holyhead Coastguard Station on Anglesey that a log book existed showing that a photoflash bombing exercise was scheduled that night, in 2001, John Williams (presumably unbeknown to Mr Kellett) re-approached Margaret Fry claiming again the crash was real as were the events leading up to it because Russ Kellett had received letters claiming the log entry proved that.
John Williams, even in 2001, wanted to get Margaret Fry to accept the crash scenario the hoax encompassed.
The Photoflash Hoax is related to elsewhere on this website. Holyhead Coastguard did indeed hold a log entry from a log book which should under its own rules have been destroyed several years earlier. Remarkably the one book with this one entry survived the cull and once Russ Kellett publicised its existence by occasionally showing off his suspicious-looking letters from the coastguard station, others filing Freedom of Information requests were given copies of the same letter.
The content of the letters, however, was fabricated and illiterate and the letters were actually hidden away in a scrap book rather than in an official file. Whenever anyone enquired, they'd be sent a copy of the disinformation letter by John Williams' accomplice.
Russ Kellett was tipped off by JW Conway that if he enquired at Holyhead Coastguard Station, he'd be given information which supported the military operation in the Irish Sea. This he did. His enquiry of course was expected. In due course he received his response in early April 2000. The illiterate letter with tampered letterhead was to be a photoflash bombing exercise off the north Wales coast, operating out of Jurby (spelt incorrectly as Jerby - Russ didn't even check this out).
The log entry uncovered recorded information that a photoflash bombing exercise was scheduled that night (23rd Jan' '74) at Jurby in the Isle of Man. There are issues here.
The Jurby bombing range is out of line of sight of anywhere in North Wales and is so far away that even in the best of darkness, the momentary bright burst of light (5th of a second) would be too far away to observe even if detonated higher than the Isle of Man itself. Notification to Holyhead Coastguard Station was important as such lights might be interpreted by observers nearer the Isle of Man as distress flares and that is the point of circulating the information. The coastguard stations around the Irish Sea coast and indeed on the coast of the Irish Republic would need to know when an exercise started and when it ended in order to identify shipping using flares in an emergency.
This wasn't evident at all and seemed most peculiar. Yet, in the dodgy letter sent to Russ Kellett dated 2nd April 2000 which he simply accepted without question as being some sort of Holy Grail, the disinformation therein went as far as claiming up to 80 flashes might be expected and near the North Wales coast at that.
Please click on image above to view full-sized version of the letter to Russ Kellett
On the night of January 23rd '74, witnesses reported seeing lights over the sea in the Liverpool Bay area. It took the Police and other authorities some 24 hours to come up with the excuse it might have been lights from a scheduled photoflash bombing exercise in the Isle of Man. What is crucial here is that a simple 'phone call to Jurby - or even to Jurby via the coastguard - would have confirmed if the scheduled bombing exercise had actually happened. Clearly the intention was to blame the witnessed lights on the Jurby exercise, however I believe the delay was to buy time when it was discovered the exercise didn't take place due to inclement weather so, it was blamed anyway by suggesting in the press at least that it might have been. It either happened or it did not.
As is so often the case, once one starts looking into something a little bit deeper than the superficial surface, that digging unearths more questions than answers. Examination of the Operation Photoflash UFO hoax is no exception. So is the 'front man' of this hoax a willing hoaxer or a naive, gullible but useful idiot?
How Russ Kellett came to be associated is unknown in fine detail. He isn't the sort of person who would answer if asked. We know John Williams appeared on the scene early in 1996 and Russ Kellett was no where to be seen. We know that John Williams (aka JW or JW Conway) approached Margaret Fry with an initial version of events describing how the Berwyn Mountains UFO came to crash. We know his appearance coincided with growing scepticism of there being a crash at all.
We also know that the Berwyn UFO, whether one believed it crashed or just landed in a controlled manner, was on the slopes of Cader Berwyn mountain some four miles from the village of Llandrillo, yet John Williams presented Margaret Fry with a crash recovery event in a field just outside the village. Now, did JW know where the UFO really was and diverted attention or, did he just buy into the widely held belief in the early 90s that Llandrillo was directly associated with the UFO there, he helping to construct this hoax around that?
We know that in absence of evidence to the contrary Russ Kellett appears in 1999, conveniently when Margaret Fry was at her zenith in rejecting JW's claims. We know she also believed a crash had occurred at that point in the time line but regarded John Williams' claims as outrageous. We know he persisted in trying to sell and re-sell the Operation Photoflash crash scenario to her as late as in 2001, this suggesting that Russ Kellett was pretty much a useful idiot side issue. Mrs Fry had visited the location on the B 4391 mountain road across the Berwyns with district nurse Pat Evans so she always knew the Berwyn UFO was nowhere near Llandrillo.
We know something of the character of Russ Kellett. He is prone to explosive outbursts of temper, he likes to threaten people from a distance particularly the more vulnerable in society, he likes to 'enhance' stories to make them more attractive, he has visions of grandeur (he has persistently portrayed this hoax as a Hollywood blockbuster), he is secretive and uses that secretive nature as a shield to his claims. He allegedly suffers from M.E. and this provides a convenient screen to hide behind when he comes under scrutiny.
We know that Russ Kellett was fully aware in 1999 that he was presented by John Williams with revised documentation which re-located the Llandrillo village recovery three miles down the road to Llandderfel's outskirts, but never questioned this. He also knew by then that again the Berwyn UFO was where it should have been, on Cader Berwyn so, the Berwyn UFO now became two UFOs. The one on Berwyn landing as the mounting evidence suggested and this revised crash created for no other reason that to uphold a wild goose chase thread to tie up researchers. So, why would Russ Kellett help to uphold this blatant hoax? A hoax so transparent and riddled with holes, a blind man could see it for what it was?
Yet, despite that, Russ Kellett aspired to the bright lights of fame. John Williams had previously tried to coerce a North Wales based video production company into making a film about his version of the crash scenario. This was rejected seemingly because the company's owner was led to believe the plot had been hatched in a pub in Rhyl, something which was also related to me by Margaret Fry when I first started to work with her. He of course didn't lose his desire for some sort of film to sell the hoax into the public mindset and sowing the seed in Mr Kellett's head, this found favour in the mind of a man who himself sought fame as an authority on the Berwyn case. This in time led to the production of a film called Dragon Lights, which was never actually promoted.
Upon acquisition of a copy, it was obvious it was at least two shorter film clips fused together. One part was seemingly filmed in John Williams' home at Ty Nant hamlet, a few miles along the A5 trunk road from Corwen. Another part was on location at the revised UFO recovery field. This latter was telling indeed.
Russ Kellett can only speak incoherently and relied on anything technical to be done by others. His "friend" and technical support assistant Win Keech was the brains behind putting the film together, the filming etc. I've met with and spoken with Mr Keech and he's a smart guy so it struck me as odd that he never seemed to query Russ' claims or those of John Williams, indeed frequently agreeing with them when it was so obviously untrue.
Russ Kellett has quoted several times that alien bodies and captured live specimens were removed from the crash scene. This aspect ties in with the disinformation claim that alien corpses ended up at Porton Down. I used to believe this originated in the minds of over zealous UFO enthusiasts or poetic licence by reporters. Now I believe it was total, 100% disinformation deliberately seeded into the UFO community and wider public domain for malicious reasons by persons like JW who had a need to cause as much trouble as possible and muddy the waters for researchers.
The intrepid investigator from Filey (Kellett's current home town) has several times stated that the said alien bodies were taken to RAF Chester before moving on to presumably Porton Down. The trouble with that is there is no such place as RAF Chester. There is (or was) RAF Sealand a couple of miles outside the City of Chester and perhaps he was confused on each occasion but that in itself would be odd as his associate Win Keech was apparently a former RAF employee. Surely Mr Keech would put Mr Kellett straight?
But no. In fact in a conversation I had with Win face to face, he reiterated that alien bodies were taken to Chester (RAF omitted). Bearing in mind that he is an intelligent guy, I found it quite bizarre that he too was buying into the hoax and so much so, he was prepared to help Russ make a film about it!
Quite by chance, it was discovered that there was a military establishment called Chester Barracks and this was mentioned very briefly in the Dragon Lights film. Also known as Dale Barracks, the location had a long history of military use.
It seems the confusion may have arisen out of the one time claim it was called RAF Chester. In fact it had no RAF connection but was an army barracks. Russ Kellett referred to "RAF Chester" and Win Keech stated just "Chester" to me in conversation but, there was a problem. In 1974, Chester Barracks or RAF Chester or whatever it could be called was actually called the County Lunatic Asylum
It started out as a military site being purchased by the War Office in 1938 and occupied by the Cheshire Regiment in 1939. Between 1956 and 1987 the Dale as it was also known was used as a secure asylum after which it was returned to military use as the officer's mess for the barracks of the 1st Battalion the King's Regiment.
This strongly suggests the information being conveyed by both Win Keech to me and Russ Kellett to anyone else was completely wrong. I have little doubt Russ came by this information via an anonymous informant as so much of his belief is based on such anonimity, but he clearly never checked it out. Had he done so, he would have known the information was false.
It is equally surprising that Win Keech also having claimed to be a military man himself did not know this or pretended he didn't. Either way, it is damning evidence that the idea that dead aliens recovered from a fictitious UFO crash did not go to this Chester Barracks.
Later I was able to acquire a copy of the Dragon Lights film which apparently sent Russ Kellett into a meltdown when he discovered this. I've never revealed where I got that film from but that didn't stop Russ lashing out at anyone he thought guilty.
The film was as informative as it was odd. The introductory narration introduced the idea of Wales and the Bala area being steeped in myth and superstition. Bala Lake's own aquatic creature is mentioned - Tegi.
Bala Lake is Llyn Tegid in the locally used language. I've never been comfortable with this approach as essentially it is subliminal suggestion. Before the film starts, the viewer is already convinced the whole thing is mythological. This is a favourite trick used by debunkers to sow seeds of doubt.
The film has a scene where Russ Kellett is stood at the Llandderfel war memorial so as to be looking into the camera. From there he can get a better view of the field where the Operation Photoflash UFO crashed. The camera also pans the scene. What stuck out immediately was the camera angle.
(Note: The two images below are frames from the Dragon Lights video with attribution to Win Keech - ed.)
The filming also hid the fact that the field was 99% inaccessible other than through the narrow entrance gate.
(Note: This image from Google Street View shows the narrow sloped track which is the only way into the field where the alleged UFO crash or landing occurred. - ed.)
Please click on image above to view full-sized version
It disguised the some ten feet high parapet wall holding up the road plus its flood alleviation tunnels beneath (the field is always wet and floods frequently). It disguised the fact that the River Dee is also a barrier to the field from the road.
(Note: Please also refer to the images further up this page showing different views of the bridge, parapet and flood tunnels. - ed.)
No footage of the crucial entry/exit point of the field which allegedly allowed a flat bed truck to remove a crashed saucer/cigar-shaped object - Russ repeatedly changed the craft shape in different interviews as he did the position of the witnesses. It is my contention this was deliberately edited out to avoid any viewer seeing the impossibility of the claim at that location.
Bear in mind that Mr Kellett could only have come to know this field via JW, at least once, he must have been present as would have been Win Keech yet, JW sold a story to Kellett Win Keech was smart enough to see through. There is no way that this Williams character was bluffing Win so, the question then arises, was Win really that naive that he too believed it? There is suggestion he believed it because he insisted bodies were taken to Chester on route to an unknown destination.
Alternatively, and I make no apologies for saying this as it is pertinent, was Win supporting the hoax and simply confirming what JW claimed to reassure and pacify Russ and telling me the same thing?
The Dragon Lights film suggests that in this instance, JW wasn't working alone. What the truth is though is yet to emerge, but emerge it will.
It seems that John Williams saw Russ Kellett as a "useful idiot". Mr Kellett was bottom of a list of people targeted by JW in his attempts to sell this hoax into the wider UFO community and the public domain. JW failed miserably after many years of trying to sell his fairy tale and his last gasp effort was to allow Russ Kellett to help carry it on. Despite that, it seems that JW may have conspired with Holyhead Coastguard staff to help Russ Kellett receive faked letters from that establishment claiming a military photoflash event took place off the North Wales coast on the night of the Berwyn UFO crash/landing.
Of course relocating events wasn't new to John Williams. Those letters served two purposes. They convinced Russ Kellett that the ongoing hoax was a real event and he'd carry on pushing it, but the real motivation was for JW to then re-approach Margaret Fry in 2001 presumably behind Russ' back, and try yet again to re-sell the hoax to her, this time claiming Russ Kellett had unearthed proof via the dodgy letters. He was of course again rejected and from thereon, JW starts to fade from the story. However, Russ doesn't.
It seems to me that if somehow Mrs Fry had accepted JW's story in his 2001 approach, Russ Kellett would have been dropped immediately and unceremoniously.
He persisted with the hoax. There is no real way of knowing how much contact he had with John Williams post 2001 but more and more, he fades from the story seemingly leaving Russ Kellett to his fate.
By 2003 the idea of a UFO crash anywhere on the Berwyn Mountains was dead in the water. Margaret Fry was a convert in the light of new evidence. As pressure mounted on the idea of a crash having happened, that meant that John Williams would be exposed as a liar. As the lie grows so must the lying continue to uphold it. What started out in the early 90s as a mountainside crash evolved into a village-side crash to try and subvert Margaret Fry. In the face of her rejection and evidence of a landing on Cader Berwyn, the story evolves further, morphing into a crash at Llandderfel to accommodate Russ Kellett but with another UFO on Cader Berwyn and later, Russ adds in a third UFO which apparently hid from the RAF in the monster-ridden depths of Llyn Tegid.
Russ' job was to be convinced the crash scenario via an Irish Sea shoot-out was real. This was achieved by support from John Williams, possibly Win Keech, alleged piece of a Harrier jet engine and UFO crash metal fragments, anonymous sources and phone calls and dodgy letters from a coastguard station and his own lust for recognition.
Mr Kellett was never in JW's top ten targets so to speak. It seems he picked up on the Berwyn UFO case and got involved that way. When it was realised he was easy to manipulate, he was the last chance to keep the hoax alive. Whilst it was alive, there was the chance Margaret Fry could still be turned. That all ended in 2001. The hoax still had a role to play even in full defiance that by 2010, it was obvious that the UFO on Cader Berwyn had no geographical relationship with Llandrillo or Llandderfel and the only ongoing suggestion of a crash was from the perversions of John Williams.
JW Conway (or should that be JW Conman?), exposed as a liar and a fraud, has seemingly fled the scene leaving Russ out in the cold. The lie was sure to fail. It hasn't gone away though. Russ is too gullible to grasp that the Daily Post newspaper in North Wales is anti-UFO. He thinks it isn't anti-UFO because it runs his story.
In fact, Russ has been thought of as a bit eccentric by some. His claims of abduction by aliens, shadow warriors etc even if they were true are being used against him by the paper. It is a fringe claim by him and easily exploited. In fact, the main reporter in the newspaper who promotes Kellett is also in the frame as a debunker. The disinformation tentacles in this case and others spread far and wide.
One of the features of the Berwyn UFO case is its dynamic nature. As is the norm with most investigations, there is always something new on the horizon and this bit of Wales' history is no different.
Looking into matters surrounding the outlandish claims of John Williams' hoax and its bizarrely ongoing propping up by Russ Kellett, it must be noted that coastguard staff in the UK are subject to the Official Secrets Act (OSA). Staff would be aware of such things as military exercises, naval exercises etc along and off the UK's coastline.
The coastguard (part of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in the UK) would be privy to incursions of UK territorial waters by potential enemy shipping. So, it all becomes rather odd when one considers the letter sent to Russ Kellett by staff at Holyhead Coastguard station (HHCG).
The letter, the contents of which were clearly fabricated and alarmingly illiterate, was never officially authored and thus could never be filed in any legitimate system. This is evidenced by the fact it was kept in a station scrapbook allegedly for anecdotal purposes but which was retrieved several times over the years under the leadership of the station manager and sent out in an official capacity in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests. This of course was not only unethical, but blatantly corrupt and illegal.
FOIs sent directly to HHCG station were routinely obstructed if they threatened to expose the scam. Enquirers contacting the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) directly would see similar obstruction, not because employees there were intrinsically corrupt, but because they would then contact HHCG for information and these details would then be obstructed. Staff members at HHCG routinely obstructed their colleagues elsewhere in the Agency in efforts to protect the hoax and portray that letter dated 2nd April 2000 as genuine.
Examining the content in the knowledge CG staff had signed the OSA, it becomes apparent that the author of the letter is lying.
The author refers to 'not a great many log books......' In 2000, there should have been no log books as under the MCA's own rules, 1974 records should have been destroyed no later than 1995 under its twenty year rule. I queried this with MCA and HHCG and received two different answers. The former was saying it was 20 years and the latter 25. That means this latter could stretch matters to 1999 and that letter was dated April 2000 and referred to a search of log books. How very convenient. In dealings with the station manager, he made excuse after excuse to explain away this clear discrepancy.
Then comes the clincher. The author claims (having consulted a log book which should not have existed), that only one entry could be found. The following wording from the letter was wholly, 100% fabricated as the log book said no such thing as can be seen in the image below from the Daily Post article of 27 July 2019:
'There are not a great many log books here for that period and I have only been able to find one entry of any vague interest. During the late afternoon and early evening of 23rd January 1974 there was an exercise from Jerby range on the Isle of Man. The exercise was called 'photoflash' and coastguards were advised to expect at least ten aircraft taking part and at least 80 flashes anywhere around the Liverpool Bay area and the North Wales coastline.'
First and foremost, the log was a simple one line entry stating "PHOTO FLASH EXERCISE JERBY Range IOM" (Isle of Man). Nothing more, nothing less. There were no references or written records of any numbers of ships or flashes.
Please click on image above to view article in Daily Post
In fact, that data would have been classified. On the evidence currently available, HHCG received notification of a planned photoflash exercise that day. It was normal practise in line with secrecy rules to advise of such events at the last possible moment. There is no way on Earth the numbers or location of ships and aircraft would be revealed and that is one reason why they were never recorded.
The author of that 2nd April 2000 letter to Russ Kellett quite simply fabricated the content to lend support to John Williams who of course must have tipped off Russ that info' was available at HHCG. Again, had Russ Kellett bothered to enquire elsewhere within MCA he'd have realised very quickly the letter's content was a hoax. Of course there is every chance he was dissuaded from doing just that.
Only the "shadowy" (quote from Win Keech's narration of the Dragon Lights video) John Williams and a naive Russ Kellett can answer this and of course neither ever would but it hasn't gone unnoticed that several years passed between Russ announcing he had a letter from HHCG and the actual appearance of it and this suggests that he was asked not to show it so soon after receiving it. Time was needed for things to cool down so interested members of the public didn't rush to get their own copies and expose the fraud.
It was odd that the log book did not record start or end times as flashes reported by the public needed to be investigated in case they were distress flares and I haven't discounted the idea that the actual log book page so often sent upon request to enquirers is itself false and that there was never any notification of a photoflash exercise scheduled for that night anyway.
Mr Kellett seems to think the photoflash exercise that night, whether it occurred or not, was a unique event. Had he dug deeper, he'd have found other sources recording other photoflash exercises at Jurby (correct spelling).
It didn't occur to Russ Kellett that the Jurby range isn't even in the UK. The Isle of Man is a Crown dependency and tax haven and has its own Parliament. It makes its own laws and that is why in 1974, the Jurby range was actually a NATO establishment, something probably which would never exist in Britain and Northern Ireland. Even today the IoM government is still seeking the clean up of toxic ordnance littering the seabed within the bombing range boundary and most of the locals hated the range facility as it wasn't unknown for bombs to accidentally hit land rather than the floating buoy targets.
Isle of Man residents supplied to me a useful amount of information which helped to clarify what actually happened at Jurby or not on the 23rd of January 1974 as little happened that the island's protest movement didn't record.
It seems that HHCG was notified which would be normal procedure, then the info' was disseminated to smaller coastguard stations around the Irish Sea coast such as Formby (then in Lancashire, now Merseyside) and in the north of the Irish Sea where the Isle of Man is situated geographically, the likes of Maryport, Whitehaven and even Annan in Scotland would have shared notifications.
As the letter was deliberately constructed to convince Mr Kellett of substance to JW's claims, he thought he'd uncovered some sort of magnificent proof that the whole scenario was real. In fact even if that letter's content had been genuine, it would prove nothing of the uniqueness Mr Kellett so lusted for as the coastguard stations around the Irish Sea would have all been informed, even at short notice, of previous photoflash exercises at Jurby and in fact that was the case. He just didn't dig deep enough or search wide enough.
Let us not forget that anonymous informants convinced Russ Kellett that photoflash bombs were used to illuminate the sea bed and expose hidden UFOs; they were always aerial bombs designed to illuminate enemy surface vessels or objects/locations on land for about 1/5th of a second to allow a photograph to be taken.
Let us not forget also that JW Conman convinced Kellett the fictitious five professional gentlemen - once chased away by military men at Llandderfel - went to an elevated position overlooking the crash site to take pictures (which he's never seen of course), in such clarity that side arms and insignia could be seen on the captured alien's attire, when
a) he knew the location had been moved three miles from Llandrillo to this new location and
b) the field is not overlooked at all by any elevated position.
It is absolutely staggering the mountain of evidence and proof Mr Kellett ignored and failed to unearth right before his eyes just so he could cling to a lie and not even a good lie. The "Operation" Photoflash started off as a hoax and when there was no one else left to try and con, disinformation agent "John Williams" targeted Kellett but perhaps couldn't believe his luck when he found him so easy to convince. In fact, he was so convinced, he went native and he himself became part of the hoax story line.
Russ Kellett embellished the story to the point of impossibility even believing that depth charges were used off the coast of Anglesey to dislodge hiding UFOs on the seabed. In one fantastic claim, he is recorded as insisting a warship was in the Menai Strait near Bangor pier depth charging. This is the degree of belief he has and has cultured to convince himself in the face of vastly overwhelming evidence and proof that the Operation Photoflash hoax is real.
I used to think Russ Kellett was taken in by John Williams, his naivety exploited by him. Had that been the truth, Mr Kellett could be forgiven as he was in a line of people targeted over several years in his sickening attempt to push this hoax and savage the UFO community. However, when Russ himself wanted the hoax to be true, he himself took over and did whatever was necessary to uphold it.
John Williams was always in the background reassuring him and in more recent years, a reporter called Steve Bagnall has persistently run stories in the North Wales Daily Post newspaper seemingly promoting the hoax, and the paper as a whole blatantly ignoring any and all evidence and proof showing the "Operation" Photoflash scenario as a hoax.
So, it seems Russ Kellett started out as a "useful idiot" then morphed into a pseudo-hoaxer himself to keep the lie alive for his own personal ego.
Scott L. Felton
"Operation Photoflash" is a common usage term for the alleged military event in the Irish Sea on the evening of 23rd January 1974. It should perhaps be noted that Russ Kellett always referred to the event as "Exercise Photoflash" This seemed to originate from the word "exercise" used in the faked 2nd April 2000 letter to Kellett.
"Exercise" was also used by author Stephen Lumley in his unfortunately disastrous book on the event where he wrote almost verbatim what John Williams had invented and Russ Kellett elaborated on.
The term "Operation Photoflash" seemingly first appeared in the North Wales Chronicle (31/Jan/11) authored by reporter Geraint Jones, when he writes a quote from Mr Kellett using the term "Operation Photoflash"