Scott Felton and Xpose UFO Truth have been examining, in detail, the text of the recently published eBook The
Berwyn Mountains Incident Revealed, authored by Steven Lumley, and based on the research of UFO investigator Russ
We include some quotes from the eBook that mention Puffin Island and also a massive military exercise, code-named Operation
Photoflash, which allegedly took place a few days before the 23rd January 1974 (the date of the famous UFO incident)
in the Irish Sea near the coast of North Wales.
A letter, or letters, allegedly from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, informed Kellett that photoflash exercises
had indeed occurred on the 23rd January 1974.
The authenticity of the letter/s is in question.
Note that nothing is specific, much like all the other "evidence" provided by Russ Kellett on the
Berwyn Mountains UFO incident. Too much vagueness abounds.
Chapter Two, Exercise Photoflash, commences by giving some background into the claims regarding Operation Photoflash.
We note the words "several days before" which immediately set the tone of the whole chapter where
nothing is specific, but all is rather vague. Surely the witnesses (mentioned later) could remember the date upon which this
massive operation was seen?
The truth about what really happened on the night of January 23 1974 doesn't begin on that date or even in that area. Instead,
we need to look at what happened several days before, nearly 100 miles away in the Irish Sea. Gathered off the coast of north-west
England was a fleet of Royal Navy ships. Among the interested parties on board this flotilla were representatives from America,
thought to be from NASA.
Then later we read:
Officially there was no military operation or small scale exercise at that time and its existence was denied for years
until evidence turned up to prove otherwise. Over the years, UFO investigator Russ Kellett has received a number of phone
calls from servicemen purporting to be on the British ships and they reveal what happened.
The exercise they were involved with was called Photoflash and was to use a device dropped from helicopters. The device is
a potassium perchlorate bomb and this was exploded over the sea to illuminate the area beneath; generally the Navy used the
device to reveal submarines. The bomb itself was designed in World War Two for use on night-time bombing missions - it was
an unstable device but for a few seconds created a bright light (measured at around 500,000 candlepower ) and during its applications
in combat, it became apparent that when used at sea the flash revealed everything on the seabed to anyone above the flash
However, the contents of the bomb are extremely harmful - they will burn through concrete quite easily. Indeed, ground crews
were always very careful when fixing these bombs to aircraft since any leakage was extremely dangerous. So it is strange that
so many of these bombs were used in the Irish Sea when there was danger to ground crews, air crews and any civilians if the
dropped bomb didn't land where it was supposed to.
With the aim of Exercise Photoflash to drop these devices and explode them above the sea to discover UFOs, the military operation
was to then use three minesweepers attached to the flotilla and force the UFO from the seabed and into the air. The flotilla
of ships started their work in the days beforehand off the coast of north-west England before heading south. Among the fleet
was a frigate and a helicopter-carrying ship which could have been HMS Fearless or HMS Bulwark.
We wonder if Kellett actually checked out these people to see if they really were in the services at the time of the alleged
Operation Photoflash, or did he just take some strangers' word for the existence of this military exercise?
And why would the alleged exercise of "several days before" necessarily have anything to do with the
events of the night of 23rd January 1974?
We read in Lumley's book that Kellett attempted to obtain information from the Royal Navy but to no avail.
But then, very conveniently, an "official" letter from H.M. Coastguard arrives.
Russ Kellett has tried to get confirmation that the military operation occurred and which ships were involved. The Royal
Navy has declined to offer any information on many occasions stating there was no military exercise in that area at that time
- and certainly not one called Exercise Photoflash.
However, armed with the information from the concerned servicemen who were there, Russ has made a number of inquiries to official
bodies to ascertain what happened.
Only HM Coastguard confirmed that there had been a military operation that night (see their official response below). The
Coastguards knew because the Royal Navy had to inform them to be aware that there would be a series of massive light explosions
out to sea, generated as part of the exercise.
In said "confirmation" i.e. a letter that, on the face of it, looked like it had been sent from the Maritime
and Coastguard Agency, the following is mentioned regarding military exercises:
"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."
Then we later read about the witnesses who "may have seen" the bombing exercises "that
And which night would that be?
We do not get provided with that small detail in the following:
To help back up Russ’ claim that the exercise had taken place, the official records also reveal that witnesses may
have seen a ‘photoflash night bombing exercise’ taking place off the Isle of Man that night after diligent researchers
from British Geological Survey were contacted by witnesses who state what they saw.
But did we not just read that it was "several days before" that Operation Photoflash was underway?
Where is the proof that the events of "several days before" had anything to do with the Berwyn Mountains
UFO landing that occurred on the evening of 23rd January 1974 on the side of Cader Berwyn?
The only "written" information regarding the Operation Photoflash military exercises, purported to have taken
place on the evening of 23rd January 1974, was provided to Russ Kellett in a letter allegedly sent from the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency and dated 2nd April 2000.
How curious that such a letter with such important information contained therein, would suddenly appear on the scene!
As may be seen here, the letter, received by Kellett, in no way follows the normal protocols of communications
from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
And which was the cart and which the horse?
We surmise that the 'phone calls were received by Kellett some time before the Maritime and Coastguard Agency letter
emerged. Kellett then started making enquiries, and one day, a letter arrived, allegedly from the Maritime and Coastguard
THE FLOTILLA REACHED PUFFIN ISLAND
The quotes in the image are screenshots from the eBook
Later in Chapter Two we read that the "flotilla reached Puffin Island:"
However, from the incident in 1974 it's apparent that after a few days of Exercise Photoflash, the flotilla reached
Puffin Island and found what they had been looking for.
Now what exactly can we deduce from the words "reached Puffin Island?"
What is implied by the word "reached?"
What we do not get is anything specific, as is the case with much of the material provided by Russ Kellett as "evidence."
When one reaches a destination would that not suggest that one is actually at the target location?
The very next paragraph reads:
As usual, helicopters dropped their photoflash bombs and clearly illuminated on the seabed was a UFO. A few flashes later,
and some distance away, two more UFOs were also revealed.
That's three UFOs lying in the seawater off Puffin Island.
So now we have three UFOs lying in the seawater "off Puffin Island."
What is implied by the word "off" here?
Yet again we have nothing specific, just "off."
How far away from Puffin Island is "off?"
Again, there have been reports over the years of 'structured craft' leaving the sea near the Island and some believe
that the continental shelf which runs off the coastline there is an important area for UFOs.
In the above we now read that structured craft have been seen leaving the sea "near the Island."
What is implied by the word "near?"
This is yet another example of the vagueness that is rife throughout all of the so-called "evidence" provided by
Russ Kellett to back up his claims.
Later in Chapter Two we read about The Five Professional Men who happened upon a UFO that had crashed on the side of
the B4401 just outside Llandderfel on the night of 23rd January 1974.
Apparently the altercation that had occurred between the naval warships and UFOs (of uncertain numbers) off
or near Puffin Island had caused one UFO to crash after having been hit by an air-to-air missile launched from
a Harrier jump jet.
The men's research also revealed that there were 14 casualties in this encounter and the loss of two helicopters and their
"What is also interesting is that there were a large number of American civilians on board whom we presume to have
But why can UFOs be seen off Puffin Island? The men's affidavit explains:
"There seems to be some sort of distortion in either time or space around the continental shelf off Puffin Island.
There is much greater seismic activity there and this seismic activity corresponds with those shifts in time and space."
Further on in Chapter Two we read again about the altercation as having taken place off Puffin Island:
From the accounts given by sailors and from the maps, the exchange off Puffin Island appears to have lasted quite
some time before the UFOs decided to leave the area and head toward the mainland of north Wales - where there was a reception
party of Harrier jump jets waiting for them. Their rude encounter with mankind is about to get a lot worse.
Then in Chapter Three we read:
After being forced from the seabed and then fired upon, the UFOs returned fire and then headed toward the mainland. The
craft were chased by a number of aircraft - mainly Harrier jump jets. Police records show that there were a number of concerned
calls from people living along the north Wales coast that night about a number of lights flying overhead. A plotting of the
calls shows a path that reaches from Puffin Island and along the coast to Anglesey before the UFOs head further inland.
Russ takes up the story:
"Apparently at this point the UFO is hit by two missiles. The plane which has chased it from Anglesey has come up behind
it and fired as it appears the UFO has decided to head back north via Conway Bay. But the aircraft from RAF Sealand have come
down from the north and end up in front of the UFO. The UFO is now trapped."
However, it would fit with a number of eyewitness sightings that the UFOs scattered and the one that was shot down is the
one which has been tracked on the map (essentially this is the only UFO that the five researchers were originally interested
They knew where it had come down and spent a lot of time and effort working backwards to discover where it had come from.
This is not the same UFO that lands on the mountainside, as seen by countless witnesses).
So from the three UFOs we know about that night:
UFO 1: Is shot down and lands by the roadside near to Llandderfel
UFO 2: Heads for safety in Lake Bala (but possibly reappears later and is destroyed in a forest north of Corwen)
UFO 3: Is the UFO which villagers see on the side of the Berwyn Mountains.
The five men's affidavit makes clear what happened. From their research they state:
"The craft, which for reference purposes we will call a UFO, was shot down by jet fighters over Capel Curig.
Two squadrons of fighters were involved: one ambushing the UFO while the other tracked it and chased it from its emergence
from beneath the continental shelf off Puffin Island.
So there we have it!
Puffin Island is mentioned many times in association with alleged military operations going on during the evening
and night of 23rd January 1974.
Steven Lumley, the author of the book, must have been given the Puffin Island references to include in his book.
As a fair amount of the book is based on the research of Russ Kellett, then it would appear that Kellett more than likely
provided the information to indicate that Puffin Island was part of the scenario.
A former Chief Engineer of a UK-based search and rescue fleet who had challenged Kellett over the authenticity of the Maritime and Coastguard letter (provided by Kellett as evidence that Operation Photoflash actually did take place on the evening and night
of 23rd January 1974) had a "conversation" with Kellett on 17th August 2014:
17/08/2014 11:28 Russ Kellett I did not say the ships were near puffin island , get your facts right . don't jump on the band wagon .
17/08/2014 11:32 Garry Moore I'm not jumping on any band wagon, I am saying that the MCA letter is a fake, give me the name and I will check it out.
I have personal friends within the organisation, it's easy, if it's genuine I will know within a few hours and will be happy
to say so
So Kellett says that he never mentioned Puffin Island as being in any way associated with the events of that night?
We will let our readers decide that for themselves!
Scott Felton had the following to say about the mention in the book of the Continental Shelf:
"The reference to the Continental Shelf is wholly wrong - wrong as portrayed by Kellett and Lumley."
In Chapter Three, Operation Condor - The Chase Begins Lumley writes:
The craft, which for reference purposes we will call a UFO, was shot down by jet fighters over Capel Curig. Two squadrons
of fighters were involved: one ambushing the UFO while the other tracked it and chased it from its emergence from beneath
the continental shelf off Puffin Island.
The UFO emerged from "beneath the continental shelf off Puffin Island?"
Scott Felton continues:
"The Continental Shelf is the plate upon which most of Europe and indeed western Europe sits, including the British Isles.
To use the phraseology/terminology "under" or "beneath" the continental shelf
is pathetic and ludicrous. It has no real meaning or value.
The edge of the continental shelf is at least 50 miles west of Ireland. In the image, you can clearly see the edge of the
shelf west of Ireland."
Click on the image to see full size version
Scott Felton adds:
"To use the words as claimed by Kellett & Co in relation to Puffin Island is inaccurate, misleading and pretty much irrelevant.
I doubt any military mariner would not understand the principle and basic science of Oceanographic geology and tectonics.
I find that snippet somewhat bizarre amidst Kellett's so-called evidence."
So we have alleged events that have no specific dates attached to them.
We have unidentified persons providing unverified testimony.
We have vague terms such as "reached Puffin Island," "near Puffin Island"
and "off Puffin Island," all of which give the impression that the alleged Theatre of Operations was
most certainly around Puffin Island.
We have inaccurate terminology being used.
At some stage in the future, time-permitting, we will be addressing the logistics involved with such an alleged confrontation
- an alleged confrontation between Naval warships and three Unidentified Flying or Submarine/Submersible Objects.
Was the battle "off" or "near" Puffin Island? Or did it never happen?