Please Note: All quotes from the Coast to Coast AM show of 10th/11th August 2014, and from the UFO
Radio Pro show of 25th August 2014 are taken verbatim from the audio of the broadcasts.
In April 2014 a book on the Berwyn Mountains UFO incident of 23rd January 1974 was published.
The title of the book is "The Berwyn Mountains Incident, Revealed" and is authored by Steven Lumley.
Much of the book is based on the research of Russ Kellett.
When we first became aware of this publication there was considerable discussion regarding the content. Mr. Scott Felton,
long-time researcher of the Berwyns UFO case, purchased and read the Kindle version of the book.
Scott made a number of observations and criticisms of the content of the book which may be read at:
Then, in August 2014, it was announced that the author Steven Lumley, and the researcher Russ Kellett, would be featured on
the Coast to Coast AM show of 10th/11th August 2014 (depending on where the listener was located) hosted by
By the time that the show was broadcast much more discussion had occurred about the authenticity of a certain letter mentioned
in the book and that researcher Russ Kellett had received from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. One of the
letters was dated 2nd April 2000 and had a very unusual and poorly written appearance, not normal for government agency communications.
Background to the original questioning of the letter and its authenticity may be seen at:
Eventually it was established in rather vague F.O.I. (Freedom of Information) request responses from the Coastguard
station at Holyhead in Anglesey, that a letter had indeed been sent from that station in April 2000 as there appeared to be
a "copy" somewhere in their filing system.
However, what is still being questioned is the actual authenticity of the content of the letter.
We must look at the much "bigger picture" regarding the content of that letter from the M.C.A. dated 2nd April 2000.
The Radio Shows
Russ Kellett explained to Dave Schrader, host of the Coast To Coast AM show of 10th/11th August 2014, how he
(Kellett) first came into possession of the Coastguard letter. He wanted to find out what might have caused all the aerial
illuminations on the night of 23rd January 1974.
He realised that the best people to contact would be those watching the sea and sky.
So Kellett duly contacted a Coastguard as he describes in this quote from the Coast to Coast AM show. (Apparently
the call was answered by a female as Kellett mentions later.)
"...the best place to start is ... ermmm,..to basically go to .... errr to go to somebody who'll be watching the sea errr...
coastguards. So I rung... I..errrrr...got the err..and looked for the ummm errr ....the... coastguard .....umm.. quite central
to.. to... sort of like.. errr... to North Wales etc.... and ummm ... I rang up and and I... errr... spoke to somebody there
and asked whether they 'ad any...any records umm...of anything that 'appened on, you know, this date, you know sort of like
errrr ...on the 23rd of January 1974."
It must be emphasised that Kellett stated in the Coast to Coast AM show that he made no mention of "UFO"
in this first 'phone request to the Coastguard. He said that he had requested information about anything that had happened
on the 23rd January 1974.
This is an important point as we shall see later.
In this next quote from the Coast To Coast AM show Kellett mentions that a "he" had apparently spoken on the
'phone with Kellett.
Note that the person with whom Kellett spoke on the 'phone suggested to Kellett that he put his request in writing.
On Coast to Coast AM Kellett described the 'phone response from the Coastguard's office:
"And 'oooo' he said 'a long time back is that but but I will 'ave a look through our records' and says errr OK, no problem
and he said 'Do you want to put it in writing?' "
In the Coast To Coast AM show Kellett went on to explain the strategy that he had used to contact the Coastguard
office so as not to alert them that he was inquiring about UFOs.
Kellett felt that he was too well-known in the media regarding the subject of UFOs and that his request might not be taken
too seriously if the Coastguard was aware of who was contacting their office.
"So I thought "ummm smart cookie 'ere right..
And ... errrr...the other thing is I thought was well because people... I've been on television a few times...errmm talking
about UFOs and what 'ave you, so I thought well if...if I use this other name ...errrr.. basically....errmmm.. it'll keep..you
know... people off that "Oh yeah, it must be about UFOs."
I just said 'anything you know going on in the skies... err err.. you know...around the Irish Sea, and North Wales, and Liverpool
you know.' "
So we are under the impression at this stage that Kellett put his request in writing, not mentioning UFOs, and mailed
it off to the Coastguard, asking for information about:
'anything ... going on in the skies... around the Irish Sea, and North Wales, and Liverpool..."
Kellett also explained his personal situation to Dave Schrader in the Coast To Coast AM show of 10th/11th August
2014 as follows:
"I 'ad a lot going on at this time. There were people really ill in me family and what have you, and so thought "Right
.." and I knew I was going to be away ..errmmm you know sort of like ... so I thought: "Right I will.... errrr... send a
letter and I will get it ...errr mmmm ...you know sort of like....errrmmm.... so that when ..errrrmm ....eerrrr....I get
back..errmmm...you know sort of like ...and I'll 'ave a look sort of thing you know."
Later in the month, in Kellett's own UFO Radio internet-based show of 25th August 2014, he explained how he
had put the request in writing. However, we learn that Kellett had in fact asked a friend if he could use his friend's name
and address for the correspondence.
"Basically put it in the hands of somebody and I said I'll write this. Your name. Your address. Is that okay?
He wanted to feel he was doing something. So a few weeks later when I get it back - back in Bradford etc."
During the same 25th August internet-based radio show Kellett also described, in rather roundabout fashion, how he had obtained
the various letter/s from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
(During that conversation Kellett incorrectly referred to the M.C.A. as the "Maritime Coastguards Association.")
We do know that there were at least two letters sent from the Coastguard station on headed M.C.A. stationery.
In a video produced in 2006-2008 a rather fuzzy few frames showing two letters were included. The upper one of the two letters
appears to be that included in the Steven Lumley book.
A clear image of the first response letter from the Coastguard has not been made public to the best of our knowledge, but
Kellett did read the contents of that letter, by request, in his UFO Radio internet-based show on two occasions.
The first letter was very short with no date, file reference or sender details apparently. This first letter was the initial
response to Kellett's request (in another person's name) about anything happening in the skies on the night of 23rd January
In the UFO Radio internet-based show of 27th September 2014 Kellett read out the first letter's content as follows:
"Thanks for your letter regarding UFO activity. This has been passed on to... Mr So and So....and shall 'appily check ...err...our
records for you.
Unfortunately I shall be away for the next three weeks and as soon as I get back I shall...errrmmm....look into it for you.
Hope...errmmm...this 'as been enough for you."
In the UFO Radio internet-based show of 29th September 2014 Kellett read out the first letter's content as follows:
"Thank you for your letter regarding UFO activity. This has been passed ...errrmm.... on to me...err... by...errr Mr So
and So...errmm... and I shall 'appily check our records for you.
Unfortunately I am away for the next three weeks but as soon as I return to work I shall ...errr...look into it for you.
Hope this is.... errr....'ope this....will be soon enough for you. "
Note that the readings of the first letter were not the same, and thus the meanings were somewhat different.
Note also that "UFO" was mentioned, something that Kellett claimed he had not included in his first request for information
from the Coastguard.
Going back to the Coast to Coast AM show of 10th/11th August 2014 Kellett explained to Dave Schrader how he
had received a 'phone call, presumably from someone at the Coastguard office, informing him of the existence of a waiting
Note in his next account how he showed some surprise at receiving the 'phone call. (Was this because he had not provided
his own 'phone number to the Coastguard, or so he claimed?)
"And...errrr... lo and behold... I 'ad a 'phone call saying you know like ...err... "yeah...errr...errrr...I've got...errr....you
know... a letter 'ere and it's.. you know.. sort of like...errr.. for you.. you know you wrote off to the coastguard."
As Kellett had not apparently provided his name and contact details (as previously explained) but used a friend's details
instead, one might wonder how the Coastguard would know how to contact Kellett and announce the existence of the awaiting
Also, one might wonder why the Coastguard office did not simply mail off the letter rather than call him to say that it was
"there" - unless they were expecting him to drive to the Coastguard office and collect the letter personally?
We next heard Kellett tell Dave Schrader that he had rung the Coastguard office again, and that the person with whom he
had spoken had been a female even though Kellett had used "he" in his description of his first 'phone call to the Coastguard
"Errrr...now I spoke to this person ... I rung this person up again... because her boss ....errmmmm... originally had...ermmmm..
gone away you see....errmmm.. "
"so ...ermmmm.. when I rung up again ..you know.. I... I....said ...errmmmm....you know.. err.....'Got the letter....and...errr..
you know...thank you very much..."
It would appear, then, that it was possibly the "boss" going away for the three weeks, not the author of the first letter
. That was somewhat unclear when Kellett read out the first letter on the two occasions, 27th and 29th September 2014, during
his UFO Radio internet-based shows.
On the Coast to Coast AM show Kellett had continued by reading out a portion of the (second) letter to Dave
Schrader which also included "UFO" in the text.
Let us not forget that Kellett had claimed that he was not going to mention UFOs in his written request for the reason mentioned
earlier. However, both letter responses included "UFO" in the text.
Kellett read the letter to Dave Schrader:
"And ermmm....looking at the letter ...it says here....ermm: 'Further to the enquiry regarding possible UFO sightings or other information .... ermmm...I 'ave now checked through ...errrmmmm....
the information ..errmmmmm ... that we 'ave available at our station...ermmmm... although there's...errrr...not a great many
logs ...ermmm.. log books...errmmm... (indistinct)... for that period of time...I 'ave only been able to find one entry ....ermmm...
of...any interest... During the late afternoon and early evening on the 23rd of January 1974...ermmm...there was an exercise
from Jerby Range... which is the Isle of Man it says....errmm.. the exercise was called photoflash...ermmmm... and coastguards
were .. ...errmmm...advised to expect at least 10 aircraft taking part and up to 80 flashes.' "......
Note that Kellett did not read out the complete contents of the second letter which we know was dated 2nd April 2000.
A fairly clear image of the letter may be seen in Steven Lumley's book:
This second letter dated 2nd April 2000 was signed but the signature and recipient details were obscured from public view.
There was no indication from the image of the letter seen in Steven Lumley's book that any sender details or file reference
had ever existed.
The text content of the letter, originally in italic font, was set out as follows:
"Further to you enquiry regarding possible UFO sightings or other information I have
now checked through the information that we have available at this station. 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.
I realise this is probably not what you hoping for but it's all I came up with. Sorry I
couldn't be more help but I would be interested to hear if you solve your mystery as I
often look skyward in the hope of seeing something myself.
This is a screen shot of the text section of the second letter from the Lumley book:
Despite Kellett's claims about not mentioning UFOs in his request to the Coastguard, it does seem - from both responses from
the Coastguard - that Kellett had, at some stage, mentioned UFOs in the correspondence or 'phone calls.
As we can see, the letter was grammatically poor and shoddily formatted. Also, the spelling of the RAF bombing range on the
Isle of Man was incorrect - "Jerby" instead of "Jurby."
It is curious that someone working at a Coastguard station so close to the Isle of Man would not know the correct spelling
of the long-established bombing range.
(Note: the range was closed in 1993 with the assistance of a campaign by the Celtic League.)
In the Coast to Coast AM show of 10th/11th August 2014 we were not told of the name of the Coastguard station.
But the name of Holyhead Coastguard (on Anglesey) was mentioned extensively during Kellett's own UFO Radio internet-based
shows in August, September and October 2014.
Authenticity of Letter Content
Our next concern is regarding the actual content of the second letter, that dated 2nd April 2000.
It would appear from the second letter that in April 2000 a log book did still indeed exist at Holyhead Coastguard for the
date of 23rd January 1974 - the date of the Berwyn Mountains UFO incident.
Coastguard log books are, apparently, disposed of after a number of years have passed. It is unclear as to how old a log
book (dated 1974) would have to be before qualifying for disposal.
A number of years must elapse, either 20 or 25, and then the records are disposed of apparently.
Whatever the disposal rule was at the time of Kellett's request early in 2000 it was fortunate that the all-important log
book entry required by Kellett, and containing the information that he so needed regarding things happening in the sky on
the night of 23rd January 1974, just happened to still be in existence, or so he was led to believe.
Now recall again that Kellett had not mentioned UFOs (he claimed) in his letter to the Coastguard but had asked about:
'anything ... going on in the skies... around the Irish Sea, and North Wales, and Liverpool..."
The second letter from the Coastguard to Kellett mentioned a 'photoflash" exercise occurring at the "Jerby range" on the
Isle of Man.
This was not a suggestion or guess, but a statement of fact on the part of the Coastguard office.
A 'photoflash exercise from Jerby Range' may have occurred as mentioned in the letter to Kellett but what about all the lights
in the sky seen that very night by so many witnesses including Holyhead Coastguard? Why were those not mentioned?
What about the Lights in the Sky?
From our own research it was not difficult to find out that there was considerable aerial activity on the night of 23rd January
On the night in question it is on record that various Coastguards had sightings of objects and lights in the sky.
In an extract from the first page of R. M. W. Musson's paper titled "The Enigmatic Bala Earthquake" we read the following:
Note that the sighting of what appeared to be a meteorite "was confirmed by Anglesey coastguards, who described it as green.
Coastguards elsewhere, in the Isle of Man....received reports of 'green flares'."
We wonder if the Holyhead Coastguard station that was in correspondence with Russ Kellett would have logged the "meteorite"
and/or "green flares" on that night of 23rd January 1974.
If they had done so then would those events not be mentioned in the letter to Kellett dated 2nd April 2000?
Surely the unusual activity seen in the sky that night would have warranted entry in their log books?
Or maybe the Holyhead Coastguard kept records of those types of events in something other than a log book.
Maybe the author of the second letter, dated 2nd April 2000, had neglected to include the details of these events because
she did not know about any other record keeping system at the Holyhead Coastguard station.
In an article written by Eileen Buckle for Flying Saucer Review, September 1974, Supplement 18, Holyhead Coastguard was reported
on record as having seen a "flaming object shaped like a tadpole."
Would something this unusual not also warrant a mention in the letter to Kellett of 2nd April 2000?
Another news item from January 1974, kindly provided to us by Mr. Phil Hoyle, indicates that the Holyhead Coastguard reported
seeing "a ball of white light flashing across the sky heading east." However, this event was also not mentioned in the letter
to Kellett dated 2nd April 2000.
So, we are left wondering why the information that was requested by Russ Kellett and provided by the Coastguard did not include
what appear to be quite unusual events occurring in the skies over North Wales, the North West of England and further afield
However, the Coastguard did state that "an exercise from Jerby[sic] Range on the Isle of Man" did indeed occur and
was called 'photoflash.'
No guessing or surmising, but a statement of fact!
Next we have to examine this "photoflash business in greater depth.