Published: 2:29 PM 10/14/2011
"On Friday 27, April 2007, I was involved in an occurrence that truly scared me, to the point I thought I may even have died, and yet the whole incident remains a mystery.
Driving on the A470 towards Machynlleth, Mid Wales, I had been listening to a CD and then for a few minutes to the radio, before switching it off. It was approximately 9.20 pm and it was very dark, with the darkness deepened as many of the country roads in those parts were unlit.
I noticed up ahead a group of bright lights, to the side and above the road. There was an orange light on either side of the road, which at first I took to be road lamps (they were at the right height to be).
To the outer side of the orange lights were bright white lights and to the centre there were bright white lights above and below the level of the other lights.
At first I was confused as to what it was, then I realised I could see what looked like the image of a wingspan of an aeroplane. The shape extended right across the road and a short length either side.
I now estimate the width to be approximately 50 feet in total. The bright white lights were at the tip of each wing and it highlighted a small vertical construction a few feet in from each tip, between the white and the orange light.
This seemed to give it the appearance of an old aircraft, yet the whole wingspan itself seemed made of a smooth shiny material.
There was a bright white light at the centre, just below the wingspan, and also a glowing dome of white above the wingspan, similar in a way to a cockpit, in which I could see the top half of two figures.
My immediate thought was that it was an aircraft, the whole image coming slowly towards me but was clearly getting lower. The white lights on the wings began rocking up and down, appearing as if the aircraft was having difficulty in remaining straight and about to ditch onto the road before me.
I didn't really know what to do.
I believed that if it was to land on the road then it would surely be right in front of me or on top of me, but either way I would not be able to avoid a certain crash and I feared for my life.
Those brief moments as it came closer seemed like an eternity, almost happening in slow motion. I checked my rear view mirror but there was no vehicle behind me. There was no place for me to steer the car off the road so I wondered whether my best option was to brake or just to keep on going and hope to avoid a crash.
I gasped a huge sigh of relief as the aircraft passed over me, mightily relieved that a crash was avoided after all. Strangely, as the aircraft passed over the car I cannot remember any particular noise, nor do I remember seeing any form of tail to the aircraft.
I glanced back and forth between my rear view mirror and wing mirror anxious to see the shape pass fully over, but I could see nothing. I quickly stopped the car and got out; looking back down the dark road I could neither see nor hear anything.
Trying to make sense of it all, I wondered if the aircraft had ditched into a field beyond where I could see in the darkness.
So, I jumped back into the car and grabbed my mobile to dial 999 and report the incident to the Police. Realising I did not know my exact location, and therefore not able to direct anyone to the site, I quickly drove a few hundred yards down the road until I came to a sign. I was on the edge of a village called Cwm Llinau.
I dialed 999, asked for the Police (recorded as 9.24 pm), and reported what I had witnessed.
The female Police Officer was unable to locate my position as Cwm Llinau was not on her map. I rolled the car slowly forward trying to find something giving the location.
Within a couple of hundred feet there was a sign for a small caravan park and I gave the Police Officer the name and area telephone code and number.
The Police Officer told me she would have a police car out to the area, but also check with the RAF if there were any aircraft in the area. She kept checking my location and asking details of the incident.
Eventually she came back to me and said that, although there had been a Hercules (an RAF military aircraft) in the area earlier on that evening, there was nothing scheduled there now. I offered to stay in the location to see the Police Officers, but she said it was not necessary.
I sat in my car for a short time to gather my composure, I thought there was going to be a certain crash, one which I may not have survived, and I could only sit and shake with fright, relief and disbelief.
As I was driving home I received a call from the Police. This time it was a male Officer and he checked all the details through with me again and asked me to confirm my location.
By that time I was on the border of Machynlleth, which I confirmed with three teenagers who were passing by. He confirmed that no aircraft reported to be in the area and no other calls had been received reporting a crash.
The Police Officer told me that one of his colleagues lived in that particular valley and they were contacting him.
On arriving home in Aberystwyth I was still shaking, which was only to eventually relent after about an hour.
That night I contacted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at RAF Cosford, Shropshire. They told me that there were no aircraft in the area at 9.20 pm and they had not received any incident report.
They stated that there had been a Hercules aircraft in the area, but it was much earlier in the evening, but nothing else. They also commented that there would likely be no aircraft flying as low as I had described as it would be extremely dangerous, particularly with the recent strong winds.
I then contacted Air Traffic Control at Cardiff Airport, who confirmed no aeroplanes had traveled via the Machynlleth area from their airport.
Seeking to find some sort of sense from it all, I contacted the airport in Welshpool. They too confirmed that there were no aircraft in the area, indeed, their landing lights had been switched off earlier in the evening as they were not expecting any arrivals.
On the Saturday morning I contacted Caernarfon Airfield in Gwynedd. Again, I was informed that they had no knowledge of any aircraft being in that area at that time. Infact, they stated that they have no flights at all after dark.
Later on Saturday I went to the Police Station to see if anything else had been reported. They seemed only concerned by the fact that no crash had occurred and so there were no injuries or fatalities.
They told me that RAF had a Hercules aircraft in the area at the time I reported the incident, completely contradicting what I was told the night before, and they said that it was a Hercules that I witnessed.
It seemed pointless to argue the point, so I left. The wingspan of a Hercules is 132 feet 7 inches, the aircraft I had seen was less than half that size, at approximately 50 feet in total width.
The cockpit on a Hercules lies beneath the wingspan, yet on the aircraft I had seen the cockpit (or what I believe was a cockpit) was above the wingspan.
Although I cannot say what the aircraft was, I cannot claim with any certainty it was of alien nature. However, it remains 'unidentified' and was a 'flying object,' so I have to refer to it as a UFO.
With it being a clear sighting at very close range, with occupants being visible, the term for such an event is a 'Close Encounter of the Third Kind.'
What is perhaps worrying is that, despite a clear incident occurring, I have received no contact from the RAF. I can only assume that their philosophy is that if it doesn't show on radar then it doesn't exist, a somewhat worrying viewpoint in these modern times.
So, if anyone out there saw anything around Machynlleth or in the near vicinity on Friday 27, April, please let me know. This is a mystery that I would dearly love to solve.
In the meantime, the memory of the whole experience lives on, but I count my blessings to still be alive!" - Colin Grethe