The Pentyrch UFO Crash – A Cover-Up Of A Downed Alien Craft By The UK Military?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
February 8, 2022
Last Updated
March 8, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
17 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

The allegations of the bizarre incident in Pentrych, a small town just outside of Cardiff in Wales, in February 2016 not only suggest that a UFO crashed in the woodlands, but that it was intentionally downed by military aircraft in what was, essentially, a battle. Indeed, the alleged incident over the Smilog Woods that evening could turn out to be one of the most important in both UFO and world history.

An alleged crash site blended into a picture of a UFO

Did a UFO crash in the Smilog Woods in 2016?

What’s more, it is a case that has multiple witnesses from various locations, and also shares similar details to other alleged UFO crashes in the United Kingdom. Even more remarkable, and adding yet another layer to this already fascinating encounter, there appears to have been some kind of prior knowledge on the military’s part that the UFO event would happen.

Several Freedom of Information Requests have managed to make small dents in the official explanation, but the case is still very much subject to suppression by the UK military and looks set to remain so for the foreseeable future. That being said, it is a case that will continue to be investigated, studied, and researched, and could very well have further secrets still to be revealed.

Shook From Sleep In The Middle Of The Night

It was around 2 am when the strange events that would unfold over the small town of Pentrych began. Suddenly, the sound of multiple helicopters or low-flying aircraft was heard coming out of the night sky. Several bright lights also pierced the windows of those who had been sleeping in their homes.

Many of those who had been dragged from sleep by the bizarre commotion outside initially took to social media to voice their frustration. Many would assume the cacophony of sound and activity outside was due to several South Wales police helicopters, with one social media user stating they were “circling outside” their home. [1] Others even claimed to have seen some of the helicopters, land nearby one of the local fields.

Artist's impression of the UFO over south Wales

Artist’s impression of the UFO over south Wales

Some residents, so disturbed by what they were witnessing placed calls directly to the local police. One such caller claimed there was “a helicopter flying very low” and that it had “come around seven or eight times”. What’s more, they were certain it was not a police helicopter but a “big double-engine one”. Another caller said that the helicopters were so low they were “causing my house to shake”, while yet another was convinced one of them had almost hit the chimney of their home. Loud bangs were also reported causing many residents to genuinely fear for their safety.

As more and more people peered outside from the homes or even ventured from them into their yards, it was clear that there were more than just helicopters present outside. Many reported seeing multiple military vehicles on the ground.

Several hours later when daylight had taken control media outlets were informing their morning readers that the disturbance had been a “military training drill” involving both the army and the air force (apparently known as Exercise Chameleon) and that nothing untoward had taken place.

As we will turn our attention to next, there were plenty of people who flat out disagreed with the official explanation.

“I Can Categorially State That This Was No Exercise!”

One witness to the bizarre and unnerving events that night was Caz Clarke, who would eventually write a book about the incident, The Pentrych Incident: The Greatest UFO Cover-Up of Modern Times, with Gari Jones. [2] She would recall how the noise and strange lights coming from the fields behind her house had captured her attention, leading her to witness a pyramid-shaped object moving overhead.

Ultimately, Clarke would state in an online post that she could “categorically state that this was no exercise” and that she had witnessed “absolutely everything” and that was willing to “take a lie detector anywhere for anyone” about it (incidentally she has, at the time of writing, taken three such lie detector tests). She would further offer that the subject of the military’s attention was not a military aircraft – training vehicle or otherwise – but was a genuine UFO – an extraterrestrial craft from another world.

Screenshot of Caz Clarke's online comments

Screenshot of Caz Clarke’s online comments

Police records confirm that plenty of people made reports in the hours following the strange activity. What it was that had taken place, Clarke at least had confirmation in the police reports that something was moving over the area that night.

Even more remarkable suggestions were offered by Clarke, who stated that “the military knew they were coming and had a spotter plane in the air for two days” in anticipation of “the event”. What’s more, she, along with her neighbor, Dave, noted that a second plane would arrive and then “take over” the circling route so the other spotter plane could return to base – meaning that the area was constantly being monitored.

In fact, so certain that something unusual was going on connected to the plane that she and Dave camped out in a field near where it was circling on the night of the 25th going into the 26th February. It was as they were watching the plane that Clarke first noticed the strange first red light appear over the trees.

It “Came Through A Black Veil Into Our World!”

Clarke also appeared in an episode of the television series UFO Conspiracies, stating that there had been some military activity in the days leading up to the night of the incident itself. She told how she had ventured outside due to the military activity and then, with neighbors, made their way to the gate of a nearby field. As they approached, she offered that “one red light had turned to three red lights that were the very pinnacle of an enormous pyramid”.

Even more amazing, she claimed that this object “came through a black veil into our world” suggesting that it arrived not from the reaches of space – at least how we might understand it – but from a portal or gateway. Fellow UFO researcher and investigator, Gari Jones, would also state that “this thing came from a portal in the sky”. When it was fully upright, Clarke told how it “fired a bright green object” out of the top of it, “like a big bright green star”.

She and her neighbor, Dave, continued to observe the remarkable events unfolding, with Clarke at one point thinking the object was about to land. She recalled how it then “ejected a hand of lightning, not thin lightning, but thick like fingers”. Although Clarke didn’t notice them, as she was “fixated” with the underside of the craft, Dave witnessed further multiple green orbs being ejected from the top of the object.

At this point, three military helicopters arrived, flying extremely low to the ground. They passed over near where they were standing and were followed by two bizarre, “barrel-shaped” silent objects that were approximately the size of a small car. These mysterious objects were red in color and “appeared to be moving”, with Clarke elaborating that they appeared to be “turning in on itself, like a cake mixture” being stirred.

One of the red objects stopped only 20 feet away from where Clarke was standing. Although she doesn’t understand why she raised her hand and waved at the object. She believed that while it hovered there, it “scanned” her before moving away”. Incidentally, Clarke would state her hair had “turned white” within 24 hours of the incident.

Following the objects moving off in different directions, Clarke and her neighbors turned and made their way back to her home, which she recalled was only 30 seconds away from where they had stood. As they were doing so, a “huge explosion” suddenly shook the night. This explosion, Clarke would recall, was “so loud (and) so big” that it “shook people awake in their beds”. There were multiple different kinds of military aircraft in the air, all heavily armed battle vehicles.

Interestingly, the British Geological Survey’s data confirms a seismological anomaly in the area at the time Clarke said the incident took place.

“These Things Are Real (And) Our Military Know They Are Real!”

The following morning, after Clarke had posted her comments on social media – including the WalesOnline website that carried the story – a mystery person contacted her wanting to know who she had spoken to about what she had seen, and how (electronic communication, direct conversation, etc). Ultimately, she agreed to meet the person to discuss the matter further.

According to Clarke’s recollection of that meeting, she was asked bluntly if she was “worried about what might happen” to her and members of her family. She was even threatened with being involved in a “fatal car accident”. It was obvious to Clarke that rather than just being a person with an interest in the case, this strange and threatening person was directly connected to it.

Clarke would also explain why no photographs had been taken or video footage captured. She claimed that she and several other people tried to but “all of their phones were dead”. Whether this was a result of being in such a close proximity of the UFO itself or whether it was a military plane (the E3 Sentry, for example) that locked the phones in the immediate vicinity of the activity that evening is not known.

Clarke would state on the UFO Conspiracies television show that “these things are real, our military know they are real, (and) our military are actively pursuing and shooting these things down!”

Depiction of two UFOs over the woods

Multiple witnesses saw the strange events of that night

There were also other witnesses who were willing to speak to the media about what they had seen. Mike Henbury, for example, claimed to have witnessed a “red pulsing light” before noticing two further lights that made a triangular formation. [3] He would further state, like Clarke, that orbs emerged from the craft – red and green – and they moved “as if they were dancing and molding into one pulsing from red to green slowly”.

Other witnesses also noted that the object appeared out of nowhere as opposed to flying from a distance, once more suggesting a connection to some kind of portal or interdimensional gateway. With the arrival of the helicopters, the object moved toward the wooded area, with witnesses noticing through the leafless trees that the object was turning on its axis as it appeared to be attempting to land. Then, the lights went out. A short time later the explosion rang out.

The Crash Site In The Smilog Woods

The incident would take an even bigger twist when Clarke and several of the neighbors went searching around the region below where the objects had been seen only hours earlier in the Smilog Woods. When they arrived there, they did indeed discover a scene that suggested something out of the ordinary had taken place there. She would recall how they found “60-foot trees that had been snapped in half mid-trunk”. What’s more, these snapped trees went on “as far as the eye could see”.

They walked into the area of damaged trees eventually finding what they believed was the impact location. There they could see numerous scrapings and strange white burn marks on the surrounding trees, as well as noticing an extremely “pungent smell” all around them.

The alleged crash site in Smilog Woods

The alleged crash site in Smilog Woods

Even more interesting, in the weeks that followed the incident a team of apparent field researchers arrived and set up a temporary campsite near the crash site. Clark, by now fully investigating the incident, noted that they were using some kind of technological device that appeared like a laptop but was much larger. She further recalled how they were “doing a fingertip search” of the field below the flight path of the pyramid-shaped UFO.

Perhaps even more unnerving, and interesting, is that Clarke would recall that if you walked past them “every one of them would stand up and watch you until you were out of sight”, even going on to describe their behavior as “spooky” and “like a cult”.

Incidentally, radiation levels at the crash site are said to have been as high as 1.2 EMF – the safe range is between 0.2 and 0.4. What’s more, they remained that high until only very recently in 2021.

Further Corroborating Witnesses!

Another point of interest, as highlighted by the UFO Conspiracies television show, is that the location where Clarke and her neighbors believe the UFO crashed is a very short distance away from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, where an on-duty nurse had claimed to have heard “an extremely loud explosion that sounded as if it had come from right outside the hospital” at a little after 2 am on the night in question.

The nurse continued that there was a “second explosion” a short time afterward, although this sounded a little further away. Perhaps of even more intrigue was that after venturing outside following the explosion, there was a “smell of sulfur all around”. We might recall that Caz Clarke claimed they were confronted with an unpleasant smell at the apparent crash site, and we also know that this aroma of sulfur is mentioned in many close encounter UFO reports.

The nurse would ultimately state that they didn’t “believe it was a military exercise” and added that on the night in question she noticed that “all roads in the local area were closed”. As there was only a very small police force in the village, the increased police presence suggests that officers were brought in from other regions. And that, as Clarke claimed, would suggest some kind of prior knowledge to the events of 26th February 2016.

Caz Clarke’s research offers further witnesses to the strange events in question. She would discover that almost all of the patients at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital were “awakened in their beds”. Of more concern, thick, black smoke – presumably from the crash site – was “going in through the vents and through the windows” of the building while multiple car alarms were sounding in the parking area and the nearby streets.

The investigation Of Gari Jones

In relation to the explanation offered at the time that the events were nothing more than a military training exercise, it is perhaps interesting to note a Freedom of Information request made by Gari Jones on 23rd February 2018. [4] In his request, Jones stated he required information “on the events” of 25th and 26th February 2016 when the military was “conducting an exercise named Chameleon” and the information he had from local residents that the area around the Smilog woods was “shut down and blocked off”.

He would continue that “public footpaths and entrances to Smilog Woods were blocked”, as were a number of other roads leading to the area for several hours (adding that during this time people also reported hearing large explosions and witnessing smoke from the area). Ultimately, Jones asked four specific questions in the FOI request:

Why was Smilog Woods closed to the public during this time 25th & 26th 2016?

What exactly is the reason for the military being in the Smilog Woods during this time 25th & 26th 2016?

Whose authority was it to close the woods to the public during this time 25th & 26th 2016?

Why were the roads closed down in areas of Llantrisant and around Smilog during this time 25th & 26th 2016?

Around a month later, he received a response. It stated that “there was no permission granted to the military to close the woodland and public paths and let off explosives in the woodlands mentioned during these dates or in fact any dates so we have no records”, adding that “this type of activity would have required permission”.

So, while this is not a smoking gun-type response, the claims of the military that it was nothing more than a training exercise would have, at best, made their actions illegal without permission, and, at worst, outright false.

Events That Are “Not In The Public Interest!”

It is also worth mentioning Jones FOI requests to the army and air force. He would essentially ask what the green light was that was witnessed that evening, and what the explanation was for the explosions heard. Jones would state that during the “discussion” between himself and the branches of the military, they would change their story several times, seemingly in relation to any new questions Jones would put to them.

Ultimately, they would acknowledge that something happened that night, they did so in an indirect way by stating that this information “fell into the Section 26 category” – which means it is “not in the public interest”. Essentially, it is classified.

As Jones stated, this section allows the military to “sweep it all aside” even though “they know that people have seen the events of that night”.

A depiction of a UFO in a wood

Was there a cover up of the Smilog Woods incident?

We also have to ask, if this was a genuine military training drill, why it would take place in such a public, built-up area? One that would force them to have to issue explanations after the fact. There are numerous places – already off-limits to the public – where such an exercise could have taken place. When we add to that the fact there appears to have been explosions during this apparent exercise, it again brings into question that such a drill would take place in such close proximity to members of the public.

In short, the military training exercise – a huge lack of judgment and forethought aside – simply makes little sense and doesn’t hold water. The fact, at least according to Gari Jones, the military altered their version of events several times during his requests for information only weakens the training drill explanation further.

Other Sightings Around The Same Time

There were several other UFO reports around the same time in the month of February 2016. And while none are anywhere near as dramatic as the events that took place in Pentyrch, they are worth including here.

For example, in Edinburgh, Scotland, 32-year-old Lee Frame was driving on the M8 when his dashcam captured a glowing object hovering over the busy motorway. [5] The witness claimed that “the lights did not seem to be moving” and were “just sat in the sky”. Whatever they were, Frame was certain that what he saw was definitely not a plane.

The media report on the incident at the time also highlighted several other recent sightings around the UK, including 65-year-old John Macdonald, who claimed that a “spaceship” hovered above his home in Fife for several minutes before taking off.

Although the exact date is uncertain, a particularly interesting sighting occurred around the same time in Enfield, London. The witnesses even managed to capture several minutes of footage of the object from the window of their apartment. At first, the object appeared to be nothing more than a large star or perhaps a helicopter. However, when they zoomed in on it, they could clearly see it was an aerial vehicle of some kind. And what’s more, it appeared to be changing shape with the witness stating they had “never seen a helicopter dismantle itself and reattach itself midair before”.

Whether there is a connection between these sightings and the Smilog Woods is not known, but

you can view that footage below.

Long History Of Alleged UFO Crashes Throughout The UK

We might note that this is far from the only claim of a crashed UFO in Wales. And while we will not go over the accounts in full here, it is worth reminding ourselves of the basic accounts and how they might relate to the incident above.

In January 1974, for example, in Llandrillo near the Berwyn Mountains, a major incident occurred that was put down to a freak earthquake and meteor shower. Many residents of the small village, however, believed they had witnessed the crash-landing of a vehicle from another world. Much like the incident that unfold in February 2016, many of the witnesses recalled hearing a huge explosion, with some even reporting seeing an “orange glow” coming from the nearby mountains. Multiple calls were placed to police, with many clearly stating that residents believed they had just seen a UFO. Only in 2008 did released files show declare these sightings that evening.

Although the incident in the Berwyn Mountains was seemingly successfully suppressed at the time, as attention returned to the incident in the 2000s with the release of documents and official files, more information would come to light. Many people would come forward stating they witnessed a heavy military presence that evening, with some even saying there appeared to be some kind of bizarre rescue or recovery mission taking place on the mountainside. The incident remains one of the most intriguing and perhaps controversial on record.

A depiction of a UFO

There are several claims of UFO crashes in the UK

There is also the lesser-known case that unfolded in January 1983 in the small village of Llanilar near Aberystwyth also in Wales when a farmer, Eurwel Evans, discovered a strange piece of wreckage and several large “crumpled pieces” of a foil-like material on his land. After reporting the discovery to the police, who in turn contacted the military, a huge search unit arrived and cordoned off the area where the discovery had been made. The wreckage was taken by the unit and they quickly stated that it was “unidentified” and closed the matter.

However, UFO investigator Gary Rowe began looking at the claims, and with Evans discovered several further pieces of the material that had gone undiscovered. They would have the material analyzed independently. And while it was indeed unidentified, the more inclusive report suggested it was a lightweight but particularly strong material. That several “mysterious men” visited Rowe following their discovery suggested that what they likely had was a small piece of a spacecraft that had come down on the farmer’s land.

From Yorkshire To Staffordshire – More Alleged Downed And Recovered UFOs

There have also been claims of other crashes throughout the rest of the United Kingdom. Perhaps one of the most intriguing is said by some to have occurred on the evening of 24th March 1997 over the Howden Moors in a small village called Bolsterstone in South Yorkshire. At around 10 pm on the night in question, multiple reports came in from what residents believed was a “small plane” that appeared to have crashed into the woodland of the moors. Many callers reported seeing “a flash and several plumes of smoke”. Reports of strange aerial activity continued to come into police switchboards.

A huge search-and-rescue operation was put into action, lasting around 15 hours. Perhaps of more interesting, the whole area (stretching out to a 10-mile radius) was put under a “Dangerous Flying Zone” meaning no aircraft, including news helicopters, could enter this airspace over the area (at least without the very real risk of being shot down).

Then, bizarrely, after the search was wrapped up, came the announcement that no crash had happened after all, and everything was explained away as being a sonic boom. As UFO investigators began to examine the incident and speak to local residents, a rather different version of events began to emerge regarding search efforts. Claims of Men In Black-type figures being seen, as well as huge low-lying trucks seen leaving the region with a covered over material on their backs. There was even one report of several black “body bags” being transferred to a Sea King helicopter.

Regarding the night in question, many people claimed to have seen a triangular object flying at low altitude in the region, as well as the presence of military jets and helicopters. Much the incident in Pentyrch, that something strange had taken place that evening is surely beyond doubt.

Decades prior to that, in 1964 in the town of Penkridge in Staffordshire, is another account of an alleged crashed UFO. [6] According to an account by Leonard Stringfield, and relayed in A Covert Agenda by Nick Redfern, personnel aboard a US Navy ship intercepted messages that suggested an unknown object had crashed in the UK, with most of the remains being recovered and taken to Germany.

The specially trained officer – who Stringfield gave the name “Third Class Petty Officer S M Brannigan – intercepted coded messages sent by the Russian military. He would state that the recovery efforts were involved not only Royal Air Force intelligence, but other NATO agencies with some of the recovered material taken to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Even more amazing, it was stated that apparent occupants (three) were also recovered from the ruins. Although Brannigan was happy to anonymously share this information with Stringfield, he admitted that there was further information that he believed was best left unknown (it is not clear what this might be).

Prior Knowledge And Warning

We have examined previously, despite the outlandish nature, the claims of some kind of elite response team that is constantly prepared to depart to a crash site in order to recover the remains of these mystery vehicles, as well as any occupants that might have been onboard.

What’s more, those who have made these claims have also stated that in many of these recovery missions, the unites were given ample warning of impact several hours before it happened. For example, journalist, Derrick Gough, claimed to have come into possession of such documents given to him by an anonymous source connected to the UK military. These documents told of a top-secret program that went back to the Reagan-Thatcher era that kept recovery units constantly alert for deployments to UFO crash sites.

These units would not only recover any debris that might be at the respective locations, but they would also ensure that it was off-limits to the public for as long as was necessary. Quite often, these recovery units were given ample prior warning of UFOs before they arrived.

A picture from the US Navy showing a pyramid-shaped UFO

A picture from the US Navy showing a pyramid-shaped UFO

If we return our focus to Gari Jones’ investigation for a moment, it is interesting that he has radar evidence of spotter planes – just like Caz Clarke claimed she had seen – of them circling the region where the alleged crash took place three days before the incident. Did they really have prior warning of an approximate “arrival” time of this apparently otherworldly craft? If so, how are such objects picked up, where are they coming from, and who exactly is tracking them and for what purpose?

Incidentally, Gough would attempt to pass this information on to the police. He would claim that shortly after he had done so (after making copies for himself) he began to receive bizarre phone calls, and even had his office set on fire. He would eventually pass the files and the rest of his research on the case to leading UFO researcher, the late Tony Dodd.

Just What Happened Over The Smilog Woods?

Given the eye-witness testimony, the fact that there are seemingly multiple corroborating witnesses, with some as far away as the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, and the video and photographic evidence of the alleged crash site, and the other alleged similar cases from years previously, we should perhaps take the claims that something untoward occurred that evening. Whether that something involved an extraterrestrial vehicle or not is open to debate, but that something out of the ordinary did take place surely isn’t.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing details put forward is that the object arrived here not from the far reaches of space, but through some kind of portal or wormhole. Many other researchers have come to similar conclusions, and the research teams at Skinwalker Ranch have also stated their belief that a portal or gateway of sorts operates over the land. Perhaps these portals are greater in number than even the most open-minded person could imagine. Or perhaps they come into existence through technological manipulation by advanced entities from elsewhere.

There is also the notion that the military – or at least a certain branch of it – had prior knowledge of the strange vehicle’s arrival. If this was true in this instance, might it be true of other UFO encounters? Might they intercept more vehicles than we think before they have a chance to be seen much less reported? And if so, why? Is there a genuine threat we need to be protected from? Just what might this alleged military unit know about these strange futuristic aerial vehicles?

The video below looks at this fascinating UFO case in a little more detail, one that is quite possibly the most intriguing and important encounter of the contemporary era.


1 The Pentrych UFO Incident, The Paranormal Scholar, YouTube
2 Military are hiding the facts about Pentrych UFO Sightings,” says author, Frederick Bennett, The Cardiffian
3 The strange night in a Welsh field involving ‘huge UFO lights, explosions and military planes’, Robert Dalling, Wales Online, October 22nd, 2018
4 Response From Resources Body for Wales To Gari Jones, 20th March 2018
5 The truth is up there: Spooky dashcam footage shows a ‘UFO’ hovering over a busy Scottish motorway, Mail Online, March 12th 2016
6 A Covert Agenda: The British Government’s UFO Top Secrets Exposed, Nick Redfern, ISBN 9781931 044707 (page 258-261)

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

Fact Checking/Disclaimer

Fact Checking

The stories, accounts, and discussions in this article may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports, accounts and documentation available as provided by witnesses and publications - sources/references are published above.

We do not aim to prove nor disprove any of the theories, cases, or reports.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.  Our motto always is, "you make up your own mind".  Read more about how we fact-check content here.

Copyright & Republishing Policy

The entire article and the contents within are published by, wholly-owned and copyright of UFO Insight.  The author does not own the rights to this content. 

You may republish short quotes from this article with a reference back to the original UFO Insight article here as the source. You may not republish the article in its entirety.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to our free newsletter and join our subscribers. Receive the latest articles directly in your inbox weekly.

If you don't like what you read, you can unsubscribe at any time.

1 Comment

UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the content of the comments below.  We take care of filtering profanity as much as we can.  The opinions and discussion in the comments below are not the views of UFO Insight, they are the views of the individual posting the comment.

Newest comments appear first, oldest at the bottom. Post a new comment!

  • Graham Westwood says:

    Hi, yes informative your article on the Pentyrch UFO crash.
    Like to add they the military and UK government no way would they come clean about truth of what is going on and alleged crashes of such. They have the evidence of course like the US do also. While reading your report article clicked my own ideas of what I believe to be so such as portal or gateway too.
    As for military exercise operation I don’t buy that as such a operation could be carried out in more suitable surrounding like Salisbury for instance.
    A special unit again mirrors my own idea that when such a incident happens re crash, they the unit are summoned to site having been drilled for such a operation.
    The national security act comes into play etc.
    Ministry of defence etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *