Mark Olly’s new book, Europe’s Roswell: 40 Years Since Impact, is a thorough and engaging examination of the Llanilar UFO event in Wales in 1983, writes NEIL NIXON
Review of Europe’s Roswell: 40 Years Since Impact
Mark Olly’s book Europe’s Roswell: 40 Years Since Impact is a deep dive into the Llanilar UFO crash retrieval. For those unfamiliar with a story the author has already presented as a documentary film, this is not the other cases frequently touted as British Roswell equivalents – the 1974 Bala “skycrash” or famous 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident.
Europe’s Roswell largely concerns itself with events beginning in January 1983.
Touted elsewhere in the author’s own blurb as the night when “the sleepy Welsh village of Llanilar near Aberystwyth was buzzed by a strange flying craft, which hit trees, scattered shiny metal debris over four fields and flew off apparently unaffected”.
Perhaps, more precisely the village (a small settlement close to Aberystwyth) narrowly escaped the debris shower, which was scattered across nearby farmland.
The current publication marks a timely revival of the story, 40 years after the main events.
So, this isn’t a full-scale crash retrieval so much as an outlier amongst such cases wherein the strange object concerned had a problem, maybe a brush with the landscape, didn’t crash, but was – partially – at least retrieved.
It’s that final element that gives Europe’s Roswell a near unique quality amongst similar tales of strange debris and stranger events.
Bizarrely there is so much retrieved debris in this case it’s found itself in multiple homes and one response amongst the investigators has been to safeguard some fragments by sealing them inside key rings and work collectively to ensure the wide distribution of this evidence.
Bizarrely also, given the truly enigmatic nature of the events, there’s been little interest beyond a hardcore of investigators and the insatiably curious about all things UFO.
It’s to Mark Olly’s credit, then, that he’s gathered what’s known about the case, pushed contacts to get two separate scientific investigations of sections of the debris (spoiler alert, both investigations feature as appendix items, they’re both very detailed but don’t exactly agree with each other!)
The dearth of eyewitnesses in the dark depths of a Welsh winter didn’t exactly help the subsequent investigation.
So, other than fleeting press coverage at the time (reproduced in the book) this is the clearest account you’re likely to read.
The known details of the case are fleshed out here with the author’s own history of UFO interest, some other intriguing and little-known sightings, and enough close-up photographs of the enigmatic debris to support the detailed discussions of the abundant evidence.
It’s spoiling nothing here to say the debris is a genuine conundrum. Different parts of the debris appear to serve different purposes, there’s metal and resin, some informed speculation on what purposes it might serve and little certainty on any of it.
Amongst some of those involved there’s clearly a will to believe that something so hard to define might be the ultimate proof that’s eluded UFO investigators for years.
If that were already established it’s unlikely that your first contact with the truth would be this review on this site, so let’s just say that Europe’s Roswell serves best as your own entry into a genuine mystery, a true cosmic outlier of a case and a series of events that would probably benefit from wider interest, and a range of opinions.
Easily read at one sitting, but not easily forgotten, this is a case that’s begging more people to come forward.
As Mark Olly himself says “One thing is for certain, as of writing this book if anyone out there does know the truth about all this, they are still not saying.”