UFO Manifestations During the Welsh Religious Revival of 1904-1905
By Dr. Greg Little
Portions of this article are adapted from Andrew Collins’ 2012 book Lightquest.
Many modern ufologists have a disdain for UFO-related events that do not involve alleged crashes of objects, silvery disks, or flying objects that can’t be immediately “attributed” to extraterrestrials. But the history of UFOs involves countless events that can be considered to be paranormal, mystical, religious, or supernatural. John Keel of course detailed many such events in his books, but Keel’s writings were then and still remain well outside mainstream ufology. Ufology remains dominated by the idea that “genuine” UFOs are physical extraterrestrial craft, thus anything that doesn’t fit that narrow interpretation is simply discarded as “irrelevant” or ignored. This is one reason why alternative explanations of UFOs are ridiculed. That is, if a proposed explanation isn’t extraterrestrial, then it can’t be correct.
In his book Lightquest, Collins detailed numerous events that support the idea that UFO manifestations are the result of intelligent energy forms that are related to specific locations with certain geological characteristics. For lack of a better term, the word plasma has been adapted to provide us with a sense of describing these intelligent energy forms. There are many manifestations and recorded events detailing how these forms manifest, but one important series of events is often overlooked. It is best known as the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905. It has been detailed many times by writers loosely linked to ufology but remains largely unknown to “modern” ufologists.
The event is considered to be the largest Christian revival in Wales in the 20th Century and it triggered similar revivals in other parts of the world. The precise beginnings of the revivals are unclear but several churches in Wales began having successful revival-like events in early 1904. There are many accounts of visions and conversions, but the main focus of the revival centered on a visionary preacher named Mary Jones, who was active in several churches in northwest Wales, especially in a chapel at Egryn, Gwynedd. Jones was 35-years old, a farmer’s wife, and she had suffered serious bereavement from a string of deaths of her son, sister, and parents. She turned to God for understanding and solace and soon began having visions. She reported physical appearances of Jesus and even the Devil, but most remarkable, is that when she preached, manifestations of glowing orbs of light, flames, and solid, gleaming, multi-colored globes appeared nearby. After she preached, witnesses reported that strange stars would follow her shining a light on her. These phenomena were reported at nearly all of the revivals she participated in.
The total number of such manifestations isn’t known, but it is known that literally thousands of people witnessed the light manifestations over dozens of different occasions. There are numerous witness accounts in existence including several from individuals who attended the astonishing events and almost immediately afterward had their own private encounters with powerful light forms. Newspaper reporters, skeptics, and the general public all witnessed the light manifestations. In his book, Collins reported that researchers had identified 21 different light manifestation events during revival meetings where the lights, objects, or flames could be plotted geographically. All of these occurred less than a half-mile from the Mochras Fault, a geological feature running between Harlech and Barmouth. Witnesses reported that the lights were always responding to Jones’ appearance. Intriguingly, because of this Jones became known as “Mary of the Lights.” During her first sermon at Egryn Chapel, it was reported that a huge arch of light rose up behind her from the sea and expanded to the surrounding hills. Then a star appeared from above and lit the entire chapel with a flood of light.
As with all revivals, it simply ran out of energy. It ended in Wales in 1906 but spread elsewhere. Jones died in 1935. Overall, this is one of the strangest—yet one of the best documented—of light manifestations occurring in conjunction with religious gatherings. It ranks close to the Fatima and Zeitoun, Egypt apparitions.