UFO authors suspect that the famous “Angel of Mons” – described as either St George, St Michael, angels, or crowds of angelic warriors, may in fact have been extraterrestrial.
Many soldiers credited the strange apparitions with saving their lives – and it became a staple of parish magazines. The battle had been one of the first in which the British faced the Germans – and despite retreating, only 1,600 lives were lost.
Decades later, the story is still “swathed in controversy” according to Nigel Watson, author of the Haynes Manual for UFO Investigations, with some attributing the ‘Angel’ to a short story from the Evening Standard, others to British intelligence.
Kevin Goodman, a UFO expert and author of books of mysterious encounters in the UK, says
“The UFO enigma was unknown during the First World War conflict; the troops would relate to an event such as this in the only way they could, by thinking that they had a sign from God.”
Cas Lake, the radio presenter of the Unexplained Show says that both answers might be true, in a way – what the culture of 1914 would have described as ‘angels’, we would describe as extraterrestrials.
“My belief would be,” she says, that “If these angels did appear it was to protect and alter the future, and maybe also to help the belief in Angels. I certainly believe spiritual beings can intervene when needed.”
Among UFO enthusiasts, many believe that UFOs and angels are the same thing – or that sightings of angels have been of extraterrestrials, or even vice versa. A quick trawl of the web finds dozens of sites devotes to the topic.
Goodman, a writer based in Warminster, says that it is a case of cultural change: “The phenomenon has taken many guises throughout history. In times of stress, fear and possible imminent death one finds solace in something that we can relate to.”
Albert S Rosales says that there may have been several forces at work – many of them human. Rosales runs a website devoted to sightings of humanoid aliens and angels, and says, “Were
supernatural entities seen specifically at Mons? Perhaps. In every war there are such stories which remain between the realm of folklore and truth. Perhaps they are later exaggerated by religiousauthorities and maybe even the Government possibly to boost morale among the troops.
t’s clear that the soldiers themselves believed that something supernatural had intervened.
In Harold Begbie’s On the Side of the Angels, he quotes an anonymous Lance-Corporal who testified that during the retreat on 28 August 1914: “I could see quite plainly in mid-air a strange light which seemed to be quite distinctly outlined and was not a reflection of the moon, nor were there any clouds in the neighbourhood. The light became brighter and I could see quite distinctly three shapes, one in the centre having what looked like outspread wings, the other two were not so large, but were quite plainly distinct from the centre one. They appeared to have a long loose-hanging garment of a golden cloak.”
Rob Waugh - Yahoo