A new book claims that an ‘Angel’ which is said to have appeared above one of the first battles in World War I, saving the lives of fleeing British soldiers, might have been an extraterrestrial visitor – a flying saucer on a mission to ‘alter the future’.
The Angel of Mons was described as either St George, St Miichael, angels, or crowds of angelic warriors as it fended off advancing Germans at the Battle of Mons in 1914 – and was reported at the time by the Evening Standard.
The story was swiftly turned into myth by the soldiers themselves – and became a staple of parish magazines, and cited as evidence that God was on the British side.
But a new book, ‘UFOs of the First World War’, says that many UFO enthusiasts now believe that the ‘angel’ was an alien visitor – shaping itself into a form that would have been recognisable to the exhausted British soldiers fleeing overwhelming German might on the battlefield.
The battle had been one of the first in which the British faced the Germans – and despite retreating, only 1,600 lives were lost.
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.’
‘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.’
Nigel Watson, author of ‘UFOs of the First World War says, ‘Even today the legend is swathed in controversy. Theories about it range from it being a myth based on Machen’s story, the product of hallucinations due to stress and exhaustion, real angelic visitations, ghosts, swamp gas, airships or alien UFOs projecting or shaping themselves to the expectations of the witnesses.’
Others claim that the story is simple fiction. The popular author, Arthur Machen claimed that this legend was created by his fictional ‘The Bowmen’ story published in The Evening News, 29 September 1914.
In it, British soldiers call on St George for aid, and are helped by ghostly bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt. One fact that lends weight to this theory is that few reports of the incident exist before Machen’s story.
‘UFOs of the First World War: Phantom Airships, Balloons, Aircraft and other Mysterious Aerial Phenomena’, History Press.