Seacadet © Roo Lewis

"Port Talbot UFO Investigation Club is not a study of UFO sightings but instead uses the phenomena as a starting point to explore the people, landscape and folklore of the town."

Artist: Roo Lewis
Project: Port Talbot Investigation Club

Book published by Gost

Instagram / Website

Port Talbot Cymric Choir © Roo Lewis
I decided to attend a choir rehearsal I heard was taking place one evening at Wesley Chapel, Taibach. As I approached the chapel, I could hear the singing getting louder and louder so I followed it through the door. There were about thirty men in a circle singing to one another. When I left, I walked out past the chapel again and wondered how many people had been there over the last 150 years hearing the same sounds of industry and singing.

Washing Line © Roo Lewis
The fine silt that covers the town when the furnaces open is called ‘fallout.’ There were up to three sirens before they opened the furnace. The first was a fifteen minute warning, the second was ten minutes and the third was five minutes. When the furnace opens a lot of iron ore dust came out in a big orange cloud. If you had washing on the line you had time to get it in before it was affected by the dust. Some of the kids used to jump walls to get their neighbour’s washing in if they were out. You can still see it at night when the sky lights up orange.
-Susan Perkins, Margam resident.

Captain Beany © Roo Lewis
In 1991 Barry Kirk legally changed his name to his superhero persona ‘Captain Beany.’
The Captain runs the world's only baked bean museum from his council flat in Sandfields, Port Talbot. Since his first charity event in the mid 80s (sitting for 100 hours in a baked bean- filled bath) he has raised over £100,000 for good causes. Beany is well known in the town and elsewhere with numerous television appearances. When I photographed The Captain, I noticed his head was tattooed with drawings of beans each one initialledone of his charity stunts where patrons could donate money in order to be immortalised.

"Over a period of two years Roo Lewis photographed the Welsh town of Port Talbot which, according to actor Michael Sheen, has an ‘extremely high number of UFO sightings’. However, the resulting book Port Talbot UFO Investigation Club is not a study of UFO sightings but instead uses the phenomena as a starting point to explore the people, landscape and folklore of the town."


Pancho © Roo Lewis
Mike ‘Pancho’ Locke rowing in Port Talbot harbour. Mike is part of the Dirty Sanchez crew who rose to fame in the early 2000s performing stunts on MTV. A Port Talbot native, Pancho now runs a popular streetwear and fashion brand with town ‘godfather’ Nigel Hunt.

Miss Wales © Roo Lewis
Miss Wales 2019/2020, Gabriella Jukes, on top of Mynydd Dinas overlooking Baglan Bay power station.

Port Talbot LA Skies © Roo Lewis
A view at 8pm from Mynydd Dinas overlooking the town.

Jonny Lovejet © Roo Lewis
Jonny Lovejet in the dunes wearing a thermal radiation suit similar to that used in the steelworks. This was shot when some Saharan dust clouds hit the UK giving the sky this wild orangeade pink.
Late summer, 1988. A small, bright light moves slowly over the mountain towards the coast, it stops over the steelworks for a few seconds then...flash... it shoots off towards Swansea. I had always had a fascination regarding UFOs and this only made my belief stronger. Fast forward to 2016 when I’m at a customer’s house, someone I had never met previously, I notice he is watching a program about UFOs, so I start to tell him about what I had seen in 1988. He stops me as I talk and asks some questions about the time, date etc...He was travelling into work that night and he was stopped by a bright light above his head, whilst looking at it, it shot off over Swansea...Up until this point his wife had never believed his story but when I told the same thing she said she might just have to start believing it after all.

Sir Terry Allen © Roo Lewis
Sir Terry Allen (b. 1949) of Port Talbotafter living on the streets for over thirty years, Terry recently moved into his own council home organised by the community. Terry is a famous local face normally sporting a cowboy hat and kilt. He helped build the motorway he then slept under for many years, seeing the town throughout the boom years and later in decline. When I asked if he had ever seen any UFO’s, he replied, ‘I’ve seen everything.’
Reservoir © Roo Lewis
Natalie floating on a reservoir overlooking the town. Originally a colliery which supplied coal to the nearby copper works at Taibach, it later flooded to supply water to the docks. The depth is rumoured to be over 100ft and home to many cars which have fallen in and sunk to the bottom.
It was a warm and clear summer night in 1996, during the early hours me and my best friend strolled along the beach promenade...we were both stopped dead in our tracks. In the matter of seconds some sort of aircraft hovered a few metres above our heads, covering the entire sky before shooting off at lightning speed into the distance.
I have thought about that night often in the twenty-seven years since, it probably led to my fascination with the cosmos and the infinite nature of it all. It seems both absurd and arrogant to me that we would think we are alone in the universe/ multiverse.’


Editor : Ecaterina Rusu

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