A Coroner's Diary / Pentyrch UFO Incident

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

A Coroner's Diary / Pentyrch UFO Incident

About the show

In the first half, Donna Francart, a deputy coroner who worked in investigations involving suspicious, violent, or unexplained deaths joined George Knapp to talk about the challenges she faced in her profession, including her relationships with both the living and the dead. Francart suggested that her interest in working with the dead may be rooted in events in her early life: as a child, she witnessed the discovery of a drowning victim's body; when she was a teenager, one of her uncles was murdered. As an adult, Francart started working at a funeral home, where she said she began to have strange experiences. In addition to hearing unexplained voices in the building, she reported, she was often followed home by the spirits of the dead. During one such encounter as she lay in bed one night, Francart remembered, the head of a man hovered over her bed before leaving her room.

After becoming a deputy coroner, Francart was assigned to death scenes that often indicated violence had taken place, including suicide. It was important to be as observant and as unobtrusive as possible in her work, she noted: in addition to preserving potential crime scenes, doing so also helped ensure that she would be on good terms with the spirits of the deceased. Although notifying families of the passing of the their loved ones was a routine part of her work, Francart said it never became less of a difficult task. One way she coped with such a sad responsibility, she recalled, was to try to find some meaningful aspect of a family's loss. Among the lessons she believes everyone could benefit from are the importance of being health conscious, being kind and loving towards others, and becoming an organ donor.

The phones were opened near the end of the second hour. One listener from Omaha related the story of her own mother's passing, which was preceded by her appearing and disappearing at the listener's home. Another caller in Las Vegas expressed his frustration with trying to reconcile his religious beliefs with apparent signs from his father who had died.


In 2016, an enormous pyramid-shaped UFO was witnessed flying over the rural Welsh village of Pentyrch before it crashed into nearby woods. In the latter half of the show, filmmakers and creators of The Paranormal Scholar Laura and Erik Rowton discussed the case, which they say involved the intervention of the British military and NATO. Furthermore, the couple charged, efforts to investigate the incident have been met with resistance, obfuscation, and dishonesty by authorities, leading some to believe Pentyrch is one of the greatest UFO mysteries of all time.

A number of suspicious factors caused the Rowtons to believe the police and military suppressed information about the case. First, in the days leading up to the UFO sighting, several heavy-duty military aircraft patrolled the area including Pentyrch, shaking houses and frightening residents. After the sighting, they said, additional aircraft—including those belonging to NATO—arrived, as though the incident was anticipated. Authorities were aggressive in their efforts to silence and intimidate witnesses, according to Caz Clarke, a key figure in the Rowtons' documentary film about the Pentyrch case. And in their response to the couple's requests for information on the case, the British government has denied access to relevant documents, but has not denied that such documentation exists.

The Rowtons took questions and comments from listeners in the last hour, including a caller in Australia who shared an event similar to that at Pentyrch near Melbourne in 1966. Another listener calling from New Jersey wondered how the couple chose which cases to investigate; Laura explained that some cases were discovered by her or Erik through their own research, while others were relayed to them by others. Those cases that offer an opportunity to speak with firsthand witnesses are the most likely to be pursued, she said.


George Knapp shares items of recent interest, including cautionary advice from renowned conservationist Jane Goodall:

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