You never expect such a thing to happen to you.
However, just like those rare individuals who have experienced near-death experiences, I thought my final moments had arrived.
It was all so sudden, I had no time to prepare, and everything was unfolding before my eyes, far to fast to even think or react!
For a few micro seconds which seem to last an eternity, and can see vividly in my memory till this day. I fully expected I was about to be incinerated by an advanced extra terrestrial death ray of some sort.
Let me start at the beginning:
It was a damp cold and dreary winters morning in January I think. Misty and as the darkness died away, it was replaced by a bizarre half daylight conditions which you only find at that time of the year.
It was as though the night just didn’t want to relinquish its domain, and hung on in there by not allowing the full light of day to totally dominate the dawn.
That morning I was heading to the Rhonda Vallie’s of South Wales, a journey on a sunnier days I would look forward to making. Today however, I would have preferred to have stayed in my nice warm bed.
It was the sort of weather which was ideal for dozing and dreaming, especially of those warmer and sunnier days soon to come.
As I headed north up the M5 motorway the traffic was particularly light and my Toyota’s cruse control was set at 57 mph.
I cruised through the elevated section of the Gordano valley and had more than 1/4 of a mile of clear road both in front and behind me.
If only the roads where always like this.
It was as if the majority of the usually heavy traffic you would jostle with had chosen my preference. That they were still at peace with their mattress and in temporary hibernation till the bleak and inclement weather succumbed.
As I drove across the giant Avon bridge which dexterously spanned the river that lead to the great Bristol docks I could only just see a faint glimpse of the water in the river that ran cold and silently below.
The weather conditions would be best described as glumly and for the second time that morning I wished I had stayed in bed.
As I drove over the apex of the expanse my engine began to idle and relax as gravity took over for decent from the bridge.
I repositioned to the left hand slow lane because shortly I would have to leave the M5 for the comparatively short M49 which was the shortcut to the mighty M4 Severn bridge crossing.
It sort of cut the corner at a very strategic point between two major motorways and saved a lot of congestion if Wales was your destination.
I had only used the full 5 mile stretch of the M49 a couple of times and had paid little attention to it although I was aware that industrial sites were starting to spring up in the area.
We were only a meter or two above high tide level of the Severn estuary and approximately a mile and half along, and thats when it happened.
Directly in front of me three GIANT flying saucers appeared very suddenly out of the bleak morning light.
They were a sort of silver color, huge and hung silently and threateningly spinning above the ground at the hight of a house.
These UFOs must be the vanguard of an invasion, and a thousand negative thoughts sprinted through my mind.
It was to late to stop or turn around!
I could see they were to the side of the road, so my best chance for survival I thought was to drive on past and hope that they did pursue me.
I put my foot down as far as possible and my little Toyota started to accelerate, but not fast enough to outrun them!
Even if they didn’t case after me, with so many of them invading I supposed I wouldn’t be safe anywhere, non of us would!
I supposed there was a chance that they could be peaceful, and thoughts and possibilities of how life was about to change bombarded my conscious mind?
They didn’t seem to be paying any attention to me, but compared to them I was insignificant and of no threat what so ever.
It was all happening so fast, and I would soon be driving parallel to them.
It was at that point that this deadly threat to humanity started to grow columns beneath them.
At first I could barley see them.
As I reached the closest point the columns became more visible and quickly transformed the flying saucers above into large liquid or gas storage tanks!
The whole incident had lasted ten seconds AT MOST, and the treat to mankind and the world had past.
Since that day I have passed the oil tanks so many times and told this story to my passengers (generally my family) often.
They find the story incredible, and that such oil tanks could for a moment have been mistaken for UFOs.
Today they have become discolored and aged, and I would agree.
However, then I presume they were very new and in those special light condition wrapped in mist the lower part of the tanks PERFECTLY matched and faded invisibly into the the mist and fog that hugged them so tightly.
The domed roofs are still a slightly different color which created this once-in-a-lifetime illusion.
I certainly have a creative imagination, but not good enough to dream up this.
If you’re in the area, or travel the M49 the tanks can be clearly seen on the left hand side of the road as you drive north.
The roadside trees however have got much bigger.