Wales UFO sightings
At 00:40 AM, June 8, 2008, a South Wales Police helicopter with three experienced crew onboard was above MOD St Athan, an RAF base, waiting to land in order to refuel. The Control Tower from the nearby Cardiff International Airport had recently given the helicopter clearance to do so as they had no reports nor radar evidence of any other craft in the vicinity.
Whilst awaiting permission to land and hovering above the air base at a height of about 500 ft (150 m), the crew noticed a brightly lit object above them. The crew described it as "flying saucer shaped". Then suddenly, the object hurtled down towards them at "great speed." The pilot quickly took evasive action, banking the aircraft sharply. The object then sped away and the helicopter crew decided to give chase.
They pursued the object at close to the helicopter's maximum speed out over the Bristol Channel until, not far from the North Devon Coast, their fuel level, which was the main reason they happened to be above the RAF base in the first place, became critical and they were forced to give up the pursuit.
While the helicopter was equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, the object was not captured on film. The crew have since stated that the object could not be seen with night vision goggles but was "clearly visible" to the naked eye.
The object was also sighted by George Withrington, a retired RAF glider pilot from St Mellons, Cardiff. He reported seeing something "Peculiar with lots of flashing lights" later that same day while reading in his garden at about 16:20 on June 8.
"I was looking at an aeroplane overhead when I spotted this thing that was in the corner of my eye. It shifted direction very quickly, in the blink of an eye. I looked at it for quite a while, I was watching it for at least 10 minutes. It flew off towards the east, towards Newport."
The event received wide publicity in the local and national media, including a front page column and full page spread in The Sun newspaper. A source for The Sun said: "They [the crew] are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they know what they saw."
A spokesman for South Wales Police said:
"The crew are very experienced and responded in a professional manner in relation to what they saw. In today's skies, there are a wide variety of aircraft which come in a range of different shapes and sizes and in all probability, this sighting has just confirmed that one of these was in the area at the relevant time."
South Wales Police have officially, and vigorously, denied that the helicopter pursued the object.
At present, the incident remains unexplained.