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The Broad Haven School UFO Incident Wales - 1977 Part 1

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posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:03 PM
This is a UFO case I recall from the mid 1970s as a young boy which featured on BBC’s John Craven’s Newsround ( a popular children’s news show that tackled some serious subjects in the day such as the troubles in Northern Ireland). It rapidly spread to the national news in the UK and even received international coverage. It has eerie similarities to the Westall case in Australia in 1966. However to this day it remains somewhat low key despite it being one of the few UFO cases that was investigated by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) as part of a number of sightings in the area during 1977 that were commonly dubbed “The Broad Haven Triangle”.

Although there are brief mentions of it on this site (if there is more detail I couldn’t find it) and on other websites around the net, the information is fairly sparse and rarely goes into more detail than a brief synopsis. So here goes my first attempt at a full thread on here and I hope you find it informative and worth the effort (this did take hours of investigation).
The story begins on the 4th February 1977. According to the regional newspaper the Western Telegraph of Feb 7th 1977, fourteen children at Broad Haven junior school near Haverfordwest, South Wales, had witnessed a landed UFO in a field close to the school but it was somewhat obscured by shrubbery. The report also confirms that 6 of the youngsters reported seeing a humanoid figure.

A local BUFORA (British UFO Research Association) co-ordinator, Randall Jones Pugh, was telephoned at 4:50pm on the day by one of the children’s parents. Apparently the sighting had frightened the pupils and they were adamant they had something out of the ordinary. The pupil concerned, David Davies described a silver, cigar shaped object the size of a bus, hovering up above the trees as if trying to take off. It seemed to stop for a few seconds and disappeared back behind the tree line again. Davies agreed to accompany Pugh to show him the area where the sighting occurred. However it was now around 6pm, it was raining heavily and the light had all but faded. Given that the alleged landing site was obstructed by a fence bordering a fast flowing stream, Pugh noted the location and decided to make further investigations the following day.

On the Saturday morning (5th Feb 1977) Pugh phoned Hugh Turnbull of the Western Telegraph. Both men accompanied 10 year old David Davies to what was considered to be the landing site. However the search proved fruitless and no tyre marks, tracks or other evidence of anything large being in the area was found. There did, however, appear to be damage to a nearby telegraph pole with the support beam left at an angle. Pugh considered that the heavy rain may have accounted for washing away some traces of evidence but found it implausible that he found nothing at all in the area.

The headmaster, Ralph Llewellyn, and his staff had at first been sceptical of the children’s excited verbal reports and did not make the effort to go outside and investigate. They were eventually convinced the pupils had been shocked by something they had seen. So Llewellyn asked the pupils to sketch and report what they had seen under examination like conditions so they could not compare notes.
Here are some of the descriptions given by the pupils at the time when asked to recount their stories:

David John Davies (10) : said that they were standing at the top end of the school playing field watching a bush where the object was sighted. Philip (Rees) was trying to get a close look when up from the bush popped a cigar-shaped object. It was silvery, bright and humming. It seemed to be tugging . Then we all ran. The time was around 3.35pm as they had just finished school.

Philip James Rees (10) stated that he saw silvery object at ground level around 1.30pm after school dinner and was still there when he went back into school at 2.00pm. “My friends and I asked the headmaster to have a look at the object, but he refused. A couple of my friends saw movement of a figure, but I did not. I was frightened. Two friends, Tudor and David, were very frightened.”

Micheal Mathieson Webb (11) : “It was silver and a cigar shape with a big dome and a red light flashing on top.”
David R. George (9) saw both the object and the humanoid. Initially after 1.00pm and the and then at 3.35pm. He stated that the object was huge and silver-coloured. It was shining and humming, and looked like a saucer with a point. He saw the occupant who was silver suited, and whose features were not seen apart from “odd long” ears. He also said that one boy was so frightened that he cried.

Tudor Owen Lloyd Jones (10): Reported an object at ground level and behind a bush and stated that he saw a “man” and admitted to becoming very scared.

Jeremy Passmore (9) : “I saw the UFO when it was dinner time. It was silvery green and it had a yellowy orange to red colour light. It was a disc at the bottom and a sort of dome on the top with the light on top. It was about 300 yards away. It moved a minute and then disappeared. It did have a noise, but I didn’t hear it. We felt very scared. David George wanted someone to go to the toilet with him. Tudor Jones was nearly crying because he was scared he was going to be disintegrated or something so we all rushed in. Some of our school did not believe us. We tried to make them believe us but they would not.” In answers to specific questions, Jeremy stated that the sighting last not less than 5 minutes, the object was on the ground and he saw a “person” in a silverish suit about 350 yards away.
Here are some of the sketches made

[click to view full size]

continued part II

posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:07 PM
Part II

Schoolmaster -Llewellyn later said that the children were quite adamant they had seen something unusual and he felt confident that they had not colluded in fabricating a story.
Hugh Turnbull decided to run with the story in the Western Telegraph on the 7th of Feb 1977
Excerpt below:
“…the flying saucer was first seen at lunchtime on Friday (Feb 4th 1977), behind a bush about 300 yards from the school. Most of the children give the object a classical saucer shape, though other s have drawn it looking more like a pudding, or even a cigar. Some accounts give it a dome and windows; others say it had a flashing light.
The children say it disappeared and re-appeared from time to time. It was seen by other pupils during the afternoon break and immediately after school. Six of the youngsters say they saw a spaceman with the saucer. He was dressed in the same silvery grey colour as his saucer and – according to some witnesses – had pointed ears like Mr. Spock.
Ten-year old David Ward said “He wasn’t a very tall person, and he didn’t look very nice either.”
RAF Officer, Squadron Leader Timothy Webb was convinced that his son Michael had witnessed a genuine UFO.

On the 17th Feb. one of the teachers, who wished to remain anonymous, stated to BUFORA researcher Pugh, that she had left the school by the side entrance (facing the east) on the day . Something shining had caught her eye. She stopped and could see a large oval shaped object with a slight dome, the colour of shining metal. She also heard a humming noise and the object glided away to the left.
In direct contrast to these fantastic stories, Liz Philpott , one of the administrative staff at the school believed she knew what had happened and it was something much more mundane. She believed the children and other witnesses had seen a tanker of some sort in the adjoining fields.
She wandered down to the nearby Sewerage depot and contacted the site manager. She asked him in confidence to confirm if any of his men had driven a tanker down into the field. His answer was a simple “Absolutely not. No way could we get down there”. They too looked for tracks and tyre marks but could find no evidence of a vehicle or machinery in the field.

Pugh noted that the terrain had a gentle slope but then became very steep in the alleged area of the landing site. A large vehicle would struggle to get into the field and would almost certainly be unable to get out. He also records that the vantage point from where the children saw the alleged UFO they were looking up a rising slop of sparse shrubbery between the trunks of two trees that were growing together.

courtesy Google Earth

A later BBC news programme suggested that the children had seen the rotating arm of a sewerage macerating machine. Pugh dismisses this entirely as the machinery was below eye level from the point of observation. His 1977 report for Flying Saucer Review was summed up with his assertion that the story was factually correct and that if fear was added as a criterion of such an incident being real that one pupil had became hysterical and fled so quickly that he’d fell and bruised his leg.

continued in Part III

posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:10 PM
Part III

Taken alone this story could be dismissed as the furtive imaginations of young schoolboys watching too much Doctor Who and Star Trek. (Star Wars and Close Encounters had not yet arrived in Britain in early 1977).
However this was only the beginning of strange sightings in the area. Far too many too note but here are a few.
A farmer’s wife Pauline Coombs reported a number of unearthly things to the Western Telegraph in a story appearing on April 28th 1977. She reported her car had been chased by a “flying football”, and then on the Saturday (23rd) in the early hours of the morning she and her husband, Billy, were watching a late night movie when the saw a large faceless spaceman at the window to their farmhouse. While later investigators were sceptical of some of the more sensational claims, others were impressed by the genuine terror displayed by the couple at the time. A policeman who responded to their emergency call said (in 1996) that in all his 26 years service “that was the most frightened family I have ever been to see.” There was no doubt the couple had seen something unusual, but what?”

Also In April 1977 Rosa Granville, who ran the Haven Fort Hotel in nearby Little Haven, was in bed at around 2.30am. She was agitated and awoken by strange noise and lights. She peered outside into the darkness and described seeing an object like an "upside-down saucer" in the field next to the hotel. If that wasn’t odd enough she also states she saw two 'faceless humanoid' creatures with pointed heads. Grenville told an interviewer in "There was so much heat - I was by the window - my face felt burned. There was light coming from it and flames of all colours. Then creatures came out of these flames, that are what I don't understand. I shouted 'Hello, what are you doing there' - they looked faceless. I couldn't see their features."

There were many other tales of UFOs and humanoid figures from the area in 1977. One came from a Stephen Taylor (17) from Upper Lethyr, Penycwm a few miles north of Broad Haven .He reported encountering a humanoid over six feet tall wearing a sort of semi-transparent suit on March 13, 1977. So close to the being was he that he said “I was so frightened…I just took a swing at it and ran”. Earlier in the evening about 9pm he had spotted “a pear drop shape, glowing orange”. Eventually he arrived scared out of his wits at his friend’s home to be met with disbelief.

In 1996, it seemed the mystery was solved. The Western Mail carried a report from a local businessman Glyn Edwards claiming he had wandered around the area in a silver suit in 1977 as a prank."Alien sightings were all the rage, so I took a stroll around for a bit of fun," he is reported as saying. However, Mrs Granville remains insistent that she had not been the subject of a hoax.
Not to be outdone in 2007 James Carlson from Albuquerque, New Mexico, wrote into the Fortean Times. He was stationed at the US Naval Facility in Brawdy (which was also an RAF base) in the 1980s. In his letter Carlson tells how one of his colleagues, who was identified only by the name Steve, saw him reading a book about paranormal incidents. The book quotes an RAF officer, who states the descriptions of "alien" suits were in no way similar to military uniforms at the time. However Carlson was told by Steve that the fire fighting gear used by American military personnel on the base was very similar. He said, "Steve told me that while serving on the fire team of his division, he would often don the asbestos suit and oxygen breathing apparatus provided.

"Fire preparation drills, even those conducted at night would require members of the fire team to search the areas around the base, and Steve claimed that during these drills he became responsible for two of the alien sightings." Steve had never came forward however. Perhaps he shared suits with Glyn Edwards?
During the summer of 1977 the MP for Pembrokeshire Nicholas Edwards was inundated with letters about UFOs in the area and requested a discreet enquiry from the MoD. Dr. John Gilbert the Minister of Defence, unusually, ordered the enquiry. The investigation was carried out by one Flt. Lt .Cowan who spoke to Mrs. Granville at the Haven Fort Hotel. He examined the landing site but "could find no evidence of a landing" and could offer no further explanation. His report quoted that the area was over flown by many civilian and military craft and that perhaps a prankster was at work as there had been speculation in the neighbourhood.
He added finally that, "should a UFO arrive at RAF Brawdy we will charge normal landing fees and inform you immediately".

The case was dismissed as not of defence significance.

continued in Part IV

edit on 14-8-2012 by mirageman because: formatting

posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:14 PM
Part IV

So there you have it.

It’s not a blockbuster UFO story like a Roswell or a Rendlesham Forest. There are no tales of abduction , no little grey men, and no evidence other than eye witness testimony. Some of which may be exaggerated or even fabricated by people seeking attention. However something odd really was going on from late winter into the summer of 1977 around Broad Haven?

The children at the school do seem to have seen something but the question has to be what?
Could it have a simple mundane answer? Was it just a silly prankster (or number of them) wandering around during all times of the day and night in a silver suit? Could it perhaps have been some kind of secret military exercise in the area that we are still not aware of? Or did something stranger happen in South Wales in 1977?

I can't really decide on this one. Does anyone else have any information about the case?

Flying Saucer Review Vol 23 No.1 1977
Western Telegraph Feb 7th 1977
Britain’s Closest Encounters (UK DVD)
Google Earth
National Archives document ref: defe-24-2043-1

posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:35 PM
Well put together although, the number of witnesses to the school incident changes depending on the source. The most common figure I have seen quoted is 11 although I suspect the vagaries of the various reports are probably at fault there. Some reports also claim that the students, annoyed at not being taken seriously by their staff, took a petition to the local police station and it was that action that prompted the head Teacher to investigate further. Again, it can be hard to ascertain exact facts as stories almost inevitably mutate fairly quickly via the press.

I think we can clear all the "men in suits" sightings up bar one. No-one has ever come forward. to claim it was them who spooked the Coombs family and they did claim that the figure was close on seven feet tall. If you are interested there's a book called The Uninvited.......... by Clive Harold that goes into detail about the whole shenanigans surrounding the Coombs family and their farm "Ripperstone". Since then the Coombs family have flat out refused to speak about their experiences and if you read the book, you can imagine why, it really does contain some serious weird# in terms of events.

A couple of things strike me as interesting about the whole slew of cases from the "Welsh Triangle". Whilst some have come out to admit they did the whole "Men in Suits" thing, no-one else have ever, to my knowledge wavered from their stories they told back then and they haven't grown exponentially in their "weirdness". In fact, if you ask around the area there were a lot more sightings of unusual lights and "craft" by people who never made official reports. On a personal level, I had a relative live in those parts in the late 80s early 90s and visiting them the after hours pub talk never hinted at some elaborate hoax and joke, if anything, people were still very reticent to speak openly about what they saw, or at least thought they saw, outside of company with whom they felt comfortable.

Anyway, good stuff

posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:56 PM
Good thread. Interesting, well-researched and compelling. I

I have known about this incident for some time but haven't researched it very thoroughly. Thanks for the info.

Here is the documentary that you listed in your sources:

parts 1, 2, and 3

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 01:09 AM
reply to post by mirageman

Was there agriculture in the area? Might they have mistaken one of these for a UFO?

We will never know of course.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 06:51 AM
I read a book several years ago called 'The Uninvited ' by Clive Harold. An amazing book about the series of unexplained sightings and Close Encounters that happend on the Pembroke coast in the late 1970's. A great book for any UK UFO buff.
I guarantee once you have read it you will driving down to Pembroke to see Stack Rocks and stare for hours with binoculars!!

I was studying Geology at Uni in the early 90's and happened to visit on a field trip, the exact area the book was written about.
I got talking with a local and slipped a UFO comment into the conversation. He was more than happy to tell me alot of VERY interesting stories about what happened. I had and still have no reason to disbelieve him.
Basically from what I remember (20 years ago this was told to me) they witnessed the what they said were gold suited figures in the middle of the night, enter their house. The rooms were lit up with bright light. They saw them from the top of the stairs. Then their Dad woke and and witnessed it, but as he went downstairs with shotgun in hand, the hole thing ended and the figures and light disappeared except the TV and radio were both on. They said the weird thing was the TV had been broken for a while.
They didnt say if it was reported or not, but they did say there was lots of ufo activity around the area at the time (as per reported in the book)
Usualy if someone told you a story like that your BS detectors would go up! But when these lads told me this story, they were visably shaken. many years after the event.

I've read quite a bit recently about how some of it was a hoax.
Apparently one of the farmers recently admitted that he dressed in some silver fire suit and scared a couple of locals. (there is a video of his interview somewhere but i cant find it. Plenty of info if you google)
Because of this admission, it was then blanket decided that it was all a hoax. However, the farmer said he only did it because of the other reports in the area of UFO landings and figures in silver suits and was having a laugh.
as far as i am aware non of the other reports were debunked.

I have basically re-posted this from my post on another relevant thread - Thread link
edit on 15/8/12 by Ashishin_no1 because: corrections

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 07:11 AM
reply to post by cripmeister

If you'd actually read the OP or bothered to watch the videos you'd know that explanation is a total non starter. Aside from the terrain being totally unsuitable, they checked with the local sewerage works who made it plain it wasn't them.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:25 AM

Originally posted by FireMoon
reply to post by cripmeister

If you'd actually read the OP or bothered to watch the videos you'd know that explanation is a total non starter. Aside from the terrain being totally unsuitable, they checked with the local sewerage works who made it plain it wasn't them.

The photo is of a manure spreader, farmers use tractors to tow them.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:34 AM
reply to post by cripmeister

Looks like an American muck spreader.

In the UK they are generaly Green or Brown.
I'm country folk and i've never seen a silver polished, non-rusty Silage spreader :-)

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:46 AM
Is this the same case that Colin Wilson covered? If it is he says it was far stranger than what we have here.

At a local farm they found cows in the hey loft and had to bring in equipment to get them down. Later a number of cows were found down the road at another farm having somehow passed through a locked gate and traveling some miles down the road without being seen.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:49 AM
reply to post by Ashishin_no1

There arnt many fancy muck spreaders over here. Most are the old wagon type with chain feed and blade slingers on back. And most look like they are 100 years old, wood and rusty iron.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:51 AM

Originally posted by cripmeister
reply to post by mirageman

Was there agriculture in the area? Might they have mistaken one of these for a UFO?

We will never know of course.

That looks like a swamp gas tank

Probably shoots fireballs as well.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 11:06 AM

Originally posted by Ashishin_no1
reply to post by cripmeister

Looks like an American muck spreader.

In the UK they are generaly Green or Brown.
I'm country folk and i've never seen a silver polished, non-rusty Silage spreader :-)

The one in the photo is from Spain. There were many European manufacturers making silvery-looking (galvanized steel) spreaders in the 1970's. Here is a German GULLEFASS from 1977, I assume it would have been a lot shinier 35 years ago.

Some even have ladders attached to them which resemble what we see in some of the school boys drawings.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 11:15 AM

Originally posted by cripmeister

Originally posted by FireMoon
reply to post by cripmeister

If you'd actually read the OP or bothered to watch the videos you'd know that explanation is a total non starter. Aside from the terrain being totally unsuitable, they checked with the local sewerage works who made it plain it wasn't them.

The photo is of a manure spreader, farmers use tractors to tow them.

The point was, when interviewed one of the kids (interviewed as an adult) stated that they were all farm kids and know farm equipment and machinery. He stated that there was no way it was any farm equipment. Also if you read the story or watch the interviews there is no way that any equipment could get down to the area of the sighting due to the topography of the land. And the manager of the sewage plant also stated there was no equipment in the area, nor could there be...

Your explanation is still better than that idiot Ridpath though...
edit on 15-8-2012 by Toxicsurf because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 05:26 PM
The Broad Haven tale is fairly low key and so this thread will probably fall away after today. However it is now here for posterity and hopefully interest others in the days to come.I thank everyone who has posted already.

The thing I liked about the case is that the basic witness stories have not really changed in 35 years. I do believe the pupils at Broad Haven saw something genuine that then may have then sparked "pranksters" into action.

Perhaps it was a rare optical illusion from the sewerage works? Pugh dismissed them as being below his line of visibility. But it is possible to see objects beyond the horizon in certain atmospheric conditions. Especially close to a coastline. However we are into Ridpath and lighthouse territory with that one and it is probably now impossible to say what the children witnessed.

Thanks thesearchfortruth for adding the video. A welcome addition.

Thank you Ashishin_no1 for recommending further reading "The Uninvited". I will most certainly try and get hold of a copy.

Logarock - I do not know of Colin Wilson's involvement although the story of the cows appearing in another field did appear in one of the stories I researched. However I wanted to concentrate on the Broad Haven School sighting so left this story out. I could have added another dozen incidents but had to stop somewhere so feel free to add any account from the time frame into the thread if it seems relevant to the case.

Summing up. The story seems so old fashioned now with it's cigar shaped UFO and men in silver suits.The mid 1970s represent a sort of bookend for the first age of Ufology. A more innocent time before personal computers and camcorders and still decades away from the world wide web, smartphones and the global satellite age we now live in. Information did not spread as fast or as accurately in those days

Although the events occurred thirty years after Roswell, that story was still a few years away from becoming the mythical tale we now are all familiar with. From then on UFOlogy moved to a new phase of sinister abductions,malevolent grey aliens (instead of humanoids), Area 51 and flying triangles (instead of saucers).

Today we have very few tales of landed craft and spacemen. I often wonder why?

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 10:43 AM
I have also found this book. The Dyfed Enigma by R.J. Pugh Not read it yet but apparently it also details the Broadhaven incident

Enjoy.. I know I will :-)

posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 01:35 PM
This is a case and UFO flap that I have always found very fascinating ever since I 1st read about it as a younge boy in a book called The Alien World published in 1984 by Orbis Publishing. I remember it very well because it featured an artists interpretation of the silver suited figure peering in through the Coombes window that scared the hell out of me back then and also the sketches by the children that are posted above.

It also had a very interesting chapter about a preacher named Mrs Mary Jones who lived in the same area in the early 1900s who could supposedly summon UFOs at will.

Thanks for doing this case the justice it deserves Mirageman!

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 10:04 PM
Old thread however thought I'd add this little video discussion between Richard D Hall and John Hanson about the sighting. Nice to see that some of the kid's pictures are shown on camera and it is confirmed that,teachers did see the object as well however at the time, chose not to go public with the fact.

Broad Haven discussion

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