It may seem to some that Pembrokeshire is a quiet, serene county with most of the drama happening between the jagged, gorse-dripping cliffs and boisterous blasting of the Irish sea. But as the recent ‘Pembrokeshire Murders’ drama demonstrated, documenting real-life events of a serial killer stalking these very shores (and, thankfully, due to the diligent work of our fine Dyfed Powys Police, being caught and our coastline made safe again), it’s not always quiet cottage life around here.
In fact, there’s more to our stunning sunsets than meet the eye, and over the years, there have been some mysterious sightings out to sea and even right here in our beautiful blue flag beachside village of Broad Haven.
44 years ago, in the summer of 1977, a group of school children were playing in the yard of Broad Haven Primary School when they saw something strange hovering above a field near the school; a narrow, cigar-shaped vessel with a globe capsule in the middle, seemingly piloted by a humanoid figure in a silver suit. The vessel hung in the air for several long seconds as the children stared with fascination at this unfamiliar sight before it vanished in a flash. Eager to recount this peculiar tale, the children rushed inside to tell their teachers, who, unsurprisingly, thought that the children had concocted this fantastical tale.
Each child was called in separately to the headmaster’s office to tell their version of events. The headmaster was determined to find flaws in this fairytale, but, one by one, each child’s account, as well as their strikingly similar drawings of the vessel, were exactly the same.
On hearing of this mass sighting, in a year when the Ministry of Defense had received several reports of strange flying objects around West Wales, the media declared it Wales’ most prominent extraterrestrial sighting: the Broad Haven UFO. The same description of a flying vessel had been given by members of the public and schoolchildren around the area on the same day, supporting the children’s story of the Broad Haven UFO and prompting the media to name this area of Wales the Dyfed Triangle.
Broad Haven UFO mania ensued – the owner of the now-defunct Haven Fort Hotel, situated directly behind Atlantic View looking toward Little Haven, claimed that the flying object had come so close to her that her face had begun to burn at the swirling energy it was giving off. A prominent local businessman, believing the whole story to be a farce, began appearing around Broad Haven dressed in a silver suit as a prank. The village began piquing the interest of UFO hunters nationwide, with one fascinated author writing a novel based on the school children’s accounts.
The Government, of course, denied extraterrestrial activity. It was likely, they said, that it was a training maneuver from nearby RAF Brawdy that had been witnessed by the children, although, behind the scenes, they ordered military police to fully investigate the incident.
In recent years, a retired US Navy sailor came forward to explain that the silver suits were standard fireproof uniforms for the US military and that, around the time of the sightings, the US military were flight testing the brand new, UK-made Harrier jets of which the sea harrier versions released that year would be used to fight in the Falklands war 5 years later.
Nothing conclusive was ever reported back to the public about these sightings, and, 44 years on, the Broad Haven UFO is still a mystery. So, if you’re here in Broad Haven on your holidays staring into the sea-horizon sunsets or taking advantage of being in a Designated Dark Sky area, with binoculars at the ready to view some of the stunningly clear constellations from your patio, then you might just be lucky enough to spot one of Pembrokeshire’s most talked about unsolved mysteries – the Broad Haven UFO.