The Bristol Channel UFO Police Helicopter Chase
8 JUNE 2008: ST. ATHAN:
A police helicopter was coming in to land at it's base at RAF St. Athan, when at 500 ft and waiting to land, the crew saw an object speeding towards them from below.
A source said: "It closed in at great speed aiming straight at the helicopter. The chopper had to swerve sharply to avoid being hit. The guys said if they'd stayed where they were, they'd be dead - it would've been a direct hit. They are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they are certain they saw a UFO. After the near-collision they decided to follow it to find out what the hell it was. They belted across the Bristol Channel on pursuit, but it was too quick."
The helicopter is equipped with hi-tech cameras and surveillance gear, but the object somehow avoided being caught on video (or was it?) The crew could not see the craft with night-vision goggles, but all said it was "clearly visible" to the naked eye.
The helicopter followed the object for a little way but had to turn back due to being low on fuel.
South Wales Police said, "We can confirm the Air Support Unit sighted an unusual aircraft.
This was reported to the relevant authorities for their investigation ."
The MOD said at the time, "We've heard nothing about this. But it is certainly not advisable for police helicopters to go chasing what they think are UFOs."
Source: The Sun, 20 June 2008 - John Coles.
On 10 August 2018, the helicopter pilot was interviewed by SUFON's Emlyn Williams. He added more to the above newspaper report with a correct description of the object, to that reported in the newspaper (omitted from above for simplification).
He told Emlyn that as the helicopter was coming in to land at St.Athan at the end of a flight, he saw a spherical object, about the size of a basket ball come up to meet the helicopter as it descended.
It stopped immediately in front of his face, about three feet outside the cockpit window. It then kept pace with the helicopter, the down-wash of the rotor blades having no effect on it at all. It was translucent, like a bubble, and the surface was a definite surface as it reflected some light. Inside the 'bubble' he could see a small red light and a small green light, side by side in the centre.
He called the attention of his two colleagues and they too saw it. The object then shot off down into a farmyard and disappeared. They followed it and hovered while they searched for it. The translucent sphere then reappeared, and flew over a nearby road towards the Bristol Channel coast, and they again followed, but turned back after a short time due to running low on fuel.
The object continued across the channel.
Interestingly, as per the newspaper article, they could not see it with the night vision, the object HAD NO HEAT SIGNATURE.
The pilot radioed Cardiff Airport ATC to report their encounter. Someone there leaked it to the press, which is how The Sun got to hear about it.