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It was nearly midnight.

Two policemen were patrolling the seafront at Porthcawl. Then it happened.....Something rose out of the water on the horizon – something that was blood-red, with a jagged black streak across its centre.

What the policemen saw on Sunday was officially reported last night. The report has gone to “top level.” Chief-Inspector Reginald Jones, of “D” Division, Glamorgan Police, said that the two policemen thought at first that they were seeing a ship on fire on the horizon towards Ilfracombe. But then it rose out of the water like a blood-red sun – much larger than a full-sized harvest moon. As they watched, two more streaks appeared above and below. It remained at sea level, then loved off at “fantastic” speed towards the Atlantic.


In London, an Air Ministry spokesman said that one possible explanation of the phenomenon was that it was “a planet playing tricks.”

“What the officers reported seeing is consistent with this.”

“Venus does at certain times of the year play all kinds of tricks – often due to climatic conditions. A reflection of the planet appears in the sky.”

“This is sometimes the explanation of flying saucers.”

A meteorologist said that the most likely explanation was that the policemen saw the Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights – which had been reported as having been seen during the past two or three nights. Source: Western Mail Wednesday 4 September 1957.

“Just over a week ago, two policemen patrolling Porthcawl promenade, reported seeing a “mysterious red disc” moving across the sky at a fantastic speed. It was seen at the same time over Carmarthen Bay, and again the lifeboat was called out. Porthcawl police reported last night that the lights had not been seen again although a watch was being kept.”

Source: Western Mail 10 September 1957.


On 9th April 2019, Steve Drewson, Mike Maunder and myself gave a talk to the Kenfig Hill Womens' Institute about UFOSs/SUFON/Local sightings.

I talked about the case which occurred on the night of 1 September 1957 at Porthcawl, when two bobbies on the beat saw a USO emerging from the sea and shoot off towards the west. One of the reasons we do these talks is to get people to come forward with their sightings stories. After the talk, just that happened.

A lady came up to me and told me that she knew the two police officers mentioned in the Western Mail report illustrated (who were not named in the article) and told me some very interesting further information. She told me their names, and that one of the men lived in the flat above her in South Road at the time!

Sadly, after the sighting, the two policemen received a lot of ridicule, both in work and publicly and asked to be transferred.

They moved to the Hampshire and Dorset Police, one went to Boscombe in Dorset, the other to Poole, she believes. If they are alive now they would be in their 80s. At the time they were both in their 20s. The lady even remembered what her neighbour told her about where they were exactly, which is not in the article.

Apparently, one had just patrolled the eastern end of the promenade, the other, Rest Bay. They'd met in the middle for a chat and a sly fag in the porch of the Porthcawl Pavilion (now a glassed-in cafe).

They were there when they saw the object come out of the sea. It's little details like that that I personally love about this subject! Would be nice to track the men down for an interview! - E.W.

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