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A school teacher phoned the Brawdy Air base to report that she could see a 'flying saucer' cruising over the West Wales coastline.

The Commander of the Royal Navy Air Service station, Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown, in his memoir 'Wings on My Sleeve' (1961), said his first reaction was to laugh. However, he checked the report with a pilot returning from an exercise who told him 'Yes and I can damn well see it too.' Then one of the air traffic controllers reported that the object as visible from the control tower.

It was reported that it was hovering over the Haverfordwest area. And from 5 pm all the TVs in the area went black for about half an hour, for no apparent reason.

Brown decided he had to see it for himself and took off in a deHavilland Vampire jet fighter at 5.10 pm. Climbing to 35,000 feet, he could see the circular object still high above him in the darkening sky. Although visibility was good, Brown gave up the pursuit and returned to base.

His logbook entry reads:

'Flying Saucer Chase! Unidentified metallic object in the sky, sighted from ground. Scrambled in perplexing chase after some iridescent shape at very high altitude, which was probably a cosmic research balloon. What else?'

Later that night other reports flooded in to newspaper offices throughout the region. Brown received a call from an amateur astronomer who had taken a photo of the object and who maintained that it was not a balloon. It was reported to be moving slowly eastwards.

In 2011, Brown told researcher Dr. David Clarke that the phone call led him to reject the only theory he had, that it was a research balloon.

It was spotted hovering over the Swansea and Neath area on the same evening - various descriptions and colours were forthcoming - blue, red, silver, yellow. Many theorised that it was a meteorological balloon. One caller from St. Thomas, said that it seemed to be over this area but moving towards Bonymaen and was a 'ball of fire'.

He said he had been watching it for over an hour, sometimes with the aid of a special photographic lens, 'It is yellow now; it was silvery white some time ago,' he said.

Brown died in February 2016, just over 60 years since his encounter in the skies of West Wales.

Source:; 'South Wales Evening Post' 7 February 1956.

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