By Joe McGonagleGary Anthony, Dave Clarke, and myself are onto this already.
The MoD UFO department has told me that they have no knowledge of this event, though I enquired about the date provided in the newspaper article (7th June).
Dave Clarke has spoken to the Police and they informed him that the event took place on 8th June at 00:40. They also told him that they did not attempt to pursue the object and that it was not saucer-shaped but shaped like an aircraft.
Dave has already been asked to participate in radio programmes for BBC Wales and the British Forces Broadcasting Service!
The Police would not say who they reported the incident to, just "the appropriate authorities". We suspect that this will definitely include the Civil Aviation Authority, and either Counter-Terrorism and UK Operations or the flying complaints section of the Provost and Security Squadron of the Royal Air Force.
'The Telegraph' appears to have plagiarized the story from 'The Sun' if 'The Sun's' claim to exclusivity is to be believed, so I doubt that any contact with The Telegraph would achieve much. The Sun doesn't name it's source, but I have emailed them just in case, requesting that my message be passed on to the source. As yet I have had no response (and I don't really expect any).
Several routes are being explored, some using the FoIA and some taking a more journalistic approach.
I suspect that there are a few issues here. Firstly, according to the South Wales Police (SWP) press office, the 'saucer' description was a fabrication; they used the term 'unusual aircraft'.
That being so, and if the proximity to the helicopter is more or less as described, an AIRPROX report should have been generated. It also seems probable that a report will have been made to the RAF Provost
since it took place over or near a military airfield (which was reportedly closed for operations other then the police helicopter). This may be where any confusion has arisen within the MoD, since DAS (the UFO desk) would not necessarily be aware of the P&SS report at the time. A report may also have been sent to Counter-Terrorism and UK Operations which has absorbed the function of the Air Force Operations Room.
This leads me to another point - the confusion over the date.
The newspaper articles refer to the event having occurred on the 7th June, but the SWP say it was at 00:40 on the 8th June. Generally speaking, the police work in local time, which is currently an hour ahead of GMT. The military and the CAA generally operate in GMT. This leads me to suspect that the leak to the media originated from the CAA or the military, since the event would have been recorded by them as occurring at 23:40 GMT on 7th June.
Another curious detail in the Sun article is "They [the air crew] reported it to senior officers, who passed on the report to Britain’s UFO investigators".
If, as it appears, the event was not reported to Britain's 'official' (MoD) UFO investigators, it may be that it was reported to one or more civilian investigators.
I am also intrigued by the anonymity of the source of the report. It is as if they realised the inaccuracy of the details provided to the press, and didn't want to be directly associated with the exaggerated reports.
Another factor which requires attention is how it disseminated so quickly - The Sun published it's 'exclusive' on 20th June. It appeared in the Telegraph, and the Metro on the same day, and by 10:00 it had world coverage. This suggests to me someone behind the scenes, feeding the story to the media, exaggerating the details and remaining anonymous.
This could take some unraveling, it will be interesting to see what spins out of it all.