Homeless Writer Penned UFO Bestseller

The saga of a British journalist who wrote a bestselling UFO book, met King Charles III and found himself eking out a bare existence on the mean streets of London


In 1997, the Prince of Wales and the future King Charles III sat down for a talk with a homeless man near London’s Holborn subway station.

That down-and-out person was the author of one of the best-selling UFO books of all time.

Prince Charles was in for a surprise as he chatted with Clive Harold Stutter. That’s because he learned that this now destitute person had once been his classmate at an exclusive prep school for the wealthy, powerful and elite — London’s Hill House School.

Clive had been born wealthy. His father was a multi-millionaire financier.

But now homeless, Clive asked the Prince if he remembered him from their time together at Hill House. Charles, evincing humble regret, said that he did not remember Clive. The latter was not insulted, however. He was deferential to the future King of England, admitting that 40 years was a long time ago, and they were both just eight years old when they knew each other.

When they met again in 1997, the shelter-dwelling Clive was out and about London selling a “street magazine” called The Big Issue. It is written by homeless people and proceeds from its sales provide a measure of income for the poorest of the poor in London’s meanest avenues.

Clive Harold (as he was known after dropping his original surname of Stutter) was a natural addition to the staff of The Big Issue because he had once been a best-selling author and a successful freelance journalist. His number was on the fast-dial of the phones of many top U.K. magazine editors.

But it was two failed marriages and a subsequent tragic addiction to alcohol that sent Clive Harold’s life into a steep spiral — a descent that led all the way to the bottom rung of society.


In 1977, Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking Close Encounters of the Third Kind was packing movie theaters with millions of people. Editors were eager to capitalize on the popularity of the film. One of them tapped Clive Harold to go out and scare up some UFO stories so the magazine could capitalize on all the alien contact buzz.

And boy did Clive Harold ever find a story!

He got a tip about a family of dairy farmers in Southwest Wales who had been encountering a series of spectacular and fantastically bizarre visitations of UFOs, aliens, strange apparitions and even an incident when an entire herd of 158 cattle was instantly teleported from one location to another!

The family at the center of these events was Billy and Pauline Coombs along with their four children, Clinton, Kieron, Layann and Joanne. They were the tenants of the Ripperston Farm, a dairy operation in Pembrokeshire. Their spread was near the west coast of Wales off the lovely and picturesque St. Brides Bay.

Every member of the Coombs family witnessed a wide range of UFO phenomena. It all started one night when Pauline Coombs’s car was followed home by a brilliant, oval-shaped UFO.

What then ensued were numerous bizarre happenings. Just a short list:

  • Aliens strolling across their property.
  • A “giant alien” looking into their farmhouse window.
  • Numerous UFO sightings over Ripperston Farm.
  • A 7-foot-tall alien wearing a silver-like suit seen by them and several neighbors.
  • An apparition of a person known to be dead strolling across their property.
  • Shadow beings lurking inside their home.
  • Poltergeist-like activity.
  • 158 of Billy’s dairy cows were instantly teleported out of his locked barn and reappeared about a mile away in a neighbor’s field.

The high strangeness factor was off the charts!

After learning their story, Clive Harold realized there was enough to fill a book, not just a magazine article. He was also the only journalist who had gained the confidence of the Coombs. The family wanted nothing to do with publicity and dearly wished for a return to their once happy lives as humble dairy farmers in the lovely Welsh countryside.

The result was The Uninvited, a book that went on to be a huge bestseller. The massive interest in UFOs generated by Close Encounter of the Third Kind probably helped sales although the book was not marketed overtly as “a UFO book.” Its cover looked much more like a horror novel. Even so, the success of The Uninvited brought significant interest and offers to purchase rights of the book for adaptation as a screenplay for a feature film.


It is known that Clive was in negotiations with a production company owned by Sylvester Stallone, then a fast-rising Hollywood superstar with whom Mr. Harold developed a friendly acquaintance. Thus, the future homeless Clive Harold was riding high with a red-hot career in the late 1970s.

I read The Uninvited about 10 years ago. I started reading UFO literature in the late 1960s when I was a kid. I have read hundreds of books and countless articles. My judgment is that Clive Harold’s account of the Coombs family is among the Top 10 best UFO accounts I’ve read over the decades.

Clive’s writing style is characterized by lean prose and the easy flow of “just the facts” journalism. And yet — this book draws the reader in as if it were a compelling science fiction novel blended with an element of horror. Even though the events described seem so fantastical as to defy belief, Clive’s “news-man-on-the-scene” delivery makes it difficult to dismiss any of this as unreal or even exaggeration.


What also lent a boatload of credibility to the Coombs family story is that it occurred against the background of one of the biggest British UFO flaps in history. The years between 1974 through 1977 have come to be known as the Dyfed Triangle and also the Welsh Triangle and the Welsh Roswell.

The Coombs family, by far, were not the only residents of the Pembrokeshire area who experienced amazing encounters with UFOs and aliens. Perhaps the most famous was the incident at the Broad Haven PC School in 1977, a happening concurrent with the Ripperston Farm events.

What happened was that a group of 14 primary students at Broad Haven School one day saw a large, cigar-shaped UFO floating near the school grounds. The object landed just beyond some trees beyond the campus. Out of it emerged a 7-foot-tall “alien” being wearing a tight-fitting suit of shiny silver material.


The children were mostly disbelieved by their teachers (although at least one teacher also witnessed the craft). They were subsequently separated and asked to draw what they saw. All 14 of them drew the same type of “spacecraft” and similar depictions of the 7-foot alien.

This same creature was seen on numerous other occasions in and around the same time frame — including appearing suddenly before and 17-year-old youth who took a swing at it with his fist. On another occasion, the tall alien chased an 11-year-old boy in a rural location.

The 7-foot alien made several appearances at the Coombs dairy farm and, on one occasion, was seen standing next to the Coombs farmhouse looking into a window for all the terrified family to see.


The Coombs family found it necessary to vacate their dairy farm after the events that had become world famous because of Clive Harold’s bestselling book but also a lot of other mainstream media coverage.

Where did Billy, Pauline, Clinton, Kieron, Layann and Joanne Coombs go to start over? Well, I’ll just say they did an excellent job of getting out from under the baleful glare of media scrutiny — and I’ll leave it at that.

As for Clive Harold, his book royalties eventually dried up and his movie and/or TV deals never materialized. He had an offer to write a sequel to The Uninvited, but he never got started on the project. He continued to struggle with the dreadful disease of alcoholism and economic ruin. He eventually lost everything — including his life.

Clive Harold Stutter — bestselling UFO book author — died in 2002. He was only 54.

To read more UFO-related stories by Ken Korczak, please go here: AMAZING AND TRUE UFO INFO

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