British National Archive Releases More UFO Files

British National Archive Releases More UFO Files

Mar 05

Handout photo issued by The British National Archives of a doughnut-shaped phenomenon was photographed by a retired RAF officer and sent to his old bosses tasked with investigating UFOs.

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‘CLOSE ENCOUNTER’ FILES RELEASED
By John Fahey
The Independent
March 3, 2011

Original Link

Military sightings of UFOs, an “alien abduction” in London and an unidentified aircraft shadowing a Lancaster bomber feature among thousands of close-encounter documents released by the National Archives today.

The extra-terrestrial files reveal how the phenomenon was discussed at the highest level of government and security services worldwide, including at the United Nations (UN), the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was even the subject of a debate in the House of Lords.

The previously-classified records show that in January 1979 — during the peak of the “Winter of Discontent” — in addition to discussions on trade union strikes, the House of Lords held a debate of the subject of UFOs — the only full debate on UFOs ever held in British Parliament.

The files reveal that in December 1977 the government used its influence to talk down a call by Grenada president, Sir Eric Gairy, for a UN agency to conduct research into UFO sightings.

Gairy eventually withdrew his proposal but continued his campaign for a full UN debate on UFOs — calling on the UN General Assembly to make 1978 “the year of the UFO”.

One of the 35 newly-released files shows 15 unidentified aircraft were detected on radar approaching the UK between January and July 2001 in the months leading up to 9/11.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) received just one UFO report (with no radar corroboration) on September 11 itself.

Other highlights include:

• Claims that the Home Office had emergency procedures for dealing with landed and crashed satellites and UFOs.

• Details on RAF interception policy during the Cold War — when aircraft were scrambled on a daily basis to intercept Warsaw Pact aircraft approaching the UK coast.

• US policy files on UFOs, including CIA papers discussing the use of UFO reports for “psychological warfare”.

• An alleged UFO sighting by crew of HMS Manchester off the coast of Norway and how the logbook recording the incident could not be recovered.

• A man who believed he may have been abducted by aliens after seeing an unusual aircraft one evening and experiencing a period of missing time.

• One report describing a “War of the Worlds” incident in 1967 that, for a few hours at least, was treated as a potentially real “alien invasion” of the UK.

The RAF were flooded with calls from the public reporting six small “flying saucers” discovered in locations in a perfect line across southern England from the Isle of Sheppey to the Bristol Channel.

Four police forces, bomb disposal units, the army and the MoD’s intelligence branch were all mobilised before it emerged the saucers were a ‘rag-day’ hoax by engineering students from Farnborough Technical College.

The tranche of files also detail in full the freedom of information requests and letters from “persistent enquirers” that led to the MoD opening the UFO files for the first time in history.

Dr David Clarke, author of the book The UFO Files and senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Before the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, we had to wait 30 years or more before we could see files on UFOs.

“Following its introduction, questions on UFOs ranked in the top-three most popular FOI requests received by the Ministry of Defence.

“I was one of the MoD’s most ‘persistent correspondents’ and eventually persuaded MoD and other government departments to release their information on this perplexing and controversial subject.

“You can see from the files that I wasn’t the only one interested in the subject, with the phenomenon discussed at the highest level of government right across the globe.”

Today’s release is the largest disclosure of documents so far by The National Archives.

The files contain over 8,500 pages of UFO sightings and reports, colour photographs and drawings, RAF investigations, unusual radar detections, parliamentary briefings and — for the first time — documents on the government’s policy on UFOs.

The policy files show the discussions and correspondence that led to a change in government policy on UFOs and the formation of a UFO sighting hotline.

Details in the files show how the workload of the UFO desk at the MoD increased by 50% during 1996/97, due to media interest in the subject around the 50th anniversary of the Roswell incident.

The files are available to download for free for a month from the website.

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BRITISH UFO FILES TRACE SIGHTINGS (AND HOAXES)
MSNBC
March 3, 2011

Original Link

British officials on Thursday released about 8,500 pages of previously classified reports that document sightings of unidentified flying objects by the military and members of the public dating back to the 1950s.

The 35 large files, available via the Internet, mainly cover the period from 1997 to 2005 and include photographs, drawings and descriptions of flying saucer sightings, as well as letters that the Ministry of Defense sent eyewitnesses in response to their accounts.

Policemen, a soldier, a Royal Air Force officer and members of the public report sightings of objects including a “chewy mint shaped solid craft” and aerial objects resembling a “ring,” a “jellyfish” and a “silver voile spin top.”

In one account a man said he believed he had been “abducted” by aliens in October 1998 after seeing an unidentified craft hover over his London home and finding that he had gained an hour of time in the process.

“It was a large cigar-shaped vehicle with big projectiles on each side like wings,” he told the ministry. “It seemed to have two very bright lights at the front and a white light flashing round and round underneath. … As you can imagine, I felt quite shaken.”

The Ministry of Defense wrote to the man informing him that the object was probably an airship, adding that the time he had gained was probably the result of the clocks being put back one hour on the night of his close encounter.

Another file released by the National Archives reveals how the Royal Air Force was inundated with calls one morning in 1967 after residents of southern England awoke to find six small beeping UFOs lying in a perfect line from the Isle of Sheppey to the Bristol Channel.

A bomb disposal unit blew up one of the UFOs, another was airlifted to the southeastern village of Aldermaston, and both the army and the defense ministry’s intelligence unit were mobilized for what was considered a real “alien invasion.”

It was later discovered that engineering students at Farnborough Technical College had constructed and positioned the UFOs in a bid to raise money for charity.

“It does raise some questions about what really would happen if at any time in the future there was some kind of incident — would we be prepared?” said David Clarke, author of “The UFO Files” and consultant to the National Archives’ UFO project.

One of the files documents the experiences of a retired RAF officer who said he saw a UFO while on holiday in Sri Lanka in April 2004 and sent the Ministry of Defense supporting photographs.

“I noticed a partial aura in the sky, a minute or so later there was a clap of thunder, then a short while later a ring like a doughnut appeared,” he told the ministry, adding that he thought it was an “air burst.”

In its reply, the ministry suggested that the officer contact the Sri Lankan government.

Other highlights include a UFO policy file from 1997 that reveals how the Ministry of Defense handled UFO reports, and a file detailing the only full debate about UFOs ever to be held in Britain’s House of Lords — in January 1979.

The MoD said it investigated every UFO sighting report it received to determine “whether there is any evidence that the United Kingdom’s airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorized air activity.”

The files are available to download free of charge for one month at the National Archives website.

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RELATED LINKS:

The British National Archives on UFOs
Pulse on UFOs & Extraterrestrials

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