The latest declassifation from the British Ministry of Defence, the MoD, continues to reveal the growing involvement of police with UFOs. The reports from Ministry of Defence Archives are mounting, with dozens of police cases now open for scrutiny. The lastest release, more than 6,000 pages consisting of 24 files of sightings, letters and Parliamentary Questions, continues to reveal intriguing UFO accounts.
For example, on October 5 1996 UFOs were spotted by police and a ship's crew who witnessed rotating multi-coloured lights in the sky near the east coast of England, MOD files show. Police officers in Boston and Skegness, in Lincolnshire, saw the UFOs above the North Sea and contacted the coastguards, who in turn alerted ships. The lights were also observed by the crew of a ship in The Wash, the estuary on the north-west margin of East Anglia. Simultaneously, RAF air defence radars at RAF Neatishead in Norfolk detected an unidentified blip over Boston, but the RAF report concluded that the radar imagery was caused by St Botolph's church spire in Boston, but that 'the lights in The Wash area were harder to explain and were suggested to be ''a distant celestial source... The lights in The Wash area were observed from three separate locations high above the horizon and in the same general direction, but without corroborating radar data... No associated air vehicle was detected by civil or military radars. This suggests a distant celestial source... There were no corroborating radar returns for the visual sightings."
On 10 March 1999, a UFO was said to hover over the Stamford Bridge stadium, Chelsea, south-west London, for 15 seconds, according to a police officer. The officer described seeing four diamond-shaped lights in the evening. The lights, also seen by his colleague, were said to "move across the sky fairly quickly, changing shape slowly". The officer said the lights were "not like anything seen before". The lights reportedly moved from east to west as the officer, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, stood with his horse. Although it was a clear night he was unable to state the size of the object, which was said to make no sound.
The declassifications recently came under fire for withholding information however. A newly released memo shows the Ministry of Defence blanked out comments made by officials about members of the public before publishing its UFO files, eliminating references to military technology, relations with other countries and insulting remarks about the public, written by defence officials and police. The document on the MoD's website also shows that officials feared that publishing only part of the information would "fuel accusations of a 'cover-up'".
Playing down conspiracies, the memo to ministers and defence chiefs, dated September 2007, discusses how to handle making the information public. It notes: "The majority of the files are of low security classification, but include references to air defence matters, defence technology, relations with foreign powers and occasional uncomplimentary comments by staff or police officers about members of the public, which will need to be withheld in accordance with FoI principles." The document continues: "The MoD is aware of no clear evidence to prove or disprove the existence of aliens, and consequently the files are considerably less exciting than the 'industry' surrounding the UFO phenomena would like to believe."
Meanwhile, the release of UFO reports continue. In February 1999, testimony from a senior air traffic controller from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, in Ayrshire, states he tracked a fast-moving and unexplained UFO on the airport radar. This led to an extensive investigation by RAF air defence staff who impounded radar tapes from a number of airports around the UK. In August 1987, a report reveals four members of the crew of a fishing trawler in the North Sea spotted a flat, shiny, round object hovering 19 miles north-east of Fraserburgh. They tracked the mysterious UFO on their surface radar for several seconds before it vanished.
On January 27 1997, a man told police he was physically sick and developed a "skin condition" after an eerie "tube of light" enveloped his car in Ebbw Vale, in Wales, at 10.40pm. The man, who worked at a funeral director, was sent to the doctor. Also a man arrived at his Birmingham home at 4am on March 20, 1997, to discover an illuminated blue triangle hovering over his garden. The craft shot off leaving behind a "silky-white" substance on the tree-tops, which he collected in a jam-jar. A West Lothian electrician spotted a "Toblerone-shaped" UFO hovering over a field. A sketch of the craft is included in the report.
One youth claimed he saw a UFO hovering over a cemetery before it fired burning laser beams into the ground. This "sensible sort of lad and genuine", according to police, was making his way home after a night out in Widnes at 2.30am on July 15, 1996. According to the police log, a bright yellow light followed the youth, who was crossing a footbridge from Avondale Drive into Upton. He said the light was "two houses high" and followed him when he tried to walk away. He told police it made a high-pitched noise "like cats wailing", before blasting light beams downwards. When he returned home, he told his father what happened and he returned to the spot with him. The pair found four railway sleepers smouldering and one with a 4in hole burned through it. The official record shows a police officer was sent to the scene and he reported there was no sign of any fuel being used. The officer reported to his station, "One of the sleepers is still smouldering. It does look rather odd." The local chief inspector was informed, as well as the Aeronautical Information Service Aeronautical Information Service also known as AIS, an important support role to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, as defined by Annex 15 of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, which passes information to the air authorities to ensure the skies are safe.
Other highlights include documents that show a request submitted to former Prime Minister John Major from a councillor for an inquiry into 600 alleged sightings in Bonnybridge, Scotland, known as the "Bonnybridge Triangle". There's also a letter from senior MoD official Ralph Noyes in which he describes seeing a film of UFOs captured by RAF fighter pilots in 1956. Mr Noyes claims the footage was shown at a secret underground screening arranged for Air Defence staff at the MoD Main Building in 1970. The newly released files also feature papers relating to the famous "Rendlesham Forest" sightings, often dubbed "Britain's Roswell".
These recently released Ministry of Defence X-files follow on the heel of previous releases, which follows again similar efforts that the French announced in 2007. The MoD and The National Archives released approximately 800 sightings from 1981 to 1996 as part of a three-year project between the MoD and The National Archives, aimed at opening up the records to a worldwide audience.
The MoD officially closed its UFO investigation centre under questionable circumstances on December 4 2009. Guardian.co.uk, ufodisclosurecountdownclock.blogspot.com
Many of these police cases continue to be catalogued and maintained by Detective Garry Hesseltine with his PROFUS project. PRUFOS.
The UK National Archive files are available at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos
See also the French Official UFO Release
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