The Ex-Files: UK UFO Program Reveals More
This was the last of ten such releases that have taken place in the past five years, under a massive program to declassify and release the entire archive of Ministry of Defense (MoD) UFO files – totaling well over 50,000 pages.
The documents were a mixture of internal policy discussion papers, sighting reports and correspondence with the public. They covered the period 2007 to 2009 and included documents explaining why the MoD decided to terminate its UFO project (where I worked, back in the 90s) in November 2009 after over 50 years of official research and investigation. The reasons included the need to find savings as part of wider defense cuts, the increasing proportion of sightings caused by mis-identifications of fire lanterns, and the staggering workload resulting from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. At one point, the MoD was receiving more FOIA requests on UFOs than on any other subject.
The sighting report case files contained the usual mixture of mundane, bizarre and disturbing encounters…
* In 2007, near Cardiff in Wales, a case file reported that “the witness saw spaceships and then said that one of them abducted his dog, car and tent, when he and his friends were out camping.” The documents did not reveal whether the items had been returned.
* In June 2008 in South Wales, a police helicopter nearly collided with a UFO over RAF St. Athan, a military base close to Cardiff International Airport. The craft was described as disc-shaped and covered in lights, but after the story hit the press ,the police changed their tale and used the phrase “unusual aircraft,” in an attempt to kill the UFO narrative. Rumors later emerged that there had been a similar near-miss the previous month, when a UFO nearly hit another police helicopter 1,500 feet above the city of Birmingham. The pilot had to take evasive action.
* A few hours after the near-collision in South Wales, soldiers at Tern Hill barracks in the county of Shropshire saw and filmed several UFOs flying directly overhead. The story made front page news in the UK and the soldiers were reprimanded for talking to the media.
As with the fictional X-Files, the MoD’s real-life counterpart found itself drawn into investigating more than just UFOs. Alien abductions, crop circles, ghost sightings on military bases and remote viewing (so-called psychic spying) are all subjects that the MoD has looked at. One document released last week shows that MoD scientists were aware of “anti-gravity and gravity modification research” and were monitoring the latest developments “to assess whether such technologies could be of any benefit to defence in the future.”
The release of these files has sparked huge controversy, particularly because some documents have been partially blacked out or withheld altogether, while the MoD says that others have been “inadvertently destroyed” or “lost.”
Whatever the truth about UFOs, these real-life X-Files make for fascinating reading.
-this post was written by guest contributor Nick Pope, an ex-Minister in the British government
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