Saturday, July 6, 2013

MoD UFO Disclosure, Some Files Extraordinary, Some Mundane

It was shortly after 1am on a spring morning in Exeter when the anonymous city resident first saw it.

Travelling at immense speed, an object had appeared above him, a vessel the likes of which the observer had never seen before.

But there was a problem.

The pilot of the craft, were he human or extra-terrestrial, seemed to be struggling to control it and the unidentified vehicle zigged and zagged across the night sky before disappearing.

The official report from the Ministry of Defence notes: "It was 01:05 on April 29, 2008 – A UFO was flying around and looked like it was having trouble keeping in control. It looked like it was going at about 250 miles per hour."

It is just one account of hundreds released by the MoD as reports from 2007 to 2009 have been made public.

Amid the descriptions of slow-moving orange object travelling from east to west, and what are most likely Chinese lanterns, are a host of more bizarre sightings including cigar-shaped objects making improbably manoeuvres before disappearing and one in Torquay where a whole invading force seems to have made an appearance.

The MoD has been releasing batches of files to The National Archives and the latest reports follow those released in 2011 which covered 1985 to 2007.

The declassified files reveal why after more than 50 years the MoD decided to close the UFO Desk, and with it the UFO hotline and dedicated email address.

Up until 2007 the Ministry of Defence was receiving around 150 reports of UFO sightings a year. However, this doubled in 2008, and shot up again to more than 600 in 2009.

Dr David Clarke, who has been behind the release of files, considers the reasons for this surge: "Many of the sighting accounts, such as formations of orange lights moving slowly across the sky, describe the appearance of Chinese lanterns even though people did not recognise them at the time.

"But that is not the only explanation. Ironically there is evidence that some people were encouraged to report their observations to the MoD and to the press which could be a direct result of increased awareness."


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