After almost 60 years of diligently recording reports of UFOs and flying saucers, Britain’s UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) eventually decided to shut down its UFO desk and hotline in 2009, concluding that the £44,000 ($73,000) a year saved could better be used supporting the country’s other military operations.
At the time, in order to counteract arguments from disgruntled Britons who saw the closure as a potential security threat, a Defense Ministry spokesman explained: “None of the thousands of UFO sightings reported over the years have ever provided substantiated proof of the existence of extraterrestrials. There is no defense value in investigating UFO reports.”
Since then, all the previously confidential UFO-related documents have subsequently been released by The National Archives with the last tranche of the 209 files and roughly 52,000 pages becoming declassified recently. This last batch covers the final two years of work by the MoD and included amongst the reports are descriptions of strange “Discoid” shapes over Stonehenge, “Green, red and white lights” seen over the Houses of Parliament, as well as someone claiming to have been “living with an alien” in Carlisle, and a camper from Cardiff who claims a UFO stole his dog, car and tent.
Of particular interest, though, is the fact that the number of UFO sightings actually trebled in 2009, with many people having reported the formation of orange lights moving slowly across the night sky, which later turned out to be Chinese lanterns (as depicted in photo opposite).
Commenting on all the ‘British X-Files’ having now been released, Dr David Clarke, author of the book The UFO Files, said: “The last files from the UFO desk are now all in the public domain. People at home can read them and draw their own conclusions about whether ‘the truth’ is in these files or still out there.”