A student prank led to British Army and intelligence units being mobilised for fear that aliens were mounting an invasion of England, documents released today show.
Britain's National Archives has released previously classified files documenting sightings of unidentified flying object (UFOs) dating back to the 1950s.
One of the files reveals how the RAF 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 south-eastern village of Aldermaston, and both the army and the Ministry of Defence's intelligence unit were mobilised 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.
The files contain around 8,500 pages which mainly cover the period from 1997 to 2005 and include photographs, drawings and descriptions of flying saucer sightings, as well as letters the MoD sent eyewitnesses in response to their accounts.
Policemen, a soldier, an RAF officer and members of the public reported 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 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 MoD.
"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 MoD 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.
"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 MoD 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 MoD, adding that he thought it was an "air burst".
In its reply, the MoD suggested he contact the Sri Lankan government.
Other highlights include a UFO policy file from 1997 which reveals how the Ministry of Defence 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 unauthorised air activity".
Intelligence papers on a reported UFO sighting known as the "Rendlesham incident" have gone missing, files from the National Archives reveal.
The missing files relate to a report of mysterious lights from US servicemen at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1980.
The disappearance came to light with the release of 8,000 previously classified documents on UFOs.
Officials found a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to the case should be, the papers show.
The documents are the latest MoD files on UFOs released into the National Archives which will be free to access on its website for a month.
They reveal UFOs were discussed by UN officials in 1977 and a debate was held in the House of Lords two years later.
Photographs and sketches of UFOs made by members of the public are included, as well as their eyewitness reports.
Among the documents is testimony from an airline pilot and his son who say they spent five minutes watching an object made up of three circles fly past their garden in Hellingly, East Sussex.
The pilot reported it to Air Traffic Control in West Drayton, and an official labelled his sighting as one by "a credible witness".
But another defence official later wrote a memo saying the report "contains nothing of air defence significance".
More attention is given to the crew of an RAF Tornado who encountered an object the size of a C130 Hercules transport aircraft while flying over the North Sea in 1990.
The pilot describes flying at Mach 0.8 but being overtaken by an aircraft the like of which he had never seen before.
He talks about lights and even "an engine area" but the files also show how a possible explanation emerges - a Russian rocket booster was re-entering the earth's atmosphere on that same night.
In other papers it was revealed that the RAF received calls in 1967 from members of the public across Southern England from the Isle of Sheppey to the Bristol Channel reporting six small "flying saucers". Four police forces and the Army were mobilised before it emerged the incident was a rag-day hoax by engineering students at Farnborough Technical College.
There is also a report from a London man who believed he may have been abducted by aliens.
The files reveal that key documentation relating to the Rendlesham Forest incident has disappeared.
Some UFO researchers believe the episode, which happened over two nights in 1980 is a classic example of a "close encounter".
The files reveal the MoD received a request for its own records of the incident in 2000, but when officials looked they discovered a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to it should be.
The hunt generated a series of notes, with one official speculating that the files could have been taken home by someone and another remarking that "it could be interpreted to mean that a deliberate attempt had been made to eradicate the records covering this incident".
However, among intelligence papers released in 2009, it was revealed that former Admiral of the Fleet Lord Hill-Norton wrote to the defence secretary about the incident in 1985, speculating that an unauthorised aircraft may have entered and left UK airspace at the time.
But it is not the only gap in the official record. In 2002 the MoD received a request for information from Lord Hill-Norton. He wanted to know about reports of a UFO sighting made by HMS Manchester while on exercise in the 1990s.
It emerged in the file that HMS Manchester's log for one of the periods was lost overboard after "a gust of wind" and the vessel's captain cannot remember anything unusual taking place.
This latest tranche of documents covers not just people who contacted the Ministry of Defence after seeing lights or objects, but also sheds some light on official thinking about this aspect of the paranormal.
Concern about UFOs and what they might be went up to senior level and lasted several years.
Officials were dismayed when in 1977 the then Prime Minister of Grenada Sir Eric Gairy wanted to call for the United Nations to set up a unit to investigate the phenomenon.
The files show how Britain was concerned the idea would drag the UN into disrepute. The premier was persuaded to withdraw his proposal but went on to call for 1978 to be designated "the year of the UFO". He was deposed in a coup the following year.
UFOs have only ever received one debate in Parliament. It came in the House of Lords in 1979, at the height of the "winter of discontent", and the files show how officials laboured to prepare a government position on the topic.
At the end of the discussion the government spokesman Lord Stabolgi summed up what remains the official position now.
"There is nothing to convince Her Majesty's government that there has ever been a single visit by an alien spacecraft. As for telling the public the truth about UFOs, the truth is simple.
"There really are many strange phenomena in the sky, and these are invariably reported by rational people. But there is a wide range of natural explanations to account for such phenomena."
Here's another News report on the Missing Rendlesham File's:
New records reveal Rendlesham Forest UFO files were ‘destroyed’
One of Suffolk’s most enduring UFO mysteries has today deepened after it emerged certain X-files – intelligence records relating to the Rendlesham Forest incident – had been inexplicably destroyed.
Information due to be released by The National Archives tomorrow show that during 2000 a search by Ministry of Defence records staff revealed that a collection of Defence Intelligence files covering the period 1980-82 – including documents on the famous Rendlesham Forest incident – had been destroyed, even though other files from the surrounding years had survived.
Furthermore, records staff could not say when or why files were destroyed as the destruction certificates themselves were not retained for longer than five years.
In previously unseen UFO-related correspondence obtained by The Evening Star, officials from MoD warned that if what it called this “apparent anomaly in the records” were made public “it could be interpreted to mean that a deliberate attempt had been made to eradicate the records covering this incident”.
The revelations are set to re-ignite suggestions of a government cover-up following the incident known as “Britain’s Roswell”.
The files reveal how the UFO phenomenon was discussed at the highest level of government and Security Services worldwide including at the United Nations, the US Central Intelligence Agency and was even the subject of a debate in the House of Lords.
The files also detail in full the Freedom of Information requests and letters from “persistent enquirers” that led to the Ministry of Defence (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: “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.”
One file contains a letter from a man who believed he may have been abducted by aliens after witnessing an aircraft hovering over his house one October evening and waking the following morning to find he had experienced a period of missing time.
The MoD responded to his letter stating the aircraft was likely to have been an airship and that the clocks had gone back an hour that night which would account for him gaining an hour.
UK releases previously classified documents on UFOs
Spaceship' sketch creating crop circles released by Britain's National Archive
The British government has released 8,500 pages of previously classified documents detailing its decades-long effort to respond to public's insistence on the existence of unidentified flying objects.
Among other disclosures, the files reveal that the House of Lords held the only full debate on UFOs in the history of the British Parliament on the topic and that the country thought it was possibly facing an alien invasion in 1967.The papers also include messages from the British Government to the Prime Minister of Grenada responding to that nation's attempts to sponsor a debate on UFOs at the United Nations in 1977-78.
The documents also detail how the British Government began making official inquiries into UFOs starting in 1950 after receiving a number of flying saucer sightings. At the time, Britain's Ministry of Defense set up a secret working group called "The Flying Saucer Working Party" to monitor the sightings.. The existence of the group remained under wraps until 1988 when correspondence between Winston Churchill and the Air Ministry got opened.
"What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the truth? Let me have a report at your convenience," Churchill wrote to his air defense chief at the time. A six-page report that was subsequently issued by the secret panel found no evidence to suggest anything out of the ordinary. It chalked up the UFO reports up to mistaken sightings of ordinary objects, hoaxes and psychological delusion.
But the British documents also reveal that that report relied heavily on CIA and U.S. Air Force information supplied to the UK. It notes that U.S. policy at the time "was to debunk the subject and restrict the release of information to the public about UFO sightings made by the armed services."
On the morning of Sept. 4, 1967, the authorities received a number of calls reporting six small "flying saucers" across Southern England. The UK responded by scrambling its defenses as well as police forces. But it turned out to be a false alarm: According to the report, engineering students from Farnborough Technical College had concocted "a rag-day hoax."
Over the following years, the British government logged thousands of UFO sightings. However, standard policy until 1967 " was to destroy UFO files at five yearly intervals as they were deemed to be of `transitory interest." A summary released along with the new documents conclude that "a large number of records dating from the period before 1962 have been lost."
Between 1959 and 2007, Britain's Defense Intelligence branch has logged "more than 11,000 UFO reports." But during a 1979 Parliamentary debate, the government's spokesman, Lord Strabolgi, said that "there is nothing to convince Her Majesty's Government that there has ever been a single visit by an alien spacecraft...As for telling the public the truth about UFOs, the truth is simple. There really are many strange phenomena in the sky, and these are invariably reported by rational people. But there is a wide range of natural explanations to account for such phenomena."
A briefing document accompanying the new files notes that investigations found "ordinary explanations" for most UFO reports. At the same time, however, it allowed the existence of "some cases on record where no common explanation can be found. For the Ministry of Defence, these types of report remain 'unidentified' rather than 'extraterrestrial'."
Among other highlights:
British defense officials dismissed claims made by retired US Colonel Corso in a 1997 book "The Day after Roswell" noting that Colonel Corso was not a reliable source of information.
When RAF pilots were scrambled in response to reports of approaching Warsaw Pact airplanes, there was "no evidence to suggest that any of these scrambles have taken place against anything other than man-made aircraft."
UFO sightings have dropped from peak of 609 in 1996-97 to an average of 130 per year between 2001 and 2006.
The number of UFO reports in 1996-97 increased by 50 per cent in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Roswell incident.
Top secret dossier of Scots UFO sightings revealed
A BRIGHT light resembling a clock face which turned out to be nothing more than an optical illusion and a 20-year dossier of “alien presence” in Scotland are among the Scottish UFO sightings revealed today in files released for the first time by National Archives.
The 35 documents, running to 8500 pages of top secret MoD files, contain reported incidents and correspondence.
The dossier, covering the five years to 2005, is the largest batch of material about UFOs to be released and reveals the more bizarre and mundane side of investigations.
Among the files is a letter sent to the MoD in 1998 by a woman who had reportedly seen a strange object in the sky over St Andrews in Fife the previous year. Writing of her return visit in 1998, the woman said she had woken at 4am and looked out of her window to see “the same object in the sky – like a clock face with the time at 6.35am or pm”.
However, on consulting her optician, she added, it turned out that the “UFO” was more likely the effect of “scarring behind one eye”.
An internal letter between MoD desks dated October 2003 also refers to a Glenrothes man who believed he was under surveillance by the authorities after compiling a 20-year dossier of “unexplained aerial activity” over central Scotland.
“He believes that these represent evidence of an alien ‘presence’ which he believes is associated with the ‘numerous prehistoric monoliths and ceremonial sites in the area’,” writes an unnamed MoD civil servant.
When a family saw 20 to 30 flashing red and white lights zig-zag their way through the sky they captured the eerie scene on camera to prove it happened.
The parents and their child were backed up by police officers and a police helicopter team who also witnessed the weird UFO and a whirring noise.
The crew reported the incident – which happened at 2.25am on November 17, 2003 over Bromley, Kent – to Swanick air traffic control and RAF Neatishead.
Officials checked their radar coverage but it revealed nothing unusual.
Report documents from the time state: “A policeman sent to investigate confirmed the sighting. Objects were moving faster than any man-made aircraft.”
The files – released as part of thousands of pages disclosed today by the MoD - showed the police thought the lights might have been aircraft approaching Heathrow, but an audit of traffic by Swanick proved otherwise.
There was nothing showing on the airport approach and all traffic was at a high level.
An unnamed wing commander wrote that the authorities concluded: “Neatishead have reviewed the radar tapes for the time period specified and, other than routine air traffic in the area, nothing additional was detected in the area despite good radar coverage.
“Therefore, I can now confirm that the incident does not represent anything of air defence interest.”
Linda Moulton Howe speaks on Coast To Coast about the missing files from the Rendlesham forrest case. These files should have been in the file's released by the UK Govt.
The Rendlesham Forest Incident is the name given to a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights and the alleged landing of a craft or multiple craft of unknown origin in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, in late December 1980, just outside of RAF Woodbridge, used at the time by the U.S. Air Force. Dozens of USAF personnel were eyewitnesses to various events over a two- or three-day period. Some ufologists believe it is perhaps the most famous UFO event to have happened in Britain, ranking amongst the best-known UFO events worldwide. Along with the Berwyn Mountain UFO incident, it has been compared to the Roswell UFO incident in the United States, and is sometimes referred to as "Britain's Roswell".
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) denied that the event posed any threat to national security, and stated that it was therefore never investigated as a security matter. One notable to take sharp issue with this statement was Admiral Lord Hill-Norton, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, who stated an incident like this at a nuclear weapons base was necessarily of national security interest. Eyewitness and Deputy Base Commander Colonel Charles Halt (see below) has also disagreed and insists the event was covered up by both the U.K. and U.S. intelligence services. Later evidence indicated that there was a substantial MoD file on the subject, which led to claims of a cover-up; some interpreted this as part of a larger pattern of information suppression concerning the true nature of unidentified flying objects, by both the United States and British governments (see the UFO conspiracy theory). When the file was released in 2001 it turned out to consist mostly of internal correspondence and responses to inquiries from the public. The lack of any in-depth investigation in the publicly released documents is consistent with the MoD's earlier statement that they never took the case seriously. Included in the released files is an explanation given by defence minister Lord Trefgarne as to why the MoD did not investigate further
Bentwaters Just keeps on getting better Judge: "What a load of Bullshiat" Cheers:Prettyboyfloyd
All i can tell you on Bentwaters floyd is that there is a cover up.
However its got nothing to do with a UFO, i was told this off the record, but ive also looked at all the info thats come out too.
They used the UFO scenario to cover up some military exercise, as they knew no-one would be able to prove anything. They use UFO's all the time to hide there activities hence deny all liability, its the perfect smokescreen for them.
My guess is that the recent Binary Numbers and Jim pennistons apparent telepathic communcations have been put out to kill the case off once and for all.
uforn: Hi brad777 welcome to UFORN
May 9, 2020 20:20:56 GMT 1
barry: All quiet here then. looking into decoy humans, should be interesting
Sept 3, 2020 6:32:48 GMT 1
uforn: Hi Baz how you doing mate?
Sept 3, 2020 19:54:17 GMT 1
barry: It was a discussion about ducks! We use wooden ducks to attract real ducks and as we talked about ufs's and stuff someone bought up the idea that alien life could use decoy humans (for whatever reasons) gonna take a while........
Sept 5, 2020 10:26:58 GMT 1
uforn: That wouldn't surprise me mate.
Sept 11, 2020 22:48:34 GMT 1
barry: nothing to report............
Nov 6, 2020 8:20:41 GMT 1
barry: just seen this on tv - 5 of the top astronomers now say we will find aliens by 2025 (talk about change their tune)
Nov 16, 2020 8:25:03 GMT 1
barry: having internet issues....just found out my connection is being piggybacked..and it's not local..frendly hacker investigating my situation, will report back
Jan 4, 2021 11:00:03 GMT 1
uforn: Hope you get it sorted Baz
Jan 5, 2021 21:25:31 GMT 1