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The Sun Newpaper: - MoD UFO study 'wasn't thorough'

(August 11, 2011)

By STAFF REPORTER

The Sun www.thesun.co.uk

THE Ministry of Defence did not carry out a thorough study of thousands of British UFO sightings since WWII because of a lack of resources and "higher priorities", it has been revealed.

The admission was made in an internal memo disclosed today as the latest batch of the UK's X-Files was released by the government.

The author of the 1995 note — a wing commander in top secret DI55, the branch of the intelligence staff responsible for assessing UFO reports — said that there WAS an intelligence interest in extra-terrestrials.

But he said the public perception of the unit as a "defender of the Earth from the alien menace" was "light years from the truth".

And he revealed a lack of funds and higher priorities had prevented a full-scale study of sightings.

 

Threat

 

Following the memo, a limited investigation of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) was commissioned by the MoD.

The secret four-volume report concluded in 2000 that UFOs did not pose a threat, eventually leading to the closure of the MoD's UFO desk in 2009.

The UAP report was released to the public following a Freedom of Information request in 2006.

The report's conclusions are summarised as "sightings can be explained as mis-reporting of man-made vehicles, natural but not unusual phenomena and natural but relatively rare and not completely understood phenomena".

The sightings are revealed in the eighth batch of files to be released to The National Archives and contains 34 files covering 1985 to 2007.

The files include almost 9,000 pages of UFO sightings and incidents, photographs and drawings, RAF investigations, Freedom of Information requests, parliamentary briefings and government UFO policy documents.

Dr David Clarke, author of the book "The UFO files" and senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University said: "The famous catchphrase from The X Files was 'the truth is out there'.

"Many people continue to believe the governments of the world know 'the truth' about UFOs and are concealing the fact that we are not alone in the universe.

"But I believe the truth is in these files. The files suggest that the UK government knows as much as we do about alien visitors and has no evidence to suggest we have ever been visited, despite the interest it has taken in sightings over the years.

"This is the truth, but will people believe it?"

Nick Pope, who used to work for the MoD, said: "These fascinating documents tell the extraordinary story of how some of us in the Ministry of Defence struggled to make sense of the UFO mystery and argued about how to handle the issue."

The files are available to download for free for a month from the website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos.

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