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Friday, June 21, 2013

UFO Britain

UFO Britain, But in the end it was not aliens which overwhelmed the Ministry of Defence’s UFO unit but a rather more mundane tormentor - Chinese lanterns.

Newly released files from the National Archives reveal how the department, part of the RAF, was closed after becoming inundated with reports from the public about the flying flammable devices which have become popular at weddings and parties.

The year the “UFO Desk” was shut down, in 2009, it received its second highest number of sightings on record.
By November, when it closed, it had had 643 reports, treble the number of the previous year (208), and far higher than over the first seven years of the decade, when annual sightings were a relatively stable 150.
It was beaten only by 1978, when the release of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind led to a surge in interest - and 750 sightings.

The files show how officials put the increase down to the spread of Chinese lanterns, which grew in popularity over the period. Dr David Clarke, a Sheffield Hallam academic and the National Archives consultant on the UFO files, said that around two thirds of reports from 2009 could relatively easily be put down to Chinese lanterns.

Such sightings were often reported as formations of orange lights, often filmed on mobile phones and video cameras. The reports tended to cluster around the summer months, often by people outdoors walking dogs, smoking cigarettes, enjoying family barbecues - or even relaxing in hot-tubs.

In one case, a group of soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment on duty at Tern Hill barracks, near Market Drayton, Shropshire, reported seeing mysterious objects flying overhead.

One soldier filmed what was described as “lots of multi-coloured dots”. They were later found to be Chinese lanterns released from a wedding at a nearby hotel.

In a briefing before the unit was closed, Bob Ainsworth, the then defence secretary, was told that the “upsurge” in sighings had begun to make the workload unmaneageable for the unit.

Carl Mantell of the RAF’s Air Command recommended that the department “should seek to reduce very significantly the UFO task which is consuming increasing resource, but produces no valuable defence output.”

Mr Ainsworth was told that in more than 50 years, “no UFO sighting reported to [MoD] has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK” and “there is no defence benefit in [MoD] recording, collating, analysing or investigating UFO sightings.”

The MoD argued that sightings - even from reliable sources - served no useful purpose and diverted air defence specialists from their main tasks.

The documents are among 25 files released by the National Archives today, relating to sightings of UFOs reported to the Ministry of Defence from 2007 to 2009.
It is the tenth and final release of information collected by the Government on the subject since 1967. Before then, such files were destroyed after five years.

They contain correspondence with members of the public and ministers, as well as sighting reports.
Among other highlights include:

• A "near collision" between a police helicopter and a UFO over Birmingham city centre which was investigated - but not solved - by the UK Airprox Board, the official body which looks into “near misses”.

• An account from a retired RAF Flight lieutenant who witnessed the tracking of a UFO on airfield radar at RAF Lyneham - a phenomena also sighted visually by two airmen on the ground.

• a sketch of a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) spotted from the ground as it appeared to cross the path of an airliner near Portsmouth, in December 2007. This sighting was referred to MoD by a NATO official. An investigation concluded the UFO could be a light aircraft.

• a UFO seen hovering near the Houses of Parliament.
The UFO desk, based in Whitehall before moving to RAF High Wycombe, collected reports and information from the public, as well as other agencies, such as the police and air traffic authorities.

The desk had a dedicated telephone hotline and email address for sightings, which were created to improve communications with the public following a surge in UFO interest at the time of the 50th anniversary of the Roswell Incident - a supposed in 1997.

Dr Clarke said: “The last pieces of the puzzle have finally been revealed with this insight into the last days of the UFO desk. These files spell out clearly why the MoD decided - after 60 years - it no longer needed to keep tabs on sightings, even those made by ‘credible’ people such as police officers and pilots. 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.”

The latest release of documents marks the end of a five year rolling disclosure programme of the UFO files.
In total 209 files and approximately 52,000 pages of information on unidentified objects in the sky, collected by the Ministry of Defence, have been made available to the public by the National Archives.

UFO Britain Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Tips SEO Youtube 2019


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