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The Real British X-Files 239

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-to-june-people-of-england dept.
blakeharris snips from a site called The X-Journals: "Nick Pope used to work for the British Ministry of Defense and for 3 years headed up their UFO project. His remit was to investigate UFO sightings reported to the British government, looking for evidence of any potential threat, or anything judged to be of any 'defence significance.'" Some very interesting anecdotes in here, as well as some background on how certain files about these sightings came to be preserved in the first place.
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The Real British X-Files

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  • British English (Score:4, Informative)

    by linuxci (3530) on Monday June 01, 2009 @02:29AM (#28165083)

    Britain definitely does not have a Ministry of Defense and we also don't have a TV License either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kagura (843695)
      And where would you like us to put all of your fences when we are done removing them? ;)
    • by syousef (465911)

      Britain definitely does not have a Ministry of Defense and we also don't have a TV License either.

      What about smug Englishmen?

    • by mpe (36238)
      Britain definitely does not have a Ministry of Defense and we also don't have a TV License either.

      Except presumably in the same reality where the US has a "World Trade Centre" in New Your and "The Pentagon" is operated by the "Department of Defence". (Both of which were attacked on 119.) For that matter a "meter" is a measuring device, not a unit of measurement.
      • For that matter a "meter" is a measuring device, not a unit of measurement.

        Quite right. The unit of measurement is the 'metre'.

  • Uh-huh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Monday June 01, 2009 @02:32AM (#28165099)

    Nick Pope used to work for the British Ministry of Defense and for 3 years headed up their UFO project.

    And then, in 2002, they transferred him over to the MOD Iraq Intelligence Gathering Service...

  • After reading the article carefully it is clear:
    1) All UFO related files from 1950s and early 1960s were destroyed, deliberately.
    2) All UFO related files from 1967 (when it peaked) have been "deemed" classified and the Eurocrats in collusion with MoD has voted NEVER to release those details.
    What has been released are a few harmless sightings which can be/has been proven as false sightings.
    All the perfectly good material, from 1950s onwards have been either wiped or still kept hidden from public eye.
    As one m

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:14AM (#28165255)

      Reading the article carefully? Amazing, your brain turns off at all the sections that would counter your conspiracy-theories.

      Some quotes:
      "I never authorized the destruction of a UFO file and following the 1967 ruling, nobody should."

      "The introduction of the Freedom of Information Act (passed in November 2000 and coming fully into force in January 2005) effectively reversed the default position and the presumption now is that information is released, unless any of the formal exemptions apply."

      Another interesting tidbit: they are so busy with FOI requests, they can't spare the time to investigate new incidents.

      You also say "What has been released are sightings that can be/have been proven to be false sightings". Now we could presume a huge conspiracy and alien underground bases dominating the British government, OR we could presume there really isn't much to see here... Occam's razor makes this an easy one. And that is if you consider that your statement is correct in the first place, which it isn't. Unless you can prove the following sightings to be false sightings (as stated in the article, which you "read so carefully")

      "Some of the more interesting incidents included: 26th April 1984: Members of the public report a UFO in Stanmore. Two police officers attend the scene, witness the craft and sketch it.
      13th October 1984: a saucer-shaped UFO is seen from Waterloo Bridge in London by numerous witnesses.
      11th September 1985: 2 UFOs tracked on a military radar system travelling 10 nautical miles in 12 seconds.
      4th September 1986: a UFO passes an estimated 1.5 nautical miles from the port side of a commercial aircraft.
      "

      Apparently you can prove them to be false sightings - I'd recommend you contact the British MoD and tell them the good news.

      • Don't bother (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday June 01, 2009 @05:40AM (#28165821)

        The UFO conspiracy nuts will NEVER be happy. It isn't a matter of finding the truth, it is a matter of religion for them. They want to believe there are aliens visiting the Earth so they'll just keep on making up reasons why it could be happening. They'll ignore contradictory evidence, etc, etc. It is an argument you can't win. It is like the Creationists or any other nutty group like that. They have a view point they wish to be true, and so they'll only pay attention to things that would show that. They ignore or dismiss anything they don't like. There is no reasoning with the because it isn't a position based on reason.

        Goes double since I imagine the truth is real boring. For example I'd personally bet on the high speed radar UFOs being glitches. As good as military radar is, it isn't perfect. It can get confused and display false positives. That is actually the idea behind active radar jamming. You send out strong signals that cause all sorts of false readings, so they can't tell where the real aircraft are.

        Well that's not very exciting at all. Much more exciting to think it is some kind of alien craft that is so amazing it can travel at FTL speeds across the galaxy, yet can't even avoid primitive radar, something human planes can do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wjousts (1529427)

          Exactly, nothing short of the government releasing documents stating that there are UFO and they've been covering it up all along will satisfy these people. It doesn't even enter into their thinking that the reason why the government hasn't released such documents is because no such documents exist because there are no UFOs.

          The run up to the Iraq war was like this. The weapons inspectors couldn't find WMD, so that must be prove that they exist and are being hidden!

          • by Tanktalus (794810)

            The run up to the Iraq war was like this. The weapons inspectors couldn't find WMD, so that must be prove that they exist and are being hidden!

            Well, except in the case of Iraq, the US DoD still had the receipts. Unless someone has been selling spare UFO parts clandestinely, we don't even have that much evidence in favour of UFOs.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by techess (1322623)

            Sorry this is me just being pedantic but this is a major pet peeve of mine.

            Do they know what people saw in all of those instances? No they don't and that makes it a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object). Does it make it alien? I don't know. It could be alien it could be something completely human made. I'm open to whatever the evidence suggests.

            UFO != alien

            Now back to our normally non-ranty programming.

        • by Traa (158207)

          was going to post similar story. Yours covers it just fine.

    • A really good pratical joke takes a lot of effort and planning, just ask the crop circle guys.
    • As one modern philosopher said: "Statistics are like Bikinis. They reveal what is known and hide what is vital."

      Actually Aaron Levenstein's qualifications were in law, the same proffession that legislated pi=3.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        As one modern philosopher said: "Statistics are like Bikinis. They reveal what is known and hide what is vital."

        Actually Aaron Levenstein's qualifications were in law, the same proffession that legislated pi=3.

        I'm not a plumber, but I still know that shit runs down hill (absent a masticating pump)

    • by aepervius (535155) on Monday June 01, 2009 @04:45AM (#28165615)
      Somebody might think it was a conspiracy or soemthing sinister to destroy proof or something. Actually as the article wrote :


      QUOTE:What this meant was that prior to 1967, few UFO files had survived this process and with a few exceptions, UFO files from the Fifties and early Sixties had been destroyed.There was nothing sinister about this and such decisions were made all the time on a wide range of subjects


      emphasis mine. Furthermore the reading of your post make it sound as if there was something to read that it is intentionnaly kept from eye as something sinister. but the conclusion of the author is different :

      QUOTE: I am always reluctant to use the word disclosure, because in ufology the word is often associated with the work of Dr Steven Greer, whose Disclosure Project has become something resembling a political campaign (as has Exopolitics) aimed at ending the UFO cover-up in which many conspiracy theorists believe. But I do use the word (with a small d and not a capital letter!) because in a very real sense, disclosure is precisely what the MoD is doing in relation to documents and files. Much has already been released and there's more to come. These are exciting times.


      Emphasis mine. You sound more like thos conspiracy theorist he speaks of in his conclusion than somebody open to all possibilities, including the very highly probable possibility that there is indeed NOTHING really important to be disclosed, except data for a sociologic/psychologic study.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        There was nothing sinister about this and such decisions were made all the time on a wide range of subjects

        There's nothing sinister going on! Nothing sinister is happening, whatsoever. Nothing is happening, and it still isn't sinister! Let me give you a free clue: when records are being destroyed to prevent the citizenry from reading them, something sinister IS going on. Maybe it's just an appalling amount of waste, but still.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by goldaryn (834427)
      2) All UFO related files from 1967 (when it peaked) have been "deemed" classified and the Eurocrats in collusion with MoD has voted NEVER to release those details.

      This, ladies and gents, is fascinating. Ordinarily, to varying degrees, governments use fear to keep the populace in check and maintain the status quo. This is every government, to an extent. To state that doesn't make me a conspiracy nut, does it? Even honourable causes [independent.co.uk] use fear as a motivator. So. Why surpress this?

      There is a school of thou
  • by Alaska Jack (679307) on Monday June 01, 2009 @02:41AM (#28165125) Journal

    I've heard that lots of airline pilots have UFO stories they won't talk about, since questions about their psychological stability would be the kiss of death in that particular career field.

    I don't know if that's true or not. It sounds like a good book opportunity would be to go around and interview a bunch of *retired* airline pilots.

        - AJ

    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:04AM (#28165213)

      There's a plethora of UFO reports out there from civil and military pilots, as well as air traffic control staff, radar operators, military base personel, and yes, even astronauts who went to the Moon.

      That's the irony of the UFO vs SETI situation, we as a whole just sit on a shitload of easily available information and better yet easy oppotunities to find out more about what could possibly be alien life artifacts flying in our own atmosphere, yet we insist to ignore it all, throw it in the loony bin and rather look for radioscopic needles in the haystack of the stars that are tens of light years away from us.

      Methinks rather than pointing radio telescopes at the stars we should point more modest telescopes at whatever's flying in our sky. A few automated stations around the world that would observe the sky for moving objects automatically and record anything about the unidentified ones would offer great insight on the nature and characteristics of whatever those unidentified objects are, but no, no one cares, most shockingly not even scientists, who obviously have no interest in explaining the unexplained that occurs frequently in our atmosphere.

      • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:36AM (#28165347) Homepage

        There's a plethora of UFO reports out there from civil and military pilots, as well as air traffic control staff, radar operators, military base personel, and yes, even astronauts who went to the Moon.

        That is well and true, it however has a little problem: Those are UFOs in the literal sense, they are "unidentified flying object", not extra terrestrial spacecrafts. When you can't tell what something is, it simply means you don't know, it doesn't confirm that aliens are involved.

        When it comes to hard evidence, there is simply nothing that points to E.T. Blobs of light in the sky can be lots of things, clouds, planets, satellites, floating lanterns, lense flare, insects and tons of more stuff. How many clear non-blurry pictures are there of alien space crafts? None. You'd guess in a time where every mobile has camera people would come up with some good pictures, but that hasn't happened.

        • by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:50AM (#28165389)

          When you can't tell what something is, you should look for an explanation for it

          Fixed it for you. Contrarily to a popular myth, not all UFO reports are easily dismissable. What do you do when you have pilots reporting chasing an object flying past Mach 10 and that it's backed by ground radar? Do you try to look for an explanation, whatever it may be, or do you sit on it? Well you're gonna like this, cause what we do is just sit on it, and make sure to not tell anyone.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Monday June 01, 2009 @04:25AM (#28165515) Homepage

            Of course the MoD wants to find an explanation. Something flying past at mach 10 could be a new type of missile or experimental aircraft.

            The MoD was never looking for aliens, they were looking for new weapons that could be used to attack the UK.

          • by grumbel (592662)

            Do you try to look for an explanation, whatever it may be, or do you sit on it?

            You sit on it, because the evidence isn't enough to explain it. The point of an explanation is understanding the true cause of something, not filling unknown details with UFO nonsense. If you don't have enough evidence, you are simply out of luck, you just can't explain everything. We don't lock up random people in jails just because we can't find the real murderer either, if evidence isn't enough we simply "sit on it" too.

            • by 4D6963 (933028)

              You sit on it, because the evidence isn't enough to explain it.

              That's right. But it's compelling enough to warrant a systematic scientific and methodological investigation, and by this I mean, not explaining reports, but actively looking at the skies with a whole bunch of instruments.

              I mean seriously, consider this : we have all these huge radiotelescopes to look for a radio signal from space when we've never seen one before, we're looking very hard hoping to find one and interpret something out of it, bu

          • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:34AM (#28166089)

            And the explanation in your particular case is this:

            We roll your eyes at yet another made up story. Simple as that.

            Why? Because electronic warfare (ELINT) drones like me know how few RADAR systems are actually capable of measuring velocities that high. We also do the math. We sit down with our EW kit and build a real life fingerprint for the specific emitter that 'tracked' this alleged UFO. We tell you that your PRF / PRI, pulse duration, duty cycle, and your cute little pseudo random stagger pattern make your RADAR physically incapable of tracking anything above XXXX knots. We know this beyond any doubt because we have ego's bigger than your average fighter pilot. We know exactly how many pulses per paint it takes to put a little dot on your PPI because we count them, and not just theoretically, we grab a couple of those fighter jocks and have them run a few supersonic passes at the same time. We sit right there next to the scope with you and gloat as we say "I told you so!", pointing fingers at our scrawled out algebra. In terms of 'UFOs', we don't care about little green men, we actually care about "Non allied sucker popping up out of the waves doing mach 2 over our sigint station for some photographs, and then vanishing in a puff of sonic booms to who the hell knows where"

            We leave the X file stuff for people back in the MoD, who then retire a couple of years later and hit the lucrative public talk circuits.

            When the psych asked me why I wanted to work in a TS security field, I kid you not, I said "because I wanted to know if UFO's really exist" - we both laughed, but I was actually serious :-)

          • When you can't tell what something is, you should look for an explanation for it

            Indeed. With an open mind and open eyes. If you go into such an investigation convinced of what you will find (UFOs [i]must be[/i] alien craft), thats probably what you'll conclude. But no one will believe you, and not because of a conspiricy, but because you [i]are not honestly investigating[/i].

            I will believe UFOs are alien craft the day i see some evidence of such. Some evidence that isn't a crappy low-budget Channel 5 [UK] documentary in the same vein as the "lunar landings were hoaxed" crap. Now we

            • by 4D6963 (933028)

              Don't give me crappy contradictory narrative accounts, cos the human mind is capable of making up all sorts of crap.

              If you're not happy with this account [wikipedia.org] then there's no way you'd be happy with any.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by BikeHelmet (1437881)

          You'd guess in a time where every mobile has camera people would come up with some good pictures, but that hasn't happened.

          The answer is clear, then... the aliens must be using advanced computers with scanner technology to detect camera and recording devices, and only show up where those devices aren't present! That way they can remain undetected to continue conducting their nefarious experiments on us!

          But the cows know when the aliens are coming, and get real apprehensive about it! If you keep a pet cow in your house, it'll wake you up at night before you can be abducted!

        • by mpe (36238)
          That is well and true, it however has a little problem: Those are UFOs in the literal sense, they are "unidentified flying object", not extra terrestrial spacecrafts. When you can't tell what something is, it simply means you don't know, it doesn't confirm that aliens are involved.

          Indeed the whole "don't know what it is, so it must be aliens" idea is rather irrational. It's not unlike our ancestors saying "can't explain that, a god did it"...

          When it comes to hard evidence, there is simply nothing that p
      • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:39AM (#28165353) Journal
        In fact, every strange sighting is recorded and studied and, in most of the cases, totally explained. I have watched a lot of movies and pictures of UFOs. The number of insects, weather balloons, clouds, or even moon shots is staggering.

        A professional astronomer was making the following remark : "it is our job to observe the sky and find uncommon things. Occasionally we do, but it is impressive to see how a professional with good tools is less likely to observe UFOs than an amateur with bad tools is."

        UFO = Unindentified Flying/Floating Object. It does not mean "Alien spaceship". When an astronaut says "hey, I saw something passig by there !" it is classified as a UFO because no one wants to take the time to find the identification of the debris he observed.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by 4D6963 (933028)
          Yes, let me break down what you're doing here: you're dismissing all UFO reports because the majority are dismissable. Sure, reports from people who say they saw moving lights in the sky after a couple of beers in their backyard don't sound very compelling, but among all these worthless reports you have military reports such as these [wikipedia.org]. What are you gonna do with those? Are you going to "totally explain it" or are you just going to dismiss it as "that probably was just a seagull and the F-4 pilots were out of
          • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Monday June 01, 2009 @04:21AM (#28165499) Homepage

            What are you gonna do with those?

            Sort them into the "unexplained" folder and move on. Just because you can't explain something doesn't mean it was an alien spacecraft. That case, as all the others, doesn't give you hard evidence for anything. Do we have now a clear picture of a space craft? Nope. Any idea how its propulsion system works? Nope. Who piloted it? Nope. Any idea about anything at all? Not really.

            If you want to demonstrate that alien spacecrafts are real, you have to come up with some good evidence, not just an single unexplained anomaly. Find multiple anomalies that follow the same pattern and you might be getting somewhere, but a single one off doesn't really help you much with anything, especially not when you fill in the lack of facts with random UFO fiction.

            When it comes to weird things happening in the air I like the story of British Airways Flight 9 [wikipedia.org], full of mystery and suspense and it also happens to be fully explained in the end.

            • by 4D6963 (933028)

              Sort them into the "unexplained" folder and move on.

              What the hell is wrong with you?? Why wouldn't you want to learn more, whatever it is. Well you're obviously not a scientist, otherwise you'd want to know.

              You want a clear picture? How about a clear video, complete with radar distance readings, raw on-screen radar return, and radar operator comments? [youtube.com]. The propulsion system? If you had read a few military UFO reports you'd know that most seem to have a ionisation glow, if that can be any indication of w

              • by Yvanhoe (564877)
                First UFO on the movie : can't tell, just a stationary dot (a flare ?)

                Second one : My bets are on weather balloon. It moves at a constant speed, and has the shape.

                The UFO pattern you describe is known as foo fighter [wikipedia.org]. Known, recognized, unexplained, unlikely to be of alien origin, it looks more like an atmospheric phenomenon.
                • So if it is just an atmospheric phenomenon then why wouldn't we still want to explore it a bit and figure out what it is and how it works? Just dismissing it does tend to go against the natural scientific curiosity to explain the world around us. In fact, you think there would be a bit more interest in explaining the "unknowns" in regards to reported UFOs as all of the other explanations have been ruled out, if you know what it isn't, then it must be something new that you don't know about.
                  • by 4D6963 (933028)
                    Yeah, but no one wants to be the loony scientist who goes UFO hunting. Probably because that would actually kill your career.
                • by 4D6963 (933028)

                  It's the same UFO...

                  And it's not stationary at all, since the radar tracked it the trajectory/speed of this object is known [ntlworld.com] and last time I checked balloons don't travel 13 miles in 6 seconds. But I'll expect something like "I don't trust what's written on the web".

                  And no, foo fighters follow the tail. They don't pull shit like that [wikipedia.org]

              • by node 3 (115640) on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:02AM (#28165941)

                Well you're obviously not a scientist, otherwise you'd want to know.

                Obviously you're not a scientist, or you'd know the number one idea behind science is mistrust of our conclusions. You check and double-check continuously, until the mountain of results is overwhelming. And even then you keep in mind that you might still be wrong, that the next experiment may not fit with the rest.

                The one thing you don't do, that you must never, ever do as a scientist is jump to conclusions on flimsy data. When something is unknown or unidentified, you don't default to the first thing that comes to mind. You might, and in fact should, form hypotheses. There's nothing wrong with hypothesizing that UFOs are extraterrestrial craft. But there isn't even remotely sufficient evidence to validate that hypothesis.

                And this is unfortunate, as I think there would be few things more amazing than the discovery of alien intelligence, here, visiting Earth. But knowing how much I'd like such a thing to be true, brings us back to the number one idea behind science. Knowing how easy it is to interpret data in accordance not to reality, but to our desires, you have to mistrust your conclusions, especially those you'd really like to be true. To do otherwise is not science, it's superstition, it's religion, it's a million things but the one thing it is not is science.

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by CmdrGravy (645153)

                  The one thing you don't do, that you must never, ever do as a scientist is jump to conclusions on flimsy data

                  And yet the major thrust of everything you've been saying is to jump to the enormous, and currently unsupportable, conclusion that some UFOs are actually alien spacecraft which have, somehow, travelled billions of light years from their home worlds all the way here to Earth and then spend 10mins or so flying around, maybe a day or so inserting probes in rednecks and then somehow disappear.

                • by 4D6963 (933028)
                  No no see you got it wrong. No one's claiming anything here other than "we should look into that, because we definitely don't know what it is and it MIGHT be space aliens". Period. Nothing unscientific about that, what's unscientific is ruling out all possibilities and not looking for new ones. When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
              • most seem to have a ionisation glow, if that can be any indication of what it does.

                Lol. Cos all glows are due to ionisation, ofc. Want to investigate? Take a spectrograph next time you go party with one of these things, and tell us exactly what is ionising.

                You just don't seem to get what everyone else is saying to you. The most likely explanation is still perceptual and sensory glitches. In radar hardware, and in the mind. Seriously, its very easy to screw up your mind and see stuff wrong, or stuff that isn't there.

                Now I've heard stories too, of bright lights swiftly changing directi

          • by Yvanhoe (564877)
            We lack data about this one. No pictures, no recordings... It is not something to dismiss, it is an interesting anomaly, but attributing it to an alien spaceship seems unreasonable before you eliminate all the other possibilities : ball-lightning, magnetic storms, are both explanations that can only be ruled out by the original bias "I want to believe". We just have insufficient data. Scientists can live with unexplained phenomenons. There are tons of UFOs with assorted hypothesis, and still no alien spaces
            • by 4D6963 (933028)

              Who attributed it to alien spaceships? No one? Didn't think so. But it has to be kept as a possibility because from the reports it looks likely that these flying things weren't made by any of us, and that they display some sort of intelligent behavior.

              And no, scientists can't live with unexplained phenomenons and not take a crack at looking at what's going on with them. Except in the case of what they already decided cannot exist.

        • by mpe (36238)
          UFO = Unindentified Flying/Floating Object. It does not mean "Alien spaceship". When an astronaut says "hey, I saw something passig by there !" it is classified as a UFO because no one wants to take the time to find the identification of the debris he observed.

          Including such things as waste water dumped by the spacecraft... There's going to be more concern if there is a risk of collision or the whatever is identified as something which should be attached to the spacecraft!
        • by moon3 (1530265)
          Lots of people is starting to look up in infrared. Interesting stuff is going on up there.

          Watch this YouTube video for example:

          ULM1RbK1Lwo

          This is just a tip of an big iceberg.
      • we should point more modest telescopes at whatever's flying in our sky. A few automated stations around the world that would observe the sky for moving objects automatically and record anything about the unidentified ones would offer great insight on the nature and characteristics of whatever those unidentified objects are

        ~...and within 15 minutes after you publish your data on your web sites, a bunch of men in suits come knocking to your door and accusing you of being a terrorist and compromising national security, because 99% of all those unknown object you just mapped happen to be secret military satellites~

        More seriously, it's been actually done before, and most of the time the spotted object are military satellites indeed.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      To judge from comments by former F-117 maintainers when it stopped being a "black" program, plenty of UFO sightings were 117s. Reasonable, since the public has no need (not to be confused with desire) to know about
      classified aircraft missions. Long before those days, it was common to build and test unusual aircraft because
      there was no way to computer model them.

  • 1967 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Monday June 01, 2009 @02:54AM (#28165167) Homepage

    The UFO sightings in the 1960s were most likely stealth aircraft (such as the Lockheed A-12 [wikipedia.org], the deployment of which matches the dates in the article very conveniently)

    No word on why an A-12 would be in Britain, although odds are that any Cold War era UFO sightings were experimental aircraft that the government didn't want anybody (read: the Soviets) to know about.

    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      Nice way to talk out of your arse, considered that very few UFO reports could be explained by a A-12/SR-71, which only two distinctive characteristics are a very distinct shape and the ability to fly very fast in a straight line, and as you said yourself, there's no reasons for such planes to go fly circles above Britain.
    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      http://www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/sebc/visit/aafhistory.cfm [stedmundsbury.gov.uk]

      Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Shepherds' Grove and Tuddenham.

    • by Xest (935314)

      It was also an important period for atmospheric nuclear tests (which can cause effects such as auroras) and space programs.

  • The article makes no mention of either black oil or sexy redheads, both known to endanger world security. :P
  • by Sarusa (104047) on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:19AM (#28165279)

    The third batch are at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos/ [nationalarchives.gov.uk] and then there's a link on the right two the first two batches.

    It's fairly interesting that as with the US documents there's no smoking guns here but there are a lot of 'yeah that was experimental or military but we couldn't admit it at the time' and the rest is 'we have no idea what that was.' So either they're playing a meta-game here or there really is nothing but 'man that unidentified thing sure was... unidentified.' I think it's unlikely that two such incompetent entities could do such a brilliant job of covering up something as huge as decades (or millenia) long alien visitations, but this won't prove it either way.

  • by kms_one (1272174) on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:29AM (#28165317)
    My favorite UFO tales are the paintings and carvings of spaceships that have appeared across the millenia. Like these: http://www.alien-ufo-pictures.com/alien_photos5.html [alien-ufo-pictures.com]
  • More nfo here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bearhouse (1034238) on Monday June 01, 2009 @03:55AM (#28165403)

    Interestingly, they decided to release the files due to the sheer workload of responding to individual requests for information. The article states that they got more requests for info about UFOs than about Iraq for Afghanistan...anyway, you can get to the files here:

    "All these files and more besides are now available on the MoD website, www.mod.uk. Go to the Freedom of Information section and search the Publication Scheme and the Disclosure Log, using keywords such as UFO and UAP and itâ(TM)s all there, alongside documents and files on a vast range of other fascinating subjects including MoDâ(TM)s 2001 remote viewing study."

  • by thaig (415462) on Monday June 01, 2009 @08:02AM (#28166737) Homepage

    Nick Pope has written two science fiction books about alien contact, Operation Thunderchild and Operation Lightning Strike.

    I've read Operation Thunderchild and enjoyed it a lot. It is set in Britain, which is nice for us because so much of the other material is set in the US and copies from itself so much that one film is like another. It also deals quite well with the whole difficulty that governments have in working out what's happening from lots of confused reports, deciding how to tackle the problem, understanding the intent of the ufos and when and what to tell the population.

    I like it because the humans have a hard time and I think that's likely.

  • " a scientific skeptic attempts to evaluate claims based on verifiability and falsifiability rather than accepting claims on faith, anecdotes, or relying on unfalsifiable categories." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_skepticism [wikipedia.org]

    Mr Pope is not Mulder and that was a work of fiction. The advent of the mobile phone with built in camera has demonstrated the ability of ordinary individuals to photograph events as they happen and distribute them to the news media. The use of this facility to distribute all

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