Is the truth really out there? At last, the MoD opens its files

ISGP section: UFO press reports index

Source: The Independent (London, England) (May 4, 2007)(1072 words)
Document Type: Newspaper
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Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2007 Independent News & Media PLC

Byline: Robert Verkaik


"Unidentified object seen. Bright, yellow, thin, stationary. Size of 737. Second object same shape seen behind first at some distance... It could have been as much as a mile wide."

Not the words of a local leaving the Dog and Duck at throwing out time, but the most recent report by a British pilot of a sighting of an unidentified flying object. It was logged by Captain Ray Bower, a 50-year-old pilot of 22 years experience, who made the observation during a flight over the Channel Islands last week. If the truth really is out there, then Britain's growing army of UFO hunters hope that Capt Bower's report and thousands of other sightings of cigarshaped objects and strange flashing lights will eventually prove it.

Bombarded by requests to see the evidence, the Ministry of Defence is to release Britain's official documents of UFO sightings, so the public can judge for themselves whether we are being visited by alien life forms.

A spokeswoman for the MoD said: "We are receiving a lot of requests at the moment to see this information so we have decided to put the reports on our web-site. But to give this some sort of context we have only ever been interested in reports that have a defence perspective."

The decision will be a blow to Britain's conspiracy industry which has found the MoD's secrecy over UFO sightings compelling evidence of a cover-up. It was only recently that the MoD acknowledged that a government UFO unit, known as S4F (Air) or DI55, even existed.

Capt Bower's report will now be examined by MoD investigators who will try to establish whether what he saw posed any threat to national security.

According to his local newspaper, Capt Bower spotted a bright-yellow light 10 miles west of Alderney while his plane was about 30 miles from the island and at 4,000ft. "It was a very sharp, thin yellow object with a green area. It was 2,000ft up and stationary," he said. "I thought it was about 10 miles away, although I later realised it was approximately 40 miles from us. At first, I thought it was the size of a 737. But it must have been much bigger. It could have been as much as a mile wide."

As he continued his approach to Alderney, he saw a second object further to the west. "It was exactly the same but looked smaller because it was further away," he said. "It was closer to Guernsey. As I got closer to it, it became clear to me that it was tangible. I was in two minds about going towards it to have a closer look but decided against it because of the size of it. I had to think of the safety of the passengers first."

Capt Bower is not alone. Thousands of people have reported sightings to MoD. In 2004, the most recent documents available, the MoD's UFO unit received 88 reports.

But it is the dispassionate observations of pilots and military personnel which the MoD tends to take most seriously. Many of these reports have been transferred to the National Archives Office in Kew. Britain's most famous UFO sighting was at Rendlesham Forest, near RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk, in 1980. The "Rendlesham File" concerns a sighting of a "glowing" triangular object by US Air Force police.

The documents had only previously been made available to about 20 people who used the American Freedom of Information Act to gain access to them.

The report says that in the early hours of 27 December 1980 a number of US Air Force men witnessed the object hover in the sky, transmitting blue pulsating lights and sending nearby farm animals into a "frenzy". In a report entitled "Unexplained Lights", USAF Lt Col Charles I Halt, the deputy base commander at RAF Bentwaters, adjacent to Woodbridge, told how he witnessed an object emitting a "red sun-like light" moving through the trees.

The MoD's response read: "No evidence was found of any threat to the defence of the United Kingdom, and no further investigations were carried out."

Twenty seven years later the MoD still remains to be convinced of the case for visits by alien life forms.

Capt Bower has also kept an opened mind about his experience. "I'm certainly not saying that it was something of another world," he said. "All I'm saying is that I have never seen anything like it before in all my years of flying."

Devon, October 1967:

Sgt Roger Willey and Pc Clifford Waycott were driving along a country lane when they were dazzled by bright white lights in the sky. There have been many theories, including spy ships sent by the Soviet Union...

Somewhere over southern England, 1994:

The crew of an Air France flight from Nice to London saw a giant disk that seemed change shape and colour. After a minute or so it disappeared.