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  1. #1
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    What do the UFO files reveal?

    UFO files released by the MoD tell us more about Britain in the 1950s than they do about aliens, says Damian Thompson.

    By Damian Thompson
    Published: 8:37AM BST 05 Aug 2010
    21 Comments

    A sketch of a UFO from the newly released files Photo: PA

    U. F. O. Three letters that produce a feeling of creeping unease in normally rational people – albeit for different reasons.
    For some of us, nothing is more disturbing than the thought of unexplained objects in the sky. They may be turquoise lights that throb gently among the stars, causing you to stop and squint as you put out the rubbish. Or they may be sinister black projectiles that flash across your windscreen so fast that you nearly crash your car. Either way, there's something Out There and the Ministry of Defence needs to know about it. (Unless it already does, but isn't saying.)
    For others, the mere thought of UFOs produces a different kind of fear: that of being cornered at a party by – and here I'm quoting a colleague – "one of those paranoid losers who wear the same T-shirt for five days in a row".
    If that's your view of UFO enthusiasts – or Ufologists, as they prefer to be known – then you had better go on red alert right now. Because last night, on the dot of midnight, the Government released previously secret files from the National Archives which prove that, for many years, flying objects were a much bigger deal than we suspected. True believers will go nuts with excitement.
    The MoD files (Ufologists always talk about "files", never boring old documents) reveal that RAF jets were scrambled to investigate UFO reports no fewer than 200 times a year during the Cold War. Martin Redmond, an obscure Labour MP, extracted this information from the MoD back in 1996, but only now has the answer to his Parliamentary Question been published.
    Two hundred times a year! Those were busy skies, crawling with unidentified blips on the radar and three fighter jets a week sent to check them out and, if necessary, take them to our leader. But take a closer look at what the documents reveal. All those jets were scrambled or diverted from other tasks during the Cold War. The incidents fell to zero after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
    In other words, the MoD worked out early on that the only unidentified objects it needed to worry about were anti-submarine aircraft and spy planes sent into British airspace by Moscow. These particular "UFO" reports were a product of the Cold War.
    But the MoD files also include a different type of UFO report: sketches of extra-terrestrial rockets and spaceships sent in by members of the public, which until now have remained hidden in the National Archives. These range from a simple triangle with three lights (one red, which "pulsed", two white, which "did not pulse") to a "small rocketcraft" seen in the vicinity of Jupiter that bears a spooky resemblance to a flying lavatory brush. The latter drawing is inscribed, in neat handwriting, with the words: "All rights reserved. All rights waived for defence purposes."
    The loo brush UFO dates from the 1980s and is therefore a relatively late example of the phenomenon. Bizarrely, the MoD employed an official, Nick Pope, to collate these reports during the late 1990s. He uncovered nothing genuinely mysterious, though the popularity of The X-Files ensured plenty of media exposure. But this was long after the heyday of the UFO phenomenon, which stretched from the late 1940s to the 1970s and was at its most intense during periods of international tension.
    This may seem a trivial detail, but I'm always struck by how many observers from that period reported seeing lozenge-shaped aircraft. People sucked lots of lozenges in the 1950s, just as they drank gallons of Horlicks and other malted drinks: soothing products for a nervous age. Behind the dazzling smiles of housewives and hubbies in the advertisements of the period lurked real and justified anxiety about Communists and the atom bomb.

    Full article :

    What do the UFO files reveal? - Telegraph
    Last edited by Bangyai; 05-08-2010 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
    loob lor geezer
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    UFO files: Winston Churchill 'feared panic' over Second World War RAF incident

    Winston Churchill was accused of ordering a cover-up of a Second World War encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber because he feared public "panic" and loss of faith in religion, newly released secret files disclose.
    By Andrew Hough, and Peter Hutchison
    Published: 12:01AM BST 05 Aug 2010

    Link to this video

    * Do you know the scientist who wrote to the Ministry of Defence? If so please contact us on either andrew.hough[at]telegraph.co.uk or the newsdesk 0207 931 2500.

    The former Prime Minister allegedly banned reporting of the “bizarre” incident, off the east coast of England, for half a century amid fears disclosures about unidentified flying objects would create public hysteria.
    He is said to have made the orders during a secret war meeting with US General Dwight Eisenhower, the then commander of the Allied Forces, at an undisclosed location in America during the latter part of the conflict.
    The claims are contained in thousands of pages of declassified files on UFOs, released on Thursday online by the National Archives.
    The 18 files, which cover from 1995 to 2003, are made up of more than 5,000 pages of reports, letters, and drawings drawn from correspondence with the public and questions raised in parliament.
    The allegations involving Churchill were made by the grandson of one his personal bodyguards, an RAF officer who overheard the discussion, who wrote to the Ministry of Defence in 1999 inquiring about the incident after his grandfather disclosed details to his family.
    According to the series of letters, written by the guard's grandson who is now a physicist from Leicester, a reconnaissance plane and its crew were returning from a mission over occupied Europe when they were involved in the war incident.
    During their flight, on the English coast, possibly near Cumbria, their aircraft was approached by a metallic UFO which shadowed them.
    Photographs of the object, which the crew claimed had “hovered noiselessly” near the plane, were taken by the crew.
    Later, during discussions about the unexplained incident, the two men were claimed to have become so concerned by the incident that Churchill ordered it remain secret for 50 years or more.
    During the meeting, a weapons expert dismissed suggestions the object was a missile as the event was "totally beyond any imagined capabilities of the time".
    Another person at the meeting raised the possibility of a UFO, at which point Churchill ordered the report to be classified for at least half a century and reviewed by the prime minister to stop “panic” spreading.
    “There was a general inability for either side to match a plausible account to these observations, and this caused a high degree of concern,” wrote the scientist, whose details are redacted.
    "Mr Churchill is reported to have made a declaration to the effect of the following: 'This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church'."

    Full article :

    UFO files: Winston Churchill 'feared panic' over Second World War RAF incident - Telegraph
    Last edited by Bangyai; 05-08-2010 at 05:33 PM.

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