Britain Releases UFO Files to Public 05.14.08 Search

UK Follows France in Releasing Info; U.S. Still Mute

James Randerson

Over the next three or four years, 160 files will be handed over to the National Archives. Covering 1978 to 1987, the first group of eight files, one of which is more than 450 pages long, is available via its website today.

There was the man on a fishing trip who was shown around a flying saucer by aliens in green overalls; another who befriended an extraterrestrial called Algar and wanted to introduce him to the government; and the astonished air traffic controller who watched a UFO land on his airport's runway, then disappear. Inevitably, the Ministry of Defence papers, released to the public for the first time, will be known as Britain's X-Files. Over the next three or four years, 160 files will be handed over to the National Archives. Covering 1978 to 1987, the first group of eight files, one of which is more than 450 pages long, is available via its website today. Some of the incidents are truly bizarre, but although some UFO sightings remain unexplained there is no evidence in the files for alien contact. "There simply is no saucer-in-a-hangar smoking gun," said Nick Pope, a former civil servant who worked at the MoD for 21 years, spending three years on its UFO desk. The MoD has decided to release the files because of the deluge of requests it has received from UFO buffs and conspiracy theorists under the Freedom of Information Act. "They are sinking in a sea of FOI requests on UFOs," said Pope. "The administrative burden in dealing with them on a case by case basis is horrendous."

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