Recent UK ufo sightings in 2008…. a reality check please!
Posted by dandare on July 4, 2008
In case you might not be aware, the Uk has been inundated with UFO sightings for a while now; the start of the year seemed to be normal, with a standard amount of reported UFO sightings in the media, and online.
So it seems the catalyse came on May 14th, when the MOD released 8 ufo files (each one a pdf file, consisting of many sightings); they are still available for download from the National archives website (please see the national archives for the files you can download) however, now a small fee is charged. These cover the years 1978-1987….. thanks must go to David Clarke, Joe Mc Gonagle and Gary Anthony for actively pursuing the right for all of us to see these files. There will be more files to follow.
The media covered this, with some half decent reporting, to rather dubious reporting ..below is only a very small sample of the reports/articles written (so there was large media interest:
the BBC ”Files released on UFO sightings” it mentions
“They include accounts of strange lights in the sky and unexplained objects being spotted by the public, armed forces and police officers” and “Much of the previously classified paperwork is made up of correspondence from the public sent to government officials, such as the MoD and then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher” (extracts from article).
The today programme “UFO sightingsfiles released“ … with media player (audio) 4 mins.
BBC News “Dear MOD: where is ET?” written by Dr. David Clarke…. it mentions:
“For decades the Ministry of Defence kept what it knew about UFOs locked away in its archives. Now, the contents of what have been called Britain’s X-Files are finally being revealed. One of the UK’s leading UFO experts told Radio 4′s Today programme about his hunt.
The first eight of 160 MoD UFO files have been opened at the National Archives, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act” (extract from article).
Daily Telegraph “British government releases UFO files” including video (1min 53secs). it mentions:
“The most comprehensive Government files on UFO activity are opened to the public for the first time today and they disclose that even air traffic controllers and police officers have seen mysterious craft in the skies over Britain” (extract from article).
“Yet the files do show that the MoD conducted a rigorous investigation of every alleged sighting of a UFO until well into the 1980s. In a briefing note in 1979 the MoD wrote: “Her Majesty’s Government has never been approached by people from outer space.” But the Defence Intelligence Staff was given the task of following up sightings, interviewing witnesses, collating information and filing reports” (extract from article).
blogs.guardian.co.uk “Explore the X-files” it mentions:
“Several sightings in the files are from police. At quarter past midnight on Christmas Day 1985, a group of 3 police officers in Woking were surprised by a white light descending on the Horsell area. The officers were apparently worried their report would not be taken seriously because Horsell Common features in HG Wells’ War of the Worlds as the place where the first Martians land” (extract from article).
news distribution service (NDS) ”Ministry of Defence release X-files“
Reuters “Green aliens, ufos said to visit“
“Aliens from outer space have been visiting Britain for years and UFO sightings doubled after the film Close Encounters was released in 1977, according to secret files collating reports by members of the public.
The alien craft come in all shapes, sizes and colors but their occupants are uniformly green, the Ministry of Defence files show” (extract from article).
“The files consist of a variety of documents, including numerous individual sightings, accounts of investigations and briefings prepared by MoD staff for ministers on the subject. “There are a lot of conspiracy theories that have grown up about the military interest in UFOs. What we are getting to see in these papers are the actual facts,” said Dr David Clarke, a lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, in a podcast prepared for the National Archives on the release” (extract from article). Included is a podcast at the bottom of the article.
The Independant “The truth really is out there as Britain’s X-files released“
What i liked, was this mentioned near the end ”It will show that in April 1984 police in Edgware, north London, were called to investigate a light flashing “blue, white, green and pink”, followed by a “blinding white ball with a tail”. Women ran to their homes, screaming, with one declaring to officers: “I am not a nutter”" (extract from article).
news.scotsman.com “Truth is out there as government releases ufo files“
“ACCOUNTS of bright lights in the sky and even alien abduction have been made public for the first time in a batch of “X Files” released by the Ministry of Defence.
The sun “Brit ufo fever is flying sky high“… wins my reward for the most stupid ufo alleged photo!!!
*** MSN uk news “Britain’s X-files opened to the public” near the end it says
“”It’s a question of who you going to believe: your lying eyes or the government?” once remarked John Callahan, a former Federal Aviation Administration investigator, who said the CIA tried to hush-up the sighting of a huge illuminated ball four times the size of a jumbo jet in Alaska in 1987. You’ll forgive me if I have more faith in my 20/20 vision than I do in any elected representative” (extract from article).
*** news.uk msn (from ITN) “Britain’s X-files made public“
*** news24.com “Britons spotted UFOs“
“But enthusiasts hoping for evidence that aliens were attempting to land in Britain will be disappointed” (extract from article).
*** M & C “Is there anything out there?”
“They used to be stamped ‘Secret: For British Eyes Only’ – but on Wednesday files about the sighting of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in the skies over Britain were made public for the first time” (extract from article).
*** commentisfree.guardian.co.uk “ET alors?”
*** RINF.COM “MOD begins full UFO-files public release“
“Many of the MoD’s UFO files – including, probably, most of the good stuff – have already been revealed under Freedom of Information Act requests. In particular, the splendid conspiracy fodder surrounding the Rendlesham Forest incident of 1980 (“Britain’s Roswell”) has long been available, full of mysterious lights, strange marks left in the ground and traces of radiation. Even better, the cameras recording the British air-defence radar picture were switched off at the time, indicating an almost certain government conspiracy” (extract from article).
*** Time.com “Britain releases its X-files“
*** this is local London “Croydon UFO sighting included in X-files“
“The Sanderstead resident recalled peeping out of her bedroom window at 3am, in June 1983, and seeing a large rectangular-shaped object passing slowly.
“There seemed to be no means of propulsion. The object was not being pushed, pulled, lifted or carried – its movement was silent,” she reported. She drew a picture of what she had seen and it appears in one of the eight files of reports released yesterday by the National Archives in Kew” (extract from article).
So obviously, this was now in the public eye, and alerted certain media, to the possible attraction of this type of news during silly season (thats around june – august, as there is usually not a load of news to report on).
So, reports started increasing, after the UFO files were released by the MOD, but what gained world attention again, was the article by tabloid newspaper “the Sun” (a dubious paper at best for actual facts, in all regards). The article was ”Cops chase a UFO over Cardiff“
“The incident happened as the helicopter was returning to the MoD’s St Athan base near Cardiff, where it is stationed.The chopper was at 500ft and waiting to land when the crew saw the UFO speeding towards them from below.
A source said: “It closed in at great speed, aiming straight at the helicopter, “The chopper had to swerve sharply to avoid being hit. The guys said if they’d stayed where they were, they’d be dead – it would’ve been a direct hit.
“They are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they know what they saw” (extract from article). The incident took place on the 7th june 2008 it was reported by the sun.
However, it seems that the date of the incident is not clear cut (either the 7th or 8th june), and there seems to be two versions to the sighting…. that was soon relayed to the other tabloid papers, then the other major streamline papers, and soon it hit the world media, who clamoured for information.
There is a basis of truth in this incident, but how much has been added, is the question.
drawing by “the Sun” below
I also disagree with Nick (gullable)Pope, how do we know that the helicopter had a near miss with a UFO….this is from the sun newspaper (no source available) who have papers to sell in the silly season (and not interested in facts). I’m not dismissing it totally (but i find the whole thing unlikely at best), just that this might take on a totally new identity (oops it already has).
All types of both local and national newspapers, started reporting about recent sightings (and it seemed like open season-as it were), but quite a few are quite obviously IFO (Identified Flying Objects); the majority being ufo balloons/lanterns…. and trying to find the legitimate incidents from the rest is proving differcult.
This is a big shame….I did see some articles, for instance of the Liverpool lights incident, recently, and that it was an “invasion”…. as i live not too far away from the city, most people are completely unaware of this invasion. It was a complete fabrication, and nowhere near reality.
What is an even bigger shame is that “The Sun” seem to think they are now experts on the subject, and have their own dedicated page to UFO’s….. personally, i wish they would leave the UFO subject well alone…
I will dwell on this some more, at a later date, but felt i had to mention something, about the recent spike in UFO sightings in the UK.
What effect will this have on Ufology when it all dies down? i do not know? I am not blaiming the public though, as i genuinely believe alot are reporting sightings, that they really want an answer too (although you are also inevitably going to get your fair share of hoaxes). Some ufologists seem to also like to jump on the bandwagon, and hype up the situation…. this to is not a great help.
What we should be looking for is the facts…. but they too might be illusive….