Mon, Mar 23, 2009 - Page 6 News List

UK opens Ministry of Defence UFO files

THE TRUTH IS IN THERE The release of classified documents sheds light on some of the UK’s most infamous ‘alien’ encounters, but also raises questions

THE OBSERVER , LONDON

As close encounters go, the claim by a woman that an alien attempted to seduce her on a country road sounds far-fetched, but files released yesterday reveal that it was considered serious enough for the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) to investigate.

The Norfolk woman who claimed she was approached by a man who said he came from another planet similar to Earth was questioned by the MoD intelligence branch DI55, whose brief was to investigate credible UFO reports.

She told them that, during their 10-minute chat, the man said his race was responsible for creating crop circles and explained the importance of contact between humans and his own people.

The woman, whose identity is not revealed in the government’s “X-Files,” was described by officials as “agitated” following the incident in which she “heard a loud buzzing noise behind her, then turned to witness a large, glowing spherical object rise steadily until it disappeared.”

The claims were examined by DI55 (whose very existence was denied by the government until recently) and described by an intelligence official as “one of our most unusual UFO reports.”

Other cases include the description of a black inverted boomerang-shaped UFO by two experienced air traffic controllers at Heathrow. The sighting, from the airport’s control tower on the morning of Dec. 17, 1992, came a week after numerous witnesses in Louth, Lincolnshire, reported seeing three lights attached to a large, triangular craft.

Yesterday’s release of the MoD documents also sheds light on one of Britain’s most infamous UFO episodes, namely the death of a US air force pilot, Captain William Schaffner, whom conspiracy theorists believe was killed during a duel with aliens above the North Sea.

On the evening of Sept. 8, 1970, Schaffner’s RAF Lightning crashed into the sea during a low-level exercise following take-off from RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire. Schaffner’s body was never found, which became significant after claims emerged that Schaffner’s plane was scrambled to intercept UFOs.

Although the 28-year-old’s death continues to be attributed by some Internet sites to a secret war between aliens and earthlings, the MoD files contain a previously unreleased summary of the original RAF Board of Inquiry report into the crash, which makes no mention of UFOs. It concluded that the pilot’s death was a tragic accident.

One of the themes to emerge from these papers is the Aurora spy plane saga, with the files containing a little-known set of color photographs, apparently taken in the Scottish Highlands, which appear to show a large diamond-shaped UFO shadowed by military jets.

During the 1980s, rumors abounded about a spy plane codenamed Aurora, said to be capable of hypersonic speed. Although the US authorities denied its existence, alleged sightings frequently made headlines in UFO magazines. The DI55 papers confirm that officials also believed it was possible that someone was flying an advanced aircraft within UK air space.

The most intriguing incident involving such a craft occurred at 9pm on Aug. 4, 1990, at Calvine, a remote hamlet near Pitlochry in Scotland. According to the brief details released by the MoD, witnesses saw a diamond-shaped UFO hovering for about 10 minutes before it disappeared upwards at high speed. During the incident, Harrier jump jets were seen making a number of low-level passes. Color photographs reveal both the UFO and at least one of the jets.

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