August 2010: Newly released UFO files from the UK government
The files contain a wide range of UFO-related documents, drawings, letters and parliamentary questions covering the years 1995-2003.
Discover which part of the country had the most reported UFO sightings and find out more about the terror attack foretold in a dream, mysterious objects tracked by radar and the 100-1 bet on alien life.
Start by reading our highlights guide (PDF, 332kb) to help you navigate your way through the files.
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More British X-Files Released!
by David Clarke
The facts about some of Britain’s best-known UFO mysteries are revealed in the latest collection of ‘X-files’ released by Britain’s National Archives. A total of 18 files containing 5,000 pages of material were released on 5 August and can be downloaded free of charge from the National Archives website for one month.
They provide a unique historical snapshot of the extraordinary beliefs, legends and rumours that were held and spread by ufologists around the time of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the subject, in 1997. These files contain hundreds of letters addressed to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and politicians that cover every conceivable UFO and conspiracy rumour circulating just before the millennium: UFO crashes, alien abductions, animal mutilations, demonic entities, crop circles, remote viewing, mind-control and government conspiracies.
In contrast to this fortean feast of weirdness are the MoD’s increasingly exasperated attempts to pour cold water on topics they regarded as irrelevant at best and a nuisance at worst. But they couldn’t stem the flood of correspondence, which saw a doubling of the UFO desk’s workload. During 1996 – the year before the Roswell anniversary – the MoD received 609 UFO reports, 343 letters from the public and 22 inquiries from MPs.
One of the most intriguing ‘X-files’ contains a request from FT writer and crop circle-maker Rob Irving on the use by police of psychics during criminal investigations (‘Watching the Dream Detectives’ FT86:23–28). In 1995, Irving asked the MoD’s UFO desk officer, Kerry Philpott, if she could confirm a claim made by “psychic detective” Chris Robinson, who said he had alerted staff at RAF Stanmore at Uxbridge to a bomb plot he had seen in a dream weeks before the actual attack. For his trouble, Robinson “was arrested, and kept there all day for interrogation – which I thought was wonderful because now I exist on MoD records”. – More here