By Lee Speigel
Illustration of an eyewitness account from the U.K. UFO files released on July 12, 2012.
Newly released X-Files from the United Kingdom's National Archives reveal the role of that country's Ministry of Defense UFO Desk officers, what they actually thought about possible alien visits to Earth and their ideas on harnessing alien technology as a weapon.
There are 25 files, comprising more than 6,700 pages, that include UFO policy, parliamentary questions, media issues, public correspondence and, of course, UFO sighting reports. Overall, more than 10,000 UFO reports came through the special Ministry of Defense unit from 1950 to 2009.
"These are probably the most fascinating and bizarre government files ever made available to the public," said Nick Pope, who was the UFO Desk officer from 1991 to 1994.
Nick Pope explains some of the new U.K. X-Files.
"There's massive public interest in UFOs, and at one point, the MoD was getting more Freedom of Information Act requests about UFOs than any other subject," Pope told The Huffington Post in an email. "The files contain the usual mixture of policy documents, sighting reports, photos, sketches and papers discussing how best to handle the subject with Parliament, the media and the public."
File DEFE 24/2080/1 is a collection of MoD UFO information from 1972 to 1995 that includes intelligence papers that were declassified from "secret."
On page 157 of this file is a briefing prepared for the MoD before a 1979 House of Lords debate in which an intelligence officer asks why aliens would want to visit "an insignificant planet (the Earth) of an uninteresting star (the sun)." He wrote that this sort of visit "would probably not occur more than once in 1,000 years or so, even if one assumes that every intelligent community made 10 launches a year." The officer concluded that "claims of thousands of visits in the last decade or so are far too large to be credible."
Pages 38 to 43 of the file contain a 1995 briefing by a UFO Desk officer, calling for a full study of UFOs, since national security implications had never been assessed. The writer suggested that, "If the sightings are not of this Earth, then their purpose needs to be established as a matter of priority."
In that same briefing, an intelligence officer indicates the need to capture UFO technology for U.K. use. "If the reports are taken at face value, then devices exist that do not use conventional reaction propulsion systems; they have a very wide range of speeds and are stealthy. I suggest we could use this technology, if it exists."
File DEFE 24/2090/1 references a U.K. study of what were called Unexplained Aerial Phenomena, or UAP. Page 47 of this file reports that some UFOs/UAP might be rare atmospheric plasmas or ball lightning that could be harnessed or used by the military as "novel weapon technology."A recent Huffington Post story included statements from former undercover CIA officer Chase Brandon, who said that in the 1990s, he found a box labeled "Roswell" at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. Brandon said there was information in that box that was related to the alleged 1947 UFO crash outside of Roswell, N.M.
File DEFE 24/1985/1 brings up the subject of the Roswell incident in a Jan. 3, 1997, response to a question raised on whether or not the MoD had ever been briefed by the CIA about Roswell. The response by a Defense Intelligence official states, "We have no data on the alleged 'Roswell incident' or any 'crashed UFO incidents in the UK.' In short, DI 55 has no records of any UAP/UFO 'crashes' in either the UK or US and have never, as far as we can tell from existing files, received any briefs from any US agencies, including the CIA.""The question of whether or not we're alone in the universe is one of the biggest and most profound questions we can ask," said Pope. "People are fascinated with the idea that we might have been visited, and these files chart MoD's attempts to grapple with the subject."
There is much more to be revealed about the U.K. files, including how Prime Minister Tony Blair was briefed on UFO sightings in 1998, and how the efforts of David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University were instrumental in getting the MoD to release the UFO files to the public.
National Archives consultant David Clarke introduces the new U.K. UFO files.
The UFO files are available to be viewed by the public for free for one month.