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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Jan > Jan 4

British MOD UFO Study

From: Dave Clarke <cd292@crazydiamonds.fsnet.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 18:29:06 -0000
Fwd Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 16:51:20 -0500
Subject: British MOD UFO Study

Source: Yorkshire Post (Leeds, U.K.)


4 January 2002


The British Government had its own version of the X-Files, and
for decades denied the fact. Only through the dogged
perseverance of a Yorkshire researcher did they eventually come
to light, as STEPHEN BISCOE reports.

AT the height of the Cold War, UFO fever was so rampant in the
UK that the Ministry of Defence set up a secret working party to
try to establish if Earth really was under observation by
visiting aliens.

It involved experts from the Directorate of Scientific
Intelligence and the Joint Technical Intelligence Committee, and
eventually they produced a report. Then the MoD spent the next
49 years denying it ever existed.

Yesterday, the Public Record Office (PRO) made the papers
public, but only after their existence had been admitted to a
local government Press officer.

Had it not been for Dr David Clarke,it is unlikely that they
would have come to light.

Clarke combines his local government job with an academic career
which has made him one of the country's leading folklore

A researcher at the National Centre for English Cultural
Tradition at Sheffield University, he is the author of several
books on a range of folkloric traditions.

His latest book Out of the Shadows, to be published in May by
Piatkus, draws on the two years of research he has been carrying
out for a post-doctoral study.

In the course of it, he came across references in official
government documents to the report of the secret working party
set up on Churchill's orders in 1950 to investigate reports of
UFO sightings.

In 1980, the 30-year rule ended its term of confidentiality -
but the rule was ignored and it remained secret. Clarke says, in
fact, that he was repeatedly told by the MoD that no such report
existed; it even denied the existence of the working party. Yet
the Sheffield researcher was still coming across references to

He was being lied to - and so was Parliament. In 1955 and again
in 1962, the Yorkshire Conservative MP Major Sir Patrick Wall
asked questions in the House about the report, and each time was
told that there had been no formal study.

Those who knew otherwise might have thought it contained such
startling data that the Government dared not risk causing panic
by making it public.

Clarke was certainly so intrigued that he kept up his pesterings
until eventually, in May last year, the MoD actually admitted
that the report did exist - and furthermore, allowed him see it.

What he read astounded him because nothing in it even hinted
thatthe researchers believed in an extra-terrestrial invasion.
Indeed, the authors dismissed the claims of UFO sightings as
"optical illusions and psychological delusions" - or just plain

They wrote: "We consider that no progress will be made by
attempting further investigation of unco-ordinated and
subjective evidence, and that positive results could only be
obtained by organising throughout the country, or the world,
continuous observation of the skies by a co-ordinated network of
visual observers, equipped with photographic apparatus, and
supplemented by a network of radar stations and sound locators."

They concluded: "We should regard this, on the evidence so far
available, as a singularly profitless enterprise. We accordingly
recommend very strongly that no further investigation of
reported mysterious aerial phenomena be undertaken, unless and
until some material evidence becomes available."

One of the cases they examined involved Flight Lieutenant Stan
Hubbard from York who, in 1950, described having seen, on two
different occasions, "a flat disc, light pearl grey in colour,
about 50 feet in diameter" flying low over the Royal Aircraft
Establishment at Farnborough at speeds of 800mph to 1,000mph.

The authors of the report said: "We find it impossible to
believe that a most unconventional aircraft, of exceptional
speed, could have travelled at no great altitude, in the middle
of a fine summer morning, over a populous and air-minded
district like Farnborough, without attracting the attention of
more than one observer."

Hubbard did not know about this conclusion until Dave Clarke
tracked him down to his home in Virginia and sent him a copy of
the report. He reacted angrily to its dismissive tone. Hubbard
said that at the second sighting, a few weeks later, he was with
five other test pilots on the roof of the control tower waiting
for one of their colleagues to make a landing - and all of them
saw it.

One of the five was Wing Commander Frank Jolliffe, and Clarke
has spoken to him, too. Jolliffe said he was interviewed by MoD
agents who appeared to be taking his account seriously - and
until he saw the report, he had gone on assuming that that had
been the case.

After the MoD allowed Clarke to see the report last May, it was
sent to the Public Record Office which released it on Wednesday
along with the 1901 Census and other once-confidential

Clarke says: "The fact that it has taken half a century for
these papers to come to light shows how keen the MoD have been
to conceal their interest in the subject of UFOs.

"Rather than coming clean at the time, they decided to keep the
contents of this report secret, which has given rise to all the
claims of Government cover-ups and conspiracies that lie behind
the X-Files mythology.

"What they were covering up was not knowledge of alien visitors,
but simply the fact that they did not have any real answers.

"At that time, at the height of the Cold War, flying saucers
could have been Russian aircraft or missiles and so a policy of
silence was thought to be the safest policy.

"These papers show there was a cover-up, but it was a cover-up
of ignorance not of any secret knowledge."

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