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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2008 > May > May 26

Government Officials Were Telling The Truth

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 07:01:14 -0400
Archived: Mon, 26 May 2008 07:01:14 -0400
Subject: Government Officials Were Telling The Truth

Source: The New York Times - New York, USA


May 26, 2008

[Illustrations at site]

British UFO shocker! Government Officials Were Telling The Truth
By Sarah Lyall

LONDON: They were shaped like cigars, saucers, coffins and
amorphous blinking blobs. They hovered in a menacing manner,
traveled at impossible speeds and vanished into the netherworld,
or, in one instance, a hedge in Cornwall.

A few carried humanoid life forms, or so it seemed. A few
materialized courtesy of the observers' possibly having had a
drink too many, as in the case of an unidentified flying light
cluster witnessed loitering in the sky by the patrons of a pub
in Kent.

Whatever they were, these phenomena reported to Britain's
Ministry of Defense over the years and made public this month
were almost certainly not actual alien aircraft piloted by
actual alien beings.

"The government has been telling us the truth," declared David
Clarke, a senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam
University, who has a side interest in UFOs. "There are a lot of
weird things in the sky, and some of them we can't explain, but
there's not a shred of evidence for a single alien visitation."

Which is, frankly, a letdown, as is the government's prosaic
explanation of why, for decades, it has meticulously documented
reports of UFO sightings. "We only check the sightings from the
perspective of making sure that our military airspace has not
been breached, and we pretty much never have airspace breaches,"
a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity =97 not
because she works with Agent Mulder in some shadowy basement
office, but because that is government policy =97 said the
ministry had begun making the files public because it had been
inundated with UFO-related requests under Britain's Freedom of
Information Act.

The files from 1978 to 2002 were released this month. Some older
files have already been declassified and made public; the rest
will be released over the next few years. Available on the Web
from the National Archives at ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk, they
cover hundreds of sightings but are hardly the X-Files. Much of
the material consists of one-page forms carrying details like
how big the supposed aircraft was and what, if anything, it
seemed to be doing.

A citizen who gives her profession as "meals on wheels operator"
describes her shock and awe at the sight of a smallish "Vulcan-
shaped object" hovering in the sky. Another witness says she was
roused from bed by a brilliant light emanating from a UFO "the
size of a milk-bottle base."

"Some time on a Monday evening during the break in watching
'Quincy' =97 I checked my watch =97 I noticed an unusual happening
in the sky," one correspondent wrote. And from Cornwall, a
report arrived from a 28-year-old motorist who observed a bright
yellow light "which bobbed and weaved" over the road, an image
recalling Tinkerbell's mode of travel in "Peter Pan."

"The light changed to a purplish color, prior to its exit into a
thick hedgerow," the report reads.

The files include random newspaper clippings of questionable
journalistic rigor. A 1986 Daily Mirror article reports that the
light "from a glowing red object" suffused the cockpit of a
Royal Air Force jet carrying Prince Charles, seriously unnerving
the pilot. As an aside, the newspaper noted that "Prince Philip
has been a keen UFO follower for the past 36 years."

There are long letters asking big questions. "When is a flying
saucer not a flying saucer?" muses one correspondent. "And is
the mothership man-made or from a distant planet?"

In the old days, the United States systematically compiled
reports of UFO sightings, too. But its last program, known as
Project Blue Book, was closed down in 1969 after government
officials concluded that if something was out there, it was not
anything they wanted to investigate.

Some UFO enthusiasts said last week that they believed the
British government had not released all of its files and was
concealing the truth about a massive cover-up it had long
perpetrated on the British people.

But Joe McGonagle, a self-described UFO researcher here, said
the documents showed that far from concealing anything, the
government had failed to investigate the sightings properly in
the first place.

"A lot of people imagined that there was this vast UFO project
with lots of people working on it, when in reality it was a
civil servant spending 25 percent of his time on it, filing
reports," he said.

It is not as if the authorities have always failed to take the
issue seriously. In 1950, the government convened a secret
committee, the Flying Saucer Working Party, to investigate
sightings of UFOs. It concluded that UFOs were optical
illusions, weather phenomena, airplanes seen from strange angles
and the like, which has been the government's line ever since.

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