August 17, 2009
Britain Unveils UFO Documents
According to files released by the National Archives on Monday, a cluster of UFO sightings over Britain in 1996 could be attributed to public fascination more than extraterrestrial activity.
Britain's Ministry of Defense (MoD) documents showed that the 609 UFO sightings in 1996, compared to the 117 in 1995, coincided with the rise of the popular X Files and the release of the Independence Day film.
The files, which contain over 4,000 pages through 15 years, indicate that most of the UFO sightings had explanations such as bright stars and planets, meteors, artificial satellites and balloons.
In 1995, one report said that two men in the midland county of Staffordshire told police that an alien with a lemon-shaped head came up from a hovering UFO and told them "We want you, come with us."
Numerous sightings in 1993 and 1994 were explained by an airship, advertising the launch of the Ford Mondeo car.
Despite the many files that have been explain, still 10 percent were classified as "unexplained."
The MoD said that there was "insufficient information" in the unexplained cases, which is why it continued to collect reports.
The files also shed light on one of Britain's best-known UFO incidents, where American air force men reported in December 1980 to have seen a series of mysterious lights.
The government then dismissed the affair, but a former chief of defense in 1985 sent a letter warning that it might not be so cavalier.
"The case has puzzling and disquieting features which have never been satisfactorily explained ... which continue to preoccupy informed sections of the public," said the letter.
The files can be seen on http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/