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‘Bizarre and unexplained sightings’ - RAF set to release secret UFO files

PUBLISHED: 08:39 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:39 28 January 2020

Press cuttings of UFO sightings over Norfolk  Picture: Archant

Press cuttings of UFO sightings over Norfolk Picture: Archant

Archant © 2005

Claimed sightings of UFOs received by a now-defunct unit within the RAF are to be published online.

A sketch of a UFO seen over Suffolk in 1995 previously relesed by the National Archive  Picture: ArchiveA sketch of a UFO seen over Suffolk in 1995 previously relesed by the National Archive Picture: Archive

The RAF took the decision to wind up its UFO unit in 2009, after concluding that in more than 50 years, no received report had ever disclosed any evidence of a potential threat.

Previously, records from the unit were given to the National Archives, often initially classified before being released after a specific number of years.

But the most recent reports received by the RAF will be placed online, after a Freedom of Information Act request.

Members of the public reporting alleged UFO sightings are now directed to their local police force.

A spokesman for the RAF said that "it had been assessed that it would be better to publish these records, rather than continue sending documents to the National Archives, and so they are looking to put them on to a dedicated gov.uk web page".

A clearance process for the documents is currently under way before publication, which is expected to take place "some time within the first quarter of 2020".

In response to the FOI request, the RAF described the files it held as "comprising entirely of correspondence with members of the public".

It added: "The MoD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra terrestrial life and does not investigate UFO reports."

Nick Pope, who used to investigate reports of UFO sightings for the MoD, welcomed the move.

"Given the massive public interest in this subject, I'm pleased that these files will be released and made available online," he said.

"The MoD have previously claimed that all the files have been released - only to find additional ones - so this latest move is bound to start a few conspiracy theories.

"When I worked on the MoD's 'UFO desk' we didn't find definitive proof of extraterrestrial visitation, but there were so many bizarre and unexplained sightings that we didn't entirely rule it out. I'm glad the public are to be given further insights into our work on these real-life X-Files."

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