Guest blog: Do you believe in UFOs? Part 1 of 2

Do you believe in UFOs?  According to opinion polls a third of us do and the files released by The National Archives today show that belief was shared by some politicians and high ranking military personnel.

The Ministry of Defence first began to investigate UFO reports from credible sources at the height of the Cold War when, in 1950, it set up a ‘flying saucer working party.’ But files at The National Archives suggest MoD ‘s real concern at that time was invasion not from outer space, but from behind the Iron Curtain.

So while ‘the real X-files’ do not prove UFOs exist in the popular sense of alien spacecraft, they do provide a fascinating insight into how the MoD dealt with a troublesome topic that always generated sensational headlines. And the fact that, until recently, files on UFOs were closed for a minimum of 30 years simply encouraged those who suspected conspiracy and cover-up.

Within the 25 files released today is a UFO briefing prepared for former Prime Minister Tony Blair by the Ministry of Defence in 1998. New Labour’s pre-election manifesto included a commitment to a Freedom of Information bill and a UFOlogist from the West Midlands, Nick Redfern, urged Mr Blair to ‘consider making available for public scrutiny all of the many and varied UFO reports’ collected by the government since the end of the Second World War [DEFE 24/1987/1].

Every new Prime Minister receives a postbag of requests asking them to release UFO data but from January 2005 – when FOIA was implemented across central government – the pressure to disclose the files could not be resisted. Within six months the topic became one of the three most popular subjects for requests to the MoD.

And here I have to declare an interest because for most of that decade I was one of the MoD’s most ‘persistent correspondents’. Working as an investigative journalist, I targeted most of my FOI requests around those UFO stories that appeared to have a strong public interest element – such as examples of near-misses between airliners and unidentified ‘aircraft’. As a result almost a third of the material contained in this tranche chronicle the working relationship that I developed with the UFO desk officers.

Dr David Clarke

Dr David Clarke

This resulted in several invitations to meetings at MoD Main Building to discuss how UFO sightings were investigated and future plans for the release of documents. It is quite a strange experience in itself to revisit your own correspondence, preserved for posterity in files at The National Archives. In hindsight, reading the minutes of one meeting I attended in 2004 it is obvious that MoD were working towards the day when they could ‘make UFOs history’ by releasing all their records to the public as the United States had done in 1970 [DEFE 24/2061/1].

So it was no real surprise to learn that, soon after our meetings, a decision was taken to transfer all the surviving files to The National Archives. This was followed in 2009 by an announcement that the UFO desk and its telephone hotline service – which had operated since the 50th anniversary of the Roswell incident in 1997 – were to be terminated. After almost 60 years, the ‘real X-files’ were closed for good.

Most of those files have now been released and despite the closure of the UFO desk, the popularity of the subject continues unabated. The National Archives’ UFO website has been visited over three million times since the first files were opened in 2008 and 3.8 million documents have been downloaded by curious people from 160 different countries. Future generations will use the unique archive preserved at Kew as a means to explore the extraordinary beliefs and traditions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

39 comments

  1. John says:

    If it it’s an object that flies and it’s unidentified then it’s a UFO, so yes of course ‘I believe’ in them. Can we stop using this daft question please?

    Why not say what you mean i.e. “Do you believe Earth is being visited by aliens, ET’s, etc?”

    And the answer to that is yes, I think that’s probably happening, but there are vast numbers of false sightings and hoaxes, and the subject attracts so many cranks that the truth gets lost in all the lunacy associated with the subject.

  2. […] Read the rest here: Guest blog: Do you believe in UFOs? Part 1 of 2 | The National … […]

    1. John says:

      Yes I stood and saw in misbelief as an object shaped like an air gun pellet or a keyhole shot across the sky then suddenly stopped the black behind the shape was obviously shock waves like you see at an air display from the wings of an aircraft when it stopped it was hanging in the sky like a a silver ball bearing ther was a vapour trail from high flying aircraft suddenly this silver ball shot at high speed down the vapour trail it reached the aircraft appeared to look and made a uturn and returned to the original position I stood staring and wondering what am I seeing where is patric more now what would he make of this I remembering him saying ufo are foolish but fun sorry but this is mind boggling
      I will Never this moment

  3. David Clarke says:

    I agree with you in that any real ‘signal’ that may exist within these sighting reports, including the possibility of ET craft, is lost within an awful lot of noise and silliness. This was the problem faced by the MoD which did not have the resources or inclination to carry out a thorough investigation of the phenomena…as a result, as we can see from the files, the majority of reports including those from credible sources, we’re simply glanced at and filed away.

  4. […] A guide to the highlights of the 25 files can be found on the The National Archives UFO page here and a more detailed analysis can be found on my UFO files #9 page here. I’ve blogged about the files as a guest on the archives blogpage here. […]

  5. susan says:

    Hi as I am a wittness to seeing a UFO in 2oo2 I certainally believe I have 5 Minutes footage I was very nervous whilst I was filming it but people like me dont get believed because there are hoaxers

  6. Luis says:

    Yes, I certainally believe in them.

  7. David Clarke says:

    Hi Susan, yes there are lots of hoaxes and with the software available today it is very easy to fake footage of UFOs (just take a look at YouTube for some examples). I would suggest that you take your footage to a professional photographer for an opinion and don’t let hoaxers discourage you!

  8. David Clarke says:

    And you are not alone! An opinion poll conducted by the Daily Mail ten years ago found more than a third of the UK population believed we had been visited by creatures from other worlds.

  9. Lord Slimey green thing says:

    I know they exist, as when i fly my saucers around,between visiting planets i see these long things with fixed wings.

  10. Susan says:

    Thankou for the feed back please can you tell me if there were any sightings in the UK on 16Th July 2002 at 1030PM as that is when I saw this UFO

  11. David W says:

    Dr Steven Greer ( http://www.disclosureproject.org/, http://www.cseti.org) has been

    providing the most compelling evidence through compilation of witness testimony from over 500 vetted officials and military personnel, footage and has frequent group contact experiences with ET lifeforms utilising specific peaceful protocols. He also highlights the fact that the reason the ET subject has been repressed is mainly to do with powerful interests that wish to maintain the status quo of the current macroeconomic system and its dependency on fossil fuels.

    To accept that there are more advanced technologies available that draw on the abundant energy from the fabric of space all around us have been discoveries of 100 years ago by people such as Nikolai Tesla but advanced civilisations who have travelled here will have honed these technologies, which are transdimensional in nature and so accepting ET’s would nullify our dependency on coal, oil and gas. This would be transformative for our environment, social justice and world poverty but we have become so attached to our outdated political, economic and scientific ideologies that we are being held back for the sake of a false sense of security. We wont progress as a species until we accept we are part of an interstellar community and be open to receive guests. No one likes to go and impose where they might not be welcome and the fact that we have not been attacked, as is mindlessly portrayed in movie blockbusters (which is just an anthropocentric projection of our own worst human characteristics), is demonstration of great patience and love of our Extra Terrestrial fellows. Trouble is we have always classed ourselves, rather egotistically, as being at the cutting edge of science and technology and to relinquish that would eliminate the false sense of control governments wish to portray. I think our greatest threat, therefore, has not been outside of us, but our own pridefulness, which has lead us to be limited by our most current mainstream science and media. Opening our minds to the reality of our place in an interstellar community will open us up to contact and greater progress than we never thought possible.

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      David, this is a monolithic aspect you follow – Ufo’s are only what the definition implies and nothing more – Ufo’s are not necessarily alien spacecraft and the fact people see Ufo’s does not mean they see alien spaceships, for God’s sake! – You only consider the remote possibility of the extraterrestrial origin of Ufo’s and the theory of benevolent space brothers, and particularly this one is alarming!
      1. Only between 1974-1978 as per statistical records, 600 ships, yauchts and
      civil and private aircrat vanished without a trace in the Bermuda TrIangle – Do you have an idea where did they go?
      2. Only in the USA every year 100,000 vanish under unbelievable conditions – Income Tax evasion, voluntary disappearance due to family reasons etc are exempted from this figure – Can you offer an explanation?
      3. Four nuclear submarines vanished between 1960-1968 in the Triangle of Mediterranean sea without a single trace and failed to signal even an SOS message – which means they didnt have time to get scared – These are the Sibylla, Minerva, Evridiki and Algapora – Do you have an explanation?
      4. There are very a nnoying incidents incriminating the UFO’S in the Files i.e. people who had a close encounter are reported to lose their eye-vision, others melted away as if they were hot butter, others were vomiting black liquid for days, others died due to absorption of unknown kind of radiation and others had their DNA automatically re-programmed to such an extent that their radio-isotopes did not look human ! The files of the investigators are full of such discriptions and I mentioned but a few examples – However this does not render the UFO’S Extraterrestrial vehicles !
      5. UFO’S follow a flight route from one Pole to the other which means their origin is Polar or if you prefer ” Subterranean”.
      6. There is a very high frequency of Ufo sightings which means their base station is very close.
      7. The reason UFO’S are still classified is because their place of origin is classified and because we still have no means of defence against them.
      8. A possible panic might arise not out of the confirmation of Aliens from outer space but of the news that their base-station is literally under our feet!.

  12. Robert L. Abrahamian says:

    Beyond any degree of doubt, there exists something(s) outside of our earthly realm.

  13. susan says:

    We should have more TV Documentrys On Ufology on serious discussions to be told of latest sightings Visitations, UFO Conventions News, Local UFO Groups in our Local Areas in our country the more we talk about this Subject the better and will be accepted and not to be a Taboo subject

  14. pov says:

    As others said UFO = anything flying that isn’t identifiable by those viewing it.

    Why people don’t say what they mean “ET Craft” is puzzling. As far as that goes I think most UFO sightings are not of ETC.

  15. Ann says:

    I saw a disc about the size of a football field very low over a bay in NJ, and right next to a bridge, back in 1984. I was hanging out under the bridge to chill out after working a long night (the water has always calmed me). It was a little after midnight. I remember suddenly having a feeling that something was nearby and I looked over to my left and upward and saw the disc. The disc had lights around the outside edge and made little to no noise at all – I remember a very low pitch and faint hum that was barely audible. I had a sense of “you need to not be here” come over me and I calmly walked to my car, at the same time being in a state of awe. I got in my car and the only thing I noticed was that my radio was all static. The car started fine, I gave this thing one last look and then I backed my car up and drove away. I was not frightened, simply felt like I was not meant to be there. I only told one or two friends of mine at the time and they thought it was nuts, so I never told anyone else until recent years when some friends were having the debate. I can’t deny something I saw – although I can’t tell you if it originated from earth or elsewhere, and I will never forget it.

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      Ann, reference your last sentence – The Extraterrestrial hypothesis is a very remote possibility – but there do exist ample proof as to their Subterranean origin.

  16. Sunnynwarmer says:

    To think that the human race on Earth are the ONLY intelligent beings in the universe is not only foolish but dangerous.
    If ET wanted to harm or destroy us, it would have happened a long time ago (we seem to be doing a good enough job of it on our own, thank you very much).

    I believe we were visited by ET after the use of nuclear weapons at the end of WWII (perhaps the detection of radiation in our atmosphere, different than the naturally-occurring radiation of the sun, caused them alarm)?

    Curious to actually “see” what we humans were up to with such a powerful and destructive weapon, may have caused ET’s well-documented visit and rumoured space craft crash in the New Mexican desert in 1947 (space travel may not be the science-fiction warp speed as we may think).

    Perhaps they are more afraid of us than we of them. Hopefully, our behaviour will not alarm them to the point of having a “visit” from ET along the lines of the science-fiction film, “The Day The Earth Stood Still”.

    1. sebastian says:

      to Sunnynwarmer
      Wed 18 Jul at 10:53 am

      “To think that the human race on Earth are the ONLY intelligent beings in the universe is not only foolish but dangerous”.

      and why should it be dangerous? fear of antroprocentricity?

      “If ET wanted to harm or destroy us, it would have happened a long time ago”

      ET are a phenomenon of a reality that has been actually in the process of badly affecting this world. The problem is that in order to this to happen, certain specific conditions are needed.
      And this conditions are eventually starting to seriously develop. One of these conditions is that people to believe that ET are good (or that “will save us” from ourselves) which are obviously not!

      “visit and rumoured space craft crash in the New Mexican desert in 1947”

      actually no. The reality of this visit is of a very different nature (see Parson with his attempt to bring in act a “magical child”).

      Just read Charles upton to have a serious idea of the nature of this phenomena.

      The true reality of these phenomena can be understood only if one can have a clear picture of a traditional point of view (see eg. Rene Guenon : the reign of the quantity and the signs of the time, and the “error of spiritism + Upton and Vallee, and one can have a reasonable good picture of where our civilization is heading). I saw also some good articles on the web, but unfortunately there are many which bring only confusion.

      good luck

  17. Michel M. Deschamps says:

    I don’t believe in UFOs because it’s not a belief system, like the way we believe in God. I KNOW they are real because since 1974, I’ve had 27 separate sightings of them. I simply never saw their occupants, the extraterrestrials. But I know some people who have.

    Being an historian and archivist, I’ve been able to gather several hundred news clippings out of newspapers from 5 Northern Ontario (Canada) cities, and I created a website using the information I found: http://www.noufors.com

    But NOUFORS contains a lot more than just news clippings, and it certainly encompasses a lot more than information pertaining to Northern Ontario happenings.

    My website contains a mountains of facts, documents and information that cannot be found on any other website.

    It is for the benefit of mankind that it is made available…at no charge.

    Enjoy!

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      Michel, on the one hand you say you haven’t seen the UFO occupants and on the other hand you say you are sure they are Extraterrestrials ! As you see, you are already pre-determined about the occupants being extraterrestrials – whereas there exist many other possibilities and explanations ! – We cannot arrive to the proper conclusions when examining the UFO phenomenon if people are obsessed with the extraterrestrial hypothesis – It is imperative we examine the matter from various angles .

  18. Richard says:

    I was rather disappointed by this video interview because the guy talking was clearly a skeptic and coming up with excuses that any intelligent person can see through.
    When he was talking about the possibility of life on different planets and the assumed frequency of their visits to earth he clearly hasn’t given the subject any serious thought and like so many skeptics, he based his opinion on earth-based science and earth-based beliefs. Firstly he said that Earth is uninteresting and our sun is uninteresting so no aliens would want to visit us, that’s an incredibly short sighted answer that is totally untrue. I’ll even answer it with an earth-based belief… if we had the technology to visit another planet that we knew has intelligent life, do you really think we would view that planet as uninteresting and we would only visit it once in a 100 years. I don’t think so. Also, they talked about the absence of radio transmissions as supporting the fact there isn’t any intelligent life in the universe. This is a very big assumption that they even use radio waves at all… Any other species on a different planet could have taken a completely different path of technological progress to us humans. A it would take would be one profound discovery that we haven’t made yet and they could have progressed in a totally different way to us using technologies that we don’t understand yet.

    Also, people are always assuming any intelligent life is going to be only a little bit more advanced than us when in reality they could be millions of years more advanced than us. They might have used radio waves in a era long before modern human beings arrived on Earth.

    Finally, the Chinese lantern excuse is absolutely rubbish because I have released a few of them in my time and they look NOTHING like the UFO that I saw. Plus the lady they was talking about in that video said in her interview that the UFO shot across the sky at an incredible speed, then came back, disappeared and then came back again. This sounds NOTHING like a Chinese lantern that has to follow the wind. The UFO’s that me and my Landlady saw was on a perfectly clear day with a bright blue sky, two orbs of white light about the size of beach balls flew in formation over our house as clear as day. They was moving at a very slow speed, about the same speed as a regular plane flies across the sky. I would say these orbs were about as high as an airplane too so you can only imagine how big they actually were. Also, it’s worth pointing out that they were flying INTO the very light breeze that day. As soon as I spotted them I knew people would try and tell me they were Chinese lanterns even though they clearly wasn’t. Thankfully we have YouTube now so anyone can see these orbs for themselves as so many people are seeing them almost every single day and they look nothing like lanterns. They look like giant glowing soap bubbles and theres plenty of evidence showing them moving at incredible speeds and changing direction in a way that defy logic. As fast as you can move your arm from left to right is how quickly they can change direction and accelerate.

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      Please correct me if am wrong but are you suggesting that our skies are flooded with UFO’S or Extraterrestrial machines ?

  19. Trev says:

    I have seen a UFO, so yes I do believe in them. And it wasn’t a Chinese Lantern either, it was a flying saucer that moved/behaved like no known aircraft possibly can. Personally, I think they are from an higher dimension.

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      Trev, the fact that you have seen a UFO does not make the UFO an extraterrestrial spacecraft , right? Certainly you saw an unidentified object and that’s all – In this case we need a scientific investigation by scientists of engineering, aerodynamics, meteorology, trained researchers etc. in order to distinguish a natural phenomenon or otherwise – So, at this point you are right to believe in UFO but as I said, that’s all !

  20. Trev says:

    Not everyone bases their faith in God upon mere ‘belief’, as with yourself and UFOs, some of us KNOW of the existence of God!

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      If somebody is proned to believe or in other words is an easy-believer, then he will believe everything, even in mythology.

  21. kck says:

    why ufos r seen only in western countries? There r no reports of sightings in india.

  22. Martin says:

    Spent years reading books , watching videos and meeting people who have had some type of encounter. Without doubt (even minus the many hoaxsters) there is undoubtedly something afoot. There is a special contact point for people with these experiences :

    http://www.AMMACH.CO.UK

    (Anomalous Mind Management Abductee Contactee Helpline)

    Their Telephone number :0795 1752 813

    A further UFO investigative website with reports and forums is http://www.Ufomatrix.com

  23. Anna says:

    I think they’re seen everywhere, it’s just easier to report in the west + it’s being hyped more. The Arab continent had a few UFO afairs very recently, just google it. The government of Israel even released a statement about it….. Anyhow, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one last year when running on a very early morning in Paris. You have a beautiful view over Paris from the Sacre Coeur in the Morning. I was with four other people. Thing is, it was not round, but a triangle. So perhaps I saw something else. Besides, if I’d go to the police here saying I saw a highspeed pizza point flying around… haha… just imagine the look on their faces. What about all those people like me, that don’t report? How many UFO sightings might there really be.

    1. Harris Theodorides says:

      In fact according to the Gallop Statistics Institute, it is an average of one sighting every 10 minutes ! Therefore can you imagine how many per day, per month, per year? Had these vehicles been extraterrestrial in origin, we coud not accept the hypothesis of a tactical Force going and coming from earth to mother-planet and vice versa, The frequency of sightings makes the extraterrestrial hypothesis inapplicable.

  24. Barbelo says:

    I believe in UFOs and ET. I think the human species is a hybrid and this planet was seeded with our dna via arks, as mentioned in the Bible and the story of Gilgamesh. There are images from the Mesopotamian region such as Queen of the Night which provide examples of hybridity. Human mix seems to have worked.

  25. Jason Brown says:

    All the PDF files at
    http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

    … all seem to be missing?

    Alien abduction of PDFs ?

    1. Ruth Ford (admin) says:

      Hi Jason, thanks very much for flagging this – the pdfs are there again now. Apologies for any inconvenience.

  26. Katie J. Bandy says:

    I have recently viewed a documentary that featured the journalist Leslie Kean who is the author of UFOs I have to say that a skeptic has been changed after watching it. I always have believed that in the probability of life elsewhere in the universe but had not entertained the serious thought that other life would actually visit our planet. After reading her book (http://www.printsasia.co.uk/book/ufos-generals-pilots-and-government-officials-go-on-the-record-leslie-0307717089-9780307717085) everyone, especially skeptic person, will be compelled to believe that the topic of the UFOs is genuine and needs to be taken seriously. She has put together some of the most convincing UFO reports from the most trusted of all witnesses.

  27. Harris Theodorides says:

    What reasons are there to keep the case for the UFO classified ?
    1. The case for the Flying Saucers is classified because their place of origin is considered classified information .
    2. Because we have no means of defence against them.
    3.. Because an official confirmation that this is an existing reality will have a catastrophic impact on all aspects of our life i.e. economic, political, moral, religious, educational, historical issues – as their confirmed presence will inevitably be connected with all those issues cited above resulting to the collapse of human civilization .

    What is the origin of the Flying Saucers?
    1. It is a fact that the vast majority of these vehicles follow a flight route from one Pole to the other, which means they have a Polar origin.
    2. Governments are cleverly encouraging public opinion to believe they are interplanetary vehicles from outer space – and in this respect many UFO researchers have mistakenly done so – However, since 1946, these vehicles have been identified to be Subterranean in their origin.
    3. Again, the frequency of sightings shows that their base-station is very close – as we cannot accept that they have a tactical force coming to earth and going back to their mother-planet.
    4. Obviously these machines are not inter-planetary but in fact are surface surveillance vehicles.
    5 . The panic will not emerge from the information of aliens arriving from outer space but it will arise from the sudden apprehension about an unknown Force permanently based under our feet – something that will sound odd and unexpected !
    6. The possibility for this unknown Foece of being Extraterrestrial is extremely slender.
    .

  28. Philip Challoner says:

    I have not always believed in the possible existence of extra terrestrial life or ufo’s, however having siad that I want to relate an experience that happened when I was ahed 14 years old which was 46 years ago this year. I was going to watch a film on TV with my mother my father was at work my younger brother was in bed, I went to close the curtians to get the effect for the movie which was a horror film. I saw what was a bright object which appeared to be coming down in a controlled manor, so I called my mother to come and see and I said to her ” its probably a UFO and just laughed and watched the film then went to bed at 1230 am but could not get the thought of what I saw out of my head, so I got up at 0130 and went to look at the polace where I thought the object may have possibly landed, and where the place was there was a deep indent in the ground and what can only be described as four burn marks denoting that something both solid and heavy had been there. This incident changed my perspective and made me wonder could there be life elsewhere in the universe and beyond, I would not expect any to take what is written here at face value, because only know what I actually saw, I do however invite the veiws and comments of others for the purpose of any thoughts or ideas on the subject matter. I did not think of such things prior to the sighting dated but after it I looked more into the topic of UFO’s and really found another world in which I now believe that it is possible that there is life out there.

  29. jay says:

    Yes “I believe” in U.F.O’s. I have seen at least 6 different “craft”?, all in the S.Wales area. Two “may” have been experimental (military) aircraft but others NO WAY. The last time was in August 2009, around 23:00. On holiday with my family at Porthcawl, South Wales. Two orange “capsules” at extremely high altitude (skipping the earths atmosphere?). 70 to 80 degrees above horizon. Perfectly clear sky.

    They were shaped like “cod liver oil capsules” (best description), bright fiery orange/yellow, pulling some amazing maneuvers (barrel rolling/spiraling?). West to Easterly direction at incredible speed. This particular sighting was the most incredible. It was about 6-8 seconds, for the objects to travel across the whole sky.

    Nothing built on earth could match these craft, G-forces must have been impossible for humans to tolerate. I am a keen amateur astronomer and familiar with “most” things in the sky. Yes, definitely believe in U.F.O.’s.

Comments are closed.

We will not be able to respond to personal family history research questions on this platform.
See our moderation policy for more details.