The mystery of Churchill and the secret World War 2 UFO - Declassified UFO files

UFO over Rio de Janeiro

UFO over Rio de Janeiro by Dominic Harric, courtesy of Wiki Commons
UFO over Rio de Janeiro by Dominic Harric, courtesy of Wiki Commons

The mystery of the UFO over East Anglia in WWll

According to newly-released files, former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill was once accused of covering up a reported close encounter between an RAF aircraft and a UFO during the Second World War.

Declassified Ministry of Defence UFO files recently made available online by the British National Archives, give details of the claim, made by a scientist whose grandfather is believed to have worked as a member of Churchill's personal security staff. The allegations of a cover-up emerged when the man, from Leicester, wrote to the government in 1999 hoping to discover more about the incident which family members had revealed to him.

The unexplained encounter took place over the east coast of England, an area which saw intense aerial activity during the second world war. It was towards the end of the war that an RAF reconnaissance plane returning from a mission over mainland Europe was suddenly intercepted by a strange metallic object. The British aircraft's course and speed was matched move for move as it steered towards home. Then, after mirroring the plane's maneouvres for some distance, the strange craft accelerated away and disappeared. The pilot was no doubt quite alarmed by the event as such sophisticated devices were yet to be developed .

After landing safely the RAF pilot reported the events, and news of the encounter eventually found it's way to Churchill. The great man allegedly discussed the story with US General Dwight Eisenhower before deciding how best to deal with the potential UFO encounter. The decision was an easy one. The report was immediately marked 'classified' and filed away for future generations to deal with. It was felt that a confirmed UFO sighting might create 'mass panic', but an equal concern must have been the possibility that advanced technologies did indeed exist in enemy hands.

The National Archives reveal that Whitehall officials investigated the claims in 1999 but could find no record of the discussions between Churchill and Eisenhower. An MoD official wrote back to the man to advise that : "It was generally the case that before 1967 all UFO files were destroyed after five years as there was insufficient public interest in the subject to merit their permanent retention.Therefore, any UFO report files from the WWII era would most probably have been destroyed."

 

More mysteries in the National Archives

Other incidents recorded in the 18 files made available in August 2010, include -

  • A man who went to RAF Stanmore in north London to warn military police he had dreamed that a bomb would explode in London in the "near future". Just two months later, in May 1990, RAF Stanmore was targeted by a terrorist bomber.
  • A gambler who appealed for the government's help after Ladbrokes refused to pay out on his 100-1 bet that aliens would land on Earth before the end of the 20th century.
  • On the evening of 23 January 1974 villagers in the Llandrillo area of North Wales heard a loud explosion and saw mysterious lights in the sky. They feared an aircraft had crashed in the Berwyn Mountains and called the emergency services. Police and mountain rescue teams searched the hills but found no trace of an air crash. Seismologists detected an earth tremor in the region and this was offered as a possible explanation. The lights in the sky were thought to be meteorites.

  • Often described as "Britain's Roswell", the Rendlesham Forest Incident (RAF Woodbridge, Suffolk, December 1980) began with a sighting by US Air Force security police of bright lights descending in the forest, outside the perimeter fence of RAF Woodbridge. Three patrolmen claimed they saw a UFO in the forest and investigations found marks on the ground and on trees and allegedly higher than expected levels of radiation. More unexplained lights were witnessed over the forest two nights later, by the deputy base commander, Lt Col Charles Halt, and other air force personnel. The MoD file on the incident was first released in 2001 but some papers were withheld.

  • The Civil Aviation Authority's Airmiss Working Party received a report of a near-miss with an "unidentified object" reported by the captain and first officer of a 737 approaching Manchester airport on 6 January 1995. The object was never identified, but the file contains a sketch by a member of the public showing a UFO "20 times the size of a football field" allegedly seen from the ground on the same day.

The files can be accessed at www.nationalarchives/ufos.

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Comments 35 comments

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

There are more mysteries out there than there are explanations. The idea that out of all the universe, only our planet, only man exists as intelligent life is only a measure of the enormity of our egos. And of all the billions of planets, some must have life and out of all those with life, some must surely be smarter, more advanced than primitive old us. Logic dictates it so. Thanks for a wonderful thought-provoking hub, Amanda. Lynda


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Lynda, I completely agree with you. Our Earth is just a speck in an infinite Universe. To assume that we are the only sentient, intelligent beings to have evolved anywhere on any planet is naive to say the least.


diogenes 6 years ago

Can't see a thing out of this barrel! Good to see you again, Amanda. If you are interested in my opinion...nobody knows! Bob x


BrianS profile image

BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Hmmm very interesting, I really can't believe we are the only ones in the universe. I once said that our immediate universe could be an atom in a massive chair leg. But I had to stop saying those sorts of things in case someone in a white coat turned up.

Great hub though, mystery and history, brilliant mix.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Bob, of course I'm interested in your opinion! Like you, I wouldn't pretend to know the truth on this matter, but as they used to say on the X Files, the truth is out there!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Brian, good to see you here. I'm not too sure about the atom in the chair leg, but I'm sure our little lives are just as insignificant in the greater scheme of things. I wonder what Churchill would have made of our 21st century advances? Perhaps he would have made a different decision now.


amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

Hi Amanda, they say they make things 'classified' because they don't want to cause public panic, but it's probably just the bankers fooling around in their Leer Jets. And if they operate them, like their businesses, panic is what we should do.

I mark this one useful - because I don't know what awesome means anymore.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Hi Amanda - I guess most people in power tend to 'classify' what they feel is beyond the understanding of the common man. And maybe at that particular point in time, the decision might have been a practical one. However, in the larger scheme of things, should people be allowed to classify what should really be knowledge for the whole world to share and marvel at? Quite honestly, though I believe in much more than meets the eye, I'm not sure of the answer to that one.

Great hub, as always :)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A few might know but they make such a hype about it. Very interesting article.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Amillar, I wonder if bankers really do fool around in Lear jets? I knew I made the wrong choice in my career. The nearest I get to a jet is the jet wash at Asda! I guess the 'classified' stamp must be a great way to deal with any problems that land on the desk. One up from filing things in the Waste Paper Bin!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Shalini, I'm sure that Churchill had more than enough to think about at the time, and I can see that a tale of a superior flying craft matching, then over-taking one of our planes, would not be a great story to run on the Pathe News reels. I'm fascinated by the fact that these things are being released to the public now, so long after the event. Distance allows events to move into soft focus, and they lose their power to shock.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Hello hello, I'm sure that there are people who really do know a little more about UFOs than you and I, but either they're not sharing, or we wouldn't believe them even if they did.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Hi again Amanda, My father was a defence research scientist who worked for Britain, Canada and the U.S. We always lived in the middle of nowhere. Suffice it to say, even these scientific minds thought UFO's probable enough that they prepared a landing site, played a 24/7 recording giving them the phonetics of our speech, our understanding of mathematics and inviting them to land. This was OFFICIAL government policy on the base at Suffield, Alberta, Canada known then as DRES Suffield. Need I say more? Lynda


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Lynda. Your father's job sounds fascinating. I suspect that a scientific mind is generally also a logical mind, and as you stated in your earlier comment, logic dictates that with all those billions of planets out there, it would be naive to believe that we are the only intelligent life in the Universe. If indeed there are aliens watching us then it makes sense to assume that sooner or later there will be contact, and it would be a happier experience all round if that contact were to be friendly!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Spoken like a true artist - I love that thought, Amanda - distance allows events to move into soft focus! So absolutely spot on!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Shalini. It certainly works for me. The further I get from an event the less important it seems. My mother lived inLondon through the Blitz, and I grew up with stories about the war. Now my children learn about it as part of their history lessons at school, and none of it seems terribly real or important to them.


peterxdunn profile image

peterxdunn 6 years ago from manchester uk

Hi Amanda

Brilliant Hub. I copied the link (hope you don't mind).

Your poll results also speak for themselves. Perhaps you could send them to the Ministry of Defense - it might dissuade them from putting out the, 'Do'nt tell the children - they'll only panic' excuse for non-disclosure.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Peter,

I think the non-disclosure policy is not just a nanny-state scenario. I suspect that they're actually terrified to allow this stuff into the open for fear it either a) reveals an unsuspected (and geeky!) governmental fascination with UFOs or b)reveals a secret cover-up along the lines of Roswell. People are so well informed these days. Maybe too well-informed. Every little mystery unravels sooner or later.


peterxdunn profile image

peterxdunn 6 years ago from manchester uk

Hi Amanda,

To those comments you could also add that governments fear a loss of authority: by that I mean - at the moment - they carry the biggest stick. When ET eventually enters into the picture that stick will look more like a twig.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Peter, at the moment any visiting aliens are keeping their distance. I hope we are never subject to a 'War of the Worlds' scenario, but in an infinite Universe who knows what the future holds?


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

The answer "No" came closest to my opinion, Amanda, but I wouldn't classify all the stories as "hokum." They're called "Unidentified," but maybe they should be called "Unexplained." It's very likely there is an abundance of life in the universe, but there has not once been a proven visit by an alien. The unexplained incidents are exactly that: Unexplained. It does not make sense to me to believe there have been alien visitors to our planet without proof. Your hub presented the situation very well. Thumbs up.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi William. Thanks for the 'thumbs up'. I guess you're right, in that until there is widely accepted proof of alien landings or other contact, we should take most of these type of reports with a generous pinch of salt. However, I'm keeping an open mind on this one.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

I find it hard to believe that we are alone


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Me too Ethel.


wandererh profile image

wandererh 6 years ago from Singapore

Thanks for this hub. I have been interested in UFOs since I was a child and hope that there will be incontrovertible proof that we have been visited in my lifetime.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi wandererh, I'm also interested in UFOs, and would love to know the truth either way. As they say on the X Files, the truth is out there!


wandererh profile image

wandererh 6 years ago from Singapore

Have you heard of The Disclosure Project? They say that aliens have visited the earth, that our governments are in contact with them, and that we actually have access to the alien technology. Fascinating reading!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Thanks wandererh. That's a fascinating web-site, and I have now added a link in the text above.


naD 6 years ago

Govt hides these traces, encunters and secrets because they just want to control the people and have a great life for the elite people, we are now living in a monopoly system in which most of the people are contributing their whole life to do sum kind of business. only some people are contributing on science. aliens are very powerful and they are here on earth several times since they got the vibrations of life on their super radars. if govt revels secrets of aliens to people, their power will fall and alien techonologys will make peoples life very very easy and govt will now make any profit. thats why alien technology is used to make weapons only. govt just prays that power loving aliens should not visit earth as they will take over earth. thats why govt gives least effort in contributing more resources and money to space and ufo researchs. we people are controled by government from media, entertainment, money, religions and sexual weakness. because of we getting controlled, some elite people get the best life on earth for generations.if new govt is elected, he dosnt make any effort to change this monopoly system, but he makes sure everything be the same is it was. they just want total control on earth, which means 1 president only for whole earth, USA ONLY. nasa satillites clame everyday they encounter several sightings on space of unidentifyed objects. but they dont do anything because their boss says to ignore them cuz theres no profit and govt is not ordered it. hope u get what i said


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Amanda, sorry I missed this hub til now, lol. I find such bits fascinating! I watched a show on the Bermuda Triangle over the weekend and while there are explanations for several of the disappearing ships and planes, there is not an explanation for all nor for the patterns of disappearances. I think I like believing there is more to the Universe than our petty earth issues, lol. Have you ever seen a crop circle? My husband studied them seriously years back, as well as the Roswell phenomenon. They are fascinating to me!


dnewman profile image

dnewman 6 years ago

Fascinating...absolutely fascinating. Who knew? Great hub!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Barb (however did I miss this comment? I'm so sorry!) I don't know too much about the Bermuda Triangle, but I'm absolutely positive that there's something quite strange going on in that region of the world. I don't know too much about crop circles either, though I suspect a fair few are hoaxes and completely man-made. There have been crop circles recorded for many years, however, and the earliest reported occurrences happened long before it was fashionable to talk about extra-terrestrials.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi dnewman, it's amazing what creeps out of the woodwork when secret files become de-classified! Thanks for stopping by.


Gaizy profile image

Gaizy 5 years ago from Denbigh, North Wales, UK

Very interesting stuff Amanda - I particularly loved the optimism of the chap who expected the goverment to reveal their most closely guarded secrets just to help him win his bet with Ladbrooks. Lol!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK Author

Very optimistic, Gaizy! Still, if you don't ask, you don't get!

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