ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

British Ministry of Defense UFO Files

Updated on March 31, 2013

Want to know about UFOs over the UK? The truth is out there. The British government kept files detailing sightings of strange things in the skies for several decades after the Second World War. For years, these file were kept secret. However, in 2012, they became available to the public thanks to the National Archive.

The MoD’s interest in UFOs began in the 1950s. The Flying Saucer Working Party was started by Chief Scientific Adviser for the MoD, Sir Henry Tizard who thought that sightings of unidentified flying objects should be properly investigated.

The Working Party did not necessarily believe in little green men. In fact, their final report in 1951 was pretty skeptical. They concluded that most UFO sightings had rational explanations. However, interest in UFOs was revived when mysterious objects were spotted by RAF pilots during a large NATO exercise. Although the government did probably suspect that the Russians were more likely to be responsible than Martians, it did fuel an interest in UFO spotting at a governmental level. All sightings of unidentified flying objects continued to be logged by the MoD.

Although these files had previously been kept secret, in 2008 the government decided to make them available to the public. This was largely a response to UFO enthusiasts who insisted that the Freedom of Information Act required the files to available for all eyes.

The National Archive now keeps several collections of these UFO files which contain reports of strange things in the sky which were made between the years of 1965 to 2008. Eight sets of UFO files were released to the public in stages. The first set was released in 2008. The ninth and final set was released in July 2012.

The UFO Files

For many this new attitude of openness was welcome. Dr David Clarke, a university lecturer who prepared a podcast for the National Archives, was glad to see the facts brought out in the open as it would put a stop to the chatter of conspiracy theorists. Clarke examined the documents in his book The UFO Files: The Inside Story of Real-Life Sightings.

Tales of a UFO Desk Officer

Another man with an active interest in strange things in the skies over the UK is former civil servant Nick Pope. Pope worked at the Ministry of Defence for 21 years, spending three of those years working on the MoD's UFO desk. Pope wrote about his time as UFO desk officer in his book, Open Skies, Closed Minds.

One case he came across involved a UFO which flew over two military bases. Described by witnesses as being a large triangular-shaped craft, the UFO flew slowly over an RAF base, before zooming off into the sky. No conclusive identification could be made of this unidentified flying object.

The Welsh Triangle

Another interesting section of the files regards reports which were made in West Wales during the late nineteen-seventies. So many sightings were reported that tabloid newspapers began linking the area to the famous Bermuda Triangle.

When a local Member of Parliament received a letter from a hotel owner who claimed to have seen a dome-shaped object land near to their hotel, he informed the MoD who sent out an investigator. The hotel owner said that she had seen two tall silver-suited humanoids walking around outside, apparently taking measurements. Very bizarre, indeed.

However, there was an oil refinery nearby. After a little investigation from the MoD man, it turned out that a silver protective suit, as used in that oil refinery, had been on display in a shop window shortly before the supposed alien explorers made their appearance. Like many of the cases described in the UFO files, the big silver men sighting turned out to be a hoax.


Chinese Lanterns

They weren't all hoaxes, but a lot of the reports detailed in the UFO files did turn out to have rational explanations.

One example is the batch of UFO reports which were made after a craze for releasing Chinese lanterns into the sky began in the UK.

'Golden orbs' in the sky? Alien spaceships? Not quite. These lights in the sky were just Chinese lanterns floating heavenwards after being lit at outside parties.

Alien Tourism

Even if logical explanations could be found for most of the reported sightings, there were still those who remained open minded about the existence of aliens.

One MoD official believed that any reports of alien landings needed to be investigated. He said that the UFO data should be studied because there were implications for national security. He listed a selection of possible explanations for UFO sightings, which included mass hallucinations, hoaxes or aircraft. But he didn't exclude the possibility of visitors from outer space.

While there wasn't actually any evidence to suggest that aliens had actually been visiting earth, the government official was still willing to consider it as possibility. If aliens were visiting, why were they visiting? The official report detailed in the MoD UFO files goes on to list possible reasons of military reconnaissance, scientific research and tourism.

Tourism? Yes, that's right. Alien tourism!!! It's a little hard to believe, but who knows? Maybe somewhere in a galaxy far, far away a family of aliens are planning their vacation. Perhaps they've got brochures scattered across the floor. Maybe topping the pile is one for planet earth.

Evidence of UFOs

Whether you believe in alien visitation or not, the UFO files which have been made available to the public are fascinating to peruse. The MoD's UFO desk is no longer active. Funding for the department ended some years ago. The government thought the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Even though the government is no longer logging all sightings, people continue to be interested in UFOs. Strange things in the sky will continue to be seen. Whether those strange things are alien visitors, well who knows?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)