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