For more half a century paranoid fantasies about flying saucers, little green men
and alien invasions were officially indulged by the existence of a department within
the Ministry of Defence that investigated UFO sightings.
But after more than 11,000 sightings spawning countless conspiracy theories, the
department has been scrapped. The UFO hotline is no more.
In these tough economic times the MoD concluded that investigating UFO sightings
can no longer be justified. It was diverting resources an MoD statement said.
Are we alone in the universe? The MoD doesn't care any more. When you ring the
old hotline number, you get a terse recorded message, which you can listen to
"Please note it is no longer MoD policy to record, respond to, or investigate UFO
sightings," it says.
An MoD statement on the matter is a little more expansive. It says: "The MoD has
no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life. However, in over
50 years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the
Nick Pope who ran the UFO project in early 1990s said the decision to scrap it was
"outrageous". Speaking to the Sun, which broke the story, he said: "We're leaving
ourselves wide open to terrorist attack."
The last major UFO scare in Britain earlier this year involved claims that aliens had
destroyed windturbines in Lincolnshire, after sightings of "massive balls of light".
But then a "local blogger for a small newspaper group" revealed that her family
had hosted a fireworks party in the area.
At the time Pope said: "Even if there is a terrestrial explanation in this case, that
won't be the end of our fascination with UFOs."
The same could be said for the scrapping of the UFO project. Just don't call the
Please note that its no longer mod policey to record, or respond to or investigate
ufo sightings – therefore its no longer possible to leave messages on this number.
The official statement on the Ministry of Defence website:
How to report a UFO sighting
The MOD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life.
However, in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a
potential threat to the United Kingdom.
The MOD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings.
There is no Defence benefit in such investigation and it would be an inappropriate
use of defence resources. Furthermore, responding to reported UFO sightings
diverts MOD resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence.
Accordingly, and in order to make best use of Defence resources, we have decided
that from the 1 December 2009 the dedicated UFO hotline answer-phone service
and e-mail address will be withdrawn. MOD will no longer respond to reported UFO
sightings or investigate them. The ongoing programme to release Departmental
files on UFO matters to the National Archive will continue.
It is untrue to say that not a single UFO case investigated showed
a security risk.
Comments by Colin Andrews
December 3, 2009
Well I have to agree with Nick Pope the former head of the Ministry of Defence UFO
project who is quoted in the British media today as saying the M.o.D. Decision to
close the department is "outrageous". A department he once headed.
Airline pilots have reported unidentified flying objects looking like missiles. What if
that is exactly what they were?. Has the economy in Great Britain reached such
desperate straights that funds are so tight within the government that this important
source of intelligence is being forfeited to save one salary? It seems like the
answer is yes. With so much concern for security these days its now down to the
public in the street to work out if indeed they are witnessing a strange UFO or a
missile on its way to blow out those secret underground missiles under Boscombe
Down air base or Woodbridge or some other important facility in England.
If only half of what we believe is true about the UFO subject is true and that the
subject is officially classified ‘above top secret’ for the M.o.D. to say they are no
longer investigating UFOs is either a lie or indeed they are insane.
These days its likely a fact that most UFOs are monitored by the M.O.D.
themselves and are reliably seen by new technology.
UFO researcher Andrew Russell says on his blog (http://thetruthhides.wordpress.
com/ )about the closing of the UFO hotline: "The department was little more than a
smoke screen anyway".
For the public not to have access to its government to inquire about what they are
seeing in the sky or to report concerns about unexplained missile shaped objects
and other various shapes is serious - Where is the media in all of this? No doubt
lost in their usual past time of knocking UFO believers and little green men and the
rest of the silly nonsense they trot out.
I’m afraid we are witnessing another sign of the times - as I said in my presentation
this year at the X-Conference in Washington D.C. “Its now down to the people to
make truth and common sense happen”. Its not just likely the UK government are
lying when they say they have not found a single case of concern for national
security when investigating the thousands of UFO reports, it’s a certainty they are.
There are many well documented cases that contain that proof, including the
Bentwater and Woodbridge case (http://www.hyper.net/ufo/rendlesham.html )
where on 26 December 1980 U.K. and U.S. military responded to a UFO landed
next to nuclear armed cruise missile silos in Rendlesham Forest – this from the
military personnel themselves and their senior officers. Yes from employees of the
Ministry of Defence itself. Just don’t give us this BS any longer.
This policy decision and the MOD announcement demonstrates the concerns I
warned against in Washington D.C. in May this year. It smacks of dishonesty and
spin or if indeed they are being totally honest then they are insane - neither is a
great reality when you consider this directly concerns the defence of Great Britain
we are talking about here. The bigger picture is that these people are controlling
the evolving pace of human consciousness by keeping such important secrets from
the people THEY SERVE. Everyone but the M.o.D. as they would have us believe
knows UFOs exist every single day and night throughout the world and ETs are
So the UFO desk in Whitehall, London has closed. In government circles a closing
door usually means a new one is opening. Where and what this will be we wait to
see but according to the MOD there isn't one this time.
This is where the media can do its job effectively, but will they? Slowly we get to see
where we are all going..........The end of a grand cycle and we are paying the price
for the period of lies and deception and with the old boys club who have run this
show struggling to hold on – is where its at.
Sketch made by Sergeant Jim Penniston of the object which landed and he touched
next to the military bases of Bentwater and Woodbridge on 26 December 1980.
Artists impression of a UFO. Similar to literary thousands reported each year. Photograph: Digital Art/
|Seen a UFO? Don't call the British Ministry of Defence (M.o.D.)
Hotline for UFO sightings becomes latest victim of economic downturn
Guardian Newspaper - U.K.
December 3, 2009
Ex-Files: British military ends its UFO hot line
By GREGORY KATZ, Associated Press Writer Gregory Katz, Associated Press
Writer – Fri Dec 4, 9:12 pm ET
LONDON – The truth — and the UFOs — may be out there, but
nobody in the British military is listening anymore.
The Defense Ministry has quietly shut down its UFO hot line as a cost-cutting
measure and will no longer investigate any sightings. Veterans of such
investigations more worthy of "The X-Files" say it will end work on one of the
biggest mysteries of all time.
No longer will Britons who think they've seen flying saucers be able to enlist the
services of Her Majesty's armed forces.
This week's closing of the ministry's hot line and its e-mail account, as well as its
statement that it "will no longer respond to reported UFO sightings or investigate
them," has angered many Britons who believe such research is vital.
"I think it's a stupid thing to do because this could create a threat to national
security," said Roy Lake, founder of the London UFO Studies group. "We take this
quite seriously. We know that sometimes things can be explained as natural
phenomena, but there could be that one thing that's not. I think the government
knows damn well what's going on up there, and they're covering it up."
The hot line has been operating, on and off, since 1959. That's longer than
"Doctor Who" — British TV's time-traveling, monster-fighting alien — has been on
The military is taking no position on the existence or nonexistence of UFOs but
has concluded that in 50 years none of the more than 12,000 reported UFO
sightings turned out to be a national security threat.
"None of the thousands of UFO sightings reported over the years have ever
provided substantiated proof of the existence of extraterrestrials," a Ministry of
Defense spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with
government policy. "There is no defense value in investigating UFO reports."
The spokesman said closing the UFO inquiry unit would save about 44,000
pounds ($73,000) a year and would not add to the security threats that Britain
faces. He added that the money saved would be better spent helping British
troops in Afghanistan.
He said no one has lost a job because of the closure of the UFO portfolio, which
over the years had detailed sightings — including many with fanciful illustrations
about purported alien encounters.
Some view the decision to end the hot line a sacrifice of mystery and romance in
the name of cold financial logic.
Nick Pope, who helped the British military with its UFO inquiries for years, said the
decision is wrongheaded.
"It's a great shame," he said. "This is the end of over 50 years of research and
investigation into one of the biggest mysteries of our time."
Pope said the decision will also hurt British national security. He said that if
commercial airline pilots and other experts no longer report suspicious activity, it
will leave the country more vulnerable to terrorist activity and to espionage.
"That's one thing we learned in the 9/11 attacks, the threat of incoming aircraft
with transponders turned off," he said.
In a 1996 lecture, famed British physicist Stephen Hawking discounted
suggestions that UFOs "contain beings from outer space."
"I think any visits by aliens would be much more obvious and probably also much
more unpleasant," he wrote, according to his Web site. "Meeting a more advanced
civilization, at our present stage, might be a bit like the original inhabitants of
America meeting Columbus. I don't think they were better off for it."
Hawking also said he prefers to think that "there are other forms of intelligent life
out there, but that we have been overlooked," and he lamented the demise of
federal funding for the U.S. SETI project that listened for any signals from alien
The U.S. Air Force says it has not investigated UFO sightings since 1969, when it
ended Project Blue Book, which examined more than 12,600 reported UFO
sightings — including 700 that were never explained.
Canada still investigates UFO reports or any other "threat to the Canadian
sovereignty," said Canadian Defense Ministry spokesman Capt. Rob Bungay.
Through the years, the British military's investigations generated thousands of
pages of secret documents, many of which were recently released by the National
Archives after they were declassified.
Some UFO sightings seemed credible, like a 1984 report by a number of air traffic
controllers who said they saw an unidentified aircraft land at a small airport, then
take off at tremendous speed. Others seemed to be made after a few too many
pints at a local pub. A few people said they were abducted and offered sketches
of the aliens.
The UFO document release made clear that the British military had devoted
considerable resources to the question of extraterrestrial life.
The British public seems divided over whether the UFO inquiry unit was worth the
time and money.
Andrew MacDonald, a Manchester planning and development officer, said it
makes sense to end the program after a half-century of investigation proved
"I don't believe in them," he said of visitors from outer space. "If the hot line has
been in place for 50 years and nothing has been found, and we still don't know if
anything dangerous exists, then it's about time we stopped looking."
But London event organizer Rachel Keane, 25, said the hot line was important.
"Who's to say there is nothing out there?" she said. "If there is, it's a bit scary that
there is no one to call to inform them of what you've seen. I think someone is out
there and we've got to be given a chance to report something strange if we see it."
Associated Press writer Rachel Leamon in London contributed to this report.
M.o.D. : "Not a single UFO
case threatened national