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In March 2011, the British Government released thousands more previously classified files on UFO sightings in Britain, which have been dubbed the “British X Files” by the media. The Ministry of Defense files include accounts from police officers, pilots, air-traffic controllers, armed forces  and others, as well as ordinary citizens, and they involve multiple-person sightings as well as singular.

UFO News Tabloids Headlines

UFO News Tabloids Headlines

All are recorded on official forms, held by air bases and police stations, and were compiled by the UK’s Ministry of Defence. The newly released batch of files also includes a report produced in 1951 by the MoD’s ‘Flying Saucer Working Party’ that had been used to brief PM Winston Churchill on UFO’s, after he requested that he be informed on the phenomenon.


This isn’t the first time that the British Government has released secret British UFO files – they first  began releasing 1000’s of them in 2008. Why they have suddenly decided to release them now, (or at all), is a bit of a mystery in itself really, but a statement at the time said something to the effect that it is not their business to investigate such matters (…this is despite the fact that in 1997 they set up a special telephone reporting line, exclusively for UFO sightings…). Also stated in media reports was that it was a  “proactive move by the Ministry of Defence for an open and transparent government”.

One file in the latest batch released includes the full text of speech by the Government’s spokesman, the late Lord Strabolgi, a retired Royal Navy Officer, in response to Lord Clancarty’s request for a British Government study of the UFO mystery. Referring to Lord Clancarty’s claim that evidence existed of thousands of such visits, Strabolgi’s closing remarks were: ‘…as for telling the public the truth about UFOs, the truth is simple. There really are many strange phenomena in the sky, and these are invariably reported by rational people. But there is a wide range of natural explanations to account for such phenomena. There is nothing to suggest to Her Majesty’s Government that such phenomena are alien spacecraft’ ( AIR 20/12966).

UFO Sketch made by British Police Officer

UFO Sketch made by British Police Officer

However, also included in the files released are more recent files concerning the secret “Project Condign” (DEFE 24/1986). The Condign report, classified as “Secret: UK Eyes Only” was only completed in 2000. It concluded that UFOs posed no threat to the UK and there was no need for any further Defence Intelligence involvement in the subject after 50 years of collecting sighting reports from the public and armed forces (….an “edited” version of the report was released to the public in 2006 following a request under the Freedom of Information Act…). Of interest with the Condign Report is the fact that they didn’t conclude it using one of the usual conclusions – concerning the  “do they / or don’t they exist” dilemma – but instead they seemed to have moved beyond that question, and are now on to the next one: Are they dangerous….. ;-).


Another file,  DEFE 24/1997 (p358-363) claims the British Home Office had emergency procedures for dealing with “landed and crashed UFOs and space satellites.”

Winston Churchill wasn’t the only prominent Briton interested in UFO’s, either – Chief of Defence Staff and a respected and much loved member of the Royal Family, Lord Mountbatten, was just one of a small group of influential military officials who believed UFOs were real and of interplanetary origin (Mountbatten remained a believer and was interested in UFO’s until his death).

Another more recent file, an RAF briefing prepared for the MoD’s UFO desk officer (File: DEFE 24/2025) reveals 15 unidentified aircraft were detected on radar approaching UK between January-July 2001 in the months leading up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Six of these were unidentified (although two did not enter UK airspace and four were assessed as ‘friendly’) (p309).

The files span decades of UFO sightings over Britain.

The UFO Files - By Dr. David Clarke

The UFO Files - By Dr. David Clarke

“The vast majority of them are just ordinary people who’ve seen something unusual and thought that they ought to tell someone about it,” said David Clarke, a professor at Sheffield Hallam University and a UFO expert who worked with the National Archives on the project. Dr. Clarke has also written a book on the subject, called simply “The UFO Files”.



Read More or Buy “The UFO Files” Book By Dr. David Clarke (Sold by Amazon):

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Some of the cases eventually were found to be pranks, and some were found to have earthly explanations, however about 10% remain unsolved.

You can download the latest batch of released files for free from the National Archives – UFO Files (other past releases are no longer available for free and will now require a fee to download – approx. 3.50 British pounds per single file……).


If you’ve had a Paranormal or UFO encounter, or perhaps even photos you’d like to share, we’d love to hear your story, and if we think it’s good enough, we’ll publish it  – you can write to us via our Contact Us page form.

Karen Banting

About Karen Banting

Karen Banting has written 26 posts in this blog.

Karen is an author & blogger with a lifelong interest in science & the paranormal.

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