Feeds

Secret documents: The Truth about MoD's UFO files

'Soon they will have no paperwork at all'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Following an announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that it will no longer keep files of reported UFO sightings, it has emerged after painstaking detective work that - in fact - it is no longer doing so.

The shock move by the MoD was revealed at the weekend by Blighty's foremost UFO expert and talking head, Dr David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam uni, after he obtained "a formerly secret MoD document" using the Freedom of Information Act.

This document was drafted at the time of the MoD decision last November to close its UFO desk - manned by a single case officer - and to cease keeping files of reported UFOs. Amazingly (to Dr Clarke at least) it appears that indeed this is being done: all UFO reports received by the MoD are nowadays answered with a form letter and then thrown in the bin after thirty days. The "Hotline" phone number no longer exists.

Meanwhile there has been a policy of transferring the existing, vast piles of filed reports to the National Archives, which then makes them public. Thus the MoD has managed to rid itself of a tiresome chore and some minor expense at a time when it has little cash to spare.

But Dr Clarke is understandably cross:

As I suspected all along, the closure of the UFO desk and the decision to transfer all remaining MoD files to The National Archives are linked ... by the end of the disclosure programme MoD will retain no further paperwork on UFOs.

The disclosure of this document makes it evident this is the endgame as far as the MoD are concerned.

But if MoD have learned anything from 50 years experience it should be that UFOs will simply not go away. I suspect that the next time a near-miss incident involving civil or military aircraft occurs, they will be forced to rethink this somewhat short-sighted policy.

Although he belongs to the "sceptic" wing of the UFO community, Dr Clarke plainly loves UFO files for their own sake and considers taxpayers' money well spent on collecting and filing them.

But there may be a tiny crumb of comfort for the doc and other frustrated UFO fanciers. They can no longer expect to while away pleasant hours trawling through vast MoD files and pestering hapless civil servants with FoI requests: but there will still be UFO files of a sort. The fabulous soaraway Sun, as everyone knows, has pledged to take on the task of running the nation's UFO files from the MoD.

We wish Dr Clarke all good fortune in his future - and no doubt extensive - dealings with the Currant Bun. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.