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The British National Archives recently released a series of 8,500 previously classified documents that discuss sightings of unidentified flying objects dating back to the 1950’s. The 35 large files, available online , primarily cover the time period between 1997-2005.
The files contain photographs, sketches and detailed accounts of supposed flying saucers and other unidentified flying objects. The files also hold correspondence between the U.K. Ministry of Defense and witnesses. The eyewitness accounts include descriptions from policemen, a soldier, and a Royal Air Force officer, among other members of the public. Some descriptions contain sightings of objects including a “chewy mint shaped solid craft” and aerial objects resembling a “ring,” a “jellyfish” and a “silver voile spin top.”
In one description, a man said he believed he had been “abducted” by aliens in October 1998 after seeing a UFO hover over his London home and finding that he had gained an hour of time in the process.
“It was a large cigar-shaped vehicle with big projectiles on each side like wings,” he told the ministry. “It seemed to have two very bright lights at the front and a white light flashing round and round underneath. … As you can imagine, I felt quite shaken.” The Ministry of Defense responded to the man. He wrote back and told the Londoner that what he saw was probably an aircraft and that he gained an hour because of daylight savings time.
In another file, it is revealed how many British residents believed that they were being invaded by aliens in 1967. Royal Air Force was flooded with calls after citizens in southern England found six small beeping UFOs lined up perfectly from the Isle of Sheppey to the Bristol Channel. Both the army and the defense ministry’s intelligence unit were mobilized for the “alien invasion.” The beeping UFOs turned out to be a project by engineering students at Farnborough Technical College in a bid to raise money for charity.
One of the files documents the experiences of a retired RAF officer who said he saw a UFO while on holiday in Sri Lanka in April 2004 and sent the Ministry of Defense supporting photographs. “I noticed a partial aura in the sky, a minute or so later there was a clap of thunder, then a short while later a ring like a doughnut appeared,” he told the ministry, adding that he thought it was an “air burst.”
The Ministry of Defense said it investigated every UFO sighting report it received to determine “whether there is any evidence that the United Kingdom’s airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorized air activity.”