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Monday, June 1, 2009

Release of British UFO Files

The senior staff of FlashFictionOnline.com gathered (I wasn't invited) and voted on UFOs: They're real. So there, you have it. But the British haven't learned of the vote, yet.

This article on the release of British UFO files is interesting on two levels: the anecdotes reported and the candid report on their process of handling reports after the Brit's Freedom of Information Act (in force in 2005) and its legal predecessor, the Public Records Acts.

The article derives its information from Nick Pope (great name for a character in a UFO novel), who headed up the British UFO project in the Ministry of Defence (MoD). He no longer works for the MoD. He (and his staff, presumably) looked at UFO reports to determine their defense value and importance. He also handled many documents under the rules of the FoI Act.

One of the many anecdotes mentioned in the article begins this way (Kent Pope narrating):

Close Encounter Over Kent: One of the most interesting cases from the second batch of files occurred on 21st April 1991. I remember this incident very well and indeed I was involved in the official investigation. We were informed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - the UK equivalent of the FAA - that there had been a near miss involving a commercial aircraft. The aircraft was an Al Italia MD-80 with 57 passengers on board. It was a height of around 22,000 feet over Kent, near Lydd, when a brown, cigar-shaped object passed so close to the aircraft that the pilot shouted “look out, look out”....

See the article for the rest of this anecdote and the others, and more about MoD's handling of the documents. The article was published by X-Journals, "a companion blog following the research, planning and production of a series of documentary films...."

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