The National Archives UFO Files “contain a wide range of UFO-related documents, drawings, letters and parliamentary questions covering the years 2000-2005.” You are invited to “find out more about the House of Lords’ debate on UFOs, a flying saucer hoax that was treated as a potentially real alien invasion of the UK and how 1978 nearly became ‘the year of the UFO.’”
Needless to say, there are no major revelations, but a few of the reports are quite amusing. Some of the highlights:
UN discussions on UFOs
File DEFE 24/2032 (p10-34) contains papers dealing with United Nations discussions on UFOs in 1977-78 generated by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the MoD. These papers reveal how in December 1977, with assistance from the Foreign Office, the MoD used its influence to talk down a call by Sir Eric Gairy, the President of Grenada, for a UN agency to conduct research into UFO sightings. This file shows
British diplomats at the UN refused to sanction such a move, with one official describing this as “a ridiculous proposal that will only bring the United Nations into disrepute.” Gairy withdrew his original proposal but continued his campaign for a full UN debate on UFOs, calling on the UN General Assembly to make 1978 “the year of the UFO”. Gairy was deposed in a military coup on Grenada in 1979.
USA UFO documents
File DEFE 24/2026 file contains UFO documents mainly produced by US Government agencies. Highlights include CIA papers on the use of UFO reports for “psychological warfare”, Project Blue Book reports (p409), analysis of a 1952 movie from Tremonton, Utah (p451), showing UFOs and UFO reporting procedures to be followed by US and Canadian pilots dated 1953 (p354-363).
Additional material released in this tranche relating to US UFO policy and the ‘Roswell incident’ can be found in DEFE 24/2023 (p235-262) which contains copies of papers by an agency called ‘MJ-12’ allegedly set up by the US Government to cover-up evidence of the 1947 Roswell incident. Note – these papers are widely believed to be fakes.
Flying Saucer Working Party report
In August 2000 the MoD received a Code of Practice request from Dr David Clarke for a copy of a report produced in 1951 by the MoD’s Flying Saucer Working Party that had been used to brief PM Winston Churchill (DEFE 24/2030 p196-198). The report was referred in a file released two years earlier at The National Archives, but MoD insisted no trace of the report could be found in its records and Dr Clarke was told it had “not survived the passage of time” (p201). In May 2001 the missing report was discovered during a routine re-review of closed files (see DEFE 24/2050 p34-39).
UFO TV debate
File DEFE 24/2037 covers a Yorkshire TV debate on UFOs in 1979 that featured the head of the MoD branch responsible for UFOs at that time, Patrick Stevens. The file contains a detailed briefing on MoD UFO policy for use in his interview with presenter Richard Whiteley (p101-135).
Alien Autopsy Film
File DEFE 24/2024 contains MoD discussion about and Alien Autopsy film released in 1996-97 (p55-56).