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MOD UFO Department Closes


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008

The MOD have closed their department that deals with UFO reports.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/6723067/MoD-department-that-investigated-UFO-sightings-closed.html
The MoD department, which has dealt with more than 12,000 reports – including 135 last year - was used to assess threats posed by any Unidentified Flying Objects sightings throughout Britain.

Any reports made would now not be investigated or followed up as the hotline had been closed, a spokesman said.

MoD chiefs made the decision to close the £50,000 a year department, established in 1950, after deciding there was no benefit investigating sightings which were “an inappropriate use of defence resources”.

It comes after the team was moved from the MoD’s team, similar to the FBI team featured in the TV programme the X Files, was moved a year ago from the Whitehall Headquarters to the RAF Command in High Wycombe, Bucks.

After an application under the Freedom of Information Act, the MoD admitted that responding to every UFO sightings “diverts MoD resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence”.

No decision was announced and the disclosure was instead buried on its website earlier this month.

It said that in more than 50 years “no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom”.

After investigation, around 5 per cent of reports remain unexplained.

“The MOD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life,” the spokesman said.

“The MOD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings.

“Accordingly, and in order to make best use of Defence resources, we have decided that from the 1 December 2009 the dedicated UFO hotline answer-phone service and e-mail address will be withdrawn.”

He added: “MOD will no longer respond to reported UFO sightings or investigate them.”

Nick Pope, who ran the Ministry of Defence UFO project from 1991 to 1994, said it was “outrageous”.

“We’re leaving ourselves wide open to terrorist attacks,” he told The Sun.
 

Mauro
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: MOD UFO Department Closes

Somebody please tell me how shutting up a UFO department leaves Britain "wide open to terrorists attacks".
All in all we won't feel the difference. The MoD hasn't been the most helpful agency in the field of UFO investigation and most of their conclusions seem sloppy at the very best (for example following up cases any private group would file under "insufficient information" just to have one more solved case).

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Mauro
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: MOD UFO Department Closes

In the last months I've heard a different story about this case.
Starting around 2007 the so called "UFO Desk" at the MoD saw a massive increase in reports filed by ordinary citizens, to the point staff had to be increased just to fill the paperwork.
This huge mass of reports was mostly made up of useless cases: part of them had totally insufficient data, other were filled by obviously insane persons, others still were perfectly explainable.
The MoD hence took the decision to cut off this "source of distraction". Following the pattern set by Latin American countries like Brazil and Chile only "high quality" reports will be investigated. "High quality" means sightings by pilots (both civilian and military) either backed by radar data or by other independent and equally qualified witnesses (control tower crew or other pilots for example).
Under present laws civilian pilots must report anything unusual they observe in flight to the CAA. The forms are available in any airport in Britain and her dependencies and pilots are actively encouraged to fill them after witnessing anything out of the ordinary. Forms are then forwarded to the CAA which will then investigate all of them. Air safety is not an option.
If cases are deemed especially interesting, they are passed off to the MoD.
Military pilots have their own reporting system and rest assured they have at least as much interest as their civilian colleagues in reporting anything out of the ordinary. They may be ready to take risks in combat and training but air safety is as important to them as to anybody else.
The MoD will discreetely analyze the cases "behind closed doors": the given reason is to determine whatever the sightings are a "threat to national safety". RAF fighters will still investigate "bogeys" (unidentified radar contacts) if they appear to be an immediate threat.
In short the closure of the "UFO Desk" doesn't appear to be as bad as originally believed but just a reaction to an enormous mass of "junk data" being fed into the system.

On a related note I recently saw a document released through a FOI request in 2008. It was authored by the Defense Intelligence Staff in 1993 and it concerned the activity of UFO investigation programs in foreign countries. Apart from the "in the open" programs in places like France, Brazil, Belgium and Chile two countries were mentioned as having "teams studying them [UFO sightings]" covertly. The names were blackened out and hence open to speculation. One of the two countries is said to "believe that such phenomena exist": this country is believed to be either Russia or China, and either name would fit the blackened space perfectly. The other country is still open to speculation.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


BaronIveagh's picture
BaronIveagh
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Joined: 7 Nov 2008
Re: MOD UFO Department Closes

My money would be China. 

I was talking online to someone from South Korea a few months back who mentioned he had supposedly seen a UFO, and had told some people about it.  A few days later, a reporter shows up supposedly from some chinese paper that was going to run a story.  He told him what a he saw, and asked they send him a copy of the artical, since he collects that sort of thing.  A month or two went by, and he started to wonder about it since no artical ever came in the mail. 

Seems there's no such paper.

I can't verify any of it, though, so take with salt.

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima



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