March 4, 2011

British UFO Files: Over 8500 new pages released by The National Archives

The National ArchivesThe National Archives yesterday released their largest batch of UFO information to date, with over 8500 new pages now available to download at their website.

Following on from six previous releases, the last one being in August last year (2010), the latest files cover the years 2000-2005 and contain information regarding sightings and reports and document “how UFOs became a global issue, discussed by the highest levels of government around the world, including the United Nations, the US Central Intelligence Agency and Britain’s House of Lords.”

The files have been sorted into categories and are supplemented by a Highlights Guide and a Research Guide by Dr. David Clarke. it is largely thanks to the efforts of Dr. Clarke and other researchers that the Ministry of Defence were persuaded to release their UFO files starting back in May 2008 – an action that has since been replicated by other Governments and agencies throughout the world.

The Categories

• Files released under the Freedom of Information Act

• Parliamentary interest in UFOs

• Government Policy on UFOs

• UFO sightings and Reports

• Sighting reports by geographical location

Help I’ve been abducted

One of the more amusing reports contained in the files concerns a London man who believed he had been abducted by aliens. The man had apparently witnessed an aircraft hovering above his house one evening in October 1999.

He awoke the next morning and realised he had experienced some missing time during the night.

“The MoD responded to his letter stating the aircraft was likely to have been an airship and that the clocks had gone back an hour that night which would account for him gaining an hour”.

[File DEFE 24/1999 (p106)]

Another report details a student hoax from 1967 which involved Four police forces, bomb disposal units, the army and the MoD’s intelligence branch. Engineering students from Farnborough Technical College had come up with the idea as part of their rag-day celebrations. [File DEFE 24/1986]

Close to home

One of the files grabbed my attention, when I realised it dealt with my very first UFO sighting as a twelve year old back in 1978! Some friends and I witnessed what appeared to be something burning high up in the atmosphere. A lot of people gathered outside in the street to see but no one had any idea what it was. Being young and naive, we decided it must have something to do with aliens and thought no more about it. Actually that’s not true, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve often wondered what it was but thought I’d never find out. Thanks to this latest release, it turns out the sighting can be put down to space “junk” re-entering the earth’s atmosphere and causing a flurry of UFO reports in the process. [DEFE 24/2048 (p108-138)]

It’s a conspiracy!

Along with the “usual” standard UFO reports contained in the files, there are some that will give plenty of ammunition to the conspiracy theorists who believe there has been a cover-up by governments around the world with regard to the UFO phenomena.

The HMS Manchester UFO

One of these such cases details an alleged UFO sighting by crew members of HMS Manchester and other Royal Navy ships during an exercise off the coast of Norway in 1998/99. In a letter to the Ministry of Defence on 24th September 2002, (now deceased) Lord Hill-Norton writes:

Dear Lord Bach,
You will know of my keen interest in reports of incidents involving unidentified aerial
craft, especially where such incidents involve the military, and are self-evidently
therefore of defence significance.

I have recently been informed of one such incident which involved HMS Manchester.
Apparently the ship encountered an unidentified craft during a naval exercise, with
several hundred people in Manchester and other HM ships witnessing the event. At
the same time, personnel on a Norwegian naval ship tracked the object on radar and
were openly discussing the incident on the Operations Room communications

The ex-RN person who has recounted this incident is unsure of the precise date on
which it occured, but is reasonably certain that it fell between either 26th October and
6th November 1998 or 8th February and 3rd March 1999.
I ask, therefore, that you arrange for HMS Manchester’s log to be searched for
reference to this incident, and for copies of any such pages to be sent to me.

Aside from the fact the ex Royal Navy person could not remember if the incident happened a couple of months before or after the Christmas of only four years previous, it is surprising that mention of the alleged incident had not made it into the mainstream already. Several hundred witnesses is a lot more than is usually the case for UFO sightings and the odds on them all having kept quiet will be very high indeed.

The fuel for this latest conspiracy fire is provided by the answer Lord Hill-Norton received in a reply from Lord Bach at the MoD almost a month later. In it Lord Bach states (in part):

You asked that HMS MANCHESTER’s log [for the periods requested] be scrutinised for references to
unidentified aerial craft sighted by the ship’s company. No such references have been
found in any of the log entries which are available.

Unfortunately, I have to add the rider that HMS MANCHESTER’s log covering the
period 1 Feb until sunrise on 13 February 1999 was lost in Bodo, Norway, during the
deployment. The log was positioned, as is the custom, at the head of the gangway when
the vessel was alongside in port, and an unusually strong gust of wind carried it
overboard. [snip]

The log becoming lost due to a gust of wind is unfortunate. Quite unsurprisingly, this is now being grasped at as evidence that incidents like this are being covered up. The field of UFOlogy is already populated by people who will use anything remotely tangible in order to drive their message home, so the lost log certainly won’t help matters.

However, there is more to this story than some UFO proponents might have you believe. During the course of the search for HMS Manchester’s log, the Directorate Air Staff (DAS) wrote the following on 30th Spetember 2002 in reply to a request for assistance:

As DAS leads on the subject of ‘UFO’, we have checked our database to see if there was any report
made of an incident at sea between 26th October and 6 November 1998 or 8 February and 3 March
1999. We have found no trace of any such incident and would, therefore, be very grateful if you would
undertake appropriate research.

One would expect at least a passing reference in the database for an event that was supposedly witnessed by hundreds. In the “Loose Minutes” communication from DAS to the Ministerial Correspondence Unit, we see that upon discovering the loss of the log, the Commanding Officer of HMS Manchester was contacted by DAS and he “has no recollection of any unusual activity during this or any other depolyment by the MANCHESTER while under his command, that could be construed as involving ‘unidentified aerial craft’.” The same information was given to Lord Hill-Norton in the letter quoted further above. The Loose Minutes document also gives further information regarding the two date ranges given by the anonymous ex-Royal Navy person that triggered Lord Hill-Norton’s request in the first place.

The periods to which Lord Hill-Norton refer cover two seperate naval exercises, between 26 Oct and
6 Nov 98, and 8 Feb and 3 Mar 99. A holding reply was sent by the Minister pending
examination of the relevant log entries by CinCFleet. This search has now been completed.
No reference to any unidentified aerial craft has been found in the ship’s log
for the specified periods. Unfortunately, however, the log for the first part of Feb 99
was lost overboard at Bodo in Norway during the second exercise. The available
record therefore does not begin until 08.26 hours on 13 Feb 99. It is nevertheless well
documented elsewhere that HMS MANCHESTER left Portsmouth on 8 Feb 99 and carried out
weapon training on passage to Bodo in Norway, where she arrived on 12 Feb.

One has to wonder about the motives of the witness who reported the alleged sighting to Lord Hill-Norton in the first place. It was well known in UK UFOlogy circles that the Lord had an active interest in UFOs, having written about them and asked questions about them in Parliament. That no one else – out of hundreds of multi-national witnesses – has ever come forward about the alleged incident is very damaging to the credibility of the “case”, as is the apparent poor short term memory of the witness in question. A UFO incident would certainly stick in the minds of most people. Perhaps this particular witness saw something much less exciting than a UFO fly-by? A log book being blown overboard by a gust of wind, for example. [File DEFE 24/2092 p225]

RendleSHAM Forest Scam: files destroyed

Groan. This is another that is going to run and run. It transpires that a collection of Defence Intelligence files from 1980-82, including files pertaining to the RendleSHAM “incident”, had been destroyed. As if that wasn’t bad enough, other files from the surrounding years had survived.

Officials from MoD warned that if what it called this “apparent anomaly in the records” were made public “it could be interpreted to mean that a deliberate attempt had been made to eradicate the records covering this incident”.

Quite. [File DEFE 2026 p182]

Whichever side of the fence you are on, these files are certainly worth the download. They are available for free for one month, after which a small fee applies.

Discuss this and more in the Reality Uncovered Forums or leave a comment below.


  1. avatar

    If the Norwegians were part of the exercise I would think step 2, being that they are allies, to request they look at their ship logs during the two requested time periods. I’m sure this must have been done by now.

    Hmmm files missing from around Rendleshem…no biggie? Weren’t there nuclear weapons there? And the files just disappeared? Ok that’s acceptable, I mean who would worry about documents tied to nuclear materials being important.

    Sounds like the Bernie Madoff school of record keeping is a class they were teaching the British military.

    I don’t mind doubting the veracity of UFO statements, but lets also hold to the same degree of doubt when a military official says something just “disappeared”. There are things more immediately lethal to us than UFOs, and if someone can’t document the safety of that material…I would expect an inquiry into one’s record keeping or at worst blatant cover up.

    Comment by Rob — March 5, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  2. avatar


    Recently, UK released UFO pages from national archives (see below). Beware of the gangplank, as it is of use to make somebody walk on it in order to have him surely falling overboard.
    Undivided attention is counselled and the utmost care required when a log is positioned, as is the custom, at the head of the gangway,
    specially when the vessel was alongside in port, and an unusually strong gust of wind may carry it overboard,
    for example when the captain sneezes under the influence of some disinformation virus.
    In case you don’t understand well, you must be informed moreover that it is also of use to have precisely the archives
    of the year implied destroyed, when other files from the surrounding years survive miraculously. In several cases like
    Roswell and Rendlesham. But I may be bad-tempered and it’s probably just some effect of my suspicious mind.
    I presume it’s all in the mind, like saying there is no need for high level of radioactivity to kill you, of course. Let us read:
    “Die Studie zeigt, dass das Risiko für Kinder unter 5 Jahren, an Leukämie zu erkranken, zunimmt, je näher ihr Wohnort an einem Kernkraftwerk liegt.
    Die Forscher unter der Leitung der Mainzer Epidemiologin Maria Blettner stellten fest, dass zwischen 1980 und 2003 im Umkreis von fünf Kilometern
    um die Reaktoren 77 Kinder an Krebs, davon 37 an Leukämie, erkrankt waren.”,un-risque-accru-de-cancer-pour-les-enfants-qui-vivent-pres-d-une-centrale-nucleaire,363,21614.asp
    Concerning now Rendlesham and radioactivity, just read the letter I received from the astronomer Mr Ian Ridpath on January 1st, 2010:
    “You ask me if I obtained the exact date of the clearing of the trees in Rendlesham forest. No I haven’t but it must have been sometime in
    1981 or perhaps 1982. Why do you think it is important?” I think , Mr Ridpath, it is of the utmost importance, because the trees may bear
    some physical radioactive proof on them, hence the fact that they have been immediately chopped down by the air force.
    It is very strange at the least that a researcher like him seems not having thought to that by himself,
    moreover asking me such a silly question. Unless he is totally blinded, subconsciously, by his anti-UFO unfair attitude.
    As these trees bore the physical proof of UFO’s radioactivity ( x7) in the Rendlesham’ case, hence their cutting just after the occurrence.
    But I presume it’s all in my mind, too. Remember:
    “By the time of my visit in 1983, though, the trees in the area had been cleared and any sign of the landing site was long gone”

    According to Colonel Halt: “I wish to make it perfectly clear that the UFOs I saw were structured machines moving under intelligent control and operating beyond the realm of anything I have ever seen before or since. I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United States and England were and have been complicit in trying to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham by use of well practiced methods of disinformation.”
    But concerning the loss of archives, France is a great specialist, when you see that in 1983, almost all the meteorological
    archives of the observatory from the Montsouris Park have been lost during their removal to the French Institute
    of Astrophysics, near Denfert-Rochereau’s lion bronze statue, very far away, exactly less than one kilometer. These archives have been
    kept in the Bardo palace of the Montsouris Park, thanks to the action of the illustrious admiral Ernest Amédée Barthélemy Mouchez,
    and later in the meteorological observatory just next to it. I have been able to see myself the destruction of this palace.
    No doubt some foreshadowing ot the coming of the Tunisian revolution, as the Bardo palace was named after the one in Tunis,
    being its replica built for the Expo (“Exposition Universelle”) of 1867 in Paris, and rebuilt in this park on 1869, until its destruction in 1991 !
    About the recent UK declassification and the now famous “gangplank syndrome”:

    Comment by Jean — March 5, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  3. avatar

    Awesome coverage of this release of files Steve!

    Rob, I agree that the lack of files is troubling, but one also must accept that while it’s illogical to cast aside theories regarding what the lost records might contain, it’s just as illogical to draw conclusions about them when there’s nothing in hand to prove it. I think what Steve is alluding to with his groans is the fact that lack of records often leads to wild and unbridled speculation sans evidence.


    Comment by RyanDube — March 6, 2011 @ 2:16 am

  4. avatar

    Agreed there will be those that jump to conclusions, but we tend to get caught up in poo-pooing the UFO stories and sometimes forget the bigger picture. I worry that doubting (sometimes belittling) of UFO stories, trumps the more rational side of the ultimate point: there was an incident, a very dangerous one, and its being dismissed because of the taint of “UFO”. And no I’m not Robert Hastings…lol. It’s almost as if we pull our own magic trick on ourselves as we pay attention to the UFO and forget in the other hand there was nuclear material that was under threat. Alien, man-made, or mistaken identity doesn’t matter to me…what matters was there were reports, reports that need to be kept so we learn from our mistakes.

    It does bother me, when my father’s business still has documents from the early 70s, on paper, of daily transactions, in fire proof boxes–yet the UK can’t seem to do this. Maybe there needs to be an IRS of document management for the UK and USA, prison and fines seem to work pretty good on getting people to fall in line.

    Comment by Rob — March 6, 2011 @ 3:02 am

  5. avatar

    Great write-up Steve…

    @Rob, I don’t believe anyone’s dismissing the Rendlesham case because it’s “tainted” with a UFO, I believe they’re dismissing it because the two primary “witnesses” keep changing their story and there was never any evidence of a “threat” to begin with.

    Said defence minister Lord David Trefgarne in 1985…

    Why did the British government not investigate the Rendlesham Forest UFO case in any depth?

    “Overall, we believe that the fact that Col Halt did not report these occurrences to MOD for almost two weeks after the event, together with the relatively low-key manner (given the resources available to him) in which he handled the matter, are indicative of the degree of importance in defence terms which should be attached to the incident. He himself took all investigative action required. If members of the public feel that for scientific or other reasons, there should be an attempt to establish the cause of what happened, that is for them, but I am confident that it is not something in which the MOD should or need become further involved.”

    Perhaps you would like to discuss this case in the forum?

    Comment by Access Denied — March 7, 2011 @ 3:14 am

  6. avatar

    In the meantime ( a very mean time?) the Dan and Gary show shoots flares from the mirage at Johns Hopkins. Is the Pythoness actually sucking vapors at MIT? Is Ponzi rolling over in his grave? Under the radar, Fred Previc reveals the creams whisk. What is the sound of One Hand Clapping? If I could only cure hunger by rubbing my belly… (Diogenes).

    Comment by Puppetburglar — March 7, 2011 @ 8:49 am

  7. avatar


    What I feel is the UFO story is trumping another issue. Missing files and nuclear material. Hoax, human error, or actual ET…doesn’t matter. There’s missing records of a purported event where nuclear material was stored. That’s not acceptable. The event may not have happened, an authority figure may have deemed the event not worth recording, or he may have seen it as a threat so he destroyed it. I don’t know and I won’t know…thus my complaint…not about UFOs, but about proof and the safety of nuclear material. Either we have an inept lead US base, people lying, an alien event, or a mistaken event, but all around this event is nuclear material. That’s all I care about. I don’t want a “Lord” or general, or CEO, or Enron, telling me it’s all good and “you don’t need to see paperwork”…yes, yes I do need to see paperwork, and I can’t. People’s opinion or position of authority is only as good as the proof that backs it, part of it isn’t here, so I doubt part of what they say, as should everyone. As should everyone doubt the stories of those that claim “aliens” are part of the story…no proof means lesser credibility. But when these claims are made around nukes, I just don’t see how you can risk trashing paperwork–it bothers me. Nuff said…I think I’m repeating myself.

    Comment by Rob — March 9, 2011 @ 7:26 am

  8. avatar

    But wasn’t Roswell also an important AF base containing nuclear material?
    The local AF group had a newspaper called ATOMIC BLAST. But wait: the all-important
    USAF files from 1946-49 from the base are missing (see GAO report of 1995).
    Therefore, by adding Rendlesham to Roswell, we find two AF bases, each with highly rated UFO events and with nuclear weapons in storage, both have records that have mysteriously gone walkies.
    Despite this, I am not going to lose any sleep over either event.

    Comment by CDA — March 10, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  9. avatar

    […] UFO researcher Robert Hastings discussed declassified documents, as well as witness testimony that confirms UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites, weapons laboratories, and bomb test sites. UFO activity accelerated after WWII, around the time that the testing and deploying of nuclear weapons began in America. Initially, the premise was that the unidentified craft were Soviet devices, though Hastings became convinced “we’re dealing with multiple races from multiple worlds.” He said he’s had contact with over 100 military employees who knew of UFO activity that occurred when they worked at various facilities between 1964 and 1996. There was an incident at Malmstrom AFB in March 1967 where a large red disc-shaped object was seen over the missile area, and all 10 missiles simultaneously went offline. The guidance and control systems were affected, and the hardware had to be replaced, he detailed. This technological display of shutting off the missiles seemed to be sending a message or “wagging a finger,” he commented. Conversely, missiles suddenly went into launch mode at Minot AFB when a bright object was seen over the launch site. A similar episode in Soviet Ukraine occurred in October 1982, when missiles were suddenly activated at an ICBM base while a saucer-shaped object was observed nearby. A 1964 test of a nuclear missile sent across the Pacific Ocean was said to be thwarted in progress by a UFO, and the incident was purportedly captured on film. For more, see … Video Rating: 4 / 5 For more on this read:… […]

    Pingback by declassified documents, unidentified craft | all you need to know about a nuclear missile — March 12, 2011 @ 1:08 am

  10. avatar

    CDA…you’re talking about a reported crash that happened 40-50miles away from Roswell. I’m talking about an event–not necessarily alien, but reportedly important, that happened at the base, that had nuclear material. And documents are missing from that event. I don’t take lightly the event because someone wants to marginalize witnesses or belief systems, nor do I accept at face value someone’s alien belief…I stay focused on what matters despite the circus around it.

    I too won’t lose sleep, but to help both of us sleep better in the future I would wish such incidents were available so I don’t have security guards running around lying (as some say), or not knowing what to do when nuclear material is involved. I don’t think we want what Japan is experiencing with their nuclear issue happening on our military bases. Knowing past mistakes is a great way not to repeat them. Nuclear material involved–you show paperwork. Take out any reference to aliens and substitute security compromised at a nuclear “base”, and I think most people would be bothered and want documents.

    Comment by Rob — March 12, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

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