I have been ploughing my way through the files recently released by the MOD regarding UFOs: here are my preliminary conclusions:
- There has only been one decent UFO sighting in the past 30 years – the “Halt Memorandum” incident, which occurred on 27th December 1980. This was a CE2.
- The overwhelming majority of other incidents have either been CE1s, or false-alarms. Many of the false-alarms, curiously, were caused by Richard Branson – who at one time introduced the Virgin Lightship, an illuminated dirigible, to the skies of Britain, as an airborne advertising ploy.
- Civillian UFO research organisations act as a quality filter, as far as the MOD are concerned, when it comes to reports of UFO sightings.
- A large number of CE1s have been reported by people who admitted they had gone out looking for them, e.g. Crop-circle enthusiasts.
- The MOD has a stock reply letter which it regularly sends out with depressing frequency.
- CE3s, CE4s etc have not appeared in the reports I have read so far, except to the extent that the MOD doubts that they occur.
In response to the news that the MOD is going to discontinue collecting reports of UFO sightings, I have to say that from what I have read so far, we would not actually be losing much. In my opinion, the job of running a UFO hotline should be handed over to the civilian UFO research organisations – after all, it is they – not the MOD – who are actually committed to investigating the phenomena.