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UFOs: When Governments Come Clean

Just recently I wrote an article titled “A factual object of very unusual nature.” It served to demonstrate that, contrary to what some have said, the U.S. Freedom of Information Act has led to the release of genuinely intriguing UFO reports. It’s certainly not the case that all the “good” reports remain hidden behind closed doors. Yes, many probably do remain classified. But, that does not take away the fact that there are some fascinating, once-classified, files on UFOs in the public domain. Today, I’m focusing on some of the files that the British Government declassified back in the 1980s. They too demonstrate – to an amazing degree – that at times government agencies are prepared to reveal to us accounts of a very extraordinary type.

In September 1952, a notable UFO encounter occurred at Royal Air Force Topcliffe, a military base in Yorkshire, England. One of the witnesses, Flight Lieutenant John Kilburn, said of the incident: “Sir, I have the honor to report the following incident which I witnessed on Friday, 19th September, 1952. I was standing with four other aircrew personnel of No. 269 Squadron watching a Meteor fighter gradually descending. The Meteor was at approximately 5000 feet and approaching from the east. [Flight Officer R.N.] Paris suddenly noticed a white object in the sky at a height between ten and twenty thousand feet some five miles astern of the Meteor.”

Raptors

“The object was silver in color and circular in shape, it appeared to be traveling at a much slower speed than the Meteor but was on a similar course. It maintained the slow forward speed for a few seconds before commencing to descend, swinging in a pendular motion during descent similar to a falling sycamore leaf…After a few seconds, the object stopped its pendulous motion and its descent and began to rotate about its own axis.

“Suddenly it accelerated at an incredible speed towards the west turning onto a south-easterly heading before disappearing. All this occurred in a matter of fifteen to twenty seconds. The movements of the object were not identifiable with anything I have seen in the air and the rate of acceleration was unbelievable.”

Five years later, specifically on March 26, 1957, there was yet another amazing encounter. And again the U.K. Government handed over the files to ufologists – and with not a hassle in sight. The document states in part: “A report was received from Royal Air Force Church Lawford on 26th March, 1957 of a sighting of an unusual nature. The object moved at a speed timed at exceeding 1400mph. This in itself was unusual as the object had accelerated to this speed from a stationary position. No explanation has yet been found for this sighting but a supplementary report, including a copy of the radar plot, was requested and has been received from Church Lawford this afternoon.”

A little more than a week later, there was yet another incredible encounter. April 4, 1957 was the date on which an extraordinary wave of UFO activity occurred in Scotland, much of it involving the staff of a military facility called Royal Air Force West Freugh. Nothing less than a squadron of huge, unknown aircraft were recorded flying in the U.K.’s airspace. The Air Ministry ruled out a convention explanation. Instead, as the now-declassified files show, the Air Ministry was of the opinion that…

Typhoon FGR4

“It is deduced from these reports that altogether five objects were detected by the three radars. Nothing can be said of physical construction except that they must have been either of considerable size or else constructed to be especially good reflectors. There were not known to be any aircraft in the vicinity nor were there any meteorological balloons. Even if balloons had been in the area these would not account for the sudden change of direction and the movement at high speed against the prevailing wind.The incident was due to the presence of five reflecting objects of unknown type and origin. It is considered unlikely that they were conventional aircraft, meteorological balloons or charged clouds.”

Of course, this is an extraordinary revelation. And when the files were declassified back in the late 1980s, more than a few U.K. ufologists were surprised by the government’s decision to release them, particularly given the fact that their content practically screamed out that UFOs were real.

If anyone ever tells you that governments always hold back all the “good stuff,” you can tell them they’re wrong.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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