British X-Files describe secret UFO encounters

Thu Aug 5, 2010 8:26am EDT
 
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By Maria Golovnina

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain released hundreds of previously secret "UFO files" on Thursday including a letter saying that Winston Churchill had ordered a 50 year cover-up of a wartime encounter between a UFO and military pilot.

The files, published by the National Archives, span decades and contain scores of witness accounts, sketches and classified briefing notes documenting mysterious sightings across Britain.

One Ministry of Defense note refers to a 1999 letter stating that a Royal Air Force plane returning from a mission in Europe during World War Two was "approached by a metallic UFO."

The unidentified author of the letter says his grandfather attended a wartime meeting between Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower during which the two expressed concern over the incident and "decided to keep it secret."

The MoD subsequently investigated the case but found no written record of the incident, the files say.

"... the MoD does not have any expertise or role in respect of 'UFO/flying saucer' matters or to the question of the existence or otherwise of extraterrestrial lifeforms, about which it remains totally open-minded," it said in a 1999 note.

Britain has been slowly releasing long-classified files related to sightings of mysterious craft in the skies above its cities, compiled and investigated by the MoD over past decades.

Some cases subsequently received rational explanations, such as meteors burning up in the atmosphere, but many are unsolved.   Continued...

 
<p>A possible UFO sighting as reported by the Journal of Scientific Exploration, is seen in an undated file photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>