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“BRITAIN’S X-Files” reveal how a UFO was spotted on military radar for seven hours – but the RAF were “overruled at the highest level” and told to do nothing about it.
An investigation into the phenomenon was only opened after several witnesses spotted a rotating UFO in the sky over the Skegness coast.
By then, several radars had detected the object in the early hours of 5 October 1996, over the Wash.
Police statements describing the bright lights, along with several civilian reports, were splashed across newspapers and became the subject of several TV shows at the time.
Secret UFO files reveal how the former Defence Secretary Michael Portillo appears to have been slammed by an unnamed government official over the military’s “absolute shambles” of a reaction, which they suggest could have put the nation at risk.
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In a letter typed on House of Commons headed paper, the then Tory minister was grilled by a government official for the lax reaction during what became one of Britain’s most mysterious UFO sightings.
It reads: “I am very concerned about an incident that occurred off the Anglian Coast recently, involving a visual unidentified flying craft sighting which was correlated by various different military radar systems.”
They add that it struck them as “incredible” that “no aircraft were scrambled when an uncorrelated target was picked up so close to the coast” and that “this raises serious issues about the way in which we police the UK’s Air Defence Region”.
They ask why RAF Coningsby, just a few miles from the Wash and who wanted to scramble aircraft were “overruled at the highest level” and why a video taken by police had “disappeared into the bowels of your ministry’s main building” – a detail certain sure to be of interest to conspiracy theorists and UFO hunters.
The letter continues: “The RAF is supposed to, or so I believed, to be keeping a watchful eye on activity in the UK, but seem to have no idea what is going on.
“Do they have standard procedure for these incidents? They had enough time to think about it, because the object was on our radar for upwards of seven hours!”
“While I am interested in finding out what was seen, my primary concern stems from the absolute shambles that such events seem to cause,” they wrote.
The author, whose name has been wiped from the official files, attaches various newspaper reports including one titled: “UFOS expose 9-5 defence danger”.
The dossier includes eyewitness statements from several police officers who claim to have seen flashing red, blue and white lights and also reveals how civil servants were briefed about what caused the mysterious sightings.
It also tells how civil servants were briefed about what caused the mysterious sightings.
Documents following an official probe conclude that several “phenomena” might be to blame.
It suggests the lights were observed from “three different locations” high above the horizon and in the same general direction, indicating a “celestial source”.
Radar signals could be explained by a nearby church spire, which was known for distorting communication systems, according to the memo.
Closing the case, the official file states: “The prolonged sighting of stationary coloured flashing lights reported by the Skegness police on 5 October 1996 had no significance for the integrity of UK airspace and no associated air vehicle was detected by civil or military radars.”
The documents are just some of many included in the fascinating UFO dossier quietly released last week.
They have not been digitised, so enthusiasts must join a queue to inspect the paper records at the National Archive’s reading room in Kew, West London.
There are an additional three files which are yet to be released, according to Nick Pope, a former civil servant who worked for the MoD.
Pope, who ran the government’s UFO project from 1991 to 1994 said: “The lack of a smoking gun and the fact that these files seem to have been slipped out without a formal media announcement is bound to start some conspiracy theories and I know that many people believe the ‘good stuff’ is being held back.”
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