by Graham Tibbetts
The most comprehensive Government files on UFO activity are opened
to the public for the first time today and they disclose that even
air traffic controllers and police officers have seen mysterious
craft in the skies over Britain.
The sightings range from incredible tales of little green men
visiting the Wirral to corroborated accounts from policemen and
pilots of Unidentified Flying Objects hovering above towns and
All are recorded on official forms, held by air bases and police
stations, and compiled by the Ministry of Defense between 1978 and
Disclosed for the first time is a report from three experienced air
traffic controllers who attempted to "talk in" a UFO which landed on
the runway before them. The incident occurred on April 19, 1984, at
an East Anglian airfield which was operating two runways called 22
In the control tower a senior air traffic controller (Satco) was
supervising his deputy and an assistant.
According to the report, the deputy was in contact with a light
aircraft preparing to land on runway 22 when the Satco noticed
lights approaching the other runway.
The unidentified object came in at speed, made a touch and go on
runway 27 then departed at terrific speed in a near vertical climb,
according to the files.
It was described as a,
"brilliant solid ball of light, bright silvery
in color". The file noted that "witnesses do not wish to be
identified in case their professional integrity is questioned".
Others in the aviation industry also encountered unidentified flying
objects, including a Sea King helicopter crew who tracked two
objects on their radar for 40
miles, travelling at almost one
nautical mile per second, in September 1985.
Four months later two constables in Woking police station, Surrey,
saw a white light with a tail above the town centre which then
"descended into the Horshall area".
They reported it to their inspector, who recorded it as a "genuine
report" but noted that the officers were slightly embarrassed
because Horshall Common features in the works of the science fiction
writer HG Wells.
They were not alone. In June 1984, three officers at Edgware station
in north London had been called to a garden after a sighting in
On their arrival the uniformed officers found a "flashing light 45
degrees up in the sky" with a "dome on top and underneath" which
they watched through binoculars.
"We observed the object for one hour. During this period of time the
object moved erratically from side to side, up and down and to and
fro, not venturing far from its original position," wrote the
officers, who also sketched a cartoon-like image of the spacecraft.
But a couple in the Wirral claimed to have had an encounter of an
altogether closer kind.
The husband reported visiting bases in Cheshire of green aliens,
including one called Elgar who was killed by another race in 1984.
His wife saw their craft crash over Wallasey Town Hall but the
official response was recorded as a terse "no reply".
The documents are contained in eight files that have been released
under the Freedom of Information Act.
Over the next four years more than 150 files will be made available
at the National Archive in Kew, south-west London.
Nick Pope, who worked for the MoD for 21 years and was responsible
for investigating the sightings, said:
"Most of the UFO sightings
here are probably misidentifications of aircraft lights and meteors,
but some are more difficult to explain."