On September 23, 2014, a newspaper story in the UK revealed that the British Ministry of Defence would be releasing 18 more UFO documents next year. This action was precipitated by the filing of a Freedom of Information request by British researcher Andy Russell, one month earlier, in which he asked:
“Whether documents covering the period 1971-76 and 1996-2000 titled ‘UFO policy’ and three other documents covering the periods June-Dec 2000, Dec 2000-Mar 2004 and March 2004 exist, and if so are they still ‘classified’.”
A search turned up the hitherto unacknowledged files, thereby contradicting the MoD’s earlier claim that all of its UFO files had been released to the public.
In June 2013, after it had been announced that the final “tranche” or batch of UFO files had just been declassified, I wrote an article saying that the MoD was almost certainly withholding additional, very sensitive, UFO-related documents. My piece featured comments by former MoD UFO Desk administrator Nick Pope, who agreed with my contention. He wrote,
Careful scrutiny of the released material shows plenty of documents have been redacted or withheld in entirety. And that's not including several of the more interesting files, documents, films and photographs that the MoD claims have been ‘inadvertently destroyed’ or ‘lost’.
In government, access to classified information is a product of your security clearance and your 'need to know'. Thus, in a sense, you can never say for sure whether you're privy to all the information on any particular topic, because even if you're the ‘Subject Matter Expert’, there may not just be specific things to which you're denied access, but areas the existence of which you're not even aware. Think of this in terms of ‘unknown unknowns’. So while I had a Top Secret SCI security clearance for much of my MoD career and certainly believe I saw all the UFO files, I can't be certain: ‘I don't know what I don't know’ is another way that those of us who have dealt with highly-classified material sometimes characterize this situation.
Regarding British UFO debunker Dr. David Clarke—who has slavishly repeated every MoD claim about the supposed lack of credible information on UFOs in its hands, and endorsed those claims as the final word on the subject—Pope said this,
Having done as a government job what he did as a hobby, I can confirm that Clarke has never worked for the MoD or held a security clearance. MoD redacts the files before sending them to the National Archives, so he's only ever seen the same unclassified material as any other member of the public.
One MoD document referred to him as a ‘UFO spotter’—a disparaging term used to describe somebody with a nerdish and slightly obsessive attitude to the subject...Some people would probably use the term ‘useful idiot’ to describe his parroting the MoD ‘no defense significance’ sound bite, which was designed solely to keep Parliament, the media and the public off our backs.
Pope’s last comment about Clarke received a lot of attention. Regarding the disparaging epithet, one reference website says, “In political jargon, ‘useful idiot’ is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”1
However, the far more interesting and significant comment by Pope was his revelation about the MoD’s underlying motivation for its claim that UFOs posed no threat to the UK
Regarding the newly-acknowledged documents, Pope recently said, “This is a huge embarrassment for the MoD and will have UFO enthusiasts up in arms...The 18 files include ones from RAF radar specialists and from the ultra-secretive Defence Intelligence Staff, so there may be some fascinating revelations still to come."2
Having investigated the December 1980 UFO incidents at RAF Bentwaters at great length, I can confidently assert that two members of the MoD’s Air Staff Secretariat DS8 were present for some of the secret debriefings of U.S. Air Force personnel, relating to the sightings there.
Even though those individuals did not conduct the interrogations, and were merely observers, where are the MoD’s records summarizing what occurred during those witness interviews? Certainly there was nothing about them in the files released thus far.
My own Bentwaters research has focused on the events at the base’s Weapons Storage Area (WSA), during the early hours of December 28, 1980, when a UFO reportedly directed one or more laser-like beams into the bunker complex. At the time, the WSA was America’s largest tactical nuclear weapons depot in Europe, according to my former/retired U.S. Air Force sources.
Then-Lt. Col. Charles Halt, the Deputy Base Commander at the time, has described seeing the UFO and the mysterious beams in the distance—as he was investigating unexplained lights in nearby Rendlesham Forest—while at the same time hearing radio chatter from Air Force Security Police posted at the WSA, who were excitedly reporting the unknown object in the sky and one or more beams apparently falling among the weapons bunkers.
Surely the British Ministry of Defence would be interested in such an event. If so, where are its documents discussing it? Col. Halt first publicly admitted his knowledge of the incident in an Unsolved Mysteries television show that aired in 1991. In other words, the MoD had to have known about the UFO activity at the very sensitive WSA at least as early as that date—if not earlier. Wouldn’t one or more of MoD’s intelligence groups have mentioned Halt’s dramatic public admission in writing? If so, why didn’t those files end up being declassified?
I also have reliable sources who have discussed relatively recent UFO incursions at the Royal Navy’s Faslane base, in Scotland, where the UK’s Trident nuclear missile-carrying submarines are based. If my civilian sources, who live nearby, know about these events, presumably the MoD does as well. At least, hopefully it does. Where are the documents relating to the sightings at the base? They were not among those released thus far, even though the reported incidents occurred in 2011.
In summary, the British Ministry of Defence has apparently not been entirely candid with the citizens of the UK or, at least, was very sloppy in its earlier searches for UFO-related files. The newly-discovered documents strongly suggest that other still-unacknowledged batches of files exist. Hopefully this development will result in a renewed effort on the part of British researchers to press for a truly comprehensive declassification of the entire cache of MoD files.
Anyone wishing to review a few of the nuclear weapons-related UFO documents released by the U.S. government should go to my documents page.