Revealed: eerie UFO sightings recorded in MoD files
Flying Toblerones, mysterious illnesses and silky-white substances are among hundreds of close encounters described in previously top-secret files released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) today.
More than 6,000 pages of material spanning from 1994 to 2000 holds hundreds of other-worldly experiences with unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and apparent aliens across Britain.
Aircraft of all shapes and sizes have been witnessed flying over a wide range of locations - including Chelsea Football Club and the former Home Secretary Michael Howard's home in Kent.
One man told police he was physically sick and developed a "skin condition" after an eerie "tube of light" enveloped his car in Ebbw Vale, in Wales, at 10.40pm on January 27 1997.
The man, who worked at a funeral director, was sent to the doctor after his alleged brush with the unknown.
This is just one of hundreds of bizarre reports received by the police, military and Government, suggesting that the truth might be out there after all.
This fifth instalment released under a three-year project between the MoD and The National Archives consists of 24 files of sightings, letters and Parliamentary Questions.
The records feature papers relating to the famous "Rendlesham Forest" sightings, often dubbed as "Britain's Roswell"
Other highlights include:
:: A man arrived at his Birmingham home at 4am on March 20, 1997, to discover an illuminated blue triangle hovering over his garden. The craft shot off leaving behind a "silky-white" substance on the tree-tops, which he collected in a jam-jar.
:: A UFO sighted by Boston and Skegness police, in Lincolnshire, was captured on film. The police reported the sighting to the coastguard, who in turn alerted ships in North Sea - where a crew saw more UFOs. Simultaneously, an unidentified blip was picked up on radar over Boston.
:: A request submitted to former Prime Minister John Major from a councillor for an inquiry into 600 alleged sightings in Bonnybridge, Scotland, known as the "Bonnybridge Triangle".
:: An object travelling at more than 1,000 knots was tracked by a senior air traffic controller from the control tower at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, in Ayrshire, in February 1999.
:: A West Lothian electrician spotted a "Toblerone-shaped" UFO hovering over a field. A sketch of the craft is included in the report.
:: A letter from senior MoD official Ralph Noyes in which he describes seeing a film of UFOs captured by RAF fighter pilots in 1956. Mr Noyes claims the footage was shown at a secret underground screening arranged for Air Defence staff at the MoD Main Building in 1970.
Experts believe the records highlight how shapes of reported UFOs have changed over the last half-century.
This could be explained by representations of UFOs in popular culture - such as TV shows like The X-Files.
Many reports in this latest file describe aircraft as big, black and triangular in shape with lights along the edges, whereas the predominant form in the 1940s to 1950s was saucer or disc-shaped.
Dr David Clarke, author of The UFO Files and senior lecturer in journalism from Sheffield Hallam University said: "In the 1950s the next big leap in technology was thought to be a round craft that took off vertically and it's intriguing to note that this is the same period when people began to report seeing 'flying saucers' in the sky.
"In the period the latest file release covers, triangular-shaped US stealth bombers and Aurora spy planes featured heavily on TV, such as The X Files between 1993-2002, and films, such as Independence Day released in 1996 and the shape of reported UFOs corresponds.
"It's impossible to prove a direct link between what people are reading and watching and what they report as UFOs but one interpretation could be that the latest advances in technology may be influencing what people see in the sky."
The UFO drawings
Numerous UFO reports come with sketches drawn by eyewitnesses in a bid to back up their claims.
The records, released by the Ministry of Defence and National Archives today, contain dozens of sketches of UFOs and in some cases aliens.
Sketches in the release include:
* A drawing of a spacecraft containing three beings seen by a passenger on board flight TG919 from London Heathrow to Hong Kong via Bangkok on July 19 1993, witnessed somewhere between Dhaka in India and Chittagong in Bangladesh. The eyewitness report said: "We passed a very bright object I believe this was stationary or moving slowly inside were three occupants in line facing a large screen." The letter goes on: "The occupants were very tall and thin, they had no clothes on, their bodies were red (like they were sunburned)."
* A drawing of a glowing white globe with a glowing white ring around it on January 20 1994, in Highbury Crescent, Highbury, London, which the eyewitness claimed to have seen before in 1993.
* A drawing of "missile shaped" UFOs seen in Smethwick, West Midlands, in 1954 and another flying saucer style UFO spotted by the same eyewitness in 1954.
* A drawing of a "star" like craft which the eyewitness claimed appeared, tilted and revealed four white lights, on June 15, 1994, on the A46 towards Newark, Nottinghamshire.
* A drawing of a Toblerone-shaped UFO seen at Annandale, West Lothian, Scotland, on July 30 and 31 1994.
* A drawing of a triangle-shaped craft spotted over Wakefield, Yorkshire, on August 9 1995.
* A drawing of a UFO seen over Trenale Lane, near Tintagel, Cornwall. The artist identifies a dome at the front of the craft as the cockpit.
* The files are available to download for free for a month from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos
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