The number of UFO sightings logged with the Ministry of Defence more than doubled to 285 last year, a rise described as “phenomenal” by experts. It is the highest number of sightings in 10 years.
All the incidents are included in a document released by the MoD yesterday, which details the date, time and location of the sightings, along with a brief summary of the eyewitness reports.
The Palace of Westminster sighting on Feb 12 is described as follows: “There was a craft that had green, red and white lights. It was still and static in the sky. It was seen for about an hour and a half.” There is no information about who reported the UFO or what it may have been.
The MoD only investigates reports of unidentified flying objects that it considers may pose a risk to national security, and most of the incidents seem just to have been logged and ignored. One UFO, in the skies over Stroud in Gloucestershire on June 2, is recorded only as “a sighting of something”.
Many of the sightings read like the products of overactive imaginations. In Scarborough, North Yorkshire on June 11 a member of the public reported seeing “a cork shaped object that glowed like an angel, flew up and over some trees”.
Others are strikingly specific, like this description of a UFO seen near Blackpool in Lancashire on Sept 8: “An object, the shape of a chewing gum pack, black in colour and had three circles of lights underneath it, emitting a dull orange light. Was about 150 feet long and 50 feet wide.”
Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs for the MoD in the 1990s and is now one of the country’s leading UFO authorities, said that the doubling of sightings was “statistically extremely significant.” In 2007 there were 135 reported sightings, and just 97 in 2006.