background photo: watz (flickr) cc (photoshop by dimitir)
It started in 2007 when the national space agency of France (CNES) opened up it's ufo files. Instead of sweeping the observations under the carpet, making ordinary citizens out to be loons and basically lying to it's taxpayers this French agency decided to... wait for it... study the phenomenon scientifically. Since 1977 the study of Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non Identifies (PAN's aka UFO's) has been official business.
In March of 2007 the group tasked to study PAN's (GEIPAN) opened up 1600 files to the public. Most of the stuff is mundane but there exists in their database a percentage of the truly odd and unexplainable. The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also decided to open up some of it's files to public scrutiny. As part of a four year roll-out of declassified files through the National Archives the summer 2009 instalment just went public. Again, a lot of mundane stuff with a handfull of the truly weird.
Cute and creepy are the boys who ran into a police station trying to get police to come outside and look across the distance to a glowing red saucer-shaped object. The cops just thought it was an aircraft in the distance but the boys were genuinely 'agitated and distressed' at the sight of it. As the police talked more with the boys they discovered that they had been accosted by a figure with a lemon-shaped head who wanted the boys to 'come with us.' 'Both appeared upset and shocked and as such it was increasingly difficult to obtain detailed information from them.' (Damn lemon-headed space pedophiles!)
Now there is no hard evidence for this one but you would think that the police would have been able to shake out the truth if it was just a joke or something stupid. The fact that the police described the lads as agitated, upset, shocked etc... does carry a little bit of weight.
Most interesting in this most recent release from MoD is the fact that the British were apparently very interested in the Belgium sightings that started in 1989. The radar lock-on and chase of objects by a couple of F16's plus the broad daylight eye witness accounts of thousands might have had something to do with it.
Nick Pope had a 21 year career at the British MoD and spent the last 3 of them running the UFO Desk. He started as a sceptic but in the end, once confronted by the evidence, he logically has come to understand that there is something to this phenomenon.
Of this latest release Pope says: 'I welcome the release of these real-life X-Files. This is a real blast from the past for me as I led the investigations into many of these cases that have now been declassified. Most sightings had conventional explanations but some were a complete mystery. ... Whatever you think about UFOs, these sorts of cases show that there are serious defence, national security and air safety issues involved.'
Slowly but surely the bullshit wraps are coming off this topic.