Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

UFO investigations unit closed by Ministry of Defence

A sketch of a UFO [pic: national archives]
Sketch of a UFO spotted in Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, on 25 March 1988

The Ministry of Defence has closed its UFO unit after more than 50 years of investigating reported UK sightings.

A hotline and e-mail address for the public to report possible sightings was shut on 1 December because it had no "defence value", the MoD said.

The officer handling reports has moved to another post, saving £44,000 a year.

The MoD said the unit had received thousands of reports, although none had yielded proof of aliens or any security threat to the UK.

'Afghanistan priority'

In a statement, the MoD said it had "no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life".

It went on: "In over 50 years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom.

"The MoD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings. There is no defence benefit in such investigation and it would be an inappropriate use of defence resources."

An MoD spokesman added that resources were being "focused on the top priority - the front line in Afghanistan".

He added: "Any legitimate threat to the UK's airspace will be spotted by our 24/7 radar checks and dealt with by RAF fighter aircraft."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
In pictures: UFO archives opened
16 Aug 09 |  In Pictures
MoD took UFO sighting seriously
22 Mar 09 |  Scotland
Dear MoD: where is ET?
14 May 08 |  UK

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific