Details of East Anglia UFO sightings revealed
Victoria NichollsIt is easy to see how the wide-open skies of East Anglia lend themselves to the mystery and intrigue that surround UFO sightings.So it should be no surprise that newly revealed 'X-Files' include a report of an unexplained sighting over Norwich.Victoria Nicholls
It is easy to see how the
wide-open skies of East Anglia lend themselves to the mystery and intrigue that surround UFO sightings.
So it should be no surprise that newly revealed 'X-Files' include a report of an unexplained sighting over Norwich.
Today, the National Archives is launching its latest online release of secret UFO files that were
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compiled by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Among the papers is an
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account given by an employee at Norwich Prison in November 1994 who reported seeing strange
lights while looking out over the city from the building on Mousehold Heath.
The statement read: 'At approximately 4.15pm a member of the support staff asked me whether I could identify a row of bright
lights to the west.
'Together we looked at a map of
the city and concluded that the
lights were on the ground in the vicinity of the university. They appeared to be the kind of lights
used on a sports ground. My colleague had not noticed them before.'
The witness described returning to the window the following day at 7.45am and that while searching
the skyline, their eyes were
'made conscious' of two
lights, saying: 'At first I
thought the scene was
ordinary enough; the rising sun
was already strong and it seemed that I was seeing two hot air balloons, formed from a silvery material.'
But they said there were no
baskets or bursts of flame,
adding: 'Without the objects having moved in relation to the building beneath them, after about a minute they both vanished in an instant; they did not diminish in intensity of light or size but vanished from view.'
East Anglia is also highlighted in a sighting in Newmarket in October 1995 of a triangular-shaped craft, glowing bright white that was flying towards Norfolk, higher than a normal aircraft and without navigational lights.
Today marks the fourth
instalment of files being made public as they are transferred from the MoD to the National Archives.
That includes documents
spanning 1981 to 1996 and features papers relating to the famous Rendlesham Forest sightings in
1980, when US Air Force
personnel claimed that a UFO had landed.
As well as featuring a famous
memo by Lt Col Charles Halt detailing events, the files include
the MoD's final position
statement saying there was no evidence of a threat to national defence, and that nothing showed up on radar.
Other highlights include a
close encounter the same year with two youths in Staffordshire
heading home across a field from
an evening out. They reported
being terrified when a lemon-
headed alien supposedly appeared from under a hovering UFO and
said: 'We want you, come with
Dr David Clarke, a UFO expert
and journalism lecturer at
Sheffield Hallam University, highlighted a leap in reported sightings from 117 in 1995 to 609
in 1996 - the year Independence
Day was released and popular television series the X-Files was at its peak.
He added: 'Aside from 1996,
one of the busiest years for
UFO sightings reported to the
MoD over the past half century
was 1978 - the year Close
Encounters of the Third Kind was released.
'Obviously, films and TV programmes raise public awareness of UFOs and it's fascinating to see how that appears to lead more people to report what they see to the authorities.'
The batch of files is available for download free of charge for a
month at www.nationalarchives.