In Brief

British spies spent 50 years trying to catch UFO, secret dossier reveals

Government hoped to harvest alien technology in order to develop superweapons

British spies spent at least half a century hunting for UFOs in the hope of stealing alien technology, newly declassified files show.

The UK government appears to have been concerned that the Soviet Union or China had already taken control of an unidentified flying object and were using its secrets to develop ultra-advanced warplanes, says the Daily Mail.

According to the secret files, between 1947 to 1997 intelligence services ran two UFO desks - one where the public could phone in sightings, the other assigning tasks for spies to investigate.

The UFO desks were finally closed down after Whitehall expressed concerns that security services “investigating X files stuff such as alien abductions” were being distracted from their main duties.

A review was then undertaken in order to determine whether any information found over the years would be useful to the military.

The resulting report makes up a part of three files running to more than 1,000 pages that were held back from UFO records earmarked for transfer to The National Archives as part of the Open Government project from 2008 to 2013, according to The Sun.

Earlier this year, a complete set of redacted copies was sent to Dr David Clarke, an investigative journalist and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, ahead of their release to the official archives, which is imminent. 

The documents reveal that the Royal Air Force expressed significant interest in finding a UFO to come up with an innovative way of beating enemies during the Cold War.

Spies were trained on what to look for when identifying foreign objects, and were told to pay particular attention to any aircraft “behaving like a UFO”.

An unnamed Air Force commander wrote that security services staff should “look out for high velocities, sharp manoeuvre, stationary ‘flight’, and few radar returns”.

Clarke, former curator for The National Archives UFO project, said: “Even though [the files] have been partly censored they can’t conceal the fact the UK military were interested in capturing UFO technology - or what they coyly refer to as ‘novel weapon technology’.

“And the files reveal they were desperate to capture this technology, wherever it came from, before the Russians or the Chinese got hold of it first.”

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