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UFOs in Parliament

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posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:13 AM
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Back in 2002/2003, I spent quite a bit of time finding and typing up questions about UFOs asked and answered in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

As part of that project, I considered a considerable number of different sources - including:

(1) Various relevant sources on the Internet including free web-sites relating to the Houses of Parliament and also commercial services. Unfortunately, these were not very helpful in relation to older material (with few results in relation to the pre-1979 period).



(2) I also examined hard copies of volumes of Hansard. Unfortunately, no cumulative index covering the entirety of Hansard reports is produced. To find each occurrence of a term in the index of Hansard during the 32 year period from 1947 to 1979, it is necessary to examine 32 separate general indices relating to the House of Commons Official Reports and 32 separate general indices to the House of Lords Official Reports. Most of the questions found during the preparation of this working document relating to UFOs are entitled “Unidentified Flying Objects”, although (as will be seen from a glance at the results section of this working document) there are a considerable number of other relevant titles (e.g. “Unidentified Craft”, “Mr. Nicholas Pope”, “Civilian Pilots”). Obviously, if the title to the question does not clearly relate to UFOs, it is very difficult to locate such questions by searching the index.


(3) Other relevant secondary sources examined included:

(a) Numerous government documents relating to UFOs, looking for material relating to questions asked and answered in Parliament;

(b) A considerable number of UFO books. Various books refer to a number of questions on UFOs in the Houses of Parliament. Indeed, at least two books have been published which are based almost entirely on the contents of one debate in the House of Lords in 1979 (“UFOs in the House of Lords – 1979” and John Michel’s “House of Lords UFO Debate”, Pentacle 1979).

(c) Relevant articles.


In summary, I have limited the scope of this document to:

(a) post-1947 material. Although some material relating to Airships etc was located during the preparation of this working document, a deliberate search for material pre-dating 1947 was not performed due to the difficulties of any such search (due, in particular, to a presumed lack of any consistency in relevant keywords and terms used in indexing such material etc. This problem is presumed given the very gradual decrease in difficulties of this nature that were actually experienced in searching for material post dating 1947);

(b) Hansard material which, even if not entitled “Unidentified Flying Objects” nor explicitly referring to Unidentified Flying Objects, appears to relate to that subject in the light of other questions by the relevant Member of Parliament and/or the fact that the question relates to matters of direct interest to ufologists e.g. questions that relate to organisations, individuals or events that are well-known to readers of material relating to Unidentified Flying Objects (e.g. questions about Nick Redfern, Nick Pope, or DI/55).

Kind Regards,

Isaac Koi


[edit on 23-1-2008 by IsaacKoi]




posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:13 AM
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1950s

24 November 1953
House of Commons Vol 521, oral answers column 169-170
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 10 of hardback edition] [Cross Refer: “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 119 of hardback edition]
[Cross refer : “A Covert Agenda” by Nick Redfern, page 39 of hardback edition]
[Cross refer: “Flying Saucers and Common Sense” by Waveney Girvan, pages 106-107, 110, 113, 114 and 126 of hardback edition]
[Cross refer: “UFO” by Robert Chapman, page 53 of Mayflower paperback edition]

“Meteorological Balloons (Radar Reports)
9. Lieut.-Colonel Schofield asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence what reports his Department has received of the flying object observed by two airmen over London or other parts of the United Kingdom and report to him ; and if he will make a statement.

13. Mr Bellenger asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence whether he has been able to identify the flying saucer object reported by one of the members of Anti-Aircraft Command.

Mr Birch: On 3rd November two experimental meteorological balloons were observed at different times, one by two officers in a Royal Air Force aircraft and the other by a member of Anti-Aircraft Command. There was nothing peculiar about either of these occurrences.

Lieut.-Colonel Schofield: Would my hon. Friend tell me whether a meteorological balloon will give a stronger echo on a radar echo-sounder than a large aircraft or some other solid object in the air, and, arising out of the reports which have been made to his Department, can he tell me what reports have been received from the Norwich Astronomical Society, which keeps a night watch on the sky and several of whose members on 6th October claimed to have seen a dome shaped object emitting light from the dome at the top of the object?

Mr Birch: Meteorological balloons are fitted with a special device in order that they produce a large echo on a radar screen. I am afraid that I am not very closely in touch with the Norwich Astronomical Society.

Mr Bellenger: Although the House will, no doubt, accept the explanation which the Parliamentary Secretary has given, which is not different to many other explanations regarding similar phenomena here and elsewhere, will he now take steps to warn the Royal Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Command when these balloons are in the sky so that these Services know what is happening and to prevent unnecessary alarm in other quarters?

Mr Birch: The trouble arose because the two balloons were allowed to escape or were let off at an unusual time, but I hope we shall not have any more trouble like this.

Mr Isaacs: Would the Parliamentary Secretary agree that this story about flying saucers is all ‘ballooney’?

Mr Birch: I think that the right hon. Gentleman’s appreciation is very nearly correct.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:13 AM
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4 May 1955
House of Commons Vol 540 Oral answers 1681-2
[Cross Refer: “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 121 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 145 of hardback edition]

“ ‘Flying Saucers’
39. Major Wall asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether the Air Ministry inquiry into the existence of ‘flying saucers’ has been completed ; and whether he proposes to publish a report.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr George Ward): Reports of ‘flying saucers,’ as well as any other abnormal objects in the sky, are investigated as they come in, but there has been no formal inquiry. About 90 per cent. of the reports have been found to relate to meteors, balloons, flares, and many other objects. The fact that the other 10 per cent. are unexplained need be attributed to nothing more sinister than lack of data.

Major Wall: I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, which I am sure will be of interest to a great many members of the general public”.



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:14 AM
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20 March 1957
House of Commons Volume 567, oral answers column 374
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 46 of hardback edition]
[Cross refer : “A Covert Agenda” by Nick Redfern, page 61 of hardback edition]

“Airborne Object, Wardle

26. Mr Leavey asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that an abnormal, brightly illuminated airborne object was seen near Wardle in Lancashire at about 10 p.m. on Friday, 15th February, 1957 ; and what reports he has received from the radar warning system about this.

Mr C. I. Orr-Ewing: Yes, Sir. This object, which was described in the Press as a flying saucer, did not emanate from outer space, but from a laundry in Rochdale. It consisted of two small hydrogen-filled balloons illuminated by a flash-light bulb, and devised by a mechanic employed at the laundry. I understand that he planned to construct from these experiments a small radio-controlled airship. There would be no reason for the radar system to report the appearance of a small, slow-moving object of this type.

Mr Leavey : While noting my hon. Friend’s explanation, may I ask him whether he is aware that it is most unlikely that that explanation will be accepted by those who saw this object? Is he aware that, in spite of the light-hearted tone of his reply, there is some general disquiet about these objects? Will he, therefore, take an early opportunity, preferably now, to make a general declaration that his Ministry is not at the moment involved, and has not been involved in the immediate past, in releasing objects which are normally described as flying saucers?

Mr Orr-Ewing: I can certainly give that assurance. We have not been launching any flying saucers.

Mr Shinwell: Is it possible to produce a few abnormal, brightly illuminated objects on the Government Front Bench?

Mr de Freitas: Is there no truth at all in reports that radio amateurs have, at this very hour, picked up words spoken in English with a very strong Martian accent?

Mr Orr-Ewing: I think that that question should be addressed to the Postmaster-General.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:14 AM
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17 April 1957
House of Commons Vol 568, Written Answers column 206
[Cross refer : Public Records Office File AIR 20/9320]
[Cross refer : “A Covert Agenda” by Nick Redfern, page 66 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 145 of hardback edition]


“ROYAL AIR FORCE
Unidentified Flying Objects

Mr Awbery asked the Secretary of State for Air what recent investigations have been made into unidentified flying objects; what photographs have been taken; and what reports have been made on the subject.

Mr Ward: Reports are continually being received, and we investigate them wherever the details are sufficient. Most of the objects turn out to be balloons or meteors. One photograph received some publicity, but was faked.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:14 AM
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15 May 1957
House of Commons Vol 570, Oral Answers column 391-392
[Cross refer : Public Records Office Files AIR 20/9321 and AIR 20/9322]
[Cross Refer : “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 145 of hardback edition]
[Cross refer : “A Covert Agenda” by Nick Redfern, pages 42, 43 and 67 of hardback edition]

“ROYAL AIR FORCE
Unidentified Flying Objects”
37. Major Wall asked the Secretary of State for Air how many unidentified flying objects have been detected over Great Britain this year as compared with previous years; and whether the object picked up by radar over the Dover Straits on 29th April has yet been identified.

39. Mr Beswick asked the Secretary of State for Air what was the nature of the aircraft or other object sighted on the radar air defence screens on Monday night and which occasioned the dispatch of aircraft of Fighter Command.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr George Ward): Five flying objects reported this year are as yet unidentified compared with six last year, none in 1955, and six in 1954.

The object sighted in the Channel on the 29th April turned out to be two of a large number of Hunters of Fighter Command engaged on a training exercise. Their movements as observed on radar were somewhat unusual and aroused the suspicions of the radar defences.

Major Wall : I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. May I ask whether the report that the planes were travelling at 1,000 an hour is true? Is my right hon. Friend aware that unofficial reports of sightings have increased greatly this year, and that there is a feeling that the Air Ministry is sometimes rather reticent in making statements on these matters?

Mr Ward : In reply to the first point, I can say that the speeds of the objects as tracked on the radar screen were nothing like as fast as reported in the Press. In reply to the second point, hon. Members will bear in mind that reports relating to this year are still under investigation, and some of the objects may well be identified later.

Mr Beswick: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a certain amount of apprehension about these false alarms? Has he speculated upon what may happen in the days when nuclear deterrents are in use and when we shall not have a few months to find out whether missiles are actually coming our way or not? Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance to the public that there is some method of identifying objects other than the radar screens on the South Coast?

Mr Ward: It was precisely because the radar control and reporting system was not absolutely certain whether these objects were friendly that it directed them to be investigated.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:15 AM
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1958

10 June 1958
House of Commons volume 589, written answers column 10
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 28 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 50 of hardback edition]

“ROYAL AIR FORCE : Unidentified Flying Objects (Reports)
Mr Chetwynd asked the Secretary of State for Air how many instances of unidentified flying objects have been reported on by the defence services of the United Kingdom during the past twelve months; what steps are taken to co-ordinate such observations; and if he will make a statement.

Mr C I Orr-Ewing : Reports of fifty-four unidentified flying objects have been received in the last twelve months. Such co-ordination as is necessary is undertaken by the Air Ministry. Most of the objects turn out to be meteors, balloons or aircraft. Satellites have also accounted for a number of recent reports.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:15 AM
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30 July 1958
House of Commons volume 592 oral answers column 1335-6
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, pages 28-29 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, pages 50-51 of hardback edition]

“Unidentified Flying Objects
Mr Chetwynd asked the Secretary of State for Air what action is being taken to ascertain the identity of unidentified flying objects which have not been recognised as meteors, balloons, aircraft or satellites.

Mr Ward : We investigate all reports of unidentified flying objects as fully as the details allow, but I am afraid there will always be some which remain unexplained because the reports are not sufficiently precise.

Mr Chetwynd : Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a number of scientific societies are conducting research to try to establish the existence of flying saucers? Can the right hon. Gentleman
[column 1336]
say whether his Department has any information which would back up this claim and, if so, whether he would be prepared to give it to these societies?

Mr Ward : As the hon. Member knows, the bulk of these reports are explained. Only a very small proportion are not explained, and we think that the reason why these are not explained, too, is that the data we have about them is not sufficient.

Mr Chetwynd : Is there any evidence to back up the claims that there are flying saucers?”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:15 AM
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5 November 1958
House of Commons volume 594 written answers column 47
[Cross Refer: “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 29 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 51 of hardback edition]

“Unidentified Flying Objects
Mr Mason asked the Secretary of State for Air to what extent official records are kept of sightings of unidentified flying objects ; what Departments within the Air Ministry exist solely to collate information on this question ; and to what extent this information suggests that some of the unidentified phenomena may not originate from this planet.
Mr Ward : If a report of an unidentified flying object has a bearing on the air defence of this country it is investigated and the results recorded. No staff are employed whole-time on the task. Although some of the objects have not been identified for lack of data, nothing suggests that they are other than mundane.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:15 AM
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21 January 1959
House of Commons volume 598 written answers column 37
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 29]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 51 of hardback edition]

“ROYAL AIR FORCE : Unidentified Flying Objects
“Mr Mason asked the Secretary of State for Air what specific instructions have been sent to the commanders of Royal Air Force stations to collect reports from air crews having allegedly sighted unidentified flying objects ; what inquiries have been held following such sightings ; and to what extent there is collaboration between his Department and the respective departments in Canada and the United States of America on this problem.

Mr Ward : R.A.F. units have standing instructions to report unusual flying objects when they cannot readily be explained. Reports which may have a bearing on air defence are investigated. No special collaboration with Canada or the United States is required.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:15 AM
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11 March 1959
House of Commons volume 601, written answers column 113
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, pages 29-30]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 52 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 165 of hardback edition]

“London Airport (Unidentified Object)
Mr Hunter asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what reports were made to him by the Air Traffic Control officers about the pale yellow disc which hovered over London Airport recently for an estimated period of 20 minutes.
Mr Hay : None”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:16 AM
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11 March 1959
House of Commons volume 601, Oral answers column 1247
[Cross Refer : “Out of the Shadows” by David Clarke and Andy Roberts, page 165 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 29 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 52 of hardback edition]

“London Airport (Unidentified Light)
Mr de Freitas asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will make a statement on the official reports received at the Air Ministry about the pale yellow disc which recently hovered in the sky over London Airport for 20 minutes ; and what observations were made of on the radar screens.

Mr Ward : A pale yellow light was seen by officials at London Airport above one of the runways from 7.25 to 7.45 on the evening of 25th February. There was no corresponding response on the airport radars or on air defence radars. The light was not identified.

Mr de Freitas: Should not the Secretary of State’s Department have pointed out that there were natural conditions which could easily have led to this apparition, and not have given, by implication, the idea that there was some Martian saucer hovering and waiting for permission to land?

Mr F M Bennett : The hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr Stonehouse).

Mr Ward : There was insufficient evidence to determine what the cause of this light could have been.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:16 AM
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1960s


1963

01 August 1963
House of Commons Volume 682 written answers column 168

“Crater, Charlton
Mr Wall asked the Secretary of State for Air what were the findings of the two Royal Air Force officials who investigated the crater at Charlton, Wiltshire; and whether investigations by his Department are continuing.

Mr H. Fraser: From my inquiries, I have no reason to think that anything happened in the area which would justify further investigation by the Air Ministry.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:17 AM
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01 August 1963
House of Commons Volume 682 written answers column 174
[Cross Refer: “UFO Retrievals” by Jenny Randles, page 90 of softback edition]
[Cross Refer: “The Truth behind the Men in Black” by Jenny Randles, page 72 of softback edition]
[Cross refer: “UFO” by Robert Chapman, page 106 of Mayflower paperback edition]

“Crater, Charlton (Investigation)
Mr Wall asked the Secretary of State for War whether investigations by his Department into the cause of the crater at Charlton, Wiltshire, are continuing.

Mr Godber: The Army was concerned only to discover whether the crater could contain an unexploded bomb. Nothing of this nature was found and the Bomb Disposal Unit left the site on Friday, 26th July.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:17 AM
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15 July 1964
House of Commons Volume 698 written answers column 227
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good pages 34-35 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 58 of hardback edition]

“Unidentified Flying Objects
Mr A. Henderson asked the Secretary for State for Defence to what extent there is co-operation between the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force with a view to ascertaining the facts relating to flying saucers or other unidentified flying objects ; and what information is now available to his department on this matter”/

Mr H Fraser: We are generally aware of the experience of the United States Air Force. Some 90 per cent. of the sightings investigated by my Department have had a perfectly rational explanation. In the remaining 10 per cent. of cases, the information available was insufficient to support an adequate inquiry. We have discovered no evidence of the existence of so-called ‘flying saucers’”.



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:17 AM
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27 May 1966
House of Commons Volume 729 written answers column 171
[Cross Refer: Public Record Office File Reference DEFE 31/110]

“Outer Space (Man-Made Objects)
Mr Brooks asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many separate pieces of man-made equipment now circling the earth outside the atmosphere have been detected by tracking stations under his control.

Mr Merlyn Rees: Over 400 were observed during May.

Mr Brooks asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many reports of unidentified flying objects were received by his Department throughout Great Britain during 1964 and 1965; and out of these how many have since not been satisfactorily explained.

Mr Merlyn Rees: The following are the figures:

[Table with three columns, one for the year and the others being entitled “Total Number of Reports” and “Number not explained”. The contents of the two rows are, from left to right, as follows:
“1964”, “74”, “5”
“1965”, “56”, “14”]

In the cases that have not been satisfactorily explained the information given has generally been too imprecise or inadequate to support any further investigation.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:17 AM
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22 June 1966
House of Commons Volume 730 written answers column 70
[Cross Refer: Public Record Office File Reference DEFE 31/110]

“Unidentified Flying Objects (Reports)

73. Sir J Langford-Holt asked the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are made for the reporting and receipt of reports of sightings of unidentified flying objects; and how many of these reports have been received in the last 10 years from civilian and Service sources.

Mr Merlyn Rees: Reports of unidentified flying objects are received from both Service and civilian sources and are investigated. Between 1959 and 1965 351 reports were received. I regret that earlier figures are not available.

Sir J Langford-Holt asked the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made as to the value, courses and origins of reports of sightings of unidentified flying objects as well as of the objects themselves.

Mr Merlyn Rees: Reports are examined at their face value in the light of their possible air defence implications, and we do not carry out study beyond this point. No defence implications have been found.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:18 AM
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19 July 1966
House of Commons Volume 732 oral answers column 379
[Cross Refer : “Beyond Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 35 of hardback edition]
[Cross Refer : “Above Top Secret” by Timothy Good, page 59 of hardback edition]

“Unidentified Flying Objects
Q7. Sir J Langford-Holt asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that the Secretary of State for Defence is responsible only for the air defence implications of the reports of unidentified flying objects, he will allocate to a Department the duty of assessing the wider implications of these reports.

The Prime Minister : No, Sir.

Sir J Langford-Holt: Is the Prime Minister aware that enormous numbers of these reports are coming in to the Government from people, no all of whom are cranks? Would it not be appropriate, without myself knowing much about the origins or significance of these items, that somebody in the Government at least should take a serious interest in them?

The Prime Minister: These matters are taken seriously when the reports which are received are sufficiently detailed to enable a check to be made. In very many cases there are natural phenomena, or less natural phenomena such as balloons, aircraft, and so on. Where it has not been possible to get a satisfactory explanation, it is usually because the information has been too inadequate or imprecise for investigation.

Mr Hogg: Is it not well known that these unidentified flying objects are the chickens coming home to roost in the ruins of the right hon. Gentleman’s reputation?

The Prime Minister: I seem to remember thinking that question rather funny when it was put by the right hon. Member for Flint, West (Mr Birch) six years ago.

Mr Shinwell: In view of the fact that the Opposition are not always looking for mares’ nests, could not my right hon. Friend undertake this task of looking for unidentified objects?”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:18 AM
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24 July 1967
House of Commons Volume 751 written answers column 47
[Cross Refer: Public Record Office File Reference DEFE 31/110]

“Unidentified Flying Objects
Mr Edward M Taylor asked the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has regarding reports of unidentified flying objects in recent months, and if he will make a statement.

Mr Merlyn Rees: Such reports are investigated, but nothing of defence interest has been found.”



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 06:18 AM
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25 October 1967
House of Commons Volume 751 written answers column 484
[Cross Refer: Public Record Office File Reference DEFE 31/110]

“Unidentified Flying Objects
Sir E Bullus asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many reports he has received in the last six months of the sightings of unidentified flying objects ; what were the results of his investigations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Merlyn Rees : 153 reports have been received in the Ministry of Defence in the last six months. Some of these are still being investigated, but commonplace explanations have been found for the rest.”



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