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UFO Britannia: Part 7 – The 1990s: I Want to Believe

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:15 PM

If you’ve missed the first six parts of UFO Britannia then they are here for your perusal:

Part 1 – The Early Years

Part 2 – World War Foo and the Post War Cover Up

Part 3 – The 1950s & Return of the Saucers

Part 4 – A Strange Sixties

Part 5 – 1970s Anarchy in the UK?

Part 6 – 1980s – You Can’t Tell the People

We are now up to the 1990s - the 1980s with the internet? It seems quite recent in terms of history but we have also come a long way. The Soviet Bloc had just collapsed, there were no real enemies to stand in the way of the US and its Western allies, a new era of global satellite TV and communication was about to explode onto the world. Shows like Star Trek NG and the X-Files were given long series runs for Scifi TV. Roswell’s 50th Anniversary also turned people’s thoughts to the skies and conspiracy within governments. There was the discovery of the first exo-planets and a meteorite from Mars that may have contained fossilized life.
Somewhere around that time the world wide web became a part of our lives and changed the way we create and consume media from then on.

Here is the last part of UFO Britannia (maybe?)

The Calvine/Pitlochry UFO 1990

On August 4th 1990, a 75 ft wide diamond object was tailed by an RAF Harrier 20 miles north of Pitlochry in Scotland. It appeared to hover for 10 minutes above the A9 near Calvine. It then shot off up into the sky. An unnamed photographer took a series of photographs and sent them to the Daily Record newspaper. They in turn sent them to the Ministry of Defence, for comment, before running a report on the subject. The story was never run by the Daily Record for reasons unknown.

The MoD, on the other hand, treated this very seriously. A defensive press line was prepared for expected questions from the mainstream media. The media strangely never asked any (this can be read in DEFE 31/179/1: pages 157-8 via the National Archives). The briefings state that enquiries had failed to identify RAF Harriers shown on the photograph. All MoD records suggested none were airborne at the time.

An official wrote in a memo:

"Such stories are not normally drawn to the attention of ministers, and the MoD press office invariably responds to questions along well-established lines emphasising our limited interest in the UFO phenomenon and explaining that we therefore do not have the resources to undertake any in-depth investigations into particular sightings.”
The memo noted there was no record of Harriers operating in the area at the time and suggested the media should be told "no definite conclusions reached regarding large diamond-shaped object". The files contain blurry photocopies of two of the pictures next to aviation journal reports about a secret triangular-shaped stealth aircraft said to have been developed by the USAF. And in late 1991 the MoD apparently commissioned line drawings of the UFO, noting that the "sensitivity of (the) material suggests very special handling".
The original photographs appear to have gone missing and the identity of the photographer is now a mystery. A question was asked in Parliament in 1996 about the location of this photograph, and the matter was also raised in a Freedom of Information Act request.

Nick Pope who was appointed as head of the UFO desk for the MoD the year after the incident occurred has said:

I first came across this story in 1991, when I joined the UFO project. A poster-sized enlargement of the best photo was prominently displayed on the office wall. I worked in a four-person office my predecessor had put it up. It was one of the few visible UFO-related items on display; most stuff was locked away….. Sometimes, people would come to our office. You’d have this surreal moment when they’d stop mid-sentence, stare at it, point and say “what the hell’s that?” This was up close and personal, reach out and you can touch it stuff. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not one of ours” was our stock answer to the inevitable question.

The X-Files first aired in the UK in 1994 and I acquired the same nickname (Spooky) as Fox Mulder, for obvious reasons. Mulder famously had his “I want to believe” UFO poster on his office wall and though uncaptioned, I suppose this was my equivalent. Word got around and people would swing by to take a look, even when they had no obvious business in our section.

I asked my DIS opposite number about the image. I was told that the official assessment was that the photos were real and the craft had a diameter of around 25 metres (over 80 feet). At one particularly surreal briefing on the UFO phenomenon my DIS opposite number indicated the photo and pointed his finger to the right: “It’s not the Americans”, he said, before pointing to the left and saying “and it’s not the Russians”. There was a pause, before he concluded “and that only leaves …” - his voice trailed off and he didn’t complete the sentence, but his finger was pointing directly upwards.

Despite this sensational conclusion, MoD documents show that if the media asked, the line to take on this was to be that "no definite conclusion had been reached regarding the large diamond-shaped object".
At some point in 1994 my Head of Division had somehow convinced himself that the craft was a secret, prototype aircraft or drone – probably American. But in response to repeated sightings of triangular-shaped UFOs capable of hovering and then accelerating away rapidly at high-Mach speeds, we’d just received assurances from the appropriate US authorities that the US wasn’t testing anything like this over the UK. On the basis of these assurances, Defence Ministers had assured Parliament that no such aircraft/drones were being flown . Perhaps my Head of Division thought this was a lie and thought he was being loyal when one day he took the photo away and locked it in his desk drawer. On the other hand, he was probably the one who drafted the Parliamentary assurances, so maybe he was just covering his back. What happened next? The suspicion was that someone had shredded the photo, but whatever the truth of the matter, it was never seen again. The same thing had happened with some Defence Intelligence Staff files on the Rendlesham UFO incident …and I was in the same position again: I think some people thought I’d put all this stuff through the shredder myself, but I promise I didn’t.
Unfortunately, here we have yet another of those long familiar tales of evidence suddenly missing before it is made public. Can we blame incompetence in the MoD?
Or is something more suspicious to blame? The original photograph has been seen by a handful of people. The copy in the National Archives looks like a 5th generation photocopy.

Rumours at the time were of the secret Aurora Aircraft....

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:20 PM

RAF Tornado Takes Evasive Action from UFO - Nov 1990

During the evening of Nov 5th 1990 a number of strange sightings were recorded throughout Northern Europe. Around this time there were many UFO sighting in Belgium. (of which there is More at this link):

In France, about 15 miles east of Paris, martial arts instructor and former Air Force/Air France pilot, Jean Gabriel Gresle was standing outside a local gym at 7pm local time (6pm UK time). He saw an “…enormous a floating city…about 1000 ft long with a thickness of 200 feet…triangular substructures and many, many lights. It projected two huge divergent beams of light that didn’t quite reach the ground”. Gresle noted the lights dimmed very quickly as it turned its back on his group and noted a zone of silence as it flew over at “never more than 100 mph”.

The same evening a flight of RAF Tornados were flying back to the UK from RAF Laarbruch, Germany. At around 6pm a large object on their right was detected sporting an array of blue and white lights and overtook the group. After a short moment the craft accelerated out of sight at unimaginable speed. Nothing showed up on the radar of the control tower or the aircraft. Another RAF crew reportedly saw the craft and had given “possible identifications” as Stealth aircraft. But the blue and white lights make that seem highly unlikely.

A British Airways passenger jet was returning to London at 31,000 ft over the Alps and the pilot also reported a strange sighting. At around 6.15pm the pilot reported seeing ahead and to his right a set of bright lights with the leading light somewhat larger and brighter than the others described as “a large silver shaped disc “. They were flying in a V formation but disappeared out of sight rapidly. He heard another crew report in a similar sighting.

Later reports claimed this was a satellite, whilst the pilot responded that he had seen satellite re-entries before and it didn’t look like a satellite to him. A colleague in another BA aircraft later told him he had seen two bright mystifying lights over the North Sea on the same evening.

Around 10pm, two more RAF Tornado crews sighted two large UFOs with blue and white lights around the rim over the North Sea. As they closed in on their targets one of the fighters was forced into evasive action to avoid colliding with a UFO as both targets headed north and out of range. Again radar picked up nothing. The mystery of what the pilots saw remains.

Sources : FSR 1991 V36 No.2. Timothy Good – Need to Know, Nick Redfern – A Covert Agenda.

Airline Encounters – April – June 1991

On the night of April 21st 1991 approx. 9.00 pm Captain Achille Zaghetti, was piloting a McDonnell MD-80 aircraft, he was astounded as a UFO past his aircraft and then flew over the coast of Kent at a height of more than 22,000 feet.

The incident was classed as a near miss because the UFO was just 1,000 feet above the airliner, and an official inquiry was launched by the CAA.

The CAA investigation resulted in a brief statement two weeks later:

"The pilot said the object was light brown, round, three meters long, and did not describe any means of propulsion, "The aircraft was under the control of London air traffic control center who had no other aircraft in the vicinity, but consistent with the pilot report, a faint radar trace was observed ten nautical miles behind the Alitalia aircraft.

"Extensive inquiries have failed to provide any indication of what the sighting may have been."

The next “close encounter” took place on June 1, 1991, when an amber cylindrical object, ten feet long, was seen at close quarters by the crew of a Britannia Airways Boeing 737 bound for London from Dublin. Sixteen days later, yet another cylindrical-shaped UFO was sighted by German engineer, Walter Leiss, aboard Dan Air flight DA 4700 as it headed toward Hamburg.

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:25 PM

The Cosford Incident – 1993

Nick Pope began his duties as head of the UFO desk on the morning of March 31st 1993 inundated with reports of UFO sightings across Britain. Had this been a day later then perhaps an April Fools prank would have been suspected. But this was no case of premature joculation.
Pope recalls “By lunchtime, it was obvious that I was right at the centre of the biggest wave of UFO sightings ever reported in Britain.”

The majority of sightings were made between 1:00 am and 1:30am and appeared to have flown over two RAF bases in restricted airspace. A military guard at RAF Cosford and a family from Rugeley in Staffordshire reported seeing a diamond shaped object around 200 metres across and just 300 metres above them. It passed overhead slowly and emitting a buzzing noise like that of a large speaker. The meteorological officer at RAF Shawbury reported an even more startling sight. He first saw a stationary object that then moved rather erratically in his direction at speed. The object then appeared to fire a beam down onto the countryside below, sweeping left to right across the fields as if conducting a search. The UFO was estimated to be the size of a regular jumbo jet and emitted the same hum that the earlier witnesses reported.
Pope had the radar tapes investigated from the previous evening and found a number of anomalous radar targets. However the RAF Officer assisting the investigation stated this was not proof of UFO activity. The following night further reports came in although these were dismissed by many as the re-entry of yet another Russian Cosmos satellite, Pope did not believe every single sighting reported could be attributed to Soviet space junk.

Pope’s report taken from National Archive DEFE 24/2086/1

He made discreet enquiries with his opposite number at the United States’ DoD as to whether any secret aircraft may have been airborne in and around the British Isles over the previous two nights. The US DoD denied any involvement but Pope was then oddly asked if he would confirm if the British had been testing their own experimental aircraft at that time. Polite but negative responses were returned.
To UFOlogist Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos the mystery was a combination of the Cosmos 2238 radio satellite rocket boosters returning to earth over the British Isles and a police helicopter over the A49/A5 using its search beam to track a stolen vehicle. He provided data to Nick Pope who partially conceded in reply to Ballester:

“I think it is clear that most of the UFO sightings that occurred on the night in question can be attributed to this event.” National Archive DEFE 24/2086/1

Some skeptics in the field have used this against Nick Pope to suggest he is falsely promoting the Cosford case to this day as unknown flying objects. However Pope has never conceded that all reports that night were explainable.
Sources :
Timothy Good – Above Top Secret

Manchester Airport UFO – 1995

January 6, 1995, Captain Roger Wills and copilot Mark Stuart were beginning their descent towards Manchester Airport in a Boeing 737. Seventeen minutes before touchdown, a mysterious, triangular-shaped UFO flashed past the right-hand side of the aircraft at a distance described as being "very close" - so close, in fact, that the crew instinctively "ducked" in their seats.

This is an extract from the radio chatter between crew and the radar tower.

Pilot: "We just had something go down the RHS just above us very fast."

Control : "Well, there's nothing seen on the radar. Was it an aircraft?"

Pilot : "Well, it had lights; it went down the starboard side very quick [and] just slightly above us, yeah."

Control: "Keep an eye out for something, I can't see anything at all at the moment so, must have been very fast or gone down very quickly after it passed you I think."

Pilot : "Okay. Well, there you go!"

An eyewitness on the ground described the craft as triangular. However the CAA investigation failed to trace the cause of the incident with the possibility of a US Stealth aircraft straying off course being discounted.

More at ATS :

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:29 PM

Alien Autopsy Footage 1995

Back in the 1992, Ray Santili, a British Entrepreneur, had been searching for old footage of Elvis Presley in the United States. He claimed that whilst visiting a former cameraman from the US military, he had acquired around 90 mins of film of the original autopsy of a captured alien from 1947.

In May 1995 both he and Gary Shoefield a business partner, previewed some of the footage to media, press and ufologists.

By the end of the summer the film had been shown in over 30 countries on TV and was being hotly debated. The TV special, shown by FOX in the US and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, managed to pull in around a billion viewers worldwide.

Although it has been considered as a fake from the moment of conception, Santili maintained that the footage he received was genuine but so badly damaged once he’d received it that he simply “re-constructed” it from memory and using artistic licence.

The whole story was even adapted for a comedy film “Alien Autopsy” in 2006 starring British TV presenters Ant & Dec (coincidentally BBC changed their TV schedule to show that film tonight!) . Despite conceding that the actual footage shown on TV was faked up, and the film told the story of the whole sage, Santili maintained that some footage did survive and is in the film but has never told us exactly which parts.

The obvious place seems the sequence at the end of the film but his credibility is shot to pieces.

The whole episode made Ray Santili a huge sum of money.

Gary Shoefield and Ray Santili c.2006

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:34 PM

UFO Melts Hole in Railway Sleeper in Cheshire – July 1996

A UFO tale that is almost unknown despite the police finding physical evidence. The witness claimed he saw a UFO hovering over a cemetery before it fired burning laser beams into the ground above a railway line.

According the report. The man - 'a sensible sort of lad and genuine', according to police - was making his way home after a night out in Widnes, Cheshire, at 2.30am on July 15, 1996.

A bright yellow light followed the witness, who was crossing a footbridge from Avondale Drive into Upton. He reported the light as 'two houses high', and it followed him as he tried to walk away.

He also informed the police that as it followed him he could hear a high-pitched noise 'like cats wailing', and then the craft appeared to blast laser beams down to the ground. When he returned home, he told his father what happened and he returned to the spot with him. They found four railway sleepers smoldering and one with a 4in hole burnt through it.

The official record records that a police officer was sent to the scene and he reported there was no sign of an accelerant being used. The officers report states: 'One of the sleepers is still smouldering. It does look rather odd.'

The chief inspector of Cheshire Police was informed and the Aeronautical Information Service - an authority that passes information to the air authorities whose job is to maintain the safety and security of the skies for civilian and military aircraft in UK airspace.

It is officially documented at
File no : DEFE 24/1976.

It really is a bizarre tale that doesn't fit with a lot of other sightings. If you were being sceptical then you could think up many theories for the light in the sky. But what about the damage to the railway sleeper?

UFO above the Home Secretary’s Home – 1997

He was once described by a colleague, Anne Widdecombe, as having “something of the night about him”. On March 8th 1997 a large triangular UFO was seen hovering above the home of the former home secretary and Conservative Party leader Michael Howard. Eyewitnesses said they had seen and heard a "humming" object the size of two passenger planes close to his house near Folkestone in Kent.

Another witness said: ''It was just a huge triangle thing, which was a lot bigger than an aeroplane or anything like that. 'It had lights all around the outside, and this disc attached to the back, and a big light on the front. I pulled up to a stop and as I did it shot off. I was really frightened by it and I'm not stupid. I don't believe in anything like that (UFOs). This is not something I've ever seen before or like something we would have built.”

An RAF investigation into the sighting was undertaken, but the findings revealed nothing unusual with no threat to Mr. Howard. The report commented that inquiries had confirmed no unusual or unauthorized air activity, civil or military, was reported or observed in the area on that date in question. Smells of a cover up perhaps?

Strangely a neighbour did see police activity and a search helicopter with it’s beam pointing skywards (not at the ground) in the vicinity of the home secretary’s residence.

Timothy Good states that a security clampdown followed the incident in his book “Need to Know”. He did ask for a comment from Mr. Howard who merely stated that “I was and remain completely unaware of any such incident”.

Perhaps Michael Howard felt no desire or “need to know” what was going on around his home that night or had been briefed to say nothing about “something of the night about his home”.


Timothy Good – Need to Know

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:37 PM

Howden Moor UFO and the missing RAF Tornado – 1997

Monday March 24th 1997. Late spring in England was cold and crisp with clear skies. Not long after dark, around the Howden Moor area of the Peak District, a series of peculiar events were about to unfold. The Hale Bopp comet was visible in the skies and had attracted a number of serious and casual observers to venture out. People in the nearby Derbyshire and Yorkshire area reported hearing sonic booms, seeing bright flashes in the sky, low flying aircraft and lights throughout the night. There were some reports of a black, triangular UFO seen in the skies that night. It was later speculated that it was pursued by RAF Tornado jet fighters as part of an intercept mission to add to the mystery.

Reports of strange aircraft flying past and burning fireballs seen out on the moors were made to local police. A major search and rescue operation was launched and lasted long into the night, eventually being called off in the early afternoon the following day.

No military or civilian aircraft were reported missing and there were no casualties despite the noise and sightings the previous evening. The RAF denied any aircraft were flying at supersonic speed to cause a sonic boom in the area and that all their aircraft were accounted for. Questions eventually reached Parliament a year later.

It seems two sonic booms were recorded at 21:52 and 22:06 above the moors that night. With no meteorites recorded entering the atmosphere in the region the only other known explanation was supersonic aircraft. The RAF eventually admitted to exercises in the area but claimed all their aircraft were back at base by 9:30pm.

One individual, Max Burns, believes that the RAF were intercepting a black triangular UFO and lost a Tornado fighter in the chase. He thinks that the aircraft crashed in the Peak District, the co-pilot ejected, and the military ordered a cover up of the whole incident.

Beyond that he claims to have had a battle for credibility against set ups and attacks ,leading to his imprisonment for drugs offences, from Dr. David Clarke and Andy Roberts, fellow UFO investigators with a much more skeptical outlook.

Over a decade later Max Burns claimed to have found aircraft parts out on the moors which may be from a crashed RAF Tornado. If proven genuine could strengthen his convictions that there really was a massive military cover up in 1997 and could destroy the credibility of Messrs Clarke and Roberts. This story is yet to come to a conclusion but is discussed in more detail here:

South Armagh - 1997

In July of 1997 the People newspaper alleged that a team of 8 British soldiers had been lying in ambush in South Armagh hoping to catch IRA gunmen and came across 4 small grey beings who stopped and stared at each other for a brief moment. Then the entities vanished and minutes later a flash was seen in the sky. The soldiers were so unnerved they broke from their mission only to be derided by their superiors. The incident actually occurred in 1993 but it seems no further information of the account has ever been released.

Source : Flying Saucer Review V42 No. 3

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posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 06:41 PM

Prime Minister Tony Blair Briefed On UFOs - 1998

In 1998 Prime Minister Tony Blair was about to create the UK’s own Freedom of Information Act. Blair was briefed on the UFO topic in the same year.

During the 1990s UFO reports peaked just before Blair took office. The Ministry of Defence decided to give the new Prime Minister, a briefing on UFOs because Blair was concerned about the disclosure of classified information on alien life forms. The contents of the briefing are unknown.

Tony Blair has since gone on record in his memoirs to say that introducing a Freedom of Information Act is the worst decision he ever took. Blair has never made it public whether he believes in the existence of ET although he was convinced there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Source ;

National ArchivesFile DEFE 24/1987/1

As the decade, the century and the millennium drew to a close there were reports of flying triangles once again in early 1999 over Derbyshire and the Peak District and plenty of lights in the sky stories. The internet became an active hive of information and the MoD eventually decided to release certain UFO files because they did not threaten the security of the nation. It all seems a little too convenient.

The skeptical research of Dr. David Clarke and Andy Roberts began to get under the skin of other UK based Ufologists. Certain UFO information, like The Condign Report, from the 1990s did not surface until the following decade. Other information may have never entered the public domain.

The MoD have maintained a secretive stance over the UFO issue since WWII. It could be that a select few in the British Establishment know closely guarded secrets and the majority of politicians know very little. However Lord Hill-Norton, Earl Mountbatten and even Churchill were kept in the dark at times ,whilst Lady Thatcher gave a very cryptic hint at what she may really know when she said “You can’t tell the people”.

It seems to this day that no one can really ‘tell the people’.

posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 10:20 AM
Great thread(s) Mirageman and had never heard of the Railway Sleeper UFO case from Cheshire in July, 1996 - fascinating stuff.

Below are some other UFO incidents from the 1990s recounted by quest International researcher David Cayton - in the first interview he describes a huge UFO being filmed by security cameras (and witnessed by five engineers) over Padiham Power station in Burnley, Lancashire, 1993.

See 15:00

The Cayton UFO Files.

Television Interview

He also describes a similar case at the link below where another UFO was witnessed hovering over a Norweb 132 Kilovolt substation in Blackburn, 1994 (and the repercussions of investigating the case) as well as an incident from August 1996 where a UFO was witnessed by several individuals shining a beam of light down onto Jodrell bank radio telescope.

Video Interview 2


posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by karl 12

Thanks for that Karl. Illegal abstraction of electricity by a UFOs? Hmmm interesting tale that if true throws up a lot of other questions. Why would a UFO need to steal electricity? Emergency power top up?

I did miss out a number of UFO stories from the 1990s because the whole 7 parts had ran to over 70 pages of notes and this was never meant to be a comprehensive collection.

Bonnybridge is perhaps the most well known omission.

So to all ATS members - feel free to add cases if you feel they are relevant.

I am probably going to leave the UFO topic alone for my next post but may come back to do another UFO Britannia for the 21st century at a later date.

And keep up the good work Karl as ever.

posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 05:24 AM
The internet wasn't really commonly used until the 90s were halfway over. And even 1995-99 was almost exclusively dial-up Internet. It certainly wasn't like the Internet of today.

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