Such was the sensitivity of an alleged UFO sighting by an RAF bomber crew returning to England from a mission over Germany that Churchill ordered it to be covered up with the words: "This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic amongst the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church."
The curious matter of visits by wartime aliens is one of hundreds of reports of strange celestial phenomena – from a space station covered in pulsating lights to an unusually agile rocket which buzzed a Boeing 737 at Manchester Airport – to be revealed in documents released today by the National Archives in Kew, west London.
The files are the latest tranche of 11,000 UFO sightings logged by the British Government between the early 1900s and 2000 to be released from Ministry of Defence files, providing a candid insight into a national obsession with suspected flying saucers and attempts by Whitehall functionaries to explain that they were – almost always – nothing of the sort...
"This event was discussed by Mr Churchill and General Eisenhower, neither of whom knew what had been observed. There was a general inability for either side to match a plausible account to these observations... another person raised the possibility of an unidentified flying object, at which point Mr Churchill declared the incident should be immediately classified for at least 50 years and its status reviewed by a future prime minister."
06 August 2010
Churchill, Eisenhower,and UFOs