Well, it happened again.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has once more released a whack of files related to UFOs, and many people are combing through them for tidbits that could reveal the "truth" about government UFO interest.
For the next month, the files are available at: http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
Good luck; the server is generally very busy, and the files are in batches up to almost 200 Mb in size.
Now, I haven't gone through each and every page just yet, but I can tell you what I've found by looking through about a quarter of it, and what I suspect is in the rest of it. Nothing too interesting.
I found one entire chunk of files that consisted only of correspondence between one person who requested a search for specific UFO case files and government bureaucrats who responded to his numerous letters. There are many, many British government interdepartmental memos about the requests. The ombudsman's defence of the government's nit-picking as to why it couldn't possibly provide such information is especially amusing.
Another large chunk consists of official United Nations documents and Foreign Secretary documents that were created when Eric Gairy of Grenada wanted the UN to form a UFO investigation committee. That was just before he was overthrown from power by American military forces. (A special bonus was noting Stan Friedman's testimony before the subcommittee in support of the motion.)
Many pages of the files are reminders to department personnel that public correspondence should be answered promptly so as to not give the illusion the ministry is trying to avoid questions about anything (but in this case, UFOs).
There's a large amount of correspondence regarding the Rendelsham case, and discussions as to what happened to certain documents that seemed to me missing from the files. And remember when Lord Hill-Norton raised the issue of UFOs in the British Parliament? The docs are all here.
There are many letters to the British government by concerned citizens of the Commonwealth. In one example, the writer noted:
As a Spiritualist, O know space-ships are used by Spiritual Beings to travel around the globe & to planets... Others are stabilising the electro-magnetic fields, the vortexes, the balances of the Universe, because mankind are abusing space & earth itself... There is too much junk produced by humans, space-ships are not junk so do not shoot at them with any weapon.
Oh, sure, there are many pages of sighting reports by British citizens, too. Most are of low quality or are good quality but are obviously stars, planets or ordinary aircraft. Most witnesses were sincere, although some news outlets have found some obvious hoaxes in the files. But the majority of witnesses were adamant they had actually seen something mysterious.
One MoD staffer filling out the standard UFO reporting form while listening to a witness who had called noted the witness kept "repeating the words 'I'm not mad. I actually saw something!'"
If you're patient enough in going through all the cases, you'll find a few gems. There are dozens of UFO reports by pilots, mostly without accompanying investigation reports. Some interesting cases are those called "Credible Witness Reports," such as one on January 24, 2002, reported by a Flying Officer. One can ask, "Are all the rest of the cases 'In-Credible Witness Reports'?"
There's also the interesting case noted here on TDG, about the British pilot who saw a UFO over the North Sea in 1990, but the documentation and report about the case was destroyed.
Another thing worth noting is that the observed objects were not always "UFOs." Many documents are forms for reporting "Unidentified Aerial Sightings." Should future document searches be looking for UASs rather than UFOs, especially since Access to Information requests through official channels must be very specific?
So, are these newly-released official documents an indication that "Disclosure" is imminent?
First of all, Britain has been releasing docs like this for several years. They made it clear when they started that the reason they were doing so was because there receive so many requests for UFO documents that it made more sense to scan them and put them up online rather than responding to each and every request from the public. The Canadian government did the same thing. "Official" UFO docs are widely available from a number of countries.
Second, the ratio of "interesting" to "trivial" documents is very small. Interdepartmental correspondence is generally of little information, and frankly, I don't understand how Grant Cameron can stand wading through it.
Third, of the actual UFO reports in the files, most are either easily explainable or of such low quality that they're practically useless.
Fourth, there is no indication whatsoever that a parallel set of American releases is coming. I know many UFO doc fans would love to see even the trivial official memos within US government bureaus and departments, but there's no reason to think that yet another release by the Brits will spur the Americans into doing anything similar.
The new batch of documents released by the British MoD are a curious collection of UFO-related materials, but is not: 1) Proof that aliens are visiting Earth; 2) An indication that Disclosure (with a capital D) is coming soon; or 3) Proof that world governments are part of a massive cover-up of an alien presence.
But here's an interesting caveat, something often repeated in MoD correspondence:
... it may be helpful if I explain that the Ministry of Defence examines any reports of 'unidentified flying objects' it receives soley to establish whether what was seen might have some defence significance; namely, whether there is any evidence that the United Kingdom's airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised air activity. Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, and to date no 'UFO' report has revealed such evidence,MOD does not attempt to identify the precise nature of each reported sighting. We believe it is possible that rational explanations, such as aircraft light or natural phenomena, could be found for them, but it is not the function of the MOD to provide this kind of aerial identification service. We could not justify expenditure of public funds on investigations which go beyond our specific defence remit.
... We are satisfied that there is no corroborating evidence to suggest that the United Kingdom's airspace was breached by unauthorised air activity.
So, UFOs may be observed, but unless they are "hostile or unauthorized" the MoD isn't going to do anything about them. What does that mean, exactly, and more importantly to conspiracy buffs, what doesn't it exclude? Some could ask: Was the UFO an authorised intrusion on airspace? And if not a "potential threat," is it possible it was a "friendly" vehicle of some kind? And if not the function of MoD to identify UFOs, what department is tasked with that job?