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Conspiracy theorists unmoved by British UFO denial

ReutersReuters

Jun 28, 2006  By Sven Nordenstam

SHEFFIELD (Reuters) - Last month, the British Ministry of Defense made public a top secret report on UFOs, concluding that three decades of sightings had failed to produce evidence of visiting extraterrestrials.

Case closed for alien aficionados? Not so.

Far from alleviating UFO buffs' suspicions that governments are concealing what they know, the report has intensified them.

"I just e-mailed the MoD explaining my disgust at their latest UFO report," an Internet UFO forum member wrote, saying the Ministry was in denial.

Instead of alien spacecraft, man-made vehicles and natural phenomena, some of them little known, were behind the UFO sighting, according to the report that runs to almost 500 pages.

David Clarke, a journalist and folklorist who used freedom of information laws to gain access to the report, said UFO believers would not accept any explanation for the phenomenon other than the extraterrestrial one.

"They've got the truth, but it's not what they want to hear," he said, speaking in a cafe near Sheffield Hallam University where he teaches journalism.

"They want to hear 'yes, there are aliens' but, because the report says there is no evidence, it's not good enough," said Clarke who has written several books on supernatural beliefs, including UFOs.

"The only thing they can do now is pray that there must be more files that are even more secret than these, being concealed."

ALIEN HYPOTHESIS

Last year, the alien hypothesis gained a prominent supporter in Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian defense minister, who told a conference that UFOs were "as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."

Hellyer told Reuters by telephone from Toronto he had become convinced of the existence of alien visitors from reading a book on the subject last year and that he was disappointed in the conclusions of the report.

"I think it's just one more man-made hurdle to trying to get the truth out," he said.

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