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Saturday, 29th July 2006

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Reuters Thu 29 Jun 2006
A photograph of a screen shows infra-red video...

A photograph of a screen shows infra-red video of taken from a Mexican Air Force patrol aircraft of 7 bright objects flying over the eastern coastal state of Campeche on March 25, 2004. Last month, the Ministry of Defence 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. REUTERS/Handout

Conspiracy theorists unmoved by UFO denial

By Sven Nordenstam

SHEFFIELD (Reuters) - Last month, the Ministry of Defence 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."


Last year, the alien hypothesis gained a prominent supporter in Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian defence 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.

"Maybe I'm a little too suspicious, but the fact that the report was completed in 2000, just when the Brits were passing the new Freedom of Information Act, might easily have been in the minds of some of the drafters at the time they were writing their conclusions."

Nick Pope, a Defence Ministry official who worked on UFO cases from 1991 to 1994, said the release of the report was an indication of the British government's openness on the subject.

"In Britain, I'm convinced there's no cover-up, there's no conspiracy," he said. Many UFO researchers disagreed with him and believed he was part of the conspiracy since he worked for the government and used to work with UFO cases, he added.

"But I can't win with arguments like that, because whatever I say, they won't believe it."


Pope has written several books on UFOs. He said he did not rule out aliens as the explanation for UFOs, but added there was no conclusive proof.

In the absence of the "almost cliched landing-on-the-White- House-lawn type scenario," Pope said the existence of aliens could be proved if radio astronomers picked up an intelligent signal or if extraterrestrial metal pieces were discovered.

If there are alien visitors, "the lack of artefacts is a significant mystery", meaning they must either have completely accident-proof vehicles, or have mastered teleportation and be able to scoop up debris, the report said.

To the folklorist Clarke, claims of the discovery of pieces from alien craft and marks on the ground bear a resemblance to tales from the past.

"It's like these fairy stories when people visit fairyland. They're given a gift by the fairies, and when they come back it just dissolves."

Until an alien spacecraft can be publicly examined or a signal from the green men is detected, the final line of the 1951 film "The Thing from Another World" still applies for UFO believers: "Keep watching the skies."

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Last updated: 29-Jun-06 08:05 BST


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3. Ruby, Woodbridge, Va. USA / 6:45pm 29 Jun 2006

For the last two months I believe I have sighted a UFO. It appears at the samr time for each sighting. I have also called a witness to view and see the object in the sky. I hace started ajournal on the sightings. I am hoping to get pictures very soon.

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4. ebgb, Australia / 4:20pm 5 Jul 2006

What a load, I'm sick of seeing articles like this in mainstream media, a mix of confirmation and denial. when are people going to pull their heads out of you know where and wake up. There's heaps of evidence, like the mexican millitary footage you mention above, (debunkers tried to claim they were oil fires, wow!) as well as all the nasa footage, and the thousnands of videos taken by civillians. Oh by the way physical evidence has been found, sceptics don't do their research very well. Do you really think they are going to release real ufo documents via the freedom of information act? It's a joke, the goverment does keep secrets and no amount of legal manuevering is going to force disclosure.

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