The RAF closed down its ‘UFO desk’ in 2009 after 50 years of reports in which no serious threat was identified. Records from this RAF unit were traditionally sent to the National Archives, where they were kept as classified documents.
Now, however, the most recent reports will be placed in an online archive on a dedicated gov.uk page, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by the PA news agency.
“It had been assessed that it would be better to publish these records, rather than continue sending documents to the National Archives, and so they are looking to put them onto a dedicated gov.uk web page,” a spokesperson for the RAF said.
The declassification clearance process is already under way and the spokesperson expects they will be published online “some time within the first quarter of 2020.”
The archives are comprised entirely of correspondence with members of the public, who have had to file UFO sighting reports with local police since the RAF closed its UFO desk.
The RAF spokesperson was careful not to confirm or deny the existence of aliens, however, merely stating that: “The MoD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra terrestrial life and does not investigate UFO reports.”
As recently as January 21, there were UFO sightings over London, in broad daylight no less, so the new archives are likely to be a hotspot for X-Files enthusiasts and internet sleuths alike.
“When I worked on the MoD’s ‘UFO desk’ we didn’t find definitive proof of extraterrestrial visitation, but there were so many bizarre and unexplained sightings that we didn’t entirely rule it out,” said Nick Pope, who used to investigate reports of UFO sightings for the MoD.
As expected, many weren’t buying the upcoming disclosure and instead fell back on old conspiracy theories.