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In pictures: The Toblerone that came from outer space, and other UFO sightings

The truth is out there … and now a close encounter with the MoD's X-Files reveals details of UFO sightings over Scotland

• Sketches of a 40ft 'Toblerone-shaped' UFO, allegedly spotted hovering over a Scottish field in 2004, one of the previously top-secret files released by the Ministry of Defence today. It was 'emitting a humming noise'

A TOBLERONE-shaped craft hovering silently over a field and reports of thousands of UFOs spotted from one Scottish town are among "alien" encounters revealed in previously top-secret files released by the Ministry of Defence today.

More than 6,000 pages of material gathered between 1994 and 2000 reveal details of hundreds of other-worldly experiences with UFOs and apparent aliens across the UK.

One of the most striking encounters was described by a Midlothian electrician, who spotted a Toblerone-shaped UFO in 2004. He included a sketch of the craft with a letter to the MoD's UFO desk.

The man from Glencorse, Penicuik, said the 40ft-long craft had "two very bright lights at the front" and was hovering at a height of 50ft. It was "emitting a humming noise, moving at only walking pace".

He goes on to say: "It is very clear to me that something solid, something real is visiting this area, and if not investigated at a high level might very well pose a threat to our national security."

However, a reply from the MoD on 1 November, 1994, dismissed the sighting. It said: "I have consulted my colleagues in the RAF low-flying department and have ascertained that on the evening concerned there were three RAF Harrier aircraft operating in the Blackridge (West Lothian] area.

"As you may be aware, Harrier aircraft can hover stationary or creep forward slowly close to the ground."

The UFO files published today are the fifth instalment released under a three-year project between the MoD and The National Archives. They consist of 24 files of sightings, letters and Parliamentary Questions. Claims of 600 sightings in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk, feature heavily in the files.

Enthusiasts today still claim the area is the best place in the world for spotting UFOs.

The files reveal that William Buchanan, a Bonnybridge councillor, wrote repeatedly to several prime ministers.

In a letter to John Major in September 1994, he demanded a "top level" inquiry.

He wrote: "Over 600 people have come forward and the area has been visited by ufologists and journalists from all over the world.

"The local people and the village itself has suffered cruelly from ridicule and yet the sightings are continuing and people have got the courage to come forward."

• A drawing and description of a UFO sighting over Watford, one

of the top-secret files revealed for the first time today

By October 1997, he had turned his attention to Tony Blair, and by this point claimed there had been more than 3,000 sightings.

He wrote: "For five years the people both you and I represent have witnessed a phenomenon in the area that has been left unexplained.

"UFO over 3,000 people have witnessed, some have photographed, some have videoed, then lights and objects."

But an MoD response to the letter said there were no grounds to investigate the matter.

Mr Buchanan did not give up and wrote to Mr Blair once again in 1998 demanding "the truth".

The MoD files released today also include a testimony from a senior air traffic controller from Prestwick Airport.

In February 1999, the controller tracked a fast-moving and unexplained UFO on the airport radar.

This led to an extensive investigation by RAF air defence staff who impounded radar tapes from a number of airports around the UK.

But no additional evidence was found which could corroborate the Prestwick incident, the report concluded.

• This sketch was made after a UFO was sighted over France

In another file, a report reveals four members of the crew of a trawler in the North Sea spotted a flat, shiny, round object hovering 19 miles north-east of Fraserburgh on 18 August, 1997.

They tracked the mysterious object on their surface radar for several seconds before it vanished.

A writer from Armadale, West Lothian, in 1994, reported seeing a "large round object" in the sky from the Armadale Academy playing fields.

Nick Pope, who ran the MoD's UFO project from 1991 to 1994, admitted to The Scotsman that the MoD had "consistently played down the subject".

However, he said that sometimes reported incidents were investigated more thoroughly than the files published today suggest.

"Effectively, we tried to fob people off," Mr Pope went on.

"Once we had fobbed them off, behind the scenes with the most interesting cases we would have a more detailed look, but that didn't necessary create a paper trail.

"Behind the scenes there were some of us who thought there was something here of defence significance, but the party line was UFOs were of no defence significance."

• The files are available to download for free for a month from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos

• A drawing of a UFO spotted over the West Midlands in 1954

Sighting made man ill

AN UNEXPLAINED skin condition and mysterious white material found on treetops were some of the more unusual features in the latest UFO files.

In one account, a man in Ebbw Vale, south Wales,

said his car was surrounded for five minutes by a "tube of light" one night in 1997.

The man reported feeling ill following his brush with the unknown.

The report said: "He felt and was indeed sick later on. He is still feeling ill today (28/1/97) and has developed a skin condition. Advised to see doctor."

The report said the man's car was covered in "dust and dirt".

In Kingstanding, Birmingham, at 4am on 18 March, 1997, a man reported seeing a 200ft blue triangle over his back garden.

The man claimed the object hovered, then shot off, leaving a "silky white substance" on the garden trees, which he proceeded to collect in a jam jar.

In another report, recorded on 11 June, 1997, a man claimed he was visited by a flying man, who lay on his quilt. .

The report said: "The window then went all white and the man whooshed through the window. (He] then called the police, who wouldn't come to his house because they thought he was 'a nutter'."

Other sightings were accompanied by drawings, including examples of "missile-shaped" UFOs seen in the West Midlands in 1954 and a flying saucer-style UFO spotted by the same eyewitness, also in 1954.

• A drawing of a UFO containing three beings seen by a passenger on flight TG919 from London Heathrow to Hong Kong on 19 July, 1993

Day aliens came to see Tory Howard (maybe)

REPORTS of a large triangular UFO hovering in the skies above former home secretary Michael Howard's home are included in the Ministry of Defence files published today.

Government correspondence, local newspaper reports and details of an RAF investigation into the sighting by the MP's home near Folkestone, Kent, all feature.

Eyewitnesses in Burmarsh and New Romney saw the "humming" object, the size of two passenger planes, near Mr Howard's home on 8 March 1997, when he was Conservative home secretary.

Sophie Wadleigh, 25, from Hythe, told the Folkestone Herald: "It was so peculiar, it all felt really odd and I heard this humming noise. As I looked across the field I saw a large triangular shaped flying craft hovering about 300 metres off the ground."

More newspaper cuttings show that Chris Rolfe, co-ordinator of the UFO Monitoring East Kent group, warned that the UFO could have been looking for Mr Howard.

He said: "It would seem the UFO was disinterested in Sophie, the girl who watched it for quite a long time. This has left me wondering if its purpose had something to do with Mr Howard."

An RAF investigation into the sighting found nothing unusual. The Air Defence inquiry said there was "no such security incident" involving Mr Howard and "no such military activity reported anywhere, and, specifically, in the Kent/Folkestone area".

It added: "Additional inquiries have confirmed that no unusual or unauthorised air activity, civil or military, was reported or observed in that area on that date."

'Give our cattle to the aliens'

THE Ministry of Defence was advised to offer cattle to aliens for dissection, in one of the most bizarre letters within the newly published files.

An unidentified member of the public, from Kent, wrote to the UFO desk at the MoD in 1996 claiming that every year "hundreds of cattle get mutilated for scientific purposes by aliens".

He asserted that "millions" of cattle would have to be slaughtered to "restore public confidence in British beef", and added: "Perhaps the cows that need to be slaughtered could be offered to the aliens for dissection. This would save the cost of incinerating the cows and save healthy cattle from being mutilated."

 
 
 

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