According to a former employee of the UFO desk, which closed in 2009, the perception that it consisted of “top secret teams of specialist scientists scurrying around the country in a real life version of the X-Files” was “total fiction”.
Instead, daily duties included providing briefings on the ministry of defence’s position on UFOs, undertaking UFO investigations, handling freedom of information requests and managing UFOlogists (UFO “experts”).
The stranger investigations included one into a UFO sighting by a police officer at Chelsea football club and another into a visit by three “men in black” to a person who reported a UFO encounter in Lincolnshire, east England.
According to the files, a hotel owner in Wales once complained to her MP after a UFO landed in a field “from which two tall silver-suited ‘faceless humanoids’ emerged and began “making measurements’”.
Also included in the files are details of a 1995 briefing by one of the defence ministry’s UFO intelligence officers which speculated on why aliens would visit earth.
Despite having no hard evidence for alien craft, the officer explained that any visit would most likely be motivated by military reconnaissance, scientific development or tourism.
In a briefing prepared in 1979, a UFO intelligence officer noted that no radio tracking systems had ever picked up alien transmissions.
“These records allow us to look behind the scenes of what must have been one of the strangest jobs in Whitehall (shorthand for Britain’s civil service),” said Clarke.
“We now have a fascinating insight into some of the extraordinary reports and briefings which passed over the UFO Desk on a daily basis and how its officers used logic and science in their attempts to explain ‘the unexplained’,” he said.