By Hal McKenzie
Imagine: A former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, say Colin Powell, publicly pressures the government to come clean about UFOs. Imagine further that the U.S. Defense Department releases hundreds of pages of documents revealing the truth about the legendary Roswell saucer crash in 1947.
A UFOlogist’s pipe dream? In America, it certainly is. In Great Britain, however, it has already come to pass.
Lord Peter Hill-Norton, retired chief of the Admiralty, equivalent to a member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, has been publicly agitating for an end to official government UFO secrecy for years. And in December 2002 the British Ministry of Defense released a file on the 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident, dubbed the British Roswell, made up of 180 pages of previously classified memos, letters, reports and correspondence. The U.S. government still refuses to release its own files on Rendlesham, much less Roswell.
There are many parallels between Great Britain and the United States in UFOlogy. Both countries have their crash retrieval stories, as British UFO writer Nicholas Redfern indicated at November 2003’s Crash Retrieval Conference in Las Vegas. Redfern is author of the book Cosmic Crashes investigating crash retrieval reports in Great Britain from 1940 to 1990.
England has its own “Area 51” where crashed saucers and alien bodies are alleged to be held. It is called Rudloe Manor, a huge underground complex in the English countryside that was originally built as an underground factory and storage facility during World War II.
Another British Author, Timothy Good, who wrote the classic UFO tome Above Top Secret and many other books, will be making his influence felt on this side of the Atlantic at the “X-Conference : First Annual Exopolitics Expo,” to be held April 16-18, 2004 in the Hilton Washington in DC North/Gaithersburg. That event promises to “bring together in the Washington area the most powerful group of speakers ever assembled to focus on the governmental, political and media aspects of 50+ years of extraterrestrial related phenomena and state sponsored deception, disinformation and denial. And to make things more interesting, it will hold this conference in the middle of the 2004 presidential primary season,” according to Paradigm Research Group, the event’s sponsor.
Britain’s UFO history was outlined in the British TV show Timewatch recently, which was reviewed in the January 3 Edinburgh News. Prominent British believers include Prince Philip (who used his equerry, Peter Horsley, as his unofficial UFO investigator), and Lord Mountbatten. The program tracked down eyewitnesses to Britain’s most famous UFO cases and reveals the incredible story of an encounter in 1955 between Horsley and a mysterious “alien” called Mr Janus.
The first flying saucer to be seen recorded in the UK was in 1947, the same year that American Kenneth Arnold saw the flying saucers that began the UFO era. Mrs. Marjorie Hyde – wife of the Vicar of Deal in Kent – reported the sighting on June 30 that year.
In 1950, Clement Attlee’s government established its own X-files in the bizarre Flying Saucer Working Party, which closed in 2000 when the Government disbanded its UFO intelligence unit. The first Parliamentary Question about flying saucers was raised in the House of Commons in 1953. Winston Churchill was so alarmed by the issue that he sent a memo which read, “What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the truth? Let me have a report at your convenience.”
A year later, in 1954, Lord Dowding, Commander in Chief of the RAF during the Battle of Britain, wrote an article in The Sunday Dispatch entitled “I Believe In Flying Saucers”.
In 1957, Cynthia Appleton from Aston in Birmingham reported that she was visited by aliens who told her that her baby would be born a “space baby” and become a world leader. Her son Matthew so far remains anonymous.
Guitarist Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones was so paranoid about UFOs that he had a UFO detector installed at his house which would supposedly sound an alarm if a UFO passed over his property. And in 1978, after the release of the blockbuster film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, 750 UFO sightings were reported to the Ministry of Defence. From 1959 to the present, the UK Ministry of Defence estimates it has recorded an incredible 10,556 UFO sightings in Great Britain.
Hal McKenzie (1948-2010) was the first editor of CosmicTribune.com.