Danger in the Skies: Diary of a Real-Life Fox Mulder
Nick Pope On UFO's, Drones & The Missing Flight MH370
UFO believers haven’t got a good press lately. It’s the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 that’s to blame. The mystery has attracted virtually every conspiracy theorist on the face of the planet, and Googling the terms “MH370” and “aliens” brings up a long list of bizarre theories. But while some people may genuinely believe that the “Galactic Federation” abducted the aircraft, such speculation is unlikely to do much for the credibility of ufology. Which is actually a shame, because there is a serious issue here, which is in danger of being lost.
When I investigated UFOs for the Ministry of Defence, few incidents were more unnerving than the cases involving near-misses between UFOs and commercial aircraft. Both the MoD and the Civil Aviation Authority had files on such incidents, but nobody really gripped the issue properly. The MoD axed its UFO project in December 2009, as part of a wider round of defence cuts, but needless to say, people haven’t stopped seeing UFOs. Indeed, when it comes to reports of near-misses between UFOs and commercial aircraft, there has been a disturbing upsurge in the number of reports. Recent incidents include a 2 December 2012 near-miss involving an Airbus on its final approach to Glasgow airport. Then on 30 December 2012 there was a near- collision involving three passenger jets, over the skies of Sussex. All of the pilots saw the UFOs, which were briefly tracked on radar. In another incident, on 19 July 2013, an Airbus nearly collided with a UFO in the skies over Reading. The cigar-shaped metallic object came so close that the pilot instinctively ducked, expecting an impact.
An investigation by the UK Airprox Board concluded that it “was not possible to trace the object or determine the likely cause of the sighting”. Given the obvious safety implications, more needs to be done. I now live in America, but will be returning to the UK to give a special, one-off talk at the Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick-upon-Tweed on 3 April. I’ll be using this opportunity to formally call on the government to launch a full public inquiry into this terrifying spate of near- disasters, before there’s a tragedy.
In case anyone thinks this is unduly alarmist, it’s worth reading a now-declassified MoD study into UFOs, codenamed Project Condign. This intelligence study was originally classified Secret UK Eyes A and was carried out at a time when the MoD was routinely telling Parliament, the media and the public that the UFO phenomenon was of “no defence significance”. The study’s final report was entitled “Unexplained Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region” and contained two recommendations on the air safety implications of the phenomenon. “UAP” (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) was a term that we coined, on the basis that it sounded more scientific than “UFO”.
One of Project Condign’s recommendation read as follows:
"No attempt should be made to out-maneuver a UAP during interception".
Another recommendation stated:
"At higher altitudes, although UAP appear to be benign to civil air traffic, pilots should be advised not to maneuver, other than to place the object astern, if possible".
None of this is disputed. These are direct quotes from an official UK government study into UFOs! Incredibly, this was missed by the mainstream media! It doesn’t matter what people believe about UFOs. The recent spate of near-misses may involve secret prototype aircraft or drones, radio-controlled model aircraft, high-altitude balloons or any manner of other objects. It’s immaterial. If one hits an aircraft, there’s going to be a tragedy. The nightmare scenario is a terrorist using a remote-controlled model aircraft or drone to try to bring down an airliner over a major city like London. The technology exists. So let’s not ignore the threat, simply because of the pop culture baggage that the term “UFO” has.
Nick Pope is giving a talk on 3rd April, at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick- upon-Tweed. Click HERE for more details.