Commercial Drones PilotsMoD won’t investigate UFOs but admits not seeing classified US report on safety threats

December 22, 2021by helo-10
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UFO investigator Nick Pope is taking his old government department to task (Picture: Channel 5/Getty Images)

The UK refuses to re-open its investigations into UFOs, despite not having had sight of a classified US intelligence report warning of dangers they pose to aeroplanes.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials say it’s pointless, as they’ve never observed any kind of military threat to the country from unidentifiable flying objects.

The US is taking the issue much more seriously, with the Pentagon launching a special taskforce to investigate reports of UFOs in restricted airspace.

A highly anticipated military report in June said there were still lots of unanswered questions about UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena). It warned they ‘threaten flight safety’ and may pose a challenge to US national security.

Five days later, the House of Lords had a discussion, in which Baroness Goldie, a Minister of State at the MoD, declined to re-open investigations – having closed its UFO desk in 2009.

She told peers she noted the contents of the US intelligence report but said the phenomenon poses no threat and that UK air defences are adequate.

But now, Metro.co.uk can reveal the MoD never actually got a chance to see the classified version of the report. It is not clear if officials asked their US counterparts for a copy.

Nick Pope, who worked for the British Government for 21 years and ran the Ministry of Defence’s now defunct UFO desk, lifted the lid after sending a Freedom of Information Act request.

Mr Pope, 56, suspects the MoD has been put off by the ‘pop culture baggage’ of flying saucers and little green men (Picture: Getty Images)

He says the report could contain important details relevant to the UK and says it’s ‘baffling’ how quick Britain is to dismiss this topic.

Mr Pope suspects the MoD is put off by the ‘pop culture baggage’ of flying saucers and little green men, when the scope of UFOs is far wider and could include military-grade drones.

The former civil servant told Metro.co.uk: ‘The report concludes by saying there is a flight safety issue here and a possible national security challenge.

‘So you would think that the Ministry of Defence would say “Gosh, we’d better see the classified version”, but no.

‘One would expect, for example, that there would be more technical data in the classified version and details about how they’ve reached these conclusions.

‘But anyone in the Ministry of Defence who was looking at this properly, their first ports of call should be to say, “Well, let’s see the full classified version and then maybe we can bring our own expertise to the table”.

‘At the very least, this sounds like amateur hour with the MoD looking at unclassified material on the Internet where they know there’s a classified version.

‘Why wouldn’t they want the fullest data available to make a better decision about whether they should or shouldn’t re-engage on this subject?’

Mr Pope, who has been living in Tucson, Arizona for the past 10 years, accused the MoD of a ‘lazy philosophy’ of not investigating because UFOs are yet to present any ‘overt hostility’.

He added: In military terms, threat is not defined that way. it is defined as capability times intent.

‘The capability, judging by what the US is dealing with, looks pretty impressive. The intent is unknown, therefore, one can’t solve the threat equation.

‘There’s the the old adages that it’s better to assume there’s a threat and be relieved. If it doesn’t materialise, and you assume everything’s fine, you could get caught out if one does suddenly emerge.’

The US report, compiled by the Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, could not explain 143 UFO incidents and said 18 of them appeared ‘to demonstrate advanced technology’.

Mr Pope added: ‘I don’t know what the US is dealing with. It could be Russia, it could be China, it could be something else.

‘But the government, the military and Congress have have clearly said the time has come to take this seriously and find out the answer to that question.’

He said footage declassified by the Pentagon showing US pilots chasing UFOs was a ‘big wake up call for people’.

Nick Pope has said the British military should be working far more closely with the US on this issue (Picture: File images)
Images leaked from the Pentagon investigation of UFOs, which ended with a highly anticipated report in June (Picture: Jeremy Corbell)

Another video from June 2019 shows a Navy ship being swarmed by as many as 14 unidentified aircraft flying as fast as 160mph.

Mr Pope added: ‘This isn’t just some silly season topic. Their pilots are seeing these things, and their radar operators are tracking them. Their infrared camera systems are filming them, and I’m I’m pretty darn sure the same is going on in the UK.’

UFO provisions have been put into the National Defense Authorization Act, which which the Congress passed just a few days ago.

Mr Pope added: ‘They don’t seem they don’t have a problem with it. People like Senator Marco Rubio, they have put their reputations on the line, but nobody’s laughing at it.

‘Evidently, we need to find out if it’s in our airspace, and if we’re tracking it and seeing it, of course, we need to find out what it is.

‘Normally the special relationship would kick in and the UK and the US would be seamless on this.

The US report said it could not explain 143 UFO incidents and said 18 of them appeared ‘to demonstrate advanced technology’ (Picture: Jeremy Corbell)
The scope of what a UFO is goes far beyond extraterrestrial life, and could include high capability drones (Picture: @jeremycorbell/Instagram)

‘We could take a look, because the UK has got all sorts of resources and capabilities that it could bring to the table on this, in specialist areas like imagery analysis. Maybe we could try things that the US hasn’t thought of.’

Mr Pope said UFOs spotted in restricted training areas and off-shore facilities suggest the matter could be more serious than a hobbyist flying a drone.

He added: ‘The commercial drones wouldn’t cut it, which, which poses the question – Are we dealing with something at the higher end of the spectrum?’

‘If the world’s preeminent superpower is concerned about this, we should be, too. The US has got plenty of other things to be getting on with too. If there, if they’re doing this, they’re doing it for a reason. It’s not just on a whim.

Mr Pope, 56, who now works as a journalist and broadcaster, says criticising his former employer gives him no satisfaction at all.

He added: ‘I speak out on this issue because I think it’s important, and because it concerns me when I see a potential national security issue not being properly addressed.’

The MoD says it continues to have ‘no opinion’ on the existence, or otherwise, of extra-terrestrial life and does not investigate reported unidentified flying object sightings.

A spokesperson for the department told Metro.co.uk: ‘Since 2009 the MOD no longer responds to reported UFO sightings, or investigates them as in over 50 years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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