Britain UFO files out

LONDON: Hundreds of UFO sightings by Britons, including one who developed a skin condition after a supernatural encounter, emerged in files out today which also show Winston Churchill’s interest in the issue.

The most unusual of the newly declassified Ministry of Defence files tells how a man in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, claimed his car was surrounded for five minutes by a “tube of light” in 1997.

The man, who reported the incident to police, was sick the next day and also developed a mysterious skin condition. “First sighting seemed like a massive star moving towards the car,” the previously top secret police report said. The newly released files span 6,000 pages and cover the period 1994 to 2000. They were released alongside another file dating back to 1952 which showed then British prime minister Winston Churchill requesting a briefing on UFOs from his secretary of state for air.

“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,” he wrote. In the reply, Churchill was told that alleged UFO sightings could be explained by earthly phenomena such as optical illusions, mistaken identification of planes, birds and balloons and deliberate hoaxes.

The more recent files detailed reams of other UFO spottings.