Academic hails UFO files release

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A SHEFFIELD lecturer who helped lead calls for the Ministry of Defence to share secret documents about UFOs has hailed the release of more than 8,000 files on the topic.

Dr David Clarke, who lectures in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University and penned a book called The UFO Files, describes himself as a ‘persistent correspondent’ who bombarded government departments with requests to disclose the documents.

Previously classified files, released by The National Archives, detail military sightings, reports of alleged alien abductions and claims the Home Office had a procedure for dealing with landed and crashed UFOs.

The documents also show that in January 1979 the House of Lords held a discussion on extraterrestrial craft - Parliament’s only full debate about UFOs.

Dr Clarke said enthusiasts usually had to wait 30 years for the release of UFO files before the introduction of the Freedom Of Information Act.

“I was one of the MoD’s most persistent correspondents and eventually persuaded them and other departments to release their information on this perplexing and controversial subject,” he said.

“You can see from the files that I wasn’t the only one interested in the subject, with the phenomenon discussed at the highest level of government across the globe.”

Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos to download the files free for a month.