Dog abductions, World War Two UFO sightings and in-house aliens are among a raft of UFO documents released to the public today by The National Archives.
The 25 files, which contain 4,400 pages, detail alleged abductions and contact with aliens, as well as UFO sightings near UK landmarks.
They are the latest and final release of the Ministry of Defence's "UFO files", which document the public's claims of encounters "of the third kind".
They cover the work carried out during the final two years of the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s UFO desk, from late 2007 until November 2009.
They include details of Government policy, official correspondence with senior ministers and the handling of the largest ever number of UFO sighting reports received since 1978 - the year the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was released.
Strange happenings include a man who claimed a UFO abducted his dog and car while he was camping in Cardiff, and an apparent UFO sighting in Essex during the Second World War.
Other highlights included in today’s files include reports of UFOs spotted near UK landmarks; one hovering opposite the Houses of Parliament and one near Stonehenge.
The files also include a report received via the UFO hotline by someone who had been “living with an Alien” in Carlisle for some time, and a photo which appears to show a flying saucer hovering over Swansea.
The declassified files reveal why after more than 50 years the MoD decided to close the UFO Desk, and with it the UFO hotline and dedicated email address.
Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth was told in 2009: "In more than 50 years, no UFO sighting reported to the department has indicated the existence of any military threat to the UK; there is no defence benefit in Air Command Secretariat recording, collating, analysing or investigating UFO sightings; (and) the level of resources devoted to this task is increasing in response to a recent upsurge in reported sightings, diverting staff from more valuable defence-related activities."
Up until 2007 the Ministry of Defence was receiving around 150 reports of UFO sightings a year. However, this doubled in 2008, and shot up again to more than 600 in 2009.
Dr David Clarke, who has been behind the release of files, considers the reasons for this surge: "Many of the sighting accounts, such as formations of orange lights moving slowly across the sky, describe the appearance of Chinese lanterns even though people did not recognise them at the time.
"But that is not the only explanation. Ironically there is evidence that some people were encouraged to report their observations to the MoD and to the press which could be a direct result of increased public awareness during the period that the first UFO files were being released by the National Archives.
"I believe this demonstrates that UFOs are very much a social phenomenon."
Dr Clarke, author of the book ‘The UFO Files', added: “The last files from the UFO desk are now all in the public domain. People at home can read them and draw their own conclusions about whether ‘the truth’ is in these files or still out there.”
The latest UFO files can be viewed at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos.