Unexplained lights above Cheltenham have featured in a raft of UFO documents released to the public today by The National Archives.
The 25 files, which contain more than 6,700 pages, include details of strange orange lights spotted in the area in 2005.
The incident was reported at the time by This is Gloucestershire.
This is the ninth collection of UFO files to arrive at The National Archives in Kew. Released today, the files include realms of information about potential UFO sightings, many of which were reported by credible observers such as military pilots, air traffic controllers and police officers.
The files also include a lengthy briefing on UFO policy to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office at the time the Government had just begun the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, as well as behind-the-scenes information about the MoD’s decision to open the UFO files following an FoI campaign by Dr David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University.
And according to a UFO desk officer, whose thoughts are included in the files, aliens could be visiting Earth as tourists.
The officer, whose role is described as the closest thing to a ‘UFO expert’, details possible explanations for UFO ‘sightings’, including mass hallucinations, hoaxes, military reconnaissance and tourism.
“So they would be coming here as we would go to another country or a national park, they are coming across the universe to visit us,” said Dr David Clarke, explaining the officer’s comments.
The officer, in a 1995 briefing, also said that “if the sightings are not of this earth then their purpose needs to be established as a matter of priority.”
Meanwhile the technology used by these UFOs – if they exist – could be harnessed, the officer maintained. He said: “If the reports are taken at face value then devices exist that do not use conventional reaction propulsion systems; they have a very wide range of speeds and are stealthy. I suggest we could use this technology, if it exists.”
The orange lights incident in Cheltenham was among the potential UFO sightings detailed in the files. Other possible sightings include a ‘men in black’ visitation in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
According to the files, a member of the public who had reported a UFO encounter to police went on to receive a late night visit from three tall men dressed in black suits who “seemed to move silently”, said a friend who witnessed the visit while hiding in the downstairs toilet.
The men apparently broke in through the back door, before entering the bedroom of the UFO witness and having a conversation, the content of which was not overheard. The “petrified” friend locked themselves in the toilet until the “men in black” left in a black Jaguar soon afterwards.
When asked afterwards, the UFO witness did not recall seeing any “men in black” or encountering a UFO in the first place.
Another sighting was said to have taken place at Chelsea FC ground in 1999. An on-duty police officer reported a sighting of a “square/diamond shaped object moving across the sky and changing shape”.
The files can be viewed at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos