The demonstration was organised by the group Operation Right To Know, whose UK coordinator John Holman said of the sightings: "There is more and more documentation -- radio tapes, radar tapes and video footage and they are not all misidentifications." Mr. Holman, a 46-year-old industrial designer, said there was a great deal of public interest in the subject.
"There must be nearly 100 UFO groups in the country [Britain]. In America, 57% of the population accept there are UFOs which are something other than human.
"What we are after are the military reports and pilot reports which have been collected over 50 years. We want to know what the military assessments are and what recommendations were made to Government.
"We are not in a Cold War situation now, so why should UFOs be deemed a threat?"
Mr. Holman said reports of a UFO landing close to a U.S. base near Woodbridge in Suffolk 15 years ago was withheld by the Government, but surfaced in America under the Freedom of Information Act. He stressed: "I am as sceptical as the next person, but when I see video tapes and I don't know what they are -- they are not balloons and they are not aircraft -- I want to know."
He also cited a Belgian military report from pilots who, in 1990, reported their jet had been "buzzed" by a UFO which accelerated from 150 knots to 990 knots in seconds, beyond the endurance of human beings. "The Belgians made this report public, so why can't our Government release their reports?" said Mr. Holman.
He added that Operation Right To Know supported Nick Pope, an MoD official who worked for four years in the area of UFOs and who believed in their existence.
Among the demonstrators was Gordon Ormond, 46, a classical guitarist from Doncaster, who formed a UFO research group three years ago. He said: "I think one of the reasons why the Government keeps these reports from us is because it believes the British are psychologically unprepared." Mr. Ormond adde:. "I have been interested in UFOs for 35 years and I have collected many reports. It's really only through experience over a period of time that you get a better idea of what people are talking about so you can go out and examine the evidence and try to make something of it."
Phillip Lambro, a composer from Los Angeles and a member of the Raelian Movement, whose aim is to create an embassy for extraterrestrials, was also among the demonstrators outside the Commons. He said: "Since 1954 there have been 50 million reports worldwide of UFO sightings. What people have to understand is that there are advanced intelligent beings who are able to cooperate in a way which we on Earth seem unable to do. We live in a soap opera mentality and we've got to get beyond that."
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