Earl Frederick Howe, the UK's Defence Minister, startled Britons on Sunday, November 10, 1996, when he revealed to a newspaper the existence of top-secret UFO files compiled by the Royal Air Force (RAF).
In a letter obtained by the newspaper The People, Lord Howe reportedly stated that all RAF station commanders are under orders to submit a report on each UFO they encounter.
"So far as the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms is concerned, we remain open-minded," he is alleged to have written.
The stunning revelation came after a debate in Parliament over last month's UFO incident at Skegness. Two UFOs were seen by Lincolnshire police and tracked for six hours by RAF radar as they hovered over a large bay called The Wash.
Martin Redmond, MP (Member of Parliament) for the Don Valley, said he is trying "to break MoD's (Ministry of Defence's) veil of secrecy over flying saucers," adding that he was concerned that a UFO with a red-and-green rotating light "had compromised British airspace" and "appeared over East Anglia last month."
"It's incredible that no aircraft were marshalled when a (radar) target was picked up so close to the coast," Redmond wrote to Defence Secretary Michael Portillo. "This raises questions as to the way we police the UK Air Defence Region."
Another MoD official, Nicholas Soames, was asked how many UFOs the RAF had reported during 1996. Soames reportedly told the British press that this information "would cost too much to obtain."
Original file name: CNI - UK Flap
This file was converted with TextToHTML - (c) Logic n.v.