Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was accused of covering up a close encounter between an RAF aircraft and an unidentified flying object during the Second World War, according to 18 UFO files released by the UK ministry of defence on Thursday. Read the letter pertaining to Prime Minister's Churchill's UFO Coverup.
The 18 MoD files, which cover the years 1995 to 2003, comprise roughly 5,000 pages and hold copies of original correspondence from members of the public, drawings, letters and parliamentary questions about the UFOs.
Churchill allegedly had ordered that the unexplained incident over the east coast of England between an RAF aircraft and a UFO be kept secret for at least 50 years as it would provoke “mass panic” in the country if made public.
The claim about Churchill’s interference was made by an unnamed scientist in 1999, who said his grandfather was one of the former PM’s bodyguards. His grandfather had overheard Churchill discussing the alleged incident with US general Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic amongst the general population and destroy one’s belief in the Church,” Churchill is reported to have said. The scientist in 1999 had written to the MoD in order to get more information.
Dr David Clarke, author of The UFO Files and senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, commented that RAF jets were scrambled to investigate unexpected objects picked up on radar 200 times a year during the Cold War. However, this number fell to zero after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The number of UFO sightings peaked again during the broadcast of the popular TV series X-Files, he added.
Also included in the files were details of a near-miss involving a passenger plane and a UFO in Manchester. The captain and first officer of a Boeing 737 approaching Manchester airport in 1995 reported the near-miss. The MoD said it was open-minded about extra-terrestrial life but had no evidence of its existence.