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Blackpool in Whitehall UFO alert

Embargoed to 0001 Friday June 21.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE: Undated handout photo issued by The National Archives of a photograph of a 'UFO' taken from Blackpool Pier, Lancashire, October 2008. The Ministry of Defence closed its UFO desk in 2009 because it served

Embargoed to 0001 Friday June 21. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE: Undated handout photo issued by The National Archives of a photograph of a 'UFO' taken from Blackpool Pier, Lancashire, October 2008. The Ministry of Defence closed its UFO desk in 2009 because it served "no defence purpose" and was taking staff away from "more valuable defence-related activities, newly-released files showed today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 21, 2013. The latest tranche of declassified MoD UFO files showed that the decision was taken to close the desk and its UFO "hotline" in a year when sightings reported to the department had trebled, but that, in more than 50 years, none had indicated the existence of "any military threat to the UK". The 25 files, released today by the National Archives, include 4,400 pages and cover the work carried out in the last two years of the MoD's UFO desk, from late 2007 until November 2009. See PA story RECORDS UFO. Photo credit should read: The National Archives/PA Wire NOTE T

Secret files only now released showed that the Ministry of Defence once investigated a UFO sighting – off one of Blackpool’s popular piers.

Alien sightings along the Promenade are nothing new – after all the Illuminations once boasted a whole series of colorful Alien heads and the Doctor Who exhibitions wierded out visitors for years.

But the grainy photograph sent to the MOD gave defence boffins pause for thought... if only for a few minutes.

The reports released by the National Archives, include sightings reported to the MoD’s UFO Desk between 2007 and 2009, when it was closed.

The sightings, which saw a surge in 2009, came from across the British Isles including over many national landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Houses of Parliament.

An email sent to the UK’s own version of the X-Files hot desk described photographs taken at a Blackpool Pier in October 2008 which had later shown aircraft that had not been in the area at the time.

Sent in August 2009, the note from the unnamed writer said: “I have recently downloaded some photos dating back to October last year which upon closer inspection revealed some aircraft which I could not identify at the time nor could hear or see.

“Could you check your records to see if there were any manouevres in the area to explain the craft pictured in the photos which I have attached.”

Checks were made, which confirmed there were no RAF or Army movements that day, but Royal Navy records could not be fully checked and a response was sent to the sender in September.

But a message from one member of MoD staff to another suggested what they thought the real cause might be.

The unnamed official said: “I have done a trawl of the likely suspects and I can confirm that there were no manouevres or exercises taking place in the Blackpool vicinity during October last year.

“Everyone who has seen them think that two of the photos look like stunt kites that have broken loose from their control strings or perhaps we cannot quite see the attached strings in the photos.

“That would explain the lack of noise reported by the photographer. The third looks like a seagull head on.

“However, clearly without being there we can’t be definitive.”

 

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