MoD edited UFO files before public release

Officials at the Ministry of Defence had to edit government UFO files before they were released into the public domain, to hide senstive military and strategic information but also to avoid letting the public know what they really thought of them.

The Ministry had been been bombarded by so many requests for UFO details under the Freedom of Information Act that it decided to publish its full archive.

But a memo reveals that officials had first to edit out "uncomplimentary comments" scrawled by MoD staff on some of the reports submitted by members of the public considered particularly potty.

The memo, dated September 2007 and discussing the release of the documents, notes they include "references to air defence matters, defence technology, relations with foreign powers and occasional uncomplimentary comments by staff or police officers about members of the public, which will need to be withheld in accordance with FoI principles."

The memo claims that "contrary to what many members of the public may believe, MoD has no interest in the subject of extraterrestrial life forms visiting the UK, only in ensuring the integrity and security of UK airspace."

The records of reported UFO sightings span the period from the end of the Second World War to 1 December last year when the special investigation unit was closed down. The memo says the full archive is published. Failure to do so would "fuel accusations of a 'cover-up'," it says.

Of course, it says that just to put us off the scent.

The UFO archive is here.