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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 22

RAF Brass Worried By UFO Radar Immunity

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 08:06:04 -0400
Archived: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 08:06:04 -0400
Subject: RAF Brass Worried By UFO Radar Immunity




Source: The San Francisco Sentinel - Calfornia, USA

http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=3D6194

21 October 2007


The Unexplained: The Cosford Incident -
Royal Air Force Brass Worried By UFO Radar Immunity
By Nick Pope

On 30 and 31 March 1993 there was a series of UFO sightings in
the UK involving over a hundred witnesses. Many of these were
police officers and military personnel. The UFO also flew
directly over two RAF bases. What follows is the extraordinary
story of what has been dubbed The British UFO Mystery.

Overview

The first sighting took place on 30 March at around 8.30pm in
Somerset. This was followed by a sighting at 9pm in the Quantock
Hills.

The witness was a police officer who, together with a group of
scouts, had seen a craft that he described as looking "like two
Concordes flying side by side and joined together=94.

The reports came in thick and fast and when I arrived at work
the following morning I received a steady stream of reports. It
was soon clear that I had a major UFO event on my hands.

One of the most interesting reports came from a member of the
public in Rugely, Staffordshire, who reported a UFO that he
estimated as being 200 metres in diameter. He and other family
members told me how they had chased the object in their car and
got extremely close to it, believing it had landed in a nearby
field. When they got there a few seconds later, there was
nothing to be seen.

Many of the descriptions related to a triangular-shaped craft or
of the lights perceived as being on the underside of such a
craft. Indeed, in an apparent coincidence these sighting
occurred three years to the very day after the famous wave of
sightings in Belgium that had led to F-16 fighters being
scrambled to intercept a UFO being tracked on radar.

RAF Cosford

The UFO was seen by a patrol of RAF Police based at RAF Cosford.
Their official police report (classified Police In Confidence)
stated that the UFO passed over the base "at great velocity =85 at
an altitude of approximately 1000 feet=94. It described two white
lights with a faint red glow at the rear, with no engine noise
being heard. The RAF Police report also contained details of a
number of civilian UFO sightings that they had been made aware
of in the course of making enquiries with other military bases,
civil airports and local police.

RAF Shawbury

Later on that night, the Meteorological Officer at RAF Shawbury
saw the UFO. He described to me how it had moved slowly across
the countryside towards the base, at a speed of no more than 30
or 40 mph. He saw the UFO fire a narrow beam of light (like a
laser) at the ground and saw the light sweeping backwards and
forwards across the field beyond the perimeter fence, as if it
were looking for something. He heard an unpleasant low frequency
humming sound coming from the craft and said he could feel as
well as hear this - rather like standing in front of a bass
speaker. He estimated the size of the craft to be midway between
a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and a Boeing 747. Then he
told me that the light beam had retracted in an unnatural way
and that the craft had suddenly accelerated away to the horizon
many times faster than a military aircraft. Here was an
experienced RAF officer who regularly saw aircraft and
helicopters, telling me about something he said was quite unlike
anything he=92s ever seen in his life. The MOD party line about
UFOs being of "no defence significance=94 was looking decidedly
shaky. What was I supposed to say to him, I wondered - "don=92t
worry, it was probably just a weather balloon=94! I corresponded
with him recently about this but, unlike some sceptics, I intend
to respect witness confidentiality and won=92t name him.

How Many Reports?

For a number of reasons UFOs are notoriously under-reported. The
two main factors here are fear of disbelief and/or ridicule, and
the fact that many people do not know who to contact with
details of their sightings.

While there were standing instructions that UFO reports sent to
military bases, civil airports and police stations should be
forwarded to the MOD for investigation, this national reporting
system did not always work.

The casefile on the 30/31 March 1993 UFO incident makes it clear
that there were many more sightings than ever reached the
Department. One throwaway line from a signal reporting how
police officers in Liskeard, Cornwall, had seen a UFO stated
that the object was "seen by other police officers throughout
Devon and Cornwall=94.

We can only guess at the number of sightings that went
unreported that night.

Radar

I launched a detailed investigation into these sightings,
working closely with the RAF, colleagues in the Defence
Intelligence Staff and personnel at the Ballistic Missile Early
Warning System at RAF Fylingdales.

One of the first things that I did was order that radar tapes be
impounded and sent to me at MOD Main Building in Whitehall. The
radar data was downloaded onto standard VHS video cassettes and
arrived shortly thereafter.

I watched it with the relevant RAF specialists who told me that
there were a few odd radar returns, but that they were
inconclusive. Radar is not an exact science and in certain
circumstances, false returns can be generated.

Aircraft

Later, a more formal assessment of the radar data was made.

Unfortunately, one of the radar heads was not working on primary
radar during the reporting period, so only aircraft working
Secondary Surveillance Radar could be seen. But with this and
with other checks, what we were able to do was build up a
picture of all aircraft and helicopters activity over the UK, so
that we could factor them into the investigation and eliminate
them from our enquiries if appropriate.

RAF Fylingdales and Cosmos 2238

The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at RAF Fylingdales,
with its powerful space-tracking radars, was an important part
of my UFO investigation.

They quickly alerted me to the fact that there had been a re-
entry into the Earth=92s atmosphere of a Russian rocket carrying a
communications satellite, Cosmos 2238.

We postulated that this was a possible explanation for a cluster
of UFO sightings that occurred at around 1.10am on 31 March.

As an interesting footnote, ufologists such as Jenny Randles
have previously claimed that some UFOs may be interested in re-
entries!

Ufologists

Most ufologists had not even heard about this case until I wrote
about it in 1996, in my first book, Open Skies Closed Minds. One
ufologist who had been very closely involved was Doug Cooper.

I worked closely with him during the course of my official
investigation, as part of a new more open policy that I had
instigated. Some ufologists like Doug had welcomed this but
others, sadly, saw me as a sinister Man in Black and refused to
have anything to do with the MOD, believing that we were part of
a conspiracy to cover-up the truth about UFOs. Doug shared with
me his own report into the wave of sightings.

Like us, he had concluded that the Cosmos 2238 re-entry was the
probable explanation for the cluster of sightings at 1.10am.

But there were some interesting gems in his report, including a
reference to one of the UFO sightings having unnerved cattle in
a field, which were reported as having been restless somewhere
between midnight and 1am. The witnesses then described their
absolute astonishment at seeing all the cows standing in a
circular formation in the middle of the field, all completely
silent.

The British UFO Mystery

On 1 November 2006 Channel Five showed a one hour documentary on
this case, entitled "The British UFO Mystery=94.

The investigative documentary was part of Channel Five=92s second
"Stranger Than Fiction=94 series. The production company, Steel
Spyda, had adopted an unusual approach when making this
documentary.

All too often, UFO documentaries rely on an endless series of
=91talking heads=92, with witnesses telling their stories, followed
by believers and sceptics from the world of ufology expressing
their contrasting views. Steel Spyda tried a new approach.

They obtained the MOD=92s case file on the incident (which ran to
105 pages of documentation) and based the programme around that.
As I=92d led the investigation, they asked me to front the
programme, giving viewers an unprecedented insight into the
methodology of an official MOD investigation.

The programme drew just over one million viewers - a strong
showing for Channel Five.

Ufologists were pleased to see their subject back on one of the
national networks at primetime. In September 2007 the popular
German TV series Galileo Mysteries devoted an episode to this
case.

Sceptics

Sceptics soon jumped on the bandwagon and some lengthy analyses
of the case (actually little more than a reproduction of
material from the MOD casefile) appeared, following the
broadcast of the Channel Five documentary.

These were conclusion-led and marred by misunderstandings about
the way in which the military record time and the way in which
aircraft heights are recorded.

Sceptics leapt on the Cosmos 2238 explanation (which MOD had
known about at the time) to explain the cluster of 1.10am
sightings and promptly tried to shoehorn all the other sightings
into this, suggesting that witnesses who had seen the UFO at any
other time must have got the time wrong - sometimes by several
hours!

Black Projects

A theory often put forward to explain some of the most
spectacular UFO sightings is that they might be prototype
aircraft or UAVs.

Of course, at any time we will be test flying various things
that you won=92t see at the Farnborough airshow for several years,
but the bottom line is that we test fly such things in certain
areas so at least within government we can differentiate between
black projects and UFOs.

In view of the controversy about Aurora (an alleged hypersonic
replacement for the SR-71 Blackbird) we did, in the case of the
March 1993 UFO sightings, raise the issue with the US
authorities, through the British Embassy in Washington.

Was it possible that something had gone wrong with the normal
processes for overflight of another country and could our UFO
sightings be attributable to some US prototype?

The answer I got back was extraordinary.

The Americans had been having their own sightings of these
large, triangular-shaped UFOs and wanted to know if the RAF
might have such a craft, capable of moving from a virtual hover
to speeds of several thousand mph in an instant. We wish we had!
The interesting thing about this was that somebody in the US was
still clearly taking an interest in UFOs, despite the apparent
disengagement from the subject in 1969 with the closing down of
Project Blue Book.

Sadly, a letter to the US Embassy about Aurora was the only
document missing from the casefile released to Steel Spyda
following their FOIA request for documents relating to the March
1993 UFO sightings.

Jodrell Bank Observatory

Intriguingly, even the cluster of 1.10am sightings might not all
be explained by the Cosmos 2238 re-entry.

The sceptics were torpedoed by Professor Ian Morrison, Director
of the Jodrell Bank Observatory (and hardly a believer in UFOs!)
who in speaking about these sightings on "The British UFO
Mystery=94 said "Sometimes people see a pattern of lights that
stay pretty much in formation for maybe several minutes at a
time and to be honest I don=92t believe that can be the break up
of space junk or anything else. Those things are short-lived and
they all leave streaks, and the relative positions may well
change as they travel=94.

Conclusion

Given the MOD=92s "no defence significance=94 conclusion on UFOs, it
seems fitting to conclude with quotes from MOD documents which
contradict the usual stance.

In a briefing that I prepared for my Head of Division on 16
April 1993 I wrote:

"It seems that an unidentified object of unknown origin was
operating in the UK Air Defence Region without being detected on
radar; this would appear to be of considerable defence
significance, and I recommend that we investigate further,
within MOD or with the US authorities=94.

My Head of Division was normally sceptical about the UFO
phenomenon, but on this occasion he agreed with my conclusion.
His 22 April 1993 brief to the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
(one of the UK=92s most senior RAF officers) stated:

"In summary, there would seem to be some evidence on this
occasion that an unidentified object (or objects) of unknown
origin was operating over the UK.=94

This is about as close the MOD will ever get to saying that
there=92s more to UFOs than misidentifications or hoaxes.

See Related: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION DOCUMENTS, ROYAL DEFENCE PART I

http://tinyurl.com/ymrsjn - .pdf


See Related: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION DOCUMENTS, ROYAL DEFENCE PART II

http://tinyurl.com/yks73t - .pdf


See Related: THE UNEXPLAINED

http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?cat=3D35



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