By Defence News (MoD)The first in a series of Ministry of Defence UFO files, dating back to the 1970s, have been released on The National Archives' website today, Wednesday 14 May 2008.
The files include descriptions of alleged Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon or "UFO" sightings and subsequent MOD evaluations of the reports.
The MOD receives a large number of requests each year for information relating to UFOs, and so has introduced a system to meet this demand by releasing these historic files in a structured way.
The released files can be seen on The National Archives' website.
The rest of the files are currently under review and will be added to The National Archives over the next three years.
To date, independent experts have concluded that there are straightforward explanations behind alleged UFO reports, such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena.
Reports of UFOs are examined by the Ministry of Defence solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity.
If required, sighting reports are examined with the assistance of the Department's air defence experts. Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, no further work is undertaken to identify the nature of each sighting reported.
The Ministry of Defence has no other interest or role regarding UFO matters and does not consider questions regarding the existence or otherwise of extraterrestrial life-forms.
The MOD now routinely releases information on reported UFO sightings. This information can be found on the MOD website, through our Freedom Of Information Publication Scheme.