WITH the truth of why the Ministry of Defence closed its UFO desk in 2009 now being out there, we ask if strange sightings are taken seriously enough.
It has been revealed the decision to close the desk, and its accompanying UFO ‘hotline’;, was taken because it served "no defence purpose" and was taking staff away from "more valuable defence-related activities".
In a briefing for then defence minister Bob Ainsworth in November 2009, Carl Mantell, of the RAF's Air Command, said that in more than 50 years "no UFO sighting reported to (MoD) has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK".
The information comes as 25 files are released by the National Archives covering the work carried out in the final two years of the MoD's UFO desk, from late 2007 until November 2009. They include accounts of alleged abductions and contact with aliens and UFO sightings near UK landmarks.
Usually stories about strange objects seen in the sky are greeted with derision and ridicule, as this recent article about something odd seen over Bromley illustrates.
However, are people too quick to mock others who report unidentified flying objects? Can the subject ever be taken seriously or will people who claim to have seen UFOs always be dismissed as crazy?
While most sightings are given plausible explanations, some remain mysteries. Do you believe there might actually be alien life out there somewhere? How do you think we might one day discover its existence? Add your comments below.
1:14pm Monday 20th April 2015
Lady Gaga has given birth - to a reptile.
3:20pm Wednesday 8th April 2015
Mystery surrounds a high-pitched sound that has been bothering residents in Sidcup for the last two weeks.
5:15pm Thursday 2nd April 2015
A woman claims she has seen her mother's ghost in the window of her old family home in Swanley, while looking on Google Earth.
2:21pm Monday 30th March 2015
A floating taxi in the Thames near Greenwich's The O2 has surprised thousands of people.
3:03pm Friday 27th March 2015
Surprised Blackheath crowds saw a wedding ring with a difference this week after a circus performer proposed to his horse-riding girlfriend in the Big Top.
11:11am Wednesday 25th March 2015
Residents across Bexley have joined the mad scramble to grab one of hundreds of £10 notes scattered across the area.
9:14am Thursday 19th March 2015
Was it trying to get to Barking? A police dog unit was called in last night after a runaway dog closed the Blackwall Tunnel, causing long tail-backs.
3:01pm Wednesday 18th March 2015
A world record has been set in London this morning – the world’s biggest free-floating bubble has been blown.
5:29pm Monday 16th March 2015
A rudely shaped carrot has been grown in Lower Belvedere.
12:46pm Thursday 12th March 2015
This photo shows the eerie discovery made on the banks of the River Thames in Gravesend yesterday (March 11).