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Government Space News

British "X-files" Released to Public 231

Smivs writes "Britain's Ministry of Defence has just released files regarding investigations into UFO sightings between 1978 to 1987. Over the next three or four years, 160 files will be handed over to the National Archives. The first group of eight files, one of which is more than 450 pages long, is available today. The Guardian newspaper details many of the events in question, some interesting and many just bizarre. A similar release of UFO files by France's national space agency last year attracted more than 220,000 users on its first day, causing it to crash. To avoid such problems, the National Archives is using an external hosting company which can add extra capacity as needed to handle the web traffic."
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British "X-files" Released to Public

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  • UFO Expert (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SimonGhent ( 57578 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:22PM (#23404710)
    This was reported on BBC Radio 4 this morning. They had an interview with a "UFO Expert" who suggested that they had only released the files that conained no real evidence and that they were holding back much more than they had released.

    He, and his colleagues, knew all along that this is what would happen. Apparently.

    The interviewer tried to get him to say "the truth is out there" but he wouldn't bite!
  • Re:UFO Expert (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:41PM (#23405124)
    Ad hominem attacks are no way to win an argument. It also makes you look petty and weak. (Not trying to win an argument. Just pointing out basic rules of argumentation along with an example).
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:59PM (#23405456) Homepage Journal
    however he is right in that, the government is probably gonna release stuff bit by bit. ie, when public gets used to the idea of 'possibility' of extraterrestrials, more will be coming. so op is right in that they didnt release solid evidence yet.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:25PM (#23405946) Homepage Journal

    in 50s and 60s, people who claimed that they saw ufos with a solid argument would get visited by intelligence agencies and told to shut up, and if they didnt comply either suddenly disappeared from public life, or extremely discredited to the extent that they would need to move and hide. if there isnt anything important about ufo things like skeptics like you argue, no intelligence agency would need to go that far.

    nowadays in the last 3 years, we are seeing an increasing level of 'allowance' for ufo talks. first it started with main outlets like cnn showing ufo clips, whereas they never did before, and then started the government agencies - first mexican air force, then japanese government official drops a hint. then some documents are released in france, then in uk now.

    can you see a pattern ?
  • by TheNarrator ( 200498 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:28PM (#23406024)
    If there are Aliens visiting us nothing is actually going to change. They are like naturalists going out into some remote jungle (our little corner of the solar system) to take pictures of monkeys (us). The monkeys see a pickup truck the naturalist is driving, something they could never possibly be able to explain. The naturalist comes up to them befriends them and then leaves. The other monkeys come back and say that the large white ape does not exist. Even if they all see the large white ape and the interesting craft she drives. So what?
    Maybe some of the religious monkey elders would get upset but that's about it. It's not like the monkeys are going to suddenly figure out how to turn sticks and branches into a car and drive out of the forest and start wearing suits and ties and drinking $4 lattes at Starbucks.
  • by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:48PM (#23406444)
    "If the round shining objects [] that appear in the sky be regarded as visions, we can hardly avoid interpreting them as archetypal images"
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:51PM (#23406506) Homepage Journal
    If we found out there were extraterrestrials there isn't going to be a 'freak out' or panic.

    Anymore then there was a freak out and public panic when Native Americans were discovered.

    There is no solid evidence. Think about it. Going public would be a great way to get billions and billions of dollars into a space race and a great excuse to militarize space. The military would have a base on Mars by now.

  • by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#23406682) Homepage Journal
    When I was young I thought I had seen a UFO in our backyard. I was utterly convinced. I started to do research on it and couldn't understand why so many things (lochness monster, bigfoot) were not better explained and explored when man seemed to understand so many other things (elements of nature, physics, genetics). I though I was on to something big.

    As I matured it began to dawn on me. My experience, had it been real, would have been reported by somebody else. The memory was from my childhood, it could have been a dream before I understood the difference.

    The more I tried to relive the memory, the more an unnerving recognition hit me. Shit, I had seen the spaceship from ET in my backyard! It had been a dream created by my overactive imagination.

    I had wanted it to be true I swore that it was, because the memory backed me up, but my own memory betrayed me.

    Looking back I see that misconceptions are common human fallicies, and that is why scientific data, which is checked and doubled checked by many people is so critical in the search for truth.
  • by olclops ( 591840 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:40PM (#23407400)
    Actually, read the book by the head of Project Blue Book, Edward J. Ruppelt, "The Report on Flying Saucers", available free online, here []. You'll come away with a very different picture.

    This book is a shockingly candid and measured look at the UFO evidence through the 1950's, doesn't engage in speculation and is very much worth a read.
  • Re:UFO Expert (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lm317t ( 971782 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:42PM (#23408494) Homepage
    I have been able to have these Awareness during Sleep Paralysis (which then after a while often spawn Out of Body Dreams), since I can remember. As a test when I was a teenager I shuffled a deck of cards and put five random ones in an open box on top of a high cabinet. Every time I checked when I was in these OBD's I wasnt even close to observing what was actually there, but it sure felt like I was right up until I physiacally checked!

    Since then I have been skeptical of so called OBE's and alien visitations/abductions.
  • Re:I had one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jerry Beasters ( 783525 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:57PM (#23408738)
    When I was younger I had a couple of these, and I could absolutely see how people could interpret it as aliens/ghosts. It's such a feeling of overwhelming terror and/or dread with sometimes dreamlike "hallucinations," if that's the right word.
  • Re:I had one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:12PM (#23408946)

    I experience that when I sleep under an electric blanket.
    You don't get used to it, and it is really freaky.
    Actually I've gotten pretty used to it. I don't have visual hallucinations anymore (last one was about 5 years ago in college). Just wake up and can't move. I think to myself "Don't let your mind wander." (since if you think crazy things, you're dreaming, and you can see them). I then just attempt to rock back and forth until I break out of it and can move (which is usually 20-30 seconds later).

    I get them pretty often though. Normally once every 2-3 weeks, for as long as I can remember. What really helped me was learning the medical explanation. Once I knew that no ghosts or zombies were actually coming into my room to terrorize me, I was able to handle it much better.

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons