Should Britain be taking UFOs more seriously? As NASA sets up a taskforce to ... trends now
Britain should follow America's lead and create its own UFO taskforce to investigate potential extraterrestrial sightings, experts have said.
They accused the UK Government of failing to take the issue seriously enough and warned that it could have serious implications for the country's defence capabilities.
Nick Pope, who investigated UFOs for the British military in the 1990s before the unit was disbanded, said it was 'outrageous' that ministers are not taking 'meaningful action' to probe unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs) — more commonly known as unidentified flying objects.
'The Ministry of Defence (MoD) needs to restart UAP investigations, a task force of some sort needs to be set up, and the Defence Committee needs to start holding the MoD to account on UAP, as the Armed Services Committees are doing in the US Congress, in both the Senate and the House,' he told MailOnline.
Mr Pope accused defence officials of 'falling back on a lazy, closed-minded "it can't be, so it isn't" mindset', meaning potential foreign threats to UK shores could be missed.
Is anyone out there? Britain should follow America's lead and create its own UFO taskforce to investigate potential extraterrestrial sightings, experts have said (stock image)
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The MoD closed its UFO desk in 2009 and nothing has ever replaced it.
Prior to this, it carried out what at the time was a highly-secretive and extensive UFO investigation of more than 10,000 possible sightings over several decades — many of which were by military personnel.
Known as the Project Condign report, it concluded that 80 per cent of the sightings were easily explained, 19 per cent were secret military craft and just 1 per cent were mysterious in origin.
However, the MoD accepted that there are always going to be UAP and that those which are unexplained are likely an 'an unknown kind of plasma' and not of concern.
'The MoD has consistently stated that no UFO/UAP sighting has ever shown a threat to the UK, therefore they are of no defence significance and as a result the MoD is not interested,' said Philip Mantle, the former director of investigations at the British UFO Research Association.
He told MailOnline that for this reason it would be 'pointless' to set up a UFO taskforce.
'The MoD are not interested and science in general usually gives the subject a wide berth,' Mr Mantle added.
'One thing that is clear, however, is that the UFO phenomenon, whatever it may be, does not recognise any international borders, therefore any such study surely must be international in scope rather than national.'
The space agency's independent panel of experts stressed that there was 'no reason to conclude' that any were extraterrestrial in origin, but warned that mysterious flying objects were a 'self-evident' threat to American airspace.
Mr Pope said that if