Course leader helps release UFO files

Senior lecturer and investigative journalist Dr David Clarke has been making a series of media appearances following his involvement in the release of the ninth collection of Ministry of Defence UFO files.

Dr Clarke, a UFO consultant, has been working closely with The National Archives to provide a highlights guide to the 25 files which are made up of 6,500 pages.

The files contain a wide range of UFO-related documents, drawings, letters and parliamentary questions ranging from 1965 up to 2008.

The information details the role of the UFO Desk Officers, what they really thought of alien visitors, their ideas to harness alien technology as a weapon, and their briefings to Tony Blair on UFO policy.

Dr Clarke said: “The documents reveal how influential my Freedom of Information campaign actually was in the decision to end decades of official secrecy by opening the files to the public.”

When the Freedom of Information Act was rolled out across central government in 2005 Dr Clarke became one of the Ministry of Defence’s “most persistent correspondents” filing FOI requests on a weekly basis.

He said: “Working as an investigative journalist, I focussed most of my requests around those UFO stories that appeared to have a strong public interest element. As a result almost a third of the material contained in this tranche of files chronicle the working relationship that I developed with the UFO desk officers.”

To find out more about Dr Clarke’s campaign read his blog here.

Since The National Archives (TNA) began to release UFO papers four years ago, 178 files have been released and the ninth tranche brings the number of pages disclosed to 50,000.

The TNA website received an 80 per cent increase in traffic following the release of the ninth collection, with Dr Clarke’s highlights guide being the second most popular download.

The release was covered by 150 media clips on TV, radio, newspapers and websites including reports by the BBC, ITN, Sky News, Guardian, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Sun, The Scotsman, Manchester Evening News, Birmingham Mail, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Voice of Russia and USA Today.

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