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For years, we've been hearing stories from ordinary people about seeing unidentified flying objects – everything from discs and triangles, to huge objects that hover silently from a matter of seconds to several hours. We've also heard or read of countless cases of abductions. Well, it's pretty easy to dismiss Farmer Brown or Miss Redmond down the block perhaps. However, now that many of the world's military personnel have retired or left the force, we are beginning to hear the same information from these highly distinguished people. Maybe, it's time to really take the issue of UFOs seriously. The sad part is that while these people are now free to speak up, government secrecy has increased dramatically. Most recently in the news was a former British defence minister who says a UFO project he once headed up has now been closed leaving the country wide open to an alien invasion. Nick Pope just recently resigned from his post at the Directorate of Defence Security where he had the inside scoop on UFO sightings over the United Kingdom. He has expressed great concern that project "X-Files", which he ran between 1991 and 1995 is now "virtually closed" down, leaving the country "wide open" to aliens. "The consequences of getting this one wrong could be huge," he said adding that extraterrestrials could attack at any time. "If you reported a UFO sighting now, I am absolutely sure that you would just get back a standard letter telling you not to worry. 'Frankly we are wide open - if something does not behave like a conventional aircraft now, it will be ignored. Mr. Pope, who is recognized as a leading authority on UFOs hopes that his professional credentials will be enough to get people to listen to his concerns. He notes that when he first took on the job, he was very skeptical about UFOs. However, after reading the ministry's classified files about various UFO investigations, he gradually changed his mind. However, he says "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed. One of the most convincing cases was the sighting of a "vast, triangular-shaped craft" spotted flying over the Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in the West Midlands in 1993, which was witnessed by not only police and military personnel, but also hundreds of other people in the area over a period of several hours. Another striking case occurred at the RAF bases in Suffolk in 1980. Bright lights were reported coming from a wooded area nearby, so personnel were dispatched to investigate a possible plane crash. Instead, they found "a kind of lunar landing module standing on three legs, which then flew off. The indents left in the ground were found to emit 10 times the normal levels of radiation." "In my time I would brief the more interesting sightings up the chain of command to people like the chief of the Air Staff and would get the answer back that it was very interesting and I had clearly done a good job investigating it and that was it, " says Mr. Pope. "Every one is a piece of a puzzle but no one takes it seriously. There needs to be more resources and people who are prepared to look past the philosophical issues, look at the reports and investigate them properly." According to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence, all UFO sightings are investigated. However, if there isn't enough evidence to suggest that U.K. airspace has been compromised by hostile or unauthorized aircraft, no more is done about it. Mr. Pope says that while there is no real evidence that any visiting aliens would be hostile, it cannot be totally ruled out. "There has got to be the potential for that and one is left with the uneasy feeling that if it turned out to be so, there is very little we could do about it," he said. "If you believe these things are extraterrestrial craft then you cannot rule out that what is happening is some kind of covert reconnaissance." Mr. Pope has appeared on BBC Newsnight and Radio 4's programs and has been a consultant on a number of UFO documentaries. He says now that he has left the defence ministry, he will continue to research and investigate UFOs.
Mr. Pope is certainly not the only former military man to come forward with information on UFOs. One only has to go to the Disclosure Project (http://www.disclosureproject.org) headed by Dr. Steven Greer to read about a host of military people in the United States, Canada and elsewhere who are now bravely stepping forward to tell what they know. I, for one, think we should be listening.