Former leader of the UK's UFO Project, Nick Pope joined host George Knapp to discuss recent disclosures from the British Ministry of Defense. This sweeping release of UFO information by the UK government allows for researchers to "go to the raw data," he said, encouraging people to investigate the dedicated website put together by the British National Archives for the files.
Pope explained some of the reasons why the UK government decided to release the files. One such motivating factor was to quell the FOIA requests about UFO files that the Ministry of Defense had become inundated with over the last few years. Additionally, last year's release of UFO documents in France created pressure on the British to do the same, he said. Demonstrating the MOD's commitment to open government and attempts to avoid the speculation of a UFO cover-up were also elements that led to the disclosure.
He indicated that the first batch of documents to be released covers the years 1979 to 1984. Pope said that this first group consists of only 8 files which "sounds small, but when you get into it, some of the files contain over 450 pages of documentation." He surmised that, in total, this first wave of files contained over 2,000 pages of material. While Pope cautioned that most of the material consisted of mundane sightings reports, he also said that "there are some fascinating cases in there."
Looking ahead to the future, Pope indicated that this is the beginning of an ongoing process and that there are a total of 160 files to be released over the next four years. The reason behind this gradual release of the files is that the Ministry of Defense must redact some information for National Security purposes and to protect the privacy of people who reported witnessing UFOs. Despite these issues, he expects "a half a dozen or so files to be released each month."
UFO Trace Cases
First hour guest Ted Phillips talked about his research into UFO trace cases. Phillips said that in the last 40 years, he has collected over 3,300 trace case reports. He noted that the prerequisite for a trace case is that the report must include a witness who observed a craft at the scene. Phillips described the three primary types of trace cases as featuring dehydrated soil, land at the site being burned by heat in the air, or a depression found in the ground.