HUNDREDS of sightings of unidentified flying objects are made public today - including police reports of a flying saucer near Manchester.
The National Archives are inviting UFO hunters to delve into Ministry of Defence files, many of them kept under wraps for years.
There are sightings all over the country including one in 1986 when police, travelling on a moorland road between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire spotted an `illuminated unidentified object'. They told the MoD in an official police report: "This took the form of a continuous but intermittent yellow/red light of a uniform roundish shape. There was no sound or smell coming from it, it was at about 20 degrees on the horizon hovering, but moving slightly in all directions from its axis."
They claimed that it remained for about 20 minutes and could be clearly seen. The weather was fine and dry and there was good visibility.
Manchester Airport air traffic control was contacted at the time and they reported that no planes were flying in their control area.
Other sightings include a UFO which apparently almost collided with an airliner flying towards Heathrow.
The archive website offers a wealth of details including an American Air force jet being ordered to shoot down a UFO flying over East Anglia.
Dr David Clarke, a UFO expert, says the files contain everything from close encounters between aircraft and unexplained objects to stories from members of the public who believe they were in contact with ETs, extra-terrestrials.
Dr Clarke said: "Making the material available to all those who have an interest in this subject means that everyone, expert or amateur, can make an informed decision on the mystery of UFOs."
The first reports of `flying saucers' were in 1947 in Washington when a private pilot, Kenneth Arnold, reported seeing nine strange objects that moved at tremendous speed across the sky.
His sighting triggered a wave of similar reports.
The UFO has become a synonym for an alien spaceship, but for the military forces of the world it refers to something in the sky the observer can see but does not recognise.
Dr Clarke said: "In the vast majority of cases, investigations have discovered ordinary explanations for UFO reports such as bright stars and planets, meteors, artificial satellites, balloons, aircraft seen from unusual angles and space junk burning up in the atmosphere.
"But there are some cases where no common explanation can be fund."
from MEN online