26 Jan 2009
By CHARLOTTE SPRATT and GARY O’SHEA
RAF pilots have tried to BLAST UFOs out of the sky under a top secret Government directive, it was claimed last night.
Nick Pope — who worked on the Ministry of Defence’s UFO desk for three years — revealed the rules of engagement for the first time.
He claimed RAF pilots had fired at UFOs on several occasions — but failed to bring them down.
He added: “We know of cases where the order has been given to shoot down — with little effect to the UFO.”
Mr Pope said the rules of engagement were drawn up after dozens of close encounters with suspect craft in British airspace.
RAF attacks on UFOs were “not automatic but happen when something in our airspace is deemed to be a threat”.
Riddle... Sun P1 story
Riddle... Sun P1 story
He explained: “In the case of UFOs, whether the object is causing a threat is very much a (pilot’s) judgment call.”
Mr Pope, 43, from London, said the “shoot down” orders had been issued under the highly-classified directive since the beginning of the 1980s.
He believes a pattern has emerged in incidents already publicised in this country and abroad.
When a UFO is thought to be threatening a country’s airspace, the drastic action has been taken.
He said: “There was a faction in the MoD who said ‘We want to shoot down a UFO and that will resolve the issue one way or another’.’’
He claimed credible UFO witness statements had come from dozens of near-misses with planes, police helicopters and RAF jets in recent years.
Earlier this month The Sun told how a UFO was believed to have torn off a 65ft blade as it hit a wind turbine in Conisholme, Lincs.
Locals saw “strange lights” streaking towards the 290ft-tall power generator.
But any alien battles with the RAF will be kept secret, according to Mr Pope, who worked as a civil servant at the MoD for 21 years.
He said: “The public won’t know unless it comes down in a heavily-populated area.”
He added: “I do believe we will bring one down. We’re developing increasingly sophisticated weapons.”
Mr Pope also rubbished the MoD’s stance that UFOs pose no danger to the public, saying: “I think that’s a line I wrote myself in the 1990s.
“But if they haven’t investigated, how do they know it poses no threat?
“They will try to play it down by talking about flying saucers and little green men. But there are MPs and ministers and a faction of the MoD who do believe in UFOs.”
An MoD spokesman last night refused to comment on the directive.