A photograph taken of a possible UFO over the prehistoric monument known as Stonehenge (see image above) is among the 25 files of 4,400 pages of UFO files just released by the U.K. National Archives.
Of the total amount of the U.K. X-Files that have been periodically released since 2008 -- about 50,000 pages from 209 files -- this final batch of files covers the work of the Ministry of Defense's UFO desk from 2007 to November 2009.
The files have been divided into different sections:
- Why the U.K. UFO desk was finally closed down in 2009.
- Reports of UFO sightings and alleged alien abductions.
- A campaign of disclosure looking for the "truth" about UFOs.
- Accusations that release of the UFO files has been a "cover story."
- A surge in UFO sighting reports.
- UFO sightings and Chinese lanterns.
- Police helicopters and UFOs.
- UFOs on radar.
- UFO sightings at U.K. landmarks.
That Stonehenge sighting is included in the U.K. landmarks category.
"The one over Stonehenge is totally unconvincing," said David Clarke, a UFO historian and the official spokesman for the U.K. National Archives. "If you read the account, someone on holiday in Wiltshire took a photograph of the monument on the Salisbury Plain. They didn't see anything unusual at the time they took the photograph -- big clue because there's nothing to see. When they downloaded it to a computer, they noticed a dot in the sky, which is about as best as you could describe it. Very likely a bird."
One file dated Nov. 11, 2009 was prepared for Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth by the Royal Air Force Command. It recommended that the Ministry of Defense "should seek to reduce very significantly the UFO task which is consuming increasing resource, but produces no valuable output," because in more than 50 years, "no UFO sighting reported to [MoD] has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK."
Watch this video of David Clarke discussing the final batch of the U.K. UFO files.
Clarke, author of "The UFO Files," told The Huffington Post that U.K. officials aren't calling people liars about their UFO claims.
"I don't think they're saying that what's been reported is of no interest at all, that it's completely worthless. But what they're saying is, from that very narrow point of view of them being funded by the taxpayers to defend the country, they can't spend that money to investigate esoteric subjects, such as UFOs.
"People will have mixed feelings about the MoD closing down the desk, but I actually think that this is a subject that the military don't really need to be involved in. There are a lot of people out there who are scientifically interested in this subject who could do a lot better job than the Ministry of Defense were doing."
Clarke says that many people in the past and still today report UFO sightings that turn out to be a waste of time.
"The huge popularity of Chinese lanterns -- used at weddings and other celebrations -- that go floating through the sky, and people who perhaps have not seen them before think they're UFOs. They photograph them and send them to tabloids which publish them, saying it's alien invasion.
"If UFOs exist as alien spacecraft, then sooner or later somebody's gonna have to produce evidence -- either bits of metal or a landed one -- that will decide that, once and for all. What we've seen in 60 years are lots of people seeing things in the sky, like Chinese lanterns, and misinterpreting them as UFOs."
In conjunction with the release of the final U.K. UFO files, an iPhone/iPad app, "UFO Files UK," is available that includes original files and 5,000 sightings of UFO reports dating back 25 years.
The National Archives UFO files are available to view by the public for free for one month.