The UK’s Ministry of Defence former official has new revelations regarding a secret government UFO study done during the 1990s.
The Mod commissioned a defence contractor in 1996 to produce a comprehensive report on UFO sightings in the UK. The report was conducted amidst a vast public interest in UFOs with the popularity of the X-Files TV series and the 50th anniversary of the famous Roswell Incident.
The report carefully avoided using the term UFO as it described sightings as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
The report analysed a database of sightings between 1987 and 1997 through code-named Project Condign, and it was delivered to officials in 2000. Found in the study “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the UK Air Defence Region” was that a variety of known phenomena, both natural and human-made could explain the sightings. It noted the incidence of relatively rare natural events. The report said there was no proof to associate the phenomena with any particular nation.
The Project Condign has been compared to a U.S. air force initiative to investigate UFOs dubbed as Project Blue Book, which was ended in 1969.
A journalist and author Nick Pope claimed he was part in setting up the study as a former MOD UFO investigator with his counterpart in the Ministry’s Defence Intelligence Staff. He explained via an emailed statement that they set up the study because they had done very little trend analysis in their decades-long UFO sighting investigations on a case-by-case basis. He revealed that Project Condign was aimed to rectify it and serve as a proper intelligence assessment that would look into the patterns in data they already had.
He added that they were looking everything together about UFOs, including the assessment of what they were dealing, what are threats, and what are the opportunities.
In 1993, initial discussions about the study started, according to Pope, who already not part of it when the work on the report itself began.
According to Pope, the study itself was highly confidential and extremely sensitive as the Mod consistently told the public, the media, and the parliament that UFOs were of limited interest and no defence significance. He explained that they decided to make the study highly classified to avoid exposure to an internal position on the phenomenon that was not the same from public opinion.
It was only in 2006 that the report entered the public domain through a Freedom of Information request from academic Dr David Clarke. The author of the report has been kept secret.
Clarke, a principal research fellow at the Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, obtained a new set of unseen documents recently, which have put Project Condign into the spotlight once again. According to the record, the Mod officials had overworked to reduce their commitment to investigating UFO sighting reports. Base on the findings, Project Condign, had made the foundations for the Mod to begin scaling back its operations on UFOs. Since 1967, the DI55 department of the Ministry secretly collected data on potential UFO sightings and closed at the end of 2000. In 2009 the MoD’s UFO Desk closed.
Pope found the final report of Project Condign disappointing. He said that the report looked like a conclusion-led study using a data to support a personal opinion. However, he acknowledged the challenges in compiling a confidential report such as this one.
Pope said that those involved in an intelligence study like Project Condign don’t reach out to the experts on the subject matter outside the intelligence community, which is the problem. He explained that consultation with other scientists and academics would have been helpful.
The discussion of novel military applications that could be supported by a greater understanding of the UFO phenomenon has surprised the former Mod employee. He said it was primarily a reference to weaponisation, including a directed energy weapon’s construction.
Mod explained in a statement that all its historical UFO-related files have either been released or are soon to be released to the National Archives of the UK. It added that the MOD maintains to have no opinion regarding extraterrestrial life existence or otherwise and does not investigate UFO sightings.