The British government is shockingly underprepared for an attack by extraterrestrials, an ex-MoD man has claimed.
Nick Pope, a career civil servant who spent four years heading up the MoD's research into UFO sightings, is concerned that credible evidence of an alien threat is being ignored and that Britain is "wide open" to attack.
According to an article in London paper The Evening Standard, Pope said: "The consequences of getting this one wrong could be huge. If you reported a UFO sighting now, I am absolutely sure that you would just get back a standard letter telling you not to worry. Frankly, we are wide open - if something does not behave like a conventional aircraft now, it will be ignored."
Pope explains that he became convinced of the reality of alien visits to Earth while he was investigating reports of UFO sightings. The MoD investigates all of these to make sure that British airspace has not been compromised.
He says he has seen no evidence of hostile intent, but suspects that the planet is being covertly reconnoitred.
What he doesn't say, is what sort of plan should be in place to deal with any wannabe alien marauders. After all, if some big green lizardy things with arm-mounted bazooka-death-ray-guns did show up and want to take over, we'd be hard pushed to mount a credible defence.
"One is left with the uneasy feeling that if it turned out to be so [hostile aliens on the rampage], there is very little we could do about it," Pope notes.
So what convinced this otherwise mild-mannered civil servant that the truth was out there?
He says although most sightings can be explained away, there are a few that defy conventional explanations. He cites two examples: the first from 1993 when numerous RAF personnel reported a vast triangular craft flying above their bases. Hundreds of members of the public also called in sightings over a period of several hours.
The second is from 1980, when RAF staff in Suffolk found a landing module of some kind in the woods. According to the reports, it flew off when they arrived to check it out, but subsequent examination found that the footprints it left behind were emitting 10 times normal levels of radiation.
Disclaimer: While we have a sceptical eyebrow raised as we write, we have no way of checking on the veracity of these reports. So feel free to get as excited or to stay as unbelieving as you like. It is Friday, after all. ®