The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to close down its UFO reporting service, saying that it is an "inappropriate use of defence resources". The Ministry has closed down the voicemail and email addresses formerly available for reporting sightings.
The MoD's page, How to report a UFO sighting, was modified last week to reflect the changes. A statement was issued, saying:
The MOD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life. However, in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom. The MOD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings. There is no defence benefit in such investigation and it would be an inappropriate use of defence resources.
Furthermore, responding to reported UFO sightings diverts MOD resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence.
Accordingly, in order to make best use of defence resources, we have decided that from 1 December 2009 the dedicated UFO hotline answer-phone service and e-mail address will be withdrawn. The MOD will no longer respond to reported UFO sightings or investigate them.
It's well known that the quest for efficiency savings in the Ministry has become very searching. Many efficiency drives and cuts have already taken place over the last decade: and there's still a war to fight, plus various politically-untouchable and wildly overbudget programmes to pay for and big funding reductions expected next year.
In this case a single desk officer has been reassigned and savings in the region of £40k pa are expected.
The MoD will, however, continue its rolling programme of publicly releasing all the UFO files it has built up over many decades - largely free of real information though most of them are.
It would seem likely that some other branch of government - or other public-spirited body - will now need to take on the task of maintaining the national UFO archives into the future. Otherwise, what will harassed policemen do to close their incident files? ®