Express & Star

Was one of the Midlands' most notorious UFO incidents secretly investigated by the Pentagon?

A mysterious UFO sighting over RAF Cosford could have been investigated in a top-secret Pentagon study, a leading expert has claimed.

The Pentagon could have investigated the UFO sighting over RAF Cosford

In 1993, an MoD police patrol reported a large triangular craft over the Midlands airbase which fired a beam at the ground before speeding off.

It was one of a dozen UFOs reported flying at speed over the skies of Britain at the same time.

Nick Pope, who ran the MoD’s UFO project, believes the ‘high-profile’ event, dubbed the ‘Cosford Incident’, formed part of the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.

The programme, run secretly by the American government, operated between 2007 and 2012, but its existence was only revealed last month in December by US-based journalists.

However it generated a 490-page report consisting of UFO sightings from across the world.

Mr Pope, who wrote a report on the incident at the time, told the Express & Star: “The Cosford Incident was the most high-profile and compelling UFO incident that took place during my time on the MoD’s UFO project in the early Nineties.

“It is probably among the best cases in our entire archive, that goes back decades and includes around 12,000 sightings.

“It is inconceivable to me that this wouldn’t be one of the incidents mentioned in the secret US report. I’m sure the Americans knew all about the Cosford Incident, and maybe conducted some discreet enquiries of their own.”

On March 31 at around 1.15am, MoD officers reported ‘a vast triangular shaped craft flying at about 200ft’. The craft made a low humming noise and fired a beam of light which swept the ground. It left trails of luminous vapour and sped off in a South East direction.

Most eyewitnesses described the craft as having two white lights, but some said there was a third giving an impression the object was triangular.

In his report at the time, Mr Pope said there was a UFO of ‘unknown origin’ operating in the UK air space without showing up on radar.

He said the incident was of ‘considerable defence significance’ and recommended it for further investigation.

Although no new details have come to light, Mr Pope believes the severity of the event would have prompted the American government to carry out its own investigation.

Nick Pope, who ran Britain's UFO project between 1991 and 1994

He added: “Officials connected with the Pentagon’s AATIP project have disclosed that it (the programme) generated a 490-page report detailing UFO sightings from not just the US, but from all around the world.

“If US intelligence found any answers (about the Cosford Incident), it’s not clear whether they told British defence chiefs. I’d left the MoD by the time AATIP was set up, so I don’t know whether the Americans briefed us on their findings.”

UFO websites claimed that the event was a major indicator alien life existed.

But sceptics believed there could have been different causes. The day before the sighting, a Russian radio satellite was jetted into the sky and the debris from its rocket booster fell back down to Earth.

The severity of the Cosford Incident was made even more extra-ordinary because at the same time, dozens of triangular-shaped UFOs were reported moving at speed in the sky across western Britain. They were also reported in other areas of the Midlands on the night. One family from Rugeley even claimed they chased a UFO across the Staffordshire countryside into a field before it disappeared.

The first sighting took place in Somerset the day before at around 8.30pm, said Mr Pope.

Then at 9.30pm in Quantock Hills, Somerset, a police officer with a group of scouts reported seeing aircraft described as ‘looking like two Concordes side by side and joined together’.Mr Pope said: “The reports came in thick and fast and when I arrived at work the following morning I received a steady stream of reports.

“It was soon clear that I had a major UFO event on my hands. One of the most interesting reports came from a member of the public in Rugeley, Staffordshire, who reported a UFO that he estimated as being 200 metres in diameter.

“He and other family members told me how they had chased the object in their car and got extremely close to it, believing it had landed in a nearby field.

“When they got there a few seconds later, there was nothing to be seen.

“Many of the descriptions related to a triangular-shaped craft or of the lights perceived as being on the underside of such a craft.

“Indeed, in an apparent coincidence these sighting occurred three years to the very day after the famous wave of sightings in Belgium that had led to F-16 fighters being scrambled to intercept a UFO being tracked on radar.

Mr Pope, who ran the British government’s UFO project between 1991 and 1994, believes UFO’s exist ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. And he believes some of their origins could be other-worldly, or extraterrestrial.

He recently tweeted: “Existence of UFOs proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, claims former Pentagon UFO investigator. Having run the UK MoD’s #UFO project I agree, but I contend that the true nature of the phenomenon remains unexplained. It’s possible but not proven that some UFOs may be extraterrestrial.”