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How UFO sighting baffled X-Files team
Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott
Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott have never been given an explanation about what they saw
This is the strange tale of a UFO sighting which was reported by two Devon policemen and placed in Britain's X-Files. More than 35 years on, there's still no explanation as to what it was that the two officers saw in the sky above West Devon that October night...

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You're driving along a country lane in rural Devon when all of a sudden something appears in the skies above you.

It's a series of bright lights arranged in the shape of a cross - and you've never seen anything like it before.

It's not an aircraft, and it's definitely not the stars. It must be a UFO.

Far fetched? Try telling that to retired policemen Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott, because this is exactly what happened to them one weird October night back in 1967.

They reported the sighting, and were amazed to receive a visit from a team of investigators from the Ministry of Defence.

Their report was then stored away in Britain's very own X-Files, deep in the MoD's vaults in London.

There, the report has remained - together with almost 200 other UFO files. All of them are now set to be released for the very first time in 2005 as a result of the Freedom of Information Act.

Follow that UFO...

Sgt Roger Willey and Pc Clifford Waycott were on their way back to their police station when they were diverted to an investigation which they've never been able to solve.

This time, it wasn't criminals they were chasing - it was a UFO!

Roger Willey
Roger Willey
Thirty-seven years on, and the sighting is still vivid in Roger's memory: "We were making our way back between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh when we saw this unusual bright white light in the sky.

"We both registered that we'd seen something. It was something we couldn't logically account for.

"It was something that I hadn't seen before; I haven't seen since; and something that nobody can explain exactly what it was."

The two officers 'followed' the UFO before returning to the station.

Like Roger, Clifford also recalls the evening as though it was yesterday: "My view of it was that it was moving slowly.

"It wasn't a star. It was bright - it was white. If you look at glass which has got rain on, it was the same sort of inference. It was a splash. It was just too...eerie."

Clifford Waycott
Clifford Waycott
The incident was reported on the national BBC TV news bulletins, but Clifford says the powers that be wanted the sighting 'hushed up.'

"We were visited by a boffin from the MoD who told us that we were still officers under the Official Secrets Acts and they would rather we kept it to ourselves."

Back then, a number of debates were raging about the UFO sightings in Britain. Could it be the Soviet Union spying on us? Were the UFOs further evidence of life in outer space? Or were people just seeing things?

The Government was concerned enough to keep the X-Files under lock and key. But in 2000, some of the files started to be released and next year, in 2005, they'll all be made available to the public.

The Government has wound down its investigations with the conclusion that there's no hard evidence about UFO existence...but the MoD emphasises it still has an open mind.

Roger and Clifford, meanwhile, say they didn't imagine their sighting and they're still waiting for a logical explanation.

"No explanation has been given to us by anybody and we haven't asked," said Cifford.

"We've just gently been asked to sweep it under the carpet. It didn't happen - that's what they said. But we know what we saw."

Article first published: 9th February 2004

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