UFO above London?
UFOs over London?
There continue to be reports of Londoners witnessing UFOs over the skies of the capital. One eyewitness even claims to have seen a flying saucer over Westminster. So why is London a hub for sightings? We asked UFO-logist Nick Pope...
Recently declassified files reveal that 285 UFO sightings were reported to the Ministry Of Defence (MoD) in 2008 - twice the number in the previous year.
Many of these reports were filed by Londoners who claim to have seen bright lights, spherical objects in the sky - and even little green men.
The real X-Files
Inside Out meets Nick Pope who has spent years investigating these mysterious cases.
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He's been described as the UK's real Fox Mulder.
As the MOD's UFO expert, Nick has overseen hundreds of cases, and reveals that London is Britain's No. 1 extraterrestrial hotspot.
We asked him to share his experiences in this web Q & A for Inside Out...
Nick Pope Q & A
Is London truly a hub for UFO sightings?
It is the hotspot - I know from my work at the MOD, from having plotted these out on maps.
If you want to go anywhere in this country to see a UFO then come to London.
What descriptions of UFOs do you actually get?
They come in all shapes and sizes but the popular ones are spherical, the classic saucer-shaped UFO, and, increasingly these days, the triangular shaped craft.
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What are people reporting seeing?
People are reporting a vast number of different things.
I know from my Government work that 95% of them can be explained as misidentifications and perfectly ordinary objects and phenomena – aircraft flights, satellites, meteorites, bright stars and planets. And recently, of course, Chinese lanterns.
Most memorable London sightings?
One that stood out for me was late at night a number of people were walking over Waterloo Bridge and suddenly someone saw something, stopped, pointed and a number of other passer-bys saw it too.
They were looking at a UFO right over Central London. It clearly wasn’t an aircraft, it was a genuine mystery.
What is the craziest story you ever heard?
The funniest one that I received was from a gentleman who was reporting a UFO sighting in progress. He said that it was hovering over the park and that it was a diamond shaped object.
I thought for a moment and exclaimed "it couldn’t be a kite, could it?".
And he said "no don’t be ridiculous" and then he got more and more excited as he said "it's coming down, it's coming down", and then there was a long pause and he said "they’re putting it back in its box – sorry!".
Have there been any abductions in London?
Yes, certainly there are at least a dozen cases that I can recall where Londoners say "yes, this has happened to me".
Are you convinced these people are telling the truth?
These people I'm convinced are being truthful. They genuinely believe they’ve had these experiences. There’s no evidence of any psychic pathology with them.
Experimental planes have been confused with UFOs.
However, whether they’ve literally been taken into a spaceship or whether there is some other phenomenon - possibly a psychological one that we don’t yet understand, I don’t know.
What would you say to people who may have seen some activity?
I would actively encourage people who have seen something to report it to the MOD, report it to the civilian UFO investigators, report it to the local media.
Please send your UFO pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
last updated: 18/02/2009 at 18:14