Tue, 28 Aug 2012 08:24 CDT
This is an image captured by British private pilot David Hastings in 1985 while flying a Cessna Skymaster plane over the Mojave Desert. Hastings didn't see the cigar-shaped object when he took the picture. It only showed up after the picture was developed.
Despite the fact the UK's Ministry of Defense officially ended its UFO investigations in 2009, it appears that the British Civil Aviation Authority decided -- unbeknownst to the public -- to continue collecting reports that involved UFOs with possible flight safety issues.
"They were only interested in sightings that definitely had a bearing on aircraft or flight safety, and were no longer interested in reports from the public, who'd seen things in the sky and reported them to the Civil Aviation Authority," said David Clarke, the official UK National Archives consultant and a journalism lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.
Clarke, seen at right, told the Huffington Post that the Civil Aviation Authority -- a different government department from the MoD -- kept separate records of UFO cases, "not only by the aircrew, themselves, but also anything unusual that was seen by air traffic controllers on the ground at at airports."
Through the filing of Freedom of Information requests, Clarke found that the Royal Air Force specifically requested any UFO reports submitted to the Department of Transport would no longer be forwarded to the MoD.
The RAF specifically states that "members of the public who make such reports are not encouraged to believe an investigation will take place."
It's now known that British air traffic controllers have been receiving UFO reports on almost a regular basis.