BRITAIN should be monitoring for UFOs that may be advanced drones from Russia and China entering our airspace, a top MP has said.
Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Defence Select Committee, told The Sun Online that the UK should follow the lead of the US who are currently preparing a landmark intelligence report on the issue.
UFOs have stepped from fringe conspiracy theories to a genuine national security debate following a string of striking leaked videos filmed by military personnel in the US.
Now often referred to as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), the issue has taken centre stage in Washington DC as a UFO report ordered by the Senate is due to be released this month.
US Senators are pushing for answers, the issue has been discussed in White House press briefings, former defense officials are coming forward, and at least two former presidents – Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – have weighed in.
Mr Ellwood – regarded as a hero for his actions during the Westminster terror attack in 2017 – shrugged off suggestions of alien origin for the strange encounters.
But the former defence minister said the threat of advanced drones from states like Russia and China – and also non state actors such as terrorist groups – must be further investigated.
He described the pace of technological change at the moment as “phenomenal” with increasingly advanced – and potentially hypersonic – aerial drones along with unmanned submersibles.
“Clearly there are an awful lot of sightings which are unexplained and it cannot just be dismissed as imagination or exaggeration,” the Conservative MP for Bournemouth East told The Sun Online.
“Given the advent of advanced technology now harnessed by state and non-state actors, we do need better scrutiny and oversight of our airspace.
“We have to be able to rule out, identify and label any object in our sky – and at present we are unable to do so, which leads to all kinds of speculation as to what could be out there.”
If you don’t have answers, you realise how vulnerable you are
Tobias Ellwood MP
US intelligence officials were ordered to compile a dossier for Congress after a flurry of videos filmed by US Navy and Air Force personnel were leaked in the press.
Strange footage shows encounters with objects which appear to defy all conventional understanding of how aircraft move – with the most recent showing 14 UFOS swarming the USS Omaha in 2019.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has however remained coy on the matter – and insists it has no UFO investigation programme, saying its unit to probe the encounters was disbanded in 2009.
However, the department could be revived depending on the findings of the hotly anticipated US dossier , reports The Telegraph.
Mr Ellwood, a former soldier, told The Sun Online: “Whoever harnesses this technology first has a strategic and operational advantage – and the first line of defence is to understand what is there.
“A lot of this technology is now so small, perhaps even unseen to the naked eye, and in order to stay ahead of the curb Britain should be investing in this arena.
“We should take advantages of the Americans who are ahead of the game on this, learn from their experience and apply it here.”
Russia and China remain the “obvious” candidates for where this technology could be coming from, but he also pointed to the danger posed by non states actors – using the example of drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
“Drones from the size of a bumblebee to the size of a plane are not out of reach of anyone who would wish us harm,” he said, adding the UK faces a “new spectrum of threat” that goes beyond land, air and sea.
He added: “The wake up call is whether what we think is cutting technology is actually dated – are we witnessing, seeing and being threatened by drones which have been procured from afar which are already been used in practice?”
It was conceivable that drone technology could be disguised to not have traditional flight characteristics to make them much harder to identify, he added.
“If you don’t have answers, you realise how vulnerable you are. The Americans have stepped up a gear to better understand this, we should be doing the same,” Mr Ellwood said.
What is going on with UFOs in the US?
UFOS have stepped from fringe conspiracy theories to a genuine national security debate in the US.
Pentagon officials last year took the unprecedented step to confirm a trio of remarkable videos which showed US encounters with UFOs.
The debate is still open as to what the phenomena caught on film were – but it made clear to everyone, something is in the skies.
Perhaps the most striking was a video known as the “Tic Tac” – which showed an unidentified object being pursued by fighter planes.
The US also confirmed the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) – a Pentagon programme set up to study UFOs before being disbanded in 2017.
However, it was replaced by the UAP Task Force in June 2020 after a vote by the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
Defence chiefs have since confirmed a number of leaked UFO videos and photos which were submitted to the Task Force for investigation.
Why this sudden rush for transparency?
No outside the secretive wings of the US government currently knows for sure.
And as a tacked on addendum to a 5,500 page Covid relief bill passed in December, the the Director of National Intelligence’s office was ordered to compile a report on UFOs within 180 days.
Former intelligence director John Ratcliffe has hinted the report will be a big deal – and we now just over a month away from its release.
The five month deadline elapses on in June, with some UFO lobbyists claiming it could be the “most profound moment in human history“.
Defence minister Baroness Goldie earlier this month insisted the UK “does not have a role” in the US’s so-called UAP Task Force, which was set up by the US Senate.
She added that the department “would be unable to provide any comments on the report ahead of its official release”.
Despite the MoD insistence however it does not investigate UFOs, there are some suspicions it continues to do so quietly and alongside the US.
Mr Ellwood told The Sun Online: “We have to catch up and invest in it – the Prime Minister has made it clear we want to be a high tech super power so we have to have cutting edge capabilities here in the UK.
“It is going to be pivotal in making sure we can keep the lights on and keep our nation safe.”
Meanwhile, a former MoD investigator who probed UFOs in the 90s claimed he believes the UK likely his similar disturbing videos to those filmed by fighter pilots in the US.
US intelligence services officially closed the book on the phenomena in 1969 at the conclusion Project Blue Book – which stated there was nothing to see regarding UFOs.
However, in the last three years there has been an abrupt turnaround as the Pentagon took the unprecedented step of confirming three stunning UFO videos filmed by the US Navy.
Competing theories on the strange videos continue to rage – with some grounded on Earth claiming the videos capture never-before-seen military aircraft or drones, while others claim it shows otherworldly craft possibly piloted by aliens.
Others however are more skeptical and sometimes even dismissive, claiming the bizarre videos may just be camera tricks, natural phenomena or even outright hoaxes.
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Perhaps one of the most extraordinary interventions on UFOs came from former US President Barack Obama who sensationally addressed the topic on CBS.
He said: “What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there’s footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory
“They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so, you know I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is.
“But I have nothing to report to you today.”
His comments have only fueled the new desire for openness on the topic of UFOs, with one expert telling The Sun Online he believes “powerful forces” are at work behind the scenes.