Insights from the UK and beyond
PLEASE let there be somebody out there
We can usually count on a few sharks off the Cornish coast but even they seem to have thought better of it this year. Japanese knotweed is pretty scary, and doing its best to get us all worried down in the West country but it’s no substitute for a dorsal fin or two off St Ives.
And now we’re cruelly told yet again there are no little green men from space. The Ministry of Defence has released files on UFO sightings reported in the 1980s and 90s, available on the National Archives.
Quite promising, some of it. Two men, for example, claim an alien with a lemon-shaped head tried to lure them into a glowing red spaceship as they returned from a night out in Staffordshire in 1995.
That generated a 15-page dossier, while the famous December 1980 sighting at Rendlesham Forest US air force base in Suffolk led to a former chief of defence staff warning Margaret Thatcher’s government not to be too scathing in its dismissal because the incident remained unexplained.
But as usual, however dramatic the sighting, we’re always told it was a weather balloon or something equally as disappointing. No master races, no alien abductions, no cigar-shaped craft or anything remotely exciting.
One day perhaps they’ll give us something to go on — and we all know they’re out there, don’t we? But until then we’ll just have to rely on daft squirrels popping up in tourist photos and the antics of celebs and politicos in the South of France to keep us going in the silly season.
Roll on the Autumn.