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Insights from the UK and beyond

PLEASE let there be somebody out there

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These are hard times for sweating hacks. Not a cloud in the sky, not an MP in town and — worst of all — not a whiff of a silly summer story in sight.

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.

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