The day Britain was put on alien invasion alert thanks to student pranksters

A BUNCH of student pranksters put Britain on alien invasion alert by building six fake flying saucers and leaving them around the countryside.

A BUNCH of student pranksters put Britain on alien invasion alert by building six fake flying saucers and leaving them around the countryside.

The bizarre 44-year-old story is revealed in one of thousands of real-life «X Files» just released by the Ministry of Defence.

The de-classified document tells how four police forces, bomb disposal units, the Army and the Ministry of Defence intelligence branch sprang into action after the «spaceships» were found.

One of the saucers was taken to the MoD’s nuclear weapons nerve centre at Aldermaston to be studied by experts.

And the Army used two controlled explosions to open another of the «craft» and look inside.

The MoD sent a senior engineer from Whitehall to examine yet another of the saucers, and US air force police photographed one of the finds near RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire.

The whole of southern England was placed on alert for several hours.

Then, after frantic enquiries, it emerged that the craft were built by engineering students at Farnborough Technical College in Hampshire as part of a rag day hoax.

The saucers were discovered early on the morning of September 4, 1967 by members of the public including a farmer, a postman and a paper boy at sites across southern England from Kent to Bristol.

Sadly, the files don’t reveal what happened to the students. But it’s safe to say the police didn’t see the joke.

The 8500 pages of files were de-classified after Freedom of Information requests, as part of a three-year project between the MoD and the National Archives.

UFO spotters are among the keenest users of Freedom of Information law.

The files reveal several stories of UFO sightings in Scotland — including one that appeared in the Record.

A member of the public told us in 1994 that he had photographed a huge flying saucer, about the size of a jumbo jet, hovering low over Craigluscar Reservoir, near Dunfermline, Fife.

We asked the MoD for their take on the alleged sighting. And yesterday’s documents include a report from an un-named official at the ministry, who said: «It seems to me that this case is either a hoax or something very interesting indeed.

«The Daily Record asked me for my views and I deployed the standard line that our initial consideration of the photos has produced no obvious explanation but that we are now having a more detailed look.

«As word of this case spreads (some of the UFO lobby are already aware of the story), we may come under increasing pressure.»

Twilight timezone

A MAN wrote to the MoD explaining he feared he’d been abducted by aliens because he couldn’t understand why an hour had vanished from his life.

The MoD had a better explanation. They told him the clocks had just gone back.

The man, who lived in Barnes, London, told in the letter how he was having trouble sleeping one October night in 1998.

The weather was mild, so he went into his garden with a glass of milk. Then, he claimed, he heard «a distant roar of engines» and saw a huge cigar-shaped craft speeding westwards above his house.

The man added that he had «gained a whole hour» and said: «I’m beginning to wonder if I was abducted.»

But the MoD noted in their reply that the clocks had gone back the night before.


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