US Air Force fighter pilot Milton Torres is convinced
he had an encounter with an alien spaceship in the skies
over England in the 1950s. He
was warned to keep quiet about the incident, but eventually
talked about it 31 years later, the newly-released Ministry
of Defence files show.
the night of May 20 1957, Dr. Torres, then aged 25, was
on standby at RAF Manston in Kent when he received an
urgent order to scramble. He
was told to intercept a UFO with "very unusual flight
patterns" over East Anglia that ground radar operators
had been tracking for some time.
was so cloudy he could not see anything, but the object
showed up clearly on his radar as similar in size to a
B-52 bomber. He
was then ordered to fire a full salvo of 24 rockets at
the object - something that came as a sobering shock to
before he could carry out this instruction the UFO suddenly
darted off and disappeared from his scope in a matter
next day, a man claiming to be from the U.S. National
Security Agency threatened him with losing his flying
status if he told anyone what happened.
Torres, now 77 and living in Miami, Florida, said he was
flying at about Mach 0.92, while the UFO was travelling
at over Mach 10.
said: "I think it was an alien spacecraft. It
had a propulsion system that was beyond us - either magnetism
1967, the MoD had a policy of destroying UFO files every
five years because they were considered of "transitory
means the incident could have vanished without a trace
had Dr Torres not been moved to mention it at a USAF veterans
reunion in 1988.
retired civil engineering professor urged people with
more information about the strange encounter to come forward.
are people who are still alive on Earth who know about
this. I'm talking about the RAF, USAF, whatever,"
David Clarke, a UFO expert and journalism lecturer, suspects
the U.S. military may have been testing a top-secret machine
designed to project phantom aircraft on to Soviet radar.
think the most likely explanation is that he was basically
a pawn in some sort of exercise involving electronic spoofing
warfare," he said.
Dr. Torres remains convinced what he saw on the radar
came from beyond our solar system, insisting: "This
is something that's not man-made."
MoD documents released for the first time also show how
the captain of Flight AZ 284 had a similar close encounter
to Milton Torres.
the pilot began his descent into Heathrow, he saw something
like a missile, the object suddenly veered across the
airliner's path causing the pilot to shout 'Look out!'
as he attempted to avert a mid-air collision 22,000 feet
above the Kent countryside.
at an estimated 120 m.p.h., it passed less than 1,000
feet from the passenger jet before disappearing from radar
screens, leaving the pilot and accident investigators
documents reveal that Ministry of Defence staff accept
that an Unidentified Flying Object zooming above Lydd
caused the near miss.
incident took place at 7.58 p.m. on April 21, 1991, and
was investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority and military
ruled out the possibility of it being a missile, weather
balloon or space rocket, the MoD was forced to conclude
that it was a genuine UFO and close the inquiry.
unexplained close encounter is one of many recounted in
military UFO documents released today by the National
Alitalia aircraft was on a routine flight from Milan to
Heathrow with 57 people on board when the ten-foot long
object, which had no exhaust flame, was spotted by pilot
told accident investigators: 'I saw for about 3.4 seconds
a flying object, very similar to a missile, light brown
once I said, "Look out, look out" to my co-pilot,
who saw what I had seen.
soon as the object crossed us I asked the ACC (area control
centre) operator if he saw something on his screen and
he answered, "I see an unknown target 10 nm (nautical
miles) behind you".'
10.25pm that night there was a report to Brentwood police
in Essex of a dark flying object in the sky which had
no engine noise or lights.
TV also broadcast a story about a 14-year-old boy who
reported seeing a missile flying at low level before climbing
through the cloud and disappearing on the same evening.
images of the object showed that the UFO was initially
labelled 'cruise missile??' but checks on Army firing
ranges and U.S. and British naval ships established that
it was not a military weapon or 'space related' activity.
July 2, a secret MoD report concluded: 'These departments
have not been able to confirm the identity of the object
sighted by the Alitalia crew.
the absence of any clear evidence which could be used
to identify the object, it is our intention to treat this
sighting like that of any other Unidentified Flying Object
and therefore we will not be undertaking any further investigation
into the sighting.'
incidents recorded in military files the same year include
a 'wingless projectile' seen on June 17, 1991.
passengers on board a Boeing 737 saw it pass beneath the
airliner as it climbed from Gatwick Airport headed for
air traffic controllers were alerted but said they were
'unaware of anything unusual occurring at that time'.
weather balloon had been released in the area around this
time, but the description and timing did not match the
wingless object, according to military files.
July 15, the crew of a Britannia Airways 737 descending
into Gatwick at 14,000 feet, reported seeing a 'small
black lozenge-shaped object' travelling at high speed
just 100 yards from the aircraft.
traffic control confirmed a 'primary contact' visible
on the radar ten nautical miles behind the 737 travelling
at 120 m.p.h.
air traffic controllers warned a following aircraft to
turn left to avoid the object, although the pilot said
he never saw it.
investigation completed in April 1992 was unable to explain
the incident but suggested the unidentified object could
have been an escaped balloon.
files are available online for the first time at http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/.