11 March 2008- THE Ministry of Defence opened a file on the Archway UFO spottings - but decided against further inquiries as it did not deem the sighting a threat to national security. Just over a year ago Archway ground to a halt as dozens of glowing lights were seen in the sky, causing widespread panic among residents. Now the Gazette can reveal that top level government agencies looked into the phenomenon - which many believe was nothing more than floating Chinese lanterns.
The Gazette sent a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry demanding to see every document relating to the Archway incident, as well as a total cost of the investigation.
The MoD did not disclose the cost of its inquiries, but did release what it said was the only document relating to the phenomena they hold on file. It is from an organisation called Contact International which reports seeing "12 to 15 orange balls of light that moved quickly, stopped, faded away or moved upwards". Names and contact details have been blanked out by the Ministry.
In response to our inquiries, a government official wrote: "The Ministry of Defence examines any reports of 'unidentified flying objects' to establish whether what was seen might have defence significance - namely whether the United Kingdom's airspace might have been compromised. To date no report has revealed such evidence. We believe that rational explanations such as aircraft lights could be found."
James Zafar, 40, a designer from Crouch End, saw the lights when collecting his daughter from Archway. He said: "It was worth them investigating because it was really weird. I know in my gut whatever we saw was not balloons. It just seems crazy they are not looking into it further. It could have been a potential threat from another country or anywhere."
And Paul Southcott, of the Islington-based UFO and Supernatural Studies Group, said: "I am not surprised they looked into it - it is their job to investigate these things.
"They have probably looked into it more deeply but the likes of us will never know. I think it is a load of rubbish that they only have one document on it, there would definitely be more than that."
He added: "We come up against brick walls like this the whole time when investigating UFOs - it is very frustrating."
But not all were so convinced. Writer and UFO sceptic Ian Ridpath said: "It seems to me fairly obvious they were balloons. Last summer I saw some of these balloons drift across the sky and I recognised them immediately from all the Archway videos.
"It is quite remarkable that even though someone admitted they had set them off from a party people who saw it still believe it was something else. They won't accept it because it would make them feel a bit silly.
See original case file on the Archway UFO Video.
source & references:
Archived UFO Articles and News Items, 2008
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