27 May 2008

‘No more fishing for you, old man'

From a report on the release of formerly classified UK government documents on UFO investigations, which have revealed that there were no dramatic alien cover-ups in operation: 
In 1950, the government convened a secret committee, the Flying Saucer Working Party, to investigate sightings of U.F.O.'s. It concluded that U.F.O.'s were optical illusions, weather phenomena, airplanes seen from strange angles and the like, which has been the government's line ever since.

In 1979, the House of Lords debated the matter at the urging of the Earl of Clancarty, who believed that man was descended from aliens who crawled from the earth's core via special tunnels or flew in spaceships 65,000 years ago.

He was not the only noble believer.

"I should like to tell your lords about some of the sightings I have seen," said the Earl of Halsbury, "beginning at the age of 6, when I saw an angel."

Lord Gainford said he had seen a U.F.O., which he described as "bright white ball with a touch of red followed by a white cone," at a New Year's Eve party in Scotland. Some children saw it, too, he added, and they "had been drinking soft drinks."

None of their accounts were as detailed as that of a 78-year-old ex-soldier in Aldershot. His story, which he told to a U.F.O. investigator, can be found in the newly released files.

Out fishing in 1983, the man had just poured himself a cup of tea, he recalled, when he was approached by two four-foot-tall beings wearing pale green overalls and large helmets. They led him into what turned out to be their ship — "I thought, Christ — what the hell's that?" he said — and, apparently considering whether to subject him to extraterrestrial experiments, suddenly announced: "You can go. You are too old and infirm for our purposes."

"Anxious to avoid causing offense," the report said, the man asked no questions, even obvious ones like, what planet do you come from? Instead, he returned to the riverbank, where he finished his tea (by then cold) and resumed fishing.

He was reluctant to tell his family, the report says: "I knew my wife would say 'No more fishing for you, old man.' "
Note: The Earl of Halsbury would've been 71 years old when he debated UFOs in the Lords in 1979.  Incidentally, Wikipedia reports that 'he was also a friend of J.R.R. Tolkien and was one of the few people to read The Silmarillion in Tolkien's lifetime in 1957' 
- New York Times, 26 May 2008

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