Just the Facts?: British Military UFO Reports -- McKinnon Wins Fight -- Mother Holds Son Hostage For 17 Years
Declassified British Military UFO Reports in Detail
"RAF crew so shocked by UFO they forgot to lock radar"
- An RAF Tornado crew was so stunned when a UFO appeared in front of them they failed to lock radar on to it.
The crew were returning from a "low level" mission in the UK to RAF Laarbruch in Germany when they were flying through Dutch airspace over the North Sea.
Without warning the UFO - as big as a C130 Hercules plane - appeared and they had "never seen anything like it".
In written answers about the incident the pilot said: "I did not lock the UFO on radar. My navigator and I were so surprised we did not think to do so.
"Indeed, for the majority of the sighting, the UFO was out to one side of my aircraft which would have required me to manoeuvre the aircraft to place within the radar field of view.
"Of more interest, despite repeated radio calls to Dutch Military Radar, the controller insisted that he could not see the UFO.
"After landing, our Dutch exchange officer, on my squadron, called Dutch Military to discuss the event.
"The controller insisted that no other radar contact was made at the time in the vicinity."
The spooked pilot said the UFO looked nothing like any plane he knew was in any service.
Though he described the plane as being as big as a Hercules it had a smaller wingspan and the engine exhaust had "a light blue afterburner-type flame which was steady but changing in intensity".
Two other RAF fighter jets flying out from Laarbruch nearly collided head-on with the UFO and saw it at the same time, the pilot said.
"These aircraft would have been close to being head-on to the UFO, while from our Tornado, the UFO came down our right-hand side at a great speed (ie, coming from the direction of the UK).
"We were doing 0.8 Mach and it readily overtook us."
He went on: "This was definitely not a Russian satellite - I am 100% certain of that.
"This was a large 'aircraft' and I could see the detail of the lights and the engine area.
"I have never seen anything like it."
"Second World War bomber watched from above"
The pilot of a Lancaster bomber was blissfully unaware of something strange overhead as he put his aircraft through its paces as part of a Battle of Britain memorial fly-past in Withernsea, Yorkshire.
The presence of a hovering black flying saucer only came to light in a photograph snapped by a resident. The mystery craft was spotted when he downloaded the image from his digital camera.
He said: "I live in Withernsea on the east coast of England. On Saturday 15 June 2002, we were treated to a flyby by one of the RAF's Lancaster bombers.
"I took several snaps with my digital camera and, after downloading them on my computer, noticed one image contained an unidentified object (upper right and trailing the Lancaster) and looking decidedly triangular in shape.
"Nothing was noticed with the naked eye at the time."
The photographer asked officials for more information.
But the MOD desk officer who responded said there were no other reports of UFO sightings that day. It was not possible to say whether there were military choppers in the area that day without contacting every squadron, the official said. But he explained it might have been a commercial helicopter from an off-shore oil or gas installation.
"Retired RAF officer's UFO photo"
A retired RAF officer who snapped doughnut shaped objects n the sky wrote to his former colleagues at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire saying: "You must admit they are unusual."
The man, whose name was blanked out in the newly released documents, said: "I noticed a partial aura in the sky, a minute or so later there was a clap of thunder, then a short while later a ring like a doughnut appeared - the ring was orange in colour with a white/cream finger pushed through, the head of the column glowed an orange colour, behind the doughnut was a second cloud of colour , and a further ring of orange."
He added: "The only way I can describe the sighting is that of an atomic or another type of nuclear explosion, the cloud from which did not rise in the sky, but headed from the high atmosphere down toward the earth."
The man took the pictures while he was on holiday in Habarana, Sri Lanka in March 2004.
He believed it was probably an "air burst".
MOD investigators, who examine alleged sightings to see if there is any threat to UK airspace, advised the man to contact the Sri Lankan authorities.
"UFO sightings rocket in 1978"
- A flurry of UFO reports in the early hours of April 16 1978 caused alarm for the RAF.
It launched an investigation into what witnesses saw after being bombarded with claims that extra terrestrials were zipping across southern England from the south west to the north east.
The 17 reports all covered the same time.
Witnesses variously described the mystery object as cigar shaped; with lights covering its base; white with an exhaust; and orange with a white cockpit.
Others said it was plate-like and "exploded", and was multi-coloured, firing out flames or a ball of fire. Some witnesses agreed the craft was orange and white, and it was said to be visible for 11 seconds - though one account had it vanishing and then re-emerging.
Investigators at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire said the sightings coincided with the re-entry of space debris into the Earth's atmosphere. Between May 1977 and April 1978, the RAF received 501 reports of UFOs - but none was corroborated by its radar.
HMS Manchester crew report UFO
- Men on HMS Manchester and other Royal Navy ships reported seeing an unidentified aircraft, but a key document that might have explained it disappeared.
MOD investigators discovered the ship's log covering the period was "blown overboard by a gust of wind" while the destroyer was docked off Norway.
The ship's captain had no recollection of any UFO incident, but in September 2002 the former admiral of the fleet Lord Hill-Norton asked the MOD to explain.
He wrote that the mystery craft's apparent appearance had "defence significance" and was tracked on radar by a Norwegian ship whose sailors were discussing it on their communications network.
The sighting was made between either October 26 to November 6 1998 or February 8 to March 3 1999. There was no explanation why there was confusion surrounding the date.
Internal government discussion documents showed nothing was recorded on logs from the first dates - but the log for early February 1999 went overboard in Bodo.
Lord Bach was tasked to investigate the claims, and replied to Lord Hill-Norton: "The log was positioned, as is the custom, at the head of the gangway when the vessel was alongside in port, and an unusually strong gust of wind carried it overboard."
He went on: "In light of the missing document, my officials have contacted the commanding officer of the Manchester at the time. He has stated nothing that could be remotely construed as an unusual event or sighting involving unidentified aerial craft occurred during this or any other of Manchester's deployments while he was in command."
No explanation emerged for what the sailors saw. - BFBS
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Man held captive by mother for 17 years
In a shocking incident, a man was kept locked in a solitary room for 17 years by his mother and was not allowed to answer nature's call at a village in the Davanagere district of Karnataka, India. Keshvamurthy, 30 walked to freedom on Sunday after neighbours, on coming to know about his confinement, broke the wall of the room and rescued him, police said.
Preliminary investigations revealed that Keshvamurthy had been held in solitary confinement in a room in his house since 1995 by his mother Chowdamma at Lokkapura village for objecting to her becoming a "Devadasi" (a religious tradition in which girls are "married" to God) after separating from her husband.
The mother did not allow Keshavamurthy to go out even to answer nature's call and served food through a window of his room all these years, police said. Keshavamurthy, who sported long hair and beard, was given a shave by a barber and his hair was trimmed and later was taken to National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences at Bangalore for a checkup.
Defending her action, Chowdamma alleged that Keshvamurthy in his younger days used to beat his house inmates including her and his brother. He also objected to her becoming a "Devadasi". "Hence, to teach him a lesson, I held him captive," she told the police. - NDTV
Teenage girl whipped in public for speaking to men
Bamako, Mali: A teenaged girl received 60 lashes in Timbuktu after Islamist extremists convicted her of speaking to men on the street.
The girl, about 15 years old, was allegedly caught standing alongside men by the Islamists of Ansar Dine who now run Timbuktu.
"The Islamists charged that the girl was warned five times by Islamist police but she continued to speak to men in the street. After the hearing, the Islamists gave 60 lashes to the girl. The population did not turn out in large numbers to attend this flogging," said Ousmane Maiga, a Timbuktu resident contacted by phone from Bamako.
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The public whipping took place at around 11 a.m. local time in front of the new headquarters of the Islamic police in downtown Timbuktu, next to Independence Square. - NDTV
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Gary McKinnon wins extradition fight
After ten years and seven months Gary McKinnon finally smiled.
The former computer hacker sensationally won his fight to stay in Britain after the Home Secretary today confirmed that the he will not be extradited to the United States. But when the news came through, his mother Janice Sharp explained, he barely knew what to do.
“He literally couldn’t speak,” she said, visibly wiping away tears herself at the culmination of a decade long battle to keep her son in Britain. “Then he hugged and cried. It's so emotional. It's been awful watching Gary go downhill but such a relief to see him smile for the first time in years.”
For the past decade Mr McKinnon, a 46-year-old computer hacker from north London with Aspergers and severe depression, has been living on a knife edge. Prosecutors in the United States have sought him for what they describe as “the biggest military hack of all time”. Supporters flocked to his cause and he quickly became a walking lightning rod for the many criticisms of Britain's extradition agreement with the United States.
In a shock decision which has been hailed as a significant milestone for those who have campaigned against the perceived one-sided nature of Britain’s extradition agreement with its largest ally, Home Secretary Theresa May today confirmed that she would halt Mr McKinnon’s extradition because it would be “incompatible with his human rights”.
His supporters had long argued that he would be at risk of suicide if he was held overseas. After seeking medical and legal advice, Mrs May concluded that Mr McKinnon would not be fit to stand trial in the United States. Instead it will be up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether a trial should be conducted in the UK.
The Home Secretary also announced plans to introduce new rules which would give UK judges the power to decide whether an extradition suspect should be tried in a British court or abroad. The so-called “forum bar” would require separate legislation and is a direct challenge to Britain's faith in America's judicial decision.
In fact the government's decision to halt Mr McKinnon's extradition will likely cause friction in Washington who wanted to prosecute the hacker for breaking into a string of military and Nasa computers between March 2001 and February 2002.
Douglas McNabb, an expert on American law, told the BBC that US prosecutors would be “livid” with the announcement. “They take a very aggressive approach, extra territoriality - and they have been attempting to secure Mr McKinnon's body for close to ten years next month,” he said. “So they are not going to be happy at all.”
The timing of Mrs May's decision to announce plans for a forum bar sparked criticism from the families of two Muslim men who were extradited just two weeks ago to the United States on similar offences. Babar Ahmad and Taha Ahsan were both sought by US prosecutors for alleged cyber crimes committed on UK soil - in their case running a pro-jihadi website. Like Gary McKinnon, Talha Ahsan also had an Asperger's diagnosis and was considered a vulnerable adult at risk of suicide but the Home Secretary nonetheless ordered his extradition.
“I'm delighted for Janice and Gary but the government clearly waited for Babar and Talha to be extradited before they announced the forum bar,” Talha’s brother Hamja told The Independent. “It’s so upsetting because a forum bar would almost certainly have meant they would have been prosecuted in the UK, not the USA.”
Fahad Ansari, a human rights lawyer and Babar Ahmad's brother-in-law, added: “If Babar and Talha had hacked into US military computers, or if Gary McKinnon had been a Muslim, do you think they would have been saved from extradition? I really doubt it.”
McKinnon's legal team and extradition campaigners welcomed yesterday's decision as a landmark moment.
“This is a great day for British justice, it came through in the end,” said Karen Todner, his lawyer for much of the past ten years. His barrister, Edward Fitzgerald QC, added that the Home secretary was only able to halt Mr McKinnon's extradition because of the Human Rights Act, a piece of legislation that both Mrs May and Prime Minister David Cameron have routinely maligned.
It remains to be seen whether plans to introduce a forum bar will have any effect on the impending extradition of Richard O'Dwyer, a man from Barnsley who is wanted by US prosecutors for alleged copyright infringements.
Any plans to allow courts to decide whether an extradition suspect should be tried in a UK jurisdiction would need legislative change that might not come in for years.
Mark Spragg, of Keystone Law, a solicitor who acted on behalf of the NatWest Three businessmen who were extradited to the US on fraud charges, said he felt the decision would have little impact on future cases as the bar for health problems had been set so high and Mrs May was still working on the presumption of trial abroad rather than the other way round.
“She is looking at it in the wrong way,” he said. “It will only work if the presumption is that extradition takes place when the requesting state convinces the court it is the only place they can be tried. The onus should be on the requesting state, protecting your human rights should mean that you stay here and have your trial here.” - Independent
NOTE: I'm totally against this decision...McKinnon broke the law, infringed on U.S. property and caused a severe security threat to the public. This decision basically gives every country with an extradition treaty with the U.S. a reason the question it. This excuse that McKinnon would be suicidal because of Aspergers and severe depression is ridiculous. It can be safely assumed that most people facing a stiff sentence are depressed and possibly suicidal. If the British government steps up, prosecutes and convicts McKinnon to the full extent of the law then I could consider it as fair. But I really doubt that this will happen. Yeah, I may sound like a heartless bastard...but when it comes to national security, I tend to feel personally threatened...Lon
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