Saturday, January 29, 2011

Defence intelligence agencies and the UFO

Hi readers,

Well its a really hot 39 degrees celsius in Adelaide today, so it's a very good time for sitting under the air conditioner and doing some thinking.

The subject of today's post has been at the back of my mind for several weeks now. I wanted to compare the conclusions reached about UFOs by the Australian, United Kingdom and New Zealand Defence Intelligence areas of their respective Defence Forces. This line of thinking all started when I re-read some material on the Disclosure Australia (DA) website ( )

Australian considerations:

The DA website contains a paper by my co-blogger, Keith Basterfield, titled "Scientific Intelligence and the UFO question in Australia" written in 2008. A two year correspondence between Keith and the Minister for Defence, resulted in the release of a formerly "secret" file. This file was titled "Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects" and is available from the National Archives of Australia, being file series JIO63, control symbol 3092/2/000, date range 1957-1971.

The file was held by the Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB) which later became the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO,) within the Australian Department of Defence (DOD.) It is currently called the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO.)This agency, whatever its name has been the main intelligence area of the DOD.

The role of the JIB/JIO was to collect, collate, analyse and distribute within the government, information relating to defence intelligence, i.e. strategic political, military, economic and scientific, about other countries.

What was the JIB/JIO take on UFOs?

The following is taken from papers on the formerly "secret" file. Mathams, DSTI replied to the DD(C) on 2 February 1970:

" views on the subject of UFOs, from a scientific point of view , are as follows:
(a) The present establishment of surplus research capacity within the establishment that could be diverted to problems such as the investigation of UFO reports.
(b) I am not convinced that there is a sufficient scientific intelligence component in the UFO problem, such as to warrant any diversion of Australia's very limited resources for scientific intelligence research..."

On 3 February 1970 the DD(C)McMichael, wrote to DSTI:

"I am sure that there is an area of investigation that should be pursued by some authority...I have considered carefully whether a part of the subject might be undertaken by us, but this approach doesn't seem practicable..."

On 27 March 1971 the Director JIO R W Furlonger, wrote to the Deputy Secretary B:

"There appears to be sufficient evidence from RAAF and US reports of investigations of UFO sightings to indicate that some reports cannot readily be explained by natural phenomena or man-made activities..."

To sum it up, the Australian DOD defence intelligence area said that there was some merit in the UFO phenomenon that should be investigated by someone, but it wouldn't be them.

Elsewhere, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) a part of the DOD were officially charged with investigating Australian UFO reports (which they referred to as Unusual Aerial Sightings UAS) stated time after time in their files that their task was to assess UFO reports for any possible threat to Australian national security.

After investigating UFO reports from at least the early 1950's to 1984, on 2 May 1984 the DOD announced:

"The RAAF in future will investigate fully only those Unusual Aerial Sightings (UAS) which suggest a defence or national security implication."

In 1994 the DOD went further:

"Consideration of the scientific record suggests that, whilst not all UAS have a ready explanation, here is no compelling reasons for the RAAF to continue to devote resources...The RAAF no longer accepts reports on UAS..."

With that announcement, the Australian government officially closed any UFO investigations.

In summary, in 1971 the Defence Intelligence area of the Australian DOD recognised that there some unexplainable UFO reports, and in 1994 the DOD agreed that not all UAS reports had a ready explanation, the official Australian government UFO agency, the RAAF closed its doors on the phenomenon. UFOs might be scientifically interesting but they were no defence threat.

United Kingdom considerations:

The UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence (DSTI) studied UFO reports for years.

Dr David Clarke and Andy Roberts in their 2002 book titled "Out of the Shadows" documented DSTI's involvement.

In 1967, the Deputy Director of Intelligence wrote:

"In our case we have tailored our efforts to meet the minimum requirement of protecting UK airspace from any incursions which might pose a threat or a hazard." (p179.)

By 2001 DSTI ceased reviewing UFO reports made to the MOD, as it had been determined that UFOs were of no defence interest.

However, a formerly "secret" study of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) was conducted in the late 1990s by a consultant hired by the Defence Intelligence area of the MOD. The study was later released to the public. Titled "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region: Scientific and Technical Memorandum - No 55/2/00."

The terms of reference of the study as indicated in the aims was "The aim of this task is to determine the potential value, if any, of UAP sighting reports to defence intelligence."

Page 4 of the Executive Summary adds "Consistent with MOD policy, the available data has therefore been studied principally to ascertain whether there is any evidence of a threat to the UK."

Page 6 of the same summary stated:

"Based on all the available evidence remaining in the Department (reported over the last 30 years), the information studied, either separately or corporately contained in UAP reports, leads to the conclusion that it does not have any significant Defence Intelligence value. However, the study has uncovered a number of technological issues that may be of potential defence interest..."

"No evidence exists to associate the phenomenon with any particular nation."

"No evidence exists to suggest that the phenomenon seen are hostile or under any type of control, other than that of natural physical forces."

Key supporting findings included:

"Aerial phenomena of the type consistent with those reported as UAP, and with exceptional characteristics, certainly exist - but the available evidence suggests, that apart from those which can be more easily and satisfactorily explained, they are comprised of several types of rarely encountered natural events within the atmosphere and ionosphere. Some of them are still barely understood."

My summary of the UK's Defence Intelligence area's thoughts, is that UFOs certainly exist. Some are scientifically interesting, but there are no significant defence threats.

New Zealand considerations:

File 244/10/1 of the New Zealand Defence Force, recently released by the New Zealand government has a memo on it dated 4 November 1976 from Secretary for Transport to Secretary of Defence (Ref Def66/20/1 DDI.) Included is the statement:

"I agree that there seems to be no need to have a committee to investigate reported sightings of UFOs...As we have no interest other than to ensure...eliminate the possibility of an unknown intruder..."

This memo was a response to the Defence Intelligence area of the NZ Defence Force's query as to whether or not the NZ "Unidentified Flying Object Investigation Committee" should continue. The DDI chaired this committee.

Also on file 244/10/1 the official New Zealand government position on UFOs was stated in a memo dated 5 October 1976 from the Secretary of Defence." All I can say is that empirical evidence shows conclusively that there are no defence factors involved with UFO sightings."

An earlier memo, dated 8 August 1972 from the Minister of Defence stated:

"...the overall subject does appear to be primarily a matter of scientific interest than defence..."

In short, UFOs are scientifically of interest, but no defence threat to New Zealand.


Dear readers, do you see a pattern here? Australian, New Zealand and the United Kingdom's Defence Intelligence areas have studied UFO reports for years. They state in summary that some UFOs are not explainable in conventional terms; that they are scientifically interesting but are of no defence threat.

There would seem to be value for researchers to take a look at the conclusions of other global governments to see what their take on the UFO phenomenon has been.


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  2. Interesting and very good work. As you pointed out: By looking at the attitudes of various countries, some inferences can be made or at least postulated.

    It would seem to me, however, that legitimate anomalous sightings would always be of import in the context of defense issues. How could one ever be sure they weren't the advanced technology of another nation without a cursory investigation at least?

    And just what are these "rarely encountered natural events within the atmosphere and ionosphere," that are "still barely understood?"

    Certainly not ball lighting, maybe they refer to the energies and lighting phenomena associated with tectonic activity?

    Or do they refer to something else? I would love to hear an elaboration on that aspect.

    Great website here, btw!

  3. Great post. Australia is directed by the British Government, the NSA and members of a small group of 90. Edinburgh RAAF base and a site in Canberra are the primary sites for the storage of retrieved ET craft (under ground - unexploded weapons - keep out !). Keep up the great work !

  4. This is the third time I've been to your site. Thnx for providing more details.
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