THE new claims of UFO sighting by US Navy pilots which The National reported last week should be taken seriously, according to the man who headed up the Ministry of Defence’s 1990s project on UFOs.

Nick Pope, speaking in the US at the weekend, said that there is now enough evidence about UFOs that “you can’t really ignore it”.

Speaking on John Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” radio show on AM 970 in New York, Pope said: “There has been an increased number of cases where not only has the radar tracked these objects performing extraordinary speeds and manoeuvres but then the pilots have been vectored to intercept them. And they’ve had visual sightings. So when you have visual sightings and the radar evidence together, at that point, you can’t really ignore it.”

Pope said that sightings of unidentified objects are “happening much more often than people realize. The issue is that a few years ago these sorts of things were often ignored. And it was easier for service chiefs to say, ‘Well, maybe there was a problem with the radar system.’ They can’t say that anymore.”

Pope explained that people used to say that these type of sightings were by those who were unfamiliar with next generation aircraft or drones, but “the US Navy in their most recent statement put this beyond debate”.

Pope said that American usage of the phrase, “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” was proof that the incidents were being taken seriously “That is the military and intelligence community’s absolute standard term for UFOs,” said Pope.”These stories are now everywhere.

“The British Government is just in the final stage now of an 11-year project to declassify and release lots of documents about UFOs.

“In fact, around 60,000 documents on UFOs have been declassified and released by the British Government in the last few years.”