The UK Ministry of Defence has just declassified nineteen secret files detailing UFO encounters over the past decades, one of them involving a USAF Sabre fighter pilot who was ordered to fire at will against an unidentified flying object in British airspace. Unfortunately—or fortunately—lieutenant Milton Torres lost the contact after the UFO left the scene at a whooping 16,000 kilometres per hour. According to him, it had the proportions of an aircraft carrier:
The blip was burning a hole in the radar with its incredible intensity. It was similar to a blip I had received from B52s and seemed to be a magnet of light. It had the proportions of a flying aircraft carrier.
According to the Ministry of Defence, it all happened over Norwich in 1957. The 26-year-old Torres was called along with his wingman, taking off the Royal Air Force base in Kent. But something strange was happening: He was ordered to shoot the UFO down before they scrambled off to intercept it, something that had never occurred before.
I shall never forget it, and for the last 50 years I have been waiting for an explanation, but I've never had one. On that night I was ordered to open fire even before I had taken off. That had never happened before. I was ready to hit the target with all 24 rockets: it would have been like buckshot out of a shotgun. I asked for authentication of the order to fire and I received it.
To make things even stranger, the now 77-year-old Torres has declared now that he received a visit the next day from an American. The man, wearing a trench coat, waved his badge and claimed to be working for the National Security Agency. He said to him that what happened the day before was to be kept under complete secret. Or else.
UFO experts say that, while all this could be explained by the existence of Project Palladium—the experiments that the CIA was conducting during those years to create false radar readings in the Soviet Union—this won't explain why the pilots were ordered to fire all the rockets loaded in their planes. Or why the blip appeared over British air space in the first place.
There's another interesting case in the newly-declassified files: An account of a near-fatal accident at 22,000 feet, 17 years ago. In this file, Alitalia Flight AZ 284 almost had a direct collision with an UFO while approaching London's Heathrow airport. Fortunately, nothing happened because the object vanished just before the impact. [The Age and BBC]