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Britain shuts down UFO-hunting unit

Published on 05/12/2009

London - The British government has shut a unit which has investigated UFO sightings for more than 50 years, judging its resources better spent on more earthly threats, it said Friday.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) closed down a hotline and an email address to which sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) could be reported on 1 December.

"The MoD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life. However, in over 50 years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom," it said in a statement.

"The MoD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings. There is no defence benefit in such investigation and it would be an inappropriate use of defence resources," it added.

An MoD employee whose job was to investigate UFO reports has been moved to another post.

"Our resources are focused on the top priority — the frontline in Afghanistan. Any legitimate threat to the UK’s airspace will spotted by our 24/7 radar checks and dealt with by Royal Air Force fighter aircraft," said a spokesman.