At just 329 pages the newly-released ‘X-Files’, detailing previously secret unexplained UFO sightings in Denmark, might not at first glance seem to offer much in the way of sustenance for the legions of hopeful stargazers out there. But detailed within the slender volume are over 200 unsolved UFO sightings which provide plenty of food for thought for the old question: are we alone?
One of the unsolved cases concerns an incident that happened on Funen in 1982. A 15-year-old boy was cycling through the countryside early in the morning one summer’s day when he noticed something unusual in a field. Dismounting his bike, he walked towards what appeared to be a large, brightly-lit object that resembled two discs placed on top of one another. Intrigued, the boy walked closer and was amazed to see five humanoid figures next to the object.
The files state that the figures were about 60cm tall, and had large heads and chests in relation to their puny legs. Whether the boy was making it up or not we can't be sure, but his story is one of the more detailed examples contained in the dossier.
‘We decided to publish the archives because frankly there is nothing really secret in them,’ says Thomas Pedersen, a captain in the Danish Air Force who said they had become tired of journalists requesting to see them. ‘The Air Force has no interest in keeping unusual sightings a secret. Our job is to maintain national security, not investigate UFOs.’
The archives cover unexplained events occurring between 1978 and 2002. The files reveal that most cases have never been solved, but also that many are precise and detailed enough to be explained by other phenomena. Military aircraft, weather balloons, bright planets and, in particular, Chinese lanterns can explain away the bulk of reports by worried observers. After 2002 the job of chronicling UFO sightings was taken over by the group Scandinavian UFO Information (SUFOI).
But not all sightings can be readily explained. In August 1991 two police officers on a night patrol in the northern Copenhagen suburb of Ordrup had an unusual experience. Sitting in their patrol car at 2:30am they suddenly saw a strange object hovering about 75-150 metres in the air above the car. The officers thought it looked like the underside of an airplane and they noticed that their communication systems had ceased to function. Intrigued, the officers followed it as it moved slowly away, eventually disappearing behind some tall trees a few minutes later.
Only 20 hours after the policemen had filed their report of the incident there was another report, this time in southern Funen, of a silently moving UFO with bright lights that the observer was able to follow for five minutes.
These reports will add fuel to the debate over whether we are being visited by aliens from other worlds. But unlike the British Royal Air Force, which it was recently revealed has a penchant for attacking UFOs on sight, the Danes are more cautious. Thomas Pedersen denies that the Air Force has ever fired on a UFO. ‘Personally, I think it would be a stupid thing to do,’ he says. ‘With their superior technology, our attacks would be like a mere catapult to them and we would surely be defeated.’