The UK’s Ministry of Defence has released the majority of a series of 18 long-awaited UFO files to the National Archives, but have still withheld three of the documents. This release lacked a press announcement publicizing the event, and the files themselves aren’t available online, as they have yet to be digitized, and are currently only available for mail order or viewing in person at the Archives. And the three files that are sill being withheld are prompting UFOlogists to question what the holdup is — and what exactly are in the three missing files?

Originally scheduled to be released in 2013, the documents were delayed by the MoD, citing the need for "additional processing requirements." In an October 2016 letter to the editor of Grenzwissenschaft-Aktuell (GreWi), the National Archives explained that "additional information which is covered by FOI exemption was identified, resulting in the files being returned to MoD in August."

The content of the fifteen files that were released consisted of UFO reports, disappointing some UFO researchers who were hoping that they would contain more information concerning 1980’s Rendlesham Forest Incident.

"Sadly, there’s no ‘smoking gun’ in these files that will prove we’ve been visited by extraterrestrials, but there are plenty of intriguing UFO reports, as well as policy papers explaining how the MoD handled this subject," explains UFO researcher Nick Pope.

"The lack of a smoking gun and the fact that these files seem to have been slipped out without a formal media announcement is bound to start some conspiracy theories, and I know that many people believe the ‘good stuff’ is being held back."

"After this, there are only three more UFO files still to be released, and they should be made public later this year, so there’s still more to come."