While the recently-released batch of 15 UFO documents from the UK’s Ministry of Defence failed to reveal any information amounting to the proverbial "smoking gun" evidence that the ufology community has been searching for, the files did contain provocative reports of a UFO encounter involving RAF and USAF aircraft crews over the Mediterranean, and a multiple-witness sighting involving local police in eastern England.
While conducting a mission over the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at monitoring the activity of Soviet aircraft in the region on October 19, 1982, the crew of a USAF RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, assigned the call-sign "Beano 73", reported the sighting of a large UFO. The unknown craft was picked up on both the spyplane’s radar, and on the scopes of the RAF’s Troödos radar station in Cyprus. Beano 73’s crew described the UFO as being covered in "a multitude of flashing lights 20 at a time". The UFO proceeded to circle the airplane, prompting the RC-135’s navigator to call for assistance.
Three fighters were scrambled to intercept the UFO: two US Navy F-14 fighters were dispatched from a nearby aircraft carrier, and a RAF Phantom fighter was diverted from an exercise flight to assist Beano 73. However, as the three fighters approached the scene, the UFO departed south toward the African coast, causing the fighter crews to miss spotting the craft altogether.
Apparently, recordings of the radio transmissions between Beano 73 and ground controllers were scrutinized in a joint UK/US investigation into the incident, along with radar track recordings from Troödos. However no copies of these recordings were included in the publicly-available files, and their whereabouts were not revealed.
A later incident, occurring on October 5, 1996, involved both the visual and possible radar sighting of an object over Skegness, Lincolnshire, UK. The object’s presence was first brought to the RAF’s attention at 2:00 AM in a fax from the Yarmouth coast guard:
"[Police] can see a strange red and green rotating light in the sky southeast from Skegness. Looks to be high in the sky directly over The Wash. Many people here are observing it…looks strange as it’s stationary. No [aircraft] sound in the area…"
The air defense radar station at RAF Neatishead was asked to help in identifying the unknown object. Neatishead had discovered a stationary blip that was not broadcasting a transponder signal that was hovering over the town of Boston in Lincolnshire, corresponding to the location of visual sightings from the ground.
Unfortunately, the radar blip turned out to be a permanent echo caused by the 273-foot spire of St Botolph’s church in Boston known locally as "The Boston Stump" — it just happened to be in the same town over which the lights were spotted. But that left the mysterious mass-sighting of the lights themselves, seen not only by area police, but also by a tanker crew refueling ships in the North Sea, including a video of one of the lights recorded by police.
Although the lights were explained away as simply being the planet Venus and the star Sirius by authorities the next day, one irate East Anglian resident wrote to his local newspaper, likening the explanation for the incident to the pat explanation given for the lights witnessed during 1980’s Rendalsham Forest incident as the Orfordness lighthouse:
"It seems that ‘The Stump’ is not on dry land after all. In fact, it is situated somewhere in the North Sea, or The Wash, or the North Norfolk coast, or at Yarmouth, or even floating in the sky miraculously above the A47 in Norfolk."
Subscribers, to watch the subscriber version of the video, first log in then click on Dreamland Subscriber-Only Video Podcast link.