The recessionary pressures put onto budgets have been felt widely and deeply. In the United Kingdom, the British Ministry of Defense quietly closed down its UFO investigations unit in a move said to be a cost-cutting measure.
While the Ministry acted quietly, once the information was leaked, it did not take long for the news to spread, and now writers around the world refer to the Ministry's now-defunct unit "the ex-files." The unit's hotline and email address were suspended by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) on December 1st. The MoD said there was no value in continuing to receive and investigate sightings in a release, stating "... in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom.
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. Furthermore, responding to reported UFO sightings diverts MOD resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence." The Guardian reported the MoD claimed the closure would save the Ministry around 50,000 pounds a year. The Guardian explained that MoD was facing pressure to economize on its spending.
The MoD said that it would continue to release UFO files to the public through the National Archives, a new initiative that has been matched in major nations around the world. Canadian investigations have been released through Collections Canada. The FBI investigates UFO reports in the United States.
The number of UFO sightings in Britain has been increasing over the past few years. Some cases, as evidenced by documents released by the MoD, have never been explained.
Just last month, reports surfaced that an off-duty police officer had sighted what he had thought were aliens examining a crop circle.
Earlier this year, a google photo of a section of London shows what appears to be a squadron of flying objects, which captured the interest of former MoD UFO investigator, Nick Pope.
In related news, a British man who had successfully hacked into NASA and the Pentagon defense computers in the United States, on a quest to uncover suppressed UFO information, will be extradited to the U.S. for trial. The U.S. said Gary McKinnon managed to perpetuate the biggest military hack of all time. The IT expert, who has Asperger's, might face 60 years of imprisonment.
People have long speculated that there is life on other planets, and scientists are actively looking for signs of life.