Newly unclassified documents suggest former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill may have ordered a cover-up of a possible UFO sighting during World War II.
The incident involved a Royal Air Force reconnaissance plane returning from a mission in France or Germany toward the end of the war. The plane was over or near the English coastline when the pilot claimed he was suddenly intercepted by a strange metallic object that matched the aircraft's course and speed for a time before accelerating away and disappearing.
In an account given by one of Churchill's bodyguards, who said he was in the room during a meeting with General Dwight Eisenhower on how to deal with the sighting, Churchill said, "This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic amongst the general population -- and destroy one's belief in the church."
The documents released by Britain's Ministry of Defense also highlight dozens of other alleged sightings.
Nick Pope, a former Ministry of Defense expert who worked on the official UFO files, told the London newspaper The Sun, "Whatever you believe about UFOs, there's some fascinating material in these real life X-Files. Most of these sightings turned out to be misidentifications of things like aircraft lights or meteors, but a small proportion could not be explained."