Open Skies, Closed Minds:  For The First Time A Government UFO Expert Speaks Out

By Nick Pope

Simon and Schuster, London, 1996, 270 pages, Price $25.00

This is one of the most significant UFO books to appear in a long time.  It is written by Nick Pope who from 1991 to 1994 investigated and analyzed UFO reports for the British Ministry of Defense. Thus, here was a British civil servant paid by the military to study UFOs. Prior to his assignment, Pope was a skeptic about UFOs. In fact, he had no prior knowledge or interest in the subject. But after his assignment he did plenty of research and studied the evidence. He has come to the conclusion that UFOs are probably extraterrestrial spacecraft. Why they are here or where they come from is mere speculation although Pope states that any superior technology that can violate a nation's sovereign air space with impunity must be considered a potential threat.  He cites existence's in which planes were lost while either pursuing UFOs or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The two most notable cases being the Mantell Incident over Kentucky in 1948 and the Valentich case over Australian waters in 1978. Pope also cites the abduction phenomenon and the cattle mutilations as evidence these aliens are not exactly friendly ETs.
Surprisingly Pope does not believe there is any cover-up in Britain.  He states that most UFO files were routinely destroyed prior to 1967 simply because government officials did not take seriously the subject of UFOs. Presently, Pope states that the Royal Air Force (RAF) is open minded toward UFOs and that many flight personnel have seen UFOs.  Thus the cover-up if any is not by the government.  Instead it is the closed minded mind set of establishment science and the ridicule factor in the media that make UFO secrecy possible.  In his conclusion, Pope write (page 236) "We can't begin to find any solutions until we first acknowledge that there is a problem".
The author doe not rule out the possibility that there is a government cover-up in the United States.  He notes that the U.S. Pentagon UFO Department does not share any of its information with its counterparts in Britain. The United States Freedom of Information Act proves via declassified government documents that various agencies such as the FBI, CIA and NSA were collecting UFO information while officially denying any interest in the subject. So far 30,000 documents have been declassified relating to UFOs Pope claims (page 188). Mr. Pope believes that the cover-up could be a cover-up of ignorance, that is, the U.S. doesn't want to admit that it doesn't have a clue, as to what this phenomenon is that violates our air spaces and it vastly superior to us in technology.