David Clark, a Sheffield Hallam University academic and the UFO adviser to the National Archives, said: “The subject is dead in that no one is seeing anything evidential.
“Look at all the people who now have personal cameras. If there was something flying around that was a structured object from somewhere else, you would have thought that someone would have come up with some convincing footage by now – but they haven’t.
“The reason why nothing is going on is because of the internet. If something happens now, the internet is there to help people get to the bottom of it and find an explanation.
“Before then, you had to send letters to people, who wouldn’t respond and you got this element of mystery and secrecy that means things were not explained.
“The classic cases like Roswell and Rendlesham are only classic cases because they were not investigated properly at the time.”
But Nick Pope, who ran the MoD’s UFO desk from 1991 to 1994 and now researches UFO sightings privately, said there was a future for the subject: “There’s a quantity versus quality issue here.
“So many UFO sightings these days are attributable to Chinese lanterns that more interesting sightings are sometimes overlooked.
“The same is true with photos and videos. There are so many fakes on YouTube and elsewhere, it would be easy to dismiss the whole subject out of hand.
“The danger is that we throw out the baby with the bathwater. And as I used to say at the MoD, the believers only have to be right once.”
Another scam bites the dust. But, more broadly,iIs it wise to pursue an hypothesis, that alien life has visited Earth, when one knows that the “evidence” that sparked the hypothesis is fabricated or the result of human and mechanical error? UFOs are about as perfect example of “crap in, crap out” as is possible.