Patch Story #1: Closure of UFO hotline affects many

As part of the module “JNL6006 – Researching News”, we had to submit four news stories for a news portfolio for assessment. Students were given patches to get their stories from. Mine was Chesterfield, Derbyshire. This is one of the stories I submitted.

In my opinion, this one is the weakest of all my stories. It is meant to be my national story that was localized to my patch. I had another story before this about a union strike of a national store, but that fell through as the strike was resolved two weeks before my deadline.

Anyway, here it is:

The Ministry of Defence, after over 50 years, withdrew the UFO hotline and email address from December 1 2009, saying it was an ‘inappropriate use of defence resources’.

If anyone tried the hotline number, they would hear a female voice recording that says: “Please note it is no longer MoD policy to record, respond to, or investigate UFO sightings, therefore it is no longer possible to leave messages on this number.”

Bill Eyre, Treasurer and Investigations Officer of the Chesterfield Psychic Study Group (CPSG), which has been in existence since 1982, said that due to the closure of the MOD UFO hotline, people who do see UFO’s would probably contact relevant organizations such as ASSAP (The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) and BUFORA (British UFO Research Association).

He said that he has met people from time to time in Chesterfield who have claimed to spot UFO’s. He is one of them.

“It happened in 1995. I’d, oddly enough, just been to a séance a little outside Chesterfield. I left a little late that night from the séance at around 10pm. As I was leaving, I saw white lights overhead fairly low in the sky.”

“If it was a plane there would be some kind of noise, but here there wasn’t any, neither were there flashing red lights at the end of planes.”

“They were flying parallel to each other, from east to west across the sky.”

Websites such as ‘UK UFO Sightings’ are other ways people can report UFO sightings. Chesterfield has had quite a few reports of such sightings in the last year on their web site, with the most recent one on 28th October 2009.

Quite a few of the Chesterfield posters claim to have seen bright, orange lights moving rapidly across the sky.

The publicity officer of the CPSG, Colin Groves, said: “The closure of the MOD hotline is bad for people all over the country.”

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