The Ministry of Defense United Kingdom has released thousands of files with details of UFO sightings and an alien abduction. These previously classified files document sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) by the military and members of the public dating back to the 1950s.

The files contain around 8,500 pages mainly covering the period from 1997 to 2005 and include photographs, drawings and descriptions of flying saucer sightings, as well as letters the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sent eyewitnesses in response to their accounts, the Sky News and The Telegraph reported.

In a startling revelation made months before the September 11 attacks, 15 unidentified aircrafts were detected on radar approaching the UK and one was detected on the actual day.

Other disclosures in the 35 files include the story of a family capturing on film a flashing red and white lights zig-zagging their way through the sky during the early hours in 2003, Sky News reported.

The phenomenon of extra-terrestrials has fascinated people for centuries and the files also detail in full the Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and letters from persistent enquirers that led to the MoD opening up its files for the first time in history.

Dr David Clarke, author of the book The UFO Files, told Sky News that information on the UFOs were the top three most popular FOI requests received by the MoD.

You can see from the files that I wasn't the only one interested in the subject, with the phenomenon discussed at the highest level of government right across the globe, Clarke is quoted as saying.

The files contain pages of UFO sightings and reports, color photographs and drawings, UK Royal Air Force investigations, unusual radar detections, briefings to lawmakers and documents on the government's policy on UFOs discolsed for the first time.