The RAF has tried to shoot down suspected UFOs as part of a Government directive, it has been claimed.
Pilots have apparently fired upon the unidentified objects without success since the 1980s, according to Nick Pope, who used to run the Ministry of Defence's UFO project.
"There was a faction in the MoD who said 'We want to shoot down a UFO and that will resolve the issue one way or another'," he told The Sun.
"We know of cases where the order has been given to shoot down - with little effect to the UFO."
Mr Pope claimed that the RAF only attempted to engage when the mysterious objects were perceived to be a threat.
He said: "In the case of UFOs, whether the object is causing a threat is very much a pilot's judgement call. The public won't know unless it comes down in a heavily populated area."
The MoD refused to comment.
Earlier this month, residents in the Lincolnshire Wolds were left puzzled by the destruction of a wind turbine within hours of several sightings of strange glowing orbs.
At least half a dozen residents reported seeing the orange-yellow spheres, which some witnesses claimed were trailing tentacles.
Dorothy Willows, who lives a mile and a half from the wind farm, said she saw a "low-flying object skimming across the sky towards the turbines" on January 4.
The following morning, a 213ft glass fibre turbine was left crippled, with locals reporting hearing a loud bang like thunder.
One of the £1 million turbine's 65ft blades was ripped off and another severely damaged
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