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News of the World Rendlesham UFO headline

How the News of the World broke the story about the Rendlesham Forest UFO in its issue of 1983 October 2. Note for non-UK readers: any newspaper headline writer who uses the cliché ‘and that’s official’ does so with his tongue firmly in his cheek. Legend has it that in this case the headline was written by the then editor, Derek Jameson.

Jameson later claimed in a column in a rival Sunday paper, the Sunday Mirror, in 1986 that he never thought it was an alien visitor. Rather, he said, it was ‘an American military spacecraft which had been on an illegal mission in outer space years ahead of President Reagan’s beloved Star Wars programme’. There is, of course, no evidence for this contention either.

As a historical note, the News of the World closed in 2011 after a phone-hacking scandal, although that was long after Jameson had ceased to be editor.