This weekend Britain’s oldest UFO group turns 50.

With thousands of files that pre-date Ministry of Defence records, (indeed its oldest files go back to the Victorian era) The British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) celebrates half a century with a two-day conference in London.

A regular contributor to magazines, TV and radio shows, the group is currently supporting an investigation into Sweden's Ghost Rockets phenomena.

Since 1946, around 2,000 UFOs have been seen in the skies above Sweden, with a number reportedly crashing into lakes.

Scroll down for a gallery of images
flying saucers

The head of UK Air Traffic Control admits the skies above Britain are visited by one UFO a month

In August a team set out in an ambitious attempt to find one of the objects, the results of which will be revealed exclusively by speaker Clas Svahn at the conference.

Chairman Matt Lyons explains: “We are non-cultist and are not lead by belief systems, not advocating an extra-terrestrial polarised view, nor are we at the highly sceptical end of the spectrum.

“One of the few groups to run an accredited training course, our team of researchers and investigators are led by witness testimony and not the personal or group beliefs."

We want to believe. And here are ten reasons why.

1. July saw the 65th anniversary of the now infamous Roswell incident. The military initially revealed a flying disk had been captured, but changed their story overnight, claiming the craft was actually a weather balloon. Rumours abound to this day that the occupants of the craft were captured and the military engaged in a cover-up.

Former CIA agent Chase Brandon told The Huffington Post: “It was not a damn weather balloon – it was what it was billed when people first reported it.

“It was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet, it crashed and I don’t doubt for a second that the use of the word ‘remains’ and ‘cadavers’ was exactly what people were talking about.”

roswell

What exactly did occur at Roswell?

2. In August, the head of UK Air Traffic Control admitted the skies above Britain are visited by at least one UFO a month. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Richard Deakin confirmed unidentified flying objects were being seen by his staff. Nick Pope, a former UFO investigator for the Ministry of Defence confirmed the figure, but added: “Our mindset is it’s probably more likely to be Russian than Martian.”

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons NOT To Believe In Aliens (PICTURES)

3. Researchers from the University of Aberdeen this month suggested many more planets than previously thought may contain life. Microorganisms could be thriving in a “Goldilocks zone” where it’s not too hot and not too cold, Professor John Parnell revealed.

4. Continuing in an academic vein, this year Edinburgh University became the first in the UK to offer a selection of free online courses, including one on UFOs and the search for extraterrestrial life.

eisenhower

Former American President Dwight D Eisenhower 'had three secret meetings with aliens'

5. Whether or not you believe the stories of people who say they’ve been spirited out of their cars on lonely country roads or drawn into alien crafts while they’ve been sleeping, these tales are told by enough people to make us think carefully about the phenomenon.

Photographer Steven Hirsch’s project Little Sticky Legs sees images of alien abductees and their own drawings of their experiences.

“Are these people telling me the truth? I don’t know,” Hirsch told The Huffington Post.

6. Crop circles continue to dazzle and baffle us. The mystery appeared to be solved when several high-profile cases revealed that the designs were the work of artists and mischief-makers with barrels, planks of wood and a plenty of spare time. Yet not all could be explained.

In recent years crop circle artists have pushed the boundaries of ingenuity, boasting ever-more complex patterns and shapes. Some crop circle designs now feature up to 2,000 shapes, while analysis by mathematicians shown that they can be built on deep patterns and structures that are otherwise invisible to the eye.

While spoilsports, sorry scientists claim to have cracked the case once more, suggesting artists are now relying on the Global Positioning System, lasers and even microwaves to create their patterns, we’re holding onto the hope that aliens are just really, really creative.

crop circle

A Wiltshire crop circle

7. Former American President Dwight D Eisenhower had three secret meetings with aliens from another planet, a former US government consultant has claimed.

Eisenhower and a number of FBI officials are said to have arranged the meetings by sending out “telepathic messages”. The meetings, at the Holloman Air Force base were witnessed by “many”, it is claimed.

8. Nasa’s Curiosity rover may have only landed in August, but its cameras are starting to transmit images back of what some are calling UFOs. What’s more, a film sequence transmitted by Curiosity shows white-coloured objects moving near the horizon the red planet.

9. In July the National Archives released X-files revealing the role of Britain’s Ministry of Defence UFO desk officers. The 25 files, comprising more than 6,700 pages, include UFO policy, parliamentary questions, media issues, public correspondence and, of course, UFO sighting reports. Overall, more than 10,000 UFO reports came through the special MoD unit from 1950 to 2009.

While the plug was pulled on the post in 2009, with the MoD citing no evidence of any credible threat, The Telegraph quotes a 2008 document from a desk officer who stated: “We cannot rule out the existence of intelligent life on other planets.”

10. In 2011 two American scientists proposed enlisting online volunteers to identify signs of alien life in moon images collected by Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. In a paper published in the journal Acta Astronautica, Arizona State University Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner wrote of their belief there there may be signs of extra terrestrial life in the form of messages, scientific instruments, waste or evidence of mining that could be spotted by human telescopes and orbiting spacecraft.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Roswell

    America's most infamous UFO case centers in Roswell, N.M. Some people claimed an alien spacecraft crashed there in 1947; the military said it was a weather balloon.

  • Roswell dummies

    The Air Force issued "The Roswell Report" in 1997. Countering claims that aliens were recovered at the New Mexico site, the report said military officials picked up 200-pound dummies, above, that were used in an experiment.

  • Sunken Ship in the Baltic Sea

    On June 19th the Swedish-based diving company Ocean Explorer discovered something they've never quite seen before. They were exploring in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland looking for sunken treasures when a very unusual image suddenly appeared on the sonar. A 197 feet diameter cylinder shaped object was discovered at the depth of approximately 275 feet which resembles the Millennium Falcon from the movie Star Wars.

  • UFO Over Mojave Desert Sept. 9, 1985

    This cigar-shaped UFO was photographed by general aviation pilot David Hastings as he piloted a Cessna Skymaster plane over the Mojave Desert on Sept. 9, 1985. There has never been an indication of hoax in this case, which remains unexplained to this day.

  • UFO Over Holloman Base

    An unidentified flying object was photographed by a government employee over the Holloman Air Development Center in New Mexico in 1964. Conspiracy theorists have claimed the photo is proof that the U.S. government has been in contact with aliens.

  • Strange objects over France

    While descending an Austrian mountain in 1954, photographer Erich Kaiser captured an image of what he called mysterious silvery-white flying objects.

  • Mexican Air Force Pilots Video

    Mexican Air Force pilots filmed strange, brightly lit objects that moved quickly in the skies on March 5, 2004. Some scientists said the phenomenon could have been caused by gases in the atmosphere.

  • Alien in Brazil

    Video grab close up. What looks like an alien creature with visible head, neck, arms and body standing in the Brazilian rainforest in Manaus, Brazil. In this Amaz-alien footage, a lone unidentified being appears to stand in the jungle of Brazil -- even arching its back -- just feet away from a bright flashing blue light. In what some allege as proof that Earth is being visited by aliens from another planet, the video was obtained by paranormal writer Mike Cohen who says the video was taken by two British tourists visiting the Manaus region of the Amazon jungle.

  • Crop Circle in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    A large circle and geometric pattern local residents say were created by a UFO appeared in a rice field in Krasakan hamlet in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on the morning of Jan. 23, 2011.

  • Stan Romanek film

    Stan Romanek claimed that this still image from a three-minute video he shot in 2003 shows an alien looking into his home in Nebraska. In the film, a strange face appears to be popping up and down outside Romanek's window.

  • Sketch of UFO sighting

    This eyewitness drawing of an alleged UFO sighting is in one of 19 once-secret files posted to the British National Archives website. The files cover sightings reported between 1986 and 1992. Although many of the reports were debunked, some remain unexplained.

  • France field markings

    An investigator in 1989 measures markings that some said were left behind by a UFO in Normandy, France. France began releasing its "X-Files" on UFO sightings in 2007.

  • President Jimmy Carter

    President Jimmy Carter, shown here in 1971, reported that he saw a UFO above Leary, Ga., in 1969. He filed a report about the sighting to the International UFO Bureau in 1973.

  • Astronaut Gordon Cooper

    Astronaut Gordon Cooper, who piloted Mercury and Gemini space missions in the 1960s, once said he saw a "typical saucer shape, double-cylindrical shape, metallic" UFO. He was also outspoken on the idea that some UFOs were interplanetary vehicles visiting Earth.

  • Area 51

    At sunset military aircraft contrails in the skies above Area 51 and the U.S.Air Force air weapons range near the town of Rachel and the UFO Highway (hwy. 375) . (CP PHOTO/Larry MacDougal)

  • Monkey Alien

    A preserved monkey is shown on display in the lobby of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab Thursday July 24, 2008. in Decatur, Ga. The shaved monkey was part of a 1953 UFO hoax in rural Cobb County. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Alien

    Alien created for the Showtime movie "Roswell, " and is purported to be a likeness of the alien allegedly found in a crashed 'spaceship' in Roswell, New Mexico in the 1950's. (Photo credit: PA)

  • UFO

    Unidentified Flying Object sighted over New Zealand's South Island on Jan. 3, 1979. New Zealand television crew cameraman Frank Kazukaitis said of the sighting, "It looked like an illuminated ping pong ball with a tinge of red in the middle." (AP Photo/Dominion)

  • ET Vistor Center

    World reception center for official visitors from outer space was proposed by an American specialist on unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Hungarian-born Colman von Keviczky, a former United Nations official, right, for the effective solution of the global problem. (Photo credit: PA)

  • UFO

    This photograph was taken by a tourist and shows an Unidentified Flying Object, flying over Romanian territory near Cluj town Sept. 24. 1968. (AP Photo)

  • UFO

    Engineer Reg Willard (left) chips away with a chisel as he dissects the bleep mechansim of the mystery object found at Clevedon, Somerset, by a schoolboy. Helping him is Aubrey Willcocks, who was called in by the local police. Looking on is Sergeant John Durston. The object was one of five strange objects, all resembling flying saucers and emitting noises, found in different parts of the country. Inside the object Mr Willard found two Exide batteries, a British made transmitter and a loudspeaker. (Photo credit: PA)

  • UFO

    Engineer Michael J Willcocks applies the taste test to the liquid found in the mystery object found at Clevedon, Somerset, by a schoolboy. The liquid was later identified as pig swill. The object was one of five strange objects, all resembling flying saucers and emitting noises, found in different parts of the country. (Photo credit: PA)

  • UFO

    This is one of three photos of a supposed UFO taken by Rex Heflin, Mar. 28, 1967, Santa Ana, Calif. Heflin is an Orange County highway department investigator. (AP Photo)

  • Pancake-like objects

    Joseph Simonton, 60 of Eagle River display one of three pancake-like objects, he says were given to him on Saturday by the operator of a 'flying saucer'

  • UFO

    Pickaway County Deputy Sheriff John Wolford supervises the loading of a part from an Air Force balloon that descended from the sky in south central Ohio farmland, April 19, 1966. The balloons, devices and a 4,500-pound payload apparatus, launched at Holoman Air Force Base, N.M., came down in two sections about 15 miles apart. (AP Photo)

  • Northwestern University Astrophysicist, J. Allen Hynek, shown at a press conference, March 25, 1966, Detroit, Mi. A newsman handed this photo to Hynek and asked him if it was a flying saucer. Hynek described it as a chicken feeder and said that numerous sightings of recent unidentified flying objects in Michigan were probably the result of swamp gasses and not visitors from outer space. Hynek has studied and investigated UFOs for the past 15 years. (AP Photo/ Alvin Quinn)

  • UFO

    Michael Savage, 15-year-old son of prominent San Bernardino physician and surgeon, was practicing picture-taking with his new camera, when he saw motion out of the corner of his eye Thursday, July 24, 1956, San Bernardino, Calif. He quickly shot this picture, tried to shoot another and in his haste over-cranked the camera, drawing a blank with his second shot. The object disappeared in 30 seconds, he said, not over the horizon but quickly out of sight in the sky. (AP Photo/Michael Savage)

  • White UFOs

    This photograph, reproduced from the quarterly UFO periodical Flying Saucers International in Los Angeles, shows silvery white flying objects as seen by photographer Erich Kaiser while descending from Reichenstein mountain in Austria on Aug. 3, 1954. (AP Photo)

  • UFO Crash

    A wrecked wind turbine on farm land in the village of Conisholme, Lincolnshire. The mysterious severance of the wind turbine blade may have been caused by a mechanical failure, an expert said today. Local residents reported seeing a bright light on the morning it happened, prompting speculation that a UFO had caused the damage. But Fraser McLachlan, chief executive of GCube, which insures more than 25,000 wind turbines worldwide, said that although it is unusual, this type of incident happens about five or six times a year. (Photo credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire)

  • UFO Advert

    An Advertisment for the Irish UFO Society which appears in the 2007 Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors Diary. (Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA)

  • Dead Cattle

    Rachel, Nevada, Near Las Vegas on the UFO Highway (hwy 375) at the town of Rachel, dead livestock (cattle) beside the highway. Rachel is near Area 51 which is contained within the U.S.Air Force weapons range. (CP PHOTO/Larry MacDougal)

  • Space Man

    Police Officer Jeff Greenhaw took these pictures of a strange looking creature he said he found standing in the middle of a major highway which runs thru his town, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 1973, Huntsville, Al. (AP Photo/Jeff Greenhaw)

  • Cigar

    Texas farmer Carrell Wayne Watts told a polygraph operator this Polaroid snap shows an alien spacecraft 80 to 100 feet long, Sunday, Feb. 25, 1968, Amarillo, Tx. The Houston Post will release results of 29-year-old Watts lie test late Sunday night. (AP Photo/Carrell Wayne Watts)

  • Strange noises

    One of the strange objects, all resembling flying saucers and emitting noises, found in different parts of Britain. This one was found at Chippenham, Wiltshire. (Photo credit: PA)

  • Civilian or Military Aircraft

    Civilian or military aircraft: Planes can look mysterious at night or in certain light conditions, thus confusing an observer.

  • Meteors

    Meteors: Space debris can create a spectacular light show when it burns through the Earth's atmosphere, and sometimes reported as UFOs.

  • Manufactured UFO -- 2011

    Pictured is a quad copter -- a deliberately manufactured UFO created by special effects wizard Marc Dantonio for a National Geographic special, "The Truth Behind: UFOs," which aired in December 2011. On the left is what the small device looks like resting on the ground, measuring 4 feet in circumference. At right, is how it appeared behind a tree in the night sky.

  • Antarctic UFO Closeup -- Aug. 10, 2012

    This is a closeup of the UFO from the previous slide. No official explanation has been offered about the object.

  • Antarctic UFO -- Aug. 10, 2012

    A circular UFO hovers above the Neumayer-Station III research facility in Antarctica on Aug. 10, 2012. Theories ranging from a simple weather balloon to a more elaborate ship from another planet have run the Internet gamut. The next slide shows a closeup of the object.

  • Lanterns

    These candle-lit Chinese lanterns can rise high into the sky and were mistaken for UFOs in England.

  • Baltic Sea UFO 3

    One of several odd stone circle formations, sitting on top of the unidentified object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

  • Baltic Sea UFO 2

    Close-up of rock bed that forms the Baltic Sea UFO, which still mystifies researchers.

  • Baltic Sea UFO 1

    An image released on June 15, 2012, shows a close-up view of the unidentified object sitting on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

  • Blimps or Advertising Balloons

    Blimps or advertising balloons: These can look like flying saucers from some angles, especially at night.

  • Clouds

    Clouds: Saucer-shaped or "lenticular" clouds that form at high altitudes have been confused with UFOs.

  • Weather Phenomenon

    Some UFO sightings may be due to a natural phenomenon known as sprites, like this one shown from 2006. "Lightning from [a] thunderstorm excites the electric field above, producing a flash of light called a sprite," said geophysicist Colin Price.