Mr. Booth: Do you feel that governments secreting UFOs files is the right thing to do, considering the possible negative ramifications on world economy, religion, and political and social structure?
Mr. Pope: The answer depends on what information governments are withholding. I can only speak with authority on the situation with regard to the British government. We don't have what I call a 'spaceship in a hangar smoking gun' - i.e. any absolute proof that UFOs are extraterrestrial.
Therefore, there's really no UFO information to cover up. This is why (along with other countries such as France) the UK is able to release its UFO files, with only limited material being withheld, e.g. details of military capabilities such as the range and effectiveness of a radar system, or material the release of which might reveal our methods and sources of gathering information.
If some other government or governments has files that relate to a confirmed extraterrestrial presence, I can't really comment. Clearly the release of such material would have an effect on political, religious, economic and social structures. But there are so many variables and without more details it's impossible to say what these effects would be.
Finally, while I'm generally a supporter of open government and freedom of information, it's important to remember that in most cases, information that's classified is being withheld for good reasons.
Where do UFOs Come From?
Mr. Booth: Do you believe that some UFO reports could be explained as structured, alien craft, or could we be dealing with an alternate dimension?
Mr. Pope: While I've seen no hard proof that some UFOs are extraterrestrial, I certainly can't rule out the possibility. I'm sure there's life elsewhere in the Universe. The two related questions are these; firstly, is any of it intelligent life?
Looking at the only model we have (our own) one could speculate that this is quite likely, on the basis that intelligence seems to be a good survival strategy.
The second question is whether interstellar travel is possible. While the apparent barrier of light speed is problematic, there may be ways around this, e.g. using wormholes, or warping space-time.
And bear in mind that when people say something is prohibited because it runs counter to the laws of physics, what they actually mean is the laws of physics as currently understood - our understanding of the laws of physics evolves and changes over time.
Having said this, there may not be a single neat solution to the UFO phenomenon, so one cannot rule out possibilities involving other dimensions, time travel, or other exotic concepts for which - at present - we have no words.