(AP) -- E.T., phone Brussels. A European Union lawmaker urged member governments Tuesday to open their secret files on UFOs, saying people need to know about close encounters of the third kind.
Mario Borghezio, an Italian member of the European Parliament, told The Associated Press in an e-mail Tuesday that the EU needs its own "X Files" archive where anyone can see information on UFOs - including data gathered by the military. Borghezio said all European governments should go public and stop what he called a "systematic cover-up."
Opening the files is not unprecedented: Last year, Britain published 4,000 pages online on 800 alleged encounters with aliens during the 1980s and 1990s. And over the past three years the British defense ministry has been gradually releasing previously secret UFO papers after facing Freedom of Information demands.
Borghezio also said it is essential to have a scientific center to research unidentified flying objects. Its investigations could have "major scientific and technological spinoffs," he said.
"I think that, under the principle of transparency, the EU member states have a duty to make public and available to all scientific data on UFOs which today are partially or wholly withheld," he wrote in the e-mail.
He is seeking the support of other lawmakers from the 736-member assembly for a statement calling on governments to act.
So far, though, he's collected only 18 signatures.
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