THE British Flying Saucer Bureau has warned the Government to “be on their toes” after it abandoned its UFO investigations unit at High Wycombe.

The £44,000 Ministry of Defence department that investigated UFO sightings has been closed after almost 60 years. It had been at the RAF base at Naphill for the last year.

MoD chiefs said there was no benefit to investigating sightings.

Denis Plunket, chairman of the British Flying Saucer Bureau said: “They shouldn't be closing this department down they should be opening more things up.

“The authorities don't seem to be into it but they should be on their toes. There are still UFO sightings and it's important to record these things and let the public know they exist.”

Mr Plunket, who lives in Bristol, said his cousin died in the 'Star Dust Mystery' of 1947 when an aircraft disappeared in South America.

A wreckage was finally found in 1998 but a mysterious message reading “STANDEC” was twice sent by the aircraft's radio operator. Mr Plunket said this has never been fully explained.

Meanwhile a field investigator for the Ealing-based British UFO Research Association said he doubts the MoD will stop investigating sightings.

Bob Rosamond said: It's probably a load of rubbish because they will still be monitoring what's out there. If anything takes their curiosity or interest then I'm sure they will look into it.

“The juicy cases wont be released and will be held back from the public. This announcement just gets the media off their back.

“The Government has conducted secretive investigations for years now. Why they don't just come out and admit they are interested in it? It can only be that they are afraid of the media.”

The MoD department has dealt with more than 12,000 reports since 1950, including 135 last year.

The decision was revealed after a Freedom of Information request. A response on the MoD website reads: “The MoD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life.

"However, in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom.”

The hotline answer-phone service and e-mail address was withdrawn on December 1.