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Craig Charles and Sarah Cruddas star stars of Craig Charles: UFO Conspiracies

Craig Charles on investigating UFOs: 'I now know that these things exist' 

Craig Charles, the BBC 6 Music Radio DJ, star of Red Dwarf and Coronation Street, talks to Sky HISTORY about his new show, Craig Charles: UFO Conspiracies.

Craig Charles: UFO Conspiracies follows sci-fi favourite and long-time UFO enthusiast Craig Charles and astrophysicist Sarah Cruddas as they scrutinise compelling evidence relating to some of the most perplexing UFO encounters of recent years, revealing never before heard testimony to separate fact from fiction and ask: are the unexplained aerial phenomena prowling our skies extra-terrestrial?

Sky HISTORY: When did your interest in UFOs first begin?

Craig Charles: Ever since my love of science fiction began but back in the day you would never say so because people would think you were a bit of a crank. Now, the Americans have released all this footage that clearly shows these UFOs, and UAPs [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena] are there. I'm not saying they're not aliens but they do exist. What are they?

 Do the Russians and Chinese have technology that is so much more advanced from our own? That is as frightening as aliens to be sure. How can craft travel 3,000 m/h then stop instantly? The G-Force alone from that would turn a human being into mush? Are they drones, or are they robots? Some of them fly and then go underwater. We have footage of that from fighter jets and aircraft carriers. What are they?

Have you ever seen a UFO?

Me and my friend were in Galway once, sat in his garden and these weird things flew over. The next day, there was like, lots of stuff on the news about it. People had been phoning in to report seeing alien craft flying over the skies of Galway. Me, and my mate saw that but I don't know what it was?

Before making the series, did you have a UFO case you were particularly interested in?

The Rendlesham Forest case is really interesting because it was the American military who reported seeing all these weird lights in the woods. These are highly trained officers who aren't going to mistake a car headlight for a spaceship. You do wonder what they actually saw there.   

What other compelling cases really stood out for you?

A lot of the footage that's just been released by the American Air Force is very compelling. You can see these things on film and they're all different shapes. A lot of people report seeing this pyramid-shaped craft. It doesn't have an engine and it's just thrusting forward and flying through the air. This pyramid shape comes up quite a lot, from many different sightings. There's a lot of different kind of craft that people have claimed to see: barrel-shaped, disc-shaped and boomerang-shaped craft. Unfortunately, with this series, hard evidence is really thin on the ground and that's one thing I found a bit frustrating. Although all of the stories are told with conviction and are certainly very believable.

Do you have any UFO research heroes or idols in the field?

No, to be honest, I didn't know there was a field. I was surprised by how big the industry around this is. Some people are making a lot of a lot of money out of UFOs. So, you do wonder about the veracity of some of the claims, simply because there’s a vested interest in keeping their story going. I'm certainly not one of them. I just wanted to have a closer look at the evidence and listen to the stories and make up my own mind.

Did taking part in the series challenge any preconceptions you had about UFOs or UAPs? 

I now know that these things exist. They're not a figment of anyone's imagination. Even the American government admits that now. It's proved to me that I'm not a Fraggle. Unexplained Aerial Phenomena are out there, we just don't know what they are.