Britain's military has closed a hotline that took reports of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, after determining that the money is better spent in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense says that the phone service and an associated e-mail address were taken offline earlier this week, and said Friday that 50 years of UFO sightings had not revealed any evidence of alien life or threats to the U.K.

It said that there was "no defense value in investigating UFO reports" and that the money could better be used funding operations in Afghanistan.

The officer who used to deal with the reports has now been reassigned.

"None of the thousands of UFO sightings reported over the years have ever provided substantiated proof of the existence of extraterrestrials," a ministry spokesman said. "There is no defense value in investigating UFO reports."

The spokesman said closing down the UFO inquiry unit would save about 44,000 pounds ($73,000) a year and would not add to the security threats Britain faces.

He said no one has lost their job because of the closure of the UFO portfolio, which over the years had detailed tens of thousands of sightings, including many with fanciful illustrations about purported encounters with aliens.

A Ministry of Defense statement indicates the military takes no position on the existence or nonexistence of UFOs but has concluded that in 50 years none of the many reported UFO sightings turned out to be a national security threat.