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Voyager Newsletter – Issue No. 8

Voyager Newsletter – Issue No. 8

Voyager Newsletter – Issue No. 8

 

Rendlesham UFO Trail

Originally Posted October, 1999 by James Easton

* Nick Pope – The Ministry of Defence Respond *

 

On 7 August, 1999, I published the following:

‘An Open Letter to Nick Pope’

 

Dear Nick,

 

In the July issue of ‘NICK POPE’S WEIRD WORLD’, you wrote:

 

“Over the past few months I’d been becoming more bullish in my response to certain people within ufology who’d been sniping at me over the years. Nobody likes criticism, and I’d been getting a fair bit – little of it constructive in nature. If people were criticising my views on, say, Roswell, then fine. I wasn’t there, and so my view probably counts no more or no less than anybody else who’s followed the case with a reasonable degree of interest. But it rankled when outsiders who’d probably buy viagra online never even visited MOD Main Building started casting doubts on my knowledge about – and access to – government and military UFO files. I’ve worked for the MOD for over fourteen years now, and three of those were spent researching and investigating UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations and any other weird and wonderful reports that came my way”.

 

I trust I’m not one of the aforementioned ‘critics’ and perhaps you can help clear up some of the confusion which surrounds a number of claims.

 

To recap; your appointment with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was as an Executive Officer. To clarify for the ‘uninitiated’ (I’m a former Civil Servant), the standard grading hierarchy is clerical assistant – clerical officer – executive officer – higher executive officer – and upwards.

 

Although your affirmation clearly gives the impression of being HM Government’s full-time investigator of “UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations”, etc., I understand that was not the situation.

 

Weren’t your duties varied and ‘UFO etc. reports’ only one aspect? In possibly the first ‘promotional’ interview you gave, to ‘UFO Magazine’ (UK) on 5 May, 1996, it was stated:

 

UFO Magazine: When did you join this office, and indeed, were you aware of its function?

Nick Pope: I’ve been in the Ministry of Defence since 1985. We are just ‘posted around’ every two or three years to acquire experience. I had just finished various duties associated with the Gulf War and it just so happened that there was a vacancy which cropped-up. Also in this office was a chap I had worked with quite closely with Gulf War duties and he offered me the job. I was aware that UFO research was one of its functions.

UFO: Was this the reason you switched departments?

Nick Pope: I was certainly interested, it sounded fascinating, but I was quite keen to get out of my old job.

[End]

 

As you said, “UFO research was one of its functions”.

 

Can you please clarify what the job title was and its other functions?

 

What percentage of your appointment was actually spent on ‘UFO etc.’ related matters?

 

Was it, for example, a situation where the ‘UFO etc.’ duties took up, approximately, 75 percent of your time, 50 percent, or did they only perhaps demand a few hours per week, maybe even, over a period of three years, average a few hours each month?

 

It’s obviously of interest to know how much emphasis our government put on this and whether it continues to do so.

 

On the question of any ‘cover-up’, you helpfully confirmed and have maintained this had no substance whatsoever. Typical of your response was the one given to Michael Lindemann, editor of ‘CNI News’, on November 17, 1996, during a ‘UFO conference’ at Blackpool. Lindemann asked:

 

“This seemingly irrational denial of significant UFO events could be interpreted as evidence of a deliberate cover-up. What are your views on that?”

 

To which you replied, “I found no evidence to support a cover-up in Britain. I think, without trying to sound too arrogant, that I would have gotten a few hints in three years if there had been someone doing my job but on a covert basis, not least because the one thing they would have needed beyond anything else was access to the raw data of the witnesses, and never once in three years had any witness complained that I had sent someone around to the house”.

 

From your experiences, the Ministry of Defence’s opinion on the subject was emphasised in the ‘UFO Magazine’ interview. Asked, “One gets the impression that the MoD consider the UFO phenomenon totally irrelevant?”, you accepted, “That’s correct”.

 

Naturally, this included the 1980 ‘Rendlesham forest’ case, where it’s now proven from the original witness testimonies I obtained, that the ‘UFO’ sightings involved a two mile pursuit of a light which turned out to be the Orfordness lighthouse beacon.

 

Your assessment on the MoD’s reaction to Col. Halt’s ‘UFO’ report was again perhaps best clarified in that pivotal ‘UFO Magazine’ interview:

 

“My best assessment of what happened next is – absolutely nothing! The report was written on the 13th January and when it arrived at Whitehall, whoever was doing the job didn’t have the faintest idea what to do with it, probably took one look at it and said, what am I supposed to do? I am afraid to say it simply ended up in a file”.

Also from that interview:

 

UFO Magazine: Was there a cover-up?

Nick Pope: No. Not in the MoD – I think the MoD’s response was just ineffective.

UFO Magazine: That’s a very big statement?

Nick Pope: Yes, but if something of that magnitude was reported and simply placed on file, then what else can you say?

[End]

 

As you may know, there will be a book published on the ‘Rendlesham’ case next year, with the stated intention of exposing a grandiose cover-up, witnessed threatened, etc.

 

We trust your ‘inside knowledge’ is a more reliable appraisal and you can be called on to testify to same, although it has been stated you will be writing the foreword to this book, which seems difficult to equate. Does that imply you maybe didn’t have access to the ‘secret’ information after all, or is it simply that any cover-up didn’t involve the MoD?

 

One comment you made to ‘UFO Magazine’ was, “There is not some great mysterious organisation which is actually getting on with the bread and butter of investigation, whilst I sent out standard letters”.

 

In a later interview, given to Clas Svahn of UFO Sweden and published in ‘Narkontakt’, you reportedly stated, “And I get the impression that, too use a coin of phrase – the X-Files has been closed down. They’ve gone back to the bad old days where they just send out standard letters and I think the investigation they do now is at absolute minimum”.

 

If you were sending out standard letters, what had changed?

 

I’m sure you will agree that our Government’s position on ‘UFO research’ would benefit from overall clarification and Secretariat(Air Staff)2a1a have been asked to comment on these points, especially how much time has been and remains allocated to, as you put it, “researching and investigating UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations and any other weird and wonderful reports”.

 

It would be remiss generic cialis not to take this opportunity to attempt one final elucidation. In the ‘Narkontakt’ article, it’s noted:

 

Nick Pope is now completing the manuscript of his next book. The theme is ‘abduction’.

 

And we have information that the crescendo of the book will be Nick Pope’s own abduction. The previous defence-expert suspects that he as well as his girlfriend was taken aboard a spaceship when the passed a car-toll some years ago“.

[End]

 

The transcript of an on-line question and answer conference dated 23 May 1998, records that that your response to the question ‘why did you think you had been abducted by aliens’, was, “I don’t recall ever claiming that I had been!”

 

Apparently someone claimed you had been and the story was included in the draft manuscript for your ‘alien abductions’ book.

 

As you can imagine, a number of people are confused by this paradox.

 

Is there an emphatic denial that this story was ever in the draft manuscript?

 

I trust this are all reasonable and relevant questions.

 

Your reply would be greatly appreciated and certainly not only by myself.

 

Please feel free to reply directly.

 

Best wishes,

James Easton.

E-mail: voyager@ufoworld.co.uk

[END]

Although Nick Pope hasn’t to my knowledge responded to these questions and is of course absolutely under no obligation to, I have now received a reply from ‘Secretariat(Air Staff)2a’concerning some of the aforementioned questions.

The Ministry state:

“Mr Pope was employed as an Executive Officer in Secretariat (Air Staff) 2. His post was designated Sec(AS)2a. The main duties of the post concern non-operational RAF activities overseas and diplomatic clearance for military flights abroad”.

It would therefore appear that Nick Pope’s principal function was generally more mundane than “researching and investigating UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations and any other weird and wonderful reports that came my way”.

On the significant question of how much emphasis is placed on ‘UFO’ related matters in the post which Nick Pope occupied, the Ministry confirm:

“A small percentage of time is spent dealing with reports from the public about alleged ‘UFO’ sightings and associated public correspondence”.

Asked if they would please comment on Pope’s publicised claim that, “I’ve worked for the MOD for over fourteen years now, and three of those were spent researching and investigating UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations and any other weird and wonderful reports that came my way”, the Ministry write:

“The Ministry of Defence has not investigated a case of alien abduction, crop circle formations or animal mutilation”.

Seemingly greatly at odds with Pope’s recollections of his tenure, one can only surmise how this can be reconciled, as with his own ‘abduction by aliens’, which it has been verified was seen in the draft manuscript of Pope’s book on ‘alien abductions’, yet for some reason didn’t appear in the subsequent publication.

My extreme gratitude to the Ministry for responding to enquiries and providing an unprecedented clarification, especially as they are normally reticent to commit such information to print. Having hopefully established a congenial rapport, I have asked if they could additionally clarify whether any ‘UFO’ or related reports are currently handled out with ‘Secretariat(Air Staff)2a’ and if so, could they please provide full details.

Consequent to the Ministry of Defence’s official statements, some may surmise that Nick Pope’s memoirs, together with his literary agents’ presumably approved promotion of same, require to be reviewed in perspective. Perhaps now able to be fully appreciated in this new, directly MoD involved context, is the following, posted to the ‘UFO UpDates’ mailing list:

 Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 07:38:08

To: updates@globalserve.net

 

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@get2net.dk>

 

Subject: Nick Pope’s New Book

 

A press release by KULTURE SHOCK (sic!) of Norwich, England.

 

Source: ‘uk.rec.ufo’.

From: who@kulture.demon.co.uk (Kulture Shock)

 

Newsgroups: uk.rec.ufo

Subject: UFO SPECIALIST APPEARING

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 00:00:17 GMT

 

KULTURE SHOCK

 

10-12 St Benedicts Street, Norwich. NR2 4AG

Tel: 01603 625557 Fax: 01603 625558 email:

info@kulture.demon.co.uk

 

SUNDAY 10TH OCTOBER 1999

MAIL ORDER AVAILABLE

PRESS RELEASE

 

‘Operation Thunder Child’ by Nick Pope

 

Although ostensibly a techno-thriller, the Ministry of Defence insisted on seeing the manuscript and making some changes. They had the book for three months – longer than for most of the books written by former SAS soldiers – before giving it final clearance to publish.

 

Nick Pope has dipped into the ‘real x-files’, and packed the book with references to formerly classified UFO events investigated by the MOD.

 

Many of the events are thinly disguised versions of the real events. Fictionalisation is the only way that MOD official Nick Pope can talk about some of the more controversial incidents.

 

Examples of reality disguised as fiction include:

 

1 The Rendlesham Forest incident, which appears in the prologue, inspired some of, and reflects, what Nick Pope was told by United Nations Air Force officers.

 

2 The alleged downing of an RAF Lightning by a UFO in 1970, which inspired some of the aerial battles that appear throughout the book.

 

3 The UFO briefing that the Minister receives in chapter four is based on a brief Nick Pope gave to a Defence Minister in 1982. All the incidents described actually occurred.

 

4 The potential biological hazard from extraterrestrial contact as described in chapter nine was an issue that Nick Pope raised with his MOD bosses while on the UFO desk.

 

5 The descriptions of the shape and capabilities of the UFO’s, and the physical description and behaviour of the aliens are based on actual UFO reports and alien abduction claims investigated by Nick Pope as part of his official MOD duties.

 

Many scenes give insights into ‘spin-doctoring’ techniques, showing how Governments manipulate Parliament and the public, and manage the media.

 

Nick Pope has worked for the Ministry of Defence for fourteen years. As well as a tour of duty spent researching and investigating UFOs he has been involved in highly classified work on the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo.

 

This book contains a wealth of authentic detail about rules of engagement, weapons systems and tactics although some details have had to be changed for national security reasons.

 

Nick Pope will be appearing at KULTURE SHOCK on Sunday 10th October 1999, from 12.30 when he will be talking about his work, answering questions and signing copies of his books.

 

Advance booking is advised!

 

Contact DAVID for further details

 

[END]

Some notes:

“Examples of reality disguised as fiction include:

1 The Rendlesham Forest incident, which appears in the prologue, inspired some of, and reflects, what Nick Pope was told by United Nations Air Force officers”.

The ‘Rendlesham Forest’ incidents primarily involved a misidentification of Orfordness lighthouse, as documented in the original witness statements I obtained during 1998.

See: http://www.ufoworld.co.uk/rendlshm.htm NOTE: No longer available.

Nick Pope is aware of this.

“5 The descriptions of the shape and capabilities of the UFO’s, and the physical description and behaviour of the aliens are based on actual UFO reports and alien abduction claims investigated by Nick Pope as part of his official MOD duties”.

Pope’s alleged investigation of ‘alien abductions’ [does this include his own, reported, 'abduction by alien entities'?] “as part of his official MOD duties” is now formally refuted by the Ministry.

Perhaps Nick Pope could comment on these fundamentally controversial claims.

“Nick Pope has worked for the Ministry of Defence for fourteen years. As well as a tour of duty spent researching and investigating UFOs…”.

Seems it was more a ‘tour of duty’ which required his attention to “non-operational RAF activities overseas and diplomatic clearance for military flights abroad”.

“Nick Pope has dipped into the ‘real x-files’, and packed the book with references to formerly classified UFO events investigated by the MOD.

Examples of reality disguised as fiction include…”

Alternatively… are Nick Pope’s claims now proven to be fiction disguised as reality?

You might think so, I couldn’t possibly comment on that.


James Easton, Editor.

(c) James Easton, October 1999


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