Mysterious and deserted: Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps

Whether they’ve fallen victim to Mother Nature or been commandeered for the war effort, Britain is host to countless lost settlements. Here’s how to visit them online.

Isn’t it strange to think there are places in Britain where folks once lived, but don’t anymore? Many centuries-old, even millennia-old settlements have been deserted due to illness, the elements or wartime requirements.

But the good news is you can explore them all from the comfort of your home.

Continue reading Mysterious and deserted: Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps at Alien UFO Sightings.

Ancient Altar Depicts Mayan ‘Game of Thrones’ Dynasty

A king brings many neighboring cities under his control with an array of complex political maneuvers, defeats a rival by joining forces with smaller cities and uses a wedding as a strategic tool. This sounds like it’s right out of “Game of Thrones” but it’s actually right off of a Mayan altar found in Guatemala whose hieroglyphic carvings and writings depict this real scenario from the ancient Serpent Kingdom. Does it reveal how the series will end?

“This altar shows us a part of Guatemala’s history and in this case, around 1,500 years ago, I would call this the historical Mayan version of Game of Thrones. It’s a high quality work of art that shows us they were rulers entering into a period of great power and who were allying themselves with others to compete, in this case, with Tikal.”

Tomas Barrientos, co-director of excavations and investigations at the La Corona archeological site in northern Guatemala near the borders with Mexico and Belize, described the discovery of the historical altar to AFP (the Agence France-Presse news agency). The 1.46-meter by 1.2-meter (4.8 feet by 3.9 feet), one-ton limestone slab (see photos here) found in a temple was easily dated to May 12, 544, because it contains a hieroglyphic Mayan inscription that translates “May 12, 544.” That puts it in the reign of King Chak Took Ich’aak, ruler of La Corona. And that is where the “Game of Thrones” comparisons begin.

“The discovery of this altar allows us to identify an entirely new king of La Corona who apparently had close political ties with the capital of the Kaanul kingdom, Dzibanche, and with the nearby city of El Peru-Waka.”

Archaeologist Marcello A. Canuto, director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane and co-director of the La Corona Regional Archaeological Project (PRALC), laid out the real-life plot in a Tulane University press release. The altar shows an image of King Chak Took Ich’aak holding a double-headed serpent effigy showing the emergence of La Corona’s two patron gods. The altar predates the king’s rule over the nearby city of El Peru-Waka, which joined La Corona to form the Kaanul dynasty, more popularly known by the TV-ready name — “Serpent Kingdom.” This puts King Chak Took Ich’aak as the kingpin who built political alliances with smaller cities around its rival, Tikal, that expanded the Serpent Kingdom into a Mesoamerican powerhouse. Those deals depicted on the altar included a wedding between a princess from the Serpent Kingdom and a King of La Corona.

Maya Hieroglyphs

And then?

The Serpent Kingdom defeated Tikal in 562 CE and ruled the Maya lowlands for the next 200 years … until the Tikal defeated it and reclaimed the area. While there are similarities between the formation of the Serpent Kingdom and the Game of Throne’s Seven Kingdoms, this doesn’t really give any clues as to what will happen in Season 8. However, that doesn’t seem to bother Tomas Barrientos.

“Having information about what happened next, how they were plotting a political strategy here, teaches us a lot about politics in those times and the fight for territory.”

It’s truly an interesting story … but a dragon or two would help.

Project Oxcart

A-12 Sketches – Source: CIA

Background

In 1959 the CIA selected Lockheed’s A-12 over a Convair proposal called KINGFISH. On 26 January 1960, the CIA ordered 12 A-12 aircraft. After selection by the CIA, further design and production of the A-12 took place under the code-name OXCART.

Document Archive

Black Shield Mission BX 6847, 26 January 1968 [132 Pages, 4.2MB]

The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and Oxcart Programs

2017 Release  The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and Oxcart Programs [286 Pages, 39MB] 

Archived 2013 Release  The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and Oxcart Programs [407 Pages, 64.9MB]  (Source: The National Security Archive) – This document was re-reviewed and re-released. Both versions are archived here for reference.  This document also took fame as the most detailed account of Area 51 yet published by the U.S. Government.

Archived Unknown Date Release The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance – The U-2 and OXCART Programs 1954-1974 [390 Pages]

History of the Oxcart Program, 1 July 1968 [25 Pages]

Oxcart Facts [12 Pages]

 


 

Hiding OXCART in Plain Sight
(CIA Document Explaining Oxcart)

A-12

A-12

While the A-12 was being tested and refined, US officials mulled over two major issues concerning it. The first was whether to publicly disclose the OXCART program. The Department of Defense had grown concerned that it could not overtly explain all the money the Air Force was spending on its versions of the A-12. At the same time, some CIA and Pentagon officials recognized that crashes or sightings of test flights could compromise the project. With a turning radius of no less than 86 miles at full speed, the A-12 overflew a vast expanse of unrestricted territory. Soon after the first flights in April 1962, CIA and the Air Force changed the program’s cover story from involving an interceptor aircraft to a multipurpose satellite launch system.[1]

In late 1962 and early 1963 the Department of Defense considered surfacing the YF-12A to provide a cover, reasoning that divulging the existence of a purely tactical aircraft would not reveal any clandestine collection capabilities. Voiced principally by CIA officials and James Killian and Edwin Land of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), the contrary argument—disclosing any version of the A-12 would compromise its design innovations, enable the Soviets to develop countermeasures, and destroy its value for reconnaissance—prevailed for the time being. The surfacing issue lingered, however, because OXCART technology would be useful for the Air Force’s supersonic B-70 bomber then under development, and for the proposed commercial supersonic transport that Congress was thinking about subsidizing. President Kennedy told CIA and the Pentagon to develop a plan for surfacing the OXCART program but to wait further instructions before proceeding.

By early 1964 the argument for disclosure had become persuasive. More A-12s were arriving at the test site and making more flights. The aircraft’s existence probably would be revealed eventually under circumstances the US government could not control, such as a training accident or equipment malfunction, or through a news leak. Commercial airline crews had sighted the A-12 in flight, and the editor of Aviation Week indicated that he knew about highly secret activities at the Skunk Works and would not let another publication scoop him. A key factor was that the Soviets’ TALL KING radar would be able to identify and track the A-12 despite its small, nonpersistent radar return. Finally, the White House’s reluctance to resume flights over Soviet territory would soon force a change in the A-12’s mission. Instead of flying over denied areas to collect strategic intelligence, it would most likely be used as a quick-reaction surveillance platform in fast-moving conflicts—a tactical function the Air Force should carry out, not CIA.[2]

On 29 February 1964, the National Security Council decided to surface OXCART. Later that day, the White House announced the successful development of an advanced experimental aircraft, the A‑11, which has been tested in sustained flight at more than 2,000 miles per hour and at altitudes in excess of 70,000 feet. The performance of the A-11 far exceeds that of any other aircraft in the world today. The development of this aircraft has been made possible by major advances in aircraft technology of great significance for both military and commercial applications. The A‑11 aircraft now at Edwards Air Force Base are undergoing extensive tests to determine their capabilities as long-range interceptors.[3]

For security reasons, the Air Force’s YF-12A interceptor was surfaced, not the A-12, and it was referred to as the A-11, at Kelly Johnson’s suggestion. None of the aircraft were already at Edwards, so two had to be rushed from the test site to support the cover story. Johnson recalled that “the aircraft were so hot that when they were moved into the new hanger the fire extinguishing nozzles came on and gave us a free wash job.”[4] Testing of the A-12s continued at the secret facility; CIA’s involvement in the project remained classified, although it was widely assumed.

Surfacing the “A-11” unexpectedly embroiled program managers and technicians in a debate over using an OXCART aircraft to publicly set a world speed record. The presidential announcement stated that “[t]he world record for aircraft speed, currently held by the Soviets [1,665 mph], has been repeatedly broken in secrecy by the…A-11. The President has instructed the Department of Defense to demonstrate this capability with the procedure which, according to international rules, will permit the result of the test to be entered as a new world record.” CIA leaders strongly opposed using any of the A-12s to attempt this aeronautical feat. Of the four aircraft used in test flights, only Article 121 had reached the cited speed. Using it in the record trials would set back the testing schedule, jeopardize the aircraft, and undermine the security of the program because the differences between the CIA and Air Force versions would be noticed, and the record would have to be set under the auspices of an uncleared international aviation organization.[5]

Consequently, the A-12 was kept out of the competition. No YF-12As were put forward right away because managers of that program were concentrating on armaments rather than speed. At the time, the interceptor had not flown above Mach 2.6. A plane was not ready for the speed trial for over a year. Then on 1 May 1965, a YF-12A set speed and altitude records of 2,070.1 mph and 80,257.65 feet—the first of many for OXCART aircraft.

 


Footnotes

1. Scoville to Joseph Charyk (Undersecretary of the Air Force), “Interdepartmental Cover Support for Project OXCART,” 29 May 1962.

2. McCone untitled memorandum to DDCI Marshall Carter, 10 February 1964; “Briefing Note for the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence…Factors Influencing Decision to Surface the A-11,” 10 March 1964.

3. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, 1:322-23.

4. Johnson, “History of the OXCART Program,” 15-16.

5. Jack C. Ledford (Director, OSA) memorandum to Wheelon, “Effect on OXCART Program if Aircraft S/N 121 is Used for Speed Record Attempt,” 19 August 1964; Ledford memorandum to McCone, “Effect of Using OXCART 121 for Speed Record Attempt,” 20 August 1964; Carter letter to Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus R. Vance, 24 August 1964; Cunningham memorandum to McCone, “Establishment of World Record of Aircraft Speed by the A-11,” 28 April 1964.

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A Cryogenics Lab Froze a Man’s Head, Then Things Turned Bad

You wouldn’t normally expect a cryogenic “life extension foundation” to get into hot water for freezing a man’s head. After all, cryonics labs have been freezing people’s disembodied heads for decades – just ask Walt Disney’s icy, jar-bound domepiece. That is, if you can find it in the labyrinth of tunnels hidden under the utopian Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT center.

Whether or not Walt’s head is actually down there continuing to pump out the Disney jams, cryonics labs around the world are full of decapitated, frozen heads waiting for some hypothetical future in which they can be thawed and, I don’t know, attached to robot bodies? Plugged into a virtual reality utopia? If you ask me, and nobody did, cutting off your head doesn’t seem like a great idea for potentially extending your life in the future.

“Whoops. I guess those doctors of the 21st century didn’t know that decapitation was deadly.”

That’s exactly why the family of a prominent biochemist and physiology researcher are suing the Phoenix, Arizona-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation for freezing their father’s head – without the rest of him. Laurence Pilgeram, then 90, passed away at his California home in 2015 of natural causes. Pilgeram had arranged for his body to be cryogenically preserved upon his death, but Alcor apparently misread his toetag or whatever else they use to identify their clients. Upon receiving his body, Alcor performed what they call a “neuro separation” on Pilgeram’s remains, meaning they severed his head right off. His family is now suing Alcor for $1 million, claiming they never consented to the decapitation.

The lawsuit is based on the fact that Pilgeram’s family claims the scientist had arranged for his entire body to be preserved “no matter how damaged.” The family did not discover the “neuro separation” procedure had been performed until their father’s cremated headless remains showed up on their doorstep. In their court filing, Pilgeram’s family notes that “shockingly, in a addition to cremating [his] remains without any authority, Alcor did not even have the courtesy to notify [Kurt] that his father’s remains had been cremated or that they were being shipped to his house” until the moment the bored FedEx guy plopped them on their presumably Walt Disney welcome mat.

At least it wasn’t a half-thawed ice zombie.

It used to be that we just put on our best ceremonial headdresses, spoke a few words in the ancient tongue, and tossed our loved one’s half-rotted bodies onto the burial mound to be consumed by carrion birds. Now, we have lawsuits between scientists and cryonics labs over improper freezing of heads. What’s next, lawsuits over deceased loved ones’ consciousnesses being uploaded into the wrong virtual reality construct? Grandma’s mind being downloaded into the wrong synthetic body, forcing her to live the rest of her immortal days in the body of a 19th-century strongman complete with handlebar mustache and those weird leotards?

Is that really you in there, gran gran?

Stories like this really let you know that we’re living in some version of the dystopian future promised to us by the best science fiction writers of the 20th century. Does that make it the dystopian present?

Shag Harbour UFO Museum Mysteriously Vandalized

This is either another reason why we can’t have nice things … or a sign that those Canadians who seem to friendly to everyone on Earth may not feel the same way about extraterrestrials. The Shag Harbour Incident Society UFO Interpretative Centre (winner of the unofficial Longest UFO Museum Name award) was vandalized recently and the miscreants seemed to have something more on their minds than robbery.

“There was four (lights) in a row, and they were going on and off. One would come on, then two, three and four — and they’d all be off for a second and come back on again.”

To briefly recount the famous incident, on the night of Oct. 4, 1967, something crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Shag Harbour, a fishing village in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. UFOs were seen that night by pilots and a ship captain as well as by people on the ground, and the one hitting the harbour was spotted and reported by five teens, including Laurie Wickens. The waters and nearby areas were searched but no object, earthly or extraterrestrial, was ever found.

Shag Harbour

“I don’t think it was somebody breaking in looking for money. There was some cash there. But they would have just taken the cash and left, they wouldn’t have destroyed the place.”

To briefly recount the vandalism, on the night of September 7, 2018, someone broke into the Shag Harbour UFO museum located on the harbour’s south shore and run by the Shag Harbour Incident Society. Many windows were smashed from the inside by throwing objects through them and a fire extinguisher was set off. The results of the vandalism – soda cans and mugs were also scattered on the floor – were discovered the next morning by Laurie Wickens, but no criminals were found.

Wait, what? Yes, it’s the same Laurie Wickens who made both of those statements. He’s now the president of the Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society and a volunteer at the museum, which contains (at least until the break-in) television documentaries, newspaper articles, incident memorabilia, an exhibit on outer space and a gift shop. It’s just a three-minute drive from the UFO Gazebo and picnic site where visitors can see the waters where the object allegedly crashed. The RCMP is investigating the crime and they are probably interested in why Laurie Wickens thinks the vandals had other motives besides just taking the money and running. Why destroy the insides and the windows and potentially damage information collected on one of the most famous UFO incidents ever?

This doesn’t sound like the work of Canadians. It doesn’t sound like the work of extraterrestrials either. Please don’t let them determine it was jealous Americans.

Crystal Clear Footage Of Alien Walking Inside UFO Goes VIRAL

The Daily Star reports: Believer, Brett, likened it to something from famous alien movie Close Encounters, before claiming there is no CGI at play.

“It didn’t even look like a human at all.

“It possibly might be something with the government but it’s unexplainable.

“In my opinion these things come from another planet.”

Another fan then called up offering a different explanation.

“I just watched this four times and this Alien Grey, he moves a lot like a human.

Continue reading Crystal Clear Footage Of Alien Walking Inside UFO Goes VIRAL at Alien UFO Sightings.

Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet

There are now twice as many people as 50 years ago. But, as EO Wilson has argued, they can all survive – in cities

iscussing cities is like talking about the knots in a net: they’re crucial, but they’re only one part of the larger story of the net and what it’s supposed to do. It makes little sense to talk about knots in isolation when it’s the net that matters.

Cities are part of the system we’ve invented to keep people alive on Earth.

Continue reading Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet at Alien UFO Sightings.

“Little Men” on a Mystery-Filled Mountain

As a follow-on to my recent article, “The Berwyn Mountains’ UFO: A Case That Never Dies,” I thought I would share with you the account of a woman named Anne Owen. She has an interesting story to relate, which may have some connection to the alleged crash of a UFO on the aforementioned mountains in North Wales on the night of January 23, 1974. Anne begins: “We had bought two, derelict, four-hundred-year-old cottages which we were converting. This was on a mountain above Trefriw and Llanrwst near the River Conwy. We’d taken a caravan up and a horse, as well, and our two children. We had a friend of ours visiting us at the time – a lecturer and mathematician from Toronto University – and we converted a small barn into a bit of a house with a window for him. We were in the caravan with the children, as we couldn’t move into the cottages yet. That night – January twenty-three – the horse was very restless, so we put him near our caravan. But later in the night he started rocking the caravan and was in a terrible state.”

Anne continues: “Then we suddenly saw this thing outside the window. It was like a white ball, very slow-moving. It was difficult to know how far away from us it was as it was pitch black outside, but it looked about two or three feet wide. Then suddenly there was an enormous bang, absolutely colossal. At first, we thought it had hit the place where our friend was. Luckily it didn’t hit him, so we weren’t actually sure where it had hit. But in the morning, our friend was outside looking at a rowan tree that had been forced out of the ground. What was strangest of all was that the tree had been stripped of all its bark and had been up-rooted and thrown four hundred feet.”

River Conwy

Things proceeded to get very weird: “The only other person who was local to us was an old lady who was staring at it too. Well, she came up to me and said that she’d been woken by the bang. She also lived on the mountain and had gone to her bedroom window and had seen these ‘little men’ that were very small and all dressed in black – about three to four foot tall. She thought, because she’d seen the military on the mountain before that this was something to do with them. But she found it rather odd that they were so small. She described a ‘little gathering’ of them, about four or five, very, very early in the morning and near where the tree was. But she said that they didn’t look too different, only smaller. When she went down to the village to tell the story, everyone thought that she was mad and then when we asked her again she wouldn’t talk about it anymore. Although we did know of people in Trefriw who had had their windows broken by this thing.”

Anne expands further: “We had a group of people come from Cardiff University and they started to photograph the tree and all around it. They said they had had some instances of UFOs in the area and had been ‘sent to investigate’ what had taken place. This happened within one day of this taking place. They sent us a photograph that showed a white cylinder where the tree had stood and that wasn’t there when the picture was taken – you couldn’t see it with the naked eye. They asked us if we knew what it was, but we had no idea.”

Anne closes her account: “The oddest thing of all, though, was how the people from the university knew what had happened. They were in their forties and fifties then; so they weren’t students. But the day before and the day after this happened a weird mist came down out of nowhere. This was nothing like a normal mist and I still remember it now. I wish I had the answers to it all, but all I can do is tell you what I remember.”

And there will still be more to come on the controversial issue of what did – or didn’t – happen on the night of January 23, 1974.

Canadian Judge Delays Decision on Bigfoot Lawsuit

While Bigfoot may be losing in the court of public opinion and the court of reality television, it has survived to fight another day in the court of British Columbia. In a case involving a sasquatch hunter who filed suit against the provincial government for damaging his livelihood and credibility by its “non-recognition of sasquatch,” a judge on the B.C. Supreme Court ruled this week to reserve his decision and will provide it in writing at a later date. “Reserved his decision” is better than a “No!” or a “NFW!” and certainly better than “Take this frivolous lawsuit and stick it up your sasquatch!” Will Bigfoot get its day in court?

This case has gone on for some time and even crossed the border into the U.S. In October 2017, Bigfoot hunter Todd Standing released his feature film documentary, “Discovering Bigfoot,” which contained interviews with numerous Bigfoot experts and researchers and alleged footage of the creature. At the same time, Standing filed his lawsuit, demanding a 3-month wilderness investigation which he would lead that he promised would reveal the existence of Bigfoot so that the government could accept it and, of course, help his movie sales.

Standing had trouble getting a court date in Canada, so he crossed the border and filed a similar suit in California with U.S. Bigfoot researcher Claudia Ackley and managed to get a court date in March 2018. In the case of Bigfoot versus the State of California, the court ruled in favor of … well, the court didn’t have to rule. Ackley’s lawyers advised her to withdraw the suit because it was poorly written and would probably lose.

This news must not have made it back to Canada (have they stopped watching the U.S. media completely?) because Standing’s case there made it to Justice Kenneth Ball, who heard Ministry of Attorney General articled student Marina Goodwin state that “There is no reasonable claim because the claim lacks an air of reality” and The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development denial that Standing has suffered any of the financial losses described in the lawsuit. In response, Standing’s attorney Troy Hunter (a great name for a Bigfoot lawyer) promised that, if Judge Ball allowed the case to proceed to a trial, “compelling and substantial” evidence of Bigfoot would be presented – enough to convince the court to allow the investigation for three months in a “known sasquatch habitat” in Canada.

Who will win? Standing is confident because “I have DNA. How can you defend against that?” but that wasn’t enough in California. Perhaps the chance to go down in the history books might appeal to Judge Ball.

“But, I mean, come on, is it not the discovery of the millennium to find a primate species in North America? If I’m right, this is the discovery of the millennium and it’s not wasting anyone’s time. This is an extremely important issue.”

Is it? Is this really a case about Bigfoot or about money? We await the judge’s decision … and the one after that … and the one after that …

UFO Encounters, Saucers and Secrets

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, Robin Cole was someone who dug deep into one specific aspect of the UFO phenomenon (he was part of a now-closed group called Circular Forum). Cole focused his attention on the connection between UFOs and the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, better known as GCHQ. It’s the U.K.’s equivalent of the United States’ National Security Agency. Wikipedia state: “The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence and security organization responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.”

Wikipedia continues: “Based in ‘The Doughnut’ in the suburbs of Cheltenham, GCHQ is the responsibility of the country’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, but it is not a part of the Foreign Office and its director ranks as a Permanent Secretary. GCHQ was originally established after the First World War as the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) and was known under that name until 1946. During the Second World War it was located at Bletchley Park, where it was responsible for breaking of the German Enigma codes. Currently there are two main components of the GCHQ, the Composite Signals Organization (CSO), which is responsible for gathering information, and the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), which is responsible for securing the UK’s own communications.”

Robin Cole, of Cheltenham, England, spent a great deal of time addressing the matter of GCHQ and UFOs. To the extent that, in 1997, he published a report that detailed his extensive research in this seldom-addressed area. Cole cultivated sources from GCHQ, secured data on UFO cases secretly investigated by staff at the agency, and learned that GCHQ had a large library of books on the UFO subject. But, there was more, too. As a result of his investigations, Cole was visited by personnel from the U.K. Police Force’s Special Branch, who wanted to know all about his work, which had him worried or a while. You can find out more on Cole and his GCHQ-UFO discoveries in his self-published report, GCHQ and the UFO Cover-up (which, unfortunately, is hard to find now).

In the summer of 1997, I did an extensive interview with Cole about his research. A substantial amount of that interview has never been published, specifically at Cole’s request. On those matters which he did feel comfortable about speaking, Cole told me he had been able to confirm that GCHQ has in its files details of actual attempts by the Royal Air Force to intercept UFOs in British airspace. He stated of one such example, from the early 1950s:

“This came to me off-the-record from an informant who was told of the events at the time. Pilots from what used to be RAF Little Rissington, were out on maneuvers when in their sights, an object similar to the descriptions of a flying saucer came into view. Receiving permission to go after the object, they then kept in constant contact with the RAF base. Radar control had the object on screen and heading towards Cornwall. At this point one aircraft returned – the reason is unclear – while the other continued. On reaching the coast the unidentified object put on tremendous speed leaving the pilot and his aircraft well behind. This was also noted on radar. Realizing he had no chance of catching up the pilot simply returned and was debriefed accordingly. GCHQ were fully aware of this event.”

But why would GCHQ take an interest in this particular encounter? “My knowledge,” said Cole, “comes from the person who typed the document up at the time, and they were from inside GCHQ. I don’t think that GCHQ had a department which collated UFO information on a regular basis at that time – the early 1950s; however, it’s clear from my investigations that on occasion GCHQ did play a role in the subject and did come across interesting cases and asked themselves: Is this some form of alien intelligence that we’re not aware of? The way in which GCHQ became involved in the 1952 case is this: because a large part of their work deals with Signals Intelligence – the collection of data – it was that GCHQ picked up on the various messages passing back and forth from the aircrew and RAF Little Rissington. In other words, GCHQ intercepted the conversation.”

What is particularly significant about this case is that the UFO investigator Dr. David Clarke was able to officially confirm its reality, years later. Clarhe also succeeded in tracking down one of those aboard the aircraft in question. That man was then-Flight Instructor Michael Swiney, who told Clarke: “I got the fright of my life because there appeared to be, smack in front of the aero-plane, three circular objects.”

As Clarke noted: “In 2001 [Swiney] broke fifty years of silence to reveal the full story after I discovered a reference to the incident in the operations records books stored at The National Archives.” Indeed, this was supported by an entry in the Operations Record Books at the Central Flying School, which stated: ‘Flight Instructor M.J.E. Swiney, instructor, and Lieutenant D. Crofts, R.N., student, sighted three mysterious ‘saucer shaped objects’ traveling at high speed at about 35,000’ whilst on a high level navigation exercise, in a Meteor VII. Later, A.T.C.C. Gloucester reported radar plots to confirm this, but Air Ministry discounted any possibility of “extra terrestrial objects.’”

It is important to stress that it was years after Robin Cole discussed privately with me his knowledge of this case – acquired direct from a source connected to GCHQ – that Clarke was finally able to verify its reality. This would strongly suggest that Cole’s informant was truthful, reliable and did have access to classified, insider evidence pertaining to the UFO mystery. Cole had other sources, and information, too.

It’s unfortunate that Cole no longer pursues the UFO-GCHQ issue.  He was on the verge of significant developments.