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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2008 > May > May 27

Re: MoD File Release

From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 19:53:18 +0100
Archived: Tue, 27 May 2008 09:15:00 -0400
Subject: Re: MoD File Release

>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 14:08:20 - 0300
>Subject: Re: MoD File Release

>>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 02:59:11 +0100
>>Subject: Re: MoD File Release


Hi Don, List,

I am going to apply some severe snippage, though I will do my
best to keep the context. Apologies in advance.


>Well actually that's the way it should be. Frenzied? Come on
>Joe. I haven't seen that on this List. It sort of fell flat
>actually, probably because the boy cried wolf once too often.

I deliberately used the term "in some quarters" to indicate that
reaction was different in different fora. For an example of
frenzied speculation, visit:


I don't suggest that you read all 297 posts (as I write this).


>You stated, "There is no secret squirrel section, no smoking
>gun, no positive evidence of ET visitation.." and I don't think
>you are in any position to know if there are or are not the
>above; it is as simple as that.

Just who would be in such a position, in your view? I think that
I am amongst the best-placed to make that judgement call.


>There is a difference about something having occured in the
>public domain and being covered up then some policy begun in
>intelligence circles. There is a structure in place from the
>beginning that is aimed at keeping certain information out of
>not only the public's hands but others in the same intelligence
>agency. It is compartmentalized and layered.

Regardless of compartmentalisation, any agency would still need
access to the raw, unprocessed material. Other agencies would
have to know what to send and who to send it to.

In the case of UFOs, that means that the the Police, the CAA,
the military services, Sec(AS) (under it's various names at
different times), and DIS would have to know about the existence
of the secret squirrel project - or else, just Sec(AS) or DI55
would know how to pass on the information they received to the
secret squirrels.

Clearly, the 'reporting agencies' listed above were only aware
of Sec(AS). There are several examples (totally unredacted, and
with dates spanning decades) describing the UFO reporting
process in the DAS and DI55 files. None of these suggest, even
in circumspect terms that any other agency is involved. Nick
Pope and other previous incumbents of his role have been
interviewed and all of them deny any interest from outside the
network we already know about. The same goes for DI55 desk
officers interviewed by Dave Clarke.

So how would the secret squirrels get access to the raw data?
Perhaps they would use their well-documented remote viewing
skills, as revealed by Timothy Good?

>>I've looked for signs of a cover up and not found any, though I
>>have to say that there could be grounds to suspect that some
>>material has been tampered with.

>Depends on what is or might be construed as harmful to the
>affected agency, whatever that might be. Plus you might be
>looking in the wrong place.

I would be delighted to know where else to look, especially in
the light of my comments above.


>Access to Information Act here in Canada and it has been in
>place for many years but that doesn't mean they will release the
>stuff. As in your case in the UK the latest indignity is the
>blacking out of witness names, investigator's names, department
>names and location names to protect the privacy of the
>witnesses, etc. I can understand some civilian witnesses name
>being blacked out but the RCMP officer's name for example, a
>public servant who wrote up public documents on the public's
>budget for a public department? That is cheezy.

A couple of things worth commenting on (some of it relevant to
the large section snipped above, but I don't think it is
strictly necessary to include the original text in this

It sounds as though there are significant differences between
the UK FoIA and the Canadian AIA. My remarks in response to
Gerald O'Connell should cover the UK FoIA process sufficiently.

As for the redaction of names, that is an issue to an extent in
the UK as well. In the UK we have the Data Protection Act which
is intended to protect the rights of individuals in regard to
information held about them. That legitimately accounts for the
retention of witness details.

The MoD has been applying the DPA to retain the names of
officials as well, but this is against guidance from the
Information Commissioner. We are appealing against the MoD and
awaiting the outcome, which we expect to be in our favour.

I do think there are grounds for retaining the identities of
'official', ie military and police _witnesses_ though - if they
made their report to a reputable UFO group, I would expect them
to respect witness confidentiality regardless of the occupation
of the witness.

Furthermore, in the UK after 30 years the Public Records Act
applies to official records. This means that (currently, at
least) redactions of names _can_ be legally removed. There are
exceptions, and the redaction/retention policy can be extended
to 50 or 100 years, but this can also be appealed against.


>>The MoD have never, as far as I am aware denied having files
>>containing references to UFOs.


Yes - are you aware of evidence to the contrary?

>>They have on occasion either lied probably lied
>>or been mistaken about exactly what they hold, for instance, when
>>the Rendlesham story broke they said that all they had was Halt's
>>memo - we now know that not to have been true.

>An oversight no doubt. But these are the same people who should
>not admit to forgetfulness as it tends to make people a bit
>antsy about their ability to carry out their jobs gathering
>intelligence that can mean the ability to win or lose wars.

I am actually somewhat dubious that this specific instance was
just an oversight, I think it was a deliberate lie in order to
'play down' MoD interest in UFOs. I entirely agree with your
other remarks, which I feel especially apply to the Condign


>I think there is interest. I can't see how it could be
>otherwise. The RN , the British Army, the RAF have all had
>encounters with these things plus police officers commercial
>pilots and some scientists. How can you ignore that? Doesn't

I agree that the lack of interest is unjustified, but I am
satisfied that there was (is) indeed a lack of interest. The MoD
justification is based on the lack of evidence of hostile intent
and the potential cost of 'doing it properly'.


>>My mind has always been made up - as soon as Nick starts to give
>>appropriate credit, I don't care how much he depends on our
>>efforts. Can you imagine how Brad Steiger would react if someone
>>else claimed to have written his book Maritime UFO Files?

>Write it all he wants as long as I get the royalties.

As far as I am concerned there are no royalties involved, just
the effort and expense. Is it too much to expect some
recognition for that, especially when someone else is making an
income from my and others' efforts?

>>I don't think that having worked in what now seems to be
>>universally recognised

>Now here you use words that presume that which you cannot prove
>but which you wish to be true. You can't say with any authority
>or accuracy that it. "now seems to be universally recognised".

I came across a single compliment for the MoD amongst the
recently released files from a witness on page 329 of DEFE31-
174. This was a pretty bizarre case. There was nothing
especially remarkable about the report itself, other than that
it was made by an ex-RAF navigator and amateur astronomer, but
the witness had spoken directly with the Air Force Operations
Room, received a call from, presumably, Sec(AS), and somehow
engaged in a dialogue with the low flying complaints flight of
the RAF Provost and Security Services, so it is unsurprising
that he was impressed in this very rare instance.

In the same file on page 322 is another report, from an RAF Air
Traffic Controller, someone who you would expect to be 'in the
know' to some extent. The report includes the following comment;

"not reported - to the police or military - due to lack of
interest from the authorities in the past".

There is also a classic dialogue between Sec(AS) and DI55 in
relation to an interesting-sounding photographic case in
DEFE31-173 p.398:

Sec(AS):"Do you think we should obtain the photo!"

DI55: "Probably not worth it - no-one to one to carry out
analysis of UFO sightings."

On the comedy show Have I Got News For You, which pokes fun at
recent news items, Charlie Higson (comedian) said:

"They've looked at the files, and they've seen that the MoD
haven't investigated a single one of them. A special department
was set up to investigate this, and it came in, and thought
...'err, put it in the shredder'. It's like a great British
version of the X-Files,.." at which point, Paul Merton (another
comedian) interjects with "The Why Bother Files...".

In contrast, I haven't seen any comments saying what a wonderful
job the MoD have done in relation to UFOs - have you? Do you
think they did an effective job?

I have even noticed a 'toning down' by Nick Pope of his past role
in preparation for the inevitable realisation when all the
documents are published that the department was not all that he
has cracked it up to be, a move which I approve of. By the time
all of the documents are released, people will have forgotten
about his more exaggerated claims.

>He would have had access to certain military or government people
>with information either directly involved with the registering of
>these objects or to those who had access to such people.

Dave Clarke has probably spoken with more people 'in the know'
than Nick has. All of them without exception consider that their
time spent logging or evaluating UFO reports was largely wasted.


>fear and incredulity. Whatever agency put fear for job security
>into these controllers did a dis - service to them, the aircraft
>and passengers using that zone and the area in general. Once this
>came to the fore, where was the CAA eagerly attempting to track
>down these controllers. No doubt these same controllers had a
>good snicker over stories that had heard previously - then it
>happened to them.

There is more information yet to emerge about this particular
report, which _was_ reported to, and investigated by ufologists
at the time. In fact, it was an ufologist who reported the
matter to the MoD in it's anonymised form.

You will find several examples in the files already released,
and no doubt amongst those due to be released of reports
witnessed by both ATC and pilots. There was no systemic
suppression of the reports or corporate intimidation, but
individuals possibly thought there might have been or like the
military ATC mentioned previously, thought "why bother - no-
one's going to do anything about it anyway".




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