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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2010 > Aug > Aug 22

Brazilian UFO Magazine On Nick Pope

From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 03:03:57 +0100
Archived: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 09:30:29 -0400
Subject: Brazilian UFO Magazine On Nick Pope

I see that Brazilian UFO Magazine has posted an article on its
web site about Nick Pope. There are some statements in there
which deserve comment. The relevant link is:


and the Google translation into (very poor) English can be found


There is no date for the interview, but it appears that the
article is from before December last year, as Pope relates that
the UFO desk gives precedence to FoIA requests over UFO
investigation, when in fact we know that the UFO-handling aspect
of their work ceased on 1st December 2009 (as Nick astutely
predicted it would do, although he thought it would happen once
the scheduled release was completed).

The article suggests incorrectly that I was/am an advisor to the
National Archives (TNA), that is most certainly not the case
although of course Dave Clarke is. I am honest enough to try and
clear that point up, but I see Nick Pope is trying to give the
impression that he was more involved in the release than he
actually was. Not only was he in charge of "The UK UFO Project",
but he now seems to also have been "In charge of opening UFO in
this country"? He played a minor part in the release of the
first batch, but he has had no direct connection with the TNA
release since then.

On the subject of his having been "in charge of the British
Government's UFO Project", he mentions that on occasion, his
superiors intervened to stop his investigations. If he was in
charge, who were these powerful 'superiors' who gave him orders?
(Google mangles the relevant text to suggest that Pope gave the

Pope intimates that he was sought out for the role at the UFO
desk; "They asked me if after completing my work in the Joint
Operations Centre if I wanted to occupy the [UFO Project]" - who
are these mysterious "they"? In previous interviews, Nick said
that one person he worked with in the Gulf suggested he might
want to apply for the role.

Pope lists the release of the French documents as a contributory
factor in the decision to release the UK files. I asked the MoD
about this specific point in May 2008 and received the following

"I am aware that there has been a considerable degree of
speculation that the French release of their own files played a
part in our decision to release our own files. Other than noting
it increased media and internet speculation on the subject of
UFOs, this is simply not the case."

So what makes Nick think otherwise? Does he have some
information to the contrary which is being withheld from the

Pope is quoted as having said that he "had access to UFO files
earlier, some of which have been classified as top secret".
Well, no files with that classification have been released, so
does Pope think that the government are covering something up?
No doubt Stan Friedman will be interested in an answer to that.

Pope's description of how he went about his daily work is belied
by the actual files which he worked on that have now been
released. Only on very rare occasions (perhaps twice in his
entire time in post) did he request radar tapes for instance.
The daily routine was much more mundane - take a look at the
files covering his tenure at the desk and see for yourself;

UFO sighting report files:


UFO Correspondence files:


Parliamentary questions:


The Cosford Incident:


I will make these files available to individuals who don't
already have them for a limited period, please email me directly
if you want any or all of them.

In the past, Pope has regaled us with hints about radar
confirmed reports, aircraft scrambles, and pilot sightings in
the files which were 'very interesting', but he was unable to
talk about them because the information was not yet in the
public domain. Well now the files have been released, and I have
found very little which approaches what he claimed. Perhaps he
could identify which reports he meant which he couldn't discuss

In an interview with the UK UFO Magazine in 1996, he said:


UFO: Do you believe that some UFOs are extraterrestrial?

Nick Pope: Yes.

UFO: Is there any evidence at Whitehall which could confirm this?

Nick Pope: No... I think that within Whitehall - if you just
look at all the files end-to-end - it builds up to a very
convincing case that some UFOs are of an extraterrestrial


Well, we now have those files which Pope had access to pretty
well end-to-end but we still don't see the evidence that some
UFOs are of an extraterrestrial nature. Perhaps he can direct us
to it in the files? Or have these wonderful reports which no-one
has heard of before been concealed by the powers that be?

The interview at the Brazilian UFO Magazine web site goes on to
quote Pope as saying that there was a system in place for Police
and the airports to forward reports on to him , yet in the 1996
UK UFO Magazine interview is the following:


UFO: How many military reports did you handle?

Nick Pope: ...The national reporting system had broken down; in
theory any reports that were military based or presented to
civil airports or police, those reports should have been
filtered to Sec(AS)2a. That was happening in some areas but in
others it was not, simply because people are posted in and out
quite rapidly, and in the 'hand-over' various things get


Not exactly at the top of the Defence agenda then, was it Nick?

From the Brazilian UFO Magazine web site:


In the [UK] media, it has been speculated about the interest of
the British [Royal Family] in the UFO phenomenon. Was the Royal
Household kept informed on the topic?

Some members of the royal family have shown some interest in the
subject, but this is a touchy subject with politicians and I
can't go into too much detail.


Why not? There is nothing in the released files indicating that
the MoD informed the royal family about UFOs (though I have
found a couple of reports involving royals, one was a royal
flight carrying the Prince of Wales which reported a UFO that
IIRC was a satellite re-entry, the other was from a member of
the Royal Protection Squad reporting what appears to have been
aircraft activity near a royal estate). I have a letter from the
Duke of Edinburgh's office confirming that he has a casual
interest in UFOs. What is the big secret which Pope couldn't
possibly comment on, especially since he is now 'The man who
left the MoD' (was there ever only one)?

From the web site:


Of all the experiences that have accumulated over the years,
what was most confusing?

The area which aroused the most interest in me is aviation
safety. Both the MoD and the Civil Aviation Authority has in its
archives several cases of incidents in which UFOs were about to
collide with commercial aircraft. This is one of the reasons I
struggled in researching the sightings in a scientific manner.
And I have also fought for this kind of event to reach the
public through the media.


Ah yes, Pope's scientific research and the media. That perhaps
came together in a Sun article with the headline UFO Hits Wind
Turbine at:


The one featuring an image of a wind farm with Elliot and ET
flying over it on a bicycle, where Pope is quoted as saying
"This could be one of the most significant UFO incidents for
years". in fact, it turned out to have been caused by metal
fatigue in one of the blade assemblies. On the subject of the
media, Pope didn't seem to be so keen on it in 1996 when in the
UK UFO magazine article referred to earlier, he is quoted as

"...I felt it [his book, Open Skies, Closed Minds] was a way of
pushing the subject into the public domain. A way perhaps of
telling the public, 'look it's not just a silly headline in the
Sunday Sport'...."

Pope's interview published on the Brazilian UFO Magazine goes on
to say that I [Joe McGonagle] don't know how the MoD worked. In
fact I do and so does Nick Pope, it is just that Pope prefers to
exaggerate aspects of his work to fool gullible people into
thinking his role was more important than it was. The documents
specified above clearly demonstrate the exact nature of 'how the
MoD worked'. If anyone thinks that Pope's account is accurate,
don't take my word for it that it isn't, read them for yourself
and let's see what conclusion you draw.

Asked to comment on Dave Clarke (amusingly translated into
'Clak' which I initially thought might be an abbreviation of the
Yorkshire slang term 'clacker'), Pope is at pains to suggest
that Clarke was a mere ufologist. In fact, Clarke got the job
which Pope desperately wanted as consultant to TNA on the merit
of his academic credentials and his knowledge and experience of
the MoD files. In case anyone is unaware, Dr. Clarke lectures in
journalism at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and is an
acknowledged expert in folklore. He also holds degrees in
history and archaeology. Pope then devotes the rest of the
paragraph to talking about himself which he likes to do at every
opportunity, building what was a junior administrative role he
held for only three years sixteen years ago into something which
it wasn't.

It seems that AJ and the Brazilian UFO Magazine have been
convinced by Pope's easily checkable exaggerations, just like
many other media outlets have. Perhaps it is time that you
checked the facts about Mr. Pope, AJ, and not just accept what
he tells you as fact? Perhaps you could start buy examining the
files I listed then conducting your own, more detailed interview
with Pope, putting some of the difficult questions above to him
- the responses should be very interesting if he doesn't evade
as usual.



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