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: http://tinyurl.com/35awvlw and the Google translation into (very poor) English can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/3xahhov 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 order). 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 response: "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 public? 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: DEFE24-1953 DEFE24-1954 DEFE24-1959 DEFE24-1960 UFO Correspondence files: DEFE24-1955 DEFE24-1956 DEFE24-1957 DEFE24-1962 DEFE24-1963 DEFE24-1964 DEFE24-1965 DEFE24-1966 DEFE24-1967 DEFE24-1968 Parliamentary questions: DEFE24-1971 The Cosford Incident: DEFE24-2086 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 before? 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 nature. ----- 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 lost.... ----- 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: www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/ufos/article2108149.ece 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 saying: "...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 them as usual. Regards, Joe Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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