MoD Files: Just what do they tell us #1

FOIA Response

FOIA Response Page 1

FOIA Response Page 2

FOIA Response Page 2

Since the revelation that the MoD is still holding onto some classified material relating to UFOs, I’ve been pondering about these files, but also pondering what, in reality, all the previous released files are telling us. It’s important not to get too swept away with imagining what these new policy documents could contain. After all, a policy can be a simple as a paperwork procedure, or who does what in a certain situation. However, they may give us an insight as to how the MoDs response to UFOs changes over time.

Some of the other files have some interesting abbreviations which may need explaining. ADGE stands for Air Defence Ground Environment, whilst ISTAR stands for Intel, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Recon.

The biggest question is WHY these files were overlooked from the previous MoD releases. Nick Pope has been quite off-hand about this, claiming that it is more about bureaucracy than conspiracy, but that is quite a dismissive statement considering that the existence of the files has taken him by surprise and that until we see what is in these files the best policy is to quit the speculation.

So, I thought I would re-visit a selection of some of the previous MoD releases and highlight why they are a bit more important than some would have you believe.

Next post, I’ll discuss The Condign Report.

Ministry of Defence: More UFO Files to come

Today I received a response to my FOIA request, which was prompted by John Burroughs claims that the MoD still had UFO Policy files which it had yet to de-classify. Attached are scans of the letter. Indeed, there are a number of files waiting to be released. This I believe is still the tip of the iceberg, it’s just being clever enough to know what to request. It looks like they will be available for release via the National Archives in late September 2015.

MoD FOIA Request

MoD FOIA Request

MoD FOIA response

Rendlesham Forest: Press Release

A little while back I posted that John Burroughs believed there were still UFO documents the MoD had not released. A belief that I have repeatedly mentioned in previous posts, and in fact, the documents Burroughs alludes to are just the drop in the proverbial ocean. To draw the matter to a head I thought a FOIA on that matter would be in order, and I am currently waiting for a response. Ahead of the forthcoming Rendlesham Conference this weekend, the following press release has just be published:

Sept 18, 2014 at 9:00am

Contact Gordy Goodger

Phone: 07811 021230





By Gordy Goodger

Woodbridge UK, September 15, 2014 — The British Ministry of Defence is still withholding high-level UFO public policy papers, along with other key information, despite the public stance that all material has been transferred to the National Archives, according to John F. Burroughs, a retired USAF security officer. Burroughs, 54, was stationed at RAF Bentwaters in 1980 and witnessed one of the most significant UFO events in English history.

According to Burroughs, the MOD commissioned a Top Secret Technical Memorandum 55/2/00 in 2000, which was intended to provide the pretext for closing down the MOD UFO desk. That Memorandum included a Key Recommendation that “It should no longer be a requirement for DI55 to monitor UAP reports as they do not demonstrably provide information useful to Defense Intelligence.”

Subsequent to the internal release of the Technical Memorandum, the UK MOD shut down the public UFO (UAP) reporting desk and began a process of transferring all of the UFO reports to the British National Archives.

According to the National Archives web page dated 21 June 2013 they stated they  had today released its tenth and final tranche of UFO files, containing 4,400 pages of UFO policy, correspondence and UFO sighting reports covering the final two years of the Ministry of Defense’s UFO Desk (from late 2007 until November 2009).

The files reveal for the first time the reasons behind the closure of the UFO Desk and how sightings had become a social phenomenon making tabloid headlines and sparking a disclosure campaign for ‘the truth’.

Dr David Clarke, author of the book ‘The UFO Files’, said: ‘The last pieces of the puzzle have finally been revealed with this insight into the last days of the UFO Desk. These files spell out clearly why the Ministry of Defence decided – after 60 years – it no longer needed to keep tabs on sightings, even those made by ‘credible’ people such as police officers and pilots. The last files from the UFO desk are now all in the public domain. People at home can read them and draw their own conclusions about whether ‘the truth’ is in these files or still out there.’

This seeming act of transparency was apparently a ruse, as FOIA requests by Burroughs have revealed two further versions of the truth.

In an initial response the MOD admitted the existence of 6 crucial UFO/UAP public policy papers which have NOT been released. According to that version UFO/UAP Policy papers dating from 1971 through 2004 have been held back. These papers contain the MOD public information policy for over three decades, including a change from the use of the term ‘UFO’ to ‘UAP’, in June of 2000.

Burroughs feels this change was an attempt to conceal MOD information on the UFO issue from June, 2000 onward by referring to the phenomenon in question as Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, (UAP) rather than the well-understood “Unidentified Flying Object” (UFO). The change would allow the MOD to make the claim that no further information on the UFO is being held, while maintaining information on the UAP.

In response to a follow-up FOIA request, the MOD revised its position to say that they were still maintaining 18 UFO documents as classified.

The MOD said that the documents were being ‘prepared’ for public release — meaning reviewed for material that should remain redacted — at a later date. When Burroughs submitted a request for early release of the classified documents, the MOD declined, claiming that doing so would ‘delay the planned public release” of the material.

“This makes little sense to me,” Burroughs said, “as releasing them to me would accelerate access to the information contained, not delay it. The MOD is clearly dragging its feet on full disclosure, while presenting the illusion to the public that it has already happened.”

Nick Pope who Co-Author of the book Encounter in Rendlesham Forest with James Penniston and Burroughs and former Directorate of Defense Security, Ministry of Defense who’s gone on record saying Rendlesham might be the turning point in history that leads to the explanation of the UFO phenomenon” stated this when he learned of Burroughs FOIA discovery.

“I knew for sure that not everything had been released, because by the MOD’s own admission, some files/documents had been lost, some destroyed, some redacted and some withheld altogether. Also, material where the information owner is a defense contractor (e.g. some of the Project Condign working papers) is exempt from disclosure altogether, as private companies are outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act”. The bottom line is this: whether it’s exempt from the FOIA entirely, withheld/redacted under exemptions to the FOIA, destroyed or lost, some material on Project Condign and on the Rendlesham Forest incident has yet to emerge, and some may never come to light.

Burroughs will be presenting the results of his active FOIA request program and his analysis of MOD Technical Memorandum 55/2/00 at the Woodbridge Community hall Station Rd Woodbridge Suffolk IP12 4AU  on Saturday September, 20th at 7:00pm. Also scheduled to appear with Burroughs is UFO historian Richard Dolan and former UK policedetective Gary Heseltine

Former USAF witness to the events Larry Warren will host the proceedings. Warren is co-authorwith Peter Robbins of ‘Left at East Gate’, one of the first books to examine the incidents atBentwaters.

According to Burroughs, the significance of the contents of the Memo 55/2/00 has long been overlooked by the research community because it was deliberately obtuse in nature. The Memo is technically complicated and the writing was adroit in the process of stating key facts while presenting a facade that the phenomenon under study was one of several forms of rare, but naturally occurring weather aberration.

“You have to know what you are looking for,” Burroughs said, and understand what is actually being stated. The memorandum is a masterpiece of bureaucratic double-speak.”

Among other points Burroughs will cover in his talk are the fact that there is an international race to weaponize the technology employed by the phenomenon.

According to Burroughs, “The memo states clearly that ‘Russian, Former Soviet Republics and Chinese authorities have made a co-ordinated effort to understand the UAP topic.’ and that high level scientists, astronauts and senior pilots have been appointed to study groups.”

The most significant accomplishment Burroughs has made to date is to correlate the described characteristics of the ‘true phenomenon’, as he puts it, under study by the MOD, with a 2003 paper by Jaques Vallee and Eric Davis and a 2010 paper printed in the Journal of British Interplanetary Science by Hal Puthoff.

Puthoff’s paper, published a decade after the MOD memo, describes a theoretical propulsion system for interstellar travel, based on the Alcubierre ‘warp drive’ concept.

“It boils down to this:” Burroughs stated, “Puthoff’s predictions for effects of a drive capable of interstellar travel match the effects of the UFO Phenomenon noted by Vallee/Davis and they match the effects described by the MOD of the UAP Phenomenon under study.” “Most significantly, the predicted effects of the theoretical interstellar drive on humans in close proximity match those of the MOD – which could not have known of Puthoff’s theory at the time of the writing — and they match the symptoms I exhibit from a close encounter with the phenomenon while on duty at Bentwaters.”

“I am convinced that this is the reason the DOD has classified my medical records and attempted to doctor my Service Record to show I was not in service at the time, to allow the VA to deny me benefits, but more importantly, keep the medical information about my condition a Classified secret.”

MoD documents: an exercise in language

At a conference in Sedona, on May 16th 2014, John F. Burroughs begun talking about “Technical Memorandum 55/2/00″ and suddenly some things started to happen on the internet. Quite a few websites started to get excited by some of the selective quoting that was taking place from this document. The document in question is, to give it its full title :”Unidentified aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region: Executive Summary. Technical Memorandum 55/2/00″. It is quite often referred to as “The Condign Report”. The report does several things. Firstly it starts to integrate the use of the phrase “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” (UAP) into MoD terminology to distance itself from the use of “UFO”. Secondly, it suggests that somehow these UAP sightings are caused by a combination of factors including atmospheric phenomena, space weather, plasma but isn’t quite sure how it actually happens. So thirdly, it answers one mystery with another mystery.

However, some people (including Burroughs I suspect) are reading into it, things that aren’t really there. The selective quoting tries to twist the document to say something it doesn’t. Before we get onto the quotes, Burroughs intimates that there is a perception that the MoD handed over all classified UFO documentation over to the National Archives. Perception is hard to measure, but the fact is the MoD handed over pretty much everything loosely connected with the infamous “UFO desk”. At no point has it been intimated that the MoD had a good filing day and cleaned out the cupboards marked “UFO”. The MoD released all the public submitted sightings and anything that passed through the UFO desk, plus a few internal documents and reports. 

Burroughs states that the MoD has admitted there is a real phenomena, rather than a weather-based phenomena, and it admitted it in the Condign Report. He uses the following quote: “That Unidentified Aerial Phenomena exist is indisuptable. Credited with the ability to hover, land, take-off, accelerate to exceptional velocities and vanish, they can reportedly alter their direction of flight suddenly and clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile – either manned or unmanned“. But the MoD are referring to what they believe is causing the sightings. The MoD is admitting to the weather phenomena, not UFOs. Selective quoting can make it seem like something else. That is the joy of the language of such documents, it can easily be twisted to say something else.

Burroughs also makes an interesting claim that several “UFO policy documents” are still being held by the MoD and are still classified. That is probably true, and as I have long stated, there are probably many other documents sat in filing cabinets that would make interesting reading. These documents probably are held in departments we do not even know the name of, so getting some access via the FOIA will be difficult enough. 

Doublespeak, is an essential skill for the MoD/Civil Service, especially when dealing with such sensitive subjects. Lets not add to it, by mis-reading what the document clearly states.




“Berwyn Mountains Incident: Revealed” – State sponsored hoax or the dismal state of UK UFO research?

One of the main criticisms that many UFO sceptics level at the UFO community, is that researchers/authors etc continually keep re-hashing key UFO incidents. Which is easily explained, because many of these incidents are never adequately explained. Or there may be more information that comes to light, or maybe that they are so pivotal to the UFO phenomena people will keep digging until they are satisfied they have got to the bottom of the incident. One incident that continues to fascinate many is the Berwyn Mountain incident. It is one of those incidents that has so much intrigue I find it hard to understand why people wouldn’t want to keep digging for the truth. Just as much as I would find it hard to understand why someone would want to re-write the event and turn it into a UFOlogical travesty which seems to serve no other purpose than muddy the waters of the original incident.

What I am referring to is “The Berwyn Mountains Incident: Revealed” by Steve Lumley. So far, it has had a fair old kicking from many people who can see the holes in the story spun by Lumley and his main source Russ Kellett. On the Exopolitics UK Facebook Page, the book has been systematically been torn apart by Scott Felton, one of the few people to have thoroughly researched the incident.

Scott starts off by explaining, “The whole book is based on the theory that there were multiple UFOs out and about on the night of January 23rd 1974 and that at least one was shot down by the RAF and which crash landed aside a main road near the village of Llandderfel which runs between Bala and Corwen. This particular alien vehicle it is claimed housed 5 ETs three of which were captured along with two injured. The alien craft was forced out of the sea near Puffin Island and shot with an air to air missile over Capel Curig in Snowdonia. Of course the claim that military vessels were anywhere near Puffin Island (an islet of the larger Welsh island of Anglesey) is ludicrous; the sea even at the highest tides are simply too shallow. It is no coincidence that the Irish ferries embark from Holyhead on the north coast where the water is very deep and is part of the shipping lane into Liverpool. Even a passenger ferry cannot operate in the waters off the east of Anglesey. It is simply too dangerous and shallow and a huge chunk of it dries out at low tide, exposing massive sandbanks. The sea bed is littered with shipwrecks.” 

Scott goes on to explain, “Puffin Island is all but high & dry at low tide. The main body of the island is 800 yards from the Anglesey coast but less if one includes the low tide spit. The author wants us to believe that several military ships flushed UFOs out of the water near Puffin Island, then engaged in a mini battle with a battleship getting fried, with not a single witness to light or sound and the only record is a document refering to Operation Photoflash of which there seems to be only one copy as no one else has seemingly been able to getting any similar or identical confirming literature.”

Scott continues, “When I first started collaborating with Margaret Fry [North Wales UFO researcher], I came across in her notes two mentions of witnesses who claim to have seen presumably UK fighter planes involved in pursuit of a UFO/UFOs. In both cases, the information had been supplied to her anonymously. There was uncertainty of the dates but seemed to be mid-1990s.  One witness at Harlech on the west coast of Wales claimed to have seen two RAF jets pursuing a UFO off the coast. It travelled parallel to the coast then swung inland near Porthmadog. Another purported witness claimed a military jet fired a rocket at a UFO and hit it. This was allegedly seen by a farmer near Beddgelert a few miles inland from Porthmadog. There is no proof that these incidents (if they were even real) were linked to the Berwyn event of January 1974. It was however the mention of these which also helped me look elsewhere for a Puffin Island.  Oileán na gCánógis immediately adjacent to vastly deep Atlantic Ocean water and is much nearer the edge of the continental shelf the whole of the British Isles lies on. So, I summised that ‘What if Oileán na gCánóg was used as a real place to falsify a UFO event elsewhere? UK military jets could track UFOs over Ireland but could do nothing militarily until such vehicles entered UK airspace. In theory, this could have happened and the scenario described could have been real; but I doubt it. UFOs have been seen leaving and entering the waters off County Kerry in the Irish Republic, so I gradually concluded that the vague reports fed to Margaret Fry were disinfo’ and that she was a target for such an attack however, somewhere along the line, Russ Kellett got involved and those behind the disinfo’ campaign were able to go much further. It then became his baby and a reliable disinfo’ conduit was opened up into the UFO community.

Scott pours further scorn on the theories within the book, “It was low tide soon after dusk on the evening of the Berwyn event, rendering it impossible for any ship larger than a fishing trawler to operate anywhere within ten miles of Puffin Island. I already established from nautical charts that it was impossible for military ships to operate in the area as claimed by Russ Kellett and in the book. Now it seems the water was even lower and as it coincided with a New Moon too, the high tide just before midnight was only just 8 metres and not ten as you’d get on the highest tide of the month, rendering the claim even more impossible. It doesn’t matter what anyone believes about the claims of Mr Kellett as published, a huge, significant proportion of the story simply cannot be. But then I’ve known for years that was the case but now the claim is even more damned. Even if there was a crashed alien vehicle aside the road nr Llandderfel, the story of how it arrived there is total rubbish.”

“Not only is the area of sea too shallow for warships (I’ve always known this), but the state of the tides on the 23rd of January 1974 show quite categorically that at the time the alien vehicles were allegedly forced out of the water, the tide was out! It was low tide, so the alleged area of operations was even shallower. Which begs the question, if a small flotilla of warships couldn’t be there for the highest tides, how could they be there at the lowest? The nearest permanent and deep water ships of any size can operate in is at least fifteen miles north of the alleged area of altercation. The alleged document Mr Kellett received from the coastguard as far as I’m aware is the only copy and it has never been made available for public scrutiny. A part image of it appeared in a newspaper and that is all. It is unsurprising therefore to find that everyone who ever approached the coastguard since then about this document has been answered with the words ‘We know nothing of this document’.  There is no copy of it, no record of it, no archive of it. Russ won’t even say who signed it so that person can be pursued. I actually believe the coastguard and I believe the Operation Photoflash document is fake and was deliberately supplied to Mr Kellett purporting to come from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. It seems he was told of the Operation Photoflash event and naturally enquired of it. That enquiry was of course expected and in due course he received a reply albeit a bogus one.”

So not only is the theory unsound, but the “evidence” used to back up the claim is highly suspect. But what of the alien bodies that a few witnesses claimed to have seen? Scott, explains “The only alien casualties were dead ones in the crash, though two apparently survived. This was I understand meant to tie in with the rumour that an undisclosed witness who contacted Tony Dodd claimed that alien bodies were removed from the Berwyn ‘crash’ on Cader Berwyn and taken to Porton Down. This bio-material was in body bags and in crates and the delivery boys even had the privilege of seeing the boxes and bags opened to view the ET contents. That of course is rubbish as even in the mid 70s the fear of ET contamination was well founded and no way would people be exposed to such bio-material unnecessarily. Dodd’s witness claimed that {he?} saw four soldiers on presumably January 24th 1974, removing two oblong boxes off the Cader Berwyn hillside and loading them onto an army truck. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, Dodd accepted that the informant knew enough to confirm that these were the corpses of two aliens which were shipped to Porton Down. In Russ Kellett’s account, we get the same total of dead ETs – two, but more survived, but they were not taken to Porton Down directly, but to an undisclosed military base near Chester – I assume this to be RAF Sealand. They of course came from a different crash according to him by virtue of being shot down. The location difference between Mr Kellett’s crash and the Cader Berwyn UFO is about 5 miles as the crow flies (he won’t identify the exact field aside the road). Dodd’s informant was very specific about the location of those soldiers and boxes and the parked truck.Personally, I’ve come across no evidence that alien corpses were recovered anywhere in the Berwyn area and the locals certainly don’t accept it and based on that, I believe at present that the claim of such recovery is a hoax be it from Russ Kellett or Tony Dodd.”

Despite not reading the completed book (or so he claims) and obviously not doing any due diligence on the theory or the evidence, Nick Pope has written an endorsement for this thinly disguised tissue of lies.  As usual, why let facts get in the way of a good story? I think it highlights many, many interesting issues. Firstly, it is so easy now to get a half-arsed theory into book form and onto the Amazon selling platform, that the quality of many current UFO books is laughable. Secondly, judging by some glowing reviews for this nonsense on Amazon, your average UFO buff isn’t really prepared to do some background research themselves and will believe any old BS if it’s in a book. Thirdly, is this state of UK UFOlogical research these days or is this planted purely to muddy the waters on such a contentious UFO incident? Answers on a postcard to the usual addres…