By Nick Redfern
There is probably not a single person within Ufology who isn’t familiar with the controversy of the Men in Black; those dark-suited characters who do their very best to silence members of the public to UFO activity. That at least some MIB appear to come from within government (although certainly not the majority – which are a very different and far weirder and ghoulish breed) begs two important questions: What happens when those on the inside of officialdom see UFOs? Do they get similarly silenced? Yes, they most certainly do. And here’s one perfect – but, until now, barely known – example.
In my first book, A Covert Agenda – which was published in 1997 - I made mention of a small (but nonetheless intriguing) body of evidence pertaining to the collation and investigation of UFO data on the part of the sprawling Government Communications Headquarters at Cheltenham, England – a body with the daunting and massive task of secretly collecting and analyzing intelligence data by all manner of sources: telephone-monitoring, email interception, spy-satellites, and more.
Moreover, GCHQ works hand in glove with the United States’ National Security Agency – an agency with a rich history of involvement in the UFO puzzle. Second, on more than one occasion reports have surfaced relating to the sighting of UFOs over the GCHQ complex itself. To illustrate this, on 29 March 1996, two security guards assigned to the facility viewed during the early hours of the morning a silent, brightly-lit object that over-flew their heads while they patrolled the base.
“We just looked at it,” said one, adding, “We weren’t frightened. We were just amazed.”
The other concurred: “I have never seen anything like it before in my life. It was travelling very fast. It definitely was not a plane.”
The response from Government Communications Headquarters when the media latched on to what had occurred was tight lipped: “No doubt they did see something but I couldn’t say what it was,” was the carefully worded response from a GCHQ spokesman. At the time that I wrote A Covert Agenda, little more of substance had surfaced with respect to the events in question; however, behind the scenes, major concern had been expressed on the part of senior staff within GCHQ, something which resulted in stern words delivered to the witnesses – as will now become readily apparent.
Robin Cole – a Cheltenham-based researcher who spent much of the mid to late 1990s digging into the GCHQ-UFO issue – has been able to shed further and much welcome light on the 29 March 1996 UFO encounter reported by two GCHQ security guards. And to mention the disturbing aftermath.
In an interview with me, Cole said: “Both of the guards were so convinced by what they’d seen that they went to The Citizen – this is the local newspaper that covers the Gloucester area – and reported it. Well, the papers went on to publish their names and the fact that they were security guards at GCHQ. Normally, people who work at the base just say that they’re civil servants, because they don’t want to be associated with GCHQ publicly.”
Cole says he “…didn’t make too big a deal out of it,” but “…did try and look into it all a bit deeper.”
It so happens, Cole explains, that a member of a local UFO group he was attached to ”… knew one of the security guards and another member used to work at GCHQ as a security guard and knew the other one. Well, they then subsequently invited the two of them around for tea and got on to talking about UFOs – as you do!”
Basically, adds Cole, when the article in The Citizen appeared the two guards made a statement to his – Cole’s – colleagues along the following lines:
“We were both hauled in before our superiors the following morning and we were told that what we had seen was the Mir Space Station, and that we were to drop it unless we wanted to face severe action. You know how it is at GCHQ; they’re all paranoid. But we know deep in our hearts that this was not a space station. It was far too low in orbit and it just came over and stopped. It was there for several minutes and was then joined by a second light. The one then seemed to drop down quite low, and as soon as it started dropping, the pair of them just shot off. And we know it wasn’t Mir.”
As this case – just one of many – demonstrates, it’s not only the general public that is encouraged to stay silent when UFO events occur. Even those in the employ of government face the wrath of officialdom when daring to speak out about their UFO experiences…