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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 24

Sheffield Incident - Exclusive New Evidence

From: David Clarke <dclarke14@compuserve.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 14:32:59 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 16:08:41 -0400
Subject: Sheffield Incident - Exclusive New Evidence

Readers who have been following the progress of the "Sheffield
Incident" on UFO UpDates may be aware I have been investigating
the March 24, 1997 incident both in my role as a UFOlogist and
via my paid employment as a news reporter with the Sheffield

In this latter capacity I have now received an Editor's Award
for my investigative work on the "aircrash mystery", the
culmination of more than 15 months fieldwork including more than
two weeks full time off-diary interviews which resulted in a
series of exclusive articles and resulting questions in the
British House of Commons.

For those unfamiliar with British newspapers, the Star is one of
the top five leading provincial evening newspapers in England,
with five daily editions and an independent audited circulation
of more than 100,000 copies every night in Yorkshire.

Now readers can see the truth behind Max Burn's claims that I
have employed "shoddy" investigative techniques. Obviously my
employers (United Provincial Newspapers, owners of the London
Daily Express, Daily Star and London Standard) don't share Max's

The phrase "sour grapes" springs immediately to mind!

Secondly, as a result of my continuing "shoddy investigation"
into this case I have now been allowed access at Bakewell Police
Station to the Derbyshire Police log of the incident on March
24, 1997, a breakthrough which Max Burns has singularly failed
to achieve during his work on this case.

Unfortunately for Max, the information provided by the
Derbyshire log reveals a completely new perspective on the case
which throws into doubt the seriousness of the whole incident.

The log reveals that Derbyshire Police received calls from three
members of the public reporting an aircraft in trouble over the
Strines area at roughly the same time as similar incidents were
reported to South Yorkshire Police - and detailed in the log
posted on Burn's website.

However, because the Derbyshire force were more used to dealing
with reports of this kind (working in an area on a direct
flightpath to Manchester Airport and an RAF training ground) the
duty inspector that night refused to take the reports seriously.
He looked at the vague information provided by the callers,
checked with air traffic control, and took the decision NOT to
alert the emergency services to a suspected aircrash.

The police inspector on duty that night told me earlier this
week: "The Derbyshire force did not believe this incident was
genuine and I refused to give the order to scramble emergency

"We are continually receiving reports of this kind, only a
couple of weeks ago during the meteor shower we had people
ringing in saying they had seen an aeroplane crashing and on

"People see something odd in the sky and their imagination does
the rest. "I could not believe it when I heard South Yorkshire
Police had brought in poth a police helicopter and an RAF Sea
King to search the moors - I don't know what they expected to

"The locations given by the people who rang in were so vague and
covered literally tens of square miles of moor.  The volunteers
who searched the moors found nothing either.

"There was no military involvement on that night other than the
Sea King sent from Leconfield.

"Afterwards I was carpeted by a senior officer for not taking
the reports seriously, but I believe subsequent events prove I
was one hundred percent correct in my assesment of the
situation, and this officer had to admit I had taken the right
decision in the end.

"The search of the moors was a complete waste of time and public
money because nothing crashed."

And what's more he added:

"I have seen the claims in one of those UFO magazines [Alien
Encounters] which one of my PCs brought into the office,
claiming there was a cover-up over this case.

"The theories these people are putting forward are so
far-fetched they are hilarious.

"The guy who wrote the article was saying 'why would they have
sent two helicopters to search for something which did not
crash'.  But if I had had my way, we wouldn't have sent any
helicopters out because it was a waste of time and public

This important new information is backed up by testimony from
the Peak District's volunteer mountain rescue service who turned
out 141 of its members for the 15 hour search through the night.

Senior Peak Park Warden Brian Jones, based at Fairholmes in the
"crash zone" said all 141 men are professionals with decades of
experience on the moors which they know intimately.

Mr Jones said allegations that his men were party to a cover-up
or were misled to search the wrong part of the moor were
"absolute nonsense" and a slur on the professionalism of his men
who are unpaid and dedicate their lives to saving climbers and
people in distress in their own time.
 "All 141 of the men are volunteers, they are not subject to the
Official Secrets Act and they were in radio communication with
the RAF helicopter throughout the search," he said.

"The search was extremely thorough and covered almost 50 square
miles of the wildest terrain in the Peak District. They found
absolutely nothing to indicate any object or aeroplane had

"These men are highly professional people and I have known Mike
France and Ted Burton who were in charge during the night for
many years.

"There was no cover-up and anyone who claims there was does not
know what they are talking about."

Mr Jones said if any object had crashed the residue would have
been immediately detected by the heat-seeking thermal imaging
cameras on board the West Yorkshire Police Helicoper which
reached the scene shortly before 11pm that night.

When a Hawker Hunter jet crashed into the same area of Broomhead
Moor in 1991, killing the pilot, the impact from 2,000 feet left
"one hell of a hole" and smoking debris scattered around a large

"On the night of the search I was out watching the Hale-Bopp
comet through binoculars and I heard nothing crash or explode.
When the Hawker jet went down I head a loud boom and raised the
alarm straight away.

"I'm convinced, as are most of the Mountain Rescue service, that
the March 24 event was the result of an illegal drugs run. The
police know that this valley is regularly used by drug smugglers
and the moors would be an ideal drop zone."

Mr Jones also revealed that the search of the moors on March 24
last year was not an unusual event at all, as Max Burns has
claimed. He has provided evidence from Peak Park records that
search and rescue teams, including sniffer dogs are called out
to search the same moors on average two or three times every
year - always as a result of people ringing to report aircraft
on fire or crashing.

"The people who report these things are invariably visitors to
the National Park who don't realise the area is used for
low-level RAF training and is used for "stacking" airliners
descending into Manchester," he said. "They see what they think
is an aircraft about to crash and they call us. We have to
respond with dogs and mountain rescue teams in case it is a
genuine incident, but that fact alone does not make it
significant in itself that something must have crashed simply
because we have turned out. It's our duty to check it out,
that's all."

The above information provides yet more conclusive evidence, if
such were needed, to back my argument that there simply is no
evidence whatsoever to support a claim of a cover-up over this

If we believe there was a cover-up we have to accept that almost
200 rescue personnel were either deliberately misled or are
party to a massive conspiracy which not one of them has broken
so far.

Of the 200 personnel involved, more than 140 are volunteers with
ordinary jobs and lives who are not party to the Official
Secrets Act.

Are they all liars or deluded in their conclusion, like me, that
nothing crashed and nothing was covered-up?

*Once more, I rest my case, but as a final aside I must make a
very serious point.

Max Burns in his last posting claims he qualifies to describe
himself as "a journalist" on the strength of having penned
several articles for a pulp-fiction magazine called Alien

In the same breath he goes on to ask why a report of someone
driving out to the Peak District, pouring petrol over
themselves, and making an attempted suicide bid should be
regarded as "sensitive".

This statement, despite being disgraceful and disrespectful of
the individual concerned, amply illustrates why Burns has not
the slightest idea of what the title of being a responsible
journalist entails, and why he will never earn it,.

Every year in the course of my job I report on upwards of 50-100
suicides often by often the most gruesome of methods - hanging,
carbon monoxide poisoning and overdose being the three most
common in this area. Every one of these cases deserves careful
and considerate reporting bearing in mind the trauma of the
victim's families and friends.

Suicide by pouring petrol or flammable liquid over clothes and
then lighting the mixture is quite common unfortunately with 2
or 3 deaths per year on average in this area. And it is a well
known fact that potential suicides often chose to drive to
isolated spots - like the Peak District - so as to avoid rescue

When a suicide is successful, police reveal details to the
Press, a public inquest is held and is reported by journalists.
Where a suicide is attempted but not successful police as a
matter of policy withold details from the Press so as not to add
to the trauma and suffering of the victim who is often disturbed
or mentally ill. Publicity for their self-inflicted injuries
cannot be said to be in the interests of anyone.

I hate to labour the details of basic journalistic procedure,
but it is obvious Max Burns - who claims to be a journalist -
knows nothing about the day to day duties of the  job or the
great responsibilities it entails. Any unqualified
self-proclaimed expert can write about aliens and UFOs in
science fiction magazines, but that does not give them the write
to call themselves a journalist.

No real journalist would use a person who tried to commit
suicide as testimony to back  a claim about UFOs which has no
supporting evidence. It is a claim which is nothing short of
shameful and I feel very strongly that the truth should be made
known to everyone reading information on this newsgroup..

Finally, a big thankyou to everyone who has sent emails in
support of my stance on this case. There is hope for ufology
after all!


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