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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 19

Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -

From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 23:53:26 +0100
Fwd Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 09:30:45 -0400
Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -


>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 18:23:58 +0100
>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 10:10:28 +0100
>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

<snip>

Hello Nick, List,

You wrote earlier in this thread at:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2005/may/m12-004.shtml

"I make no accusation of plagiarism, because all material on my
website may be freely used, for non-commercial purposes,
provided the source is quoted and it's not taken out of
context."

I note that you wrote in relation to an earlier version of the
article at TNA which you addressed at:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/dec/m08-007.shtml

"The National Archives research notes on UFOs were adapted from
an article that Georgina Bruni and I wrote, documenting the
British Government's handling of the UFO issue up until the
Fifties."

I am slightly puzzled by the different reactions by you to each
of these. In response to the earlier article, you don't appear
to have contacted TNA about proper crediting of the article, yet
on the latest occasion, you seem to have gone to some lengths,
causing at least two re-writes of the article. Perhaps you would
care to explain the different reactions?

I also see that the latest version at:

http://www.catalogue.nationalarchives.gov.uk/rdleaflet.asp?sLeafletID=394

has not only removed any reference to Georgina having worked for
the MoD, but also any reference to you having done so. Do you
know why that is?

<snip>

>>I didn't spot the "odd discrepancies" which you referred to
>>above, have they now been corrected as well?

>No. My point was simply that by taking only some of the material
>from the Official History article, the picture painted of the
>Ministry of Defence's early involvement with the UFO mystery was
>incomplete. The full Official History article can be accessed at
>the following hyperlink, though it is also widely available on
>various UFO-related websites:

>http://www.nickpope.net/official_history.htm

On the topic of incomplete or distorted history, perhaps you
would care to clear up a few more apparent inconsistencies.

In respect to the Flying Saucer Working Party at the site
referred to above, you describe a series of clues which led
researchers to request the document from the MoD. The
implication is that this is how you and Georgina discovered the
existence of the document, quite independently of the work
carried out By Andy Roberts and Dave Clarke. This appears to
conflict with your comments in which an article attributed to
you states at:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/jan/m03-019.shtml

"Hard on the heels of Georgina Bruni's scoop concerning the
release of MOD documents on the Rendlesham Forest incident, two
enterprising members of the public have stumbled upon 'DSI/JTIC
Report No. 7'."

This implies that neither you nor Georgina were aware of the
existence of the document until "two enterprising members of the
public" (presumably Roberts and Clarke) disclosed it.

In response to the following specific and direct question from
me to Georgina Bruni:

"What specifically led you/Nick to request the files relating to
report No. 7 from the PRO, and when was that?"

Georgina replied at:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/apr/m14-005.shtml

"For some years now I have been working with former Chief of the
Defence Staff Lord Hill-Norton in attempts to secure UFO related
material from the British Government. Acquisition of Report No 7
and Top Secret DSI/JTIC minutes are part of a much wider
research process. Suffice to say, I have also been researching
non-UFO material relating to the Cold War. The secret documents
were obtained last year from the MOD and the top secret
documents were obtained early this year as a result of
requesting file numbers from the MOD."

Note the absence of any specific reference to the trail that you
describe in your article, and the absence of any specific date
that the request was made for the document by you or Georgina.

Please can you elaborate on exactly how and when you became
aware of the FSWP document and the date that you requested a
copy of it?

I further note that you have pointedly avoided mentioning the
work of Clarke and Roberts by name in respect to the discovery
of the document. Are you willing to correct that situation now?

Continuing the theme of historical accuracy, there are a number
of other apparent inconsistencies in your account of your role
at Secretariat (Air Staff)2a. On your home page at:

http://www.nickpope.net/index.html

the introduction reads:

"Welcome to the official website for Nick Pope, the Ministry of
Defence official who was responsible for researching and
investigating UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, cattle
mutilations and other strange phenomena.."

The implication is that in the course of your official capacity
as the incumbent of the MoD "UFO desk", you carried out
investigations into alien abductions, crop circles and cattle
mutilations in addition to the "Defence implications of UFO
reports". This implication is further supported by articles
attributed to you at:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/1999/jul/m28-011.shtml

where you wrote "I've worked for the MOD for over fourteen years
now, and three of those were spent researching and investigating
UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations
and any other weird and wonderful reports that came my way."

and:

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mi6/nick-pope.html

<Gandalf1> what do you know about abductions... have you come
across any abduction cases while working at the MoD and if yes
was the government involved... if no what was the reason of
documenting or keeping track of abductions?

<Nick_Pope> I did get some abduction cases whilst at the MOD. I
wrote about these, and other cases I've investigated privately
in my book "The Uninvited", which comes out in paperback next
week. I think it's for real. NP"

Yet in Chapter 8 of your book "The Uninvited", you wrote:

"When, during my official duties, I was first asked about alien
abductions, I was surprised to find that the Ministry of Defence
had no official policy on the alien abduction phenomenon.
Technically, this meant that any research or investigation was
outside my remit. But such a 'not in my job description'
mentality has never been the way in which I operate, and it was
simply not an option when abductees contacted me, often in a
distressed state."

You go on to write "My primary aim within the limited resources
available to me was not so much to investigate the cases, but
rather to help the abductees come to terms with their
experiences." and later you wrote "..the Ministry was never
going to officially sanction research into alien abduction..."

Furthermore, at appendix 2, you reproduce a letter from
Secretariat (Air Staff)2a dated 6th September 1996 (just 2 years
after your vacation of the post), stating that "Abduction is a
criminal offence and as such is a matter for the civil police."
Additionally, in response to an enquiry from me about MoD policy
on the abduction phenomenon, I received a response from
AS(sec)4a (which succeeded (Air Staff)2a as the UFO desk)
stating:

"I should add that to date the MoD knows of no evidence which
substantiates the existence of these alleged phenomena, and
therefore the matter of abduction by alien lifeforms is a non-
 issue as far as the MoD is concerned. Abduction/kidnap in the
general sense is, of course a criminal offence and as such would
be a matter for the civil police."

Moving on to crop circles, at:

http://www.nickpope.net/crop_circles.htm

you wrote "The military and MOD's first involvement with the
crop circle mystery was in 1985." This is also mentioned in your
book "Open Skies, Closed Minds" in chapter 5. Since you left the
"UFO Desk" in 1994, you could not have been involved in any
official investigation of crop circles, it would seem.

As for animal mutilations, you wrote in chapter 6 of "Open Skies,
Closed Minds":

"In my official capacity I had no remit to investigate
mutilations at all. The link between ufology and mutilations is
obscure, and little discussed outside the States.Consequently I
received no mutilation reports from the public during my three
years as UFO officer, and nor would I have expected to."

In summary, you have effectively said that  no investigation by
you of alien abductions, crop circles, or animal mutilations was
conducted in your official capacity, yet you have implied
elsewhere that you did do so. Please can you resolve the
ambiguities?

Finally, I have noticed frequent mentions by you of the MoD "UFO
project", often coupled with direct comparisons to the USA's
"Project Blue Book". The use of the term "UFO project" and the
comparison with Blue Book would seem to be very misleading.

From professional experience, a "project" normally has a very
fixed and clearly-defined scope, and a predetermined lifespan. It
also usually has a title, eg "Blue Book" or "Hessdahlen". Routine
fulfillment of an ongoing role is not normally referred to as a
"project". The use of the term "project" conveys far more
significance to the role than exists in reality, and suggests a
transient nature.

My understanding, based on extensive reading of MoD documents at
TNA, correspondence with AS(sec)4a and DAS (the successors of
Secretariat (Air Staff)2a) is that following up UFO reports was
only a part of the role which you carried out. The UFO aspect
comprised mainly of writing innocuous responses to members of
the public, crafting carefully-worded replies to politicians and
the media, and anything that required serious investigation was
handed off to other departments. This last point is supported by
a document dated 27th May 1976 uncovered by David Clarke at TNA
which clearly states:

"5. Since investigations into the defence implications of
alleged UFO sightings might involve highly classified material
it was agreed that S4(Air) has no "need to know" about the
enquiries made by any specialist branch in the course of an
investigation. It followed that detailed reports on such
investigations could not be included in the S4 files which would
ultimately be disclosed when UFO reports were opened to the
public."

Copies of this document can be viewed temporarily at the
following links for research purposes:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/joe.mcgonagle/ufo/minute%201.jpg

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/joe.mcgonagle/ufo/minute%202.jpg

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/joe.mcgonagle/ufo/minute%203.jpg

I would ask you how many times (in an official capacity) you
carried out UFO-related field visits? How many UFO witnesses
were personally interviewed by you? How much time in the role
did you spend away from your desk as a percentage would you
estimate?

In comparison, Blue Book had far more time and resources, even
to the extent of the use of Air Force jets in the course of
following up reports. In comparison, your department couldn't
even muster a staff car at one point, according to documents at
TNA.

I realise that some, if not all, of these questions have been
asked in the past, but the answers have always been very
ambiguous. In the interests of historical accuracy, would you
care to address these points in an unambiguous way rather than
(deliberately or subconsciously) use the evasive language which
you have cultivated in your MoD role and in accordance with your
MoD media training?


Regards,

Joe




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