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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 26

Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -

From: Martin Shough <mshough.nul>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 15:37:41 +0100
Fwd Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 10:42:21 -0400
Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -


>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 20:45:57 +0100
>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide


>>From: Martin Shough <mshough.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 20:39:54 +0100
>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 01:21:16 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

><snip>

>>>Clarke and Roberts were sent the documents by the MOD, as were
>>>numerous other ufologists and journalists. They published
>>>extracts in their book in May 2002, but UFO Magazine had
>>>published the documents in full, a month earlier, together with
>>>a detailed analysis written by Georgina Bruni and myself. This
>>>scoop was seen (incorrectly) as a deliberate spoiler, and led to
>>>some furious abuse from certain quarters.

><snip>

>>However Nick's post allows the innocent reader to conclude that
>>the report first came to light when the MoD volunteered a
>>simultaneous dissemination of it to "numerous ufologists"
>>including Clarke and Roberts in 2002. I'm sure this cannot be
>>the effect he intends. The reality appears to be that numerous
>>ufologists and journalists certainly requested copies of the
>>document from the MOD _after_ its disclosure by C & R in Oct
>>2001, but I'm aware of no evidence prior to Oct 2001 that any
>>ufologist possessed a copy. If they did they kept strangely
>>quiet about it.

>Martin,

>My understanding is that several people acquired them in 2001.
>Georgina Bruni, Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts definitely did. I
>believe that several others did too, but I'm certainly not able
>to give a definitive list of who got what document on what date.
>I'll have to leave that to those concerned.

>I don't dispute that Clarke and Roberts were the first
>ufologists to _claim_ that they obtained the documents. They've
>_claimed_ to be the first to acquire all sorts of material; an
>article in The Observer on May 5 2002 implied they uncovered a
>CIA memo on UFOs written by Walter B. Smith, when in fact it was
>published by Timothy Good in 1987, in his book Above Top Secret.

>Frankly, I've given up believing a word that Clarke and Roberts
>say.

Hi Nick

To try and settle this, yesterday I asked Dave Clarke if they had
any concrete evidence of priority in this matter. It turns out
they do, and he has given me permission to post the following
extract from a letter dated 25 May 2005 from Linda Unwin, MoD
Directorate of Air Staff:

-----

Dear Dr Clarke

"With regard to the release of the report by the Flying Saucer
Working Party and the Rendlesham documents, I can confirm that
you were the first person to which these documents were released.
It may be helpful if I explain the circumstances surrounding the
release of each set of information.

When you requested the Flying Saucer Working Party report in
September 2000 no trace of the report could be found within MOD
records. At the time, government documents were generally
retained in departments for a maximum of 30 years in accordance
with the Public Records Act and could only be retained for longer
periods with the permission of the Lord Chancellor. The report
was written in 1951 and all the files of the Flying Saucer
Working Party were already at The National Archives (TNA) and as
I recall you had already looked at these. We had no specific
record that the report had been destroyed, but given the fact
that the MOD no longer held any relevant files it seemed unlikely
that the report had survived. In May 2001 Ian Goode's staff were
conducting a routine review of records which had been retained in
the department beyond the 30 year point and came across a copy of
the Flying Saucer Working Party report on an unrelated file
entitled "Scientific Intelligence".  It was decided that you
should be informed that the report had been found and Ian Goode
released a copy to you later that month. The original report was
then removed from the file, replaced with a copy and the original
report was sent to TNA. It's TNA reference is DEFE 44/119. A copy
of the report has also been included in the MOD Freedom of
Information Publication Scheme.  The majority of our
correspondence files for this period are now in archives, but as
far as I recall, we had a few enquiries about this document after
it was released to you, but I am not aware of anyone asking this
department for it prior to your request.

I hope this clarifies the matter.


Yours sincerely,

Linda Unwin

-----

It seems to me that since the document was recovered by the MOD
in pursuance of a request by Dave Clarke, and was sent by the
MOD exclusively to Dave Clarke immediately on its discovery,
there can be no question that priority belongs entirely to Dave
Clarke. The "several people who acquired the document in 2001",
other than Dave Clarke, plainly did so _after_ Clarke and
Roberts had established its existence and retrieved their copy.
It would be undignified to continue insisting otherwise.

Unless Georgina Bruni can tell us when and how she "obtained" a
document which the MOD believed was "destroyed", prior to MOD
discovering it themselves, and why she kept completely silent
about it. The only option seems to be a Watergate scenario -
surreptitious theft of the document from an MoD file by an
unauthorised person who then replaced it, not in the correct
file but in a "scientific intelligence" file unrelated to UFOs,
and kept silent about it. Does anyone want to defend this
theory?


Martin Shough




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