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UFO Casebook Magazine Issue 519, Issue date, 07-23-12

UFOs: The Porton Down Affair
UFO Depiction
Published: 2:29 PM 7/20/2012

UFO Phenomenon by Nick Redfern

On the night of January 23, 1974, an enigmatic and unresolved event occurred on the Berwyn Mountains range in North Wales, United Kingdom that, for some within the UFO research community, has come to be known as the definitive British Roswell.

Researcher Andy Roberts stated of this mysterious affair (in his book, UFO Down!): “The claim was that a UFO piloted by extraterrestrials crashed, or was shot down, on the mountain known as Cader Berwyn and that the alien crew, some still alive, were whisked off to a secret military installation in the south of England for study.”

That secret military installation was said to be none other than Porton Down. Beyond any shadow of doubt, one of the most secretive of all government-connected installations situated within the confines of the United Kingdom, Porton Down can be found in the green and pleasant county of Wiltshire, and its overwhelmingly-classified work focuses to a very significant degree on exotic viruses, chemical and biological warfare.

Although work at Porton Down originally, and secretly, began at the height of the tumultuous First World War, it was not until the dawning of the 1940s that the installation became the central hub for British interest in, and concerns relative to, the expanding realms of chemical and biological warfare. From 1946 onwards, one year after the successful defeat of Nazi Germany, Porton Down’s work began to focus more on the defensive – rather than chiefly offensive – aspects of such issues, and in 1957 the installation was duly christened the Microbiological Research Establishment.

By the late-1970s, a decision was made to place the MRE under the control of a civil body. As a result, significant reorganization duly occurred: on April 1, 1979, the MRE became the Center for Applied Microbiology and Research. Then, in 1995, it was absorbed into the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency.

Six years later, there was yet another change: DERA split into two organizations, a private body called QinetiQ, and the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, a body steeped in official secrecy, as a result of the fact that it is an arm of the Ministry of Defense. Today, the facility is known as DSTL, Porton Down.

Of course, the idea of dead aliens taken to Porton Down sounds like a conspiracy theorist's wildest dream come to life. But, despite vociferous attacks from the more skeptically-minded researchers in the UFO research community, it has steadfastly remained an integral part of the story ever since it first surfaced – publicly, at least – in 1996.

The original source of the Porton Down story as it specifically related to the Berwyn controversy, was a UFO investigator named Tony Dodd, a now-dead North Yorkshire, England police-sergeant with a quarter-of-a-century of service in the Force to his credit.

At the time the account was first revealed, Dodd flatly refused to reveal – to anyone – the real name of the source for his sensational story, and instead preferred to provide him with the pseudonym of James Prescott. According to Prescott, at the time of the Berwyn incident, he was stationed at an Army barracks in the south of England. Stressing to Dodd that he could not name either his unit or his barracks as they were still very much operational, Prescott said that by January 18, 1974 it was acutely clear that something most unusual was afoot: he and his colleagues were placed on emergency stand-by status.

The reason why soon became incredibly apparent. Twenty-four hours later, Prescott’s unit was directed to make its careful, secret way towards the English city of Birmingham.

The team then received orders to proceed with speed towards North Wales, but were halted on the outskirts of the English city of Chester, in readiness for a military exercise they were told was about to take place in the area. Not long after, the orders changed yet again: make your way to the town of Llangollen, North-East Wales.

On arrival at Llangollen, recalled Prescott, the unit noticed a great deal of ground-based activity in the area. In addition, military aircraft were soaring across the darkened, mountainous Welsh skies.

Extraordinary events were clearly unfolding at an extremely fast rate. But it was shortly after 11.30 p.m. when things really began to take shape, and Prescott and his colleagues were on the move once more: to the village of Llandderfel.

The team soon reached the little hamlet, whereupon they were directed to load two large, oblong boxes into their vehicle: “We were at this time warned not to open the boxes, but to proceed to Porton Down and deliver the boxes.”

A number of hours later, they reached the secret Wiltshire-based facility, and were duly directed to a specific part of the installation. Once inside, explained Prescott, the boxes were opened by staff at the facility in their presence: they contained nothing less than two strange, unearthly creatures that had been placed inside decontamination suits.

The staff at Porton then began the careful, daunting task of opening the suits. Prescott said that when this action was complete it was clear to all those present that the entities were not of this Earth. He elaborated:

UFO Depiction “What I saw in the boxes that day made me change my whole concept of life. The bodies were about five to six feet tall, humanoid in shape, but so thin they looked almost skeletal with a covering skin. Although I did not see a craft at the scene of the recovery, I was informed that a large craft had crashed and was recovered by other military units.”

Perhaps even more remarkable was what Prescott had to say next. Namely, that shortly after his life-changing experience at Porton Down, he had the opportunity to speak with several colleagues from his own unit, who guardedly informed him they had also transported aliens to Porton Down, but with one amazing difference:

“Their cargo was still alive.” And that’s where the Berwyn Mountains story dries up, unfortunately. But the Porton Down/UFO link continues.

In 1999, Nick Pope, who – from 1991 to 1994 – officially investigated UFO reports for the British Ministry of Defense, wrote a novel titled 'Operation Thunder Child' that focused upon a hostile attack on the British Isles by alien entities. When Pope’s book surfaced, rumors proliferated that perhaps he was secretly using the genre of science-fiction to impart startling science-facts.

Regardless of whether or not this was the case, in Operation Thunder Child, alien bodies recovered from a UFO crash are secretly taken to Porton Down – precisely the same location where it, was alleged, alien bodies found on the Berwyn Mountains, North Wales were transferred in January 1974.

At the same time that Nick Pope was writing his Operation Thunder Child book, the British Ministry of Defense, in a truly unprecedented and extremely unusual move, gave a huge amount of technical assistance and support to a BBC science-fiction production titled Invasion Earth that dealt with an attack on the planet by hostile alien entities.

Inevitably, this led to rumors that it was all part of a less-than-subtle attempt on the part of certain elements of the British Government to get the general public thinking about the possibility of humankind waging outright war against an alien species. Does the MoD know something that the rest of us don’t?

A Ministry of Defense source – who was specifically referred to me directly by Nick Pope – had a number of perceptive comments to make on this particularly odd set of circumstances:

“It’s extremely strange,” said the man, “that on the one hand the MoD is publicly so dismissive about UFOs; and yet on the other they bent over backwards to provide assistance to a TV company producing a science-fiction drama which starts with the Royal Air Force shooting down a UFO."

Normally, the Ministry of Defense only helps film and TV companies where it believes that significant benefits will fall to the MoD in terms of recruiting, training or public relations. This was the case, for example, with our participation in the James Bond film, 'Tomorrow Never Dies.' What, one wonders, did the MoD think it had to gain from helping to perpetuate a view that the Royal Air Force were virtually at war with extra-terrestrials?

Questions about our participation in this project were raised at the highest level within the Ministry of Defense.”

Most notable of all, in Invasion Earth, a number of aliens retrieved from a crashed and captured UFO are taken to – yes – Porton Down. Are we merely seeing here examples where, for a variety of innocent reasons, the world of book- and TV-based science-fiction had a Ministry of Defense/Porton Down theme running through them?

And what of the James Prescott affair? Was Tony Dodd fed real data? Was he merely misled by a Walter Mitty-type character? Or is there a bigger picture concerning Porton Down and UFOs that we aren’t seeing?

I’ll have more to say on all this in a future post…

See the UFO Casebook file UFO Crash: Llandrillo, Wales, UK, (Berwyn Mts.) 1974

permanent link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2012/portondownaffair.html

source & references:


1979 - Military Pilot Photographs UFO over Italy
UFO Depiction
Published: 4:47 PM 7/21/2012

Treviso Air Base, Italy - 06-18-79

Pilot Giancarlo Cecconi, in his G-91R fighter and attached to the 14 Group 2nd Air Force Fighter Wing was returning to Treviso Air Base, Italy after having carried out a reconnaissance mission on June 18, 1979, at 11:30 AM.

The Istrana radar center (TV), registered the presence of an intruder on its radar screens, and gave Cecconi directions to approach the unidentified craft that had penetrated a prohibited area.

Having unused film in his aircraft cameras, the pilot activated them and approached the UFO up to a distance of 70-80 meters and at speeds estimated at 300 knots (450-500 km.

The airport ground staff followed the scene with binoculars. The Treviso Control Tower personnel called Cecconi to warn him that the object was discharging a strange "blue trail."

He was in close pursuit at 7,000 feet altitude but did not know its wake. When the Pilot closed on the object it made up and down movements at 1,000 feet at a time, climbing up to 13,000 feet.

Cecconi made seven to eight passes close to the object and each time took gun camera film of the UFO resulting in a total of 82 frames depicting the intruder.

The apparent UFO was stationary relative to the G-91, but the radar center confirms to Cecconi that it was moving, course and speed defined.

The witness recalled a "gas tank" of matte black and the presence of a small white or clear "dome," located on the upper side, of the slightly flattened object.

The "dome" was like a kind of shaped like those found on sports cars. While Cecconi was making yet another tack to get back to doing another round of photographs, Istrana radar called to report the object suddenly disappeared from theirs and other radars.

After a few seconds, the Treviso control tower confirmed the UFO had visually disappeared. A few minutes later, the plane landed and the films were removed and quickly developed.

The pilot was very curious to see the pictures that he took including the white "dome."

The object was a cylindrical tank at least eight meters long (26 feet) with a maximum three in diameter suspended in the sky at thirteen thousand feet high."

The case is important because of the gun camera film, radar, and visual confirmation with several witnesses including a highly respected fighter pilot.


Treviso Air Base, Italy - 06-18-79

permanent link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2012/1979trevisoairbase.html

source & references:

Submitted to www.ufocasebook.com


Close Encounters: We May Meet Aliens this Century
UFO Depiction
Published: 3:51 PM 7/17/2012

LONDON: An Oxford scientist has given a prediction which will get dollar signs flashing in eyes of Hollywood directors: Humans could encounter aliens in less than 100 years.

According to one of leading physicists in the United Kingdom, governments should start preparing for human's first extraterrestrial encounter now, reported the 'Daily Mail.'

"I do suspect we are going to get signs of life elsewhere, maybe even intelligent life, within the next century," Jocelyn Bell Burnell said at the Euroscience Open Forum conference in Dublin.

"How well prepared are we? Have we thought of how we approach them? Should we put them in a zoo, eat them, send in GIs to bring them democracy?" Burnell said. She said we are most likely to find alien life where we find rocky planets with carbon dioxide and ozone in the atmospheres.

However, she said that even if we do find signs of alien life, it is likely to take decades to talk to them from Earth through radio or lasers. "Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. So you are probably talking of conversations that could take 50 or 100 years, just one way," Burnell said.

Scientists are divided about whether we should be advertising our presence to inhabitants of other planets.

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking has warned that aliens may plunder Earth for its resources.

"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet. If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," Hawking was quoted by the paper as saying.

permanent link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2012/thiscentury.html

source & references:


2000 - Triangle Object over Missouri Reported by MUFON ASD
UFO Depiction
Published: 3:35 PM 7/17/2012

Union, Missouri - 01-04-2000

FILED BY ASD for the witness, who wishes to remain anonymous:

The witness, who was an Assistant Fire Chief at the time, was prompted to contact MUFON after seeing a TV program on the Illinois sightings in the year 2000.

He stated that he was returning from a house fire in St. Clair, Missouri at approximately 3:00 AM and was on I-44 Highway approaching Union, Missouri when he heard law enforcement on the county police band radio discussing an unidentified object.

The dispatcher said “Oh it's this Roswell stuff again” and that police were chasing the object.

As the witness approached 50 hwy and 47 hwy, he saw a large triangular craft with lights pointing down over the Wal-Mart that was traveling at approximately 25-30 MPH. The witness said that the very bright lights on the object pointed downward, but did not light up the ground, seeming to stop approximately 100 feet up.

The craft was approximately 500 above the ground.

The witness joined up with an officer from Union, Missouri and an officer from the County, and the three of them followed the object in their separate cars for approximately one hour as the object headed towards Washington, Missouri, north of the original position.

The object was always in front of them or above them. At one point, the county officer attempted to tilt his dash cam up in order to get pictures, but it would not move into the needed position.

None of the men had a camera with them. The object stopped and hovered several times and moved very slowly. They were unable to use the radio for communication while the craft was above them.

After an hour, the officers needed to turn back to get back to other calls, so this witness left as well. By this time, the object had moved into an area SE of Washington, MO over farmland where there were no roads, and it was impossible to follow.

permanent link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2012/2000missouritriangle.html

source & references:


Astronomers Say UFOs Often Misidentified
UFO Depiction
Published: 3:41 PM 7/17/2012

Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Astronomers say that people often misidentify known astronomical objects for UFOs.

"I get lots of phone calls. Quite often people have spotted a planet - often Jupiter and Venus - and they don't realise it. I ask them which direction they were looking at; what time it was and I can go check and see what was up at that time," Dr Nicola Loaring outreach astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory told News24.

She said that members of the public often call or send pictures of objects they have photographed and identified as Unidentified Flying Objects.

"There're also the UFOs which people see and sometimes I get photos sent to me and it's quite difficult from the photos to work out what it is," said Loaring.

Orthodox scientists do not recognise that aliens from other worlds or dimensions are regularly visiting Earth, but there are aerial anomalies that have been observed both at night as well as during the day.


Loaring said that some of the photographed anomalies may be errors on recording equipment.

"It could an aircraft; it could be Chinese lanterns. Apparently people confuse them with UFOs and I got one picture once where there was a smudge - a greenish smudge - but that was from the camera. It was a reflection in the lens."

Astronomers have expanded their field to include observations from the public and it has helped identify previously unknown objects.

In 2007, Dutch school teacher Hanny van Arkel discovered a massive gas cloud about 650 million light years away from Earth and around 16 000 light years across.

The object, known as Hanny's voorwerp has become the subject of much research by professional astronomers.

"That [Hanny's voorwerp] was something they weren't aware of and they found this and they got a whole lot of people to carry on in Galaxy Zoo to look for more of them. And they've written papers on it now," Loaring said.


She added that with the wealth of current data available, there wasn't enough researchers to do a proper examination and the public could get involved in early stage analysis.

"That was something they just weren't expecting. There're quite a few citizen science projects out there and people can contribute because there's so much data; there're not enough [professional] people to look at it."

Still, despite the best efforts of researchers, some observations, particularly by credible witnesses such as pilots leave astronomers baffled.

This is especially true when an observation of a UFO cannot be explained by clouds, tricks of light or known aeroplanes.

"Other times you really can't tell what it is. And you're just... 'I don't know'," said Loaring.

permanent link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/2012/oftenmisidentified.html

source & references:


Archived Case of the Week

UFO Crash: Llandrillo, Wales, UK, (Berwyn Mts.) 1974
On the 23rd of January, 1974, an extraordinary event took place in Llandrillo, North Wales, United Kingdom.

On a winter's night, a great terrible noise was heard by many of the village, and the first thing that came to mind was that there had been an explosion of some type.

As some of the villagers went outside to see what had occurred, they were amazed by the scene of blue and orange lights near the mountain of Cader Bronwen.

From witness statements, and the next day's press, came this explanation, "There was a huge explosion a few minutes after 8:30 PM. From various accounts, this preceded, some say by up to two or three minutes, a violent shaking of the ground, like a medium-sized earthquake - objects inside houses were knocked off shelves."

In a very similar scenario to the Kecksburg crash, authorities rushed to the scene; police first, followed by Royal Air Force personnel. Immediately, the area around the crash was cordoned off with nobody allowed to enter.

This operation seemed like overkill; the area being so remote, and uninhabited. This search and rescue lasted for several days in the Berwyn Mountains.

One witness, who was working at a hotel in Bala, stated that a group of men had arrived at the hotel, and stayed several days. They were involved in the operations at the crash site, but refused to answer any questions about the activities there.

One of the most compelling accounts of the events in Wales came from a lady who was a nurse living at Llanderfel.

UFO She was asked by local police to assist in a plane crash near her house. Gathering her things together, and not having any one to watch her teenage daughters, she took them with her to the location given by the police.

She was driving on B4391, which goes from Bala to Llangynog. The road was nearly deserted, being at 10:00 PM on a cold, wintry night. As she proceeded up into the mountains, she was astonished at what she saw next...

There was an object "quite intact" which was large, circular, and glowing an orange color. Her and her two daughters were within a few hundred feet of it. She could not be mistaken at what she saw, a UFO.

She could also see police and military personnel, which were much closer to the UFO. They instructed her to leave the area, even after she explained why she was there.

Afraid for her and her daughters' safety, she left without argument. Authorities escorted her from the site.

The roads around the site of the unusual object stayed closed for a number of days afterwards. The nurse talked to some of the local shepherds who complained that they were not even allowed to tend their flocks.

She and others were convinced of a military and governmental cover up of what really happened on January 23, 1974 near the Berwyn Mountains.

Was the explosion a mechanical failure of the orange glowing craft, or did another UFO crash? We may never know for certain.

(B J Booth)

UFO Casebook Splash

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