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On the Trail of the Saucer Spies: UFOs and Government Surveillance Paperback – 7 Feb 2006
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The Government knows all about UFOs. And it knows all about you, too. It isn't paranoia if you think "they" are watching you: they really are! Nick Redfern's timely new book, "On the Trail of the Saucer Spies: UFOs and Government Surveillance," reveals that Government, Military and Intelligence agencies have been secretly spying on UFO researchers, writers, investigators, and witnesses for decades -- and for countless reasons. If you've been watching the skies, or watching those who have been watching the skies, the government may have been watching you! Highlights of this groundbreaking book include: the FBI's reports on people who claim to have met extraterrestrials; Top Secret surveillance of alien-abductees; the real-life Men in Black who spy on UFO witnesses; phone-tapping and mail-interference of UFO researchers and authors; Scotland Yard's secret monitoring of UFO computer-hackers; classified files on researchers of the famous Roswell crash of 1947; official infiltration of Flying Saucer research groups; UFO writers suspected by the Government of working for hostile nations to uncover defense secrets; and much more. No one involved in the UFO mystery can afford to ignore this book. Nick Redfern is one of the world's foremost authorities on UFOS. His previous books include A Covert Agenda; The FBI Files; Cosmic Crashes; Strange Secrets (with Andy Roberts); Three Men Seeking Monsters; and Body Snatchers in the Desert. He has written for Military Illustrated; Eye Spy; Fate; Fortean Times; Phenomena Magazine; and the London Daily Express newspaper. He runs the American office of the British-based Center for Fortean Zoology.
About the Author
Nick Redfern (Dallas, Texas) is the author of more than thirty books on UFOs, Bigfoot, and cryptozoology, including Monster Files, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, and The Real Men in Black. He has appeared on more than seventy television shows, including the SyFy Channel's Proof Positive, the History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
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Now when you read that last sentence it makes a kind of natural sense. After all, you would think, of course the Intelligence agencies are going to watch Ufologists and they are going to smack them sharply on the nose like a naughty puppy if any of them get too close to any kind of truth.
Except that’s not how it was. It seems that the spooks couldn’t care less what researchers found out about UFOs, which isn’t very nice of them. Their interest it appears was more to do with the concern that some Ufologists might be using an interest in the subject as a cover for less patriotic activities. Like for instance spying for a foreign power, and so on.
And Nick Redfern should know as he himself was watched by the UK’s Special Branch for a number of years. You see, Nick kept company with very bad men. Matthew Williams, Matthew Bevan and Robin Cole were all dastardly villains because they too were Ufologists and rather than sit lamely back and fiddle with their widgets, they got off their backsides and either broke into restricted government buildings to get answers or hacked into the Pentagon’s computer system, or, as in Robin’s case, had the temerity to actually write a pamphlet on what the GCHQ (UK equivalent of the NSA) knew about UFOs.
But not satisfied with just consorting with these grave threats to the security of the realm, Nick further compounded his attraction to Special branch by standing outside Porton Down, the UK government’s centre for biological warfare research, and noting down the car registration numbers of people driving in and out of the base. Why would a Ufologist want to do that for God’s sake? I’m afraid the answer is in the book.
Nick covers Adamski, Newton/Scully/Gebauer, Van Tassel, Albert Bender, Men in Black, the real story behind some alien abductions, APEN – a mysterious group of UK individuals from the political far right, the Berwyn Mountain incident, Jenny Randles meeting with “Robert”, animal mutilations, the escapades of Matthew Williams, Matthew Bevan’s hacking into the Pentagon, the Provost and Security Services, direct approaches to Ufologists by AFOSI, and much, much more. In particular, Nick has the assistance of a former Special Branch detective who he calls The Sandman who, years after the events described in Nick’s book, is quite happy to confirm and clear up and explain what was going on and why.
This is an excellently researched and well written and informative book that casts Ufology in another perspective. It is a perspective that some may feel uncomfortable with but you need to remember that this is a Nick Redfern book and Nick isn’t in to tucking us up all safe and snug at night. What this is is a further clarification of the UFO reality and that reality isn’t exactly what a lot of Ufologists currently believe it to be.
Yet again this is a very well researched book, but I always take the same issue with this area of the subject. When people break the law or go to potentially dangerous lengths to gather information who the hell can blame the government or security services for reacting. If `I was looking for information about UFOs your honour' was a valid excuse for breaking any law then it would be pointless having the laws in the first place.
Actions by some, regarded by the UFO community as benign or for the greater good that threaten the security of anyone are not acceptable. I love researching the UFO subject but if I broke the law or threatened any part of our democracy (which is what the security service protect) I would expect to be watched at the very least and prosecuted where required.
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The reader can also get wised up on Matthew Bevan's hacking into Hangar 18 computers of AFB Wright-Patterson, who stumbled upon documents pertaining to anti-gravity propulsion system, and his subsequent harassment by authorities on both shores of the Atlantic. A bit less than a decade later, in 2005, his compatriot Gary McKinnon (check him out on the net, if you may) incurred the wrath of similar agencies in what is still an on-going case, I recall, when he revealed to newspaper Guardian having come across "a list of (...) names under the heading of Non-Terrestrial Officers. It doesn't mean little green man. What (...) it means is not Earth-based. I found a list of 'fleet-to-fleet transfers,' and a list of ship names (...) They weren't U.S. Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet." (p. 273) Wow! Furthermore, the author utilizes not only a handful of out-of-print, hard-to-get books on the subject but information obtained under FOIA and interviews with investigators, informants et al.
The book is well paced, enjoyable, and exceeds at balancing intrigue and information. The text proceeds roughly chronologically, taking us first to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as it monitors UFO believers in the midst of communist tensions. As the chapters progress, we find ourselves crossing the pond and being introduced to the British analogues of our own American government agencies and facilities, spending significant amounts of time discussing the operations of MI5, RAF Rudloe Manor, and Porton Down, among others. A random sampling of the topics covered as we criss-cross the Atlantic include Project Beta, the sad story of Paul Bennewitz, hacking Hanger 18 and Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the destruction of NICAP, and the long and twisting tale of the organization known as APEN. The book also includes several black and white photographs, as well as duplicated documents intermingled within the chapters.
Part way through the reading we meet the "Sandman" who quickly becomes a linchpin character in the novel. This otherwise nameless figure is supposedly an ex-member of England's Metropolitan Police Special Branch who has chosen (or been chosen) to reveal information regarding the British government's historical "watching of the watchers." Sandman's frequent direct quotations throughout the latter half of the book serve extensively to validate and confirm various theories our author and his associates have put forth based on prior research. The Sandman is truly one of those "too good to be true" types when it comes to his apparently uncanny ability to put the puzzle pieces in place. In fact, he seems to have a hand in just about every European incident Redfern discusses. Regardless, for those readers who manage to suspend paranoia and suspicion long enough, his claims make for some highly engaging and revealing reading.
When it comes to following the UFO phenomenon, straight answers are a virtual impossibility. Everyone chooses their own particular degree of paranoia, and credulity is something often in short supply. The fantastic thing about "Saucer Spies" is that its contents, if they are to be believed, give many answers regarding government activity surrounding UFOs in a spectacularly elegant and cohesive package. First hand accounts are corroborated to the "T" by recently uncovered documents, government informants, and Redfern's "Sandman" contact. Of course, as the author is quick to point out in the closing of the novel, nothing is guaranteed. In the end, we still don't know if some UFOs are extraterrestrial, we don't know who or what some men in black may be, and we certainly don't know just how open and truthful our respective governments are really being. That said, if you can bring yourself to withhold distrust and paranoia long enough to read through these pages, I highly recommend it. Nick Redfern has done the UFO community a great service with this book, which would appear to be as revealing and honest as it is fascinating.