- Dear Colleagues,
- Further to my posting on Monday, 27 April, concerning
Britsh press reports that the RAF had tracked a "battleship"-sized
- You will recall that Alan Patterson, RAF Press Officer,
rejected all references to what he described as "the UFO angle"
reported by the media.
- He further claimed that the source of this story was
a former MoD civilian employee named Philip Burden - someone who left their
employment "under a cloud".
- I have since spoken with one of the journalists concerned,
who stands by the story.
- Speaking off the record (his name and newspaper are known
to a clutch of researchers, including Nick Redfern, Nick Pope and Timothy
Good), he told me that the original source of this story was a senior serving
RAF official, and not Mr. Burden.
- However, journalist David Clark (who was an active UFO
researcher before joining the Sheffield Star newspaper), has spoken with
'The Express' newspaper journalist John Ingham, who also covered the story.
Mr. Ingham has told David Clark that yes, Philip Burden was his primary
- Interestingly, Nick Pope highlighted an article that
appeared in the 'Daily Mail' newspaper on 24 April 1996. This included
a statement issued by the MoD, and published in RAF News, denying claims
made two weeks previously in a BBC 2 television programme, that a "battleship"-sized
UFO had been tracked at 4,000mph over the North Sea.
- Nick Pope wondered if there were a possible connection:
namely that the source quoted in the programme, featuring well-known UFO
researcher and author Jenny Randles, was one and the same.
- Two crucial findings have since emerged:
- 1) Jenny Randles has said that the 'source' in the 1996
programme was Ralph Noyes, himself a former head of the MoDs UFO desk,
then known as DS8. He was referring to an entirely separate incident.
- 2) Philip Burden, it transpires, was the former editor
of "RAF NEWS".
- The latter revelation is particularly intriguing, not
least because I am reliably informed that since leaving RAF News, Philip
Burden has provided the media with several stories, originating from his
time spent while editor of that publication, and for which he was paid.
- One of these referred to an alleged UFO incident over
Thailand, and took place during an official State Visit by the Queen.
- Allegedly, the RAF aerobatic team (Red Arrows) had to
cut short a flying display when the UFO appeared.
- We are, as you can well imagine, attempting to clarify
several important matters arising from these developments.
- Suffice to say, at least one senior newspaper correspondent
is standing by the story as it appeared last Monday.
- The only concession he is prepared to make, is that the
estimated speed of the UFO in question might now be in doubt, but he failed
to expand on his reasoning.
- As for the "battleship"-sized UFO, the 12 oval-shaped
objects and radar tapes thereof?
- He maintains such references were accurately reported,
but expressed sympathy towards Alan Patterson's position, who, he stressed,
had no option other than to state official MoD policy on the UFO issue.
- It's been a hectic week thus far and late in the evening,
but hopefully these comments will help to shed light on matters.
- Finally, for anyone thinking of attending the Space Symposium
at RAF Cranwell (4-5 June), admission doesn't come cheap.
- Tickets are priced at £220.00 (two hundred &
twenty pounds), and I'm not certain whether that's for one or both days.
- Last but not least, our journalist friend suspects that
the radar tapes, and all reference to them, "will be pulled"
from the dozen-or-so sessions schedule to take place.
- Best regards,
- Graham W. Birdsall (Editor)
- UFO Magazine [UK]