UFOs, The Official Secrets Act,
And The Joint Intelligence
Committee - A Breakthrough
By Nick Redfern
From Mark Hall <>
Has the British Government ever employed the use of the Official Secrets Act to silence those implicated in the UFO subject? To those armchair researchers who proclaim that such an idea is absurd, I say: 'Think again.'
In my first book, A Covert Agenda, I presented clear evidence via officially-released documents now available at the Public Record Office at Kew, that in both 1953 and 1956 orders were circulated throughout the RAF warning personnel not to talk about the UFO issue outside of official channels; however, the records which had been declassified at the time I wrote the book did not directly reference the OSA or its potential use from a ufological perspective. Nevertheless, I was also able to present the testimony of a number of individuals (some with media ties) who asserted that the OSA had been used to keep the truth surrounding UFOs under wraps.
Via a file that I secured only days ago from the PRO, however, I am now able to prove conclusively that UFOs and the Official Secrets Act go hand in hand. Exactly why the Government has chosen to release this file is a mystery in itself, given that it sharply contradicts past assertions.
The file in question (titled 'UFO Policy') covers the period 1958 to 1963 and revolves around UFO investigations undertaken by various Air Ministry departments during that time frame. Contained within the file is a 6-page document dating from December 1960 and circulated at 'Secret' level throughout the Royal Air Force. Like earlier papers, it details the procedures to be followed in the event that military radar operators, RAF pilots, civil pilots or members of the public should report a UFO.
Interestingly, however, the paper in question contains two eye- opening revelations. First, it states that in situations where UFOs were tracked on radar, any military aircraft in the vicinity were to be diverted from their normal flight to 'investigate the phenomena'. Second, and far more significant, is the Air Ministry's overwhelming desire to prevent the media and the public learning about such intrusions, trackings and interceptions. I quote from the paper in question:
'The Press are never to be given information about unusual radar sightings. Unauthorised disclosures of this type will be viewed as offences under the Official Secrets Act.
Although brief in nature, this document (which remained in use until the formation of the MoD on 1 April 1964 - how appropriate) makes it abundantly clear that the UFO issue was indeed covered by the OSA.
On another - but equally important - matter, the file in question also makes a very brief reference to a pre-1959 study of the UFO mystery carried out by none other than the British Government's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)! Certainly, it has long been recognised that at various times since the late 1940s investigations into UFO encounters have been undertaken by the Royal Air Force, the Air Ministry and the Ministry of Defence. However, the revelation that the JIC also carried out an investigation more than 40 years ago is of great significance. Why so?
First, the membership of the JIC includes not just elite personnel from the MoD, the Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but also the heads of MI5, MI6 and the Government Communications Headquarters at Cheltenham - GCHQ!
Second, the fact that (to my knowledge) no rumours have ever circulated to the effect that the JIC undertook its own UFO investigation programme in the late 1940s or 1950s, is an indication of the level of secrecy that surrounded the project.
The files at the Public Record Office concerning the JIC make no reference to a 1940s/50s UFO investigation; however, I am now actively looking to resolve this issue via several methods and hope ultimately to reveal further findings at a later date. At this stage, the extent to which any of this may have a bearing on the allegations of direct UFO studies undertaken by GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 both decades ago and in the present day, can only be guessed at.
NOTE: Permission is granted to reproduce the above in journals, magazines, newsletters, internet sites, books etc.