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Surveillance, Saucers and Spies

In this, the third and final installment of my 3-part article on the UFO connection to the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, I will once again share with you the words of Robin Cole, who I interviewed back in the 1990s on his research into the UFO-GCHQ link. This part of the story deals with what happened when, from Cole’s perspective, it all got very weird – and even sinister. Cole told me: “GCHQ have a copy of my report [titled GCHQ and the UFO Cover-Up]. I don’t know how they got hold of it, but it wasn’t from me, and they obtained it before it went on general release. I know that much.”

Cole added: “Before I put my report on general release, I had proof-readers’ copies done for the members of the group – I only felt it was fair that the members knew about the information before anybody else. I’d like to know if the copy GCHQ have is a finished copy or a proofreaders’ copy. If they’ve got a proof, then I know that someone within our group handed it to them – which wouldn’t surprise me: we’ve got a few members in the group who work for GCHQ. The only way that GCHQ could possibly have got hold of a finished copy is to have got into my flat and taken a copy.”

Could such a thing have occurred? Cole thought so: “I don’t like talking about it because people think that you’re losing the plot or getting paranoid. But, yes, there have been instances where things have gone missing, things have been moved, and I tend to have a set place for everything. I suppose the most significant thing is that, just after publication, I held the master-copy of the report in my flat, with the photographs – color photographs – all pasted up in an envelope on a shelf. I went out to do a new print-run about four weeks later, got the report out, and the photos had vanished. Luckily, I’d made back-up copies, which I’d disseminated to various people. I’m glad now that I did, because I hunted my flat high and low. But there have been other occasions like this.”

As fascinating as Cole’s revelations were, still further evidence existed to show that his attempts to blow the lid on the secret UFO world of GCHQ attracted the keen attention of the Security and Intelligence services. Intriguingly, it appears from Cole’s revelations that the surveillance of his activities began months prior to the publication of his report in 1997. In other words, from the very day that he began looking into exactly what GCHQ knew about UFOs, his every move was being carefully watched and scrutinized by unseen eyes. One such example was truly eye-opening. Cole tells the story:

“I had just got home after a Sunday night out. I had some stuff to dump in my office and didn’t switch the light on. I put the things down and just glanced out of the window. Well, outside my window there’s a streetlight and beneath this was a white van. At first I just registered that the van seemed out of place. You know what it’s like: you tend to recognize the various cars and vehicles in your own street. But then I thought: well, it wasn’t there when I came in ten minutes ago. Why is it outside my flat under the streetlight?

“As I looked at it, I noticed that on top of the van were these two, weird, silver domes one behind the other – as if they were a part of the roof, built in. I thought that was odd, particularly when it occurred to me that where they were parked was also right next to the telephone junction box. At that point, I grabbed my camera and put the light on in the office. But as I did that, the van suddenly started up and went quickly down the road. Well, a couple of weeks later, the van turned up again. This time, I ran down the steps outside my flat and dashed into the road; and again the van started up and shot off. But it was enough for me to get details of the van’s registration and make, which was a Bedford. Then I set about trying to trace the van.” Things got very intriguing, as Cole notes:

“It so happens that I have got a friend, a retired police officer, to pass the details on to a serving officer who put the details through the police computer. Well, a few days passed. But on getting home one evening, I found a few messages on my answer-phone from [the retired police officer] in a very excited state. As it was about 11 o’clock at night, I thought: it’s too late to phone him now; I’ll give him a call tomorrow. I went to bed, but at 12.15, the phone rang; it was him. He said: ‘That vehicle, you were right to be suspicious about it. The registration regarding who actually owns it is blocked, but the address that it’s registered to is a Ministry of Defense post office box in Wiltshire.’ This was heavy stuff. But I’ve not seen the van since – and this was March 1997. But this was real proof that I was under some sort of surveillance.”

In addition to detailing the story of how he began his investigations of the link between UFOs and GCHQ, and the apparent surveillance of his activities, Robin Cole had an equally bizarre account to relate concerning the acquisition of the photograph of GCHQ that appeared on the front cover of his GCHQ and the UFO Cover-Up report: “I rang GCHQ up and told them that I was a freelance writer. I said that I was working on a piece about GCHQ and the possibility of the staff there having their trade union rights restored – this was heavily in the news at the time. ‘Can I come along and take some photographs?’ I asked.

“GCHQ responded by saying that they wouldn’t allow that, but they did have their own photograph which they would allow me to use. Now, they didn’t say that right away; I had to phone them on several occasions. Well, they wanted to post the photo to me, but I didn’t want them to do that because they’d have a record of my name and address. In response to that, I said that I needed the photo that day to finish the article. ‘Can I come and collect it?’ I asked. That was okay; they had no problems with me doing that. So, I jumped into a suit, walked up to the main gates and up to the security booth and said, ‘Hello, I’ve come to collect a photo.’ ‘Ah, you’re the journalist, aren’t you?’ the chap said, adding while pointing his finger, ‘You want to speak with those two guys sat over there in the white Rover.’

“I walked over to this car, somebody presumably pressed a button and down came the electric window of the car. It looked like the classic spy scene. The guy in the passenger seat was just looking forwards and the other one was looking straight at me. I repeated, ‘I’ve come to collect a photo,’ and they passed me this brown envelope. I didn’t really know what to do at that point and just said, ‘Oh, thanks,’ and walked off and up went the window of the Rover with no further words said.”

And, to finalize things, for even more information on the GCHQ/Robin Cole/UFO issue, see this article at my blog…

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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