Feb 01, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Some of the Strangest Government Projects, Part 1

Today's article is on the subject of some of the weirdest government projects that span more than a few decades. I'm going to focus on the United States and the United Kingdom. I'll begin with the U.K. and reveal some of its strange secrets. And tomorrow I'll focus on the U.S. In the heart of North Wales, U.K., there exists a body of water called Lake Bala. You may say, well, there’s nothing particularly strange about that. You would be correct. Lake Bala is not out of the ordinary, in the slightest. But what is rumored to dwell in its dark depths most assuredly is out of the ordinary. It’s the domain of a violent lake monster called Teggie. Or, is the story born out of secret, military experiments? It all very much depends on who you ask and who you believe. There are longstanding rumors in and around the Bala area that in the build-up to the First World War, the British Royal Navy clandestinely let loose a group of seals into the lake. The reason: to strap them with dynamite and train them to attacks specific targets, namely warships.

It should be noted that the dynamite was not real and the "warships" were just small rowing boats. In other words, the project was a test-run, in the event that the Royal Navy might find itself at war with Germany (which it did in 1914, when the First World War broke out), and suicidal seals, strapped with explosives, might be required to fight for their country.  So the story goes, the seals proved impossible to train, and the project was abandoned. And, so today, what people are seeing today are brief glimpses of the original seals that bred and bred and so on. Of course, it’s very possible this is nothing more than a tall tale, passed on through the generations and without any actual facts to support it. Thus, the legend of Teggie continues to thrive. Now, onto the matter of Aleister Crowley.

Aleister Crowley, the "Great Beast" who died in 1947, was the subject of sensitive files that are said to have been destroyed, but which may not have been. In this case, the records were said to have originated with MI5, which is the U.K.’s equivalent of the FBI. Richard B. Spence, of the International Spy Museum, has done his utmost to try and unravel the connections between Crowley and the intelligence community. Spence says of Crowley: "He was such a disreputable and even evil character in the public mind that arguably no responsible official would think of employing him. But the very fact that he seemed such an improbable spy was perhaps the best recommendation for using him." Another theory is that during the Second World War, British Intelligence planned on using the world of the occult to try and prevent the Nazis from invading the U.K.

It was thanks to Spence that in 2003 something extraordinary happened. That was the year in which Spence found not a file on Crowley per se, but a file on another topic, but which referenced Crowley’s MI5 file. The claim that there had not been an MI5 file on Crowley, now had no merit. Caught in an awkward situation, MI5 went back on its previous stance and claimed that, yes, there had been a Crowley file, after all. But, it had been destroyed back in the 1950s. Spence dug deeper and found further references to Crowley-based files. They, too, had been destroyed, claimed MI5. W. Adam Mandelbaum, who worked for U.S. Intelligence, said that: “Given the political fallout that would have resulted from making this involvement public, it should be no surprise that there is a paucity of documentation concerning Crowley’s intelligence efforts.” Now, let's look at a similar situation but a different person.

There are rumors that secret files exist within the U.K.’s MI5 – which is the British equivalent of the United States’ FBI – on “Britain’s Most Famous Witch.” Her name was Sybil Leek, who was rumored to have undertaken work of a very weird kind to help defeat the Nazis during the Second World War. I have tried to secure such files, but with no luck. But, there’s a chance they exist. The BBC says: “One of the most incredible claims about her is that she was recruited by the British Government during the Second World War. According to the Second World War author Michael Salazar, her role was to provide phony horoscopes for the Germans who believed in Astrology. She apparently wrote a chart which convinced the Nazi Rudolf Hess to fly to England, where he was captured.” Maybe, one day, we’ll know for sure the truth of this weird affair.

Part-2 is coming!

Nick Redfern

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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