Mar 28, 2021 I Nick Redfern

UFOs, Surveillance, Spying and Mysterious Phone-Calls

Over the years, UFO witnesses and investigators have claimed that their phones - whether smartphones or landlines - have been secretly monitored by what some might call "Them." To many people, this might sound like nothing but outright paranoia. The fact is though that "monitoring" of the UFO field has been going on for a very long time. And, today, I'll share with you some intriguing cases. Let's begin: While digging through a whole host of formerly classified files on UFOs at the National Archives at Kew, England in 1996, I came across a one-page report dated 28 March 1965 that, I confess, I almost overlooked. On closer inspection, however, I realized that it was potentially one of the most important UFO-related documents that I had ever come across. According to the MoD paperwork, on the night in question a witness saw at approximately 9.30 p.m. over moor-land near Richmond, North Yorkshire, England: "Nine or ten objects – in close triangular formation each about 100ft long – orange illumination below – each triangular in shape with rounded corners, making low humming noise." They sounded very much like the "Flying Triangles" of today.

The witness, Jeffrey Brown, told me that "For about eighteen months after the sighting, I would get strange telephone calls from people. These would be every two or three months. They just phoned out of the blue but didn’t introduce themselves. They just said they were from some bureau or other. They didn’t mention the name of the bureau but kept mentioning ‘sightings’ and asked whether I had seen anything else strange. Had any men come to interview me?” Mr. Brown was never visited by anyone with regard to his Flying Triangle encounter, nor did the MoD ever offer an explanation as to what it was that he saw on that fateful night in March 1965. He was, however, unnerved by those mysterious telephone calls – primarily because aside from informing the MoD of what had occurred, he made no other report (either official or unofficial) with anyone and kept the details to himself. Brown's report can still be read at the National Archives.


Claudia Cunningham was christened by long-time UFO researcher and author, Tim Beckley, as the "MIB Lady," due to her diligent and dedicated research into the phenomenon, as well as being someone who had her very own run in with one of the MIB in 2009, as I detailed in my book The Real Men in Black. In the late 1970s, Claudia experienced something that many researchers and witnesses encounter: strange and unsettling telephone interference. She told me of what happened at the height of one of her UFO investigations, when she had just got a new phone. Claudia got a very intimidating call. In her own words: "A man with a guttural and threatening voice said very emphatically, 'Claudia? I see you just got home. Do you know know what I’m going to do with you? I'm coming over now' and hung up. I thought I would absolutely die on the spot. Just think, now: a brand new phone with a brand new number. No-one had it. If a neighbor saw me pull in they wouldn’t have my phone number to call me, so it was no neighbor. I heard a car pull in the driveway as I was planning to run out through the cellar through the cellar door to escape and it was my parents. Thank the Good Lord. I never found out who it was, nor do I want to know. I was involved in my studying UFOs, etc. and I was always very nervous and upset around that time to begin with."

In 1996, UK UFO researcher Irene Bott and I investigated an alleged UFO crash in the woods of Cannock Chase, England. It was said to have come down back in 1964. After promoting the story in the local newspaper (The Chase Post) an elderly man, Harold South, came forward to share what he said he knew of the affair. In fact, he said he knew a lot. South claimed to have been at the site and said he was warned not to talk about what he'd seen. For years Harold had remained silent. Things changed, though, when me and Irene began investigating his claims. In December 1996, the two of us arranged to visit South in person. We did so on the 11th of the month. We called him – from my landline – in the morning and arranged to drive over to his home. When we got there, we could see South was very disturbed and worried. He claimed that in the time between me calling him and me and Irene arriving at his place, he had received a call from the Ministry of Defense – something that had put Harold into a state of distinct unease. South said that the MoD told him to call another number – as in right away. He did not. Rather, South put the phone down.

I have to say that, at first, me and Irene suspected this was a ruse: South’s way of getting out of being interviewed – after possibly having changed his mind about speaking to us. It turned out that was not the case, though. We asked South if we could use the U.K.’s “1471” system (that permitssomeone to find the number of the most recent incoming call). We dialed. Sure enough, and just as South said, there was a Ministry of Defense number. It turned out not to be from the main MoD building in London, but from the Ministry of Defense Guards Service at a local military base, Whittington Barracks. The person who we spoke to claimed no knowledge of the MoD’s call to South, even though we pointed out that we had specific evidence of the call. The conversation went no further – apart from round in circles. South, by now, was a man on edge: he quickly closed the conversation with us, clearly concerned that he was now in a situation that he had no desire to be in. South stopped the interview and refused to speak to us again. It was just another day in the weird world of UFOs.

Cases like those above absolutely abound. There's little evidence to suggest it's all down to fantasy and hoaxing. Indeed, the UFO research community has been watched, listened to, and followed for decades. And, no, it's not a matter of paranoia. It's a matter of reality.

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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