May 08, 2021 I Nick Redfern

UFOs and National Security: A Strange 25th “Anniversary” and the Mir Space Station

In my first book, A Covert Agenda, I made mention of a small (but nonetheless intriguing) body of evidence pertaining to the collation and investigation of UFO data on the part of the sprawling Government Communications Headquarters at Cheltenham (GCHQ), England. As Military.Wikia note: "The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is a British intelligence agency responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the British government and armed forces. Based in Cheltenham, it operates under the guidance of the Joint Intelligence Committee. GCHQ was originally established after the First World War as the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS or GCCS) and it was known under that name until 1946. During the Second World War it was located at Bletchley Park. GCHQ is the responsibility of the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, but it is not a part of the Foreign Office and its Director ranks as a Permanent Secretary. In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was attempting to collect all online and telephone data in the UK via the Tempora programme."

1280px Aerial of GCHQ Cheltenham Gloucestershire England 24May2017 arp 570x429
Aerial view of GCHQ

Although GCHQ personnel forthrightly deny they play roles in the UFO subject, time and again snippets of information surface, suggesting that behind the official stance there exists an incredible story just waiting to be uncovered. First and foremost is the striking fact that GCHQ works hand-in-glove with the United States’ National Security Agency – an agency with a rich history of involvement in the UFO puzzle. Second, on more than one occasion reports have surfaced relating to the sighting of UFOs over the GCHQ complex itself! To illustrate this, on 29 March 1996, two security guards assigned to the facility viewed during the early hours of the morning a silent, brightly-lit object that over-flew their heads whilst they patrolled the base. "We just looked at it," said one, adding, "We weren’t frightened. We were just amazed." The other concurred: "‘I have never seen anything like it before in my life. It was traveling very fast. It definitely was not a plane." The response from Government Communications Headquarters when the media latched on to what had occurred was tight lipped. "No doubt they did see something but I couldn’t say what it was," was the carefully worded response from a GCHQ spokesman.

Mir entre lespace et la Terre edit
Mir space station

Robin Cole - who wrote his very own report on the UFO-GCHQ connection in the 1990s - has also been able to shed further and much-welcome light on the 29 March 1996 UFO encounter reported by two GCHQ security guards. Cole told me: "Both of the guards were so convinced by what they’d seen that they went to The Citizen – this is the local newspaper that covers the Gloucester area – and reported it. Well, the newspapers went on to publish their names and the fact that they were security guards at GCHQ. Normally, people who work at the base just say that they're civil servants, because they don't want to be associated with GCHQ publicly. Well, we didn’t make too big a deal out of it, but we did try and look into it all a bit deeper. There are a number of people within our UFO research group, Circular Forum, who work at GCHQ. Of course, I tried to press them to find out what they could."

Cole continued: "It just so happens that one of our members knew one of the security guards and another member used to work at GCHQ as a security guard and knew the other one. Well, they then subsequently invited the two of them around for tea and got on to talking about UFOs – as you do! Basically, both of them stated that when the article in The Citizen appeared: "We were both hauled in before our superiors the following morning and we were told that what we had seen was the Mir Space Station, and that we were to drop it unless we wanted to face severe action. You know how it is [at GCHQ]; they’re all paranoid. But we know deep in our hearts that this was not a space station. It was far too low in orbit and it just came over and stopped. It was there for several minutes and was then joined by a second light. The one then seemed to drop down quite low, and as soon as it started dropping, the pair of them just shot off. And we know it wasn’t Mir.”’

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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