Jun 30, 2021 I Nick Redfern

UFO Whistleblowers: When Secrets are Revealed

Over the years, I've come across a lot of people in the UFO field who claim to be what we might call "UFO whistleblowers." I have to admit, though, that on many occasions they are nothing of the kind. Instead, they're totally pathetic "Walter Mitty"-types who like to have people think they're something special. They're not. With that said, however, on occasions the real deal does pop up. And, today, I'm going to share with you one particular story today - a story that involved myself back in the 1990s. At the time I was busy looking into the U.K. government's involvement in the UFO phenomenon. But, not in regards to the Ministry of Defense. As you may know, the MoD was, for many years, the place in which most of the UFO reports went to. It's a lesser-known fact, however, that a lot of UFO-related work was also done by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency,  and by the intelligence department of the Royal Air Force; at the time the Provost and Security Services. It was while I got further into all of this that I was approached by a man who I referred to as the "Sandman."

For years the Sandman had worked for an arm of the U.K. police force called Special Branch. Not only that, the Sandman claimed that me and two more UFO researchers in the U.K., Robin Cole and Matthew Williams. The former spent a lot of time digging into the GCHQ-UFO link, while the latter was focused almost totally on a now-closed facility in the southwest of England call Royal Air Force Rudloe Manor. For years, there were rumors that Rudloe Manor acted as a kind of "Hangar 18" facility where dead aliens and crashed UFOs were held - and way under the surface of the green fields of England. Such claims were never confirmed, of course. But, there's no denying the fact that both Williams and Cole became big headaches for the U.K. government. Indeed, the Sandman told me that Williams, me and Cole were watched closely from 1996 to 1998 by various agencies. When this revelation surfaced, a lot of people in the UFO research field in the U.K. scoffed at such claims. They were wrong to do so. In 2012, the claims of the Sandman were vindicated. The National Archives (where the now-declassified UFO files of the Ministry of Defense are held) revealed the following:

RudloeManorHawkins 570x360
Rudloe Manor

"File DEFE 24/1984/1 (p294) contains a 1996 Parliamentary Question from Martin Redmond MP asking on how many occasions MI6 and GCHQ have monitored UFO investigations. This was interpreted to mean 'have the agencies been keeping watch on UFOlogists.' A background briefing says 'neither agency in fact undertakes such activity, though GCHQ cannot rule out the possibility' they had monitored 'in other contexts individuals who have made a study of UFOs.'The MP was told the government do not comment on the intelligence and security agencies (p298). File DEFE 24/1987/1 (p262-65) reveals that in 1997 Special Branch took an interest in a UFOlogist who became obsessed with rumors of a secret UFO facility beneath RAF Rudloe Manor in Wiltshire. The base had become known as the British equivalent of the secret US military airbase 'Area 51' among conspiracy theorists. An internal note said 'Special Branch…do not believe he poses a specific threat to security, but they are alert to the risk that others may use him as a conduit for their activities.'" Those two men were confirmed as Williams and Cole.

Take note of all that: it was in 1996 when the Sandman told me that both Cole and Williams were being watched - by several agencies, no less - and it wasn't until 2012 when the government confirmed that fact. And confirmed the agencies involved, too. So, despite what the debunkers sometimes say, the fact is that real "UFO whistleblowers" do surface from the shadows - and, on top of that, they do provide good, solid information.

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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