For years, UFO researchers have focused a wealth of attention upon the classified, UFO-related work of the ultra-secret U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), which has its base of operations at Fort Meade, Maryland. Less well know, however, is the sheer extent to which Britain’s own equivalent of the NSA – the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), at Cheltenham, England – has also been implicated, to an astonishing degree, in the secret investigation of UFO activity. However, thanks to the industrious research of a spirited UFO researcher named Robin Cole, we now know that the GCHQ-UFO link is far greater than many have previously realized.
Created only twelve months after the Allied victory over the Nazis in the Second World War, GCHQ has the daunting task of supplying numerous agencies and departments within both Government and the military with intelligence data. It is also involved in various foreign and domestic eavesdropping operations – including the monitoring of emails, faxes and telephone conversations. Born and bred in Cheltenham, Robin Cole has been fascinated by UFOs since childhood and, in the latter part of 1996, found himself plunged into the murky world of GCHQ, following a spectacular series of UFO incidents that occurred off the east coast of England.
It was shortly after 3.00 a.m. on 5 October 1996 when all hell broke loose in the skies over Norfolk and Suffolk, England. Multiple objects of unknown origin manifested themselves in British airspace, and, what’s more, they were seen by credible sources, including serving police officers. They were tracked on ground-based military radar and were viewed out at sea by the crew of a tanker named the Conocoast.
“We can see a strange red-and-green rotating light in the sky directly south-east from Skegness,” reported police on the East coast, continuing: “It looks strange as it is stationary and there is [sic] no aircraft in the area.” Equally unusual things were afoot at RAF Neatishead, Norfolk, as the following statement made to the Coast Guard by staff at Neatishead makes amply clear: “We had a report from [RAF] Northwood that a civil flight had also reported strange lights in the area. They fit exactly what was seen from the ground: multi-colored, flashing, stationary lights.”
For its part, the Government was very quick indeed to play down the events in question. So-called misperception, atmospherics and electrical storms were all the order of the day, although certainly not everyone agreed with that assertion. Via a contact that he enigmatically describes as having a “close association” with GCHQ, Robin Cole learned that during the early hours of the morning of 5 October 1996, two senior civil servants were ordered to report to GCHQ to carry out “a full analysis of the situation.”
“I know their occupations and I even have their names now,” Cole told me. “But, the problem is, if I give out too much information, I’ll identify them. At this stage I don’t want to do that, but I can tell you that one was an extremely high-up civil servant who looks at different situations which the Government finds itself in almost the point of view of a sociologist, saying: ‘How are the general public going to perceive this position that we find ourselves in?’ and things like that.”
But as Cole delved further into the hidden world of GCHQ, he learned that their involvement in the UFO subject did not solely center on the events of October 1996. He also discovered that GCHQ’s library holds a number of books on the UFO subject. “Again,” he stated to me, “I don’t want to reveal too much about the source of this information, but they, too, have a close association to GCHQ. GCHQ has this very extensive library of books and manuscripts, and the employees are apparently allowed access to it. But I was most interested when somebody from GCHQ asked me if I had a copy of the U.S. Air Force’s UFO investigation study, Project Blue Book. When I said ‘no,’ they said that they had a copy at work. It turns out that GCHQ has 15 or 20 UFO books in its library.”
Cole elaborates further about GCHQ’s role in the study of the UFO phenomena, saying: “One GCHQ source lives literally across the road from a friend and colleague of mine. They got talking about UFOs one day, and this person said: ‘I know nothing compared to what other departments know. But, yes, occasionally we did track objects that defied all rational explanation, and I know that the speed and agility of the objects is just unbelievable.’” That same source also confided that those within GCHQ tasked with examining such data were convinced they were dealing with an alien technology infinitely more advanced than that of 20th century mankind.
Surely the most bizarre story to reach Cole, however, came from a woman whose job involved analyzing Signals Intelligence data at GCHQ: “The woman came home from work one afternoon and said to her brother: ‘Look, I’ve got something really serious to tell you, but you’re not to tell anybody else. We’ve known for years that we’re at war with these beings.’ She didn’t really say much more than that, apart from the fact that the UFO issue was a very serious one.”
Despite the seemingly incredible nature of the data imparted to Cole, there is demonstrable evidence to show that his research hit a very raw nerve within the secret world of officialdom. Having obtained an extraordinary body of information linking GCHQ with UFOs, in 1997, Cole put all his findings together into a self-published report: GCHQ and the UFO Cover-Up. He takes up the story, saying: “Just after my report was published, I was interviewed with regard to its contents by Central TV. Then, the following morning the phone rang and it was a Detective-Sergeant from Cheltenham Special Branch. He made it clear that he wanted to interview me.”
Cole continued that shortly afterwards two police-officers arrived, and the questions took a curious turn: “Who do you work for…what’s your interest in the UFO phenomena…what do you do?” Eventually, the pair departed, apparently satisfied with the answers that Cole supplied. Fortunately, prior to the arrival of the officers, Cole had the presence of mind to clandestinely hide a tape-recorder in the room, and duly recorded the entire conversation, without the knowledge of the pair, but utterly confirming its reality.
The apparent official interest in Cole’s activities continued, however. On several occasions, he had seen an unusual-looking van parked outside his second-floor flat – right next to the telephone junction-box. This could, of course, have been entirely innocent – were it not for the fact that a trusted, insider contact was able to track the ownership of the vehicle (via its license-plate) to a British Ministry of Defense post-office-box address in the English county of Wiltshire. As a result of probing into the top secret links between UFOs and GCHQ, Cole had apparently attracted the attention of Special Branch and elements of the MoD.
To this day, Robin Cole is unsure what to make of the GCHQ-UFO connection, but of one thing he is certain: “The British Government states that UFOs are of no defense significance. I would say in response that as far as UFOs are concerned, the government can offer us no significant defense.”