In the UFO community, there are always disagreements and sometimes allegations are slung that have no basis in fact. I have been called a shill for the Air Force, I have been accused of working for Hector Quintanilla and Project Blue Book, and that I am an anti-abduction propagandist who writes fiction. The only truth in all that is that I do write fiction including science fiction but does that really disqualify me from UFO investigation? Wouldn’t my background in the military and my training in various fields suggest I can bring some important insights to UFO investigation?
I say all this because Dr. David Clarke has again suggested that Nick Pope, sometimes described as Britain’s Fox Mulder (because the news media loves to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator) didn’t investigate anything officially. Clarke told Martin Willis, during Willis’ recent podcast, “There was a UFO desk when he was an incumbent for three years but he was just one of dozens of people who did that task and he didn’t actually investigate anything.”
Clarke went on to say that Nick Pope merely received the reports and that he then filed them. The people responsible for the investigations was the Defence Intelligence Staff, DISS. It was their job to conduct the UFO investigations that were believed to have some sort of military significance.
Clarke said, “I’ve interviewed most of the people who worked on this subject in DISS at that time and they tell me ‘well, Nick Pope didn’t have any involvement in this. We did the investigations, we didn’t share information with them because we didn’t trust them.” He meant that the civilian servants tended to leak information into the public arena which is why they didn’t trust them.
Of course, this really is nothing new. Clarke has raised these allegations in the past and Nick has refuted them in the past. This sort of thing seems to dot the UFO landscape. It doesn’t matter how many times the allegations are challenged; they seem to pop up again and again.
Philip Mantle, the force behind Flying Disk Press, and someone who can’t be seen as a skeptic, wrote to a number of UFO researcher around the world this last week:
Over the past few days social media has been buzzing regarding allegations made by Dr. David Clarke. Dr. Clarke was interviewed by Martin Willis on his podcast on the 18th of November. At around halfway through this one hour interview Martin asked David about Nick Pope. As most of you will know Mr. Pope claims to have run the UK government’s UFO project and had officially investigated UFOs, crop circles and alien abductions as part of his MoD job. Dr. Clarke publicly stated that his is not the case and that Mr. Pope undertook no such work and there never was nor is there a UK government ‘UFO PROJECT’…
Dr. David Clarke is not the only source of information regarding Nick Pope. Personally I have been making my own enquiries which are still on-going. Although my enquiries are not yet complete I have seen and heard enough to convince me that Dr. Clarke is indeed correct. As a result just yesterday [November 25] I removed Nick Pope’s foreword for the revised edition of my book “WITHOUT CONSENT”.
Of course Nick Pope denies these allegations but now the ball is [simply] in his court. Can Nick Pope provide any official documentation that states he ran the UK government’s UFO Project? Well the MoD also claims that he did no such thing. If he can’t then is this the beginning of the end of Nick Pope?
Still, there is some smoke, but is there any fire. I particularly liked the idea that Nick present some sort of documentation. I have had the same sort of requests made of me when people wondered if I had been completely honest about my background. I provided the documentation, though a couple of times it took some convincing for the controlling agencies to release the data. I always attempt to supply the information requested to stop the rumors.
I have also found that those who can’t provide the evidence tend to come up with the “I’m not going to dignify that request with any sort of response defense.” I’ve always taken that to mean that they can’t provide the evidence so they just dodge the question with this non response… Or they fall back on the old the records have been altered or have been destroyed. Huge red flags when dealing with these sorts of allegations.
I reached out to Nick Pope, who was, of course, aware of this latest brouhaha. Within minutes, I had an answer from Nick. He mentioned that this allegation had been around for years and it had been answered time and again. He pointed out that he had been interviewed on a number of high-level television, radio, and newspaper reporters and had appeared in numerous documentaries. He suggested that those reporters had vetted him and found his claims to be credible…
Well, given the state of journalism today, and knowing that documentary producers often have their own agendas, I wasn’t particularly swayed by that argument. Some might have checked, but I figure most hadn’t. They just believed what they were told because that was easier than doing any real investigation.
That wasn’t all he said. He provided a link to an official document that seemed to underscore what he claimed. You can read that here:
If you scroll down slightly, you’ll find a question that was asked in the British parliament that seemed to suggest that Nick did investigate UFOs. It is not a ringing endorsement, but does suggest that Nick was telling the truth about his involvement, officially, in UFO investigations.
So, to answer Philip Mantle’s question, it seems that Nick did supply an official document that states he ran the project. For those who don’t want to go to all that trouble, here is that brief statement:
From 1991 to 1994 Mr. Pope worked as a civil servant within Secretariat (air staff). He undertook a wide range of secretariat tasks relating to central policy, political and parliamentary aspects of non-operational RAF activity. Part of his duties related to the investigation of unidentified aerial phenomena reported to the Department to see if they had any defence significance.
As I say, not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it the same sort of endorsement we’ve seen for Louis Elizondo and the AATIP project he might have run. We are now in a world of secrets and bureaucracies and double speak so it is hard to define the truth. At the moment we have no real answer, other than Nick did supply official documents but it didn’t go quite as far as I would have liked.
That’s not all. Since the bar was set very low, it wasn’t very difficult to overcome. Other official documents show that Nick did investigate UFOs while serving at the MoD. You can see some of them here:
As a final bit of evidence, Nick was interviewed for a documentary and according to tht documentary, was the spokesman for the MoD UFO program. For those interested, you can watch it here:
I will note, for those who don’t wish to watch the whole thing, that the relevant part begins at the fifteen minute mark.
Nick also wrote, “I don't think there's rivalry between David Clarke and I. I remember Clarke from the British UFO Research Association, so we're not rivals - merely people who come at this subject from different sides of the fence: him as a ufologist, me as someone who's looked at the phenomenon as part of my government job. Obviously, it's frustrating when someone misunderstands or misrepresents my government work, but the lie that I didn't investigate UFOs for the MoD was nailed years ago, and obviously the official website of British parliament is an unimpeachable source. QED.”
This whole thing might just boil down to one man making claims about another and that man providing evidence that those claims are false. Given that this has played out long before, this might just be much ado about nothing.