As I have mentioned, I waded into this swamp on purpose. I had heard the negative things being said about Nick Pope and thought I’d provide him with a platform for his response. I did ask for some documentation. He didn’t send much, and again, as I mentioned, it didn’t actually verify his claims.
In response, I received a number of emails from Nick Redfern, Philip Mantle and David Clarke, often accompanied with documentation that seemed to effectively refute what Nick Pope had said. As usual, the fight deteriorated into name calling, though most of that was done by others whose comments I have refused to post here.
I thought I would make a couple of observations, and that I would post, at the end here, some of that documentation. That way readers can make up their own minds about who is right and who is wrong. I would hope that those opinions would be formed on the basis of the evidence, but this is Ufology and too often evidence isn’t all that important.
By way of qualification, I thought I’d add a bit about embellishment, which might be at the heart of all this. I sometimes say that I served as a company commander in Vietnam by virtue of being the senior surviving officer. It sounds quite dramatic and there is a nugget of truth in it. But I always then tell the rest of the story.
We’d had a rather bad month. The platoon leader and another pilot had been badly wounded when a grenade hit the front of there aircraft. The Aircraft Commander (AC) had been able to take off, and I was flying chalk two, meaning I was now lead.
There had been an aircraft accident that might have been the result of hostile fire, taking out the tail rotor of another helicopter. It crashed and the crew was injured. No one figured out if it was enemy fire or an accident, but those injured were evacked. We lost another AC due to ground fire and still another on a single ship mission.
Oh, and there had been those who DEROSed (Date Estimated Return from Over Seas) which meant they had gone home. The First Platoon was down to a single AC and a couple of Peter Pilots, that is FNGs.
We had learned, through intelligence, that the NVA and the VC planned an assault on Tay Ninh. We had been ordered to take the aircraft to another location, which meant that nearly every pilot, and every officer, was going to be gone. I had been assigned a new pilot before takeoff, and he climbed up on the stinger (that rod sticking out of the end of the helicopter to protect the tail rotor). When he grabbed the linkage, it broke, which meant we weren’t flying anywhere. In other words, he and I, were left behind.
It turned out, based on who had been with the flight and the evacuation of the aircraft and who was left behind, I was the senior officer present. I don’t really know if that seniority was based on rank or that I had been in Vietnam the longest of those of us left behind. Anyway, for ten or twelve hours, I was considered the senior officer present. I made one decision. We were required to supply an officer for bunker duty and no one had been designated. I was consulted by one of the senior NCOs left behind and told him who to send. That, I believe, is the extent of my “command.”
For those interested in more of my experiences in Vietnam you can find it here:
The point here is that I could tell the tale without the qualifications. People who search records would find no documentation for it, though I think I could prove we had evacked the aircraft. And I can prove other aspects of this tale, so, as I say, there is an element of truth in it. It’s just when I tell the rest of the story, which I always do, the nature of that little hiccup in the command of the company is really not all that important. Just a fun little story about being the senior surviving officer.
And that brings us back to Nick Pope. It is clear that he was on the UFO desk at the MoD. It also clear that he was involved in the UFO investigation, though that involvement was taking down information about UFOs when someone called in or sent a letter. There is no doubt that he investigated UFOs, as he has said, but it is also clear that those weren’t official, MoD motivated investigations.
Leaving out some of the vitriol that has permeated this discussion over the years, and yes, I mean years, I think this puts it all into perspective. Now I returned to my regularly scheduled blog.