Can't Tell, Won't Tell

Georgina Bruni. You Can't Tell the People: The Cover-up of Britain's Roswell. Sigwick and Jackson, 2000.

Just you when you thought that Rendlesham was at last dead and buried, here comes yet another book on the subject. However this promises to be different, for as Nick Pope tells us in the introduction, Ms Bruni is not your average Joe Nerd ufologist, listening to dull lectures in the Neasden Methodist Church Hall, or propping up the bar of the Pissed Newt. No, she is "trained as a private detective, she has been a freelance investigative writer who specialises in the activities of cults also a successful businesswoman who organises social functions, promotes celebrity clients and runs an Internet Magazine. She is well connected and mixes freely with politicians, diplomats and other key movers and shakers". She employs as her sidekick "the world's top female bodyguard and covert operator". Clearly she has just the right CV to be defence correspondent of Hello magazine.

So we have the promise of a UFO book with a difference, so what to we get. Eh, well just another piece of credulous bunk ufology, complete with tales of alien spaceships, mysterious secret weapons, tight lipped officials, security men who silence witnesses with dialogue like 'bullets are cheap', and the inevitable references to channelled information from 'The Nine', and the claims of those cranks standbys Wilhelm Reich and Nicola Tesla. If people don't tell Ms Bruni what she wants to hear then the have a) been frightened into silence, b) are part of the cover up, or c) had their memories erased by hypnosis and replaced by screen memories. If documents don't tell her what she wants to read then they must have been doctored or be forgeries. The book itself is written in the usual confusing style so you can never exactly work out who is who, and who said what to who, when. So this book could have been written by Joe Nerd ufologist after all.

The one message coming from this book is that "its not the lighthouse, it couldn't be the lighthouse, you mustn't think it was that bloody lighthouse". So someone is very determined that the lighthouse story doesn't come out, and that wild flying saucer stories connue to circulate. Just think for a moment, if you were the USAF or the British or American governments and you were pushed to into an absolute corner, which story would cause you the most embarrassment in the tabloids? 'Drug crazed American servicemen fired on a lighthouse thinking it was an ALIEN SPACESHIP (shock horror), and these arc the men guarding the cruise missiles (even more shock horror) or 'Brave lightly armed US servicemen confront an alien spaceship, risking all to do their sacred duty and protect their precious charge'.

No exactly a contest is it folks. True or not the first headline invites in all sorts of real investigative journalists, sniffing out tales of sex, drugs and rock an roll, and a state of affairs too close to Bilko for comfort. The second invites cranks and makes sure that real journalists stay far away. However you must be careful not to make the UFO story too credible, that might mean serious scientists snifTmg around, So if you spread UFO stories, make sure they arc not that credible, and keep a good deal of crank stuff in to keep scientists and open minded journalists at bay. And if the lighthouse story does come out, its all in the context of an incestuous ufologist/debunker debate that no-one else listens to.

Would it matter that much now the Cold War is over. Well no-one wants to look foolish and its clearly in the interest of those concerned to look their best, especially to a nice attractive lady ufologist. And even now who knows what big bad secrets might come out if there was too much sniffmg about. Perhaps long before 1980, these bases held, at least in part, the biggest, baddest secret of them all. What such a secret might be is anyone's guess, but as a purely fictional, hypothetical example take the following.

Have you noticed how many of the real big secrets such as the crashing nuclear bomber and the Lakenheath UFO case eome from 1956. Ms Bruni reports another vague story of something nuclear being launched from the Orford Ness area in the August of 1956. There are three stories, unusual activity, nuclear, and crash all from the Summer of 1956, the height of the Suez crisis. Suppose they were all reflections, refractions and covers of the real big bad one, the one secret which could never ever be revealed; that some time during the Suez crisis the ill and unbalanced Anthony Eden ordered one or more bombers armed with atomic weapons to nuke Nasser. Someone tipped off the Americans, and when appeals to reason failed, on Eisenhower's personal orders it or they were shot down by American fighters from Lakenheath, Woodbridge or Bentwaters. Just think of the consequences of something like that getting out, and the levels of secrecy and suppression that would be used to make sure it never did. -- Peter Rogerson. from Magonia 74, April 2001.

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