Time is a jet plane

Soaring at 5,000 miles per hour through the night sky these unidentified flying objects could be a 21st century addition to NATO’s airforce. Radar stations at Prestwick, West Freugh and RAF Buchan may have tracked their movements as they fly between secret airbases and the Norwegian Fjords, but the Ministry of Defence and the US Air Force deny they even exist. Nic Outterside investigates (January 2000)

ALMOST invisible to radar, the F-117 Stealth fighter is one of the most sophisticated warplanes ever built.
But for seven years the US Government denied that the top-secret aircraft – nicknamed Nighthawk – existed.
Then, in 1991, 40 Stealth fighters were suddenly deployed for action in the Gulf War.
Ranging the night skies over Baghdad on 1,270 missions the Nighthawks struck the most heavily defended Iraqi targets to stunning effect.
Now from the cloak of X-Files denial comes a Stealth successor: more powerful, blacker, faster and even more secret.
Under the codename Project Aurora – which may be a wrap for several secret aircraft – the planes are classified within the US defence department’s black programme – one whose existence is not admitted by the authorities.
Experts claim experimental and prototype Aurora aircraft are using Scotland, the skies above the North Sea and the wilderness areas of far-Northern Europe as their testing ground.
Bill Sweetman, former technical editor for Jane’s Information Group and an author of three books on Stealth technology claims the areas are ideal proving ranges.
“It certainly keeps them out of the eyes and ears of the US observers,” he said.
He claims that after 17 years the US defence department is reaching the latter stages of trialing space-age military aircraft capable of astonishing speeds.
“There continues to be a huge black hole in what we know the Pentagon has spent money on,” he told the Press and Journal.
“In 1999 black projects accounted for £12.1billion of USAF research expenditure – that is almost 40% of the £32billion research and development budget.”
Advanced secret aircraft developed at highly classified Government facilities in the Nevada Desert almost certainly include both manned and unmanned hypersonic jets designed to perform strategic reconnaissance and other less conventional missions for the US Air Force and its NATO allies.
A number of these aircraft have been seen and heard by ground-based and airborne observers in the western USA and in northern Europe during the past 10 years.
Based on more than 60 eye-witness reports there appears to be at least three distinct types of vehicle:
One is a “triangular-shaped quiet aircraft” observed with a fleet of Stealth fighters several times between 1989 and 1995. This may be a demonstrator or prototype of the much vaunted McDonnell Douglas A-12.
Another is a high speed aeroplane characterised by a very loud, deep rumbling roar, reminiscent of heavy-lift space rockets. In flight it makes a pulsing sound and leaves a segmented vapour trail.
The final contender is a high altitude jet that crosses the night sky at extremely high speed and at altitudes in excess of 50,000 feet. It is usually observed as single bright light but no engine noise or sonic boom is heard.
Observations are augmented by many reports of low-pitched, rumbling sonic booms.
In one seven month period a small team of observers in California logged at least 30 sonic booms believed to be produced by the same unknown aircraft.
Claims have surfaced that booms from Aurora test flights are responsible for sudden avalanches in Norway and an earthquake in the Netherlands as well as unexplained radar blips, eerie noises and isolated UFO sightings in Scotland.
Reporters from Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten say they have received numerous complaints of sudden bass-like booms from isolated fishing communities and farmsteads between Trondheim and Narvik, followed by sudden avalanches of snow.
They say that recently released information suggests that a 1986 avalanche in the Troms area of northern Norway, which killed 16 NATO soldiers, may have been triggered by early tests of a secret supersonic jet.
The P and J understands that Norwegian Government officials are now concerned about Aurora flights, damage caused by sonic booms and the lack of consultation from their US NATO allies.
An Oslo-based Government spokesman said they were carrying out long-standing research into the causes of avalanches and they were aware of the concern over test flights by military aircraft from the UK.
“We always receive a number of complaints from people over low-flying aircraft and sonic booms – and it is probably true that some sonic booms cause avalanches,” he added.
However, he refused to comment on the existence or activities of the Aurora.
Dutch scientists have meanwhile blamed the secret jet for causing a sudden earth tremor which jolted the north coast of the Netherlands.
A North-east RAF base recently traced a very fast radar blip across the North Sea. But when the incident was reported to RAF Buchan, superior officers denied all knowledge of it.
Oceanic Air Traffic Control at Prestwick also tracked fast-moving radar blips. It was claimed by staff that a “hypersonic jet was the only rational conclusion” for the readings.
Experts claim the Aurora has probably flown out of RAF Machrihanish airfield in Argyll while hi-tech tracking equipment at Benbecula, RAE West Freugh in Galloway and Fylingdales monitor its progress.
There have been reports of unidentified night-time aircraft noises from Machrihanish for a number of years.
But with the Kintyre base now downgraded to a care and maintenance position, experts are puzzled about the location of the Aurora’s new European test base.
Maryland journalist Lee Hickling has studied Aurora sightings in great detail.
“The information currently available shows Scotland and the North Sea are used extensively for the testing of these aircraft,” he said.
Mr Hickling, who for nine years covered science and manned space for the Gannet Newspapers Washington bureau, added: “I believe it is extremely likely that the aircraft – test beds for hypersonic engine and control technology – would be unmanned, because human bodies could not stand the G forces generated by manoeuvres at hypersonic speed.”
But last night Bill Sweetman said high speed – such as at Mach 7 or 8 – would not exclude manned aircraft. “It is only when you manoeuvre an aircraft at that speed that G forces come into play,” he said.
Mr Sweetman said the development of the Aurora within the US defence department’s “black projects” was a natural progression from the Stealth fighter, which first flew in 1982.
“They would not have sat still for 17 years,” he said.
“The evidence is strong that high speed propulsion and aerodynamics are at the cutting edge of this new development and the long runways at Groom Lake (USA) and Machrihanish would be ideal to fly the plane from.”
He said the skeleton staff at the “care and maintenance” RAF Machrihanish would be a perfect cover for further trialing of Aurora aircraft.
“One of the missions of high altitude supersonic aircraft was to operate over the North Atlantic as a reconnaissance strike system against the Soviet Northern Fleet and it would be natural to continue that test range despite the end of the cold war.”
The ultimate in aerodynamics the aircraft could reach anywhere in the world in three hours, he claimed.
However a MoD spokesman said last night: “There are no United States Air Force prototype aircraft based at British airbases and no authorisation has been given by Her Majesty’s Government to the USAF – or any other US body – to operate such aircraft within or from the United Kingdom.”
A spokesman for the US defence department denied any knowledge of Aurora or “Deep Black” aircraft. Mr Sweetman said it was natural for British and US military spokesman to deny the existence of the plane.
“Put it this way,” he said, “In 1988 the US Air Force had 50 F-117 Stealth aircraft operating in Nevada and still denied they existed.”

Dr Filth is in charge of the cyanide hole

During the past three weeks I have republished six of my newspaper articles written while I was working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. The first looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 another at the secrecy of the Bilderberg organisation, a third was a piece about the top secret Aurora aircraft, the fourth looked at big cats at large in the UK and the fifth was an investigation into the mysterious death of Scottish Nationalist leader Willie McRae. The last piece looked at the extent of 40-year cover-up on exposure of British servicemen to A-bomb tests.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in 1995 about secret dumps of deadly Sarin gas in the sea waters off Scotland.

THOUSANDS of tonnes of the deadly Sarin gas are dumped in corroding drums off the Scottish coast.
Experts and environmentalists last night warned that it is only a matter of time before some of the nerve agent, buried in Scottish waters after the Second World War, could be washed ashore or trawled up by unsuspecting fishermen.
They also warn that the Japanese attack might encourage people to recover some of the nerve agent from its underwater repository for political extortion or terrorist activities.
The Nazis produced at least 300,000 tonnes of the substance during the war but never used it in battle. After the Third Reich fell, most of it was buried, burned or dumped in rivers, lakes, and the Baltic Sea.
Until the early 1980s, the US army had about four million litres of the gas in store in West Germany. It has also been produced in the Middle East.
Inhalation of just 0.5 milligrams of Sarin can kill almost instantly. The gas reduces the level of a key enzyme needed by the nervous system, causing difficulty in breathing, a decline in blood pressure, and contraction of the pupils. Survivors could still suffer nerve, brain, and liver damage.
German scientists said Sarin, 20 times as deadly as potassium cyanide, ranks as probably the world’s second most lethal chemical after a related gas called Soman.
More than 120,000 tonnes of chemical weapons captured from Nazi Germany were dumped by the British Government at sites in the North Channel, North Atlantic, the Skagerrak and the deep channel approaches to the Western Isles between 1945 and 1956.
The deep water repositories contain drums of Sarin, also known as GB, cyanide, the deadly blistering agent phosgene, and large quantities of mustard gas.
Official documents reveal that many of the dumps used to dispose of sarin between 1945 and 1947 are considerably shallower than the 1000 fathoms judged to be safe by 1956.
The Government remains adamant that the sites pose no threat to fish stocks or human life, despite fears raised by Irish politicians in 1986 of a link with an unusual number of birth defects.
Hundreds of dead birds and sea mammals have also been found, some of which displayed burns similar to those caused by nerve gases.
Two months ago, Greenpeace condemned plans by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to undertake exploratory fishing trials in deep waters off the Western Isles close to one of the dump sites.
Dr Rune Eriksen, a Swedish expert who sits on the Helsinki Committee for Chemical Weapons, said there had been more than 400 cases of Scandinavian fishermen trawling up pieces of solid mustard gas and other chemicals in the Baltic, where weapons were dumped by the Russians.
Many fishermen have been hospitalised and there have also been fatalities.
Dr Paul Johnston of Exeter University said it would only be a matter of time before Scottish fishermen suffer that same fate.
”These weapons are still active and potentially lethal,” he said, ”The drums are corroding and some may have punctured.”
He said chemical changes which may have occurred make Sarin ”even more corrosive and dangerous.
”It would be a triumph of hope over experience if there was not an accident before too long.”
However, he said of greater concern was that yesterday’s attack could give people the impetus to search for the drums of gas.
”It would be a highly dangerous enterprise but the gas could be used on the black market or for terrorist activities,” he warned.
Western Isles MP, Mr Calum MacDonald, said the Government must remain fully aware of the potential danger of the dump sites to fishermen and the general public.
He said he was also extremely concerned that members of the public might be tempted to search for the dumps. ”After what happened in Japan, there is quite an alarming prospect for the future lying off our coast,” he added.
A Greenpeace spokesman said: ”This tragedy in Japan proves how dangerous the gases are. We repeat our call made in January for the Government to conduct an urgent investigation into what exactly has been dumped and then to do something about cleaning it up or making it safe.”

A hard rain’s a gonna fall

During the past three weeks I have republished five of my newspaper articles written while I was working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. The first looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 another at the secrecy of the Bilderberg organisation, a third was a piece about the top secret Aurora aircraft, the fourth looked at big cats at large in the UK and the last was an investigation into the mysterious death of Scottish Nationalist leader Willie McRae.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in early 1995 about the extent of 40-year cover-up on exposure of British servicemen to A-bomb tests

THE extent of a 40-year cover-up of the radiation exposure suffered by 22,000 servicemen who witnessed Britain’s atom bomb tests in the 1950s has been revealed in a file of de-classified and secret Government documents.
They demonstrate a willingness to ignore or conceal the impact of 21 British nuclear tests between 1952 and 1958 on the part of then Prime Minister Anthony Eden.
When asked to consider the genetic effects of nuclear radiation, Mr Eden says, in a memo dated November 16, 1955: ”A pity, but we cannot help it.”
The documents were passed to The Herald just two days after an English nuclear test victim won his 25-year battle with defence chiefs for a pension following intervention by the High Court, two months after three Scottish victims won a legal breakthrough in the European courts.
Last Friday, the Rev Laurence Deverall, 60 — who was exposed to radiation in the 1956 Maralinga tests in South Australia — won his case for a disability war pension.
Mr Deverall developed cancer in his right leg as a result of the radiation exposure. His leg was amputated in 1970.
Mr Ken McGinley, chairman of the Johnstone-based British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, said the case was the first major breakthrough on Government liability.
On January 27, Scots-born US advocate, Mr Ian Anderson, won the first stage regarding admissibility of evidence in a test case before the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of two nuclear test veterans and the 27-year-old daughter of a third Glaswegian victim — all members of the veterans’ association.
Now the file of more than 40 secret and de-classified memorandums passed to The Herald could add weight to hundreds of compensation cases being fought by the veterans’ association on behalf of its 3500 members.

CONSPIRACY theories are easy to wrap around any secret Government activity, and easier for those adversely affected to accept.
But for a Government to conspire knowingly to cause physical harm to 22,000 of its own citizens in the name of science is a more difficult scenario to believe.

The extent of a 40-year cover-up of the radiation exposure suffered by 22,000 servicemen who witnessed Britain’s atom bomb tests between 1952 and 1958, is now being revealed.
A file of secret and declassified official documents has been passed to me just two days after an English nuclear test victim won a 25-year pension battle with defence chiefs, and two months since three Scottish victims won a legal breakthrough in the European courts.
Mr Ken McGinley, the chairman of Johnstone-based British Nuclear Tests Veterans’ Association is damning: ”There has been a cover-up on a massive scale — it is more to do with personal sensitivity than anything else, as many of the Government scientists involved in the tests are still alive, while many of our members who served their country loyally have died or are dying from incurable cancers and other life-threatening diseases.”
The documents speak for themselves:
”We think it likely that the Australians will ask us for filters which have been flown at Mosaic and Buffalo,” said British Government scientist Sir William Penney in a secret memo to Sir Frederick Brundrett at the MoD on December 22, 1955 — five months before the first of the code-named A-Bomb tests took place in the Monte Bello Islands and Maralinga Desert.
”While I am not very keen on giving them samples, I do not see how we can refuse,” continued Sir William. ”I am recommending that, if they ask us, we give them a little piece of the filters, but we wait a few days so that some of the short-lived isotopes have decayed a good deal.”
The extent of the cover-up becomes more apparent in a wired memo from Admiral Brooking at the British Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston to the Australian Government in May 1957.
”May we please have your authority to include the following sentence about Buffalo in the openly published report 1956/57 of the UKAEA: The Australian Safety Committee made a careful check of conditions before and after the firing of every round, and was satisfied that no hazard to the people or stock of Australia was caused by any of the explosions at Monte Bello or Maralinga.”
In 1993, the British Government finally agreed to pay the Australian Government #20m as the first instalment to clean up the radioactive pollution at Maralinga.
A letter from Sir William Penney to Sir Edwin Plowden, of October 1, 1955, refers to the planned tests at Monte Bello the following summer, and says health and safety precautions were fixed for a 25 kiloton blast for ”the first shot” and 80 kilotons at the second.
He adds: ”We do not know exactly what the yield is going to be because the assembly is very different from anything we have tried before.”
As it turned out, the ”first shot” on May 16, 1956, gave a yield of just 15 kilotons, but the second a massive 98 kilotons and, with the winds drifting the fall-out cloud, it was virtually uncontrolled.
Another top-secret memo to the Chiefs of Staff Committee, dated May 20 — seven months after the first atom bomb test at Monte Bello and five months before the second at Emu Field, South Australia — gives evidence of the official intention.
It says: ”The Army must discover the detailed effects of the various types of explosion on equipment, stores, and men with and without various types of protection.”
The complicity is pivotal in one memo dated November 16, 1955, from British Prime Minister Anthony Eden.
Asked to consider the genetic effects of nuclear radiation, Mr Eden says: ”A pity, but we cannot help it.”
Yet the risks to health from radiation exposure were known at the highest level.
In minutes from the Government’s Advisory Council in 1947 on Scientific Policy, Sir Ernest Rock Carling said that resulting injuries from exposure to radiation ”were frequently not traced to radiation since there might be a lag of months or years before the effects were manifest.
”Carelessness might also have serious genetic effects on the population, resulting in sterility or mutations.”
In 1951, the Government warned that: ”Casualties may not become apparent at once. There are at present only two forms of protection against radiation, viz distance and/or some form of shielding.”
The first British nuclear test at Monte Bello took place a year later. For that and 20 further tests, British service personnel stood part-naked or wearing flimsy cotton overalls on beaches and ship decks between five and 11 miles from each blast.

I touched the place where your secrets are hid

During the past fortnight I have republished four of my newspaper articles written while I was working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. The first looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 another at the secrecy of the Bilderberg organisation, a third was a piece about the top secret Aurora aircraft and the last one looked at big cats at large in the UK.
Today I reload an exclusive I wrote in 1995 on the tenth anniversary of the mysterious death of Scottish Nationalist leader Willie McRae.

A CATALOGUE of bungling by authorities at all levels may have helped maintain a huge cover-up of the circumstances surrounding the death of the prominent Scottish Nationalist, Willie McRae.
We can also reveal that:
* the young policeman who was the first officer on the scene has confirmed he discovered the gun which killed Mr McRae yards from where the body was found 24 hours earlier, despite official claims that he committed suicide.
* witnesses confirmed vital evidence was removed from the scene of the incident before a police investigation took place.
* Mr McRae was probably carrying secret documents which threatened the success of a nuclear inquiry at the time of his death.
* the procurator-fiscal who examined his case has been told not to talk about it to anyone.
The procurator-fiscal says he is bound by the Official Secrets Act.
Close friends of Mr McRae claim he was carrying secret documents relating to the nuclear industry when he died mysteriously on a bleak Highland road 10 years ago next week, and may have been the victim of Government secret services.
Mr McRae, 61, a lawyer and leading figure in the SNP set off from Glasgow on Friday, April 5, 1985, to spend the weekend at his cottage in Kintail.
At 10am the next day he was found in his crashed Volvo by an Australian tourist about 35 yards off the A87 near Loch Loyne.
The car was upright across a small burn and believed to have been there since midnight.
The Australian waved down a car in which Dundee SNP councillor, Mr David Coutts, was travelling to Skye with his wife Alison and two friends.
Mr Coutts, who recognised Mr McRae, summoned an ambulance and the police. He also discovered that Mr McRae’s cheque cards and papers were some way from the car, the papers meticulously torn up.
PC Kenny Crawford, a young constable on relief duty from Inverness, quickly gathered personal items from the scene of the crash and placed them in a holdall.
Mr Coutts told The Herald last night it seemed to him that the young policeman was keen to get off the hillside quickly. ”He didn’t even ask for my name, but just bundled everything up,” he said.
Mr Crawford has now talked freely about the incident for the first time.
The injured Mr McRae was taken first to Raigmore Hospital Inverness and later to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where he died at 3am on Sunday.
However, it was only when a nurse washed his head on his arrival at Aberdeen that a gunshot wound in his right temple was discovered and the police informed.
Officers from the Northern Constabulary revisited the scene of the crash, but by then it was impossible to conduct the level of rigorous, on-site investigation which might have produced crucial answers.
During the search PC Crawford found a Smith and Wesson .22 pistol beyond where the car was found. It had been fired twice.
Mr Crawford, who has now left the force and is living in Inverness, told The Herald that the gun was ”some yards” downstream but he believed it had been knocked from a ledge in the car when they had retrieved Mr McCrae’s body.
He also believes the gun had fallen into a small waterfall and the fast running burn had transported the weapon from the site of the vehicle.
However, Mr Coutts says that while removing Mr McCrae’s body from the car, PC Crawford’s cap had fallen into the burn. He said he bent down and retrieved it yet saw no sign of a gun.
The evidence contradicts statements made by former Solicitor-General Peter Fraser that the gun was found directly under the door of the car.
The case was closed formally by Mr Thomas Aitchison, the procurator-fiscal in Inverness, who decided the death was not suspicious. Mr Fraser made the personal decision not to order a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death.
Last night Mr Aitchison said the case came under the Official Secrets Act and he had been reminded at his retirement four years ago that he was still bound by the Act.
”I was told not to talk about this case to anyone,” he added.
A Crown Office spokesman told The Herald that all fiscals sign the Official Secrets Act ”as a matter of course” and there was nothing suspicious in Mr Aitchison’s comments.
Some aspects of Mr McRae’s lifestyle have been used by the Crown over the years to indicate he was potentially suicidal.
Yet on Friday April 5, 1985 he showed little sign of being a man about to take his own life. His diary was full and he remarked to a number of people that he was close to completing some important project. ”I’ve got them, I’ve got them!” he told friends excitedly, but expressed fears that Special Branch was closing in on him.
They now say they believe he was carrying secret documents relating to Dounreay at the time of his death.
Mr McRae had won a notable victory against the UK Atomic Energy Authority in 1980 when he presented the principal legal opposition to plans to dump nuclear waste in the Mullwharcher hills, Ayrshire.
He was planning to repeat the performance at the inquiry to reprocess nuclear waste at Dounreay: his legal firm was named on the list of objectors.
Last night a colleague of Mr McRae claimed that on the night of his death he was carrying vital and confidential reports which showed glaring holes in Dounreay’s health and safety record.
The Herald was shown copies of these reports, which reveal problems with various parts of the nuclear facility including areas of weakness in Highly Active Analytical Cells and the discovery of a radiation field from gamma particles hidden within a reprocessing plant.
Mr Peter Roche is a former activist for the Scottish Campaign to Resist the Atomic Menace (Scram) who now works for Greenpeace. He said it had been long-believed that Dounreay was being used as an unlicensed emergency store for high quality plutonium, and Mr McRae may also have had evidence of this.
In either case he was seen as a liability to Britain’s controversial nuclear industry.
A copy of the Mullwharcher report he is also said to have been carrying was nowhere to be found after the incident. His other copy went missing after a break-in and fire three years earlier at the Edinburgh headquarters of Scram.
A year before his death, an elderly rose-grower and nuclear protester, Hilda Murrell, was found murdered after important files had been stolen from her home in Shrewsbury.
Mr McRae’s home had often been broken into, he believed by British secret services.
Mr John Conway, a retired police officer with the Northern Constabulary has said: ”Because of who and what he was, William McRae for years had been a ‘known person’ not only to the security service MI5, but also to Special Branch officers of Strathclyde police and the Northern Constabulary.”
Last night Mr Coutts added: ”Until the powers that be can prove Willie’s death was a suicide I am convinced there has been a massive cover-up.
”I hope that as a result of The Herald’s article we now get the inquiry we have waited 10 years for.”
Michael Strathern, a co-founder of the Willie McRae Society, said: ”It was only in 1990 that Peter Fraser said the gun had dropped from the car. Earlier he said it was ‘a mystery’ how the gun was found so far from the vehicle.”
A spokesman for the Celtic League said the new evidence had made the case for an open inquiry into Willie McCrae’s death ”irresistible”.
”He was certainly the most knowledgeable and capable anti-nuclear campaigner in Scotland and had been a thorn in the flesh of the British State for many years.”

Time is a jet plane it moves too fast

Last week I republished two of my newspaper articles while working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. One looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 and the other at the secrecy of the Bilderberg organisation.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in 2000 about the top secret successor to Stealth: the Aurora aircraft…. but the Ministry of Defence and the US Air Force deny they even exist.

ALMOST invisible to radar, the F-117 Stealth fighter is one of the most sophisticated warplanes ever built.
But for seven years the US Government denied that the top-secret aircraft – nicknamed Nighthawk – existed.
Then, in 1991, 40 Stealth fighters were suddenly deployed for action in the Gulf War.
Ranging the night skies over Baghdad on 1,270 missions the Nighthawks struck the most heavily defended Iraqi targets to stunning effect.
Now from the cloak of X-Files denial comes a Stealth successor: more powerful, blacker, faster and even more secret.
Under the codename Project Aurora – which may be a wrap for several secret aircraft – the planes are classified within the US defence department’s black programme – one whose existence is not admitted by the authorities.
Experts claim experimental and prototype Aurora aircraft are using Scotland, the skies above the North Sea and the wilderness areas of far-Northern Europe as their testing ground.
Bill Sweetman, former technical editor for Jane’s Information Group and an author of three books on Stealth technology claims the areas are ideal proving ranges.
“It certainly keeps them out of the eyes and ears of the US observers,” he said.
He claims that after 17 years the US defence department is reaching the latter stages of trialing space-age military aircraft capable of astonishing speeds.
“There continues to be a huge black hole in what we know the Pentagon has spent money on,” he told the Press and Journal.
“In 1999 black projects accounted for £12.1billion of USAF research expenditure – that is almost 40% of the £32billion research and development budget.”
Advanced secret aircraft developed at highly classified Government facilities in the Nevada Desert almost certainly include both manned and unmanned hypersonic jets designed to perform strategic reconnaissance and other less conventional missions for the US Air Force and its NATO allies.
A number of these aircraft have been seen and heard by ground-based and airborne observers in the western USA and in northern Europe during the past 10 years.
Based on more than 60 eye-witness reports there appears to be at least three distinct types of vehicle:
One is a “triangular-shaped quiet aircraft” observed with a fleet of Stealth fighters several times between 1989 and 1995. This may be a demonstrator or prototype of the much vaunted McDonnell Douglas A-12.
Another is a high speed aeroplane characterised by a very loud, deep rumbling roar, reminiscent of heavy-lift space rockets. In flight it makes a pulsing sound and leaves a segmented vapour trail.
The final contender is a high altitude jet that crosses the night sky at extremely high speed and at altitudes in excess of 50,000 feet. It is usually observed as single bright light but no engine noise or sonic boom is heard.
Observations are augmented by many reports of low-pitched, rumbling sonic booms.
In one seven month period a small team of observers in California logged at least 30 sonic booms believed to be produced by the same unknown aircraft.
Claims have surfaced that booms from Aurora test flights are responsible for sudden avalanches in Norway and an earthquake in the Netherlands as well as unexplained radar blips, eerie noises and isolated UFO sightings in Scotland.
Reporters from Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten say they have received numerous complaints of sudden bass-like booms from isolated fishing communities and farmsteads between Trondheim and Narvik, followed by sudden avalanches of snow.
They say that recently released information suggests that a 1986 avalanche in the Troms area of northern Norway, which killed 16 NATO soldiers, may have been triggered by early tests of a secret supersonic jet.
We understand that Norwegian Government officials are now concerned about Aurora flights, damage caused by sonic booms and the lack of consultation from their US NATO allies.
An Oslo-based Government spokesman said they were carrying out long-standing research into the causes of avalanches and they were aware of the concern over test flights by military aircraft from the UK.
“We always receive a number of complaints from people over low-flying aircraft and sonic booms – and it is probably true that some sonic booms cause avalanches,” he added.
However, he refused to comment on the existence or activities of the Aurora.
Dutch scientists have meanwhile blamed the secret jet for causing a sudden earth tremor which jolted the north coast of the Netherlands.
A North-east RAF base recently traced a very fast radar blip across the North Sea. But when the incident was reported to RAF Buchan, superior officers denied all knowledge of it.
Oceanic Air Traffic Control at Prestwick also tracked fast-moving radar blips. It was claimed by staff that a “hypersonic jet was the only rational conclusion” for the readings.
Experts claim the Aurora has probably flown out of RAF Machrihanish airfield in Argyll while hi-tech tracking equipment at Benbecula, RAE West Freugh in Galloway and Fylingdales monitor its progress.
There have been reports of unidentified night-time aircraft noises from Machrihanish for a number of years.
But with the Kintyre base now downgraded to a care and maintenance position, experts are puzzled about the location of the Aurora’s new European test base.
Maryland journalist Lee Hickling has studied Aurora sightings in great detail.
“The information currently available shows Scotland and the North Sea are used extensively for the testing of these aircraft,” he said.
Mr Hickling, who for nine years covered science and manned space for the Gannet Newspapers Washington bureau, added: “I believe it is extremely likely that the aircraft – test beds for hypersonic engine and control technology – would be unmanned, because human bodies could not stand the G forces generated by manoeuvres at hypersonic speed.”
But last night Bill Sweetman said high speed – such as at Mach 7 or 8 – would not exclude manned aircraft. “It is only when you manoeuvre an aircraft at that speed that G forces come into play,” he said.
Mr Sweetman said the development of the Aurora within the US defence department’s “black projects” was a natural progression from the Stealth fighter, which first flew in 1982.
“They would not have sat still for 17 years,” he said.
“The evidence is strong that high speed propulsion and aerodynamics are at the cutting edge of this new development and the long runways at Groom Lake (USA) and Machrihanish would be ideal to fly the plane from.”
He said the skeleton staff at the “care and maintenance” RAF Machrihanish would be a perfect cover for further trialing of Aurora aircraft.
“One of the missions of high altitude supersonic aircraft was to operate over the North Atlantic as a reconnaissance strike system against the Soviet Northern Fleet and it would be natural to continue that test range despite the end of the cold war.”
The ultimate in aerodynamics the aircraft could reach anywhere in the world in three hours, he claimed.
However a MoD spokesman said last night: “There are no United States Air Force prototype aircraft based at British airbases and no authorisation has been given by Her Majesty’s Government to the USAF – or any other US body – to operate such aircraft within or from the United Kingdom.
A spokesman for the US defence department denied any knowledge of Aurora or “Deep Black” aircraft. Mr Sweetman said it was natural for British and US military spokesman to deny the existence of the plane.
“Put it this way,” he said, “In 1988 the US Air Force had 50 F-117 Stealth aircraft operating in Nevada and still denied they existed.”

You’ve been blown and shown pity in secret, for pieces of change

A couple of days ago I republished one of my newspaper articles while working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. It looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in 1999 about the ultra-secret Bilderberg organisation.
Forewarned is forearmed!

THE world’s most powerful secret society is to meet in Portugal next week on the eve of the European elections to carry forward its plans for a globalised world government.
Top of their agenda is a strategy to allow the UN to directly tax global electronic commerce to strengthen its world-wide power base.
There are also proposals for the replacement of NATO forces in Kosovo with a “European Army”.
But their meeting has been damned by a Tory MP as a collection of “very powerful forces” whose intention is “to undermine and destroy the nation state”.
He says the time has come to expose their agenda and awake political leaders to their threat.
Bilderberg, one of the most secret organisations in the world, comprising politicians, top industrialists and financial leaders, will meet on Thursday at a heavily guarded holiday complex at Sintra in the Estoril region of Portugal, we have discovered.
Their high-powered conference takes place at a crucial time, just days before the European Parliament elections and G7 and G8 summits.
The Bilderbergers are strong supporters of the European Union and have spent years lobbying hard for a single European currency. Their wider agenda is to create a “one world” government.
The 120 Bilderberg delegates, under the Chairmanship of former NATO Secretary General Lord Peter Carrington and led by US billionaire David Rockefeller and media magnate Conrad Black will meet to discuss a range of global issues.
According to a Bilderberg source top of this year’s “massive agenda” is a plan to tax global E-Commerce with a slice going directly to the United Nations. This strategy will strengthen the current reforms of the UN and “assist the process of world governance”.
Other topics at this year’s meeting include:
* addressing the deepening crisis in Kosovo, the “dismemberment of Yugoslavia” and the replacement of NATO with a European Army.
* plans to create an Asian economic and political block under the leadership of Japan.
* preparations for a middle East Peace settlement and the creation of a Palestinian state
* the creation of an Americas Economic Union – a follow-up meeting has been timetabled for early next year in Quebec. This claims the Bilderberg source will be the first step to “full hemispheric union”.
* the US stock market speculative bubble. An abrupt collapse could have devastating world-wide consequences
* the development of a new “transatlantic marketplace” – stage two in the Bilderbergers’ plans to begin incrementally knitting together the three global regional blocks into one global trading, monetary and political union.
* the extension of the EMU to Eastern Europe, and the early entry of Britain into this second common European currency system.
The Observer editor-in-chief and political commentator Will Hutton who attended the 1997 conference said: “The Bilderberg conference is one of the key meetings of the year. The consensus established there is the backdrop against which policy is made world-wide.
“It is, in essence, a collection of people who are either up-coming or former top politicians and the cream of the world’s business leaders – the conference is a well-argued talk fest,” he said.
Hutton believes that the Bilderberg conference along with Davos [World Economic Forum] and IMF meetings provides the “common-sense background against which G7 takes its position.”
He said the issue of ‘globalisation’ would almost certainly top this year’s Bilderberg agenda.
“Following the US led fuck-up in Kosovo we need better social protection and more military common-sense if the globalisation aspired to by Bilderberg is to continue,” he said.
The Bilderberg conference is credited with selecting and nurturing political talent. Tony Blair first attended in 1993 when he was a junior opposition spokesman and Bill Clinton attended the 1991 meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany before he announced that he was running for president.
The Bilderbergs control the central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the US, and are therefore in a position to determine discount rates, money supply levels, the price of gold and which countries should receive loans.
Just as NATO has bound Europe and North America together militarily so the Bilderbergers appear to have bound together American and European strategic and economic interests.
But their meetings and discussions are bound in the strictest secrecy.
According to the official Bilderberg line the publicity black-out surrounding their meetings: “makes discussion more intimate and candid. There are no massive indiscretions, but exchanges can be quite heated. “Bilderberg is just a flexible and informal international leadership forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced.”
Critics claim the secrecy enables “this shadow world government” to plot their agenda which is then foisted upon the political movers and shakers of the western world.
“Their power and influence must not be underestimated,” said Bilderberg watcher and Scottish TV producer Sara Brown.
“These men live and work in the shadows and they don’t want it any other way.”
Bilderberg meetings are only held when and where the hosts can provide the highest levels of security for their guests. Last year Mail on Sunday reporter Campbell Thomas was arrested and held for eight hours by Strathclyde police for daring to ask a hotel chambermaid about the Bilderberg conference being held at the Turnberry Hotel.
According to US journalist and Bilderberg specialist Jim Tucker any intruders to Bilderberg conferences are manhandled, cuffed and jailed, and if they resist arrest or attempt to flee, they will be shot.
After 45 years on annual secret get-togethers the Bilderbergers are now facing some penetrating observation and questioning about their activities. Former BBC reporter Tony Gosling has spent the last two years campaigning for greater disclosure of the Bilderbergers’ activities.
Along with Tucker and Canadian John Whitley he has compiled a massive dossier on their membership, organisational structure and political agendas.
He believes it is no coincidence that this year’s conference falls on the eve of the European elections and G7 and G8 summits.
“With this roll-call of the richest and most powerful men in the world it is quite clear that their determination is to control the outcome of other political forums,” he said.
“And when you consider the inclusion of senior representatives from the IMF and all the major central banks that power can be used and abused at will to control global decision making.
“It is all done in secret and is completely unaccountable,” he added.
Washington reporter Tucker, who has followed the activities of the Bilderbergs for more than 15 years, says: “They want you to believe they are simply improving international relations. But they are controlling the world and making decisions that affect all of us with absolutely no democratic control on what they do.
Leading Tory Euro sceptic and Ludlow MP Christopher Gill has led a personal crusade to expose the workings of the Bilderberg group.
“I believe there are some very powerful forces at work and their intention appears to be to undermine and destroy the nation state,” he said.
“It is all the more sinister that when I ask questions about their activities I run into sand and don’t get answers.
“Their agenda seems to be to promote world government. It is a difficult enough job fighting against a European super state but how, as an individual, one can counteract the activities of a group which seems determined to create one-world government is a major task of our times.
“I believe the only course is to try to convince one or other of the main political parties and their leaders to recognise the enormity of this threat to our democratic rights and to fight to defend them.”
Gill has been supported in his quest to “out the Bilderbergs” by fellow Tory Nicholas Winterton MP.
Winterton has tabled numerous parliamentary questions asking government ministers for assessments of the power and influence of the Bilderbergers on world trade. Each time he has received either blank or “holding replies.”
However, Euro sceptic and close political ally Theresa Gorman is less conspiratorial, claiming Bilderberg is little more than a rich club for superannuated freemasons”.
These conferences are just a gigantic boomdoggle,” she said.
I don’t think any group like this can mould the world to one set of ideals – I think their importance is completely overplayed.”
Last night Scottish academics also doubted the real power wielded by the Bilderberg conferences.
Anton Muscatelli, economics professor at the University of Glasgow said: “An off-the-record forum makes sense for this type of gathering. The last thing large companies want is to be seen to have opinions that are politically loaded. Powerful companies are anyway going to have powerful influence”.
Muscatelli said he was sceptical about the Bilderberg group’s proposals for a global tax on E-commerce.
“Unless you ensured that every country went along with this, it would be extremely difficult to police. It really would require world collaboration.”
It seems a trifle ambitious,” said David Bell, professor of economics at Stirling University. “I just don’t see how you could make it workable.”
Two pro-European British Tories who have attended Bilderberg conferences in the past were both “out of the country for the next week” when the Sunday Herald tried to contact them.
A spokes woman for former chancellor Ken Clarke – a UK representative on Bilderberg, who attended their 1993 and 1998 conferences – said he would return a telephone call to the Sunday Herald.
When told it was to discuss Bilderberg, the spokeswoman said Mr Clarke was unavailable.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind – who attended Bilderberg in 1996 – was similarly unavailable and “out of the country”.
Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie refused to discuss the issue of the Bilderberg conference.
Note: The Caesar Park Pengha hotel and conference suites to be used by Bilderberg in Sintra lie adjacent to a huge leisure complex owned by British property millionaires John and Douglas Hall – the owners of Newcastle United FC.