A U.K.-Based Area 51? Or Just Rumors and Legends?

Having read the heading above, you may very well be wondering what I’m talking about. Well, I’ll tell you: Porton Down, a highly secure facility in Wiltshire, England, and that is steeped in secrecy. And, there are several UFO connections to the place. With that said, here’s some background on the place. The BBC say: “Porton Down was set up in 1916. It was a center designed to test chemical and biological weapons.

Nerve gases such as Sarin and CS gas were tested on volunteer servicemen. Servicemen were offered around £2 and three days leave as an incentive to take part in tests. Very few servicemen knew what they were volunteering for and some were even told it was research into the cure for the common cold. In 1953 it is alleged that serviceman Ronald Maddison died after taking part in a Sarin gas experiment. In 1962, one of Porton Down’s own scientists, Geoffrey Bacon died of the plague.

Since the end of WWII, 20,000 people have taken part in experiments at Porton Down.” LSD was tested at Porton Down, too. On military personnel, no less. And as the Guardian newspaper stated in 2005: “Fifty years ago, Eric Gow had a baffling and unexplained experience. As a 19-year-old sailor, he remembers going to a clandestine military establishment, where he was given something to drink in a sherry glass and experienced vivid hallucinations. Other servicemen also remember tripping: one thought he was seeing tigers jumping out of a wall, while another recalls faces ‘with eyes running down their cheeks, Salvador Dalí-style.’ Mr. Gow and another serviceman had volunteered to take part in what they thought was research to find a cure for the common cold. Mr. Gow felt that the government had never explained what happened to him. But now he has received an official admission for the first time, confirmed last night, that the intelligence agency MI6 tested LSD on servicemen.”

Now, onto the UFO angle. In January 1974, on the Berwyn Mountains in Wales, U.K., something strange happened. Some say it was the crash of a UFO. Others suggest a secret experiment involving the controlling of ball lightning and utilizing it as a weapon. What about that UFO angle and the Porton Down connection? Back in 1996, the late Tony Dodd (a police officer and UFO researcher) met with a man who used the name of James Prescott. “I cannot name my unit or barracks, as they are still operational,” Prescott told Dodd. Prescott did, though, admit that his base at the time was situated in the southwest of England, which – as the crow flies – may have placed his installation not too far from Porton Down.

In a very baffling way – and although the incident on the Berwyn Mountains occurred on January 23, 1974 – Prescott and his colleagues were ordered to be on “standby at short notice” on January 18. That was five days before the Berwyns was briefly highlighted in the nation’s newspapers. Prescott got right into the heart of the story: “We then received orders to proceed with speed towards North Wales. We were halted in Chester in readiness for a military exercise we believed was about to take place. On 20 January, the communication to us was ‘hot.’ At approximately 20:13 hours we received orders to proceed to Llangollen in North Wales and to wait at that point.”

According to Prescott, there was a huge amount of “” ground and aircraft activity” over and around those huge mountains – three days before the ground shook those little old villages at the foot of the mountains. Prescott said that on that same night he and his colleagues were given further orders: “We, that is me and four others, were ordered to go to Llandderfel and were under strict orders not to stop for any civilians” claimed Prescott. On arriving at Llandderfel – a small, Welsh village – they could see soldiers racing around.

Senior officers were barking orders here, there, and everywhere. Aircraft were zooming across the star-filled sky. And all of this was against a background of overwhelming darkness. Prescott and his colleagues were ordered to haul a pair of large, wooden boxes onto the back of their truck, which they did in rapid-fire time. According to Prescott: “We set off with our cargo and during the journey, we stopped to get a drink. We were immediately approached by a man in civilian clothes, who produced an I.D. card and ordered us to keep moving, and not to stop until we reached our destination.”

Matters got really weird, as Prescott explained to Dodd: “We were at this time warned not to open the boxes, but to proceed to Porton Down and deliver the boxes. Once inside, the boxes were opened by staff at the facility in our presence. We were shocked to see two creatures that had been placed inside decontamination suits. When the suits were fully opened it was obvious the creatures were clearly not of this world and, when examined, were found to be dead. What I saw in the boxes that day made me change my whole concept of life. The bodies were about five to six feet tall, humanoid in shape, but so thin they looked almost skeletal with a covering skin. Although I did not see a craft at the scene of the recovery, I was informed that a large craft had crashed and was recovered by other military units. Sometime later we joined up with the other elements of our unit, who informed us that they had also transported bodies of ‘alien beings’ to Porton Down, but said that their cargo was still alive.”

Moving on, but still, on the same story, there was a man named Bob Bolton, who I met in the English city of Norwich. He told me of his recollections concerning the Porton Down/James Prescott affair: “I spent thirty years in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer. I had various postings, including at Akrotiri in Cyprus, RAF Honnington, and at RAF Valley in North Wales from 1971 to 1974. My wife and her family came from Corwen. At the time that the thing on the Berwyns happened, they lived up on the side of the mountain and her mom still lives there to this day. Corwen is part of the Berwyn range. From where their house is if you walk up the path that goes behind the houses up and onto the top of the mountains, you’re talking perhaps a mile and a quarter away from where it all occurred; so it’s not very far away at all.

“She still remembers what happened on the night of 23 January. She said to me when I spoke to her about it just recently: ‘I saw aircraft and heard aircraft shot down during the Blitz and it was like an aircraft coming down, but the sound was louder, bigger, heavier than anything you could imagine to do with an aircraft.’ They didn’t know what it was. They heard the noise first of all and ran out into the road. They weren’t the only ones: all their neighbors ran out as well. It got louder and louder and louder and they couldn’t see anything in the sky but then they felt the impact where the houses shook and she had things fall off the mantle-piece in the house. “It was my wife’s dad, who told me the story about bodies being found on the mountain. His name was Harold Smith. But everyone called him Mick. He had a full-time job with Vauxhall at Elsmere Port; he was a local councilor and was also a part-time Sub-Fire Officer at Corwen. One day we got talking and got on to the subject of UFOs and he said to me: ‘Oh, well, you obviously don’t know about the incident upon the Berwyn Mountains.’

“I first heard the story from him around 1976. At that time he only told me that bodies had been brought down from the mountain and didn’t say anything more. Nothing about who brought them down or where they were taken. But from 1979 to 1982 I was posted to Germany and Mick and my wife’s mother came out to stay for a month and it was here that he told us a lot more. I remember that the information that he told us had apparently come from another person in the North Wales Fire Service whose son was in the Army. But it’s not surprising that he would have been told: Mick was a well-respected man and knew people throughout the North Wales Fire Service including at Bala and Wrexham.

Mick told me that while the police weren’t involved, the Army was – heavily. I can’t give you an exact date when they visited and he told us this, but it was definitely between 1979 and 1982. He said that there were definitely [trucks] from Porton Down at the scene; that there was a lozenge-shaped object on the mountainside; and that bodies were taken off the mountain and driven to Porton. And to this day, his wife can also confirm that Mick told her the story about Porton Down and bodies too – either in the late 1970s or the early 1980s. I do remember Mick saying that when he had first told me this story in 1976, he didn’t know that it was the Army who had taken the bodies off the mountain and he didn’t know at the time that they’d been taken to Porton Down. So he must have learned that between 1976 and when he came to see us in Germany.”

(Nick Redfern)

Now, onto the Porton Down connection to the famous Rendlesham Forest “UFO landing” incident of December 1980 and the late Georgina Bruni, who wrote a book on the Rendlesham case titled You Can’t Tell the People. I first met Georgina in 1997. At the time, Georgina was already working on her Rendlesham book, You Can’t Tell the People. It was published in November 2000. Back in the late 1990s, Georgina and I were two of a very small group of people in the U.K.-based UFO community who were actively and regularly investigating the UFO-Porton Downlinks. As a result of this, we agreed to quietly and carefully share our data – including any and all new data as it came along – with each other.

And that’s how I came to become a recipient of Georgina’s information on the Rendlesham story. As the research for her book advanced, Georgina discovered that in late December 1980 a team from Porton Down was dispatched into the heart of Rendlesham Forest. Dressed in full-body protection (hazmat) outfits, they entered into the woods on a classified operation. It was assumed among those in the UFO research community who Georgina had confided in, that the Porton Down team was there to try and determine what happened over the course of those three nights and to see if there were any chemical or biological hazards still present. So far, the Rendlesham-Porton Down issue has not developed much further. But, maybe one day…

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