By Nick Redfern
MUFON UFO Journal, June 2014
Between 1991 and 1994, Nick Pope, a now-retired employee of the British Ministry of Defense, who was attached to an outfit of the MoD called the Secretariat of the Air Staff, spent approximately 20 percent of his working week officially investigating UFO sightings and encounters, specifically from within the confines of his office.
In other words, Pope never conducted on-site investigations of UFO activity, nor did he ever visit the homes of UFO witnesses to conduct personal, face-to-face interviews while he was with the MoD's "UFO project."
Although a believer in the notion that some UFOs likely have extraterrestrial origins, Pope takes a very dim, and distinctly skeptical, view of the idea that some Men in Black might be (a) clandestinely operating from within certain British Government and military departments and (b) traveling the country silencing witnesses.
Pope related his opinions to me on such matters in a 1994 interview: "Men in Black stories? From what I understand, at some of these UFO conferences, the front rows are taken up by Walter Mitty-type characters who dress in black with sunglasses and taking notes on everything. If there was one thing that anyone who was trying to be unobtrusive would not do, it would be that."
He continued: "I think any allegations about people turning up on someone's doorstep and wanting to know about UFO sightings, what you're dealing with is either people who are lying, and saying it happened when it didn't; or, perhaps more likely, people who have genuinely been visited by someone, but where that someone is some Walter Mitty-type character who likes to think he's some sort of James Bond secret agent."
Pope concluded: "If anyone's going around saying: 'You must keep quiet about that,' it's the exact opposite of what we do at the Ministry of Defense. So, it's nothing to do with us."
As earnest and honest as Nick Pope's opinions most assuredly are, they are devastatingly way off-target, as the British Freedom of Information Act has demonstrated. Although Pope never left the confines of the MoD to investigate even a single a UFO case, others, attached to different British, official departments, with their own secret agendas, most certainly did.
Anne Henson’s amazing experience may be considered one of definitive Men in Black proportions. Her account, however, differs in one striking aspect to the vast majority of all other Men in Black accounts on record.
The official files on her experience (which run to 17 pages) have now been officially declassified by the British Government, and they identify her mysterious visitor as a certain Sergeant J. W. Scott, at the time an employee of the British Royal Air Force’s Provost and Security Services.
The P&SS is the equivalent of the United States’ Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). Its work includes espionage, counter-espionage, and disinformation- and deception-based programs that have a bearing upon national security and the defense of the realm.
The official verdict was that Henson had likely seen nothing stranger than a planet or a star. That may very well have been the case. But that’s not the most important thing in this strange affair.
The most significant issue is this: Henson’s experience began with the sighting of an unidentified light in the sky, and was soon followed thereafter by a visit from a dark-suited authority figure who arrived in a black car at night, who in couched terms warned her not to talk about what she had seen.