No more speech could be heard. Grodin, at that point, had switched
to another frequency. On the tape there was only static...
Simon Butler, you may recall, underlined that point when the
television documentary was transmitted. He said:
“Bravo Jezebel? A
form of code? Almost certainly. But what did it mean? Absolutely
nothing to the estimated six hundred million people listening in on
Remember the allegations, which we outlined in section one of this
book, made by former NASA man Otto Binder?
“Certain sources with their own VHF receiving facilities that
by-passed NASA broadcast outlets claim there was a portion of
Earth-Moon dialogue that was quickly cut off by the NASA monitoring
That censored portion, according to Binder, included these words
from Apollo 11:
“These babies were huge, sir...enormous...Oh, God
you wouldn’t believe it!...I’m telling you there are other
space-craft out there...lined up on the far side of the crater
Could that have a direct link with the exchange heard on the Grodin
tape? Had Grodin, like the men of the Apollo 11 mission, seen
something too startling to be revealed to ordinary people?
Or were these moon-explorers all mistaken? Was there something in
outer space which induced hallucinations?
The idea of unknown and unidentified space-craft being “lined up” on
the moon - to the astonishment of human astronauts - has surely too
ridiculous. And YET...
Grodin agreed to be interviewed by Sceptre Television, via
Satellite, from a studio in Boston, Massachusetts. The plan was to
tape the entire interview and edit it later. In fact, as viewers
will probably remember, the interview ended abruptly and in the
oddest possible way. And it place an even bigger question mark on
the whole subject of Alternative 3.
There was, right from the start, something slightly manic in
Grodin’s expression and he showed a tendency to laugh nervously for
no apparent reason. But he talked fluently and he displayed no
reluctance about discussing the breakdown he had suffered after his
final return from space.
Nothing remarkable happened, or seemed
likely to happen, until Simon Butler asked a question which we
present verbatim from the program which was transmitted:
Now it has been suggested, among others, by some very responsible
people that you - that all of you on the Apollo program - saw far
more out there than you have been allowed to admit publicly. What
comment do you have to make on that suggestion?
The immediate effect on Grodin was electrifying. His face suffused
with anger and he shouted: “What are you trying to do, man? Just
tell me that! What are you trying to do.”
Butler apologized. “I was only...”
“You trying to screw me? demanded Grodin. He leaned
forward in his chair, glowering into the Boston camera.
“That what you want? You want to screw me real good?”
“Of course not,” said Butler quickly. “And I’m sorry if...”
“Like that dumb bastard
Ballantine? Is that what you want to...”
He got no further. His voice was chopped in midsentence, his picture
on the monitor screen vanished in a haze of white static.
“What is going on? asked
Butler. “Hell’s teeth...what’s the matter
He was interrupted by Clement’s voice. “We don’t know where he’s
Like that dumb bastard Ballantine! That’s the line which grabbed
their attention. It had to fit in, somehow, with the mystery of the
meaningless tape received by Hendry - and with the strange
circumstances leading up to Ballantine’s death.
It just had to be
connected with what the man Harry had said:
“There was no way for
that to be an accident...it was what they called and Expediency and
I know why it happened.”
“We’ve got to find him and talk to him face-to-face.
Terry, love...see what your lad in America can come up with.” He
turned to Colin Benson. “I’ll probably be sending you over there,”
Benson beamed. “Great!” he said. “But isn’t Harman going to raise
“Probably,” said Clements. “But leave that to me.”
Harman did “raise stink”. He raised it more vehemently
than Clements anticipated. We have the memoranda which reveal the
strength of Harman’s feelings. In our view they show a strength
bordering on fanaticism...
Wednesday, July 13, 1977. Another submarine meeting of Policy
Committee. Chairman: A EIGHT.
Transcript section supplied by Trojan
R TWO: This Princeton man... Dr. Gerard O’Neill...
appears to have a disturbing lack of discretion...
(Author’s note: This meeting, being held a littler
later in the month than was customary, was exactly two days
after the Los Angeles Times published the controversial
interview—detailed in Section One of this book - in which
Dr. O’Neill outlined the solution he called “Island 3”. He said in that interview - “There’s really no debate about the
technology involved in doing it. That’s been confirmed by NASA’s top
The Trojan transcript continued:
A FOUR: Sure...he shouldn’t have shot his mouth off in
that way...but I don’t see there’s any real harm done...people will
assume he’s just talking theory...
A EIGHT: It is just theory, for Chrissakes, as far as
he is concerned. He knows the technology but beyond that he knows
R FIVE: He is a respected man...a man whose words
mould public opinion...and he should be dis-couraged from making
such stupid statements...
A EIGHT: That’s already been done...for him and for
others like him...
R TWO: What is this you are saying? An unauthorized
A EIGHT: Hell, no! That’s not necessary. Like I said
...Gerard O’Neill doesn’t know enough, not about the politics...he
doesn’t even have any idea that we meet this way...
R SIX: Then what has been done?
A EIGHT: Let’s keep this in perspective, shall we...
Washington doesn’t want publicly to pinpoint the O’Neill thing
because that would make it seem too important...best to ignore
it... that’s the official attitude and I’m damned sure that attitude
R SEVEN: But when O’Neill talked about Island 3...
A EIGHT: Hold on...let me finish. Something is being
done but it’s being done as a blanket operation... Right now there’s
a secrecy Bill being scrambled on to the Stature Book and I promise
you that’ll close every worrying mouth...
Fourteen days after this meeting of the Policy Committee, as we
mentioned earlier, columnist Jeremy Campbell broke the news of the
“suppression” Bill in the London Evening Standard. Campbell is a
highly experienced journalist with a deserved reputation for knowing
the background to the published news. Here, we are confident, is one
of the rare instances where he did not know the real background.
The rest of the transcript supplied by Trojan was brief:
R SEVEN: That may well be but I have to tell you that
our people in Moscow are becoming increasingly worried about the
level of security in America...there was that bad business of
A EIGHT: Oh no!...not Carmell again! Carmell’s settled
...that’s all over, okay?
R SEVEN: And Carl Gerstein?
There was no reply to that question. The meeting had obviously
continued but that was the end of the transcript.
The end of August and the beginning of September, 1977 - only days
before the “Suppression” Bill reached the Statute Book - brought
more curious evidence of the treatment which had been given to Batch
Consignment victims. It gave a deeper insight into the work which
had been continuing in America and Russia. And in Britain.
This evidence is now public knowledge for, as library files show, it
has appeared in reputable newspapers. But, because of its special
significance, we consider it worth repeating here.
On August 27, William Lowther, the distinguished Washington
correspondent of the Daily Mail, wrote and article which was
headlined THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE BATHROOM.
Morgan Hall was a spy. He always kept a jug of martinis in the
refrigerator. He had a two-way mirror in the bathroom.
But Morgan’s life was full of woe. His masters were slow in sending
money. His assignment was awful sleazy. The code name for his
project was “Operation Midnight Climax”. It was meant to be a
perpetual secret And no wonder.
For two full years Morgan spent his working hours sitting on a
portable toilet watching through his mirror drinking his martinis
while a prostitute entertained men in the adjoining bedroom.
Her job was to persuade clients to drink cocktails.
What they didn’t know was that the drinks had been mixed by the
mysterious Morgan. They were more chemical than alcohol.
Morgan had to record the results. We still don’t know just what they
were or how they worked. But some of the drinks gave instant
headaches, others made you silly or drunk or forgetful or just plain
frantic. The effects were only temporary and nobody was harmed,
Morgan was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and it was
America’s top spy bosses who sent him out from headquarters near
Washington to set up the “laboratory” in a luxury apartment
overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Now, 1,647 pages of financial records dealing with the operation
have been made public as part of a Congressional investigation.
(Author’s note: That was the Congressional investigation provoked by
the information supplied to us by Trojan.)
Lowther’s article continued:
It was all part of the agency’s
MK-ultra mind control experimental
program...it was reasoned that a prostitute’s clients wouldn’t
The financial records released yesterday show that Morgan was always
writing to headquarters. Says a typical letter - “Money urgently
needed to pay September rent.”
His bills for the flat include Toulouse -Lautrec posters, a picture
of a French can - can dancer and one marked: “Portable toilet for
Says the CIA: “Morgan Hall died two years ago.
We have no idea where he is buried.”
Here we must ignore suspicions and accept the official word of the
CIA. Our own inquiries in America have yielded nothing further about
Morgan Hall and we must state, quite categorically, that we have
found no evidence to support any suggestion of his having been an
Lowther’s story was quickly followed by two more reports which
confirmed something we had already been told by Trojan - a series of
secret experiments in behavior control had also been conducted in
Russia and in Britain.
On September 2 The Times gave front-page prominence to a report
supplied from Honolulu by Reuter and UPI. It was headlined
“PSYCHIATRISTS CONDEMN SOVIET UNION” and it said:
The general assembly of the World Psychiatric Association, meeting
behind closed doors, has adopted a resolution condemning the Soviet
Union for abusing psychiatry for “political purposes” in the Soviet
The international code of ethics, called the “Declaration of
Hawaii”, adopted by the congress follows years of criticism against
the WPA for not taking action on ethical standards.
Other newspapers claimed that “scores of mentally healthy Soviet
citizens are forcibly interned in mental hospitals’.
unquestionably true but the facts need to be seen in their proper
perspective. The vast majority are detained because of their stand
on human rights. They are sane people who are considered enemies of
the State. Only a small percentage are there purely because they are
needed as guinea-pigs. These are the ones who have been detained
because of Alternative 3.
In Britain - appeared on August 28 in the Sunday Telegraph:
Hospitals for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped have been
instructed by the Health Department to collect statistics on
operations being carried out to change personality.
For the first time, ministers have acknowledged that there is
growing concern. The operations, known as psychosurgery, are carried
out to remove or destroy portions of brain tissue to change the
behavior of severely depressed or exceptionally aggressive patients
who do not respond to drugs or electric shock treatment.
The Sunday Telegraph said that “the change was irreversible” and
quoted a prominent consultant psychiatrist as saying:
is littered with the wrecks of humanity who have undergone
However, the newspaper did not point out that these operations can
also be performed to control the behavior pattern of men and women
who are completely sane. Or that, in fact, they have been performed
on such people.
Dr. Randolph Crepson-White spoke to us about these operations when
we net him in the Somerset village to which he retired in 1975. He
talked frankly on the strict understanding that we would not divulge
his name. However, as he died of natural causes on October 19, 1977,
we do not consider ourselves to be now bound by our undertaking.
Dr. Crepson-White told us:
“I performed five of these operations on
people - four young men and one young woman - who appeared to be
completely sane. There were two objects. The patients had to be
completely de-sexed, to have their natural biological urges taken
away, and they also had to have their individuality removed. They
would, after being discharged, obey any order without question. In
fact, they would virtually be thinking robots.
“I recognized that what I was doing was most unethical, and I did
protest that very strongly, but I was told that the operations were
vital to the security of the country.
“Nobody actually told me that those patients had been involved in
espionage but that was the impression I was given. I was ordered to
sign the Official Secrets form and that is why you must not mention
my name - apart from the fact that I’m frightened, there’d be
repercussions of a violent nature if certain people realized I’d
been talking to you.”
We should point out that, in order to protect
anonymity, we had agreed hot to be so specific about the number of
operations he had performed. That agreement, of course, is now
“I still had distinct reservations about this aspect
of my work. Soon it became apparent that I would be required to do
more operations involving sane people...possibly many more...and
that was when I decided to get right out.”
“I had not intended to retire for another three years but, under the
circumstances, I considered it impossible to go on.”
Dr. Crepson-White, we are certain, knew nothing about people being
collected into Batch Consignments. He knew nothing about Alternative
3. But a complete insight into the use being made of his work was
eventually supplied to us by Trojan. It was supplied in an
astounding document which we will be presenting later.
Leonard Harman was far from happy with the letter sent to him on
August 12, 1977, by our lawyer Edwin Greer.
Letter dated August 15, 1977, from Harman to lawyer Greer:
I am surprised by the contents of your letter and I must insist on
receiving undertaking from Messrs. Ambrose and Watkins to the effect
that I will not be mentioned in their projected book. I note that
your clients are aware that Sceptre Television has admitted that the
Alternative 3 program was an unfortunate hoax and I am puzzled by
the apparent evasiveness of your second paragraph.
You state that your clients are ‘mindful of the background to that
statement.” What, if anything, does that mean?
I repeat that it would be extremely wrong to perpetuate in book form
what has already become a public misconception. There is absolutely
no truth in the suggestion of any East-West covert action such as
that described in the program and your clients apparently intend to
compound what has already been admitted as a serious error of
If your clients persist in their attitude, particularly in respect
to my privacy, I will have to seek legal advice and/or redress.
Letter dated August 13 from Edwin Greer to Leonard Harman:
There was no evasiveness in my letter of the 12th inst.
I merely pointed out that my clients have conducted their own
investigations in Britain and America into the subject of their
projected book. Indeed, that investigation is still continuing. Any
decisions taken by Mr. Ambrose and Mr. Watkins, in consultation with
their publishers, will depend on their eventual findings and I am
instructed to inform you that it is not possible for them to give
you any undertaking.
Six days later Greer received a letter from a well known
Member of Parliament who had been lobbied for support by Harman. We included the name of the MP - and of one other who tried to suppress this book - in our original manuscript but,
because of Britain’s restrictive libel laws, we have been advised to
delete those names from the published version.
This particular MP was taking the same line as Harman.
His letter said:
In common with a number of my colleagues in the House of Commons, I
have already deplored the misguided motives which resulted in the
television program about the so-called Alternative 3.
Letters from many of my constituents demonstrate the alarm which was
engendered and which, despite the subsequent statement by the
television company, still lingers.
The fact that your clients should apparently be determined to
capitalize on that alarm is, to my mind, quite scandalous. I intend
to seek an injunction to prevent the publication of this book...
He did try for that injunction. The fact that you are reading this
book at this moment is the proof that it was refused to him - and to
one of his colleagues in the House of Commons. As we will explain
later, however, these MPs did force us into a reluctant compromise.
However, they did not succeed in preventing us from using more of
the memoranda which circulated inside Sceptre Television.
Memo dated April 92, 1977, from Chris Clements to Fergus Godwin,
Controller of Programs - c.c. to Leonard Harman, Colin Benson,
Through contacts in America we have now traced former astronaut
Bob Grodin to a new address. He is living with a girl and is not aware
he has been located. I have instructed the American freelance to
make no direct approach for, in view of the way Grodin went into
hiding after the break-down of that Boston interview, he would
almost certainly try to dodge us again.
I want to send Benson to America to quiz
Grodin in greater depth
for, particularly considering his reference to Ballantine, I am
certain he holds the key to an immensely important story.
It would be essential, of course, for Benson to arrive without prior
warning. May I have your authorization to make the necessary
Memo dated April 12, 1977, from Leonard Harman to Mr. Fergus Godwin, Controller of Programs:
CONFIDENTIAL. The note from Clements, bearing today’s date and
relating to his interest in America, is clear confirmation of what I
have already indicated to you and the Managing Director.
Clements has become unprofessionally obsessed with this ridiculous
investigation with which he is persisting and I recommend that he be
replaced immediately as producer of Science Report. I have studied
his contract and we would be within our rights to transfer him to
some area of our output where he would not be such an expensive
liability - possibly the gardening series or the God Spot.
I have on several occasions had to warn him about squandering
company time, money and resources— remember those abortive film unit
journeys to Norwich and Scotland? - but he has defiantly persisted
in doing so.
I was told nothing of the inquiries which have apparently been
commissioned on our behalf in America although, as I mentioned again
at the Senior Executives’ Meeting on Friday, it is company policy
for matters of that nature to be channeled through me. It would be
utterly wrong to sanction Benson’s going to America. Nothing can
possibly be gained by talking to this man Grodin - even allowing for
what Clements admits is the unlikely chance of him agreeing to talk.
I have formed the impression from newspaper accounts that Grodin is
unstable and probably unbalanced and it is no part of our function
as a reputable television company to hound such a man - particularly
for such a ridiculous reason.
We should, I suggest, instruct
Clements to abandon this fool-hardy
exercise and we should also give priority consideration to replacing
Memo dated April 13, 1977, from Fergus Godwin to Leonard Harman:
CONFIDENTIAL. Let us not forget that Science Report is a Network
success purely because of Clements. However, I note your objections
and I must confess that I have also been concerned about the amount
of money which has gone into this particular project. I have
arranged for Clements to see me today and, naturally, I will keep
The meeting between Clements and Godwin - on Tuesday, April 13 - did
not go well. Godwin had seen the unedited version of the interview
filmed at Cambridge with Gerstein and he had not been impressed. The
way the old man had veered away from any discussion of Alternative 3
had made him suspect that there was no Alternative 3 - that the
dangers and the solutions were probably all theoretical.
Report was already well over budget and Godwin knew how that would
incense certain men on the Board. One of the Board members was an
accountant, with the creative imagination of a retarded Polar Bear,
and he was an apoplectic little man.
Godwin didn’t fancy another row
with him - not on an issue where his own ground was so uncertain.
“Let me think it over,” he said to
Clements. “I’ll let you know.”
Memo dated April 14, 1977, from Fergus Godwin to Chris Clements -
c.c. to Leonard Harman:
Further to our talk yesterday, I feel we would not be justified in
sending Benson to America. If the situation should change as a
result of any further information you may g-t, I will be prepared to
discuss the matter with you again. For the moment, however, it’s not
Clements read the note, pushed it across his desk to Dickson.
bloody Harman!” he said. “This is his doing.”
“Now what?” asked Dickson.
“We are going to do it. Terry. We are definitely going
to do it. What we need now is some further information.”
“I don’t know, love...you’re the researcher...the sort
of information that’ll swing it with Fergus.” He frowned, got up,
started pacing the room. “What was it Gerstein said about
co-operation between the super-powers?”
“He seemed to have the idea that they were working together on the
Alternative 3 thing...”
“That could be it!” said Clements excitedly. “Do we know anyone who
might develop that thought for us? It’s have to be somebody with
“Great expert on East-West diplomacy...runs the
Institute of International Political Studies in St.
“Hm...well there’s no harm in trying. Is Colin around?”
Dickson shook his head. “His day off.”
“It’s always his day off when I need him,” said Clements
unfairly. “Ask Kate to pop in and see me, will you? She can start
sounding out Broadbent...”
At 5:15 p.m. that day reporter Katherine White started her interview
with Professor G. Gordon Broadbent - parts of which, as you may
recall, were eventually used in the transmitted program.
It took her some time to get Broadbent really talking. He was
cautious, suspicious of her motives, anxious not to become involved
in any sensationalism.
That was understandable for, after all, he is a man who is
After a while, however, he was more
forthcoming and we now print the significant part of that interview
- verbatim from the transcript - as it was presented in the
BROADBENT: On the broader issue of Soviet-US relations I
must admit there is an element of mystery which troubles many people
in my field. To put it at its simplest, none of us can understand
how it is that the peace has been kept over these past twenty-five
WHITE: You mean the experts are baffled?
BROADBENT: (with a smile): But also, for once, in
agreement. The popular myth that it’s been proof of the balance of
nuclear power frankly doesn’t entirely stand up. And the more you
look at it, the less sense it makes. There are too many imbalances -
especially when you put it in the perspective of history.
WHITE: So what is your explanation?
BROADBENT: Essentially what we’re suggesting is that, at
the very highest levels of East-West diplomacy, there has been
operating a factor of which we know nothing. Now it could just be -
and I stress the word “could” - that this unknown factor is some
kind of massive but covert operation in space. But as for the
reasons behind it...we are not in the business of speculation.
Clements went barging into the Controller’s office without waiting
for any response to his token tap. “You read the Broadbent
transcript?” he asked.
Godwin, busy at his desk, sat back and smiled resignedly. “Yes - and
your covering note.”
Clements groaned, exasperated. “Surely that clinches it.”
Godwin slowly shook his head. “No, Chris, not as far as I’m
concerned. It’s just more theory...that’s all it is.”
“But Fergus, it all fits! Gerstein and Broadbent— each a top man in
his own field - both suggesting some sort of secret co-operation in
space between the super-powers.”
“That man Harry, the American who claimed to know why scientists
keep disappearing, and the links he seemed to have with Ballantine
and with NASA. Then there was Grodin who, without any shadow of
doubt, saw something really incredible up there on the moon...we
can’t just leave the whole damned thing now and forget it!”
“Stop bouncing around, Chris, and sit down.” Godwin gestured to a
chair. “Go on...sit down.” He waited until Clements had done so.
“Now, for the last time, let’s get this clear. I realize that
something odd may be going on but I don’t consider it’s any of our
Clements started to jerk angrily out of the chair, bursting to
interrupt, but Godwin stopped him: “You’ve done a tremendous job
with Science Report, Chris. Everybody thinks so and the rating have
proved it. So I want you to get back just to doing what you do so
“That means you’re still saying “no” to America?”
“That’s exactly what it does mean.”
“If it’s on grounds of cost, can I point out how much
profit this company made last year...”
Godwin has since told us ruefully that he dislikes only one aspect
of his job - that of being the chief buffer between his editors and
the money men above him. One lot inevitably think he’s mean and the
others suspect him of being a spendthrift. Being wedged in the
middle...it’s not much fun. That’s why his reply to Clements was
“It’s hardly your place to point that out but, as you’ve done so,
let me tell you something. The company does make profits and it
makes good ones but it does not do so by sending teams gallivanting
around the world on fool’s errands...so, please, let it rest...”
“Clements got up, prepared to leave. “How about if I fixed a
“Airlines aren’t throwing many free flights around these days - not
across the Atlantic.”
“Benson could do a piece for the holiday series while he’s over
there. I’ve spoken to Simon Shaw who’s taken over the holiday
programs and he’s quite keen...and I know an airline who’ll play
“God...you don’t give up, do you!” Godwin grinned.
“All right...tell Benson to go to America.”
“Why did you disappear that night?” asked Benson. “That
night of the interview...why did you run out like that?”
“Have another beer,” said Grodin. He pushed a fresh can across the
low table and poured another for himself. “The bastard was trying to
screw me. Did I see more than I’ve been allowed to admit publicly!
Jesus...what sort of fool question was that?”
Benson forced a grin, tried to relieve the tension. He felt like an
angler playing a difficult fish.
Gently...gently...that was the only way. He took a long drink,
sighing with satisfaction, as he put down the empty glass. “I needed
that beer,” he said. “Had myself a real thirst.”
‘You planning on doing the same?” Grodin was glowering suspiciously.
“You aiming to screw me as well?”
He was frightened. That was quite obvious. And he was trying to hide
his fears under aggressiveness. Benson felt a twinge of pity. The
man seemed so pathetically vulnerable and Benson was reminded of
what Harman had said in that memo:
“Grodin is unstable and probably unbalanced and it is no part of our
function as a reputable television company to hound such a man.”
Maybe, after all, there’d been something in what Harman had said.
Grodin clearly wasn’t normal. It was all very well to be ruthlessly
professional but would anything really be gained by pushing Grodin
any further? Wouldn’t it be fairer to drop the whole thing, to get
back into the car and forget about Grodin? Benson hesitated. It
would be so easy to tell Clements that Grodin had simply refused to
talk, that there was no way for him to be persuaded. Clements
wouldn’t like it - in fact, he’d be bloody furious - but he’d have
to accept it, particularly after the fiasco of that chopped-off
Then he remembered the man called Harry. He remembered him at
Lambeth - naked and terrified in that crumbling house. And he
wondered how many more there were like him. And how many there would
be in the future if the truth were not revealed.
“Camera, tape machines, witnesses - that’s the kind of protection I
need.” That’s what Harry had said. And they had failed him. They had
arrived too late.
Protection from what? That was still a mystery. But it tied in
somehow with the disappearance of Ann Clark. And with those of at
least twenty other people including Brian Pendlebury and Robert
Grodin had the key to at least part of the answer and Benson knew
there was no choice. He had to get answers. Somehow he had to
squeeze every bit of information out of this man...
“Well?” persisted Grodin. “You aiming to screw me as
Benson shook his head, opened his next can of beer.
“I,m just hoping for a few answers,” he said.
They were in canvas chairs, just the two of them, on the
green-slabbed patio behind the ranch-style bungalow which Grodin was
renting in a lonely corner of New England.
It was peaceful there. No
neighbors. No town or community of any sort for fifteen miles. Far
in the distance, beyond the vast spread of scrub, they could see the
tow-like sprawl of the smoke-blue mountains. And the top of those
mountains seemed to dissolve into the sky. Tranquillity. Only them
and the drowsy-soft sound of insects.
There were no noises from the bungalow behind them but Benson knew
that the girl called Annie was probably busy in the kitchen. Grodin
had said they’d soon be having a nice meal so that’s where Annie had
to be. Benson had been introduced to her, very briefly, when he’d
arrived and then she’d scuttled shyly out of sight. Annie, he felt,
wasn’t at all happy about this intrusion. She looked young, far too
young for Grodin, with straight hair, no make-up and gold-rimmed
granny-glasses. The soft of earnest girl who should be reading
psychology somewhere. It wasn’t hard to guess her main function.
Benson hoped she was also a good cook.
On the far side of the bungalow, at the top of the winding drive,
Benson’s technician-partner, Jack Dale, was still in the car
checking and preparing his equipment. He had a small sound-camera
but he knew better than to produce it until he got the nod.
to be kept out of sight until Benson got Grodin into the right
Grodin drained his glass. “Owned a place lie this myself once,” he
said. “Not just rented it like this one but really owned it. Thought
I was putting down roots, y’know? Used to go up there in the summer
with the family. Ah, it was all different then. We had a few horses
and...” He stopped, pulled a face, smiled ironically. “Guess you can
say I’m not much into planning for the future any more.”
He studied his glass as if trying to puzzle why it was suddenly
empty. He held the can upside-down over it and one small glob of
beer fell out. “I swear they only half-fill the cans these days,” he
said bitterly. “That’s how they make their money - y’know that? - by
half-filling the cans.” He threw the can away disgustedly and it
clattered to the edge of the patio.
“That’s how it is these days. Everybody screwing everybody else for
all they can get. No ethics left, not nowhere.” His speech was
slightly slurred and Benson wondered how much drinking he’d done
before their arrival.
“Cheap-jack booze-peddlers!” shouted Grodin. “Short changing
bastards!” He turned in his chair, called over his shoulder. “Annie!
We’ve right out of beer! Bring a couple more, will you...”
He glanced at Benson. “Or you want a real drink?”
“Beer’s fine,” said Benson.
Grodin grunted and shrugged. “Annie!” he shouted again.
“There are two men out here dying of thirst...”
She came out with two more cans of beer and shook her
head smilingly, her expression implying that she say him as an
adorably mischievous small boy. As someone who needed mothering.
Grodin squeezed her hand. “Thanks baby.” He seemed to feel some
explanation was necessary. “They don’t fill them like they used
She smiled again. “They never did,” she returned to the bungalow.
“And she ain’t my daughter! Right? I want that on record!”
“How about getting something else on record?” suggested Benson
“Like what you know about Ballantine...” The guarded expression was
back on Grodin’s face. “I never knew the guy.”
“That time he went to NASA HQ...didn’t you meet him
“Drop it, kid, will you! I told you, for Chrissake. I never knew
him...I never met him...”
‘But you know what happened to him - and why.” Grodin stood up.
“Time to eat,” he said. “Let’s give your pal a shout.”
Towards the end of the meal Grodin switched to drinking
bourbon on the rocks. He tried to persuade the others to join him
but Benson and Jack Dale stuck with beer. So did Annie.
while she was sorting out the dirty dishes, Grodin agreed to be
interviewed. By that time he was a little bleary but he was still
thinking coherently. That interview, filmed by Dale, was presented
in the famous Science Report program on June 20, 1977.
We now quote
direct from the transcript:
GRODIN: All I know about Ballantine is that he showed
up at NASA with some tape he’d made, and got pretty damn excited
when he played it back on their juke box.
BENSON: Juke box?
GRODIN: De-coder. You can pick up a signal if you
have the right equipment, but you can’t unscramble it...
BENSON: without NASA’s equipment?
GRODIN: Right. Some young guy helped him do it. Say,
now he should’ve known better.
BENSON: This man?
Benson then showed Grodin a postcard-sized photograph of Harry
Carmell - blown-up from a frame of the film taken in the street.
Grodin frowned, trying to remember.
GRODIN: Could be. Yeah, that looks like him. Sure you
don’t want a bourbon?
BENSON: Beer’s fine.
GRODIN: Bourbon’s better for you.
BENSON: No, thanks...are you saying Ballantine was
killed because of what he discovered on the tape?
GRODIN: I’m saying nothing. I just saw the way those
guys were looking at him. But I knew those looks ...I’ve seen them
looking at me that way.
GRODIN: Oh, c’mon...! Have a proper drink, for God’s
At that stage there was a break in the interview.
Viewers say Grodin
empty his glass and shamble across the room to refill it at the bar
in the corner. They did not see Annie come back from the kitchen.
Nor did they hear the argument between her and Grodin. She was, as
Benson has told us, frightened that Grodin was saying too much, that
he was being dangerously indiscreet. But by then Grodin had enough
drink in him to make him reckless - and to make him resent getting
orders from a girl.
He yelled at her, cruelly and crudely, telling
her that she didn’t have “no nagging rights” because she wasn’t his
goddamned wife and so would she start minding her own goddamned
business. She went on arguing, trying to persuade him, and he got
still madder. He threw a tumbler of bourbon at the wall and the
glass exploded all over the place. Then she left in tears and he
apologized for her behavior. “Women!” he said. “Think they goddamn
For the next hour he drank. He drank heavily. And Benson was
starting to worry that he would soon be unable to speak but,
surprisingly, Grodin was still making sense. At one time he seemed
to hover on the edge of being hopelessly drunk, of collapsing across
the bar, but then he had another drink and, in some strange way,
that seemed to pull him through. It was, in Benson’s words, as if he
was “starting to drink himself sober”.
Grodin was having problems forming certain words - “as if his tongue
was slipping out of gear” - but his mind seemed clear enough.
eventually he agreed to continue with the interview:
BENSON: Bob...what did happen out there...the moon
GRODIN: Well...I don’t know how best to put this...
but we had kind of a big disappointment...the truth is we didn’t get
BENSON: What d’you mean?
GRODIN: The later Apollos were a smoke-screen...to
cover up what’s really going on out there...and the bastards didn’t
even tell us...not a damned thing!
Here, as viewers will recall, there was another break. It lasted
only a split second on the screen but, in fact, filming stopped for
more than half-an-hour. When they resumed Grodin was sweating
heavily. He was sweating because of the alcohol and because of his
excitement over what he was saying.
They’d said he wasn’t to talk about it. That’s what the bastards had
said. Well, he’d show them Bob Grodin wasn’t of guy to be scared
into silence. They didn’t own him. He was out of the service now
and, anyway, maybe it was time for someone to talk.
He was holding
yet another drink as he waited for Benson’s first question...
BENSON: Bob, you’ve got to tell me...what did you see?
GRODIN: We came down in the wrong place...it was
crawling...made what we were on look like a milk run...
BENSON: Are you talking about men...from Earth?
GRODIN: You think they need all that crap down in
Florida just to put two guys up there on a...on a bicycle? The hell
they do!...You know why they need us? So they’ve got a P.R. story
for all that hardware they’ve been firing into space...We’re
nothing, man! Nothing! We’re just there to keep you bums happy...to
keep you from asking dumb questions about what’s really going
on!...O.K., that’s it, end of story. Finish. Lots o’luck, kid.
And that was it. End of interview. Grodin finished his drink in one
great gulp and then he fell. Tight there on the carpet. Annie heard
the thump, came running into the room, told the pair of them to get
out. They suggested helping her get Grodin into bed but she refused
the offer. She just wanted them out. So there it was. They left.
In November, 1977, we visited that bungalow in the hope of getting
Grodin to elaborate. We were certain there was far more he could
tell. And we felt he might talk more freely without the presence of
The bungalow was empty. It had been empty, as far as we could tell,
for weeks or possibly months. We have been unable to find the girl
Annie. She appears to have completely disappeared. But we did trace
Grodin. We traced him to a mental hospital on the outskirts of
Philadelphia. He was allowed no visitors. At least, that’s what we
were told. We tried to insist on seeing him but they were emphatic.
Quite out of the question, they said. His condition was too severe.
And, anyway, a visit would be quite pointless. Grodin couldn’t
string together two consecutive words. His mind was completely
Grodin’s death was reported in the newspapers in January, 1978.
Suicide. That’s what the world was told. Grodin had knotted pajama
trousers around his neck and hanged himself from a hot-water pipe
fixed high on the wall of his room. We have suspicions that he may
have been the victim of an Expediency but, without evidence, they
can be no more than suspicions.
Another intriguing piece of the jigsaw was supplied by the American
freelance hired by Dickson. It was a copy of a tape containing
dialogue between NASA Mission Control at Houston and the Lunar
Command Module Pilot during a 1972 moon mission.
puzzled over it when he first played it at the Sceptre studios:
MISSION CONTROL: More detail, please. Can you give
more detail of what you are seeing?
LUNAR MODULE PILOT: It’s...something flashing. That’s...
That’s all so far. Just a light going on and off by the edge of the
MISSION CONTROL: Can you give the co-ordinates?
LUNAR MODULE PILOT: There’s something down
there...Maybe a little further down.
MISSION CONTROL: It couldn’t be a Vostok, could it?
LUNAR MODULE PILOT: I can’t be sure...it’s possible.
All this fitted logically with the content of the taped conversation
between Mission Control and Grodin - during Grodin’s first moon
MISSION CONTROL: Can you see anything? Can you tell us
what you see?
GRODIN: Oh boy, its really...really something super-fantastic here. You couldn’t ever imagine this...
MISSION CONTROL: O.K....could you take a look out over
that flat area there? Do you see anything beyond?
GRODIN: There’s a kind of a ridge with a pretty
spectacular...oh my God! What is that there? That’s all I want to
know! What the hell is that?
It also fitted with the exchange - reported by former NASA man Otto
Binder - between Mission Control and Apollo 11 during the
Aldrin-Armstrong moon walk:
MISSION CONTROL: What’s there?...malfunction...
(garble)...Mission Control calling Apollo 11...
APOLLO 11: These babies were huge, sir...enormous...
Oh, God you wouldn’t believe it!...I’m telling you there are other
space craft out there...lined up on the far side of the crater
edge...they’re on the moon watching us...
There was, however, one reference in the latest tape which made it
startlingly different - the reference to a Vostok. Russia’s Vostok
flights took place in the early Sixties. According to the
information made public, they were not designed to reach the moon
but were merely Earth-orbiting spaceships.
So what could be made of the casual suggestion by Houston Mission
Control - and an equally casual acceptance by the Lunar Module Pilot
- that an obsolete Russian craft might be sitting on a crater on the
moon flashing its lights in 1972?
We now know that, for many years, the super-powers have taken
immense trouble to hide the extent of advances made in space
technology. Remember, for example, how people were encouraged to
believe that the first living creature to be sent into space was a
dog in 1958?
Yet that dog mission was seven years after the four Albert monkeys
were hurtled into the stratosphere in a V2 rocket. And there are
sound reasons for doubting, that those monkeys were the first.
So was the official objective of the Vostok flights also a blind?
Were they, to paraphrase the words of Bob Grodin, also a P.R. job
for all the hardware that had been fired into space?
One dominant question develops automatically from all the others:
Was the first publicly-announced moon walk in 1969 no more than a
cynical charade - played by agreement between the super-powers -
because by then men had really been on the moon for the best part of
If that was the truth, and all the evidence points to it being so,
what was the purpose of that charade? And why has it been
perpetuated? The answer to both those questions is Alternative 3.
The all-embracing threat to this planet, described by Dr. Carl Getstein, is horrifying enough to make America and Russia kill their
comparatively petty rivalries - and their archaic concepts of pride
in national achievement - in a desperate bid to snatch some sort of
future for mankind.
Simon Butler put the known situation into clear perspective in that
Science Report program.
He told viewers:
“The drive to make the first man on the moon an American was
launched by President Kennedy - in competitive terms. By the late
Sixties it appeared that the race had been conclusively won. The
Russians, it seemed, had simply dropped out and stopped trying.
America had won.
“Yet today Cape Canaveral is a desert of reinforced concrete and
steel. The most ambitious project in the history of mankind is
“More and more, however, we hear talk of Skylab and a space shuttle.
But shuttling what? And to where?”
All of us have seen n television the phenomenal amount of power
required simply to pull a space-rocket clear of the earth’s
gravitational field. But suppose that power did not have to be
consumed principally in merely getting into space. Suppose the
rocket could start from space. What kind of travel would that bring
within our grasp?
Technical journalist Charles Welbourne, author of three
highly-acclaimed books on aerospace, was questioned on the tack by
Here is a transcript of the key section of that interview:
WELBOURNE: Obviously we could go further with less
power, or send a much larger craft. In fact, the only way we’re
going to see space travel on any scale is by this kind of
extra-terrestrial launching - for instance from a space platform
orbiting the Earth.
BUTLER: Or from the moon?
WELBOURNE: Sure...if we could get the material there
to build the craft, it’s make real good sense.
BUTLER: Could we transport the materials there?
WELBOURNE: It’d take one hell of a shuttle...but,
sure, we have the machines now...in theory we could do
it...especially with some kind of international co-operation.
“International co-operation.” Welbourne’s tone suggested that he
considered such a likelihood rather remote. Certainly on the scale
being discussed. But at the time of that interview, it must be
remembered, Welbourne knew nothing about the Policy Committee and
its submarine meetings. Nor did Butler.
Through the summer of 1976, while the Sceptre team continued its
investigation, there was dramatic evidence to show how this planet
was experiencing traumatic changes - sort of changes which later
were to be explained to Butler by Dr. Gerstein.
The great drought of that year was unequalled in recorded history.
And Butler eventually told viewers:
“There was no panic...only a growing unease that what we were
experiencing was unnatural and that the Earth’s climate was moving
towards a radical change.
“The earthquake barrage in China and the Far East has done more
damage and killed more people than several nuclear attacks.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, it seemed as if the
whole Caribbean was about to blow up.
“Also in Italy and Central Europe the Earth’s crust was undergoing
“For the first time scientists are beginning to see glimmerings of
the workings of spaceship Earth, a huge but delicate machine
buffeted by the forces of the interplanetary ocean.”
At the height of the drought British government scientists
contemplated trying to meddle with the weather. They decided not to
do so - pointing out that Common Market countries might accuse
Britain of stealing their rain.
So Britain, like the rest of the
world, went on suffering. Roads buckled in the intense heat. Firemen
could hardly contain the infernos which raged through forests and
across moors. And there was an astonishing range of unexpected
casualties. Bees starved because there was not enough nectar or
pollen in the parched flowers...thousands of racing pigeons, unable
to sweat like humans, collapsed with heat exhaustion.
On September 27, 1976, one of the authors of this book - Leslie
Watkins - wrote a major article in the Daily Mail which started:
Houses which have stood solidly for a hundred years or more -
together with modern ones and impressive blocks of flats - are today
unexpectedly splitting and threatening to collapse. Out long summer
of drought has brought acute anxiety to the insurance companies -
and the prospect of financial disaster to many families. Damage
estimated at early œ60 million has been caused by subsidence. Homes
in many parts of the country, but particularly in London and the
South East, have been slowly sinking at crazy angles into the
parched and contracting ground.
Britain has, in effect, been ravaged by a slow-motion earthquake.
However, few people then suspected that the drought was merely the
start of a cataclysmic change in the world’s weather. But soon it
became apparent that the pattern was beginning to go berserk -
lurching from one disastrous extreme to the other - like the frantic
failings of some gigantic, doomed creature.
On June 15, 1977, the main feature article in the Daily Mail - also
written by Watkins - said:
No man in the world gambles more heavily on dry weather than
54-year-old Peter Chase.
That was why, early yesterday, every flash of lightning showed the
misery etched on his face.
His wife Phobe was urging him to get back into bed, to ignore the
torrential rain and forget about business. But he stayed at the
window, trying to calculate the cost.
Mr. Chase has good cause to be horrified by the violent electric
storm which brought such devastation to many party of Britain. He is
the pluvius under-writer for Eagle Star - the leaders in rain
This has been a bad year for Mr. Chase. Jubilee celebrations, with
street parties and other festivities almost drowned by deluges, were
We have, in fact, been experiencing the second heaviest spell of
sustained wet weather since records were first kept in 1727. And the
outlook for the rest of the week is “showery”...
Most people have assumed that this sequence of drought followed by
heavy rain was, in some mysterious and providential way, Nature
trying to compensate and restore the balance - that the downpours
have nullified the facts which have now been outlined by Gerstein.
That assumption, unfortunately, is incorrect. Meteorologist Adrian Lerman explains that the excessive rains were produced by the
excessive heat, that they are not a pointer to long-term cooler
“There is far more evaporation during periods of intense
heat, with water vapor being drawn in great quantities from oceans,
lakes, reservoirs and rivers, because warm air absorbs that vapor
more efficiently than cold air.”
“This inevitably results in an eventual increase in precipitation.
“Gerstein is undeniably right in anticipating that the greenhouse
syndrome will continue to produce a great increase in global
temperatures but I consider he has not laid sufficient stress on the
most immediate threat to humanity - the threat of world - wide
“I am certain that Gerstein is wrong when he predicts that countries
like England and America will become scorched wildernesses. They’ll
be destroyed all right...and they won’t support life...but they’ll
be drowned rather than burned.”
“Extreme heat, such as that which is now inevitable, will melt land
glaciers. That will result in a marked rise in sea level and then
there’ll be the start of the extensive flooding - with London and
New York among the first cities to be affected.”
So Lerman, having studied the situation with scientific precision,
expects a replay of the global disaster described in the Bible.
“Genesis” 6-17: “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters
upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life,
from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die.”
So there is a conflict of opinion between those experts who agree
with Gerstein and those who agree with Lerman. They are, however, in
total and terrible agreement on the key issue - that this world,
because of man’s stupidity, is now irrevocably doomed. Flame or
flood...one of them, in the comparatively near future, will bring
the agonizing end.
And what of the men behind Alternative 3?
They, presumably, have also studied the Bible version
of the horrendous mass-death. “Genesis” 7-21, 22, 23:
“And all flesh that moved upon the earth died, both of fowl, and of
cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of
life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living
substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both
man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the
heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only
remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”
There can now be no doubt that those men, the ones who
have supervised the mechanics of Alternative 3, have cast themselves
jointly in the role of God - taking their cue from other verses in
that chapter of Genesis.
The Lord instructed Noah to collect the people and the creatures
destined to board the ark, the ones to be lifted clear of the global
Technology has made space-craft the modern equivalent of that ark.
Who, then, decides which people shall be evacuated in the arks of
the twentieth century?
These anonymous men have assumed the right to decide who shall live
and who shall die. Their decisions are based, in the main, on
information supplied by an elaborate international network of
computers - an aspect of the operation which we hill later examine
in more detail.
They have also assumed a prerogative which many will consider far
more obscene: that of deciding which people should be plucked away
from their homes - to be mutilated and moulded into slaves. These
people, these tragic victims, are those who - together with
disappearing cattle and horses and other creatures - become part of Batch Consignments.
Tuesday, January 10, 1978. Another envelope from Trojan. This one,
arriving exactly a week after that Photostat copy of The Smoother
Plan, contained the most serious indictment yet of the men behind
Alternative 3. Trojan had again been scouring the archives and, as a
result, had secured two documents - one dated Wednesday, August 27,
1958, and the other dated Friday, October 1, 1971.
Both had been
issued by “The Chairman, Policy Committee”. Both here addressed to
“National Chief Executive Officers” and both were headed “Batch
The covering note from Trojan was tersely triumphant.
“Maybe now you’ll really believe me! This is what made me decide I
wanted out - and it’s the only reason I’m working with you.”
The 1958 document said:
Each designated mover will, it is estimated, require back-up labor
support of five bodies. These bodies, which will be transported in
cargo batch consignments, will be programmed to obey legitimate
orders without question and their principal initial duties will be
Priority will naturally be given to the building of accommodation
for the designated movers.
However, it is stressed that, in the interests of
good husbandry, accommodation will also be provided for the human
components of batch consignments - as well as for relocated animals
- as a matter of urgency. The completion of this accommodation,
which will be of a more basic and utilitarian nature than that
allocated to designated movers, will in normal circumstances take
precedence over the creation of laboratories, offices, other places
of work, and recreational centers. All exceptions to this rule will
require written authorization from the Chairman of the Committee in
It is estimated that the average working life-span of human
batch-consignment components will be fifteen years and, in view of
high transportation costs, every effort will be made to prolong that
period of usefulness.
At the end of that life-span they are to be considered disposable
for, although this is recognized as regrettable, there will be no
place for low-grade passengers in the new territory. They would
merely consume resources required to sustain the continuing influx
of designated movers and would so undermine the success potential of
Preliminary work is now progressing to adapt batch-consignment
components, mentally and physically, for their projected roles and
the scope of this experimental work is to be widened. Further
details will be provided, when appropriate, by Department Seven.
Pre-transportation collection of batch-consignment components will
be organized by National Chief Executive Officers who will be
supplied with details of categories and quantities required. No
collection is to be arranged without specific instructions from
The 1971 document said:
Experimental processing of batch-consignment components is now
producing a 96 per cent success rate. This is considered not
The Policy Committee briefing circulated on
September 7, 1965, explained the necessity for all
components to be de-sexed:
1) To eliminate the
possibility of them forming traditional mating
relationships which could detract from the efficiency of
their sole-function performance.
2) To ensure components
do not procreate and so haphazardly perpetuate a
substandard species. This second consideration is of particular importance for the products of such procreation,
during their initial years of growth and development, would have no
operational value and would merely be a liability on the resources
of the new territory.
The permanent elimination of self-will and self-interest has
presented great difficulties. Long-term laboratory tests have
revealed that an unaccountably high percentage of components
eventually regress towards their pre-processing attitudes, so
rendering themselves unreliable and unsuitable for the envisaged
Advanced work, conducted principally in
America, Britain, Japan and
Russia, has now resulted in a substantial reduction of the
“Component-personality” failure ratio. However, this branch of
research is now to be intensified.
The Policy Committee has given careful consideration to suitable
means of jettisoning rejected potential components. It has been
agreed that they are not to be considered responsible for their
unsuitability and that there is nothing to be gained by killing
them. Such a solution, although simple enough to implement, would be
unnecessarily harsh. They are therefore to have their memories
destroyed - a process for so doing has now been perfected at Dnepropetrovsk and details are being circulated to all A-3
laboratories - and then they will be permitted to resume their
In future no de-sexing will be done until after the
personality-adjustment of the projected component, male or female,
has been assessed and approved. This will ensure that those which
eventually return to their homes as rejects will betray no evidence
of laboratory work.
On August 22, 1977, this story appeared in the London Evening News:
A mystery girl who baffled Scotland Yard for two weeks has
discharged herself from the hospital.
And the Yard said today it still does not know who she was or where
she has gone.
The girl, aged between sixteen and twenty, was admitted to
Whittington Hospital, Holloway, after wandering into a hospital
building late one night.
She appeared to have lost her memory and, d-spite intensive efforts
by doctors and detectives, her back-ground remains a mystery.
One week before that story appeared, Hertfordshire
police were appealing for help in identifying another amnesia victim
- a man in his mid-thirties - found wandering on a gold-course near
Harpenden. So were police in Manchester. Their memory-blank case was
a man aged about twenty.
That particular section of August, 1977, produced a great rash of
people with the same problem. They turned up in Germany and in
France, in Italy an in Canada. They were all physically fit and
apparently normal - apart from having no idea who they were or where
they had been.
What produced that extraordinary epidemic of amnesia? Far too many
cases were reported for the global outbreak to be dismissed as
coincidence. Had something gone dramatically wrong with a complete
batch of “projected components”... something so severe that it had
been necessary to return them to their old surroundings?
For instance, that man found wandering on the golf-course near
Harpenden... was he there simply because the Alternative 3 planners
had rejected him as a slave?
We do not claim to know. And although we have interviewed him - in
addition to twenty-three other amnesia victims who appeared at about
the same time - we see little hope of conclusively establishing that
these people had been part of a “Pre-transportation collection”.
However, in view of the 1971 document supplied by Trojan, we do
consider that to be a distinct possibility.
Monday, May 2, 1977. Clements was now spending as little time as
possible in his own office. The smells from the canteen below, he
swore, were getting stronger every month. Nothing could be worse
than a floating reminder of yesterday’s unwanted cabbage...
He operated, most days, from a desk in the big open-plan office
which had been allocated to Science Report. At times, however, it
tended to be too noisy - with too many telephones and too many
people - and occasionally he was forced to retreat to his own tiny
room behind Studio B. This Monday morning was one of those
occasions. Clements and Benson were closeted there together -
studying a transcript of the final interview with Grodin.
Clements marked a section with a red pencil.
“There, love,” he said.
“That’s the bit that really intrigues me. What exactly did he mean?”
Benson read the lines again: “We’re just there to keep you bums
happy...to keep you from asking dumb questions about what’s really
“I just don’t know,” he said. “That’s where he dried up. I couldn’t
get another damned thing out of him.”
“Well that still leaves us with a load of questions, doesn’t it?”
said Clements. “And what I need now, Colin, is answers.”
“”No “buts”, love, please. I’m getting all of those I
need from Harman. He’s raising hell, y’know, about this American
trip of yours...”
“Chris, I promise you, no-one could have got more out of
“He’s put in a complaint about you to Fergus Godwin...says it was
unethical of you to persist in questioning a man when he was drunk -
particularly, as he puts it, when that man has a history of
instability...He’s even suggested that we should junk the film
because Grodin was talking nonsense...”
“It wasn’t nonsense,
Chris. All right, so he was a bit smashed,
particularly towards the end...I’m prepared to admit that...but I’m
certain that he knew what he was saying and that he was telling the
“I know - and then he fell flat on his face.” Clements chuckled.
“You stick with your version, love, because the Controller wants to
see both of us this afternoon.”
“You’re serious, then? Harman really is trying to kill it?”
“Believe me, I was never more serious. Let’s face it. Colin...we’ve
put two fingers up at him all along the line on this investigation
and he’s out to make all the trouble he can. You might like to know,
by the way, that he’s complaining you didn’t bother to do the other
job in America...”
105 “What other job?”
Clements grinned. “The piece you were meant to do for the holiday
series, the one we promised Simon Shaw he’d get for his next run.
The airline are going to be narked when they find they’ve thrown
away a facility - and yound Master Shaw’s not too happy either...”
“Oh, come on...”
Clements stopped him. “He can fill in with the Isle of
Man - that’s the least of our troubles,” he said. “We still need
“Then maybe we should be searching harder for Harry.”
“That crazy American! The one who attacked you!”
“He’s got answers,” said Benson. “Remember what he said
on the telephone...about knowing why scientist keep disappearing and
about knowing who’s behind it...”
Clements sniffed, frowned with disgust, got up to close the window.
“So where do you start searching?”
“Could try the police again.”
“Be back by mid-afternoon,” said
Clements. “We’ve got
that session with the Controller.”
The desk sergeant was polite but unhelpful. “You any idea how many
people get reported missing in Britain every year?” he asked. “About
five thousand. And they’re the ones officially reported. God only
knows how many more never get reported...”
Benson handed him the photograph he had shown
Grodin. “That’s him,”
he said. “Last seen on February 11 at that address in Lambeth.”
The sergeant glanced casually at the picture. “And you don’t even
know his surname.” He snorted. “Gives us plenty to go on, doesn’t
it? Anyway...what makes you think he is missing? Maybe he just
doesn’t want to see you any more...”
“He was frightened, very frightened, and he got me confused with
somebody else,” said Benson. “He seemed to think that somebody was
planning to kill him.”
“You think that he’s been killed? That he’s been murdered? Is that
what you’re trying to say?”
“I don’t know,” said Benson miserably. “I don’t think so but I don’t
“Why should he confuse you with somebody else?”
“Because he wasn’t normal that morning. He
was...well...bombed out of his mind.”
They were short-handed at the police station and it was
a busy morning. The sergeant decided he’d already
wasted too much time. He press the picture back into Benson’s hand, made a big play of putting his pen down firmly on the
counter, sighed patiently. “So what have we got, sir? An alien of
uncertain age and of unknown name who uses drugs and who was last
seen by you, briefly, nearly three months ago in a condemned house
where he was apparently squatting.
“He imagined you were somebody who, for a reason we can’t establish,
wanted to murder him. Now, although he may have gone back to America
for all you know, you want us to find him for you.
“Would you say that was a fair summing-up of the situation?”
Benson shuffled his feed and looked sheepish. “Sounds a bit daft,
“I’ve got your name and address,” said the sergeant politely. “If
Mr. Anonymous does turn up, I’ll mention you were asking after him.”
The afternoon meeting with Fergus Godwin was also a rough one. The
Controller had already been worked on vigorously by Harman and he
was in a foul mood. He saw trouble looming with the Board over this
particular Science Report project, especially with that apoplectic
accountant, and he bitterly regretted having authorized Benson’s
trip to America.
Harman’s words kept niggling at the back of his mind. Maybe Harman
was right. Maybe Clements was becoming “unprofessionally obsessed”.
Godwin certainly had doubts about allowing the transmission of such
a curious interview with a man who was patently drunk. There could
be all sorts of repercussions...
“But Fergus...it could prove to be an invaluable part of the
program,” argued Clements. “It’s just that, at the moment, there are
still some missing links.”
“Come back to me when and if you find those links.” Godwin glowered
balefully at the pair of them. “Until then that film gets locked
away - and I can’t see much chance of us ever using it.”
They returned to the small office. Clements sat at the desk and
sniffed. “Thank God there’s no fish on Mondays,” he said. “Fish days
are always the worst.”
“Now what?” asked Benson.
“Gerstein - he’s all we’ve got left. If only we could
get him to open up on this Alternative 3...”
“You want me to try him?”
Clements shook his head, picked up the grey internal telephone,
dialed a number in the main Science Report office. “Is Simon Butler
In May, 1971, the authoritative publication Computers and Automation
carried an article by Edward Yourdon which said:
"tremendous improvement in various phases of Government...if one
has faith: faith, that the computers will work properly...men had
lost faith in their human leaders, and now...things will be better
if they have faith in a cold-blooded mechanical computing machine.”
Only a few months earlier, at the end of 1970, the staff magazine of
Barclays Bank, Spread Eagle, had contained an article which read:
Computers have given birth to the Technological Era, have ushered in
the Space Age, have begun to play such a dominating role in fields
as diverse as military science, weather forecasting, medicine,
industrial design and production, communications, commerce, business
and banking that the question is seriously being asked whether they
are beginning to dominate man himself.
Some even hold the view that in the foreseeable future we shall be
stripped of our individual privacy and reduced to a string of
meaningless dots stored in the magnetic bowels of some giant
Government computer - a sort of Big Brother whose prying gaze will
have us constantly under his attentive scrutiny.
Neither of those writers realized he was anticipating a situation
which was by then firmly established. “Individual privacy” had been
scrapped years earlier because of covert decisions made within
governments and between governments.
Some of this background, just occasionally, spills into the open.
On September 9, 1977, The Times published a front-page story, by
Home Affairs Reporter Stewart Tendler, which had a headline reading:
NATIONAL SECURITY CITED BY POLICE AS REASON FOR MAINTAINING SILENCE
ON USE OF RECORDS.
Tendler’s story said:
The names and personal details of tens of thousands of people
scrutinized by the Special Branch for reasons of national security
are to be fed into a new criminal intelligence computer bought by
Scotland Yard and shrouded in mystery.
Note those last three words. “Shrouded in mystery.” The Times is not
a newspaper which would lightly use a phrase of that nature. The
When plans for the computer were drawn up two years ago it is
understood that the Special Branch was allocated space on it for up
to 600,000 names out of the system’s total capacity of 1,300,000
names by 1985...
Census projections have indicated that Britain’s population will not
increase in the next decade. So that figure of 600,000 means that
the Special Branch was preparing to feed details of one person out
of every ninety-five in the entire population into that computer.
But that is merely the start...
Discount from the total population all geriatrics, young children,
and those who have been judged incurably insane...and the ratio
under surveillance comes down to about one person in fifty.
Take that one step further and the implications are startling...
If the average household comprises two adults - and that is pitching
it at its most conservative - the ratio is reduced to one household
That means there can hardly be a street of road in Britain where at
least one household - and probably far more - is not considered to
merit computer-monitoring by the Special Branch.
Can you now be confident that you or your immediate neighbors are
not being studied by the Special Branch? You can be absolutely
certain that people you know, probably people very close to you, are
getting this particular treatment.
And the figures we have given, astonishing as they may seem, do not
allow for those people programmed into other Special Branch computers
- computers which so far have remained hidden on the classified
Does all this savor of normal Special Branch work? Or
does it indicate an operation on a far bigger scale? One, possibly,
as enormous as Alternative 3?
The Home Office was clearly embarrassed by Tendler’s discovery and
sought to “play it down”. His story went on:
Yesterday a police source said that the Special Branch had yet to
decide how many names would be placed on the computer and denied
that anything like 600,000 would eventually be filed.
Scotland Yard said last night:
“The question of the involvement of
the Special Branch in the project to computerize sections of the
records of C Department (the department covering CID and specialist
detective squads) is not one we a re prepared to discuss, since most
of the work of the Special Branch is in the field of national
“The publication of any figures purporting to indicate the total
number of records in any part of the project would amount to
It (the Special Branch) is still surrounded by a certain amount of
mystique and the same is true of the new computer. The Metropolitan
Police and the Home Office have made few public statements about the
nature of its use.
Tendler also said in that story that the activities of the Special
Branch were “a closely guarded secret” and he added:
“It is not
known whose names and details have been gathered by the officers.”
We cannot prove that this particular computer has been used to sift
“Designated movers” for Alternative 3. However, because of
information from Trojan, we are able to state categorically that
similar computers are used for this purpose. We know of six - apart
from the master one at the operation-control centre in Geneva. They
are located in America, Britain, Germany,
Japan, Poland and Russia.
There may be others. In fact, there almost certainly are. However,
we have no information about them and, as we have already said, we
have no intention of making statements which cannot be
Britain’s principal Alternative 3 computer is officially used
exclusively by a local authority in the north-east and, as a cover,
a small percentage of routine local-authority work is processed by
it. The main one in America, installed and maintained at the expense
of the Federal Government, is officially owned by a manufacturing
company in Detroit. The Polish one is in the Academy of Sciences in
Warsaw’s Plac Defilad.
Comparatively little trouble is taken over the
selection of “components” for Batch Consignments. They need to be
strong, to have years of physical labor left in them. That is the
prime criterion. Their personalities, back-grounds, mental
agilities...these are of secondary importance, for they will be
scientifically moulded into the approved pattern.
And, after all,
they are expendable.
But what of the “designated movers?” How is their value measured?
And this mysterious “new territory” in which they are apparent y
destined to live—what sort of society is being created there?
Trojan has supplied partial answers.
He found them in a 1972
document - addressed to National Chief Executive Officers - from the
Chairman of the Policy Committee:
Standing Instructions relating to the recruitment of
movers have already been circulated by this Committee. However,
recent reports from the Chairman of the Committee in Residence
indicate that there have been certain failures in the execution of
These failures have produced unwarranted problems in the new
territory and have resulted in an unacceptably high wastage of
post-transportation designated movers.
This situation cannot be tolerated and the Policy Committee
therefore requires me, once again, to specify the aims and the
requirements of the Committee in Residence.
Every effort is to be made to eliminate the problems which men have
become conditioned into accepting as inevitable in the old
Alternative 3 participants have evolved, or
must be taught to evolve, away from the concepts of
national or tribal interests which have
traditionally resulted in warfare. This will
become of increasing importance when the new territory becomes more
intensively populated. National Chief Executive Officers will
therefore give priority attention to this aspect of the operation
and ensure it is fully understood by their regional subordinates.
No person is to be nominated as a potential designated mover if
there is any doubt about him or her having the potential to evolve
in this manner.
This requirement over-rides all other considerations of skills and
As this particular personality trait still cannot
be assessed from a computer print-out, it is
imperative that judgments be based on individual
interviews. This puts the onus on regional
officials for, in view of the size of the
operation, it is not possible for this aspect to be handled
centrally or even nationally.
There was more in this vein. Much more.
This was by far the most
comprehensive document obtained by Trojan. It stressed the need for
an even mix of nationalities and colors among the designated movers
for, although they were to be “integrated into a new conception of a
family community,” it was considered that all ethnic groups should
be represented in the new territory.
That was emphasized in one
“The object of Alternative 3 is to ensure the
survival of all strains of the human race and not merely those from
the more advanced and privileged back-grounds.”
That sounds fine and noble—until one considers the nightmare
treatment of those regarded contemptuously as “components.” They
have been pitilessly shanghaied from their families and reduced to
sub-humans. They now labor as mindless beasts of burden. And their
only escape from degradation lies in death.
That is the true and
unforgivable obscenity of Alternative 3.
The document continued:
Representatives of all aspects of human culture will eventually be
transported to the new territory. Therefore, in time, designated
movers will also be recruited from the arts. They will include
writers, painters, sculptors and musicians.
In the early stages, however, only those with skills essential to
the foundation of the new society are required. Approved category
lists have already been circulated.
Explorations in the new territory have revealed certain factors
which had not been entirely anticipated and, principally or this
reason, amendments have been necessitated to category quotas.
The Committee in Residence particularly requests more intensive
recruitment of doctors, chemists, neurologists and bacteriologists.
The new territory, for the moment, has a satisfactory complement of
computer specialists, mining technicians, and agricultural
overseers. Recruitment of these categories is to cease until further
Expansions and wastages will inevitably result in changes and
monthly lists of personnel requirements will in future be circulated
to National Chief Executive Officers by Department Seven.
The document then detailed the Alternative 3 attitude to children.
They were to be introduced into the new territory for it was
considered that their presence would have “the beneficial effect of
adding an additional dimension of social-structure familiarity”.
That, when the jargon is stripped away, means that the emigrants
would appreciate having them there, that children would help them
feel more “at home”.
However, children were not considered productive - not in the way
required in the new territory - and so the quota was to be severely
Only those with “key parents” were to be transported -
and then only if the parents could not be persuaded to make other
custodial arrangements for them in the old territory:
There may be instances in which vital personnel can be persuaded
that their children can be left with relatives in the knowledge that
they will be reunited with them at a reasonably early date and,
where applicable, every reasonable effort should be made to secure
the success of such persuasion.
No figures or percentages were given in that document but it would
appear that mathematician Robert Patterson’s children -
sixteen-year-old Julian and fourteen-year-old Kate - are part of a
very small minority. Unless, of course, there was a change of
attitude towards “the child quota” between 1972 and the time of
their disappearance from Scotland in February, 1976.
Ann Clark, on the evidence of that document, is also part of a
minority. All women are, in Alternative 3. The ratio among
designated movers is apparently three males to each female. Unless,
again, there has been a policy change since the document was
circulated in 1972.
No facilities can yet be spared for maternity care, although
naturally there are plans for the future, and so pregnancies are
outlawed in the new territory. The Committee in residence will
provide notification of when this ruling is rescinded.
Accidental pregnancies will be automatically aborted and parties to
the offence will be arraigned before the Committee in Residence.
The rest of the document dealt mainly with the provision of
recreational and entertainment facilities. There is, apparently, a
cinema. There are also a number of communal television-viewing rooms
into which flow programs transmitted from many parts of the world.
It is intriguing to realize that designated movers, including men
like Brian Pendlebury from Manchester, were very likely watching
that sensational edition of Science Report.
We have already mentioned how, in the course of that program in
June, 1977, Simon Butler told viewers that twenty-four people were
then known to have vanished in mysterious circumstances -
circumstances which pointed to their having been recruited into
Three of those people, of course, were Ann Clark, Robert Patterson
and Brian Pendlebury. Here we intended to give details of the other
twenty-one - based on information collated for Sceptre Television by
Terry Dickson. In eighteen of those cases, however, we have received
family requests for anonymity and, in deference to those requests,
we are restricting ourselves to three examples:
Richard Tuffley, 27, endocrinologist. Born in Sidmouth, Devon, but
living and working in Swansea, South Wales. Orphaned when young and
brought up by mother’s sister, now deceased. Unmarried and no known
relatives. Lived alone in small rented flat near university.
Disappeared Monday, January 5, 1976. Last seen driving light-blue
mini-van in direction of Cardiff. Van has still not been located.
Statement from his departmental chief: “He was a first-class and
highly-conscientious colleague - certainly not the sort one would
expect to let the team down as it now seems he did.
“He was rather introverted and made few friends but, I had no
indication that he was in any way unhappy here.”
Gordon Balcombe, 36, senior administrator with
multi-national manufacturing conglomerate.
Bromley, Kent, and working in central London. Divorced
in 1969. Father of three children, living with ex-wife,
whom he did not see after divorce. Lived alone in
former family home - detached house backing on to park -
but said to have many women visitors. Some, according to neighbors, often stayed overnight. Disappeared Thursday,
February 5, 1976. Last seen leaving his office in a taxi.
Taxi-driver never traced.
Statement from his managing director:
“We were completely bewildered
by his disappearance for he was a man with a tremendous future in
this organization. Plans were being mooted for him to move to a more
senior position in our base at Chicago and he seemed genuinely
excited by the prospect.
“We regard his disappearance as a great loss.”
Statement from Mrs. Marjorie Balcombe:
“Gordon, for all I know, could be anywhere. I suspect that he is
probably somewhere in America.”
“He is the sort of man that executive head-hunters do try to entice
to new posts and it is quite possible that he would not bother to
tell his old firm if he decided to accept a better offer. He would
just go if it suited his purpose. That’s the sort of person Gordon
is. Self-centered. “And I shouldn’t be in the slightest surprised to
learn that he has some woman in tow. Women are his great weakness.”
“The only thing that really puzzles me is the way he left so many of
his clothes and other personal possessions in the house. That does
strike me as being out-of-character.”
Sidney Dilworth, 32, meteorologist. Living and working in Reading,
Berkshire. Widower. Wife died in car crash in October, 1975. No
Children, lived alone in terraced house being bought on mortgage.
Disappeared Friday, April 16, 1976.
Last seen driving hired car in direction of London. Vehicle later
found in car-park at Number Three Terminal, Heathrow Airport.
Statement from his father, Wilfred Dilworth:
“I keep telling the
police that something really bad has happened to our Sidney but,
although they’re very sympathetic, they don’t seem to be doing much
about it. I’ve got a nasty feeling he’s been murdered or something.
He was always a very considerate lad and he’d never want me and his
mother to have this sort of worry hanging over us.”
“He was very upset after his wife was killed and he talked about
trying to start a new life in Canada. In fact, in the January before
he disappeared he said he thought he had a job lined up there but,
as far as I could gather, that just fizzled out. At the research
station they say he never mentioned anything about leaving but I
suppose he wouldn’t want to tell them until it was all settled.”
“Now we’ve reached the stage where I dread opening the newspaper in
the morning for I’m sure that one day I’ll be reading that they’ve
found his body.”
Now we know that this pattern has been repeated in
country after country. Right across the world.
Andrew Nisbett, 39, aerospace technician, born Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Disappeared on Tuesday, October 5, 1976, from Houston, Texas -
together with his wife, Rita, and their only son.
Pavel Garmanas, 42, physicist, born in Usachevka, USSR. Disappeared
on Thursday, July 14, 1977, from his new home in Jerusalem, Israel.
Marcel Rouffanche, 35, nutrition specialist, born in the suburb of
Saint-Rugg near Avignon. Disappeared on Wednesday, November 16,
1977, from his apartment in Paris.
Eric Hillier, 27, constructional engineer, born Melbourne,
Australia. Disappeared on Thursday, December 29, 1977.
Intensive investigation has shown that the figures given by
in that television program represented only a fraction of the true
total. And that total is still mounting.
The explosion of fear provoked by the Science Report program
resulted, as we said earlier, in the company’s being required to
deny formally the truth of the material which had been presented.
The wording of that statement had been prepared by Leonard Harman
and, despite violent opposition from Clements, it was released by
the Press Office. Most newspapers accepted the denial - apparently
making no attempt to verify the curious background stories of people
like Robert Patterson.
The Daily Express, to Harman’s relief, devoted most of its front
page the following day to a splash story headlined:
STORM OVER TV’S SPOOF.
The Express story started:
Thousands of viewers all over the country protested in shock and
anger over a science fiction “documentary” put out by ITV last
From the moment that “Alternative 3” ended at 10 p.m., irate
watchers jammed the switchboards of the Daily Express and ITV
companies to complain.
This story made no mention of the evidence which had been given on
screen by Dr. Carl Gerstein or by other respected authorities such
as Professor G. Gordon Broadbent. Grodin’s important contribution
was also ignored. However, the story did indicate that the
“hour-long spoof”— transmitted at peak viewing time - “purported” to
show a version of the scientific brain - drain.
The program was introduced by former newscaster
Simon Butler as a serious investigation into a disturbing trend of
American and Russian spacemen were seen collaborating to set up the
“new colony”...while viewers were left to suppose that the reason
for the exploration was the end of life on Earth.
TV advertised the show by saying: “What this program shows may be
Viewers taken unawares protested their shock immediately. Others,
realizing the program was a spoof, complained of ITV’s
Early today, a spokesman for the Independent Broadcasting Authority
said it had thought long and hard before allowing the documentary to
But Mrs. Denise Ball of Camberley, Surrey, said:
“I was scared out of my wits. It was all so real.”
Mrs. Mary Whitehouse, the renowned clean-Up-TV campaigner, was
another who completely believed the “Harman denial”. She was quoted
in another newspaper as saying:
“I had hundreds of calls. The film
was brilliantly done to deceive.”
So that was the immediate reaction. And that was entirely
understandable. The facts assembled by Clements and his team were so stupefyingly frightening that people were eager to believe they were
People were delighted to accept Harman’s denial because it drew a
comforting veil over the unacceptable.
All this put men like Terry Dickson in a most invidious position.
Over Robert Patterson, for example. Had Patterson ever really
That question, together with others like it, was implicit
in the attitude of most newspapers. And, for some unfathomable
reason, officials at the University of St. Andrews refused to make
any comment. The vice-chancellor there who had explained about Patterson going prematurely to America, who had apologized so
courteously for the resulting waste of time...he was on protracted
leave somewhere in Europe and could not be contacted.
So was Patterson merely a figment of Dickson’s imagination? Was that
why Benson had been unable to interview him?
The questions were piling up. And they were getting crazier and
During the following few days, however, Fleet Street had time to
make inquiries and certain journalists began to consider the
television investigation in a rather different perspective.
Terry Dickson has told us that the biggest moment of
relief for him came on June 26 when he opened his copy of the Sunday
Telegraph. Columnist Philip Purser, respected as one of the most
perceptive commentators in Britain, pointed out that “a number of
mysteries within the mystery posed by Alternative 3 remain
The first of those “Mysteries” detailed by Purser related to “Dr.
Robert Paterson (sic), one of the savants whose disappearance
prompted this disturbing investigation”.
Purser had a special reason for being interested in Patterson for,
as he told his readers, he had indirect knowledge of the man:
The son of a friend of mine who lectures in the same department at
St. Andrews tells me that Patterson, though an able mathematician
and specialist in Boolian geometry, was also a true Scot,
notoriously careful with his bawbees.
Those final five words are clearly a reference to the
characteristic we described in Section Two - that of resenting
having so much of his money taken in taxation. He tended to be such
a bombastic bore on the subject that, as we said, many of his
university colleagues were relieved when he announced he was
leaving. Purser’s contact at St. Andrews was probably one of those
Philip Purser made it abundantly clear that he was too shrewd to be
fooled by the Harman denial.
He concluded his Sunday Telegraph
article with these thoughts:
It would be a mistake to file “Alternative 3” away too cozily with
Panorama’s spaghetti harvest and other hoaxes. Suppose it were
fiendish double bluff inspired by the very agencies identified in
the program and that the super-powers really are setting up an
extra-terrestrial colony of outstanding human beings to safeguard
Letters flowing into the studios showed there was also a significant
proportion of thinking viewers who recognized the truth.
One of the
first received by Simon Butler was from the President of the
European Space Association who wrote:
“I must congratulate you and
Colin Benson on your assiduous research.”
Here are extracts from other typical letters:
I am a recently-retired aerospace technician
and your investigation explained certain factors which I discovered in the course of my duties and which have been
puzzling me for some years. Thank God someone has at last had the
initiative and the tenacity to present the unpalatable truth
Congratulations on not allowing the politicians to muzzle you! Your
Science Report was absolutely terrifying but, of course, the truth
so often is and surely we have a right to know what is really
happening. The subsequent back-pedalling by official spokesmen for
your company, which appears to have been blandly accepted by most
newspapers, does not surprise me. Most of my professional life has
been spent in the Civil Service and I am only too aware of how
pressures can be applied, particularly when it comes to so-called
Official Secrets. Please maintain your vigilance
- J.N., London NW1.
Yet newspapers still showed an extraordinary reluctance to pursue
the subject of Alternative 3.
Why? Why did they not question people like Wilfred Dilworth and
Marjorie Balcombe? Why did they not contact Dennis Pendlebury in
Manchester...or Richard Tuffley’s former colleagues in Swansea?
These people were available for interview. They still are available.
Many attempts have been made, as we explained earlier, to prevent
the publication of this book - and, because of action by those two
MPs, we have been forced into a reluctant compromise. So is it
possible that newspapers, have been subjected to similar pressures?
And that they, in “the interests of national security”, have yielded
to those pressures? That, in a free society, may seem incredible.
But the world has never before known anything as incredible as
A key to the truth was provided by Kenneth Hughes in the Daily
Mirror on June 20, 1977 - the day the program was actually
transmitted. He had secured advance access to some of the material
gathered by Clements and his team and his article was headlined:
WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?
A science program is likely to keep millions of Britons glued to
their armchairs. Alternative 3 (ITV 9.0) is an investigation into the disappearance
of several scientists.
They seem simply to have vanished from the face of the Earth.
Chilling news is read by former ITV newscaster Simon Butler who gives a gloomy report on the future.
Then came the truly telling paragraph:
“The program will be screened in several other countries - but not
America. Network bosses there want to assess its effect on British
That is what columnist Hughes had been told. That is what he
believed. The truth was, however, that television network bosses in
America were permitted no discretion in the matter. Any screening of
that Science Report program was forbidden in that country by higher
It was no mere coincidence that two of the countries where the
documentary was banned were America and Russia -the two principal
partners in this amazing conspiracy. Security forces in each of
those countries were particularly alert to the nuances of public
The backlash of embarrassment which followed the transmission
produced an immediate clamp-down of information in Britain. Even
Professor G. Gordon Broadbent, a man noted for his independent
attitudes, was reluctant to become more deeply involved. We wanted
him to enlarge on the theories he had outlined in the program, to
elaborate on the theme of covert co-operation between the
super-powers, and so Watkins visited him at the Institute of
International Political Studies in London.
Here is a transcript from
the tape of that interview which took place on July 7, 1977:
WATKINS: You are naturally aware of the statement which
claimed that the Alternative 3 program was a hoax.
What is your reaction to that statement?
BROADBENT: It would be wrong, in the present political
climate, for me to make any comment.
WATKINS: You suggested that co-operation between East
and West could involve some “massive but covert operation in space”.
Would you give your reasons for that suggestion?
BROADBENT: You may recall that I stressed that this
could be the situation but I did not state categorically that it
was. In fact, as I remember, I explained that I was not in the
business of speculation and I see nothing to be gained by enlarging
on what I have already said.
WATKINS: You took part in that program as an expert
commentator. What are your feelings about this entire exercise now
being dismissed as a hoax?
BROADBENT: Shall we say that the program was of a
more sensational nature than I had anticipated when I agreed to
participate? I was surprised by some of its findings.
WATKINS: But do you feel those findings accurately
reflected what is really happening?
BROADBENT: I’m sorry...I’d prefer to say no more.
The interview was extremely unsatisfactory. How-ever, only a few
weeks later, we received more information which provided a deeper
insight into the workings of Alternative 3...
Thursday, August 4, 1977. Another submarine meeting of Policy
Committee. Chairman: R EIGHT. Transcript section supplied by Trojan
A TWO: But losing a whole Batch Consignment just like
A EIGHT: We had bum luck...that’s all there is to it...
A TWO: Three hundred bodies smashed to bits...a
complete write-off and that’s all you can say! We had bum luck!
Look, I’m not a technical man and I tend to get lost with some of
this technical talk...so will someone please explain just how a
thing like this can happen...because, I tell you, I’ve got a gut
feeling there’s been carelessness.
R FIVE: It is not possible to legislate against
accidents of this nature...they are part of the hazards of
transportation to the new territory...
A TWO: Yes, but...
R FIVE: Please...I will explain. Meteors are very
common, far more common than people realize, and about a million of
them enter the earth’s atmosphere every day. Nearly all are very
tiny, not more than about a gram in weight, but some are
A EIGHT: That’s right...some are too big to evaporate
completely on their journey through the earth’s atmosphere so they
land as solid lumps. We reckon that about 500 kilograms arrive this
way from outer space every year...
R FIVE: Sometimes these lumps are gigantic. There was
one in 1919, for example, which landed in Siberia.
It devastated about 100 square miles of
A EIGHT: Then there’s that classic meteor crater in
R FIVE: It is the same in and around the new
territory...millions of meteors are bombarding its atmosphere and
our craft have to travel through that bombardment...
A TWO: But our pilots...don’t they take avoiding
A EIGHT: Imagine yourself on a bicycle...trying to
dodge an avalanche that’s rolling right on top of you...that’s how
it was with this lot...
A TWO: And you’re saying this one which hit the Batch
Consignment craft was maybe as big as that Siberian one?
R FIVE: Possibly...but we have no means of telling...
anyway, it wouldn’t be necessary for it to be that big...one a
hundredth that size would have completely destroyed the craft...
R EIGHT: This discussion, I feel, is leading us
nowhere. Our scientific people at Archimedes Base have assured us
that this disaster-our first, I must emphasize - could not possibly
have been avoided. And that has been confirmed by the Committee in
Residence. It is hardly our function to hold another post-mortem.
A ONE: That’s right. We ought to be thankful there
were no designated movers on board. So we lost 300 components...is
that so desperately serious? All we’ve got to do is fix for another
(Authors’ note: The following month, you may recall, brought reports
of mass disappearances in Australia. By the end of September many of
those who had disappeared were found by chance in what was
apparently a slave-labor camp-possibly in readiness for clinical
processing and transportation. Many others have never been seen
The discovery of those “slave-labor” men, coming so soon
after that meeting of the Policy Committee, might, of course, have
been merely a coincidence. However, we consider that to be highly
R EIGHT: The legacy of that unfortunate television
program is of far more immediate importance...
A FIVE: Listen...that program has been completely
discredited. People have accepted it wasn’t meant to be taken
seriously, that it was no more than an elaborate joke...we don’t
need to sweat blood over it...
R EIGHT: Most people have accepted the official
statements but there are those who cannot be so easily convinced. We
must not under-estimate the damage that has been done by the
program. It has made certain people think and wonder and that can be
dangerous. We must make certain that its credibility is completely
A TWO: I told you we should have killed that guy Gerstein...way back in February...I said then he was dangerous...
R FOUR: My friend is right...he did say that. And I
pointed out then that Gerstein’s talk could start a panic among the
A FIVE: So what are you saying? An Expediency?
R ONE: What value would that be now? He has said all
he can add...and now people are laughing at him. They say he is a
crank. so what would be gained by an Expediency?
A TWO: He should never have co-operated with those
television guys...he deserves to die and...
A EIGHT: I told you all before...we don’t use
Expediencies for punishment purposes...we use them only in the
furtherance of the operation. So maybe we were wrong before...maybe
we should have had Gerstein killed...but, now, I see no point...
R EIGHT: We will vote. Those in favor of an
Expediency?...thank you...And against?...Good... I entirely agree.
Gerstein did behave in a most foolhardy manner but we have nothing
to gain by his death...
A TWO: But what about the regional officer concerned?
A EIGHT: You’re right there. He should have stopped
that television crap. He’s proved himself to be utterly unreliable.
He failed and failed badly and, what’s worse, he could let us down
again. The man, without any question, is a liability and I propose
R TWO: Seconded.
R EIGHT: Those in favor?...Then that is unanimous. The
A THREE: How about a telepathic sleep-job...maybe with
R EIGHT: That seems sensible...it’s too soon after Ballantine for another hot-job.
That was where the transcript section ended. What had
Gerstein said to cause such consternation? Those who saw the television program will already know. In the nest section, for
the benefit of others, we will be giving full details of his
interview with Simon Butler.
But what of the final part of that transcript:
“telepathic sleep-job with a gun”.
That was gibberish to us -- at
that stage. It was not until later that we got a possible
explanation from Dr. Hugo Danningham. We were accustomed by that
stage to surprises. But Dr. Danningham’s explanation came as one of
the most startling surprises yet.
Dr. Hugo Danningham lectures regularly on parapsychology at three
British universities and is a committee member of the European
Institute for Brain Research. He was interviewed on our behalf by
Colin Benson in Brussels on September 23, 1977. That interview,
which Benson taped, provided an insight into the possible meaning of
the phrase “telepathic sleep-job”.
In the early 19602, he explained, significant advances were made in
the study of parapsychology at the University of Kharkov and at the
University of Leningrad - advances which many experts feared were to
be adapted for use in any future conflict between East and West.
They involved telepathy and, more specifically, the long-distance
invasion and manipulation of minds. The potential military
advantages were patently obvious. Enemies could be attacked and
suborned literally from within. If the telepathic power were strong
enough, they could be compelled to ignore the orders of their
commanders in preference to those being beamed directly into their
minds. They would, i fact, respond like remote-controlled puppets.
Military authorities in the West, fearful of the advantages this
could yield to the Russians, initiated intensive research into this
new style of weapon. And, as a result, it had been perfected by both
“Experiments have proved that children, like birds and beasts and
people in primitive tribes, are usually more receptive to telepathic
messages and instructions than most adults in a civilized society,”
said Dr. Danningham.
“This is because once intelligence has been
fully developed, and once a tremendous amount of education has been
absorbed, information received on a major scale directly from other
minds could easily result in mental confusion.
“As a result, the mind of civilized man has developed a protective
barrier against telepathy. This barrier can be penetrated most
easily when the defenses are down - such as when a person is
extremely fatigued or is going through a period of great emotional
stress. And the defenses of the mind, of course, are never more
relaxed than during sleep. That is when a person is most vulnerable
to telepathic invasion - particularly if such an invasion was being
controlled by experienced professionals.
“That, I suspect, is the explanation behind that “sleep-job”
Benson frowned, shook his head in perplexity. I’m sorry...I don’t
“A sleeping man can be given instructions and, if the circumstances
are propitious, he will obey those instructions - even if they are
that he should kill himself...”
“Good God!” said Benson. “You’re suggesting, then, a
sort of somnambulistic suicide! But this is quite fantastic! These
circumstances you mention...what exactly would they be?”
For any action as dramatic as self-destruction there could almost
certainly have to be a synchronization of many factors,: said Dr. Danningham. “For example, it would be easier if the intended victim
were at precisely the right period of his biorhythmic psi
sensitivity cycle and...”
“But surely the instinct for self-preservation would countermand any
instructions calculated to result in suicide...unless the sleeper
wanted to kill himself anyway...”
“Not if the telepathic instructions were cleverly presented,: said
Danningham. “Let me give you an illustration:
“Imagine you want to kill a man who, let’s say, lives high up in a
skyscraper block. Now you’re not going to tell that man to kill
himself by jumping out of his bedroom window because - as you so
rightly say - his instinct for survival would very likely intervene
and reject the order.
“So what you do is feed him false information. You tell him
telepathically that there is some wild beast rampaging around his
room or that the building has caught fire. You tell him there is a
safety net spread under the window and that, to save himself, he
must jump. So, in a desperate bid to stay alive, he jumps - and
breaks his neck.
“It is possible, of course, to play all sorts of permutations on
this tack. You might persuade your sleeping victim, for instance,
into believing there is some venomous spider attached to his chest,
that he must stab it and kill it before it kills him. And so, in his
sleep, he stabs himself.”
“The variations, my dear Mr. Benson, are almost limitless. If the
telepathic messages convinced your sleeper that he had accidentally
drunk some corrosive poison and that the only antidote was in a
bottle marked cyanide...well, I’m sure you see what I mean.:
“And you’re saying that this sort of thing actually happens?”
Danningham shook his head. “No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m
merely telling you what is possible. Men in my field have the
knowledge required to make those things happen but I cannot
visualize anyone actually using that knowledge...”
Maybe Dr. Danningham was right. Maybe, at that time,
the men behind
Alternative 3 had not used somnambulistic suicide as a method of
However, we spent weeks researching newspaper archives in
America and Britain and we discovered three cases which, to say the
least, appear to merit a question mark.