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Most notable of all, in Invasion Earth, a number of aliens retrieved from a crashed and captured UFO are taken to — yes — Porton Down.

UFOs at Rendlesham Forest

There is one final footnote to the Porton Down UFO controversy: the famous UFO incident at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England in December 1980. The event has been the subject of half a dozen books, and is considered by many to be a prime example of a UFO landing. The basics of the account are these: Between December 26 and 29, 1980, multiple UFO encounters occurred within Rendlesham Forest, and involved United States military personnel based at the nearby Royal Air Force stations Bentwaters and Woodbridge. According to numerous U.S. Air Force personnel, a small, triangular shaped object was seen maneuvering in the forest. Others, such as the previously mentioned Larry Warren, told of traumatic encounters deep within the trees, with strange, spectral, alien-style entities.

Less well known is the fact that the late Rendlesham researcher and author Georgina Bruni uncovered a rumor suggesting that shortly after the events in the forest occurred, a number of personnel from Porton Down were covertly dispatched to the area. Significantly, the Porton Down team was dressed in full-body protection suits — or Hazmat outfits, as they have become known — and tentatively entered the woods, for reasons that remain unknown outside of official channels.

On January 11, 2001, the late British Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Hill-Norton, who had a personal interest in UFOs in general and the Rendlesham affair in particular, asked questions at an official level with British authorities in an attempt to resolve the issue of the Porton Down allegations as they related to the Rendlesham case. Predictably, the response to Hill-Norton’s questions, which surfaced on January 25, 2001, was that staff at Porton Down had made careful checks of their archives, but had found no record of any such visit to the woods. It should be noted this did not mean such records did not exist, only that the specific personnel who made the search were unable to locate anything of relevance. The controversy surrounding crashed UFOs, biological warfare, and Porton Down seemed destined to continue.

Deaths in Microbiology

From the latter part of 2001 to the present day, literally dozens of individuals working within the elite field of microbiology (the study of organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye, such as bacteria and viruses, some of which are lethal) in various countries around the world have died under suspicious circumstances. Many of the deaths appear, at first glance at least, to have prosaic explanations: suicides, illnesses, and accidents. There are those, however, who have maintained that the sheer number of such deaths cannot be explained away so easily. More intriguing is the fact that many of the now-dead microbiologists had links to worldwide intelligence services, including the United States’s CIA, Britain’s MI5 and MI6, and Israel’s Mossad.

Inevitably, this strange cluster of deaths in such a tightly knit area of cutting-edge research has led to a proliferation of conspiracy theories. Some students of the puzzle believe that a cell of deep-cover terrorists from the Middle East is attempting to wipe out the leading names within the field of microbiology as part of an ongoing plot to prevent Western nations from developing the ultimate bio-weapon. A much darker and controversial theory suggests that this same weapon has already been developed, and now, with their work complete, the micro-biologists are being systematically killed off by elements of Western Intelligence, in an effort to prevent them being kidnapped by terrorists who will then force them to work for the other side. Of particular relevance to this chapter is the fact that a number of those same scientists had ties — some very significant ties — to Porton Down.

On November 23, 2001, Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, a former microbiologist for Bioreparat — a bio-weapons production facility that existed in Russia prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union — was found dead near his home in the county of Wiltshire, England — the very county that just happens to be home to Porton Down. Pasechnik’s defection to Britain in 1989 revealed to Western intelligence services, for the very first time, the sheer extent and scale of the former Soviet Union’s secret research into the field of biological warfare, including deadly anthrax. After his defection, Pasechnik was employed for a year at the Center for Applied Microbiology Research at Porton Down before forming his own company, called Regma Biotechnics. In the final weeks of his life, Pasechnik placed the sum total of his anthrax-based research in the hands of the British government. According to British Intelligence, Pasechnik died of nothing stranger than a tragic stroke. How very convenient that Pasechnik’s fatal stroke did not hit him until precisely after he had completed his work on Anthrax and handed it over to British authorities.

Then, on July 18, 2003, David Kelly, a British biological-weaponry expert, fatally slashed his own wrists while out walking in woods near his home. At least, that was the official version of events. Kelly was the British Ministry of Defense’s Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Adviser to the Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat, and to the Foreign Office’s non-proliferation department. In 1984, Kelly had been appointed as Head of Microbiology at Porton Down. In the autumn of 1989, he was called in to assist MI6 in debriefing none other than the aforementioned Vladimir Pasechnik. This debriefing provided undeniable evidence of a gross violation of the 1972 biological weapons convention: the Russians were shown to be secretly studying the Smallpox virus, in direct, flagrant contravention of World Health Organization regulations. After the Iraqis were slung out of Kuwait in 1991, the U.N. invited Kelly to help force Saddam Hussein into compliance with the peace agreements. Kelly made 36 visits to Iraq, and, from New York, continued his work into the late 1990s. He also acted as the Senior Adviser on Biological Weapons to the United Nations’ Biological Weapons Inspections teams (Unscom) from 1994 to 1999. To this day, Kelly’s suicide is viewed with deep suspicion and great cynicism.

On July 3, 2004, nearly a year after Kelly’s passing, 52-year-old Dr. Paul Norman of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, was killed when the Cessna 206 aircraft he was piloting crashed in the English county of Devonshire. Dr. Norman was the Chief Scientist for Chemical and Biological Defense at Porton Down. The Cessna’s crash site was sealed off, and was examined by officials from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. The wreckage of the aircraft was removed from the site to the AAIB’s base of operations at Farnborough, England. The crash, as no one should be surprised to learn, was ruled an accident. Uh-huh.

Were the deaths of Pasechnik, Kelly, and Norman really so prosaic, as the British Government was — and still very much is — so keen to assert? Or was the fact that all three had secret ties to Porton Down an indication that something stranger and far more deadly was afoot? In today’s climate of terror, it should be recognized that any suspicious deaths in the field of microbiology and biological warfare — specifically where the victims had links to the Intelligence services of a number of countries and secret installations like Porton Down — might be an indication that a terrorist assassination squad was at work.