Letter from F.H.C.Wimbledon
to G. David Thayer
18 Jan 1979
Dear Mr. Thayer,
Thank you for your letter and enclosures. I was not aware of Ian Ridpath's article and in fact am extremely annoyed as it is obvious that what I thought was an "off the record" telephone conversation was being taped and was then well and truly "edited" for his own purpose. He certainly had no permission to use my name but by reprinting the "edited" letter to ther Sunday Times, it was revealed anyway. I can assure you that the publicity is entirely unwelcome. I merely tried to put the matter straight and didn't realise how much subsequent correspondence there would be!
With regard to your queries:-
1. The Venom crew would not have contacted Lakenheath at all.
2. By "see", I meant visually and at night. There would be a tail warning radar but the pilot was told by R/T that the target was now behind him. If you refer to my letter and the article in the UFO magazine it states that when the radar operator/navigator in the aircraft called out "Lost contact, more help" he was told the target was now behind him. (The pilot, of course, does all the talking but would relay his crew's message.)
3. It was not a question of the Venom "outpacing" the UFO. The target was obviously under control the whole time and could thus change its speed at will. This I think rules out any "fireball" or some such Ridpath theory.
4. I agree that after the target was "lost" to my radar it could have been picked up by GCA but it must have gone pretty well "on the deck" for us to lose it. Alternatively it might have climbed at terrific speed.
Your report appears very fair to me and I cannot see how Klass is going to pick holes in it. It still puzzles me however how the RATCC could possibly say they vectored the Venom towards the target. This is absolutely incorrect.
I hope to visit my friend at San Rafael next May but on looking at the map I see you are a hell of a way away!
s/ Fredk H C Wimbledon