Letter from F.H.C.Wimbledon
to Martin L. Shough,
13 Oct 1987
[personal paragraphs edited]
To get down to facts. I released the frequency of the Interception because I believed the request came from "Higher Authority" in the U.S.A.F. eg. the Controller at the RATCC. I would never have passed it to an NCO!! One point you raised earlier was the difference in the Flying Saucer Review and my subsequent statements. This was because for some reason known to the Editor, the vital words "without being informed" were left out.
I still get really worked up and hopping mad at Perkin's version and cannotnunderstand why nobody seems to realise Perkins could not possibly have controlled the interception as the equipment he had was not capable of carrying out that function. Moreover the Venom could not be aware of Perkins's GCA frequency and I say categorically, the venom pilot never spoke to him. Moreover what the pilot is alleged to have said is again a complete nonsense,
To know anything about a Ground Controlled Interception, you have to know the proceedures. One thing overlooked is that during an interception the pilot only leaves the GCI frequency after his navigator has indicated he has the target firmly on his radar. It is then that the pilot calls "Judy" and the GCI shuts up talking until the pilot again calls to the Controller. So at no time would the pilot talk to anyone else other than the GCI Controller. I cannot stress this too highly. During the "run up" to the actual interception, instructions are continuous and the pilot couldn't leave the GCI frequency for fear of missing some vital information.
I think in Perkins' case he has repeated his ficticious story so often he actually believes it!
My idea I mentioned to you of writing an article for Air Mail or other Service Journal is a non-starter. As you know, although retired I still have to submit such for approval (Peter Wright?) and M.o.D "have no knowlesdge of any such incident". Which is very puzzling as they undoubtedly were very interested at the time!
So, unless the pilot and/or Navigator of venom No 1 can be found to prove my version, it would seem a complete waste of my time to bang my head against a brick wall so I think I'll forget the whole incident.
Just one more point however. There is no question of the Venom being out of range of the GCI frequency in this case and on leaving the GCI channel after the interception he would immediately switch to his base frequency after being told by the GCI Controller his "pigeons", that is bearing and distance to his base. That precludes Perkins" having a conversation with him after the interception about the size of the target and also presupposes that Perkins also knew the venom base approach frequency! Not bloody likely!
I think it is a case of "a little knowledge being a dangerous thing" and in the general cock up nobody has actually found out what really goes on in an interception. Ah well!