Letter from F.H.C.Wimbledon
to Martin L. Shough,
15 Sept 1986
Dear Mr. Shough,
Thankyou for your letter dated 23.8.86. I regret I do not type so hope you can understand my writing.
Since the subject "died down" some years ago I am completely ignorant of any subsequent literature so your letter came as some surprise.
At the time I had considerable correspondence with, among others, Phillip Klass who, it would appear, still chooses to ignore part of my report. I cannot stress too highly that at no time did the USAF Watch Controller at Lakenheath ever talk to my aircrew. He listened to my GCI Controller's conversation with our aircrew because, on request, I had informed him on which frequency the interception was being carried out. Moreover he did not have the necessary equipment capable of carrying out an interception so why he lied in his report I cannot think. So, as I have said on many occasions the "Blue Book" version is 90% fiction and 10% fact.
You mention that the pilot might have known the frequency of Lakenheath and spoke to them. This is a complete nonsense as the pilot was on the GCI (Ground Control Interception) frequency from take-off to hand over to his base on completion and it is impossible to listen out on two frequencies simultaneously.
The pilot never reported lock on as the Mk 10 airborne radar fitted in the (two seater) Venom NF2(a) night fighter did not possess such a facility. To give the USAF Sergeant the benefit of ignorance rather than deliberate complete distortion of what happened, he may have been confused by the word "Judy" because it is completely unlikely that he would know the precise meaning and therefore put his own interpretation on it. (The word "Judy" meant that the Navigator/Radar Operator had the target firmly on his scope and did not therefore need further help from the GCI Ciontroller for the time being. Subsequently he did request "more help" later.) The pilot would then act on the instructions of his Nav/Rad such as, "left 10, up 15" , etc. At the time both pilot and navigator would be concentrating hard and certainly couldn't break off to natter to Lakenheath! Here I would stress that the frequencies available on R/T at this period of time were limited. Later on the situation improved with the introduction of UHF but in 1956 the pilot had a comparatively short list of frequencies upon which he could operate. Lakenheath's would be unlikely to be one of those.
Neither is it likely that the pilot could see the Nav/Rad's scope as the Nav/Rad's seat is offset to the right of the pilot and slightly to the rear. Naturally the pilot used the word "I". They always do!
I get increasingly mad that an almost completely fictitious account of what happened has been accepted and that Air Ministry (although interested enough at the time to send a high ranking Officer to Neatishead to interview us and collect reports) have done nothing to refute the USAF version. We were told to say nothing at the time although being assured that we were believed. After all these years (30) and even in 1978 and 1979 when the affair blew up again, it is and was, virtually impossible to find the other personnel involved i.e. the two pilots and two Nav/Rads, my inreception controllers and their cabin crews, most of whom would have been National Service people anyway at that period, the Sector Controller at Sector HQ, log books, et al. I did in 1978 or 1979 write to the Commanding Officer at Neatishead, followed up by a call from a personal friend an ex RAF Officer living in the area, requesting a search to see if any log books were still in existence but this was met by a deafening silence. It would appear therefore that, "officially" nothing happened.
To sum up, three ground radar types of equipment operating on different pulse frequencies and wavelengths plus one airborne radar on another P.R.F. etc, all "saw" something. Its performance was akin to a conventional fighter aircraft except that no contemporary aircraft could:-
(a) Manoeuvre so rapidly
(b) Have the range capability of flying from enemy (Soviet?) territory and return
(c) Have sufficient speed capability to fly out of radar range so quickly
(d) Be able to accelerate without the use of "afterburners" which would have been seen by our aircrew.
I have masses of correspondence on this and you are welcome to browse through it at some suitable time. On the whole issue I still have an open mind. I believe 99% of UFO sightings to be bunkum but have to believe the odd 1% a possibility.
Certainly on the night 13/14 August 1956 "something" was there!