As each year passes, more and more first hand witness accounts of historically significant events are being lost.
The last person believed to have served in the Great War for example, passed away in 2012 aged 110, which means that with the death of Florence Green, there is not a single human being now alive, who is able to bear testimony to the true horrors of the First World War.
It has been estimated that within three decades, there will be nobody left who will have witnessed what it was to have served in the Second World War, and their personal accounts and stories will have gone along with them.
Of course the celluloid and paper records will endure, and the ‘Official’ narrative will continue to be taught in schools and studied by the next generation of history students – who will in turn, go on to recite to others what they have learned from those records.
And undoubtably, it will continue in that manner.
However, it is becoming increasingly rare that genuine first hand accounts of events that were deemed as being ‘sensitive’ or ‘not in the public interest’, emerge in any significant numbers.
But when they do, it is vitally important that they are also recorded, preserved for posterity, and made easily available, and presented on a platform that is accessible to anyone.
Like the Internet.
But even the www is subject to censorship to a degree, and popular online reference sources, like WIKIPEDIA for example, are heavily controlled and being continuously monitored for information that may question the ‘Official’ version of any given event.
So unless you are prepared to venture further, into the so-called ‘conspiracy‘ or ‘truth‘ websites, blogs and forums, you will find little deviation from the version that is taught in schools, universities and ‘approved’ websites of course.
For the purpose of this article, I would like to refer to something that can be found on the Imperial War Museum Online Archive, in relation to ‘Antler’, which was part of a series of secretive operations, began in 1953, with ‘Operation Totem’, and was intended to develop greater knowledge and understanding of ‘Fission (Nuclear) Weapons’.
“The information available on the web right now seems to have been watered down and is now very sparse, and what there is can be misleading to say the least.”
The quote above is from someone, who has been looking for answers, particularly in regard to ‘Antler’ and similar operations involving Fission-Based weapons testing, for personal reasons.
His reasons I believe, is that he was there at the time, and now, almost fifty-eight years later, still does not know the whole truth about what was really going on.
He has given his permission to publish his own account on the Outlaw.
A first-hand testimony, and one which also bears little resemblance, apart from the dates and location etc, to the ‘Official’ account.
“Most of us with any personal knowledge of this sort of thing are now gone but what we have witnessed should not be allowed to die with us. The reason why such posts as mine are rare is because most people of our age were brought up in an era of no computers and thereby a lot of us are now known as computer illiterate. I myself never even touched a computer until I was 68 and I still haven’t got much idea about E mails and that’s why I’m posting on here.”
“It’s a long story but I haven’t as yet got to the bottom of it, and probably never will.
It started way back in 1957 when I was just an 18-year old wet behind the ears young airman travelling on a troop train between Cardington and Liverpool docks.
On our kit bags was information as to our identity, our destinations and the ship on which we would be sailing. In this case it was the S.S. Oxfordshire and its final destination after making drop offs was Hong Kong via the Cape of Good Hope.
The Suez canal was still blocked at the time after the 1956 Suez crisis. Opposite me on the train sat a RAF chief technician and on his kit bag was stencilled the words ‘Operation Antler’.
I asked him what it meant but all he would tell me was that he was going to Australia.
At that time I didn’t even know we had any bases in Australia.
We finally arrived in Hong Kong and that was an eye opener on the first day, but that’s another story. I soon learned that the Far East Air Force was something unusual and strange things were happening.
Amongst our kit was a pair of very expensive sun glasses which we were told were for the extreme sunlight that we would often be working in.
The army had no such glasses.
I had learned earlier on the troop ship via its civilian captain that these sun glasses were made of very special laminated glass, which consisted of three layers of dark glass and between the three layers of glass were two layers of iodine crystals.
This puzzled me.
Naturally I made friends out there one of them being a certain Corporal Walker who came from a RAF family and had been in the service from the age of 15 as an apprentice.
Very often someone we knew would ‘disappear’ and we would later learn that he had been ‘posted’ with the instruction to clear the camp in one hour.
One day my pal corporal Walker just ‘disappeared’ and I was told that he had been sent to Singapore on a training course. I knew this to be a lie because there were no more training courses being carried out there and I said so.
The response I got from above was to “Shut up”.
A month later ‘Whisky’ as corporal Walker was nicknamed, returned to camp but he was a changed and shaken man and to say that he had been in Singapore was not true as he had pale skin.
I took him quietly on one side and asked him where he had been and not to give me any of that crap about Singapore. He looked at me as though in shock and said, “I can’t tell you that pal, but all I will tell you is that I have seen something that no man should ever see.”
Immediately the kit bag with ‘Operation Antler’ on it came to mind and something was starting to form a picture.
At my final camp back in the UK I was on a guard detail and waiting in the billet along with a few others for our two hour ‘stints’. One person amongst us who had his back to me and seemed older and wiser than the others, seemed to be laying the law down and kept mentioning that he had been based in Australia.
But he mentioned nothing of what he was doing there.
This aroused my curiosity and whilst he still had his back to me I shouted “Antler”.
The reaction was immediate and he faced me and replied, “So you were there as well were you?” Still wanting more information I lied, and told him yes but that I was not allowed to say what I did out there.
This he believed and that’s when he blurted out his story which he must have been bursting at the seams for a number of years to tell.
He told me that he was working in an underground bunker within about two miles of the coming nuclear test. Usually in such tropical climates, the working dress order of the day is shoes/boots knee length socks shorts and shirt with sleeves rolled up to just above the elbow. This was known as number four dress.
One day they were told to wear tropical long trousers and shirt with sleeves rolled down and buttoned at the wrist. This was known as number five dress and they were also told to keep their sun glasses handy, which seems strange for someone working below ground.
On that fateful day he told me that a voice came over the tannoy inviting them to go above ground where they could witness a sight that would go down in history and not to forget their glasses.
Along with the others he scrambled above ground but he was wearing number four dress instead of number five as previously ordered.
He then went on to describe what he had witnessed.
“We were stood in full view looking at the target area when an out of this world bright flash occurred which was immediately followed by a wave of heat. Even though I was wearing the glasses I put my hands and arms up to my eyes so as to shield myself from the bright flash. Later, because I was wearing number four dress, my arms and legs swelled up and became bright red and peeled shortly afterwards.”
How much radiation both this man and my pal Whisky took can only be guessed at but the iodine crystals in the glasses would have given them little or no protection. But I have no doubt that both of them got the initial radiation sickness and it could have so easily have been myself who was amongst these human guinea pigs.
I have since seen old film of these experiments where the airmen were placed at various distances from the explosion, to assess the different affects at different distances.
Since those days, a lot of these people have developed cancer and died from cancer of the organs and cancer of the blood. Their children have suffered deformities because of radiation damage to the reproductive organs of the parents or parent.
It’s still not known for certain if service women also took part in these experiments.
But we can be certain that the offspring of these service men, are still being monitored today in the name of ‘Scientific research’.
In the past there has been representation for these people for the purpose of getting compensation for the damage done and the damage that is still being done by these past experiments.
But as usual “All records have been lost.”
I had some information on my files but that seems to have gone missing also.
The information available on the web right now seems to have been watered down and is now very sparse and what there is can be misleading to say the least.
Porton Down keeps popping in my searches and this place although now closed, was once an experimental laboratory for ‘Common cold’ research as we were told.
I remember clearly notices going up in my early training days, asking for volunteers for this ‘common cold’ research but being well advised by the old timers I adopted their attitude of “Volunteer for bugger all” and it served me well.
But it so happened that this ‘Common cold’ research centre was nothing of the sort.
I do believe that it had something to do with the real Operation Antler which involved nuclear tests.”