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Aerial Phenomena Enquiry Network (APEN) - Uncovered?

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posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 03:39 PM
a reply to: mirageman

I don't think there is any real evidence to be had and in many ways APEN seems as likely to turn up any solid evidence as Harold Wilson's suspicion of a right wing coup.

The Alien / Demon / Communist conspiracy, whilst hilarious to imagine, seems like it might have existed in the minds of some ufologists but really, I've come to one conclusion. Much of ufology involves one group messing with the other. For me, I think I'm at the end of my APEN journey.

The only exceptions I can see is a some sort of breakthrough with either the Phantom helicopter scenario or Scott Felton's ongoing saga with MCA.

In fact, isn't an update from Scott overdue?

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 04:23 PM
a reply to: ctj83

I think I'm at the end of my APEN journey.........

I don't think there is anything we can add at the moment. APEN is a piece of history. and now very difficult to dig for more information. But it was fun to speculate.

Scott Felton is still working on the Berwyn case and has a new site here.

So although I am not actively looking into the case anymore I'll keep an eye on things to see if anything develops.

Thanks for a great thread my friend and I hope our paths cross again on here soon.

Regards MM

posted on Jun, 20 2016 @ 05:10 PM
a reply to: mirageman

I've made a few small breakthroughs with APEN. The first is that each member did not know any other member. There can only have been one of two reasons for this:

- a prominent UFOlogist was behind the organisation and did not want to be caught out
- a non ufologist started APEN and their credentials would have prevented any reach

My second breakthrough is that some members involved with APEN are still active in UFOLOGY.

Third, APEN offered large amounts of cash to those they wanted to do research for them.

So essentially, we have a network that was formed of cells with anonymity beyond the recruiter and recruiters but a flow of money from a central source. I've managed to identify a few ufologists who did have mentors / handlers although I can't reveal them I'm sure people can guess,

My theory is that the organisation behind APEN was probably not right wing, but the right wing propaganda they were linked with was to drive away potential recruits. It also operated much like a traditional intelligence network.

In conclusion, I'd like to suggest that APEN was the creation of a group of people who could not afford to be identified for political reasons.

posted on Jun, 20 2016 @ 06:01 PM
a reply to: ctj83

Most interesting.

posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 11:38 AM
a reply to: ctj83

Got this months Fortean Times and there's an interesting article about APEN in the UFOlogy pages.
There's a mention of ATS and possibly even this thread.
I'll let you read it for yourselves.

There's also a letter in the back referring to the RFI in general but I get the impression that the writer hasn't seen the Christmas Story thread.

Nothing of earth shattering importance here.
Just a heads up for those with an interest.

posted on Jul, 15 2016 @ 05:02 PM
a reply to: Tulpa

Thanks for that Tulpa. I've come to the conclusion that there were two APENS and that in one of them, members only knew their recruiter (read handler). I suspect that the source of this network was a non western power, who provided funding for "research".

That funding dried up in the early nineties and the network fell apart. I'll leave it to readers to guess who ran the control mechanism of this network.

The other APEN I believe was an understandable and effective response that used political beliefs diametrically opposed to the original APEN. It succeeded in checking the growth of the first.

posted on Jul, 16 2016 @ 08:02 AM
a reply to: Tulpa

Yes Jenny Randles, who is generally very objective, adds some interesting points about APEN. She was basically harrassed and a false story about her being involved with CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) was put out by APEN. False newspaper ads were put out in Jenny's name with an unlisted number for people to contact. Also a number of people stopped contacting Jenny after receiving letters from 'her' offering paid work with a secret government agency as long as they stopped UFO research. They were also to keep quiet as to why they had abandoned Ufology..

So if you are reading Jenny thanks for the update!

As Tulpa says if you want to read the full column then it's in the August 2016 edition of Fortean Times.

The Rendlesham letter is nothing to write home (or indeed anywhere) about.
edit on 16/7/16 by mirageman because: corrections

posted on Jul, 16 2016 @ 03:02 PM
a reply to: mirageman

One or both of the "APEN" groups really had something against Randles didn't they?

The only thing I find hard to believe is the Berwyn case where they sent her a report of crashed aliens who had APENS ex directory telephone number!

Does this sound more like the work of an agency with a serious agenda or a parallel organisation designed to undermine it? Personally, I'm still not sure

posted on Jul, 17 2016 @ 07:03 AM
a reply to: ctj83

It seems that poor Jenny was the focal point for the APEN disinformation campaign. Whoever was behind it also seemed privy to information that only people close to her, or various 'agencies' might have access to. It could be she was getting close to something and distractions had to be introduced.

For example maybe Berwyn had something to do with a military, espionage or anti-terrorist operation (not that I'm saying it did) and something had to be introduced to throw people of the scent. We have to place it all within the context of the 1970s and 80s as well.

There is still so little information about APEN even now. I am not sure what that points to myself.

posted on Jul, 18 2016 @ 02:04 PM
Thanks for the above comments. I found the thread when writing my piece in Fortean Times and it was very interesting.

Whilst I do pop in here now and again I hardly ever post because for some years family priorities have limited the time I have to be involved in UFO research as much as I would prefer.

And I know that my inability to respond quickly (or even at all if I just miss the thread entirely) can create suspicions that there are sinister reasons why I am choosing not to reply.

But if I can help or answer questions and I see the thread and am able to get time to reply then I will try. (Jenny Randles)
edit on 18-7-2016 by Jayceedove because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 18 2016 @ 02:33 PM
a reply to: Jayceedove

Thank you Jenny for sparing the time. I'm sure ctj83 appreciates you dropping by as well.

We really enjoyed your Rendlesham pieces in the FT as well. As I said you have my respect as a researcher. Just wish we could work this APEN thing out. Maybe one days hey?

Kind Regards MM

posted on Jul, 18 2016 @ 03:18 PM
a reply to: Jayceedove

Thanks Jenny! I appreciate you dropping in here. it seems fairly clear to me that you were a target of either the original APEN or the one created to combat it (according to Redfern's Sandman).

I was wondering if you have any opinion on why APEN gave you extraterrestrial explanations for other UK "events" but directed you to look for Brown Bears for Rendlesham?

I know from your books that you've taken this to mean a soviet satellite, but it seems rather prosaic compared to the reports they gave you on Berwyn etc?

Any insight you could give would be most appreciated!


posted on Jul, 19 2016 @ 06:50 AM
I suspect APEN was at least in part started by someone involved with a UFO group in east Lancashire - quite a hotbed of extremist views at that point (early 70s). They were one of the small teams that came and went very quickly in those years but were quite active in the early creation of NUFON (Northern UFO Network) - an alliance of local groups in that part of the UK.

They wanted to call this alliance UNO (Union of Northern Observers) and I think it even was for a short time. But then I suggested the shout line to promote it - UNO - it makes sense - and it was changed so as not to sound too political. It had not occurred to me or thought important but was to them.

That group disbanded around that point but it is also around the same time that the APEN letters and tapes started to arrive.

Back then - in 1973/74 - I had been a BUFORA member and FSR subscriber since the late 60s at school - but was very newly active in the field then as I had a lot going on in my life at that point. This is something APEN seemingly knew about from their letters and tapes and so that fact alone means they had to be close enough to NUFON to be one of the few people who were aware of such matters.

I think the most interesting thing that happened was the attempt by APEN to use a go between 'agent' who knew nothing of their past at that point and who was new to the field and yet was chosen by them to have a face to face meeting without realising that APEN were not a legitimate group really trying to help UFO research. His wife talked him out of further involvement once we showed the kind of things that APEN were doing so we never saw where that 'mediator' role might have led.

As for why APEN gave varying links to me. My suspicion was that they were just playing to their audience. Anyone with their eye on the field in the UK in the 70s and 80s will have known that, whilst I was open to the possibility of the ETH, I was not committed to it and was becoming persuaded that there were multiple types of UFO solutions - not just one size fits all for the whole phenomenon.

So they may well have tried to play their audience at that point.

Moreover, in 1981/82 we now know from the released MoD files that there was some concern about the possibility that a nuclear accident might have occurred at Bentwaters could gain traction. It was something they were aware that I had commented on publicly as a possibility. And the MoD correspondence - then secret, of course - shows that they were relieved that the UFO community would not likely pay much attention to my suggestion, it being implied that we were happier chasing more exotic explanations.

Events have moved on a lot since 1982 and I do not think that a nuclear accident was involved in that case. But I also can see why the very fact I was discussing the possibility of nuclear weapons at Bentwaters was a problem. It was an open secret locally then but not something they wanted to be public at a time when peace protests were gathering momentum about US cruise missiles being brought into the UK.

So maybe it was useful to lead my attention elsewhere.

What is interesting is that I also now know that some 'agency' was monitoring myself and colleagues because of questions bout that case being asked by a 'Soviet scientist' who seemed desperate to know what angles we were chasing.

I was young and naïve then and never really thought about the implications of ideas that I was having about any case. I was just trying to find answers. But in other places - I can now see - there would have been inevitable disquiet about some of the things I was innocently saying because they had an agenda above and beyond the truth about UFOs.

posted on Jul, 19 2016 @ 05:16 PM
a reply to: Jayceedove

Thanks for the reply Jenny! How disturbing that they knew personal details, and if memory serves, your address?

As you might have read, I believe their were two APENS. The first seems to fit with the UNO connection you mention. The second seems to be the one Nick Redfern refers to Sandman telling him was an official counter operation.

My own research suggests that no APEN member knew the other members beyond who recruited them. However, I've no idea which APEN that was!

Interesting your comments about Rendlesham and the nuclear angles and it seems to make sense. What I don't understand is why you were sent the rather bizarre computer print out report on Berwyn?

Several people, yourself included have pointed out that this report showed knowledge of the event not widely known. Is it possible it was a bluff to make their organisation seem connected, for want of a better word?

Do you have any idea why they ruined it with the hilarious 'aliens have our ex-directory number' and the general resemblance to a computer report from SHADO (Gerry Andersons UFO).

posted on Jul, 19 2016 @ 05:17 PM
a reply to: Jayceedove

I forgot to ask, do you have any of the audio recordings and would it be possible to convert them to mp3s? I realise it's a reach and big ask!

posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 11:41 AM
The Berwyn case was by coincidence something I took an interest in because my fiancé Paul in the 70s owned a caravan in the small village of Llandrillo around where these events happened. So we stayed there a lot a year or two after the APEN stuff first arrived and became aware of the views of the locals who we talked to in the pubs. APEN could not really have predicted that when they sent out the memo unless they were psychic. But it was always a case that had a personal resonance for that reason.

Not sure but it is likely something I commented on in 1974 in the UFO literature somewhere after it happened. Reason being that I took geology at college in 1972/3 and visited the area on field trips a few times. So I was interested in the earthquake here outside of any UFO connection.

It was probably a case they knew that nobody in the UFO community was actually investigating as a UFO case (because the earthquake and meteor angle were known about very soon afterwards and so it was largely being ignored).

Might have been something they thought they could promote and side track researchers onto. But the over the top nature was not going to persuade anybody with a degree of caution.

Yes, they knew enough about my life that there had to be a direct connection. At that point only the local groups I worked with and BUFORA were aware - BUFORA because I had just joined the council and so felt I had to let them know about my childhood in case it ended up being in the media one day and should not be a shock if it did.

And the 'Welcome to Your New Home' card that was waiting at my new house in 1976 the day we moved in was further evidence. That address was then only known to people I worked with. It had the message 'Never call anyone bigger then yourself stupid' on it.

Do I have any tapes? I might do somewhere. I did loan them to a couple of people years ago who were doing their own investigation. I think it was either Andy Roberts or Nigel Watson (both of whom had got stuff themselves).

I have no unpacked a lot of stuff from a recent house move but will keep your request in mind.

posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 04:54 PM
a reply to: Jayceedove

Firstly, I should have said this earlier, I'm a fan of your writing style and both your books and work on Strange But True are excellent.

I hope you don't mind me saying, as I'm a complete outside with no first hand experience, but i can't help but feel you were targeted pre Berwyn. Of the APEN of James T Anderson and Nazi marching music - in other words, the APEN of Nick Redferns Sandman, as opposed to UNO.

Could I ask if you could clarify if it was APEN that told you to look at A Brown Bear as the reason behind the RFI? I've gotten the feeling that Butler believed it was Halt. street, an anonymous tipster.

Butlers Karen, seemed to think the brown bear was a Tupolov carrying a satellite / footage. Then we have the scientist who believed it was a very specific US nuclear space reactor in both RFI and cash landram.

The satellite references here and with Paul Bennewitz are hard to avoid

posted on Jul, 21 2016 @ 10:43 AM
The references to Brown Bear did initially come from Halt to Brenda Butler, yes.

But there were several other sources that hinted at this possibility in the two or three years after the sightings. We had references about it from people at some of the electronic/satellite communications sites dotted round here. I also recall when Brenda, Dot and I spent a few days in the area helping CNN put together a documentary they were making on the case I was asked questions by the presenter about USAF code words being used such as this (and Broken Arrow was another he referenced). Then he rather abruptly 'dispensed with our services' after he had set up a meeting with the police who had been called out to the woods during the sightings and who had refused several attempts by us to get them to talk to us.

Might just have been my impression but the CNN presenter seemed to think we were holding back his efforts to get to such people and 'talk sensibly' as they were not happy with the sort of questions that we might ask of them.

Then, of course, there was the call I had from the man behind the space plane project (Alan Bond) who called me at home out of the blue because he suspected something odd was going on that involved a Soviet satellite. He went away to investigate and called me just once more to say he was letting the matter drop because to follow this side of things up was 'messing with something for which you can end up at the bottom of the Thames.'

We got him to appear on the Strange But True? programme we did (which, incidentally, holds the record for the most watched UFO documentary ever seen in the UK) but he would not pursue this line of questions. I understand he told Dr David Clarke when he asked him that this comment to me was intended as a joke.

Maybe it was, though it did not come over as one at the time.

Plus, of course, there is the very strange links with Rendlesham involving Ralph Noyes - who was a retired head of the MoD division that included the Air Staff UFO team - so the equivalent of the departmental boss in the 60s/70s of someone like Nick Pope later. Ralph was a very interesting guy and was extremely helpful to Brenda, Dot and I. I spent plenty of time with him up to just before he died when making my BBC documentary on the PRO files in 1996.

Ralph also spent a year with me trying to persuade his former bosses to say more about RF to letters we jointly sent to the upper echelons of the MoD including the defence minister. He was adamant their replies were evasive and proved that they were hiding something.

He also organised for Brenda, Dot and I to launch the updated Sky Crash paperback at his prestigious London club and to endorse the Halt tape that we played to many UK journalists for the first time there.

But how exactly he became involved with us in this case is a very odd tale as it predated the News of the World coverage in October 1983. We never resolved what happened actually.

In any event he went on to write a novel about Rendlesham. It is not really about the case he insisted, but, of course, self evidently it is connected given that it involves a Colonel Hoyt at an RAF base called Bentbridge and strange events on Blandfordness. That book (A Secret Property) is a must read for any RF case enthusiast. It features a secret experiment that interferes with a Soviet space mission.

So APEN were not really in any significant sense the source for directing my interest into these areas. That long pre-existed their comments. These were not made directly to me but via a group (in Cheshire if I recall) who were approached by APEN to be mediators and dangled this reference as a means to try to persuade me to meet them in the dead of night at a rural railway station.

Needless to say it was an invitation I did not take up as by that point I was well aware of the type of people that APEN (either version) were about.

I think this was my last contact with APEN in any form - using that name at least. It would be mod 1980s somewhere.
edit on 21-7-2016 by Jayceedove because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2016 @ 05:11 PM
a reply to: Jayceedove

I've heard several variations of this satellite story. Perhaps you know them all:

- That a Tupolev defected with the satellite in the hold
- That a Tupolev retrieving a cannister over the sea crashed
- That a Ionospheric heater could lift the atmosphere to increase drag on the satellite
- that a maser directed at the satellite could take control of its guidance systems

A friend in the field tells me that he believes that a system for removing atmosphere distortion by way of use of lasers and measuring difraction is the real system and it that the more elaborate system isn't really possible and even if it were too much of the satellite would be restored in rentry.

Put another way, it would be far easier to capture, deploy or destroy in space.

I'm not aware of how Ralph became attached to the RFI? Have you written about it anywhere?

From everything you've said, it appears that UNO APEN targeted you out of a personal grudge and all information they had would have also been available to close colleagues.

I'm still left wondering if there really was anything to Berywn and if so, how did they come across any information.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my previous post!

posted on Jul, 22 2016 @ 12:00 PM
I think it is worth reading A Secret Property for clues about what secret tech might have been going on around Rendlesham that might have been in experimental test mode as a space weapon. I think Noyes knew a few things from his time working with the MoD from Churchill's day onward that he seeded into what he deliberately wrote up as an OTT novel. But I do not know precisely what and this was just a feeling I had from our discussions on the case.

He first wrote to Brenda around the time the three of us first presented my letter from the MoD confirming that the RF case was real and they had a report on it but had been unable to explain it. This was a very significant breakthrough in April 1983 as it predated the release of the Halt memo via FoI in the US by a couple of months. The letter was very strange because later Ralph Noyes insisted that he never sent it. Yet at that point we had no idea who he was so could not have simply made it up.

I had taken my MoD letter to a BUFORA conference in Lane End, Bucks, in August 1983 where we showed it and the Halt memo - then also just secured but not yet public knowledge - to a selected band of people (such as J Allen Hynek who was a speaker). This was unannounced, not open to the media and deliberately held late at night/into the early hours to minimise leaks. I believe Ralph was there and this was his starting point for involvement in the case.

When the case got into the News of the World two months later (we still do not know exactly how) it later emerged that Noyes had contacted them and spoke to them as an anonymous MoD source about the case. That is how we first met him and asked him about the letter to Brenda that he denied ever sending. So most odd.

As for APEN and the Llandrillo case I really am not sure how much they knew in 1974/5. The case itself was not a secret. It and the RAF search of the mountains afterwards made the national TV news. It was discussed in FSR magazine by Eileen Buckle before the APEN letters.

So really all they did was use what was known and add on this supposed alien element that as far as I believe was simply made up by them.

I am not sure we need to look further than them simply trying to big themselves up and try to distract us away from other things by creating the impression they were some big real organisation in secret contact with aliens.

That Llandrillo became one of those legends (like Roswell or Rendlesham) bound to fester and grow over the years is fairly predictable given its nature. From my time talking to the locals when Paul and I stayed in the village in the late 70s it was clear they felt something had gone on that had been covered up from them. Though opinion was split over it being something the RAF were searching for (with the meteor being a cover for a plane crash or it was even again here suggested by someone a satellite) or UFO related.

If anyone from APEN had been out to the Berwyns they might have seen enough to hook a tale around.

Or they may just have got lucky and picked a case that ended up growing like topsy intp a legend. Not something too unlikely in our field with the ingredients involved.

I don't know if there is more to the case than the earthquake/meteor/rabbiters that Andy Roberts suggests. But I very much doubt APEN had any particular insight into it. They were playing Ufology like a fiddle imo.

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