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The Observer from London, Greater London, England • 3

The Observeri
London, Greater London, England
Issue Date:
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mm THE OBSERVER, SUNDAY 31 MAY 1987 RETURN OF A COLOSSUS Sea blaze blamed ob wromig-way ship It came from outer space 40 years ago by IAN MATHER and MARTIN BAILEY by MARTIN BAILEY crew members of the Skyron were rescued and some of the in a remote region of New Mexico, about 75 miles northwest of Roswell Army Air Base (now Walker Field). 'On 7 July 1947, a secret operation was begun to assure recovery of the wreckage of this object for scientific study. During the course of this operation, aerial reconnaissance discovered that four small human-like beings had apparently ejected from the craft at some point before it exploded. These had fallen to earth about two miles east of the wreckage According to the briefing paper All four were dead and badly decomposed due to action by predators and exposure to the elements during the approximately one week of time which had elapsed before their discovery. SEPARATION Y-J WES CALAIS Despite initial fears of an oil spill disaster that could have been worse than that of the Amoco in 1978, when 80,000 tonnes of oil spilled out near the French coast, there was no leakage of crude oil from the Skyron.

The accident occurred in misty but calm conditions, at a.m. when the two vessels si THE CAPTAIN of the oil tanker which collided with a Polish cargo ship in the English Channel yesterday, sparking a massive pollution scare, last night blamed the Polish vessel for crossing his bows. Captain Kaloskas, the Greek master of the Liberian-registered Skyron tanker, which was carrying 137,000 tonnes of crude oil, claimed that he had been in the correct shipping lane when the Polish ship Hel crossed its path. His London agents, Embiricos, said The Polish vessel was at A full inquiry is to be held by the French authorities. Oil alert The tanker Skyron after its Channel smash.

Sacked whistleblower is still paying the price by MARK HOLLINGSWORTH BEN GIBSON Work is being completed in east London on this 30-foot, 11 -ton, bronze statue of the iate Archbishop Makarios, former President of Cyprus. It will be shipped to the Mediterranean island this week. BODIES of four 'aliens' from a crashed UFO (unidentified flying object) were recovered and examined by a special American Government team 40 years ago, according to a top-secret document obtained by a British researcher. A bitter debate is now likely to develop among UFO experts over the existence of a mysterious committee, code-named Majestic-1 2, which is supposed to have examined the aliens. The highly classified briefing paper claims that the then head of the CIA, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, reported that 'although these creatures are human-like in appearance, the biological and evolutionary processes responsible for their development have apparently been quite different from those observed or postulated in homo The document, which has been shown to The Observer by Timothy Good, Britain's leading UFO researcher, purports to be a briefing paper for President-elect Eisenhower on Operation Majestic-12, also known as MJ-12.

In his book, 'Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO to be published by Sidgwick Jackson on 9 July, Mr Good claims that MJ-12 was a committee of senior US officials which investigated and then covered up news of flying saucer crashes. I obtained the document two months ago from a reliable American source who has close connections with the intelligence community. I am convinced of its Mr Good said yesterday. Other UFO experts believe the story could be a hoax involving the planting of a fake supporting White House memo in the files of Air Force Intelligence and then getting the National Archives officially to declassify a forged document. The Eisenhower briefing paper, dated 18.

November, 1952, claims the MJ-12 committee had been set up by his predecessor, President Truman, on 24 September, 1947, as a top secret research and development intelligence operation responsible directly and only to the President of the United The document reports that on 24 June 1947, 'disc-shaped aircraft were sighted in the United States. Little was learned about the objects until a local rancher reported that one had crashed THE EARTH FIGHT collided in a busy shipping route, 25 miles east of Rams-gate. The Skyron was sailing northwards and was within its lane. The Hel was going south, and may have crossed into the northbound lane. Southbound traffic is supposed to sail on the English side of the Channel with northbound traffic on the French and Belgian side, but there is little separation between the two lanes in the middle of the Channel.

The Skyron rammed the side of the Hel, ripping a hole in the tanker's bows and starting a fire which forced the crew to abandon ship. After the collision, the 21 DAVID HARDEN had in fact done so. I can only conclude that the MoD knew about the excess profits because of Mr Smith has been unemployed now for six years. Yet for 20 years he was a respected accountant and financial consultant in the defence industry. For seven years he was a director and financial adviser to Aish, a defence contractor which makes equipment for the Royal Navy.

From 1979 Mr Smith and Mr Don Whittaker, the management accountant, began to warn the company in a series of memos about the risk of excess profits on MoD contracts. But Aish's management tried to keep them quiet and told Whittaker to 'destroy the When Mr Smith refused to ratify the company accounts at a 1981 board meeting because they failed to make provision for paying back the excess profits he was sacked. Aish say he was 'made redundant along with other senior staff at a time of falling orders' and was no longer needed. But this is denied by Mr Peter Wenban, then financial controller of Horstmann Gear, the holding Mr Browne said I have no hesitation in saying I have declared all my Documents held by The Observer show that Mr Browne did not declare his interest in the Chidiac firm, either on the register of MPs' interests, or in lobbying Ministers or officials. He was under contract, for a 2,400 annual retainer, to provide his 'exclusive services and to at all times use his best endeavours to promote the interests' of a company called Selco East Consultants.

The contract bound him to secrecy. Mr Browne declares on the register of MPs' interests for the period that he is a director of a company called Falcon Rose. Its main asset: Mr Browne himself. MPs are required to disclose clients of companies of which they are directors, if their parliamentary activities are involved. Technically, Selco East was a client of Falcon Rose.

Mr Chidiac describes himself as a consultant to Selco East, of which his brothers are listed as directors, at the same address as Mr Chidiac. He was representing the big British engineering firm of 42 people on board the Hel took to lifeboats. Among the rescue craft were three Royal Navy ships, four RAF hehcop ters, seven tugs, coastguard services and French and Bel Eian craft. No miunes were reported. The Skyron's fire spread rapidly to the vessel's paint store.

Kent firemen were airlifted to the scene and by early afternoon 25 firefighters had brought the blaze under control. Salvage workers from the Dutch company Smit boarded the tanker to assess the damage. The 11,000 ton Hel, built in 1970 and owned by the Polish shipping Association, was holed on her port side and some fuel oil spilled into the sea. RAF Mansion pilot Gerry Crombie, who was one of the first or the rescue officers to arrive within six minutes of the crash, said I could see ladders hanging over the side of the Hel. There were liferafts in the The Hel, which was carrying a cargo of barley from Poland to Chile, diverted towards Flushing, Belgium, under its own power.

It is likely to be repaired there. The Skyron, built in 1974 and flying the Liberian flag of convenience, is managed by the Greek-based Buenamar Shipping. It was carrying 137,000 tonnes of Cabinda crude oil to Rotterdam for the Angolan state oil corporation Sonagol. Last night a Department of Iransport spokesman confirmed that there was no threat of serious oil pollution. 'No oil leaked from the tanker and only 150 tonnes of bunker fuel from the cargo ship.

We do not anticipate a major pollution he said. company which owns Aish. He said Smith's departure from the company was most regrettable and highly damaging because the technical nature and importance of his work was continuous and After an investigation, Aish paid back 463,000 to the MoD. The Government also saved another 500,000 which Aish would have originally charged. The MoD says it already knew about the excess profits and that Aish revealed it before Mr Smith.

But according to Treasury solicitor documents obtained by The Observer, the MoD launched an inquiry only after Mr Smith met its officials in Bath. The National Audit Office, the independent statutory body which ensures the taxpayer gets value for money from government spending, also investigated. It concluded that Mr Smith's allegations 'clearly had a significant impact' on recovering the excess profits. Lord Trefgarne, Minister for Defence Procurement, says the case has been properly investigated and handled by the MoD and there is no question of any cover-up by my Davy McKee at the time Davy McKee wanted a contract to build a chemical plant in Bahrain, and Mr Chidiac would have got a $2 million com' mission if the deal came off. Mr Chidiac says a director of Davy McKee, now dead, asked him if he could get political support for the company's bid.

Mr Chidiac put the firm in touch with Mr Browne lobbied Mrs Thatcher at personal meetings. He urged her to visit Bahrain and exert pressure on Sheikh Issa, the reigning Emir, to award the contract to Davy McKee. Mr Chidiac also described how he requested Mr Browne to introduce him to other big British firms, such as Laing and Tarmac. Documents held by The Observer show that Mr Browne and Mr Chidiac visited these firms together on behalf of Selco East, offering Lawyers for Mr Browne said last week that Browne attempted to assist. McKee, Laing and Tarmac without expecting any material benefit from anyone.

They said allegations that he had abused his parliamentary position were totally and utterly-untrue i AN ACCOUNTANT who claims that he saved British taxpayers nearly 1 million on defence contracts faces bankruptcy and eviction. Jim Smith, 51, has been told to pay mortgage arrears of 12,700 on his house in Poole, Dorset, or he will be evicted by bailiffs. Mr Smith, who has a wife and daughter, has also been threatened with bankruptcy by six creditors. But he says there is no way he can find the money. He is unemployed, has debts of more than 200,000 and his only income is 48.64 a week invalidity benefit.

Although the Treasury has conceded the principle of compensation for the Ministry of Defence has refused to compensate Mr Smith. But new evidence obtained by 77ie Observer could refuel the dispute. Mr Smith's case rests on his claim that he told four senior MoD officials about excess profits on defence contracts made by his former company, Aish and a Poole-based engineering group, and that two of them later said they had taken the matter up. The two officials have admitted meeting Mr Smith on several occasions but deny discussing individual Smith Facing eviction. contracts in any -detail.

They also deny telling Mr Smith that they would inform the MoD. Until now it has been Mr Smith's word against theirs. But a former senior MoD official, who worked in the. contracts department for over 20 years, has come forward. Although he refused to be named, he said last week: 'I met Jim Smith frequently at that time.

He told me on several occasions that the MoD officials had agreed to tell the Ministry about the excess profits at Aish. Also that two of the MoD officials later confirmed to Smith that they Elsenhower: briefed Inquiries by The Observer at the National Archives, the archives of former Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, and the National Security Council archives, have been unable to authenticate the briefing paper. They all say that extensive searches have failed to locate copies of the document. There is, however, new evidence from the files of US Intelligence that a secret group called MJ-12 did exist. This is a White.

House memorandum about an MJ-12 briefing for President Eisenhower. It was declassified on 12 January 1987. The White House memorandum was described by the National Archives last week as a very strange If the White House memorandum is genuine, this proves the existence of an MJ-12 group whose responsibility could have covered UFOs. This would then strengthen Mr Good's view that there was a cover-up of the discovery of dead aliens. Yesterday a US Air Force spokeswoman denied any knowledge of MJ-12 and said that investigations into UFOs had been ended in 1969.

BACK." I planned 250,000 dollar business gift for MP by DAVID LEIGH and MARK HOLLINGSWORTH Jock and bull tragedy by ROGER KERR BULL that drowned making its traditional swim to a tiny island in the Scottish Hebrides has left 80 crofters facing a 4,000 I bill and one of them mortified with embarrass ment. Every year, courtesy of the I Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, a bull swims across the Sound of Caolis from Barra to Vatersay to service the crofter's cows i Here he spends a blissful I summer with his 60 or so mates until he is forced to leave and swim back the 100 yards to Barra in the autumn Judging whether the waters of Caohs Sound are sate tor tne bull to swim is a skilful business. Last month, Mr John Macneil, trusted with i the task since 1975, got it wrong. Unfortunately the tide was stronger than I had estimated when the bull went into the water. It was his first time; he was a beautiful said Mr Macneil.

I feel very guilty and embar rassed that such a thing happened. I have done the job so often and I have never lost a bull. Now Mr Macneil and the crofters, who share the cost of hiring the bull, worth about 4,000, fear they may be asked to pay for its loss. The bull, an Aberdeen Angus, was washed up on South Uist, 25 miles to the North. Yesterday the Scottish Office said it was considering who should be responsible for payment but it would be sending a bill for about 100 to the crofters to pay for the bull's burial.

As if that was not enough, a report has been sent to the local Procurator-fiscal who has to decide whether an offence has been committed. A replacement bull arrived on Vatersay a few days ago but, to Mi Macneil's increasing embarrassment, the new, one-ton bull, nicknamed Half Crown by the islanders, was taken over in a fishing boat for the first time in living memory. K' A I) pZqDGpogBl 1 i I if I Every major party has now pledged I I I i 1 "1 1 itself to tackle urgent environmental 1 1 Jk I VI a I issues. 1 1 1 But what does that commitment I I 1 ffi I amount to? 1 I I Friends of the Earth can tell you. ill I We have sent a questionnaire on the 1 I I 1 environment to every candidate in the I WM 0 1 Aj i forthcoming election.

Jfg I I flak. Wik We k'l0w lhe ar "I on ac'd ra'n plaoninBi pollution, 8 countryside, energy policy, transport, lhe world's rainlorests; in (act, every pjjj environmental issue. As 70W of the population consider attitudes lo the environment to be an important factor in their choice of parliamentary candidate, we know that you will want the relevant information. Write to Friends of the Earth to find out the views of your candidates. And while you're at it, join us and help the Earth fight back.

M.O.R.I. March I9B7. I Name Address I Postcode Constituency I (It is vitally important that you provide us with the full and accurate name of the Parliamentary Constituency in which you i live). I please lind enclosed a membership subscription 12ordinary i 5unwaged Please find enclosed a donation for FoE lo help cover costs 50 10 i 5. i other.

Name i oiiallv imoortant Pinasp find enclosed a membership subscription t2ordinary Please find enclosed a donation for FoE lo help cover costs 50 that you provide us with the full and accurate name of the Parliamentary Constituency in which you live). Constituency 5unwaged 25. 1 10 A WEALTHY Lebanese businessman disclosed last week that he had intended to give controversial Tory MP John Browne a $250,000 present after the MP used his parliamentary position to lobby for commercial firms. The 'present' would have been a share of the middleman's commission, if a multi-million pound deal had succeeded with Mrs Thatcher's help. Mr Browne was being paid a 200-a-month retainer by a company linked to the businessman, Mr Charles Chidiac.

He did not declare this financial interest. The MP got access to Mrs Thatcher and other Ministers over a chemical plant contract in Bahrain. Mr Chidiac, who is now based in Hawaii, flew to London last week and told us over lunch at Claridges: 1 The deal would have been worth $114 million. My commission on that would have been 2 per cent, and I would have offered Mr Browne a cheque for perhaps $250,000 as a present He said Mr Browne might not have acepted such a gift, which he had not discussed with him. The deal failed at the Chidiac UK visits.

last minute, although Mrs Thatcher had made a visit to Bahrain in 1981. Asked to comment last week on Mr Chidiac's statements about his plans to make such a gift, Mr Browne failed to do so. Mr Browne was challenged on The Observer's disclosures at a packed public meeting in his Winchester constituency last Friday night. Mr Browne has previously failed to respond to questions about his links with Mr Chidiac. At the meeting in Winchester he was at first reluctant to answer, but there were cries from the hall of: You're the candidate answer the Return to: The Green Agenda, Friends of the Earth, HELP 1NA.

Tel: 01-837 0731. 1 377 Cily Boad, London EC1V.

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