Friday, 3 July 2015

Surprising Cooperation From The Defence Intelligence Organisation       

            I had a ripper idea in March of this year. Take the record management details of a “known” government UFO  file, and then find out what files are either side of it, both literally on the shelf, or numerically. I've tried it just the once, and it will not be the last time.

             The Australian Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) describes itself, on its website, as:

“….Australian Government's source of expertise for matters relating to global security, weapons of mass destruction, foreign military capabilities, defence economics and transnational terrorism.”

Fair enough. My tax dollars are hopefully are in safe hands at the DIO. Something else that was in safe hands for a very long time was a 59 page file variously known as the “JIB file”, the “JIO file”, the “JIB/JIO file”, or, simply, the “Harry Turner file”. Without re-writing the saga unnecessarily, the current DIO was, up until 1990, known as the JIO – the Joint Intelligence Organisation. Before that, up until 1969, it was the JIB – the Joint Intelligence Bureau. For a significant length of time, the JIB, then the JIO, was made up of 10 Directorates. One of them was the Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence (DSTI). And it was there that, on and off, one Harry Turner was head of the Nuclear Section of the DSTI. He pushed for nearly two decades for his superiors to take the UFO matter more seriously, and, attempted to work intelligently and fairly with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Turner endeavoured to instigate a serious, semi-official study of the mystery to little avail. That’s the bad news. The good news is that some of Turner’s efforts were recorded in a file titled “Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects”. Researcher Bill Chalker had access to this material in the early 1980’s, and researcher Keith Basterfield had the Minister of Defence action its release to the National Archives of Australia in 2008. For a more complete understanding of this JIO/JIB file, I suggest having a look at both:

Now, for those who don’t happen to know, Australian government files have Series Numbers, Control Symbols, various numerical references, etc. Also, government files are by-and-large kept in subject matter order, with one file numerically coming after the next… Recently, I happened to be looking at the front cover of the JIB/JIO file, I realised something… The details of the file, right there on the front cover, are:

Title:                               Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects
Contents Date Range:   1957 - 1971
Series Number:              A13693
Control Symbol:             3092/2/000

But what about any files either side of this file?! We know that government files are kept in subject matter order and/or numerical order, so would it be possible that there are UFO files numerically right next to the one JIB/JIO file we know about? Note the Control Symbol for the file we know about is 3092/2/000.. What about a 3092/3/000? Or a 3092/4/000? Or, even if there is no numerical linkage to the files either side of our known UFO file, what about the files that are simply physically next to it on the shelves?

On the 17th March, 2015, I wrote a letter to the current Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, introducing my research aims and highlighting the details of the currently known JIB/JIO file. I too stated point-blank:

“Years of research show me that Defence files are often kept in subject matter groupings. I wish to know what are the titles, series numbers, control symbols, etc of the files that were kept “either side” of the above mentioned file. By “either side” I mean both: 1.) The actual location and filing (boxes, shelves, etc) of currently archived files, and 2.) Numerical assigning/sequence of files before and after.

Presumably, the Minister’s office received my letter a few days later, and tasked my enquiry to the DIO, the current holder of old JIB/JIO files. Waiting weeks, and then months, I started to wonder if the lack of any response was based general bungling and disinterest in my enquiry, or, a hopeless attempt at deception.

On the 1st of July, just two days ago, I received a reply in the mail. The Deputy Director of the DIO, W.J. Karle had replied, finally, on behalf of the Minister of Defence. After thanking me for my enquiry, the letter states:

“You have requested a list of those files which were either numerically or phycally “either side” of the file titled “Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects” (JIB 3092/2). A list of those files is attached.”

Further, the letter reads:

“Please note that as DIO archives are stored according to their numbering system, the files listed were both physically and numerically “either side” of  JIB 3092/2. Despite their age, the files remain classified until requested and examined for public release in accordance with the provisions of the Archives Act 1983.”

Finally, W.J. Karle states, in part:

“None of the other files in DIO holding appear to be of a similar nature to JIB 3092/2…”

So, what files are next to the known “Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects” 3092/2/000 file? Below is the attachment to the letter provided to be by the DIO. 

 Note that there seems to be a random mix of files with titles describing research and development of guided missiles, scientific intelligence focused on China, nuclear weapons development in various countries, etc. None of them are very promising. However, possibly of importance to us is the file right “below” our known UFO file, and it is titled “Space Rockets and Earth Satellites”. Its Control Symbol is 3092/3 and it has a date range of “1958 to 1971”. All three of these pertinent details point to a potential relationship with our known “Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects” file. I say “potential” because, from experience, I know that coincidences aren’t always, well, coincidences. Is it likely that Harry Turner and the DSTI Directorate was doing research work or intelligence work on “space rockets and earth satellites” which may have crossed over to the UFO mystery? Sure it is. The US Army’s Counter-Intelligence Corps linked such technology with the UFO matter on occasion, as have a pretty long list of privately employed scientists who worked tirelessly in aerospace and aerodynamics fields. MacDonnell Douglas scientists dabbled in the UFO issue in the 1960’s. Why not here?

We will not have to wait long. Effective Monday morning, the 6th of  July, 2015, I am going to be phoning the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and setting in motion my acquisition of this tantalising “Space Rockets and Earth Satellites” file from the DIO’s shelves right to my letterbox. There are other lessons here, aside from trying to link files by title and numbering, like the awkward issue of how the DIO are still keeping ancient JIB/JIO files on where no one can study them. The Archives Act indeed states that after 30 years all government agencies, no matter how shadowy, should be boxing records up and trucking them the Defence Department for final review and declassification, and, then, sending them forth to the NAA. How can we make sense of history when so much material is lolling about on filthy shelves?

Finally, for the record, below is an image of the front cover of the Harry Turner JIB/JIO file“Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects”. 

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