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History of government surveillance of UFO witnesses and investigators examined in new book

by Steve Hammons. Posted April 19, 2006

By Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern presenting a lecture on UFOs and investigations
Nick Redfern
Researcher and author Nick Redfern has put together a fascinating picture of the history of government interest in people involved in UFOs in his new book ON THE TRAIL OF THE SAUCER SPIES.

Based on declassified government documents and other sources, Redfern presents information on FBI inquiries about individuals involved with the topic of UFOs that date back to the late 1940s.

He also cites information that involves the U.S. Air Force, the CIA, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) and many other government agencies.

Redfern traces the interest of government agencies in the UFO phenomenon from the late ‘40s through subsequent decades up to the present. The book takes readers back into the ‘50s, ‘60s and continues in basically a chronological order as citizens and the military and intelligence communities all tried to make sense of UFOs and related topics.

ON THE TRAIL OF THE SAUCER SPIESIn the U.S., the FBI, CIA and the U.S. Air Force sometimes overlapped in their response to alleged UFO incidents, inquiries from citizens and in following up on concerns about UFO groups and individuals of interest, Redfern’s research indicates.

He also focuses heavily on the parallel activities within the United Kingdom. The MoD, the Royal Air Force and Scotland Yard were also investigating UFO matters.

Redfern paints a complex picture of many military units and government agencies that had jurisdiction of some kind when it came to the topic of UFOs. He pays special attention to the mysterious “Men In Black,” believed by some to be a special unit of the U.S. Air Force.

Some actual FBI and other documents are reproduced in the book and Redfern quotes widely from various investigative reports. This makes very interesting reading as we imagine the FBI agent or other investigator interviewing witnesses about strange incidents and writing a sober, professional report for higher authorities about flying discs and visitors from outer space.


Regardless of the nature of the investigation, what level of secrecy or deception was involved, or where up the chain of command the investigative information went, Redfern’s research makes clear that the U.S. and British governments, as well as the governments of other nations, have been very interested in UFOs.

The intelligence-gathering on the part of U.S. Government agencies seems to have spanned many aspects of the UFO phenomena that could potentially pose a threat or danger to the United States.

Some of the government concern was based on the post-World War II and Cold War fears about communist infiltration of the U.S. Other worries focused on links that might exist between some UFO-involved people and right-wing extremists. There were technological and even public health aspects to some of their concerns.

There seemed to be legitimate neutral and professional inquiry into reports that people had seen unusual and unidentified flying craft or had experienced closer encounters. Government investigators were often especially interested when the witnesses were pilots, military personnel, police officers and similarly credible observers.

Up the chains of command, and behind the secrecy of the governmental activities regarding UFOs, readers can sometimes only guess about what may have been going on when all the information from the government and military “saucer spies” was organized and interpreted by higher authorities.

What view emerged about UFOs, alleged extraterrestrial visitors, claims of abductions of humans and all of the other mysteries that have occurred since the late ‘40s?


Along the way, Redfern introduces readers to a few of the sometimes colorful pioneers of UFO research as well as books and lore on the subject. ON THE TRAIL OF THE SAUCER SPIES looks at the backgrounds of many UFO enthusiasts and researchers over the decades, as well as the government interest in these individuals.

Authors of books on the subject, people who reported strange incidents and many other citizens were subjects of FBI and government inquiry and readers get to read from the actual government documents about them.

In addition, the surveillance of some UFO groups that emerged over the years in the U.S., UK and elsewhere is examined in the book. This provides a rich history of the social aspects of the UFO phenomena, as well as a look at the broad interest in the subject by average citizens, military personnel and intelligence professionals.

Many of the incidents involving UFOs over the decades are covered by Redfern including the famous ones and events that are less well-known.

Nearly 60 years have passed since the alleged 1947 “Roswell Incident,” an event that some say brought government and the military fully into investigating, monitoring and trying to understand the UFO situation. Redfern’s book allows readers to get a good view of the actions and reactions of military and intelligence agencies regarding a large spectrum of people who, over the decades since 1947, found themselves interested in or directly involved in this subject.

We now seem to be in an era of greater knowledge and sophistication about UFOs than some of the citizens and agents in the past that Redfern tells us about. Amid current requests for more disclosure about UFOs, possible gradual releases of information to the public and continued concerns about the effects the situation could have on society, ON THE TRAIL OF THE SAUCER SPIES gives us insight into our recent history, our follies and our progress.

By following the trail of history, this book provides a valuable resource for anyone interested in the subject of UFOs, in the relationship between citizens and their government and in understanding how far we have come in dealing with this mysterious situation.

For more information about On The Trail Of The Saucer Spies visit

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