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Bascombe Down (UK) Crash in Air Forces Monthly

From: (Glenn Campbell, Las Vegas)
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 16:00:05 -0800
Subject: Bascombe Down (UK) Crash in Air Forces Monthly


Refers to the March 1997 issue of Air Forces Monthly, a UK aviation
magazine that may also be available in the US.


The Truth is Out Discover the truth behind the mystery crash two and a half
years ago at Boscombe Down, the MOD's top secret flight test centre. <Picture>

In 1994 an unidentified aircraft crashed at Britain's top secret test
establishment at Boscombe Down. The story behind this incident is now

The Truth is Out

What is the truth behind the mystery crash at Boscombe Down, the Ministry of
Defence's top secret flight test centre, two and a half year ago. Ren Hoek and
Marco P Van der Valk can now reveal the facts.

THE MINISTRY OF Defence would have you believe that nothing untoward occurred
at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire on the night of September 26, 1994. But something
sinister did happen at the airfield that night. The fact that the incident
involved the USA's most highly-classified black project aircraft helps to
explain the scale (and to some extent the subtlety) of the disinformation
campaign which ensued.

The story had begun to unfold on that windswept night as the aircraft began
its take-off run along Runway 23. Whatever happened in the few seconds
following application of take-off power was sufficiently catastrophic for the
two American crew members to abort departure immediately. Military controllers
at the London Air Traffic Control Centre (LATCC) were alerted either directly
or indirectly to the fact that a serious incident had occurred, and that the
runway was blocked. Later that night, the stranded aircraft was seen by at
least one witness near the eastern end of Boscombe Down's Runway 23. A
tarpaulin-covered frame had already been erected above the aircraft's forward
section, around which were a number of emergency vehicles. The rear section
appeared unnaturally elevated by virtue of an apparent nose wheel collapse,
the only clearly definable characteristic being inward canting twin fins.

Early the next day, an Army Air Corps Agusta A109 transited to Boscombe Down
from Bournemouth-Hurn. All four of these helicopters are exclusively operated
by the SAS (Special Air Service), which has a base at Poole, near Hurn. Is it
possible that a covert sealing-off operation was set in motion? It has also
been suggested that at least one RAF Chinook was scrambled from Odiham to
Boscombe Down late that night for just that purpose.

The aftermath On September 28, the DRA retired one of its remaining
Buccaneers, XV344, ironically nicknamed Nightbird. Though unremarkable in
itself, this occasion afforded an unexpected opportunity... As the Buccaneer
was towed out of the DRA/DTEO hangar on Boscombe Down's north side, and before
the hangar doors were hastily shut, the incident aircraft was seen in the
forward left hand corner of the hangar, which is not visible from the normal
viewing area a short distance beyond the threshold of Runway 23. The entire
centre section was covered by tarpaulin, but both the front and rear of the
aircraft were visible.

The most prominent features were the inward canting twin fins and chines
extending rearwards from the nose. The canopy was open and particularly
noticeable because it was hinged at the front and not the rear. The aircraft
was large fighter size, and was painted charcoal grey. Continued.... for full
report read the March 1997 issue of AirForces Monthly.

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