Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Mystery of Big Ben

Legend has it that Big Ben – the Clock which was the very heartbeat of the British Commonwealth, despite the Nazi bombs rang forth throughout the Second World War, never missing a beat. This is the popular myth much quoted in textbooks and official histories of the Palace of Westminster. Yet on two separate occasions Big Ben stood silent for periods of exactly 12 hours during World War Two. These occasions are never reported or mentioned in the histories. They form a Mystery with perhaps a sinister implication for Britain’s conduct of the War. The first episode took place on the night of Tuesday June 3rd1941, when at exactly 10.13 pm – Big Ben stopped. It was restarted exactly 12 hours later at 10.13 am on the following day by the authorities and listeners to the BBC Home Service were perplexed not to hear the hourly live chime of Big Ben broadcast across the airwaves. 

The Second mysterious silencing of the Bell took place on the night of Saturday December 10th 1944 and again the Clock lay silent for 12 hours. The Second event was reported in the Montreal Gazette the following day. In both cases exactly the same official explanation for the mysterious cessation of the clock was offered to the Newspapers – a mechanical defect, in the first occasion a workman had left a hammer in the mechanism whilst doing repairs and this had caused the clock mechanism to jam. Given the National and International importance of this Icon of Freedom – a careless event to have occurred not just once but twice.  Both the timings of these coincidental events are significant.  The First came just  24 days after the secret arrival of Nazi Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess in Britain and 19 days before the Nazi Surprise attack on Soviet Russia. At the time of the Second Silence in December 1944, Secret Negotiations had been carried out between the American OSS and BritishMI6 with Head of the SS Heinrich Himmler in Sweden and Switzerland for almost ayear.  In Ian Fleming’s Screenplay of his 1965 James Bond Film Thunderball  - Big Ben was used a secret communication device with SPECTRE by the British Government. Was Ian Fleming perhaps revealing his secret knowledge of a dark wartime secret – involving clandestine negotiations of the allies with figures in the Nazi Regime and military?  .

There can be little doubt that the internationally reported silencing of Big Ben would serve as brilliant clandestine signal that someone in the highest authority had confirmed agreement to a previous clandestine communication which predicted such an event. In this way , the British government might secretly signal agreement to a deniable pact without fear of exposure.  In 1941, such a signal might have been used to entice the Nazis to attack Russia, in 1944 it might have formed part of a scheme to accelerate the ending of the Third Reich. Or course it could have all been down to take clumsy workman all along.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Ian Fleming and the Murder of Sir Harry Oakes

As has been recounted here before - the mystery of the murder of Sir Harry Oakes on the night of July 7th 1943 is one of the most celebrated unsolved murders of all time. A new suspect has now emerged onto the scene - none other than James Bond Creator and Second World War Naval Intelligence Officer Ian Lancaster Fleming.
We now have evidence that Fleming was in the Bahamas Region at the time of the Oakes Murder and that he may well along with his OSS/SOE Colleague Ivar Bryce have had good motive to take action against Oakes. Fleming arrived in New York from Bermuda with his new Director of Naval Intelligence Edmund Rushbrooke on the 19th  May 1943 on board Pan Am clipper 18611, he then in July 1943 attended an Anglo-American Naval Conference at the Mrytle Bank Hotel in Kingston Jamaica.

It would have been perfectly possible for Fleming and Bryce to meet in secret with Harry Oakes either prior or after the conference or to command a team of operatives to carry out a murder.The motive for such action would have been the purpose of the conference, namely to counter Axis U-Boat activity in the Caribbean, which both the US and British Governments suspected was being aided by Swedish Pro-Nazi Axel Wenner Gren, business associate and personal friend of Oakes, and the Duke of Windsor - a known pro-Nazi who was also a close personal friend of Oakes. Both Bryce and Fleming had the background and credentials for such a visit. Whatever happened at the meeting, the feisty Oakes brought a revolver and was accidentially killed. The resulting cover-up first involved coercing his business partner Harold Christie to take Oakes body along with some muscle to the Westborne residence and place Oakes back in his bed and set it on fire. Perhaps it was hoped that the fire would make it look like an accident and disguise signs of violent death. A fan put out the flames and Christie "finding" the body in the morning ran the police. The Duke of Windsor to avert suspicion from his unsavoury connections with Oakes, enlisted the Miami Police to frame Oakes erstwhile son in Law Maringy.
Why has it taken so long for Fleming to emerge as a suspect? - Until the publication this year of Matthew Parkers' book Goldeneye- where Bond was born, biographers have wrongly placed the year of Fleming's first visit to Jamaica to the autumn of 1944 . How very convenient.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Disappearance of Victor Grayson - Socialist MP

Victor Grayson was perhaps Britain's most radical and rabble rousing MP. Elected Britain's first and perhaps only Socialist MP in 1907 at an age of 25 he stormed through the Yorkshire Hills around Huddersfield and took his fight to Westminster. He was thrown out of the House of Commons calling the MP's murderers for not debating hunger in the ranks of Britain's starving unemployed and their children. In today's Britain with it's doubling Child poverty and burgeoning food banks it strikes a note. Grayson was a thorn in the side of the Labour Party and lacking the backing of officials lost his seat in 1910. His speeches are still today both prophetic and inspiring.  Grayson set up a rival political party to Labour - the British Socialist Party in 1911, and became a free wheel on the radical left, even backing British involvement in World War 1. He enlisted and was injured on the Western Front and looked set for a come back to parliament after 1918. The sudden death of his wife and baby in February 1918 was followed by a series of strange events in 1920, including an attack on him in a London Street, and his eventual disappearance escorted to oblivion in the company of two men who had collected him to leave his lodgings to embark on a long trip. He was never to return.
What happened to him? - Some reports link him to Ireland and a clandestine visit to Dublin. Others suggest that he left Britain to die in Australia or New Zealand. He was subject to a series of supposed sightings in Kent or on a London Street in the next 20 years. Some of his friends claimed he was living secretly in London and living a quiet life working at a London furnishing shop.

More sinister suggestions have been made - that he was murdered at the hands of notorious honours trafficker and political fixer Maundy Gregory. 

Intelligence writer Donald McCormick (Aka Richard Deacon) was in 1970 the first researcher to link the two men, a fact substantiated by Lord Clark of Windermere in interviews with Grayson's Hotel Manageress Hilda Porter in 1985. McCormick claimed to have had possession of letters from Artist George Flemwell who sighted Grayson disappearing into Gregory's Island Bungalow on September 28th 1920 , but this is strongly challenged as a fabrication and McCormick claimed to have sold the letters in 1974.
Grayson's family became alarmed at his disappearance. His daughter last saw him in 1919 and was told he had left on a long trip to write a book. His sister who travelled down to London from Liverpool in 1920 to nurse his injuries found he had left the Georgian House in Bury Street, London and could not find him. In 1927 his brother returned from the merchant navy tried to find him, and his mother appealed to Scotland Yard and the National Newspapers. No luck, despite a deathbed plea to see him before she died, she passed away in 1929 still separated from her missing son. In 1942, his sister who had emigrated to Toronto Canada, urged Scotland Yard to launch a man-hunt for the missing MP. They discovered that Grayson had been attacked but could find no body or trace of a living man matching his description. In 1952, prompted by an anonymous letter Grayson's sister used her life savings to travel to London to seek help from Scotland Yard and the National Newspapers to no avail. Donald Trelford reported that Grayson's file in Scotland Yard's Missing Persons Department was the size of 2 London Telephone Books. That file which existed in 1942, 1948 & 1955 , along with Special Branch, MI5 and other files have long since been lost or destroyed. Attempts by researchers, MPs, Cabinet Minister and authors to see them from the 1960's onwards have met with no success. Because of Grayson's love of drink, and alleged womanising - many have been too quick to discount his possible murder, yet the combination of an attack on his person and his removal from his Mayfair lodgings by 2 unknown men suggest foul play. Certainly something happened to him which prevented his return to see his 6 year old daughter, his mother and sister after 1920, and if alive after 1927 he would have found word to reach out to his family.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Ian Fleming, Mein Kampf and his 1938 Appeasement Letter to the London Times

One thing you might miss in a biography of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming is his interesting letter to the London Times on September 28th 1938, during the Munich Crisis with Nazi Germany. In the Long letter, Fleming reveals he owns a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and has obtained a rare Nazi document dated 1920 which predates Mein Kampf. His house in London 22b Ebury Street, bought from British Fascist Oswald Mosley contained a collection of rare manuscripts, including Mein Kampf and the Nazi document, which Fleming claimed showed Hitler was in earnest.Also in display was Mussolini's 1919 Passport he has acquired in 1937 from honours trafficker Maundy Gregory's collection.
To quote Fleming " It would therefore seem that there will be no peace, no return of prosperity, and no happiness in europe until England and France agree to the fulfillment of Herr Hitler's stated programme in exchange for a binding disarmament pact and the guarantee of the traditional protective alliances of the signatory powers."
Fleming argues to keep morality out of the issue, and if a settlement with Hitler could not be made then it would be" time to turn a reluctant ear either to the dangerous counsels of the slaughterhouse brigade (could he mean Winston Churchill?) or the bemused vapourings of those who long for the day that england is another Holland and out of the fight forever (Isolationists?)"

Fleming was not as a true blue Churchillian as he is portrayed and his many fascist (such as Bobby Canning) and Chamberlainite friends (Sir Joseph Ball) put him centrally in the pro-appeasement camp at the time of Munich, fuelled by frequent trips to Germany and Austria during the period.

Fleming's letter can be found in full in the Times Digital Archive:

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Industrial Welfare Society and Germany

King George VI was deeply interested in matters industrial and became in 1919 Royal Patron of the Boys Welfare Association which was renamed the Industrial Welfare Society. A guest at the annual dinner of the IWS at the Hotel Victoria on December 8th 1937 included Nazi Party member and German diplomat Docktor Eric Kordt who the week before had attended the 500 strong 2nd annual dinner of the Nazi movement the Anglo-German Fellowship at Grosvenor House. What was this leading London Nazi doing at the IWS dinner, yet another Nazi link to the Royals which included Lord Mountbatten's father in Law, Lord Mount Temple as chair of the AGF, Lord Halifax who was George VI's choice of Prime Minister in 1940.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Churchill and the Fascist Plot

Tonight's Channel 4 Documentary "Churchill and the Fascist Plot" does much to put into the public mind the importance of the threat Archibald Ramsay's Right Club posted to Winston Churchill and British National Security in May 1940. It does however leave out the important questions surrounding the role of MI5 Director General Vernon Kell in the Wolkoff affair including his friendship with Anna and her parents. More importantly the role played by MI5's grey eminence Major Sir Joseph Ball who as a key advisor to Neville Chamberlain met with the Right Club leader Ramsay in the Carlton Club annex in June 1939 to hear Ramsay evidence of supposed Judeo-Masonic subversion of the intelligence community, Moscow's role in IRA attacks against Chamberlain and Ball's covert requests to Ramsay to gather evidence harmful to Churchill leading to the Tyler Kent affair.
The role of James McGuirk Hughes, Maxwell Knight and Henry Newnham the editor the Right Club, paper the Truth, all associates of Ball deserve scrutiny. Ball is also cryptically referred to as "Big Man behind the Truth" in the infamous message to William Joyce(Knight's one time agent) in Berlin who became the voice of Germany - Lord Haw Haw.
The Right Club is wrongly portrayed as a bonkers group of anti-semites, yet they had members which included MP's, Dukes and most of the Conservative Party's whips office.
The Right Club were meeting with Oswald Mosley's British Fascists and other far right anti-war groups in preparation to stop Churchill and support Chamberlain's secret backchannels to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy - links which included the Duke of Westminster's Peace Group involving Henry Drummond-Wolff and Joseph Ball and Arthur Bryant.
Good So far as it went but much left out.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Questions about Harry Oakes Death

The Murder of Sir Harry Oakes in 1943 was described by Perry Mason Creator - Erle Stanley Gardner  who reported on the murder trial as the Crime of the Century. It remains the most illusive Cold Case to date. Apparently new evidence has emerged to show that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's fingerprints were identified at the crime scene. It is known that the Duke visited the Crime Scene to see oversee the investigation by the discredited Miami Policemen he invited to frame Oakes's playboy son-in-law. I have brought new evidence that Oakes was part of a pro-appeasement network in London and the US and contributed £10,000 to see British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain re-elected in 1938 in a cash for honours arrangement organised by transatlantic Art Dealer Baron Duveen and Sinister Spy Spin Doctor Sir Joseph Ball.
Marshall Houts, the author, FBI agent, forensic professor and co-creator of TV's Quincy ME suggested in his Kings X book that Mafia involvement was at the heart of the case, according to informers.
Remaining crime scene questions remain:
  • Where was the Revolver that Oakes kept by his bedside
  • Why did Harold Christie and the Duke of Windsor first report the death as Suicide or Shooting
  • What did Bahamian Police Chief Lindop-Erskine believe and why was he transferred to Trinidad to prevent his taking command of the case
  • Was Oakes subject to torture by burning while still alive 
  • The blood trail on Oakes face show he died face down with blood gushing from a head wound proving the heavy body had been moved by persons capable of lifting the corpulent baronet's corpse.
  • What happened to Oakes Fortune, the stories of illicit Gold smuggling and the role of Oakes Hotel on San Salvador.
  • Was the bizarre nature of the head wound the result of a clumsy attempt to disguise a shooting.
  • How was the Oakes Murder connected with subsequent murder of American Lawyer Betty Renner in 1950    , she supposedly contacted one of Oakes's friends who was a key witness in the trial (Harold Christie - perhaps?) and was found murdered 3 miles from Oakes Westbourne home.
  • What of the fate of the murdered witnesses who died from poisoned rum?
  • Why was Bahamas Governor Sir George Sandford who died in 1950 a supposed victim of the cover-up - did he pry and die another rumoured poison victim?
  • What was the role of Bahamian finance minister/businessman Sir Stafford Sands in the affair, who was friend to Oakes and Jury Foreman in the trial
  • Harold Christie remained for most Bahamians the No.1 Suspect in the Oakes Murder - was he the man who dreamt of marrying Lady Oakes by murdering her husband and was he involved in the murder of his personal secretary Dorothy Macksey in May 1962 . Why did our current monarch Queen Elizabeth II feel happy about Knighting such a contraversial figure as Harold Christie in 1964?
  • Why did Lord Beaverbrook take such an interest in the affair sponsoring two investigating books by Bocca in 1959 and Leasor in 1983.