One Show: Gyles Brandreth shares favourite story of Prince Philip
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The Duke of Edinburgh died on April 9, at 99 years old. Sir Peter Horsley, a former assistant to Philip, shared stories of the Duke’s interest in alien activity. Sir Peter was Philip’s ‘equerry’ from 1949 to 1956.
Writing in his autobiography, Sounds from Another Room, the former aide said he was given “carte blanche” by Philip to collect stories about UFOs from the Royal Air Force.
Philip also asked Sir Peter to bring in witnesses of alien encounters to Buckingham Palace for private discussions.
It is believed Philip’s interest in the subject was sparked by his uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten who wrote an official report about an unidentified craft landing at his Broadlands estate in Romsey, Hampshire.
Philip also is said to have spent the summer of 2019 reading The Halt Perspective which explores the Rendlesham Forest Incident which has been dubbed “Britain’s Roswell”.
In an interview with the i, John Hanson, whose ex-father-in-law, Chief Petty Officer Edward West, known as Ted, was on HMS Kelly with Lord Mountbatten, shared more on Philip’s fascination with UFOs.
He said: “I’ve got about 12 letters from the Duke’s private secretary that say the prince found the subject interesting.
“I’m quite proud of Prince Philip, why shouldn’t he have been interested in UFOs, because for goodness sake, that is something that we should treat seriously rather than flippantly.
“It is a phenomenon that has baffled mankind for millennia.
“Even Prince Charles is interested in it and Prince William.”
The Sun reported Lord Mountbatten sparked Philip’s interest in the subject, after he wrote the report about a silver spaceship reportedly landing on his Broadlands estate.
The report was kept secret until after Lord Mountbatten’s death in 1979.
It told how bricklayer Fred Briggs spotted the craft hovering above the ground.
A figure dressed in overalls and a helmet was then said to have emerged from the bottom of the vehicle, before Briggs was knocked off his bike and pinned to the ground by “an unseen force”.
Nick Pope, head of Ministry of Defence’s UFO project, told the Daily Star in 2016 Philip was “absolutely fascinated” with extraterrestrial activity.
He told the outlet: “This royal interest in UFOs was extremely difficult for us at the MoD because our policy was to downplay the true extent of our interest and involvement in UFOs.
“We routinely told Parliament, the media and the public that the subject was of very limited interest and ‘no defence significance’.
“The irony was that we were all Crown servants – and that our ultimate bosses were fascinated by a subject we were actively trying to debunk.”
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