Operation Thunder Child - Concept
These previously unpublished notes illustrate how the concept for Operation
Thunder Child was first devised. I
discussed the questions below with various official sources before writing the
book, so that the plot was as realistic as possible in dealing with how the
government and military would respond to an alien invasion.
The final manuscript had to be submitted for official clearance and
various details were changed to avoid compromising national security.
targets are detected by radar systems at RAF Neatishead, and Tornado F3s are
scrambled to carry out an intercept. The
pilots report an unidentified craft capable of speed and manoeuvrability way in
excess of any known aircraft or UAV. Over
the next few days similar incidents occur, until two F3s are lost during an
intercept, after reporting they are under attack.
It is not entirely clear who is operating the mystery craft.
Some believe the craft is Russian, but an extraterrestrial option is also
considered. As events unfold it
becomes clear that a hostile extraterrestrial force is involved.
the loss of two aircraft during an attempted interception, would Rules of
Engagement be changed?
what circumstances would aircraft be:
with live weapons?
b. Given orders to engage the target?
other weapon systems might be deployed? Any
meaningful Ballistic Missile Defence System (e.g. Russian GORGON/GAZELLE), or
ground based or airborne laser system (e.g. US Boeing 747 plan)?
chain of command would be used for this information? Presumably HQ Strike Command would brief somebody at MOD, but
would this be ACAS or CAS?
Would this be discussed in the Air Force Board Standing Committee, the Chiefs of Staff Committee or the Defence Council?
What would be the involvement of CDI, or of the Intelligence Agencies?
Would operational control
be exercised by the PJHQ, following a directive from CDS to CJO?
of Cabinet Office Group or Joint Intelligence Committee?
what stage would CSA or DUS(S&T) be consulted?
what extent would the potential biological hazard be discussed?
Are there any existing (biological warfare) contingency plans that might
of RAF Fylingdales?
consultation might there be with observatories?
attempts would be made to establish communication?
How feasible is the concept that any of this would be covered up?
any Government seriously go public with speculation about extraterrestrials
unless the evidence was irrefutable?
an announcement was to be made, would it be a clear-cut statement by Secretary
of State or even the Prime Minister?
no announcement was made, how could a suspicious MP force the issue?
Would an Adjournment debate or a Private Notice Question be used, and if
so, how might a Government circumnavigate this?