The UNIT Files: Spearhead from Space

The First ‘Plastics’ Incident – redacted file released by H.M.Government, 1st May, 2040

The so-called ‘Plastics’ file has, finally, been released in part by H.M.Government under the 70 year rule. It is heavily redacted and some documents have been so censored that they are worthless to scholars and researchers – a tale that is, alas, all too familiar. However, it has been possible to piece together an admittedly disjointed and fragmented narrative from the more complete documents. The Ministry of Information has indicated the full file will be released in 2140.

— F.P. Danes,
Department of Military History,
Lethbridge-Stewart College,
Oxford,
1st October, 2040.

1. Letter from John Channing to George Hibbert, 3rd November 1968

Dear Mr Hibbert,

May I introduce myself? My name is John Channing, Senior Partner of Nesting Acquisitions Ltd.. We are listed at Companies House in the United Kingdom.

My company has heard with sadness that Auto Plastics Ltd. is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. We take a great interest in your enterprise and believe it has great potential. We are prepared to inject cash to the value of not less than 3 million guineas into your business, provided that you agree to a certain degree of modernisation and restructuring. The plastic dolls, for example, are not profitable and should be replaced with a more robust and durable line. Let us say, tailors’ dummies?

I should be most grateful if your secretary would telephone my secretary and arrange an appointment for me to visit you at a mutually convenient time.

I feel certain that our partnership will be profitable for both of us on a global, if not universal, scale.

Allow me to express myself,

Your obedient servant

John Channing

2. Letter from George Hibbert to Harry Ransome, 2nd February, 1969

Dear Harry

I write to notify you of the immediate termination of your contract with Auto Plastics Ltd.. The change of board has brought with it a change of policy. We are no longer continuing with the radio controlled doll project.

This termination of contract constitutes a breach of the terms of your employment. I therefore enclose a cheque for £30,000 in compensation as financial emollient.

Faithfully yours

G. Hibbert
Managing Director
Auto Plastics Ltd.

3. Letter from John Channing esq., Senior Partner, Auto Plastics Ltd., to Sir Michael Bentall, Chairman, Bentalls Stores Ltd., United Kingdom. Dated 8th February, 1970.

Dear Sir Michael

Thank you for meeting me and Mr George Hibbert at Auto Plastics recently for luncheon and a tour of our facilities. I am delighted that you were so pleased with our new range of mannequins.

I am writing to you, as agreed, to acknowledge your order for 3000 of our mannequins of both male and female design and the receipt of your cheque in respect of the nominal deposit of £100.

Deliveries of the mannequins will be made to all your stores next week and our transportation department will be in touch with your individual store managers by close of business on Thursday 9th February, 1970.

I am happy to confirm that Auto Plastics Ltd. will waive payment for the mannequins until the end of the next financial year, 31st March, 1971 or beyond. It matters little when the account is settled.

Believe me, Sir Michael, to be

Yours most sincerely

John Channing

4. United Nations Intelligence Taskforce Memoranda, dated 7th July, 1969

Memo

From: AGLS
To: Captain James Munro

Date: 7th July, 1969

Munro – is your search for the Doctor actually bearing any fruit, or are you simply engaged in a frivolous waste of taxpayers’ money?

Memo

From: Captain James Munro
To: Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart

Date: 7th July, 1969

No sir. No smoke. Fellow seems to have vanished off the face of the Earth.

5. Letter from Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart to Dr Elizabeth Shaw, Senior Research Fellow, Amelia Ducat College, Cambridge. Dated 1st October, 1970

Dear Dr Shaw,

Further to our earlier somewhat inconclusive telephone conversation, I wonder if you would be kind enough to come to London to discuss my proposals face to face?

We can offer you first class research facilities and almost unlimited research funding. I venture to say that you will find the remuneration most acceptable. Accommodation, in a penthouse flat, will be provided for you rent free in London.

As I explained on the telephone, I am unable to go into further details unless you agree to sign the Official Secrets Act and to meet me in person. Irritating, but there it is.

Believe me to be, Dr Shaw,

Yours sincerely,

Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart

6. Newspaper cuttings from The Daily Post, 22nd October, 1970

More Space Debris Falls in Essex

James Wagstaff, Defence Correspondent

The inhabitants of the sleepy village of Fishersfield, Essex, were surprised to be woken by the sounds of objects crashing from the sky on the night of 20th/21st October.

Mrs Ethel Crust, sub-post mistress of the village, 61, said, “I’ve never heard anything like it in all my puff. Not since them V2s in the war. One minute we was sound asleep; the next, there was this horrible whizzing and crashing like Old Nick himself had risen among us.”

Staff at the local cottage hospital were equally astonished to be visited by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, a high-ranking official from the homeland military organisation, UNIT, who told us that top-secret government equipment – “Something to do with the space programme” – had broken up in the atmosphere and crashed in the local area. He denied that an unfortunate civilian, delivered to the hospital on a stretcher by troops and believed to be in a coma, had been injured by falling debris.

Yet stories of a “man from space” persist among the villagers. Colourful local figure Mr Sam Seeley, 56, told us, “I seen something you boys be interested in. I got it hidden. Soldier boys can’t touch me. Wet my whistle down the Pint and Anchor and I might give you a look-see.”

The Daily Post will continue to update our readers on all aspects of this mysterious affair as events unfold.

Students suspected of stealing police box

Harry Chorley, Crime Correspondent

Students have been accused of stealing a police box as a prank and setting it down in a field in Essex, close to the site of the fallen space debris.

Michael Coggs, Chairman of the National Union of Students at the University of Essex, claimed, “We had nothing to do with it. You journalists are always trying to pin crimes on students.” Essex police have not, so far, reported a police box as stolen. Reports that the box is under armed guard have been denied by soldiers drinking in the local hostelry, the Pint and Anchor.

7. (Handwritten note, undated. Page torn from a pad.)

Doctor

Are you satisfied with the laboratory facilities we have provided? Rest assured that I can acquire whatever you need.

AGLS

(handwritten scrawl after first sentence reads: ) NO!

(handwritten scrawl after the second sentence reads: ) That’s not at all likely.

8. Transcript of announcement broadcast on all B.B.C. tv and radio channels and Independent Television on 13th February, 1971 (as regulated by Emergency Powers (London Underground) Act of 1967)

(voice-over accompanied by rolling text on television)

We interrupt this programme to bring you an urgent announcement.

This country is under attack by a hostile power. Remain in your homes. Close your curtains and barricade your front and back doors. Listen to radio and television announcements for further information.

Stay calm. Do not panic. If you take sensible precautions, you will be safe.

Do not open the door to anyone you do not know. Stay away from town and city centres.

If you own a tailor’s dummy, mannequin, or waxwork, take it outside immediately and deposit it in the road. It will be collected. TAILOR’S DUMMIES, WAXWORKS, and MANNEQUINS have been declared LETHAL by Her Majesty’s Government.

Do not panic. Stay calm. Close your curtains and barricade your front and back doors. If you take precautions, you will be safe.

(Message repeats)

9. Report from Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Commander, UNIT, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) to UNIT Headquarters, Geneva.

Dated: [REDACTED]

Sir

I write to confirm that [REDACTED]. For the third time, we have been most fortunate in having secured the services of [REDACTED], who has been offered, and has accepted, a permanent post as [REDACTED].

(remainder of document redacted and unreadable – FD)

10. UNIT Personnel File for Dr John Smith – handwritten, not completed. Handwriting not identified.

UNIT Personnel File – Civilian

Christian ?? (double question marks handwritten, scrawled) name: John
Surname: Smith
Title: Doctor
Date of birth: You’d never believe me.
Address: The TARDIS, My Lab, Unit HQ, Earth, Exile, Sol 3, Mutter’s Spiral, etc. etc.
Postcode: (left blank)
Position: Scientific Adviser
Bank account details: (left blank)
Assigned to: UNIT Headquarters, Great Britain
Date of employment: 15th February, 1970
Pay grade: (handwritten: ) My dear chap, I don’t want money. Got no use for the stuff.
Immediate superior: Alastair Gordon-Lethbridge Stewart (Brigadier)
Name of first referee: (handwritten: ) James Robert Macrimmon
Address of first referee: (handwritten) Culloden
Name of second referee: (handwritten) Zoe
Address of second referee: (left blank)

Notes: Did you know that the inhabitants of the planet Delphon communicate only with their eyebrows?

Signed: (left blank)
Dated: (left blank)