This is a direct quote for private use only - Please do not link to it.

Excerpt taken from:

Mind Controllers
By Dr. Armen Victorian
ISBN: 0-9666771-9-6

Chapter Seven

Victims of Dargle Cottage

Anthony and Doreen Verney had recently retired. After a lifetime of hard work, they had high hopes of living out their days in peace and tranquillity in a small cottage in Kent. However, it was not meant to be; their dream was soon shattered by a nightmare experience when they became unwitting 'guinea pigs' in a mysterious experiment.

My careful and thorough research has failed to unearth anything to question the honesty, integrity or even the patriotism of this elderly couple. The Verneys are but one of several examples I have encountered in my experience who have come forward despite having lost everything, including their health, and spoken up with bravery about their frightening ordeals.

As will be seen, cases like the Verneys' make it all too important to bring to justice those dark forces that operate with legislators' immunity. These cases also remind us of the urgent need for a Bill of Rights in the UK as well as freedom of access to information to a much greater degree than is possible at present. For, the leprosy of secrecy has long eroded democracy in Britain today.

The Verney's torture began in Autumn 1983, and the results of all attempts at redress on their parts can be summed up by one official letter:

'I acknowledge receipt of your complaint to the Security Service Tribunal which was received on 3 May 1990. The Security Service Act 1989 came into force on 18 December 1989 and is not retrospective [emphasis added]. You have stated in your complaint that the events to which you refer took place between January 1984 and November 1984 and they are not therefore within the jurisdiction of the tribunal, [emphasis added]

I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful. J.R. Harmer, Tribunal Secretary"

Dargle Cottage is situated about a mile and a half south-east of the village of Biddenden in Kent. Being an old woodcutter's cottage dating back to the days of the Battle of Waterloo, it stands in an isolated and secluded position, surrounded by thick woods. The Verneys acquired the cottage in the spring of 1969 and used it as their weekend holiday home. When they retired in the summer of 1983, they decided to move from their London flat and make the cottage their permanent home. Throughout the year, they spent a considerable amount of their savings on improvements to the cottage, as well as furniture, to make the cottage comfortable for their retirement days.

Anthony Verney had been an inspector for The Good Food Guide for 25 years and he had also worked for the Consumers Association on the Good Hotel Guide. Both Mr Verney and his wife had been looking into expanding their interest in these fields during their retirement. For, as well as working in the consumer rights field, Mr Verney was also a founder of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain, and he enjoyed writing for theatre, film and television. He planned to return to his writing as his main pastime, and hoped to form a new company to market his work. As both of the Verneys had worked in theatre from an early age, they were anticipating an enjoyable time. Approximately three-quarters of a mile away, to the north-west of their cottage, was a 'timber yard' which manufactured gates and fences. In the years leading up to their retirement, there had been very little noise from the yard; all the couple would hear was the occasional staff call on the tannoy system. However, in early September 1983, the Verneys noticed a marked increase in machinery noise from the yard. They initially dismissed this as being a result of the firm's expansion, which meant that new water mains and drains were being installed.

Mr Verney felt that the management was perhaps not taking the appropriate steps to minimise the increased noise levels, and decided to speak to the works manager, who showed some level of concern. However, his further approach to the managing director bore little result. He told Mr Verney that the firm had been in business since 1940 and that they were making no more noise than before. I should add that that part of Kent has had a large number of military establishments since 1940.

On 1 October 1983, while they were entertaining a visitor, the couple heard a mysterious noise. It was completely different to any noise that had ever come from the timber yard before. The noise was loud and humming, and it extended to the entire area of the back of their cottage. It seemed as if the noise was coming up from the ground from an area about twenty yards away, close to the woods. They reported that the noise seemed to penetrate every cell in their bodies and bones, and that it was unlike anything they had heard before.

The strange noise continued over the next four days and nights. What stood out to them as being unusual was that as soon as the noise started, all other sounds in the wood died almost immediately, as if all the wildlife in the area had left the area. Much later, the Verneys noticed that the birds did not return to nest the following spring. After four days, the Verneys were at their wits' end, and they decided to go away on a holiday on 5 October 1983, in the hope that the noise would have vanished by the time they returned. Little did they know that their troubles had only just start- ed.

When they returned on 25th October 1983, they noticed a marked increase in the sound levels; it was all around their house and at times it even seemed as if it was coming from inside the cottage itself. They also found that there was an added element; in the early hours of each morning, the noise took on a throbbing and vibrating quality. And, as the Verneys later complained: 'The woods to the north-east were lit up by yellow and pink lights, which appeared to come up through the ground, lighting up the trees; a similar effect to a theatre cyclorama.'2

When they returned, they discovered that their drains from the kitchen sink had been blocked with lumps of broken asphalt, which had to be cleared by hand. They had no idea who might have done this or why. By the beginning of November 1983, the situation had worsened. Although the humming had decreased, it had been replaced with a powerful throbbing noise with a regular beat. It was accompanied by violent vibrations, which seemed to come through the ground, enveloping their cottage and the surrounding area, and the sound was at its loudest in the small hours of the morning.3 At times, it felt as if someone was deliberately trying to torture them when they most needed to rest.

The noise got steadily worse during November that year and interfered with their sleep at nights. The couple feared that the sound (which was composed of low frequency vibrations) was becoming a health hazard, and might be affecting their central nervous systems. Supposing that it might be emanating from a water pump or other agricultural activity, they made enquiries with the local Water Board, but the authorities assured them that they had no facilities in the area that could make such a noise.

Each night, the Verneys went out in a desperate attempt to locate the source of the noise. This proved impossible as it appeared to move around. In the course of one of their night searches on 24 November, they encountered a police patrol at about lam. The strange noises were loud enough to be heard by the two officers, who thought that it might be coming from Shorts Wood to the north-east. The policemen promised to report the matter and contact the Verneys if they could locate the source.

On the afternoon of Saturday, November 26, Mr. Verney called in at their local police station in Tenterden, where he was interviewed by the station sergeant. He discovered the police patrol had not reported the problem. Verney filed a complaint in the desk book (which was recorded in pencil) but other- wise the station sergeant proved to be unhelpful. He was told it was not a police matter, and that he should contact the local Environmental Health Department. However, he says he was also told by the officer that, 'You won't get much help from them. They are bloody useless.'

The following day, Verney called the Environmental Health Department. Since none of the officers were in, he left his telephone number with a secretary to whom he explained the nature of the problem. Disappointed with not receiving a call from an Environmental Health Officer (EHO), by December 1, the couple decided to get away from the place and the problem for a short while. The level of electronic noise was becoming intolerable.

The Verneys returned to the cottage on 6 December 1983. There were no messages on their answer phone from the environment people'. Mr Verney left further messages for the EHO, never receiving a reply. He also wrote to the Borough Treasurer's Department, complaining about the noise pollution and requesting a reduction in rates.

The Verneys made inquiries to the Planning Department of their local council to see if there was planning permission for a building or housing unit that could be the cause of the troubling noise. None of these inquiries bore any meaningful fruit. Instead the situation became worse still; life was rapidly becoming intolerable inside the house.

Other factors were adding their already difficult living conditions; their electricity supply started to fluctuate. The electricity levels would increase and decrease for no apparent reason and, being their main source of energy, they were sometimes unable to cook, or even turn their lights on. On other occasions the lights would go up and down in intensity - eerily at one-minute intervals.

The same electricity sub-station also supplied the timber yard. Mr Verney complained to Seeboard, the South East Electricity Board, explaining to Mr Green (the Chief Electrical Engineer) the nature of the problem and the trouble they were having. He mooted the possibility that some electrical instrument in the timber yard could be drawing off too much power. Green seemed concerned and promised to see to the problem immediately.

On 20 December 1983, at about Sam, the surrounding woods were full of Seeboard men carrying out work on the power lines. A task force of about eight workers and two vans spent several hours on the site. Green himself was in charge, and explained to Verney that they were 'putting more power into the lines.' However, he failed to explain what was causing the problem. The electricity supply was improved, although the lighting continued to fluctuate for sever- al weeks afterwards.

Having heard nothing from the EHO, the Verneys were not prepared to spend the forthcoming Christmas holiday being battered by noise or vibrations. Verney decided to seek independent advice and contacted a firm of acoustic engineers in Maidstone.

A representative of the firm came to see them that evening, 20 December 1983. Despite the wind and rain, the acoustic expert obtained a very strong reading on his instrument, especially from the vibrations. The expert stated that the main source was within less than a mile radius of the house. He said that he would report his findings to the EHO.

Eventually, on December 21, at about 4.45pm, an EHO officer phoned Verney, who outlined the nature of the problem to him. Verney says the EHO was most unforthcoming and would promise neither to look into the matter, nor take any action under the Control of Pollution Act. What was more annoying was the EHO's outright rejection of the possibility of putting equipment in the cottage to measure the noise level. The EHO claimed not to have any suitable instruments. Despite Verney offering to obtain the instruments himself, the EHO rejected any assistance and more- over, seemed to consider it improper that Verney had offered in the first place.

Despite the EHO's rebuff, Mr Verney called the same officer again the very next day to ask for help before the Christmas holidays began. He met with the same cold response. In complete desperation, Verney decided to take control of the situation. He travelled to London to see if he could hire some instruments to record the noise levels.

As it was the run-up to Christmas, the electrical shops were open late, and he found one on Tottenham Court Road, which had highly sophisticated equipment. Verney explained what was happening to two members of staff. He was perturbed when they quickly exchanged glances, and one of them said: 'It sounds as if you are having trouble with the Ministry of Defence (MOD). You won't get anywhere with them.' Sensing Verney's anxiety, they introduced him to a colleague who, they said, was a leading electronic scientist - 'and just the man for you.' He was promised help after the Christmas holidays.

For the whole time that this had been going on, the Verneys had not thought for one moment that the noise might be anything more than ordinary noise pollution. Like any other citizen in similar circum- stances, they had assumed that it would be a simple industrial noise that could be dealt with through their local government authorities. The last thing Verney had suspected was MOD involvement. But with this new possibility, the reluctance of the EHO to help along with the police's refusal to pursue the matter became clear. Additionally, Verney soon discovered that the MOD is not subject to the Control of Pollution Act (or any related civil law for that matter.)4

The couple began to grow increasingly uneasy, and they wondered whether they might be under surveillance, and they began to suspect that there might be a tap on their phone. While carrying out searches of their district trying to locate the source, the Verneys' curiosity was aroused by a new house that had been built only two years earlier. It was situated on Gribble Bridge Lane, in a direct line through the woods with their own cottage. The house was described on planning documents as a farm, but there were no signs of any agricultural activity apart from some beehives.

The house was surrounded with high hedges and was somewhat curious in its construction. It was two storeys high, but there were no windows on the second floor or at the back of the house - only on each side. It reminded Mr Verney of the edifices built by the German Army on the Channel coast during the Second World War.

Thick, opaque floor-length net curtains blocked the view into the ground floor windows. It later emerged that these were made from a textile manufactured exclusively for the Property Services Agency of the Department of the Environment. This textile was used to protect high security buildings such as those owned by the Ministry of Defence and the Security Services. They were not the sort of curtains that one would expect to see in an agricultural dwelling, which was the designation that was given in the planning permission by Ashford Borough Council.

At the front of the building, to the right from the road, there was some kind of bunker with a large mush- room-shaped air vent. The bunker ran down the side of the house for some distance. Having made further enquiries, Verney discovered that the telephone number for the house was classified. He found out that there was a couple in their forties living there, and that there were Doberman dogs guarding the premises.

The low frequency transmission ran throughout Christmas Eve. Verney noted: 'The nights were awful, with lots of activity with the lights5 in and around the house.' The Verneys could not get any sleep and were totally exhausted.

On Christmas morning, when the rest of the country was opening their presents, the Verneys set out on foot in desperation, trying to pinpoint the source of the noise. It was audible most of the time. But, like a will'o'the wisp, it still seemed to move around, as if lost in folds in the ground. It seemed to be located in an area north of Shorts Wood, and close to the Gribble Stream, in accordance with the fix that the electronics expert had made.

Verney's local authority had produced a leaflet entitled 'Taking Action On A Noise Situation' which covered pollution caused by noisy parties, radios, and barking dogs among other things. Under the legislation quoted there was alas, no provisions for the type of noise the Verneys were suffering. In any case, in order to take action they had to locate and identify those responsible. Further to the advice given by the Council, they nevertheless started a log detailing the times and the nature of the disturbances to their lives.

Due to the mental pressure, the Verneys decided they would eventually have to move out. On 29 December 1983, the couple made a firm offer for a new house at Streat in Sussex. Upon their return to their cottage the noise was still there: a loud humming as well as the thump of the low frequency. It continued all day.

The Verneys' log gives a detailed account of its effects on the couple from 26 December 1983 until 20 May 1984:


'The noise and vibrations went on at a high level all through the night. Sleep was impossible. The noise peaked at 4.15am, vibrations and a loud humming with a metallic note. The sound was recorded.'

'At first light there was a new feature. Horseshoe shaped lights moved across the sky from west to east, low against the background of the trees. The objects were lit up, like flying tiaras. They were three in number. They disappeared, losing height over the Shorts Wood - Gribble Wood area.'


'Impossible to get much sleep in the early hours. A big escalation at 3.50am in noise and vibrations, and a loud humming. Activity with light goes on and off [flying tiaras]. At 5.45am the noise and vibrations increased still more and with a faster beat. The flying tiaras appeared again, flying from west to east as before.'

Not having had any rest, the Verneys decided to leave their cottage and seek refuge at the Halland Motel in East Sussex. They had begun to believe that the low frequency transmissions were in fact pouring radiation into their home. Neither the police nor the council were willing to take any action. On 18 January 1984, according to an arrangement they had made earlier, Mr Verney drove to Wapping to pick up Mr D., the electronics expert that he had met in London before Christmas. They stopped off for lunch at the Three Chimneys Public House, but while they were eating, his car was broken into, his cheque book and January bank statement (outlining expenditure in the month of December) were stolen. When they arrived at the cottage, there was - unusually - no noise that could be heard. Ten minutes later, the EHO suddenly appeared. Verney had not told them about the arrangement to bring the scientist back, but the council official seemed agitated, and moreover, he knew Mr D's name. 'So - you are Mr D,' he said. The sight of the equipment the official extremely uneasy. 'What is going on here?' he asked. He then proceeded to cross-examine Mr D on what he was going to do and where he came from.

His behaviour was more like a police interrogator than a local authority employee. He then returned the tape recordings of the noise Mr Verney had made without making any comments about them.

Mr. D was suspicious about a bandage on the EHO's finger, which extended some way beyond the end of the digit; he worried that it hid some form of two-way radio. Major Fred Holroyd, a former intelligence officer in Northern Ireland, has said he was in possession of a unit of this kind when serving in Ulster - and that it was supplied to him by the SAS. Such an instrument would have been in possession of the Joint Intelligence Training Unit at Ashford, Kent, in 1984. On the way back to his car, the EHO commented that he could hear no noise. However, just as he said this there was a sudden, intense flurry of sound, and he cried, 'I have never heard that so loud.'

Mr D came out to lower a rifle-microphone into the well outside the front of the house, to see what he could pick up. In response to Mr D's invitation to stay and see the results, the EHO said he had seen and heard what he had come for, and left. There was a high positive reading of vibrations inside the well, which must have been propagated through the ground.

Mr Verney was convinced that the only way the EHO could have known the name, and time of arrival of the scientist, was by their phone being tapped, or some other means of eavesdropping.

Mr D stayed for seven hours, during which time, the noise level mysteriously abated. Mr Verney took him back to London, leaving Doreen Verney on her own. This was a mistake, as not long after their departure, the noise and vibrations began again. It was as though they were being watched. Mrs Verney said the next day that she had had the most terrible night yet. She claims that as a result of that night, her hair turned white within forty-eight hours. At the end of his tether, Mr Verney rang the EHO once more. Yet again, his cries for help fell on deaf ears. By now, it was clear that the source of the noise and vibrations was under the ground. When Mr. Verney had played one of his recordings to a caller from the 'Agricultural Dwelling' department in the council, the lady listener was shocked and alarmed. 'Oh,' she cried, 'is it THAT bad?' She then promised to help to find the culprits. But as soon as Verney said he suspected the source to be an under- ground installation less than a mile from their cottage, she hung up and they never heard from her again.

On 21 March 1984, the couple put the cottage on the market for sale. The Verneys spent as little time as they could in the house - no more than two nights at a time - and in April they found a prospective buyer. On 5 April 1984, they received a call at their London flat from a Detective Constable George Keeler of Ashford CID, to the effect that a window had been broken at their home in Kent, but that no-one had apparently broken in.

On returning they found the hall was full of splinters, and there were white paint particles from the door in the hall leading into the main part of the house. It had been kicked in and the mortice lock was left hanging. The intruders had exited by a stable-type door at the rear.

The matter was reported to Tenterden Police Station. DC Keeler was somewhat uneasy to hear that despite his earlier report to the Verneys, the place had in fact been entered. It was obvious the police had not made a proper check.

What was peculiar was that nothing of value was stolen, except Mr Verney's private papers relating to his tax, some private letters of a personal nature from a Privy Counsellor and former Cabinet Minister, a friend of the family of many years standing, and part of a bar of Bournville chocolate. Someone had gone through his desk in the study and had checked the contents of his files. Keeler said sarcastically, 'I suppose I better look for someone with chocolate on their teeth.'

The Verneys spent seven nights in May in the cottage. Despite some very bad nights of noise, it was not as extreme as before. On May 18, their daughter Eugenic and a friend came to spend the weekend. They helped the Verneys to pack because they were to move out shortly. That night, Mr Verney woke up with an intense burning sensation in his eyes. It was extremely painful and continued until 7am.

Eugenie Verney said that she was terrified out of her wits and that she had heard men shouting in the woods. She says that for a week after staying at the cottage she suffered serious loss of memory and was off work. On their way back home, her friend was taken ill on the Ml. Fortunately, he was able to pull off the road at a nearby service station, where he passed out.

But the worst was still yet to come. At about 1.30am on 20 May 1984, all hell was let loose at Dargle cottage. The noise was at its highest level yet heard. The vibrations tore through the ground of the woods and towards the house, and the vibrations were at a frightening level; literally shaking the building in its foundations. Similar kinds of bangs to those heard previously came from the woods until after 7am.

Anthony and Doreen Verney were totally shattered and feeling extremely ill. They had to abandon the house once more. They moved out on the morning of 23 May 1984 with Doreen in great pain, hardly able to walk.

Mrs Verney was later confined to an old people's rest home. She had aged tremendously due to the torment she had been put through. Mr Verney was also old and frail, but remained brave and bold. For a man who had fought the Nazis, it seemed his country had failed him. The question remained: what was causing the noise?


1. Letter dated 3 May 1990, from the Security Service Tribunal to Mr. A.R. Verney.
2. Telephone conversation between the author and Mr. Verney, also his notes entitled 'The Happy Retirement', [copy enclosed]
3. Mr Verney provided the author with copies of the noise tape recorded at various dates throughout their ordeal. The noise is identical to another tape provided to the author by Mr. Joe Vialls (another victim) whose account is documented in 'Open Verdict'; Tony Collins, Sphere Books Ltd., 1990. Dr Robert Becker, a world authority on microwaves, has examined Mr. Verney's tapes. Dr Becker has been a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Physics, and his books (Cross Current and Body Electric) provide an in depth and peer account on the biological effects of microwaves. The author has also had several conversations with Dr Becker concerning these tapes and the status of the current technologies available to the military today.
4. This seems to be the case. Several residents in Wales and North Yorkshire have been continuously complaining about the noise of low flying RAF fighter aircraft on residential areas without much success.
5. See note 2.
6. See note 3.

Chapter Eight

Passing the Buck

One report from US files may have a bearing on the Verneys' plight: 'A decoy and deception concept presently being considered is to remotely create the perception of noise in the heads of personnel by exposing them to low power, pulsed microwaves. When people are illuminated with properly modulated low power microwaves the sensation is reported as a buzzing, clocking, or hissing which seems to originate (regardless of the person's position in the field) within or just behind the head. The phenomenon occurs at average power densities as low as microwatts per square centimetre with carrier frequencies from 0.4 to 3.0 Ghz. By proper choice of pulse characteristics, intelligible speech may be created. Before this technique may be extended and used for military applications, an understanding of the basic principles must be developed. Such an understanding is not only required to optimize the use of the concept for camouflage, decoy and deception operations but is required to properly assess safety factors of such microwave exposure. Oscar, Kenneth J. US Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Command - Fort Belvoir, VA

Mr and Mrs Verney believed they were subjected to an array of hazardous non-ionising irradiation, Very Low Frequency (VLF) pulses, over a considerable period of time. They also believe they were attacked on about eight occasions by an electromagnetic pulse, which must have been deliberately deployed against them.

The effects of VLF on the human system have been well documented. Both VLF and ELF (extremely low frequency) are non-ionising radiation, which causes serious disturbance in the blood cells. VLF in particular attacks the lower nervous system and effects the lower half of the body, the lumbar region, as well as the lower part of the spine, thighs and upper legs. It causes serious disorientation, headaches and ringing in the ears. Depression and irritability are other side effects, plus the loss of memory.

When the Verneys left Dargle Cottage at the end of January 1984, they drove to Scotland. They felt they were so saturated with radiation that they had become sensitised to it.

Mr Verney said his body 'could pick up' on a generator over a mile away. 'It is a very strange sensation; at times the body feels as if it is on fire.'

Doreen said she could detect electrical junction boxes over quarter of a mile away. She had a ringing in her ears for over ten days afterwards. This increased at times when she was in the vicinity of an electrical transmission.

She said that electromagnetic pulses caused an excruciating headache, as if an electrical drill was boring into it. She would bury her head under bedclothes but the effects were even worse - because when there was no noise, it caused complete disorientation.

In January and February 1984, Mrs Doreen Verney suffered two attacks of severe stomach cramps, accompanied by vomiting. This is usually the first indication of the effects of radiation, which is described as such in the manuals issued to the Armed Forces by the MOD. She was ill throughout March, and in early April her GP sent her to be examined by a specialist in cancer. Various tests failed to uncover anything serious.

Following the attack on Dargle Cottage on 20 May 1984, she became more seriously ill. On the morning of 23 May 1984, when they moved out, she had severe pain in her legs and lumbar region, and she was almost unable to walk. Further medical tests once more failed to reveal the cause.

She then began to suffer from attacks of diarrhoea. Her health continued to deteriorate during June and July 1984 and she put on a great deal of weight around the waist - formerly she had been a very fit and slim person. Further blood tests, X-rays and body scans revealed nothing. However, a third body scan on 24 August 1984 showed a large area of fluid on the left side of her chest.

On 31 August 1984, she was admitted to the Fitzroy Nuffield Hospital in London, where five and half pints of infected fluid was drawn off her chest. She was diagnosed as suffering from a rare and dangerous form of lymphatic leukaemia and went into surgery on the morning of 1 September 1984. Doctors gave her only a 10% chance of survival. With two months of chemotherapy, she pulled through. However, Doreen had become a semi-invalid; a person who had been so full of life and had been looking forward to a happy retirement could hardly walk, and suffered much pain. Her husband was severely ill for three weeks from the end of February until middle of March 1984. He also suffered from acute pains in the back, lumbar region and thighs. He had difficulty walking, or even staying upright, and he found it hard to keep his balance. His continuous pain also prevented him from proper sleep or rest.

Medical tests in March revealed that his metabolism was very disturbed, and that his blood cells were severely affected. His blood sedimentation level, which had been normal at 8 per cent had shot up to 30 per cent. Anything above this level is considered extremely serious.

The events of 20 May 1984, made matters even worse. Over the years he had taken very good care of his teeth, making regular visits to a Harley Street dental surgeon. Over the three months between March and May, he lost most of his teeth. Some fell out and others simply crumbled. This is a well-known symptom of ionising radiation, and a feature amongst servicemen

She then began to suffer from attacks of diarrhoea. Her health continued to deteriorate during June and July 1984 and she put on a great deal of weight around the waist - formerly she had been a very fit and slim person. Further blood tests, X-rays and body scans revealed nothing. However, a third body scan on 24 August 1984 showed a large area of fluid on the left side of her chest.

On 31 August 1984, she was admitted to the Fitzroy Nuffield Hospital in London, where five and half pints of infected fluid was drawn off her chest. She was diagnosed as suffering from a rare and dangerous form of lymphatic leukaemia and went into surgery on the morning of 1 September 1984. Doctors gave her only a 10% chance of survival. With two months of chemotherapy, she pulled through. However, Doreen had become a semi-invalid; a person who had been so full of life and had been looking forward to a happy retirement could hardly walk, and suffered much pain.

Her husband was severely ill for three weeks from the end of February until middle of March 1984. He also suffered from acute pains in the back, lumbar region and thighs. He had difficulty walking, or even staying upright, and he found it hard to keep his balance. His continuous pain also prevented him from proper sleep or rest.

Medical tests in March revealed that his metabolism was very disturbed, and that his blood cells were severely affected. His blood sedimentation level, which had been normal at 8 per cent had shot up to 30 per cent. Anything above this level is considered extremely serious.

The events of 20 May 1984, made matters even worse. Over the years he had taken very good care of his teeth, making regular visits to a Harley Street dental surgeon. Over the three months between March and May, he lost most of his teeth. Some fell out and others simply crumbled. This is a well-known symptom of ionising radiation, and a feature amongst servicemen who took part in the atomic tests in Australia during the 1950s. X-rays also revealed permanent damage to his lower lumber region and spinal cord.

For over three years he suffered from a problem with his macrocytes, and a continual over-production of red blood cells. This is a condition described as polythemia, discovered in US servicemen exposed to electromagnetic pulses.

He had also suffered from three severe attacks of something akin to shingles but uncharacteristically it recurred in the same places. It also lasted longer than shingles would, and the spots left scars which did not fade. He also suffered from pains in his limbs, and a recurring problem of frequent painful enlargement of the nipples.

Sometime later, in July 1989 and January 1990, Anthony Verney underwent two operations in the Wellington Day Centre and the Hassocks Health Centre. On the first occasion it was for the removal of suspect- ed basal carcinoma, the second time for removal of lesions. On both occasions the doctors (Dr D. Dowling Munro, and Dr Lucy Free) were unable to identify the cause and nature of his complaint. According to US Navy Surface Weapons Center studies on the effects of microwave weapons, it has been established that hot spots in the brain, lesions and necrosis of internal tissues can be induced. They can also affect heart function.

Prior to their problems, in June 1983, Mr and Mrs Verney both had full medical examinations at the Tenterden Health Centre, in connection with a pension scheme with Allied Hambro (now Allied Dunbar). Both came through the tests very well, as the records show.

Mr Verney provided me with a complete list of doctors and surgeons who treated him and his wife during their ordeal. I spoke to Dr Douglas Rossdale, their General Practitioner on 28 March 1991, and asked him his opinion on the case. Dr Rossdale paid tribute to the Verneys, and their resilience in spite of the difficulties they had been through. He added that in the many years he had been in practice, the couple's case was unique.

Both patients suffered from a similar and unusual syndrome simultaneously - a situation relatively rare in medical practice. He was also surprised by the rapid deterioration of their health, and taking into consideration their previous medical history, he could not identify the cause.

There is little doubt that the police could have taken action, tracked down the source of the noise, found the culprits and prosecuted as a breach of the peace. But for some unexplained reason they chose not to. What is ironic, however, is that a few months later during the Coal Miner's dispute, the Kent Police took extraordinary steps to interfere with the movement of vehicles suspected of carrying striking miners out of the county, alleging that they were threatening a breach of the peace.

Anthony Verney wrote to the Chancellor of Exchequer (at that time Nigel Lawson) complaining about their ordeal and claiming compensation. In February 1986, he received a postcard from George Younger, then Private Secretary of Defence. This was followed by a letter from Mr S.M. Murray, a Senior Claims Officer at the Ministry of Defence.

Murray stated in his letter that what had happened to the Verneys had nothing to do with the Ministry of Defence (this had apparently been the view of Lawson's office as well). 'But,' he added, 'it was due to the activities of criminal elements in the area and a matter for the civil police' [emphasis added].

After almost three years, Anthony Verney at last thought he had obtained a legitimate response, which might force the police to take the long overdue action. A copy of this missive was sent to the Chief Constable of the Kent Constabulary. After several reminders and a long period of waiting he received an acknowledgement.

In the first week of March 1987 (over a year since his correspondence with Nigel Lawson) he received a call from an Inspector Watkins of the Kent Police, requesting an appointment to discuss the matter. Two weeks later the inspector and a colleague arrived for a 90 minute discussion. Watkins disclosed he had already called on Murray in his office at the MOD asking him to support his statement concerning 'criminal elements in the area' with evidence. Murray had proved to be non-committal, informing the police there were 'no military establishments in the Biddenden area', something the local police already knew.

The two visiting officers were horrified by the recordings made at Dargle Cottage. They were in agreement with Verney that the operation at Biddenden was probably the work of some units involving scientists or MOD contractors, who did not come under the direct control of the Ministry of Defence, but were conducting trials and experiments on the MOD'S behalf.

The police officers were particularly angry about the failure of the local authority to enforce the Control of Pollution Act, 1974, about which they seemed well- briefed. They particularly singled out the Medical Officer for Health for the Ashford area as being negligent in his duties. At the end of the meeting, Mr Verney asked Inspector Watkins for his opinion. He replied that it 'was due to the activities of an organisation over whom they, (the Kent Police), had no jurisdiction.'

Subsequently, Verney tried to obtain a written confirmation of Inspector Watkins statement. On 5 August 1987, he received a letter from the Deputy Constable of Kent County Constabulary. It stated: 'I refer to your letter dated the 30th July, 1987, concerning the visit of Inspector Watkins to you earlier this year. Your comments have been noted. The issues initially raised in your letter are not matters which fall within the jurisdiction of the Kent Police. Additional enquiries by this Force are unlikely to assist you in your claims against Ashford Borough Council, or the Treasury. Under the circumstances I must reluctantly inform you that no further action will be taken and no other correspondence will be entered into in respect of these matters.'

It was obvious that the Kent Police did not wish to make any further inquiries into the case, as with the break-in. It is equally obvious that to implement the Control of Pollution Act, 1974, which the local council should have enforced, the necessary test equipment could have been found - either rented, or borrowed from the Health and Safety Executive, various scientific institutions or Kent or Sussex universities. Southampton University has a Noise & Vibration Unit. The Medical Health Officer (MHO) also refused to take any action. According to Verney: 'Callous disregard was the flavour of all correspondence from the Council.'

As noted above, the noise and vibration was some- times accompanied by unusual lights in the sky, or 'flying tiaras', as Verney described them. Others saw them as well; Councillor Hawksley of Ashford Borough Council stated that she had seen pink lights in that area on more than one occasion. The EHO volunteered the information of sightings reported by members of the public who called them UFOs in the area.

Over the years, Verney conducted a sporadic correspondence with Eddie Mexter, the Chief Executive of the Ashford Borough Council, regarding the EHO's strange behaviour and his failure to enforce the law. Mexter, distancing himself from his own subordinates in January 1989, advised Verney he could have taken independent legal action 'against those responsible' for inaction. It was surprising advice from the Chief Executive, a solicitor, in a matter concerning a department that was under his jurisdiction.

On 25 March 1988, Tim Rathbone, Verney's Member of Parliament, addressed his serious concerns to Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister. In her reply of 12 May 1988, she acknowledged that Verney had had numerous correspondence 'with various Ministers and Government Departments since February 1986 alleging that he and his wife had been subjected to 'electronic pollution and radiation' at their former home in Kent between October 1983 and May 1984.'' She went on to add that: 'It was suggested that the nature of the incidents described seemed to suggest criminal activities by persons unknown, rather than the legitimate activities of servants or agents of the Crown, and so it might be more appropriate for him to pursue the matter with the Civil Police authorities.'2

Lord Denning, former Master of the Rolls, gave some sage advice to Verney at the same time. To bring the culprits to book you first have to find them and it they are government agents that was a major difficulty.' They operate so secretly that they have come and gone before you can know.'3

Through another MP, Merlyn Rees, the matter was raised with John Major, the Prime Minister, in 1992. The reply was predictable: 'I am afraid there is nothing I can usefully add to this (previous) correspondence, and I can only repeat that Mr Verney's allegations are considered to be totally unfounded.'4

In February 1992, Phil Chamberlin, from University of Sussex Students Union took up Verney's case, and corresponded with Robin Corbett MP, enclosing a copy of Verney's file. Corbett replied; 'I was so disturbed about the aspects of the file that I asked a Privy Counsellor friend of mine to send it to the Prime Minister, which he has done.'5 No useful response was obtained.

In a letter to Amnesty International on 15 January 1992, I sought their assistance in analysing Verney's tapes.6

On 14 February 1992, Jane Dykins, MSP Working Group Volunteer, Amnesty International informed me; 'We have no information on audio tapes, or whether there are any means to analyse the taped content.'7

On 6 May 1992, Major reiterated the need for secrecy about intelligence service operations. He told Parliament: 'The Government has deliberately distinguished between publicly acknowledging the existence of both of the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service and commenting on operational information. That it is a distinction which the Government will continue to maintain.'8

But the battle went on. In March 1996, Justin Williams, a journalist from the Kent Messenger Newspapers Group became involved in Verneys' case. After contacting me, Williams tried to establish what had happened, and later on 26 April 1996, he published an account of his findings in his paper.9 He too was somewhat surprised by his findings, and the way he was treated by the witnesses in the course of his investigation. In his letter of 21 May 1996, Justin wrote to me: 'In the case of Verney, I, like you, am convinced that he fell victim to something. What to me is more likely is that something covert was going on in Short Wood, possibly directed from October Farm, that the British military establishment had knowledge of but were not directly involved in.

'It is still unclear what happened to Verneys, or why. Latterly Verney became convinced that he had been targeted for some reason, but I thought it more likely he and his wife were unfortunate enough to have been in the way of something - accidental victims of some experiment. It says a great deal about this benighted country, and the sheer stupidity of so many of its secret servants that rather than just admit this, apologise, and offer restitution, the British state went into full scale cover-up and harassment mode.'10

Doreen Verney died in March 1996. A few months later in September, Anthony Verney passed away. He had checked himself into a psycho-geriatric ward against the advice of family and friends, apparently in the hope that he would get relief from what he still perceived as microwave pollution


1. Margaret Thatcher (PM) letter of 12 May 1988.
2. ibid.
3. Lord Denning letter of 30 January 1988.
4. John Major (PM) letter of 20 February 1992.
5. Robin Corbett MP letter of 10 February 1992.
6. Robin Corbett MP letter of 26 February 1992.
7. Amnesty International letter of 14 February 1992.
8. Simon Watkin (Home Office) letter of 2 October 1992.
9. Short Wood Mystery, Kent Messenger, 26 April 1996.
10. Lobster, December 1996, Obituaries column.