Written in response to the daily Word-prompt ‘Pursue‘
An enjoyable drive out into the Yorkshire Dales isn’t always as it seems, sometimes there are hidden ears.
RAF Menwith Hill, situated a few miles west of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England is an intelligence base that collects and analyses data gathered from satellites, phone tapping and the interception of Internet traffic and is the largest of its kind in the UK.
Menwith Hill built in 1954 and in operation since 1958 is situated within the Yorkshire Dales and some twenty minutes away from my home.
The base although owned by the British Government and subsidised by the UK tax payer is primarily used by the US military intelligence and communications service.
Menwith is situated on 545 acres (2.21 km2) of land with much based underground. In 2012 there were reportedly 1,800 employees, 400 were British and 1,200 were American employees of the NSA. This number is now said to have increased.
In 2001 the EU announced that the electronic surveillance breached the European Convention of Human Rights
According to Wiki sources “Support is provided by United States Air Force, 421st Air Base Group, and US National Security Agency personnel. Menwith Hill’s primary mission is to provide “intelligence support for UK, US and allied interests”
In 2015 The Sunday Times reported “The terrorist organisation ISIS is said to have singled out the base along with RAF Alconbury, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath in the South of England for “lone wolf” style attacks.”
During an interview on the Russian television network RT (formerly Russia Today) Steve Schofield of The British American Security Information Council (BASIC) a small, but influential, think tank based in London, alleged that Menwith Hill has been “involved in drone attacks. “The UK’s providing a facility here that’s involved in drone attacks that we know, from independent assessments, are killing and injuring thousands of civilians.”
Menwith has long held a fascination for me and I find these enormous ‘Golf Balls’ with their satellite receiving and transmission devices absolutely intriguing. When I was younger I believed the station was listening out for nothing more than aliens in Space.
Today, selfishly, I’m glad Menwith is there with its many listening devices, it makes me feel safe and that’s much more reassuring than feeling unsafe.
Whenever I’m up there, which is pretty often, I cannot resist taking photographs but I’m always aware that there are cameras all around the perimeter and I half expect the military to appear at any moment, pursue my car and confiscate my camera! READ MORE