Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Operation Antler

David Kelly was still employed by Porton Down at the time of his death, as I understand the convoluted restructurings of organisation in that sector. See, for example, mod_2_0009to0011.

In video 3 of the Anthrax Wars, YouTube - anthrax wars 3/7, brief mention is made of Operation Antler. The Wiltshire Police, it seems, passed papers to the Crown Prosecution Service with a view to prosecution of Porton Down scientists.

Operation Antler investigated experiments using biological agents (as well as chemical agents). See, for example, MoD 'can challenge Porton case'.

The information made public by Wilshire Police about Operation Antler, Wiltshire Police Operation Antler information, seemingly has been removed from the Wiltshire Police web site.

David Kelly was, according to the video, found dead in 2003 shortly after the Crown Prosecution Service decision.

I am unable to trace any mention of Operation Antler on the Hutton Inquiry website.

Is the failure of Lord Hutton to consider the possible relevance of Operation Antler to the death of Dr. David Kelly because it was irrelevant or because it was too important to mention?


  1. There is no mention of Foreign & Commonwealth Office at MOD/2/0041(annex D to MOD/2/0009-11) despite David Kelly being described as a special adviser to the FCO during 2002 and 2003.

    Equally fascinating, is that the 2002 VERTIC Bioweapons Verification report, TVP/3/0265-82 which Kelly wrote (Hutton Inquiry evidence) has NO MENTION whatsoever of Porton Down apart from describing Kelly as Head of Microbiology there from 1982-94. The Russians never got near the place through the Trilateral Agreement, yet they had admittance to Fort Detrick,Salk Institute,the Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas and the Baker Test Facility Utah - Dugway Proving Ground - , in the USA!

  2. This 2005 paper by Geoffrey Holland puts the origin of Saddam Hussein's anthrax which was exported from the USA between 1985-9 originated from a cow which had died, appropriately, in South Oxfordshire in 1937!

  3. Is TVP 3 / 0110 Beswick / Kelly letter a reference to Op Antler? I don't know!

  4. LancashireLad,

    Yes, I think that Letter Beswick/Kelly 10/07/03 is almost certainly referring to Operation Antler.

    So, it seems pretty clear that David Kelly knew about Operation Antler.

    Was he one of the Porton Down scientists being investigated? For the moment, that isn't clear.

  5. Felix,

    Thanks for the reference to mod_2_0041.

    You're right to question why David Kelly's secondment to FCO isn't mentioned, not least because I understand that the FCO was paying David Kelly's salary (although I don't immediately recall where I read that).

    Perhaps mod_2_0041 omits mention of particularly highly classified components of what David Kelly worked on.

  6. Andrew, Geoffrey Holland's paper is fascinating, I was sorry that the link to Dr Kelly's capers on Gruinard has gone missing (endnote 48)

  7. Andrew/LL

    The letters went out from the CPS on 7th July 2003. Any idea what the crest is on TVP/3/0110 ? Looks like a Welsh connection.

  8. Andrew/LL

    Looks like the sender of TVP/3/110 has just died
    Michael Evans of The Times (10 Sept 2003)says Kelly worked in another department and wasn't involved in the inquiry (Operation Antler).

  9. Link here to death notice.Interestingly he worked on ricin experiments following the assassination of Georgi Markov who was famously bumped off by his own government in 1978.

  10. Felix,

    I was reading another copy of the Poison Pellet Murder story online yesterday.

    One of the interesting aspects, for me, of the story is just how easy it would have been (and almost was) for the pellet containing the ricin to have been missed.

  11. Scanning Electron Microscope on Porton Down, Frank Beswick and the Markov ricin case now located here