1971 was a relatively quiet year for UNIT. Although there was a substantial series of incidents that UNIT were involved in throughout the year, details of these are particularly difficult to track down, being limited to a few unsubstantiated rumours together with some highly suspect leaked documents which give us very little information on the sequence of events. Other than UNIT's introduction into the role of a security force for major inter-governmental conferences, we have very little concrete knowledge of UNIT's activities during this time.
In April 1971, UNIT was involved in yet another connected chain of unexplained events. These began with the unexplained deaths of two scientists working at the Beacon Hill Research Centre. Although the eventual explanation for the deaths was accidental death, the specific cause was never made known. The investigation into these deaths was carried out by UNIT, causing some very negative reactions from the local police force.
Simultaneously, an exhibit from the National Space Museum was reported stolen, but later the authorities claimed that it had merely been mislaid. This would seem to have no obvious connection to UNIT, except that the object mislaid was, according to anonymous sources in C-19, a sophisticated technological item recovered during the course of the Black Thursday operation, back in 1969. We do not know who would want a piece of technology employed by the perpetrators of that event. There is, unsurprisingly, no official answer. There are also no unofficial rumours about this. In fact, no-one seems to even remember the exhibit's existence, let alone its disappearance.
UNIT were also involved a few days after this event in demanding the recall of 450,000 free plastic daffodils that had been distributed all round the UK, on the grounds that they were dangerous if left near radio sets. This obviously begs the question as to how a plastic daffodil can be dangerous if left near a radio and not otherwise, as well as why UNIT would be interested in the recall of these particular items.
There is also the question of whether the sudden increase in sudden deaths from natural causes such as asthma attacks and heart attacks, officially blamed on high pollution levels, was connected. This sudden increase in deaths was particularly unusual, as the death rates soared for a few days and then went back to normal levels. Normally when you have a spurt of such deaths, the rates drop significantly below their usual levels for a while afterwards. This would indicate that the spike is a statistical fluke - there are the same number of deaths, but they just happen to be bunched together. In effect, something triggers them prematurely. The lack of such a drop, means that there was something else going on. Perhaps this was connected to the recall of daffodils. This pattern of deaths is actually consistent with a great many spikes in death figures that coincided with UNIT operations.
So what actually happened? Our best guess is that a person, or persons, murdered the two Beacon Hill scientists and stole the highly sensitive exhibit - despite UNIT trying to prevent them from doing so. This same person or group could have used the stolen device to do something to the daffodils. Perhaps they had been set up (by hidden circuitry) to broadcast a short range radio signal which, in the vicinity of a radio, would cause some sort of damage. We would not be surprised if the daffodils had poisonous substances on them which caused the spike in death rates. But these speculations are just that. Official explanations, predictably, don't link these events together and no eyewitnesses have come forward to offer any insight into the hidden details of the events.
Occurring at the time of the first World Peace Conference in October 1971, the Stangmoor prison riots seem an unusual thing for UNIT to get involved in. The basic story of the riots is that there were two riots in the prison in short succession. The first riot was put down by prison staff and the second by UNIT.
There is, however, more to the story. Stangmoor was the base for testing a new machine called the Keller Machine, which was supposed to remove the negative impulses from a human brain. The implications of such mind control, had it become practical and widespread, would have been astounding. The probable effect would have been to produce a servile underclass of ex-criminals.
Leaving aside the potential ethical implications, there were a number of worrying circumstances surrounding the device. The most important is that no academic or scientific institution in Europe had heard of Professor Emil Keller, its inventor. Actually. no-one even had a record of his obtaining a doctorate. There is also a worrying lack of information from the authorities in Switzerland, where the machine was supposed to have treated 112 prisoners. Although the appropriate authorities were full of praise for Keller and his machine, they had no files whatsoever on the professor.
Keller's UK backer, Professor Kettering, and an observer at the first UK demonstration of the process both died during the riots. Keller disappeared, and no-one ever found out why. As with the Inferno Project the previous year, Keller's project would have remained totally unknown had not the Journalist James Stevens published an article on Keller in Metropolitan soon after sneaking into the demonstration.
In November 1971, UNIT was involved in an incident at the Nuton Power Complex, which supplied electricity for most of Southern England. Rumours in Whitehall suggested that something was discovered at the Complex that was of massive importance for the world. No eyewitnesses have been willing to say much about this incident and documented evidence is limited.
What is certain from the documents is that there was a major risk of the power complex exploding, and that there was a highly classified official investigation into the incident. Whilst we have not uncovered any of the documents produced by the investigation, we do know that it lay the blame firmly on one Horatio Chinn.
Chinn was an official in the newly formed Ministry of Security, and had taken it on himself to investigate UNIT. From what we know about the incident, Chinn's involvement restricted UNIT's activities and, according to one source, he actually arrested most of the UNIT personnel involved in the incident. Whilst the cause of the incident is unknown, we do know that some of the details were passed on to the UN, causing high level interest in several world governments. The incident escaped all media attention, due to the sheer number of D-notices placed.
The most detailed account we have is a story from a former employee at the plant about orange monsters from outer space trying to take over the world. Whilst the story itself isn't impossible, the details don't exactly fit the 'great discovery' rumours that first drew our attention to this incident. Our verdict on this incident must, therefore, be that we just don't know what happened.