Summary: Government service occupied most of the working life of Gordon Creighton, but he perhaps made his greatest mark as an authority on unidentified flying objects. His conviction that extraterrestrials were visiting Earth seemed oddly at variance with the more orthodox worlds of diplomacy and Whitehall.
A diplomatic approach to alien visitors
Reprinted from *The Times*, 16th August, 2003.
Government service occupied most of the working life of Gordon
Creighton, but he perhaps made his greatest mark as an authority
on unidentified flying objects. His conviction that
extraterrestrials were visiting Earth seemed oddly at variance
with the more orthodox worlds of diplomacy and Whitehall.
Gordon William Creighton was born in Rickmansworth in 1908. His
was a conventional education---Bishop's Stortford College,
Cambridge University and the =C9cole Libre des Sciences Politiques
in Paris. His years in government service included postings in
Europe, North and South America and China.
His first post was as an attach=E9 to the British Embassy in
Beijing, where he later became First Secretary. He performed
the duties of consul at Nanking, Shanghai and Recife, Brazil,
and was consul-general at Antwerp and New Orleans.
His expertise took him into government research on maps in
oriental and other languages with the Permanent Committee on
Geographical Names, and he spent eight years as an intelligence
officer on Russian and Chinese affairs at the Ministry of
Defence. It is said that in the intelligence post he worked
directly below the secret Whitehall department where the Air
Ministry and the RAF were studying information on UFOs.
His specialisation in international relations in the eastern
hemisphere was accompanied by a love of languages. He studied
20 of them, including Russian, Chinese and Sanskrit.
Creighton's interest in UFOs was stimulated in the summer of
1941, when he saw "a white disc with a piercingly bright bluish
light on top racing through the sky in the far west of China,
near the eastern marches of Tibet". At the time he was with the
British Embassy in China's wartime capital Chungkung.
When *Flying Saucer Review* was set up in 1955 he became a
regular contributor. He later sat on the magazine's board and
was its editor from 1982. He claimed that the Duke of Edinburgh
had been a reader from the earliest days.
Creighton had no time for traditional British nervousness about
what the neighbours might think. For 30 years, commuting daily
from Hertfordshire to London, he "made a special point of
carrying and reading *FSR* in the train up to Baker Street and
then on the Underground". He was pleased to recall that "it
must have happened on at least a dozen occasions that complete
strangers would step across the gangway to me and say: '*Flying
Saucer Review*! Where can I get that?'"
Creighton's stories about flying saucers and his observations
were fascinating to the listener. He believed sightings of
alien craft were common all over the world and that the human
race had had frequent encounters with the visitors. He said
that on one occasion President Eisenhower's whereabouts for
several hours were kept secret. The President, Creighton said,
had been called to an airbase where an alien craft was hovering,
but had insisted that the incident should never be made public.
Governments, Creighton believed, have been "lying about the UFO
problem for more than 50 years", and take the subject far more
seriously than they will admit. According to *Flying Saucer
Review*, "the U.S. Government in particular holds a number of
crashed craft and a considerable number of preserved bodies of
small dead crew members of a certain species about 4ft-4ft 6in,
in height". He understood this government reticence, however,
and feared that the intentions of aliens could be hostile and
that detailed information might cause alarm.
Gordon Creighton's wide range of interests embraced the world's
main religions. Though born a Roman Catholic, he was not
confirmed until he was past 90.
His wife predeceased him. He is survived by a son and daughter.
Gordon Creighton, diplomat, civil servant, and Editor of *Flying
Saucer Review*, was born on April 26, 1908. He died on July 16,
2003, aged 95.