A piece in today’s Media Guardian about Mark Birdsall running the successful Eye Spy magazine from a remote part of the Yorkshire Dales conjured up the picture of a life-style many journalists dream of. It required further investigation.
First stop, the Eye Spy website. Somehow the readers’ offer of a camera disguised as a spectacle case for £215 did not tally with the serious analytical magazine I had been reading about a few minutes earlier.
The editor Mark Birdsall is described as an investigative journalist, but without further details. So, some more Googling. And the results were very strange.
Lots of stuff about UFOs, alien abductions and that sort of thing came up. Now there were clearly a lot of Mark Birdsalls around so even the Yorkshire connection was not conclusive (Yorkshire is England’s largest county).
Then I found things written by both his brother and sister, also involved in the UFO fraternity, referring to their brother Mark as the Editor of Eye Spy. So the Mark Birdsall, editor of Eye Spy, is the one who has been searching for UFOs in the Pennine hills for years.
An interesting piece appeared under the heading “Alien Cover Scam” in the Fortean Times in March 1997.
Well, some of the things spies get up to have always been stranger than fiction.