Thursday, 24 November 2011


We at the Fake Explosives Detectors Campaign are always honoured to be contacted by people of stature and standing, and today we bring you a letter from Major-General Alan Sharman (retd.), in response to our email to him (see post below).

Now, as we know, Major-General Alan Sharman (retd.) had a very distinguished career. First with the British Army in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, then as Director General Land Systems UK Ministry of Defence Government Agency, then as Director General Defence Manufacturers Association, and latterly as a Director of at least four companies, all apparently with defence industry interests (we may have missed something out. No doubt he will correct us if so).

As always, we at the Fake Explosives Detectors Campaign like to try to ensure that there is no room for misunderstanding or error, by omission or diversion. hence we have, as is our tedious way, analysed and commented on the letter Major-General Alan Sharman (retd.) 

It would be good if he would respond to our substantive points and questions, particularly as we have some new information that might be quite embarrassing to him and his old DMA colleagues, if he does not do so. 

His text in black, ours in red:

Dear Mr Robinson

I understand that you have made an enquiry via the MIRA Ltd website about Mr Gary Bolton. 

I was quite unaware of your campaign or of your interest in Gary Bolton until receipt of your enquiry. (Had you heard anything about the Fake Explosives Detectors scandal before our email? Perhaps via Newsnight? Or in your defence industry circles? If so, did you recall Gary Bolton, Global Technical, your visit to Parliament with him, or anything at all about your or the DMA involvement with him?) Further I have had no involvement with Mr Bolton since the occasion when he accompanied me, in 1999, as part of a team giving evidence to the Parliamentary Trade and Industry Committee.  The team consisted of myself and representatives of a large, medium and small company (Bolton was from the small one) and the subject of the Committee's investigation related solely to the matter of Export Credit Guarantees.  The meeting had nothing to do with company products or their technology. (Who was responsible for selecting Gary Bolton of Global Technical to attend the meeting of the PTIC from amongst the DMA membership, from which there was presumably many possible such small companies to choose from? When you say the meeting had nothing to do with company products or their technology, do you mean it was to discuss the issue of ECGs in reference to air? Or, perhaps in splendid isolation from the products themselves? Do you mean that no products or technologies were mentioned at the meeting?)

I had no knowledge then nor since as to the technical nature of Bolton's device, nor would any other member of my 25 staff in the DMA.  (You only have to Google!) Obviously, as a Trade Association with hundreds of members large and small, the staff could not possibly know about the technical provenance or otherwise of the thousands of products produced by our members. (Not one of the DMA staff or other members once encountered or were told about the miraculous MOLE or GT200 during his membership? Or if they did see it or hear about it, didn't ask even the smallest of questions? If I was an ex-military man, say REME, who must be interested in working in safe environments cleared of explosive devices, I think my ears would prick up at a new, previously unknown detector available on the market, from a respectable UK firm!?) We, of course, always tried to verify the business integrity of our members but this could not possibly extend to testing and verifying their products.(Maybe a bit more self regulation would have been good - damn, of course, self-regulation never works! Wonder if ADS checks out its members more carefully now as a result of learning the Global Technical GT200 lesson? Do you think they should?)

I retired from the DMA in 2007. (Yes, Retirement always excuses past failures doesn't it!) I note from your own web site the comment that thanks to your campaign the record that Global Technical were members of the DMA and APPSS etc. was pulled down in about 2007. (Later than that we recall, but hey, let's not split hairs! We can always check! And again, does that excuse the fact that they were allowed to continue for so long trading on your so called good names despite the fact that it was public knowledge on the internet many years before that these devices are a fraud! And do you know Col, John Wyatt (retd. ) of SDS? Have a word with him about the history of SNIFFEX and the HEDD1 frauds! He should know. He tried selling them here to your and his ex-Army colleagues as late as last year!) In fact the DMA and APPSS were disbanded late in that year and merged with the SBAC to become A|D|S. (So what? And we all know that re-naming and re-branding often has a purpose!) I am not aware of whether Global Technical were or are still members of A|D|S.(Too late. They wormed their way in with members of the defence establishment, no doubt in no small way thanks due to your handholding!)

Finally, retired as I now am, my influence on defence and security affairs is very limited (We do not believe this. You are still an active Director of at least four companies we know of in the Defence Industry, and we are sure your contacts book is still chock full of the great and the good, so we expect that you are at least a tad embarrassed by your former association with a filthy little fraudster like Gary Bolton, and like us will call publicly and via your contacts for proper action. To include, Bolton, McCormick, and their associates to go down. Their blood money recovered. And the Government to finally impose a full Worldwide export ban and make a bigger fuss to stop the continued use of these things in places like Mexico and Thailand. And for the UK Government Officials who supported this fraud to be brought to book. We think that is a fair list of demands for all the blown up people you and your friends have helped create, wittingly or not!) but I am confident that if those currently in the Army and the MoD believe the Bolton product is a fraud then they will be taking appropriate action with regard to exports and domestic purchases. (They are not, hence our kind requests for your assistance, as a man of honour, who will no doubt acknowledge his mistakes, and help correct them, even if they were unintentional!) If, as you suggest, the products are completely ineffective (to the point of being fraudulent) WE ARE NOT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO SUGGEST THIS AND IT IS NOT 'IF'. COME ON MAJ. GEN! then I am amazed that the Army bought them; they normally test everything to the extreme. (We do not know if the Army bought any, but it would be very interesting if they did. What we do know is that they helped promote them, and apparently the Royal Engineers tested the MOLE and said it worked - who knows how? See Sandia Labs/MOLE/McCormick/Balais/Bolton) If you are still so vague about this do please see the Newsnight reports! You can find the links on the blogs. Or Google!)

Yours faithfully

Alan Sharman