Here in the UK the kindly government is conducting an Orwellian emergency alert “exercise” Sunday afternoon, 23 April 2023 at 3pm.
Please watch this heart warming 16 second promo video tweeted by the UK Government Saturday morning, 22nd April.
Are similar emergency alert exercises being done where you live across the pond and elsewhere around the world?
What David Thunders expresses in his short video is spot on.
Please read David’s blog which he posted on Thursday.
By David Thunder • 20 April 2023
The Government of Navarra (an autonomous region of Spain where I live) is running an emergency alert drill for all cellphones in the region at 1pm Spanish time today (Thursday, 20th April). Spokespersons for the Navarran government have assured us that these alerts will be used “exclusively” for “extraordinary catastrophes” like wildfires and floods. We are supposed to press “accept” when we receive the alert. A similar emergency drill will be held in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 23rd April, designed to alert citizens “if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.”
Good luck to them.
For my part, I will be powering down my phone and disconnecting my laptop from the web between 12:50pm and 1:30pm today to make sure I am not included in this drill. This is the same government that confined us to our homes to confront the “emergency” of a respiratory virus in early 2020, required us to wear masks in parks, shops, and restaurants, mandated an experimental vaccine for health workers, and excluded those of us who refused their experimental shot from bars and restaurants, in response to the “Covid emergency.”
If you, like me, see these sorts of measures as one of the most catastrophic and abusive over-reactions to an “emergency” in modern history, then you will probably not be surprised that I have no interest in legitimating their little “emergency drill” with my participation.
Under ordinary circumstances – for example, if we had level-headed and sensible people running the government – I could probably just go along with such a drill. Indeed, I would probably take them at their word that it was only for the purpose of managing genuine “catastrophes.”
But to hold an emergency drill so soon after a string of extraordinary abuses of emergency powers is quite another story. The timing for this drill could not be worse. It comes just a couple of years after governments all over the world used an “emergency” that was actually an infectious disease for which health services were ill prepared, to justify an all-out attack on citizens’ basic rights, including the right to protest, right to informed consent to medication, right to breathe freely, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression.
The reason I refuse to participate in this drill at this time, is because the authorities that are running it have forfeited their right to be trusted to honestly and competently declare emergencies without stoking up needless panic and fear in the population. I simply no longer trust these people to tell me when I need to run for cover. In fact, I am more afraid of them than I am of any emergency they might declare.
I hope that trust is restored soon. In the meantime, I will be steering clear of the government’s emergency drills.
I looked to see if I could turn-off the alerts on my phone a week or so ago but couldn’t find them. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t updated the operating system on my phone for several years? In any event, my phone has been powered down since Saturday afternoon.
I took a look around Facebook to see what people were posting about “the exercise” and noticed the following message which was shared by a friend.
Who is John Urwin you ask? This article published by the Northern Echo in 2002 provides a glimpse of his most unusual background.
18th October 2002 • Northern Echo
Plucked from National Service, John Urwin claims he became part of an assassination squad which puts the SAS to shame. Nick Morrison gets to grip with a trained killer
AS his grip tightens around my head and I hear the bones in my neck crack, I have a few moments to consider how I had got myself in this position. It had been entirely my own fault of course, for approaching John Urwin’s claims with more than a little scepticism.
In my defence, although there wasn’t much in the way of that going on at the time, it does sound a little on the far-fetched side. Here he is, a grandfather of 64, claiming he had been plucked from his National Service, trained to become part of an elite assassination squad, using combat techniques and equipment far in advance of anything practised today, sent on missions to kill in the Middle East, and then returned to obscurity with his regiment.
Naturally, the existence of this unit – named The Sixteen, for obvious reasons – was top secret, so there is no evidence it ever existed and no one to back up John’s claims. It seems only reasonable to ask why I should believe his story.
It is then that he disappears into the hallway of his home, a neat semi in Benton, on the outskirts of Newcastle, and reappears bearing what looks like a shoebox. Opening the box, he pulls out a handgun.
He says it is a replica – although I keep my finger away from the trigger just in case – hands it to me, and tells me to point it at him. He is just a foot or so away, and as I point the gun, he grabs hold of my outstretched arm, pulls it past him, and brings the edge of his open hand down on my forearm.
“I would have broken that normally,” he says. I don’t disagree.
Then he asks me to stand opposite him as if we were in unarmed combat. He then takes hold of my arm, pulls me towards him, and grabs my head with both hands, pushing it down and twisting.
“Did you hear the bones crack?” he asks. “Yes,” I whimper. “I would have broken your neck normally,” he tells me. It’s quite a relief that this is not normal.
Admittedly, I’m probably not the most difficult of opponents, possessing all the fighting skills of Dale Winton, but it does make me think there might be more to his story than I originally thought.
This story, briefly, is that in 1957, when he was 18, John, a lad from the backstreets of Byker, joined the Pioneer Corps for his National Service. He was a bit of a fitness fanatic, loved gymnastics, and didn’t drink, the last of which meant he didn’t really fit in with the rest of his unit.
He was in the gym on his own one day, towards the end of his basic training, when he was approached by an officer he’d never seen before and asked how his training was going. When John, who went by the nickname of Geordie, said he was looking for something more exciting than two years digging holes with the Pioneer Corps, the officer said he would be contacted again.
John didn’t hear anything else until he was posted to Cyprus and he was driving a truck when he was flagged down by another officer, who seemed to know who Geordie was and took him to a mountain hut. There, he was initiated into The Sixteen.
The first step was what he calls the One Step Beyond programme, which involved being kept awake for 24 hours while being told how unimportant life was, with the aim of conquering his fear of death. Once he had passed this hurdle, he was taught to use equipment and fighting techniques far beyond anything known to anyone else, then or since.
Unarmed combat was based around ‘the machine’, a series of 150 basic moves, leading to 7,000 combinations, and apparently enabling him to take out just about any opponent.
Chief among the equipment seems to have been what was known as ‘the Sash’, basically a belt with the capacity to kill anyone within a reasonable distance before they have a chance to react. It has something to do with pressing a steel buckle to unleash a spring, but obviously he can’t go into it in too much detail.
“Literally, I could take your head off with it in seconds, I could take your fingers off, your nose off, whatever,” he says. My extremities begin to feel distinctly threatened.
After training, he was sent on a number of missions with the three other members of his section of The Sixteen, who were split into two groups of four assassins and eight support staff, assassinating people in the Middle East. He knew the others only by their nicknames – Spot, Dynamo and Chalky.
One plan was to kill Egyptian president General Nasser, but this was aborted when Nasser changed his plans so they killed a Russian nuclear scientist in Cairo instead.
In between operations, John went back to his unit, where nobody seemed to take too much interest in where he had been. When his two years of National Service were up, he wanted to sign on for another three so he could stay with The Sixteen, but his regiment was being posted back to Britain so he left and went back to a civilian life, including stock car racing and running bodyguard courses.
The existence of The Sixteen was known to only a handful of people, and John has kept the secret for more than 40 years, but has now written a book chronicling his experiences. He has broken his silence now, he says, because, with all the dangers we are facing, in the shape of Saddam Hussein and al Qaida, there is a need for another Sixteen. By revealing the existence of the original, he hopes to spur interest in creating another such squad. But he has been careful not to spill too many secrets.
“What is in the book is nothing to what I really know, it was not designed to be an instruction book. It is trying to show that there was a group called The Sixteen, that it did exist,” he says.
There are, admittedly, a few obvious questions, the most obvious of them all being, why was he chosen? Why pick someone on National Service, still doing their basic training, instead of a trained soldier? Part of the reason, he says, was his very obscurity.
“Who would suspect somebody being taken out of the Pioneer Corps and being highly trained? Also, I didn’t drink. That was one of the main factors,” he says. “Most SAS operations are failures because the guys drink; they could be easily infiltrated or duped or whatever.”
But what proof has he got to back up his story – apart from his ability to disarm a wimpish journalist? “How do I know what I know and how come I’m so bloody good at it, even now, at 64? How come I can do things that the SAS can’t do?”
But if The Sixteen’s skills and equipment were so far advanced in the 1950s, why aren’t they used by our specialist forces now? “We didn’t want the morons to know,” – by morons, I assume he means regular soldiers – he says. “Because of the way they got drunk. It is only going to be five minutes before the enemy knows.”
But if The Sixteen is such a secret, isn’t he worried that somebody is going to try and shut him up for spilling the beans? “Because I’m stirring it, I’m expecting trouble. I’m pre-warned,” he says, the implication being that as he is on his guard he will be more than a match for any agents sent to take him out.
There are lots more questions to be asked, of course, but I have to confess my neck is feeling pretty vulnerable so I don’t push it. But then, to be fair, he knows his story sounds pretty far-fetched, although he says he doesn’t care if people don’t believe him.
My head is still spinning with the unlikeliness of some of this when I leave, although, and I’m not saying this out of self-preservation, I’m more convinced of his story than when I arrived. After all, the fact that it is all so improbable is the perfect cover. If nothing else, and I’m not saying it is nothing else, if you’re reading this John, it makes a fascinating tale.
* The Sixteen: The Covert Assassination Squad that went B eyond the SAS, by John Urwin, is published by Vision (£16.99)
I have long been interested in covert operations and find John Urwin’s story entirely plausible. I have archived the foregoing article here for safekeeping.
The following is a very interesting interview with John Urwin by Mel Fabregas of Veritas Radio published on Odysee, 7 March 2017 with the following description.
This short 2018 video is from John Urwin’s YouTube channel.