Skip to main content
A top secret file

The world’s most well-kept political secrets 

Image: Shutterstock

If the government is keeping a secret from us, how do we know? It’s a tricky question but conspiracy theorists, mainstream media and of course, hundreds of people across the Internet speculate regularly on mysterious political secrets and how well under wraps they’re kept. In honour of Summer of Secrets it’s only right to take a closer look at some of those high-profile political mysteries. Are any of them close to the truth?

A Word about the Official Secrets Act

The Official Secrets Act, or Security of Information Act as it is now ambiguously known protects state secrets and official information from ever being released. This information may be to do with national security but in unrevised or assessed form. Only a few high-profile privileged people are ever party to this information and that does leave the rest of us wondering what could be so mysterious it simply cannot be shared?

The Big Red Nuclear Button

When we think about the dangers of Nuclear warfare we often hear about someone ‘pressing the button’ and chaos breaking out amid the launch of nuclear weapons. TV and film often play on this in parody but is there any truth in the myth of any of our world leaders having the power to simply see red? In all likelihood it is much more complex and the Prime Minister or POTUS of the time would have several administrative hoops to get through before unleashing such terror, but yet the phrase is still commonly used and it does have us wondering.

Churchill and the UFOs

When it comes to extra-terrestrial activity, government’s like to keep their cards close to their chests. The British Ministry of Defence has released plenty of documentation suggesting Winston Churchill may have held back on a huge piece of UFO-related information during his time as Prime Minister. Files released to the National Archives include a significant volume of letters written by the grandson of a man who served as one of Churchill’s bodyguards. The bodyguard claimed Churchill requested a report on flying saucers in 1952, but this report was immediately classified for 50 years. The argument was Churchill wanted to avert mass panic but there’s always something mysterious about a world leader covering up UFO activity, especially as he was said to have discussed it with General Eisenhower at the time.

Letters of Last Resort

To revisit the apocalypse, the Letters of Last Resort are four identically-worded handwritten letters from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the commanding officers of Britain’s four ballistic missile submarines. They reportedly contain actions of the orders to take should a nuclear strike destroy the British government and incapacitate the Prime Minister and their designated Second in Command. The letters are only in existence during a Prime Minister’s tenure. If they are not required, they are destroyed so the Prime Minister is the only person in the world who ever knew of their contents. People regularly speculate what the options for action within the letters may be and they range from simply ‘use your own judgement’ to ‘retaliate’ to ‘go to Australia’. Of course we’ll never really know what each Prime Minister has chosen to say.

Area 51

Let’s have one final mention of those extraterrestrials and the mystery surrounding Area 51 in Nevada seems to be something we’ll never be fully party to. Described simply as a military test and training range, Area 51 has the highest level of security classification in the USA. Rumours about experiments on extraterrestrials and their craft have never been confirmed. However, it’s more than likely that everyone that has worked there has kept to a vow of secrecy, whether legally obliged or not. Will we ever know what’s hidden behind the gates of Area 51?

The world’s best kept political secrets probably aren’t something we’ll ever know about, but there is plenty of speculation and intrigue to explore.