Secret WWII plan to hide soldiers in Gibraltar

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The Gibraltar chamber had the innocuous name of the "Stay Behind" Cave. But this was no game. This was a top-secret wartime mission, code-named Operation Tracer, in which six men volunteered to be buried alive in the cave if the Rock were captured by the Germans, so they could continue to monitor enemy movements.

More than 60 years after the end of the Second World War, a retired doctor from Preston has been named as the chamber's last survivor, as researchers struggle to unlock its remaining secrets.

"I had a telephone call one day and they came over," Dr Bruce Cooper said yesterday. Only now has the 92-year-old broken his silence on the mission whose existence was one of the war's best-kept secrets.

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Jim Crone - 2/7/2007

Unfortunately piece was heavily edited by the Independent on Sunday which did nothing more than provide an account of what was already known ten years ago. The edited peice completely failed to cover the following three elements;

1. Dr Coopers description of the secret chamber that he was taken to in 1942 is in some aspects different to the layout of "Stay Behind Cave". This is now fuelling existing rumours that a second secret chamber is yet to be discovered. I have a sketch of such a chamber in my research files, it originated from an MI6 source. Further information has come from a former GCHQ telegraphist which suggests that tandem Operation Tracer units operated during the Suez crisis, so this may also have been the case in Gibraltar.

2. On several occasions during the past month a specialist team has been searching the Upper Rock area of Gibraltar for evidence of a second chamber and two areas are of interest within MOD property.

3. Discussions are currently taking place in the hope of bringing Dr Cooper to Gibraltar to reunite him with "Stay Behind" Cave or to possibly identify the whereabouts of a second secret chamber.

I am actually one of the researchers who interviewed Dr Cooper on behalf of the website. A substantial amount of information has been added to the website which includes MP3 audio clips of Dr Cooper talking, also photographs of him in 1942 as well as photographs taken of him at the meeting. The section also includes up to date information about Operation Tracer and photographs of Stay Behind Cave taken at the beginning of January 2007.