Last Updated 2/10/98
Placed in the public domain from the
VANGARD SCIENCES archives on October 28 1989.
(This article is taken from the $Windwords$ newsletter)
address not available
In our June issue, we told you about the controversial book Alternative
3, by British author Leslie Watkins. In out attempt to find out if the
shocking theories in the book were true, we called Avon Books, the
American publisher; they said the book was out of print in the states. We
called Penguin Books in London and found that it was listed on their
NON-FICTION list. A senior editor there told us that it was officially
classified as FICTION BASED ON FACT. The author's agent told us it was
most definitely fiction. We wrote to the author himself to try to get the
real story, and here is the letter he sent us.
Dear Ms. Dittrich:
Thank you for your letter, which reached me today. Naturally,
delighted by your interest in Alternative 3 and by the fact that you plan to
sell it in the Windwords bookstore. I will certainly cooperate in any way I
The correct description of Alternative 3 was given to you by the
representative from Penguin Books. The book is based on fact, but uses that
fact as a launchpad for a HIGH DIVE INTO FICTION. In answer to your
1) There is no astronaut named Grodin.
2) There is no Sceptre Television and the reported Benson is also
3) There is no Dr. Gerstein.
4) Yes, a "documentary" was televised in June 1977 on Anglia
Television, which went out to the entire national network in Britain.
It was called Alternative 3 and was written by David Ambrose and
produced by Christopher Miles (whose names were on the book for
contractual reasons). This original TV version, which I EXPANDED
IMMENSELY for the book, was ACTUALLY A HOAX which had been
scheduled for transmission on April Fools' Day. Because of certain
problems in finding the right network slot, the transmission was
The TV program did cause a tremendous uproar because viewers
refused to believe it was fiction. I initially took the view that the
basic premise was so way-out, particularly the way I aimed to
present it in the book, that no one would regard it as non-fiction.
Immediately after publication, I realized I was totally wrong. In fact,
the amazing mountains of letters from virtually all parts of the world
including vast numbers from highly intelligent people in positions of
responsibility-convinced me that I had ACCIDENTALLY trespassed
into a range of top-secret truths.
Documentary evidence provided by many of these
correspondents decided me to write a serious and COMPLETELY
NON-FICTION sequel. Unfortunately, a chest containing the bulk of
the letters was among the items which were mysteriously LOST IN
TRANSIT some four years when I moved from London, England, to
Sydney, Australia, before I moved on to settle in New Zealand. For
some time after Alternative 3 was originally published, I have
reason to suppose that my home telephone was being tapped and my
contacts who were experienced in such matters were convinced
that certain intelligence agencies considered that I probably knew
So, summing up, the book is FICTION BASED ON FACT. But I now feel
that I inadvertently got VERY CLOSE TO A SECRET TRUTH. I hope this is of
some help to you and I look forward to hearing from you again.
With best wishes,
Unfortunately, Alternative 3 ...is no longer available.