I need to make one more reference to the book, “Killing For Britain.”
What information did Mike Norman convey to John Black before Mike Norman`s death in 2005?
Perhaps the publisher will make it known some day?
The Excerpt from the publisher`s note is below.
Extract from 2016 edition of Killing For Britain, by John Black
IN SEARCH OF “MIKE”
British army sources had, upon reading the manuscript, suggested a likely profile of “Mike”: a senior NCO, late 20s, early 30s, certainly with specialist weapons training, and probable Special Forces involvement.
The author had described “Mike” as being around 6ft with “a decent head of hair”, capable of affecting an “Ulster” accent, one from “out in the country somewhere”, rather than from Belfast. “Mike”, according to the author, had claimed to be Irish originally and had moved to England as a child and grown up in the North East of England before joining the army there. British army sources further suggested that “Mike” was unlikely to have been officially connected to the MRF but was in fact more likely to have been involved in some concurrent operation, one that felt it convenient to use the tag, or catch all “brand name”, of the MRF. Sources further suggested that “Mike” may have been what they called a “secret squirrel”. (Admittedly, other sources though, who were in the MRF in Belfast at that time, deny ever knowing a character such as “Mike”. However, they didn’t have an overview of all Military Intelligence options in play at the time). The shots allegedly fired by “Mike” in the book are clearly those of an uncommonly skilled marksman.
The book was published before we had found “Mike” but with having a firm belief he existed. We believed most of the other claims (apart from the Bloody Sunday ones) could be stood up. Concerns regarding the sheer scale of the amount of so-called OOBs (Out Of Bounds orders) were put to British army sources who responded that if “Mike” existed, there was nothing to stop him claiming to the author that OOBs were in place when none actually were. It was suggested that “Mike’s” job may have been to convince people like the author that their activities were approved of, and supported by, official security forces. In other words, “normal”. This is not unusual where a colonial power has co-opted and encouraged the murderous impulses of “reliable natives”, many of whom develop feelings of doubt, then guilt and then become “unreliable”. Reinforcing their belief that they were in some way, however abstract, part of the army’s efforts stemmed guilt and doubt. It also reinforced their belief that they deserved to be the dominant community. The author’s claims of an OOB being in place are based simply on “Mike” telling him they were. Sources suggested the term OOB might have been a corruption of various terms. It was also suggested that “Mike” could have called them anything he wanted. As far as the author was concerned “Mike” was the army. It must also be said that some sources indulged in something like a campaign of misinformation when responding to our queries.
Post publication we believe we found “Mike”.
Warrant Officer Michael Norman was a sniper of exceptionally high skill to the point that he ended up a sniper instructor at Warminster. He had served in Ireland during the period covered in the book. He was 62 years old in 2005, making him late 20s early 30s in the early 1970s. From North East England, he’d spent time in Ireland as a child where his family had land in Roscommon (according to his ex-wife). He’d joined the Coldstream Guards, as other Geordies had done. Michael Norman was an anonymous witness called by the Bloody Sunday Enquiry, surely only because he was there on that fateful day.
Michael Norman had in his possession photographs relating to the Springhill Massacre when he was found shot dead in his car not far from a police station in Hounslow in April 2005, around 6-8 months after he’d met the author in Ayr, Scotland, in an effort to dissuade him from writing his book. Detectives initially suspected foul play (a so-called IRA “revenge squad” being suspected). Scotland Yard took over the investigation, reportedly “due to the sensitive nature” of Mike Norman’s “work in Ireland”. His death was eventually ruled suicide.
Initial reports stated that a 9mm pistol was found in the car when the body was discovered. However, a police source told us in 2010 that the weapon was actually a shotgun which had been registered to Mike Norman and that he’d shot himself in the stomach. The same source stated that there had been NO photos of the Springhill Massacre in the car at the time, contrary to initial reports on the public record. The source added that Norman had become a quite unstable in later life. It seemed this source might be trying to discredit Norman.
1. Why would a renowned weapons expert decide to maximise his suffering by shooting himself in the stomach, and with a shotgun at that?
2. Was Mike driving to a police station? If so, why do that with a shotgun, or, for that matter, a 9mm?
3. Why was the weapon changed from a 9mm to a shotgun in different reports? It’s not like they are similar.
4. Why was the presence of photographs from the Springhill Massacre initially claimed at all if they had not been there. As one police source said, “it’s a strange thing to report in the first place if it wasn’t true.”
5. Why was Michael Norman called to give evidence to the Bloody Sunday Enquiry?”