Welcome to S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories

Welcome to

Research Labs

At S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories we research, design, and manufacture original and updated versions of the equipment and technologies seen in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO TV Series from 1969: but, using 2020/21 based technologies and more.

Amongst many other areas, we also produce unique and technically accurate artwork that displays - as near as possible - computers, communications technology and other technical equipment as shown in UFO.

Some recent notable achievements have included a GRID Link-up System which enables ultra secure communications with complete multi-node redundancy to all S.H.A.D.O. worldwide stations.  S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories is based and has operated from the ZETA Tracking Station in the Channel Islands since the late 1990's.  S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories also acts as the primary linkage with other outside contractors, especially Westbrook Electronics together with other worldwide partners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below the answers to our most frequently asked questions.  However, if you do have any further questions, observations, suggestions or any other feedback, please feel free to contact us using our contact form:  Please click here to link to the contact form ... Thank you!

S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories: we research, design, manufacture and assemble updated versions of the technologies and original equipment based on the ideas, devices, and systems shown in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO TV Series from 1969: but using 2020/21 technologies. We also produce unique and technically accurate artwork that displays - as near as possible - computers, communications technology and other technical equipment as seen in UFO.

S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories is based at the ZETA Tracking Station in the Channel Islands. S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories was established as the Research Laboratories of the ZETA Tracking Station in early 2000. S.R.L. continue to be responsible for the development of key technologies and ongoing computer and communications systems for S.H.A.D.O. notable achievements have included a GRID Link-up System which enables ultra-secure communications with complete multi-node redundancy to all S.H.A.D.O. worldwide stations. S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories also designed and built the first system to route calls to a single number or multiple destinations depending on location (G.L.S.).

S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories also acts as the primary linkage with other outside contractors, especially Westbrook Electronics together with other worldwide partners.

UFO is a British science fiction television series (made in 1969-70) about a secret military organisation: S.H.A.D.O. which defends the Earth from Alien invaders from deep space. The UFO TV series was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and their amazing team, who had previously created many "Supermarionation" puppet TV series in the 1960's (The Adventures of Twizzle, Torchy The Battery Boy, Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5, StingrayThunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, The Secret Service and the film Doppelgänger, etc.) and would later create SPACE: 1999 and other TV series.

was filmed during 1969-70, and began broadcasting in September 1970 in the United Kingdom and September 1972 in America. The UFO TV series ran for just a single season, with a total of 26 one-hour colour episodes.

Producers: Gerry Anderson & Reg Hill
Format: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, Reg Hill
Century 21 Fashions: Sylvia Anderson
Visual Effects Supervisor: Derek Meddings
Designer: Mike Trim
Century 21 Props and Instrumentation: Don Fagan
Art Director: Bob Bell
Production Managers: Frank Hollands
Production Supervisor: Norman Foster
Assistant to Producer: Des Saunders
Lighting Cameraman: Brendan Stafford B.S.C.
Music Composer and Director: Barry Gray
Script Editor: Tony Barwick
Sound Recordists: Ken Rawkins, J.B. Smith
Sound Editors: John Peverill, Jim Hopkins
Music Editor: George Randall
Continuity: Doreen Soan
Make Up: Cliff Sharp, Basil Newall
Hairdressing: Alice Holmes, Henry Montsash
Wardrobe: Kim Martin, Iris Richins
Casting Director: Rose Tobias Shaw
Assistant Art Director: Keith Wilson
Unit Manager: Roger Connolly
Construction Manager: Fred Gunning
Production Buyer: Harry Solomons
Stunt Arranger: Jack Silk

For more information about the amazing team that produced UFO, please CLICK HERE.

UFO © 1969-70 Century 21 Pictures Ltd.
An ITC World Wide Distribution.
British / 26 episodes / 50 minutes / Colour.
Made/Filmed at MGM British Studios Borehamwood and Century 21 Studios, Slough, England and on location.
Later episodes were filmed at Pinewood Studios, England and Century 21 Studios, Slough, England and on location.

The TV Series UFO is set in what would have been ten years in the future: the early 1980's. It had been discovered that Aliens were coming to Earth and kidnapping people for unknown reasons. A secret military defence organisation named S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation) is set up and is just becoming operational in the first episode.

S.H.A.D.O.'s main headquarters is secretly hidden beneath the Harlington-Straker Film Studios, and many S.H.A.D.O. personnel double as film studio employees as a cover. S.H.A.D.O. also has a base on the moon (Moonbase) and a fleet of submarines (SkyDiver's). Incoming UFO's are detected by an Earth orbiting satellite, S.I.D. (Space Intruder Detector). An initial interception is made in space with three Interceptors launched from Moonbase. Should it be necessary, a second attempt is made in the Earth's atmosphere with a fighter aircraft (Sky One) launched from SkyDiver. Landed UFO's are tracked down using ground based S.H.A.D.O. Mobiles.

S.H.A.D.O. is run by the extremely dedicated and totally committed Commander Ed Straker (Ed Bishop) Commander-in-chief of S.H.A.D.O.: a former American Air Force Colonel, pilot and astronaut originally from Boston, Massachusetts, who organised S.H.A.D.O. following a series of UFO attacks in 1970. Commander Straker masquerades as the head of Harlington-Straker Film Studios, S.H.A.D.O. Headquarters being located directly below the studio.

Colonel Alec E. Freeman (George Sewell) is a  former pilot and intelligence officer, and is S.H.A.D.O.'s first officer (and very first operative recruited into S.H.A.D.O.

Colonel Paul Foster (Michael Billington) is a former test pilot, whose plane (Ventura Aircraft Corporation XV-104) was critically damaged when S.H.A.D.O.'s Sky One intercepted and destroyed a UFO in close proximity to jet. Paul Foster's persistent investigation of the incident possibly threatened to expose S.H.A.D.O.'s existence, so Commander Straker offered him a position with S.H.A.D.O.

Colonel Virginia Lake (Wanda Ventham) is a computer specialist, she was lead member of the Westbrook Electronics design team who developed the "Utronics" UFO deep space tracking device.

Moonbase is often commanded by Lieutenant Gay Ellis, Colonel Paul Foster or Lieutenant Nina Barry.

The episodes are typically about S.H.A.D.O.'s attempts to thwart the Alien's plans, and the Alien's various plans to disable or even destroy S.H.A.D.O., or kill S.H.A.D.O.'s Commander, Ed Straker. Recurring themes include maintaining S.H.A.D.O. security, keeping S.H.A.D.O. properly funded, and the effect that the secrecy has on the personal lives of S.H.A.D.O.'s operatives.

The TV Series UFO was of a certain time, and many if most of the people interested in UFO shared that time, that very special moment in time, when there was time, to watch, absorb, be thrilled, scared, excited ... those times didn't seem so cynical and 'what's next' as they are today ... but then I was only seven years old!

UFO and indeed pretty much ALL the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson TV shows made a huge impact and impression on me that has lasted to this very day.  I don't believe there has been anything like it before or since.  I am really sorry that kids/people today live in a world where it is hard to emulate that simple excitement... The world has changed, life has changed, people have changed.  In many ways I have not!  UFO burns extremely brightly inside me, and still manages to rekindle that simple feeling of wonder and excitement.  I still get a thrill and goosebumps when I see the UFO opening credits start to whiz by.

When UFO was first broadcast, and I saw it for the first time it was the most exciting thing I had ever seen.  I had loved Stingray, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and especially Thunderbirds.  But to me, UFO was an order of magnitude better, and totally entranced and captivated me like no other.  Through illness, my life was extremely tough at the time, and UFO helped take me away from it all, it helped me manage my pain and keep me in balance from what was happening all around me.  I lived and dreamed about UFO and saw it all around me.  I don’t believe I am exaggerating when I say that UFO saved my life, and has been a long and faithful companion to me ever since.

I was totally fascinated by UFO! I loved and adored the sinister stories, characters, technologies and gadgets, vehicles and overall design values of UFO. The series caught my imagination like nothing else! UFO has become part of me and has become embedded in my brain and DNA.

To be honest, only people who have a love or a deep fascination in UFO will be interested in the contents and subject matters contained in this website.

If you do not know what UFO is or what it's all about, it is very unlikely that any of this will interest you: but, who knows...

However, if you are curious, please read the introductory information on this site, or check out the following websites:-


Between 1952 and 1969, the U.S. Air Force conducted a series of studies on UFO sightings called Project Blue Book. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the project’s termination.

1. Project Blue Book wasn’t the government’s first UFO study.
In 1947, a private pilot named Kenneth Arnold reportedly spotted nine glowing UFO's zooming over Washington's Mount Rainier. The public went wild for the so-called “flying saucers” Shortly after, the U.S. government launched Project SIGN to determine if such objects were a threat. In 1948, Project SIGN purportedly published a document called the “Estimate of the Situation” which suggested that extraterrestrials were a possible explanation for UFO sightings. As the story goes, Air Force officials destroyed the document and launched a more sceptical investigation in the late 1940s called Project GRUDGE.

Project Blue Book
 arrived a few years later.

2. The “Estimate of the Situation” was inspired by a mind-boggling event.
In the 1960s, Air Force officials denied that the “Estimate of the Situation” document ever existed. Those who vouch for its authenticity, however, say the report was inspired by a 1948 UFO sighting in Alabama, after two experienced pilots saw a torpedo-shaped “glowing object” zip past their aircraft and rocket into the clouds. The report shocked and baffled many of Project SIGN’s researchers, though scientists would later claim the sighting was consistent with a bolide, or bright meteor.

3. “Blue Book” was named after a college testing staple.
Whether UFO's are extraterrestrial in origin is debatable. What’s undeniable is that, during the 1950s, people routinely spotted (or thought they spotted) objects flying over the United States - and it was the onus of the U.S. military to figure out what they were and whether they posed any danger. Blue Book would earn its name because, at the time, Air Force officials equated studying the phenomenon with preparing for a collegiate “Blue Book” final exam.

4. Officials developed a special protocol for handling UFO sightings.
A central part of Project Blue Book was the creation of a standardized questionnaire for UFO sightings. Some sample prompts: “Draw a picture that will show the shape of the object or objects ... What was the condition of the sky? ... Did the object: Suddenly speed up and rush away at any time? Change shape? Flicker, throb, or pulsate?” Eventually, every U.S. Air Force base ended up designating a special officer to collect these UFO reports.

5. Thousands of reports were collected: and some haven’t been explained.
By the time Project Blue Book was closed, officials had gathered 12,618 UFO reports. Of those, 701 were never explained. Nearly half of those unidentified UFO's appeared in 1952 when a whopping 1501 UFOs were sighted. (Interestingly, that following year, it became a crime for military personnel to discuss classified UFO reports with the public; the risk of breaking the law could mean up to two years imprisonment.)

6. Project Blue Book saw five leadership changes.
Each person in command saw the purpose of Project Blue Book differently. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, for example, treated the job as a serious scientific quest and is often lauded as the project’s most impartial leader, (notably, he is responsible for coining the term UFO.) Major Hector Quintanilla, who took over the project in 1963, was more interested in turning Blue Book into a PR front and focused on quelling the public’s interest in UFO's - a desire that would eventually lead to charges of a government cover-up.

7. Blue Book made such bad scientific mistakes that Congress had to get involved.
In 1965, Oklahoma Police, the Tinker Air Force Base, and a local meteorologist using weather radar independently tracked four unexplained flying objects. Under Quintanilla’s advisement, Project Blue Book would claim that these witnesses had simply observed the planet Jupiter. The problem with this explanation? Jupiter wasn’t even visible in the night’s sky. “The Air Force must have had its star finder upside-down during August,” Robert Riser, an Oklahoma planetarium director, said at the time. A series of more badly botched scientific explanations eventually led to a congressional hearing.

8. The Project’s desire to dismiss unidentified phenomena bothered its sole scientist.
Project Blue Book
had one consistent scientific consultant, astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek. In 1968, Hynek wrote: “The staff of Blue Book, both in numbers and in scientific training, is grossly inadequate ... there is virtually no scientific dialogue between Blue Book and the outside scientific world ... The statistical methods employed by Blue Book are nothing less than a travesty”. Hynek held Quintanilla in particularly low regard, saying, “Quintanilla’s method was simple: disregard any evidence that was counter to his hypothesis.”

9. In 2007, a new government inquiry into UFO's was launched.
Between 2007 and 2012, the U.S. government spent $22 million on a new UFO study called the “Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.” (Nowadays, UFO's are called UAPs, or "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena":  This January, more than three dozen of the program’s studies became publicly available, revealing the government’s interest in everything from warp drives to invisibility cloaks.

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Website updated: Wed, 12th of January 2022