Devised and Produced by:

 Blast Theory and Hydrocracker

Cast: Sarah-Jayne Butler, Richard Hahlo, Natasha Magigi, Olwen May, Jamie Samuel, Jem Wall, Niki Woods With: Amyn Ali, Alex Anderson, Gulham Arshad, Vincent Dugdale, Sean Fitton, Chris Grixti, Anna Makepeace, Charlotte Maxwell, Wesley McGillian, Alastair Michael, Catherine Morefield, Gill Powell, Eliza Redfern, Keri Sparkes, Janet Thompson 


FROM: DCI Glen Doubleau

TO: Asst. Chief Commissioner Sandra Mullaney

Ref: oba-faq

SUBJECT: Operation Black Antler & Subsequent Disappearance of ‘Bulldog’

As you are aware, Black Antler is a covert operation scheduled to run until 17/06/2017 in Central Manchester with the full co-operation of both GMP and the HOME Office.

Its aim is to infiltrate local [REDACTED] groups using carefully selected operatives in deep cover. Compliance with The Investigatory Powers Act of 2016 is, of course, mandatory. You may not be aware that one of our drafted operatives  (Xxxxx Xxxxxxx, hereafter referred to by codename Bulldog) is still missing as of 09/06/2017.

With little over an hour’s notice, Bulldog was instructed via text message to report at 18:45 hours to [REDACTED] in Manchester city centre. From there, Bulldog and fellow volunteers “Brian” and “Natalie” were taken to our undercover ops centre at [REDACTED] nearby to be briefed and given new identities by DS Mitchell and our deep swimmer [REDACTED] 

(It was during this briefing that the following cryptic text message from Bulldog’s phone was sent to the handler:

We currently have no further leads on this. It might prove to be code)  

With their cover stories in place, the three operatives were ordered to proceed to a notorious city centre [REDACTED] and to make contact by any means necessary with their Person of Interest [REDACTED] Their mission was to discover who was in charge of [REDACTED] and details of any planned activity in the near future. As well as being highly sensitive, this was the most dangerous part of that evening’s operation, particularly as the three agents had only an hour in which to achieve their aim before reporting to [REDACTED] 

It seems that Bulldog managed to pass on a scribbled note disguised as a betting slip. This singles out Grixti, Morefield, Samuel, Maxwell, McGillian, Woods and Wall for praise in regard to their “professionalism and hard work in the face of personal danger” and gives some idea as to the scale of this operation. Bulldog’s team gathered substantial, vital intelligence on both [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] all of which was shared at their subsequent debriefing session near [REDACTED]

It is in the hours immediately after this debrief that the trail begins to go cold. We know that Bulldog shared some thoughts about being involved in this surveillance with D.I. Adams; reporting having experienced both exhilaration and an unprecedented feeling of immersive participation. There was apparently no small pride in the team having blended in unnoticed. In the subsequent hours and days there have been no further sightings of our operative and only one final photograph is known to have been taken on Bulldog’s mobile phone.

Because of how deeply our operatives have to work undercover on this exercise, consequences of this involvement cannot be ruled out as a contributory factor in Bulldog’s mysterious disappearance. We must, however, continue to be confident that many more suitable subjects will continue to put themselves forward to become involved with Operation Black Antler as it is extremely important and rewarding work.

In our opinion, this project is of enormous importance and an extremely high standard, which is a credit to all of those taking part in it. By its very nature it is unlike most other operations with which the general public may feel they are familiar. We cannot ignore the fact that it might raise many more questions in the minds of that public than it answers, but it must be stressed that such matters are largely outwith our purview at this time. Our citizens must be encouraged to make up their own minds and draw their own conclusions. If they experience  what Bulldog described as “unparalleled and original entertainment” in the process then this is all to the good. Such things are not always comfortable by any means but it remains our belief that in the case of Operation Black Antler, this is also exceptionally rewarding not to mention surprising.