Whistleblower: “After working my ass off, putting my life on the line and sacrificing pretty much all I had to warn you and government, I’ll be awarded with free meals and free accommodation, in prison”
A NUCLEAR weapons systems engineer at the Trident nuclear base has said he will turn himself into police after posting classified information claiming poor safety and security on the submarines is “a disaster waiting to happen”, before going on the run.
William McNeilly posted a document on Scribd titled ‘The Secret Nuclear Threat’ on 12 May (click here to read more), before the story broke in the Sunday Herald on Sunday [18 May].
The Royal Navy have confirmed that McNeilly was working aa a sailor and are working with civilian police to try to find him, but McNeilly has now said in a post on Facebook that he will turn himself in today [18 May] as he had “finally achieved what I set out to do.”
He said: “I’ve tried my best over the past year, and I’ve finally achieved what I set out to do. I set out to gather as much information as possible, as fast as possible, inform you and the government before getting caught, then hand myself into the police.
“There’s nothing I can do from prison; whatever happens now is up to you and the government. I had to earn fast track promotion and skip a dental operation just to get a patrol as soon as I did. If you want remove the threat, don’t waste time. Security at the site must [be] heightened immediately whether you make the transition to nuclear disarmament or not.”
A Royal Navy spokesperson responded to McNeilly’s claims by saying he was a junior ranking sailor and that the navy “completely disagreed” with the claims made in his document, but said that it would be launching an investigation into how the document was allowed to be released and the content of it.
McNeilly said the navy’s comments were “not an adequate response”.
“Responding by downplaying a report because there’s lack of seniority, acting like your security system is impenetrable and your aged system is still in excellent condition for sailing, is not an adequate response,” he said.
McNeilly said that since publishing the information he had “moved between countries, changed location almost every day, stuck to mainly communicating through the deep web and used multiple aliases when I could,” but added that a number of “suspicious run-ins” had occurred which made him believe he was being tracked.
He said his motives were “clearly to protect the people and land” and asked that the focus not be on him but “on peacefully removing the threat.”
“After working my ass off, putting my life on the line and sacrificing pretty much all I had to warn you and government, I’ll be awarded with free meals and free accommodation, in prison”, he said, adding that he thought there was a small chance of a pardon as, he claimed, he released the information in such a way as to not endanger anyone or create a security risk.
SNP Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson responded to the document by saying it reads as “a nightmare catalogue of serious safety breaches aboard and alongside these nuclear armed submarines” and called on the government to make public the result of the investigation.
McNeilly made a number of claims about lapse security, saying it was easy to get into areas of the base that should be highly restricted, including for private contractors. He said that some equipment was out of date and one of the submarines, HMS Vanguard, was constantly breaking down. He also made a number of other claims about poor safety, including fires that had taken place in the missile quarters.
Picture courtesy of William McNeilly