AN ALRESFORD man could soon have answers over his imprisonment during the first Gulf war.

Clive Earthy was a cabin services officer on a British civilian flight which landed in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990. Along with 386 passengers he was held hostage for several months by the Iraqis.

He has been pressing for the results of the 1993 Government inquiry, Operation Sandcastle, to be published.

BA flight 149 landed in Kuwait for a scheduled stopover on its way to Asia – the only plane to land at that time as other airlines diverted their flights.

Mr Earthy has previously said that he remembers a British man in military uniform meeting him at plane’s door on arrival in Kuwait. The man said he had come to meet a group of men on the flight. They disembarked and were never seen again.

Mr Earthy, of The Dean, told the Chronicle that tickets had been written for the group of men to travel to Kuwait.

“The priority was these men who were not fighters, they were observers, they were seen as a priority over 380 men, women and children,” he said.

Since 1992, Mr Earthy has been trying to raise public awareness of the issue and called for the release of the Government inquiry. MP Steve Brine tabled a question in the House of Commons. James Heappey, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the armed forces, answered: “I can confirm the Operation Sandcastle report has been sent to The National Archives on 20 October 2021 and will be available to view within the next 60 days.”

It means the report should be out by December 19.

But Mr Earthy is still uncertain if the whole truth will be published. He said: “It has been 30 odd years for the truth to come out from the government. We do know that somebody made a muck up. Unfortunately I still suspect that the actual BA flight 149 and all the passengers held for months will not be in this report.

“I may be proved wrong, I hope when Sandcastle is released to the public it will say that Maggie Thatcher lied to everybody in the country, she knew the men were on there and she allowed the men to go on the aircraft.

“I will be very surprised if any mention of my aircraft is in Sandcastle, when it is released, I expect it will concentrate on people that were kept in Kuwait working for other causes.”