NOC: Nicholas Anderson

Nothing about the life of a spy, I thought, is too rewarding to the ordinary man. If he is most successful

in his profession, his work is unknown; if he is a failure, he becomes notorious.

– James B. Donovan, Esq., The Law Office of Watters & Donovan, 1916-1970

Introduction to the Secret World of the SIS (MI6)

“Military Intelligence” is an oxymoron,
just like “Government Organisation” is.
A bloody game with no rules.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland doesn’t have a logo though verification of staff on its dark green triangular badges clearly states “Semper Occultus” (“Always Secret”); doesn’t have its name on the door though it works from a crystal palace on London’s River Thames; doesn’t have to report its cheques and balances to any government ministry nor to the denizens of the Houses of Parliament it stares at across the water; and is largely unknown even to its own country’s citizens, much less the rest of the world. The only external notion that it even exists is that its personnel’s salaries are paid by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office through Hambro’s Bank. And much like its famous American cousin, the Central Intelligence Agency, its employees are sworn to never talk or write about their work and are bound so by signing the UK Official Secrets Act.

When I first joined SIS (also known as MI6 for Military Intelligence Section Six, its original name) from the Royal Navy in 1973, following extensive training, I was originally assigned to the Special Political Action section. But within a few months it was closed down.

Most of SPA’s younger officers were then integrated into a newly formed secret sub-division with no official name (to this day it still cannot be published) but was later externally known as “Operational Support Branch”, an updated version of the old Section D in World War II, which specialised in sabotage. For American readers the US equivalent of the UK’s now defunct SPA and SD is the Special Activities Division of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, which is under the dominion of its Directorate of Operations. I was one of the few who were actually SIS officers and not special forces-trained, so I used my head more than brawn. We were institutional killers* that undertook disruptive actions on the black, that is to say we made illegal entries across borders to perform dirty work then returned home mostly without the knowledge nor connection to the local British embassy’s staff assigned to other covert affairs.

– Nicholas Anderson (pseudonym)

(CONTINUED in the eBook and printed book of NOC – Non-Official Cover: British Secret Operations)

*A licence to kill is known at SIS as “supreme breach of law” was written in the employment contract as: “In extreme situations of summum jus, summa injuria, laws may be disobeyed if said disobedience is deemed legitimate and in furtherance to the cause.”

Disclaimer: the UK’s Official Secrets Act


In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland it is mandatory that manuscripts of any kind by former professionals from the security, intelligence services and special forces be submitted for clearance to the Ministry of Defence, per Official Secrets Act requirements and other Secret Intelligence Service confidentiality covenants. Every state in the world has its version of same.

Likewise, a DA-Notice – assumed to stand for “Defence Advisory” – is a voluntary edict of self-censorship by British nationals who are authors of any subjects pertaining to the nation’s military- and intelligence-related matters, and are similarly reviewed by the 13-member Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee. The UK is the only country to have such a decree.

British government policy is never to confirm nor deny its espionage operations, past or present – until it has been declassified.

I, herein, confirm that the content of this book is a fictional memoir and based on OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), and duly swear that because I believe in a truly democratic constitution – as it is my human right to do so – I therefore willingly refused to defer my script for analyses to both the aforementioned MOD and the DPBAC. However, if existing ops, systems, codes and individuals lives were possibly to be endangered by my actions I censored myself by replacing the word with asterisks or changing the details. For obvious reasons this was applied too for likely legal suits and other blocking devises.

I also hereby authenticate that the author’s name is a nom de plume, which I so chose to do to protect my family.

Symbolically, in writing my “autobiographical tale” you are walking in my invisible footsteps. – NA

About the paperbacks and eBooks in The NOC Trilogy series



The printed book, NOC – Non-Official Cover: British Secret Operations by Nicholas Anderson, was first published worldwide by the Perseus-distributed Enigma Books imprint in July 2009. Due to the rapid onset of eBook downloads globally, the publisher and author amicably agreed to terminate their agreement with the book version going out of print in June 2011.


The exclusive electronic download service with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select commenced in July 2011 reflecting both the promising advancement of eBooks and the stark decline of traditional paper books within the same industry. That same year the title won the first ever Global eBook Award for Historical Literature Fiction.


Coming around a full circle, due to readying the release of the trilogy’s second instalment, NOC Twice: More UK Non-Official Cover Operations, in both eBook and paperback, a decision was made to make the first book available again in printed form. Both in tandem were re-released and published in April 2014.


The third and final instalment, NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy), was published in all markets and formats on 1 May 2016. Note: the Chilcot Inquiry, the investigation that commenced in 2009 into how the illegal Iraqi War was instigated, was released to the British public on 6 July 2016. Such government reports’ only look above a certain line, while Anderson’s book addresses what went on below it.


Due to comments received and demand the author endeavours to write NOC4: Addendum, which will feature other stories that did not get included in the trilogy. Publication date is expected to be in 2018.





2011 Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards Winner in the Historical Literature – Fiction

INSIGHTS INTO MI6 by Joseph Dowdy (six interviews on You Tube)

3 February 2012: E Squadron

8 February 2012: Stem Cell Transplantation

9 February 2012: The SIS

23 February 2012: Operation Gladio

23 February 2012: Assassination of a British Ambassador

12 March 2012: About Nicholas Anderson




Acclaim for Nicholas Anderson

  • Highly recommended.

    The Spectator (UK)
  • He is entertaining.

    Playboy (US)
  • Rarely has the average Joe been able to see the life of the secret agent in such vivid candor. NOC – Non-Official Cover: British Secret Operations takes us across the globe in the shoes of the most dangerous professionals on the planet – a must read for any fan of espionage.

    The Daily Beast (US)
  • I liked the style of the author. All in all I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to anyone interested in ‘real life’ espionage and cloak and dagger operations.

    Amazon customer review (Canada)
  • One of the best books I’ve read and have recommended to others.

    Waterstone’s customer review (UK)
  • Nicholas Anderson’s exploits alternately teem with tension, drama, humor and wry resignation to the ways of the world. Of particular interest to this reader were the thrilling operations staged in Moscow, Cairo, and Cuba. While the author’s caveat that ‘factual accounts of real happenings have been much more bizarre than fictional storytelling,’ is for any intelligent reader indeed worth pondering, as a professional fact checker, I have deduced that the exploits he describes are firmly rooted in truth. This is the real deal. James Bond, prepare to be shaken, not stirred. A superb read.

    Barnes & Noble customer review (US)
  • My other half once said when I was reading in bed, ‘For goodness sake breathe!’ I thought that summed it up beautifully. Five stars!

    Review Scout (US)
  • Due to censorship restrictions, a veteran of Britain’s MI6 intelligence service tells a fictionalized version of his covert action experiences.

    Publishers Weekly (US)
  •  Nicholas Anderson has rare insight knowledge. 

    Daily Mail (UK)
  • Licence to Thrill: gritty spy novel.

    The Scotsman (UK)
  • While MI6 did not have a specific department to deal with assassinations it did have access to the necessary expertise through its ‘Q’ Ops section of the Technical Services Division, and to qualified personnel in the SPA (Special Political Action) section. It could also call upon the SAS, whose NATO remit included undertaking special operations and assassinations. 

    MI6: 50 Years of Special Operations
  • Unable to publish as non-fiction because of the (UK) Official Secrets Act, he decided to fictionalize what really happened to him of his undercover operations spanning almost two decades, from tracking terrorists and insurgents to hunting down gun-runners. 

    Sunderland Echo (UK)
  • Scarcely a day passes without an example of how the absence of a (United Kingdom) Freedom of Information Act denies our so-called free society knowledge we are entitled to have. Under our current system the political deceptions and lies of history remain undetected and undisclosed. 

    British Journalism Review
  • I love this book! 

    e-mail from Ryan T. (US)
  • I read lots of spy genre material – both fiction and non-fiction. Nicholas Anderson has a more devout view in his ways than most, which allows you to draw conclusions with possibilities that fired me to illicit more thought about events like the Beirut bombings (in NOC Twice). From him I get the ‘no bullshit, here are the facts and this is my opinion’. To compare Anderson to the US intel community, he is one-part CIA SAD (Special Activities Division) / one-part Operations / one-part Case Officer / two-parts lone wolf.  He is a type of a hybrid that greatly differs to others in the same field. He grabs us by the throat and says ‘listen… THIS IS WHAT FRIGGING HAPPENED!’ (with elegance).

    e-mail from Akram A. (Palestinian Territory)
  • Ian Fleming (1908-1964), Graham Greene (1904-1991), John Le Carré (1931- ), Nicholas Anderson. Nice to finally see someone else British maintain the tradition of fine spy writing.

    e-mail from Wayne B. (New Zealand)
  • This is a memoir that shows intelligence on every page, demonstrated in the observations, conversations, and reflections on what Anderson participated in and learned from. In equal measure, it is a well-paced narrative making it indeed a “documentary thriller.” So NOC should appeal to a wide variety of readers—those enjoying modern history, non-fiction espionage, and the more realistic breed of spy novels.

    Dr Wesley Britton's Spy Wise for Book Pleasures (Canada)

Frequently Asked Questions – answered by the author


(Translated from French from an interview in Nice-Matin)

When did you start to write?
I got my General Certificate of Education A-level in English Language at grammar school in northeast England as well as passing O-levels in both English Literature and Greek Literature, among other O’s achieved. In Britain the GCE’s are what all 16-19 year old’s sit before entering college and/or university. A is advanced, O is ordinary. We modestly just say we passed or we didn’t pass it. We only use the word graduate if you pass the final university exams, never before. I did indeed graduated university. As an intel officer in the field of ops I spent my downtime writing philosophical thoughts and observations of life in small pocketbooks (it means exactly what it says – small books that fit in the pocket – and how this word describes a handbag in some parts of America is puzzling). I still refer to these small books that I kept from so long ago. I was told I wrote good detailed reports though one senior chap once pulled me aside at headquarters and whispered, “Listen, we don’t need to know what colour eyes the bloke had.” For my manuscripts I write directly into the computer, no longhand for me. My style, I was once informed by an editor, and I agree with, is described as staccato mainly because I often never had time to fully explain and it was a case of “this is living in the moment now out here, sir”.

Do you any have one major insight you can proffer about your time in SIS?
Before I joined the SIS George Blake was an officer who betrayed us and spied for the Soviet Union before exfiltrating (defecting) there. In his own book he wrote something that I always thought was true in the almost two decades I served. I quote him: “MI6 is one of those types of organisations that once they have taken a decision on a subject then tries to interpret everything thereafter to so confirm that decision and subsequently also tends to discount matters which is contrary to that decision.” His statement could well apply to the British government and other governments of today.

Which books have influenced you most?
Most of those by Noam Chomsky, who is a disciple of George Orwell, but not all. This world we live in needs to change and he is radical in his presentation on how to do it. While I am not remotely religious, there’s another two books that have influenced me a lot, which I have taken the time to read – the Bible and the Koran. They explained to me why certain people believe what they do and why they conduct themselves so. I didn’t say I agree with them, mind, but I like to think I’m informed. The problem is a lot of personalities want to convert you over to their way of thinking, which is unacceptable to me. Why not accept what others believe in without resorting to force? Simply agree to disagree and move on. Harder than you think though, because the gospel and hadiths are interpreted differently by different cultures to mean different things. Anyhow, other books I’ve also enjoyed are by authors’ John Le Carré (David Cornwell) and Andy McNab (Steven Billy Mitchell). Their lives and backgrounds are quite similar to mine, even though we’re each from different generations.

Who represents you?
I’ve had three literary agents, one in Berlin, another in London and the last in New York City. Unfortunately none delivered an agreement with a publisher after a reasonable time had passed so I went out and got my own deal eventually. The way the book publishing world has evolved is if you’ve got a half a brain for the business of it then you can do it yourself. So to answer your question, I represent myself. I am also able to write my own contracts, within reason, as I attended law school after my first retirement from SIS. More complicated documents are best run by a legal expert that specialises in the subject matter. So I have a literary, a film, a music and a business expert in the wings minding over me. I have four solicitors (lawyers) each in different continents who take care of the governmental problems I’ve had over the years. I also never went to journalism school so I don’t write in an established formatted way, and this perceived disparity was probably the cause for rejection by traditional book publishers. I’m glad I don’t though. Why be like everybody else?

Is there a downside to not having representation?
Many. In some companies they won’t talk to you without having a rep. Before the 11 September 2001 I once offered Vanity Fair the opportunity to interview Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and a bunch of other terrorists and revolutionaries – and showed the associate editor how I could ably undertake the assignment and deliver – but they declined because I didn’t have a literary agent at the time. I still have the refusal copy on file. Naturally though with a competent agency behind you, you can avoid missteps and detours and compress the time between book conception and publication. You can concentrate on your writing and not be distracted by editing, marketing, etc. But I feel in control of my destiny more the way I’m doing it.

Will you read my manuscript or book?
Unfortunately I want to concentrate on my own writing and cannot be distracted by having to read other people’s manuscripts. But depending on specific circumstances I will consider occasional paid editing assignments. The subject matter would have to be of interest to me, obviously. I could never do justice to a romance novel or sci-fi, for example. That would be like a heavy metal rocker listening to reggae or flamenco – a square peg in a round hole!

Will you reply to my emails?
Yes, eventually. Usually within 48 hours of receipt. I do look in my Spam box too! I’m stunned how many people in business say they don’t bother checking there. They must lose a lot of potential work.

Where do you live?
Villefranche-sur-Mer between Nice and Cap Ferrat in France. I’ve been residing here on and off since 2000, and permanently for the past seven years. It is a quarter of an hour driving from Monte Carlo, Monaco.

What is your motto?
‘Mediocrity is worse than failure.’ Not everybody agrees with that though.

Lastly, aren’t you worried about an iris security check on the photo image at the top of the website?
What you don’t know is that’s not me. It’s been doctored. I’m blind in one eye anyway from a conflict zone injury. My real eyes aren’t that colour either. This discussion reminds me that long ago I double black taped over the ‘eye’ camera looking at me on all my devices. I recommend people decreasing their digital footprints as their identity is being eroded right in front of their eyes in this internet age.



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To download the 1706 KB 383 pages full eBook of NOC – Non-Official Cover: British Secret Operations by Nicholas Anderson please click on this appropriate link to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing below (applicable also to Kindle apps for iPadiPhoneiPod touchPCMacBlackberry, and Android-based devices):

In USA – – US $5.74
In UK – – UK £3.62*
In Europe – – EU €4,56*

To purchase the paperback version please use the links below:

In USA – NOC – Non-Official British Secret Operations – US $17.10
In UK – NOC – Non-Official British Secret Operations – UK £7.66

To download the full eBook of NOC  Twice: More UK Non-Official Cover Operations by Nicholas Anderson please click on this appropriate link to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing below (applicable also to Kindle apps for iPadiPhoneiPod touchPCMacBlackberry, and Android-based devices):

In USA – – US $5.74
In UK – – UK £3.62*
In Europe – – EU €4,56*

To purchase the paperback version please use the links below:

In USA – NOC-Twice-Non-Official-Operations-Trilogy – US $16.77
In UK – NOC-Twice-Non-Official-Operations-Trilogy – UK £11.40

To download the full eBook of NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy) by Nicholas Anderson please click on this appropriate link to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing below (applicable also to Kindle apps for iPadiPhoneiPod touchPCMacBlackberry, and Android-based devices):

In USA – NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy) – US $5.74
In UK – NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy) – UK £3.62*
In Europe – NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy) – EU €4,56*

To purchase the paperback version please use the links below:

In USA – NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy) – US $16.77
In UK – NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy) – UK £11.40

* UK Pounds Sterling and EU Euros are approximate and may vary according to the current currency exchange rate against the US Dollar but based on a price of US$5.99

Contact the author Nicholas Anderson or his representatives

NOC – Non-Official Cover: British Secret Operations is the first issue of a trilogy by Nicholas Anderson.

His follow up is: NOC Twice: More UK Non-Official Cover Operations.

The final instalment is titled: NOC Three Times: Knock-On Effect (Last of the Trilogy).

A supplement to The NOC Trilogy will be published in the 4th quarter of 2018 entitled: NOC4:Addendum.

© Copyright by Nicholas Anderson – all rights reserved

® The MI6-NOC-UK triangle logo is an international registered trademark

Books edited by Pat LoBrutto (Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, the DUNE series) with consultation and additional editing by Jimmy Peress, author of Forgotten Memories…and other stories and Sophie: A Woman’s Fight to Survive and the Heroes Who Protected Her.

Government legal affairs: The author is personally represented by  the Manhattan-based International Legal Defense Counsel’s Michael Jeffrey Griffith, Esq.

Filmed entertainment legal affairs: Donald E. Cameron, Esq., attorney-at-law, The Law Office of Donald E. Cameron, 139 Fulton Street, New York City, New York 10038, USA. Mobile/cellular: +1 212 233 3348. E-mail: .

An option agreement for worldwide filmed entertainment rights to The NOC Trilogy has been signed to Albertann Films, 188 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5LZ, England. Contact: Ira Trattner at mobile/cellular +44 (0)7710 682454 and at e-mail .

Global marketing & promotion and non-exclusive literary representation: Cull & Co., 61 Woodland Lane, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 5PF, England. Contact: Thomas J. Cull at mobile/cellular +44 (0)7760 999216 and at e-mail .

We will be attending Frankfurter Buchmesse (Frankfurt Book Fair) in Germany, 10-12 October 2018. Opportunities in the project currently available include:

  • Foreign/translation rights
  • Audiobook rights
  • Video game rights
  • Brand licensing of the registered trademark (logo)
  • Braille rights will be donated to a suitable charitable organisation for the blind

To contact Nicholas Anderson, please write to:  (please allow 48 hours for a response).