A man purporting to be Henry Percy has handed out leaflets to the queue of the Last Night of the Proms for the past few years. This year's effort had a genuine signature in blue felt-tipped pen and a date stamp of 15 SEP 2001. His extra-ordinary message (of which only the last sentence appears to be true) follows:

Did you know that I invented the electroic computer in 1942? I was born in early 1940 the second son of the 10th Duke of Northumberland with a uniquely prodigious intellectual ability which my particular circumstances enabled to be rapidly developed. It is difficult to believe that, at an age when very few people can even read the title of Thomas the Tank Engine, I was in to, amongst other things, advanced mathematics because there is no precedent for this performance, but I had an idea to use binary numbers with the so-called Boolean algebra to enable the process of digital computation by electronic means. The means had been available since 1904 but the brightest and best in Europe and America- which includes IBM- had failed to make the conceptual breakthrough that I was able to do. The immediate result was the world's first electronic computer, Colossus, used at Betchley to crack the German's Enigma electro-mechanical coding system. It was Colossus that compromised Enigma, not the capture of an operational decoder- which likey accident their system was designed to accept. The wartime situation necessitated the complete secrecy of Colossus, and the technique of digital computation, which did not cross the Atlantic until the end of the war. That initial secrecy allowed for the continued concealment of my copyright and my exclusion from any material benefit from my revolutionary conception. The benefits to the people who have usurped my intellectual property, and to the country have been considerable and continue to increase. It is these royalties that have provided for the privatisation of the utilities as has occurred and at the same time funded the Dome, the Royal Opera House, Cardiff Arms Park and innumerable other projects. On the other hand, in my secondary existence I have been unable to get a proper job and am paid less than half the normal social security benefit. I have also been denied the use of legal process to remedy this further fraud by the authorities.

This is a public information leaflet issued on my own behalf.

Henry Percy

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