A story from the 'spooks files' and, no, its not about Wikileaks posting all those official US documents about what the US military really have been up to in Afghanistan.

Remember Rob Gilchrist?

He was the so-called left wing activist exposed as a police informant.

He spent almost a decade spying on New Zealand animal rights and welfare groups, beneficiary groups, socialist groups, trade unions, ant-Iraq war groups and various other groups. Indeed his police handlers gave Gilchrist a very wide brief.

Gilchrist was working for the Police Special Investigations Group (SIG) and in Christchurch he reported to Detective Peter Gilroy and Detective Sergeant John Sjoberg.

It was a Labour Government that set up the SIG. Announcing the SIG teams in 2004, Phil Goff said they were to boost New Zealand's 'counter-terrorism' capacity.

Not only did Gilchrist pass on information about the activities of various groups but their membership lists and emails. His police handlers also wanted to know about the personal lives of activists, including their personal relationships.

There were widespread suspicions that Gilchrist wasn't who he was pretending to be but nothing ever came of those suspicions.

Gilchrist's cover was blown in 2008 when his girlfriend at the time stumbled on evidence of Gilchrist's nasty activities.

She copied the contents of his computer and installed software on his cellphone to record his messages.

Since then Gilchrist has gone to ground and there have been suggestions that he may have even vanished overseas.

But now a website, Australian and New Zealand Military Imposters (ANZMI) has recently shone some more light on Gilchrist's 'military career'.

He never had one.

Gilchrist claimed to be a former member of the SAS. In reality the closest he ever got to being a member of the SAS was playing war games (see photo).

Gilchrist though claimed that he was already an Lieutenant when he applied for the SAS.

He claimed he because there was no position available in the SAS for a lieutenant he resigned his commission so he could apply as an ordinary soldier.

The website has gathered information on Gilchrist's remarkable tales of military daring do. Clearly he has spent too much time reading Commando comics.

Some of Gilchrist's outrageous claims have included:

- Being a member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad.

-Medically discharged from the SAS after injuring his back after falling out of a helicopter.

-Was a military sniper in Bosnia.

One signed statement that the ANZMI website have received states that Gilchrist 'claimed to be suffering from Parkinson’s Disease as a result of chemical poisoning from the military. Last time I spoke face to face with him and he would start shaking depending on who was in the room.'

My personal favourite is that he claimed to be involved in the assassinations of drug dealers in South America and in 'special operations' in places 'he could not talk about.'

Apparently there is a photo in the Kiwi Disposals army surplus shop in Christchurch which shows a man dressed in black with a respirator on, absailing down a building in Christchurch. Gilchrist has claimed that this is him.

The website have unearthed one e-mail by Gilchrist in which he admits he never was a member of the SAS and in 2005 he was claiming that he had only served part time in the NZ Territorial Forces. But there is no evidence to back up this claim either. Given Gilchrist's track record we can safely assume this is just another one of his tall tales.


  1. Why do military poseurs always have to go for the SAS angle? It gets people suspicious straight away. Go for something solid and respectable like a Field Engineer instead. Then you can just leave the occasional subtle hint that it might just be a cover story... Don't open up the bottle of pop too early in the journey, as Billy Bragg once said.

    Regardless of corps and trade, service people can spot a fake simply because they can't get the language down pat. There is a whole sub-culture that you can't acquire just by watching "Full Metal Jacket" repeatedly, but that the lowliest blanket counter or haskari has down to a tee. And unfortunately, on civvie street, people tend to find posers like this creepy rather than impressive and mysterious. So the whole thing is a little sad really.

    Final question for Mr Gilchrist (that is what they call you Lieutenants, isn't it?): seriously fella, who ate all the pies?

  2. Gilcrest was a weird little man with a big megaphone in a protest in Rotorua a few years ago ,He was dressed up like he just steped off the set of a war movie , Im sure a few people would love to meet the little rat again. the best thing for him would be to send the little man and his big megaphone to a real war zone. Being so highly trained as he is im sure he could bring the waring factions to a knees in a matter of days . Rob if you read this come back to Rotorua for puha and pakeha love to eat( oops meet you again)


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