Sunday Telegraph – 10 May 1987
Since you reported (April 26) that CND leaders had "angrily denied" that the turnout at their April 25 demonstration in London was lower than they had predicted, we have received the result of a scientific aerial analysis of the numbers present in Hyde Park on that date.
According to two separate counts by a qualified aerial interpreter of a 40-inch square photograph taken by Aerofilms Ltd – one of the country's leading aerial survey firms – there were 21,200 people at the rally. This is just over 40 percent of the "50,000-plus" claimed on television reports of the demonstration and just over one-fifth of the 100,000 typically claimed by the Communist Morning Star and by the new News on Sunday. This is the third time that such a scientific survey has shown massive exaggerations to have been made of the real turnout at CND demonstrations.
Fortunately, such exaggerations have proven to be self-defeating: CND's false claims to have rallied a quarter of a million or more in the past now make their claims of 50,000 or more (albeit bogus) seem distinctly unimpressive.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS
Policy Research Associates