Welcome to the April 2005 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
Page 114 of the May issue of Bizarre contains an interview with me, in which I describe some of the weird and wonderful cases that I came across while running the UFO Project at the Ministry of Defence. I cover some UFO sightings that are explained and others that remain a mystery, delve into the issue of cover-ups and conspiracies, and look at alien abductions. Although covering a full page, the interview is a heavily edited version of what was a lengthy discussion, and inevitably, a couple of comments have been taken out of context. Furthermore, Bizarre is a somewhat risqué magazine that some might find offensive. However, it is more evidence that the media are taking an increased interest in UFOs.
As an Associate Member of Spaceguard UK, a lobby group raising awareness on the threat posed to the Earth by comets and asteroids, I was pleased to see the Daily Mail run a full page article on March 15, dealing with the work of Scottish scientist Dr Gianmarco Radice. Radice works at the Aerospace Engineering Department at Glasgow University and has won a research grant from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Unlike most current work, his study will focus not on detection, but on the technology of interception and deflection. Check http://www.spaceguarduk.com/ for information of the threat we face and the action being taken to deal with it.
Newcastle Science Festival
My March 12 talk at Newcastle Science Festival was a great success, with an audience of around 350 and a question time that ran on for a long time after the scheduled period. It is easy to talk at UFO conferences, because there is a sense that one is preaching to the converted. It is more difficult to discuss UFOs at science events, and yet this will probably achieve more, in the longer term. I was particularly pleased to see so many young people taking such an active interest.
The Beast of Sydenham
More big cat sightings from the UK, with children being kept inside and armed police roaming the streets trying to track it down. I have been warning of this threat for years and have predicted that, tragically, it is only a matter of time before a child is killed. The latest alert follows an attack on a 36 year old man and a sighting by a police officer. In a related story, farmers in Oxfordshire have put up a reward for the capture of a big cat held responsible for killing livestock.
As mentioned in my last column, I have been doing some promotional work in respect of the forthcoming rental release of the new collectors edition DVD of the cult sci-fi movie Species III. The DVD was released on March 28 and stars Natasha Henstridge and Sunny Mabrey. As anybody who has watched Metropolis or Barbarella will tell you, sex and sci-fi mix very well. Species III is a case in point. Look out for the DVD with its numerous special features. Sci-fi and horror fans alike will love it. A series of UFO and alien abduction related articles are appearing to coincide with the launch of the DVD, of which the article in Bizarre magazine is the first.
Aliens: Why They Are Here
Sunday Times cultural commentator Bryan Appleyard has a new book published in March, examining the UFO and alien abduction phenomenon in a cultural context. I have now received a review copy and am midway through the book. Although I do not agree with some of the points Bryan makes, this is a very well written book and easily the most significant addition to the ufological literature in recent years. Go to http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/
026-6976479-4448465 for details of the book and how to order it.
Time is running out for those of you who wish to attend the second X-Conference, organised by Stephen Bassett, which will be held on April 22-24 2005, in Washington DC. Check out http://www.paradigmclock.com/X-Conference/
X-Conference.htm for details of the conference, and check http://www.paradigmclock.com/ for details of the wider UFO disclosure orientated work undertaken by Stephen Bassett. The participating speakers are now confirmed and include Stanton Friedman, Ann Druffel, Robert and Ryan Wood, Jaime Maussan, Michael Salla, Paola Harris, Richard Dolan and Alfred Webre. It promises to be a superb conference, and while this is primarily aimed at US readers, a fair few Brits made the trek over last year, and very much enjoyed themselves. And Washington in springtime is one of those trips that everybody should make once in a lifetime, to see the cherry trees in bloom, visit the White House and marvel at the Wright Flyer, on display at the Smithsonian.
Nick Pope has written four books. Open Skies, Closed Minds is an overview of the UFO phenomenon with the emphasis on his official Ministry of Defence research and investigation. The Uninvited is an overview of the alien abduction mystery. Operation Thunder Child and Operation Lightning Strike are science fiction novels about alien invasion, incorporating UFO and abduction data. All four titles are available from most good bookshops and all the usual Internet book sites.
Nick Pope has a website, which can be accessed at www.nickpope.net