NICK POPE’S WEIRD WORLD
Welcome to the August 2004 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
The crop circle season is in full swing, with all sorts of new formations, events, media coverage and controversy. The biggest conference was the Glastonbury Symposium 2004. It was held on 23 to 25 July and featured talks from the likes of John Mack, Robert Bauval, Michael Glickman, Dr Eltjo Haselhoff, Andy Thomas and Steve Alexander. Circlemakers Rod Dickinson and John Lundberg have meanwhile being featured in the media talking about their commercial circle making activities. This typically involves their being paid to produce corporate logos for advertising campaigns or formations that promote TV series. This, of course, is where the controversy arises. Sceptics point to the intricacy of some of these commissioned works and say this proves all the pictograms are made by people. Believers disagree, saying that while these commissioned works are impressive, they are not as complex as the most intricate of pictograms. They also point out that commissioned formations are produced in daylight, quite openly, whereas they say the most spectacular pictograms have appeared in a few short hours, overnight. I got a chance to make a brief visit to Alton Barnes on 4 July when I was interviewed in The Barge Inn by an Italian TV company making a programme on the crop circle mystery. The Barge Inn is a lovely pub by the canal and is often used as a meeting point for crop circle researchers and enthusiasts.
Sixto Paz Wells
Peruvian contactee Sixto Paz Wells made a rare visit to the UK recently and I attended a lecture he gave in London on 29 June. With the current focus on alien abductions, it is interesting from a ufological perspective to come across someone whose story is reminiscent of the claims made by people like George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Daniel Fry and Howard Menger.
A new theory about Atlantis, this time from a German scientist, Dr Rainer Kuehne. He believes that satellite photographs of an area near Cadiz in Spain show evidence of ancient flood damage consistent with the original descriptions of Atlantis offered by Plato. Dr Kuehne is trying to persuade archaeologists to take a look at the site, with a view to carrying out an excavation.
Sad news of the death of another hero of ufology. Conservationist, philanthropist and businessman Laurance Rockefeller died on 11 July at the age of 93. Rockefeller financed the production of a UFO briefing document entitled Best Available Evidence, which was subsequently sent to various world leaders. I was not directly involved in the production of this document but was quoted in it and received a copy of the final product, which was in later years published as a paperback. The production of the document owed much to the dedication of Don Berliner, Marie Galbraith, Antonio Huneeus and Sandra Wright. It marked a high point in ufological cooperation, with CUFOS, FUFOR and MUFON all fully engaged.
Paranormal investigator Raymond Fowler has a new book out that deals with the intriguing subject of synchronicity. Drawing on personal experience, Fowler examines various paranormal phenomena such as UFOs, ghosts, telepathy and out of body experiences, speculating that they are all linked. A unified theory of the paranormal? Order from Amazon or other outlets and decide for yourself.
After The Martian Apocalypse
Mac Tonnies has just had a new book published looking at the idea that there was once a civilisation on Mars. This is not the first book to look into these theories, but it is interesting to note that interest in Mars is still high.
I shall be giving a talk at the SPI group run by Malcolm Robinson on 28 August. I will be discussing what it was like to work on the Ministry of Defence UFO Project and shall be looking at some previously unknown aspects of this work, in relation to some of the other strange reports that came our way in the margins of our UFO work.
Media Interest In UFOs
A couple of other things to report in relation to my own media appearances. I appeared on Xchange on CBBC on 2 July and will be appearing on some Sky One programmes looking at science fiction, in September. More about this next month.
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 genuine UFO and abduction data. They are also the only science fiction novels ever to have needed official government clearance. 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