Welcome to the August 2005 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
MSN Space Race
There is still time to enter the UFO competition being run by Microsoft. Have you got a photograph of a UFO? Have you managed to take a picture of an alien? If not, do you think you could fake one good enough to fool the experts? And can you follow the clues to track down the location of a hidden UFO base? I have been asked to judge this competition, as has former Ministry of Defence scientist Peter Varnish. The prizes include a holiday in Florida with VIP access to the NASA Space Center at Cape Canaveral, a digital camcorder, MP3 players and lots of trendy new Qee toys. Check out http://www.msnspacerace.co.uk/ for details, or enter the phrase MSN Space Race into Google. The venture has been widely reported in the national media, but please, do not believe some of the bizarre conspiracy theories circulating on the internet. This is not a ruse on the part of British intelligence to gather information about ufologists, or to amass a collection of UFO photographs previously outside our control. It is a fun competition for UFO witnesses or people with an interest in the subject.
War Of The Worlds
If you only see one movie this summer, make sure you see this sensational sci-fi blockbuster. Spielberg is back to his best, Cruise is superb and the special effects are ... out of this world. I gave a brief interview about the possibility of a real war of the worlds a sci-fi supplement that appears in the current issue of the film magazine Empire. But please, with all movies like this, see it on the big screen at the cinema. Enjoy!
Beagle 2 Inquest
The chances of Beagle 2 succeeding on Mars were a million to one, but still ... sorry. Joking aside, the powerful Public Accounts Committee have published a critical report into the much publicised failure of the Beagle 2 mission, citing poor risk management, last minute technical changes, over ambitious timescales and funding uncertainties as reasons for the failure.
I hope regular readers of this column have caught the new series of Conspiracies. Broadcast on Sky One on Sunday evenings at 9pm, the second series of this show has delved into some intriguing areas, including Waco and the Lockerbie bomb. One of the programmes in the second series will relate to UFOs, so watch this space.
Do you have a ghost in your house? If you do, a new TV series wants to hear from you. If you believe you are living with a paranormal presence and want it investigated, email email@example.com and give the details. A psychic and other paranormal experts are involved with the Haunted Homes TV show, which is a new series being developed for ITV.
Crop Circle Conference 2005
On August 13, 14 and 15 the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group are putting on what promises to be one of the largest crop circle conferences in recent years. The conference will be held at Marlborough College and speakers include Francine Blake, Michael Glickman, John Major Jenkins and Jay Goldner. Helicopter flights over crop circles and sacred dances in formations will also be available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
A new website has been set up concentrating on UFO sightings in North Wales. The area has seen a number of fascinating UFO sightings over the years, and the website covers an interesting mix of UFO and abduction related material, including information on some famous Welsh cases such as the Berwyn Mountain crash, the Broadhaven Triangle, strange activity on Denbigh Moor and the UFO sightings at Great Orme, one of the top ten UFO hotspots in the UK. Check out www.nwalesufos.com for details of this new but fast growing website.
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