Welcome to the August 2007 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
As discussed in my column last month, July saw the 60th anniversary of the most famous UFO case of all, the Roswell incident. Believers say that in July 1947 an alien spacecraft crashed in the New Mexico desert and was recovered by the US Army. Sceptics say it was a weather balloon and other debris from Project Mogul, a classified US military project designed to listen for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests. As predicted, this summer saw lots of media coverage of Roswell and two festivals in the town itself, attended by tens of thousands of people. I wrote a double page feature on Roswell for the Daily Mail and did 2 television interviews and around 6 radio interviews, so certainly played my part in keeping the subject in the public eye. I even had a letter published in The Times, responding to a somewhat negative feature they ran on ufology. My Daily Mail article highlighted the sworn affidavit that has recently emerged, in which Walter Haut, who died last year, confirmed that he saw a craft and two bodies that he could only assume were extraterrestrial. Haut was the public relations officer at Roswell at the time of the incident and, on the authority of the base commander, released the initial story that the military had recovered a flying disc. My article in the Daily Mail was subsequently picked up by the media all around the world. To read the article click on www.dailymail.co.uk or go to www.dailymail.co.uk and put the word UFO in the search box.
August is traditionally the best month for crop circles, and enthusiasts are waiting expectantly to see whether 2007 will see another truly spectacular formation on a level with previous classics such as the Julia Set. August is also the last month you can see crop circles before the fields are harvested, so in every sense this is the finale of the crop circle season this year. New formations are appearing on a weekly basis, predominantly in rural parts of Wiltshire and Hampshire. Check out www.cropcircleconnector.com for images of the best formations seen so far this year. And if you want to meet up with other crop circle enthusiasts, head on over to the Barge Inn, near Pewsey. Go to www.the-barge-inn.com for details of this delightful pub.
Details have just been announced concerning the biggest UFO conference of 2007. X-Conference 2007 is due to be held on 14 - 16 September at the Hilton Gaithersburg near Washington DC . The conference is organised by Stephen Bassett and will feature around 20 speakers from all around the world, including Richard Dolan, Paola Harris, Alfred Webre, Bruce Maccabee, Donald Schmitt, Michael Salla, Jaime Maussan and Steven Greer. I shall be giving a presentation on the forthcoming release of Ministry of Defence UFO files and recent sightings such as the mile-long UFOs seen by pilot Ray Bowyer in the vicinity of the Channel Islands earlier this year. Go to www.paradigmresearchgroup.org for details of the conference, or just search for X-Conference 2007. If you only go to one UFO conference this year, make it this one.
The Starchild Skull
Genetic enigma or human-alien hybrid? This is the question posed on the front cover of an intriguing new book entitled The Starchild Skull. Written by Lloyd Pye, the story follows Lloyd in his quest to ascertain whether the strangely misshapen skull he first saw in 1999 belonged to a human with some form of genetic deformity, or whether it could actually be proof of the existence of human-alien hybrids. Microscopic examination, DNA testing and run-ins with the scientific community all feature in this fascinating book. Order through Amazon or other such sites, or go to www.starchildproject.com for more details of what is a truly extraordinary story.
Just published by Century, Cobra Gold is one of the best SAS thrillers I have read in a long time. Written by former war reporter Damien Lewis, the story is split into 2 parts. The first tells of a daring bank robbery carried out in the Lebanon in the Seventies, while the second half is set in the present day, as the consequences of the robbery return to haunt those involved. Order through Amazon or similar websites, or go to www.damienlewis.co.uk for details of Damien and some of his other books.
9/11 TV Debate
Because I make frequent media appearances discussing conspiracy theories and the psychology of belief, I was challenged earlier this year to look at some of the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, many of which centre around the allegation that certain elements in the US government knew about the attacks beforehand, or had active involvement in the events. I looked into the allegations carefully and weighed them against the official position, as set out in the 9/11 Commission Report. I was unconvinced by any of the conspiracy theories and have since debated the issue on television and radio. In my most recent debate, Sunday Times journalist Maurice Chittenden and I discussed the issues on Press TV with former MI5 officer Annie Machon and North Tower janitor and 9/11 survivor William Rodriguez. As ever, I received various emails afterwards, accusing me of being a disinformation agent.
UFO Warminster: Cradle of Contact
Back in the Sixties and well into the Seventies, the Wiltshire town of Warminster was an internationally known UFO hotspot, with sightings and other weird occurrences reported on a frequent basis. Now, a new book tells the story of these events from the point of view of a group of UFO researchers who were there and who witnessed some of the strange phenomena. UFO Warminster: Cradle of Contact is written by Kevin Goodman and can be ordered from Amazon and similar sites. Alternatively, check out www.ufo-warminster.com for details of the book and other information about the strange events that have occurred in the area. Also check out the site for details of a good old fashioned skywatch, scheduled for sometime in August, possibly over the Bank Holiday weekend. The skywatch will take place on Cradle Hill, where many similar events took place in the Sixties and Seventies, and from where many UFOs have been seen.
Strange Phenomena Investigations
Malcolm Robinson has resurrected his SPI London lectures in the suburban district of Croydon. Held at the Spread Eagle pub on Katherine Street, talks will take place on a monthly basis. I shall be giving a lecture on Saturday 4 August, at 3pm, discussing the forthcoming release of Defence Intelligence Staff UFO files, and the wider issue of release of the entire MoD archive of UFO files. The SPI website is not yet up and running, but type SPI and Croydon into any search engine and you will be able to access all the details of SPI and their lecture programme.
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