July 2005
  Weird World
NICK POPE 

Welcome to the July 2005 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.

Microsoft, UFOs and Aliens

I have been asked to judge a competition being run by Microsoft. MSN Spaces are inviting people to submit a picture (real or fake) of a UFO or alien, and follow the clues to track down the location of a hidden UFO base. Prizes include a holiday in Florida with VIP access to the NASA Space Center at Cape Canaveral, a digital camcorder, MP3 players and the trendy new Qee toys. Check out http://www.msnspacerace.co.uk/ for details, or enter the phrase MSN Space Race into Google.

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 wccsg@ukonline.co.uk for further details.

Glastonbury Symposium 2005

The other big crop circle conference is the annual Glastonbury Symposium. This will be held on July 22, 23 and 24 in the Town Hall at Glastonbury, and speakers include Andy Thomas, Robin Heath, John Michell, Marcus Allen and Sir Laurence Gardner. Check out www.glastonburysymposium.co.uk for further details.

Crop Circles and The Sun

Top UK tabloid The Sun put a crop circle on its front page on June 10. Under the headline Aliens Back Our Bid, the newspaper featured a formation in the shape of the Olympic symbol. The Sun was behind the stunt, and admitted they had commissioned the making of the formation, but it was a timely reminder of the enduring power of crop circle imagery, and the extent to which this is now part of popular culture.

The War of the Worlds

The must see movie of the summer, The War of the Worlds, is now on general release here in the UK. It remains to be seen whether such a Hollywood blockbuster will

Exopolitics

Alfred Lambremont Webre has authored a book entitled Exopolitics. His involvement with the study of the UFO phenomenon includes work with the Carter Administration and the prestigious Stanford Research Institute. Exopolitics is a controversial part of ufology, which attempts to define the position of humanity in a Universe populated with other intelligent civilisations. Check out http://www.exopolitics.com/ for details of the subject, and http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/
-/0973766301/qid=1119385731/sr=1-2/
ref=sr_1_2/104-8721351-2327150?v=glance&s=books
for details of the book. Alternatively, key the word Exopolitics into Google or Amazon. Subtitled Politics, Government, and Law in the Universe, this book is bound to be controversial.

The Secret History of Lucifer

A fascinating book by top paranormal and esoteric author Lynn Picknett threatens to challenge everything you thought you knew about Lucifer. People expecting satanic revelations will be disappointed, because it seems the devil has been much maligned. Lucifer, Lynn suggests, has far more to do with Goddess worship, pagan rituals and enlightenment than anything evil. The subtitle Evil Angel or the Secret of Life Itself well illustrates the debate at the heart of this book. Check out http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/
-/078671560X/104-8721351-2327150?v=glance
for further details of the book, or search for the title on Google. And stand by for fireworks when this controversial book falls into the hands of the fundamentalist, patriarchal Christians that Lynn so despises. A more comprehensive review of this extraordinary, interesting, well-researched and controversial book will appear next month.

Alien Abduction Study

As mentioned in my column last month, the scientific study into the alien abduction phenomenon carried out by Professor Chris French at Goldsmiths College, University of London, has now been completed. I had a meeting with Chris and his team at the outset of the project, discussing methodology. I also helped promote the study and encouraged abductees I had worked with to take part. The analysis is now complete and Chris gave an overview of the study at a conference held at Liverpool Hope University College on Saturday June 4. Check out http://www.hope.ac.uk/anomalousexperience/programme.htm for details of this talk. The full report on the abduction study will be ready shortly. Chris forwarded me a copy of his paper, but asked me not to post it for now, as this might cause problems with subsequent publication in scientific journals. He did, however, say that I could post a summary of the paper. I am wary of this, as I am not a scientist, but I think I can safely say the following. The study involved 19 abductees (8 male, 11 female) and a control group matched by age and gender. The study looked for postulated psychological differences between the two groups, for differences in susceptibility to false memories and for differences in ESP and PK abilities. Significant differences were found in areas such as tendency to hallucinate, absorption and dissociative tendencies. The results were less clear on fantasy-proneness, while no significant differences were found on susceptibility to false memory. Greater incidence of sleep paralysis was found among the abductees, though it was acknowledged that this might be a symptom of, and not an explanation for, alien abduction. The tests on paranormal abilities did not appear to show any significant differences, though there was one apparent difference on the clairvoyance test, which I am attempting to clarify. Once the paper has been published in scientific journals, I will feature a more detailed analysis in this column.

Ed's Note:

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

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