Welcome to the July 2007 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
This month sees the 60th anniversary of the most famous UFO incident of all time. On or around 2 July something crashed in the desert near Roswell in New Mexico, USA. The military said they had recovered a flying disc, but quickly retracted the statement and claimed that the object that crashed was just a weather balloon. The 60th anniversary of this incident is attracting all sorts of interest. In Roswell itself there will be a conference to mark the occasion. Here in the UK, ufologists are planning to mark the anniversary with a skywatch in Rendlesham Forest, site of the most spectacular UFO incident to have occurred in the UK. There is also considerable media interest in the anniversary.
Forbidden Knowledge Conference
On Saturday 14 July there will be a conference held at Glastonbury Town Hall, covering a wide range of subjects relating to the paranormal and the unexplained. Organised by prolific author and researcher Philip Gardiner, other speakers include Rael, who heads up the controversial Raelian movement, Ann Andrews, Paul Devereux, Peter Knight and Tim Wallace-Murphy. I will be giving a presentation on the release of new MoD UFO files and new information on the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident. Tickets for this all day event can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and further details can be found at www.gardinersworld.com or on any website listing paranormal and unexplained conferences, if you search on the phrase Forbidden Knowledge Conference Glastonbury. So, if you want to come along for an interesting and fun day and hear about everything from UFOs and alien abductions to Knights Templars and ley lines, I will see you there.
Roswell UFO Theme Park
City authorities in Roswell want to build a UFO-themed amusement park in the town. Plans for the park are already being drawn up and the centre attraction would be a ride that takes people on an alien abduction experience and visit to an alien planet. Finance is still being sought, but the 60th anniversary of the Roswell crash should focus interest on this intriguing project. If all goes well, the theme park should open in 2010.
Nick Pope - The Man Who Left The MoD
Reality Films have brought out a full length DVD entirely devoted to an interview in which I discuss my government research and investigation into the UFO phenomenon. Nick Pope - The Man Who Left The MoD runs to over one hour and is probably the most in-depth interview I have ever given. The DVD covers the history of the MoD UFO project, details the methodology of official UFO investigations and talks about some of the politics and personalities of government UFO research. I also discuss Roswell, Rendlesham Forest, the Cosford Incident and a number of lesser known UFO incidents, as well as delving into some more specialist material on quantum physics, black projects and psychology. The DVD can be ordered from Reality Films via their www.real2can.com website, or on Amazon.
Earlier this year I broke the story of the MoD remote viewing project, where the Department attempted to recruit psychics to hunt people and items of interest to the Defence Intelligence Staff. Many details of the study were withheld, but in one intriguing quote the aim of the study was said to be the selection of one or more individuals who it is felt can be trusted to be used for the sensitive targets. The sensitive targets were not listed, but given that the work was carried out shortly after 9/11, one possibility is that Osama Bin Laden was top of the list. After the story broke I discussed the project on Newsnight, British Forces Broadcasting Service and various BBC radio stations. More recently, on 31 May, I discussed it on the James Whale Show on Talksport. As well as discussing the project itself we recreated the MoD experiments, to see if we could find our own remote viewers. Sadly, despite a phenomenal number of calls and emails, none of the results were correct.
July and August are normally the two best months to see crop circles. As ever, the county of Wiltshire is at the heart of things, and there are some wonderful formations to be seen. Check out www.cropcircleconnector.com for a detailed look at 2007 crop circles. If you can get down to Wiltshire, I recommend a trip to The Barge Inn, a beautiful pub in the small village of Alton Barnes. This pub has become a meeting point for crop circle enthusiasts and the walls are covered with photos of formations and information about how to meet up with other crop circle enthusiasts. Check out www.the-barge-inn.com for details.
MoD To Release UFO Files
Interest is building in the forthcoming release of MoD UFO files. As reported previously in this column, some UFO files have already been released and are available either at the National Archives in Kew, or online, in the Freedom of Information section of the MoD website. The next files to be released will be 24 Defence Intelligence Staff files that had previously been contaminated with asbestos. It was originally feared they would have to be destroyed, sparking conspiracy theories among the UFO community. Now, the files have been decontaminated and will be scanned onto the MoD website over the next few months. But these 24 files are the tip of the iceberg. To date, the MoD has received over 10,000 UFO reports and a case file on a significant incident can consist of over 100 separate documents. Once the 24 Defence Intelligence Staff files have been released, the MoD will turn its attention to the rest of the files.
The Dead Are Talking
Published on 2 July, The Dead Are Talking is the long awaited book by paranormal investigator and radio host Ross Hemsworth. Ross has been involved in paranormal research for many years and has contributed to popular TV shows such as Ghost Detectives and Ghost Watch Live. Ross also co-founded the Phantom or Fraud Project, conducting rigorous examinations into claims relating to ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. The book is part autobiographical but also features material relating to the research Ross has done into the issue of whether the soul survives the death of the body. The Dead Are Talking is published by Reality Press and can be ordered direct from the publishers or via Amazon.
More Extrasolar Planets Discovered
Following on from the recent story of a possible Earth-like planet detected around the nearby star Gliese 581, astronomers have announced the discovery of a further 28 exoplanets. This takes the total to 236, whereas a few years ago there was no direct evidence to suggest the existence of any planets aside from those in our own solar system. This is one of a series of recent astronomical discoveries that may have massive implications for the search for life elsewhere in the Universe. In another recent development, some astronomers speculated that planets orbiting red dwarf stars might be better able to support life than previously suspected.
Loch Ness Seeks World Heritage Status
Authorities in Scotland are seeking World Heritage Status for Loch Ness and the Great Glen. Such status is awarded by the United Nations and already applies to sites such as the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, the Great Barrier Reef and the Egyptian Pyramids. Loch Ness attracts numerous visitors each year, many of whom come in the hope of sighting the famous monster that has been seen from time to time and occasionally photographed. Theories about the monster vary. Some people write the whole thing off as a hoax, while others believe the monster sightings are attributable to a form of dinosaur long thought to be extinct.
Artist and filmmaker Keith Chester has written a book entitled Strange Company. With a subtitle of Military Encounters With UFOs in Word War II, the book tells the extraordinary story of the so-called Foo Fighters, and other UFO sightings in the Second World War. These sightings pre-date the famous Kenneth Arnold encounter and the Roswell incident, but are an important and often neglected part of the history of ufology. Packed full of interesting accounts and backed up with never before seen government documents, the book can be ordered direct from the publishers, Anomalist Books, or from Amazon and similar websites.
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