Welcome to the March 2004 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
Ike And The Alien Ambassadors
On February 19 the Washington Post ran an article analysing the claim that in 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower interrupted his holiday in Palm Springs to make a secret visit to Edwards Air Force Base where he met with Nordic extraterrestrials who offered to share their technology, in exchange for the US giving up its nuclear weapons. The theory is championed by former university professor Michael Salla, who believes that while Ike turned down this offer, he subsequently did a deal with Grey aliens. This deal, he believes, involved accepting some alien technology in exchange for granting the Greys permission to mutilate cattle and abduct humans, as part of a programme of medical experiments. The historical record does show that Ike interrupted his holiday on February 20 1954, but suggests that this was to have emergency dental work done. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this story is that on the night in question Associated Press announced that the President had died of a heart attack. The story was retracted two minutes later.
Last chance to sign up for possibly the best UFO conference of 2004. Check out www.x-conference.com for details of a conference that will take place in Washington DC this April, with the emphasis on government and military witnesses.
Witches and Football
White witch Titania Hardie was reportedly brought in by Frome FC in an effort to end their poor run of form in the Screwfix Direct Western Premier League. Using a combination of Feng Shui, colour therapy, and use of crystals and oils, she was credited with turning things around. Shortly after her intervention, Frome notched up a 6-3 victory. Spooky.
Lost In Space
A fascinating new book by Greg Klerkx examines what the author believes to be a failure to deliver the sort of space programme that seemed so likely back in 1969, after the moon landing. This book is in one sense a history of the US manned space programme. But Dr Klerkx identifies NASA as the bad guys here, and the subtitle to his book is The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age. He sees a lack of ambition that suggests the US will not mount a manned mission to Mars until there is a possibility that another country might do so first. His book examines the possibilities of space tourism and commercial exploitation of space by private corporations, and seeks to balance this against scientific and governmental exploration. The book is published by Secker and is an interesting analysis of where we are with the space programme, and where we might be.
Journalist, broadcaster and author Dennis Bardens died on February 7 at the age of 92. Dennis was the founding editor of the BBC flagship current affairs programme Panorama, but was also a prolific author of books on psychic phenomena. His colourful career involved him in government work, including a stint at the Ministry of Information during the Second World War and a subsequent posting with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He was friendly with occult figures such as Victor Neuberg and Austin Osman Spare, and was actively involved in the Ghost Club and the society for Psychical Research. His books on the paranormal included Ghosts and Hauntings, Mysterious Worlds, Psychic Animals and Ahead of Time. He was a good friend of Hot Gossip Editor in Chief Georgina Bruni, but I hope she will forgive me for using this column to wish Dennis Bon Voyage.
Timewatch UFO Documentary - More Reactions
There has been more reaction to the BBC2 Timewatch documentary on the UFO phenomenon, screened on January 9. An internet discussion forum featured a thread on the programme which attacked the programme as being biased, on the basis that I presented it. I should like to point out that while I briefed the Timewatch producers on the Ministry of Defence policy with regard to UFOs, supplied them with various documents and gave a lengthy interview that was split up and used throughout the programme, I was not the presenter. And to correct another mistaken view, neither was I appearing officially, as a government spokesperson. A factor here may have been the review of the programme written in The Times newspaper. Describing my contribution, they said that the man from the ministry expressed open-minded scepticism. This may have reinforced the view that I was appearing officially, as head of the MOD UFO project. Again, I should make it clear that I was appearing in a private capacity.
The March 2004 issue of UFO Magazine is out now and contains a fascinating mix of articles and photographs. There is an interview with alien abduction expert Budd Hopkins, analyses of UFO photographs taken at Whittlesea, Australia, and Tasmania, and an article in which Detective Constable Gary Heseltine examines various classic UFO cases in a way consistent with his police training. Russel Callaghan is to be congratulated for the way in which he is editing the magazine in the aftermath of the tragic and untimely death of Graham W Birdsall.
Alien Abduction Study
As mentioned previously in this column, psychologists at Goldsmiths College, University of London, are carrying out a scientific study into the alien abduction. Witness confidentiality is guaranteed, and abductees can use a pseudonym if they wish. Abductees and experiencers wishing to take part should contact Julia Santomauro at email@example.com or telephone her on 020 7919 7171, extension 4389.
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