Welcome to the November 2007 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind + 30
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have announced that they will be releasing a special 30th anniversary edition of the classic Steven Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Scheduled for release on 13 November the special edition will be available in both DVD and Blu-ray Disc format and will contain all three versions of the film, a new interview with Steven Spielberg and a documentary. Spielberg really did his research for this movie.The title comes from a means of classifying UFO sightings used by the US government UFO research effort, codenamed Project Blue Book. A close encounter of the third kind is a UFO sighting where entities are seen. The system was designed by the Blue Book scientific adviser Dr J Allen Hynek, who was consultant on the movie and who had a cameo role: he is the bearded scientist with the pipe, seen looking up at the UFO at the climactic scene involving the arrival of the mothership. A lovely in-joke and a fitting tribute. When the film came out in the UK, a record number of people reported UFO sightings to the MoD, probably because the film raised awareness of the issue and created a receptive environment where people felt more at ease making a report. I discussed this a while ago in a Sky documentary entitled Shameful Secrets of the 70s.
On the subject of anniversaries, it has been one year since I left the Ministry of Defence. The year has flown past and it seems that I have been as busy as I ever was, proving Parkinson's Law, which states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. November in particular is a packed month for me, with a wide range of TV and lecture commitments, including overseas trips to Denmark, America and Brazil. I miss many things about the MoD, of course. I miss the fact that the work was interesting and important, and that I could come home and see things I was involved in discussed on the evening news. But my new life is equally interesting with fresh challenges. I miss the people too but I go back from time to time for various social functions. So, on balance, I have no regrets.
The 2007 Questing Conference will be held on 3 and 4 November at the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury. Covering subjects ranging from psychic questing and 2012 prophesies through to contact with otherworldly intelligences, the speakers include Graham Hancock, Ross Hemsworth, Kathy Jones and the organizer, Andrew Collins. Check out www.andrewcollins.com for all the details.
There is nothing paranormal about this, but as an ex Ministry of Defence employee I just had to feature this amazing new book in my column. Subtitled Afghanistan, Summer 2006, THIS Is War, this compelling book tells the story of how 3 Para took on the Taliban in one of the harshest battlefields on Earth. Whatever you think about the War on Terror, there is no getting away from the bravery of the British troops fighting in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Packed with stories of courage, hardship and sacrifice, this book is thrilling and moving. Written by Patrick Bishop and published by HarperPress, this amazing book is available in all good book stores, on Amazon and all the usual online book sites.
Anna Drouza Show
I recently returned from Greece where I appeared on two episodes of the Anna Drouza Show, a popular Greek TV chat show. Each show lasted two hours and we covered a vast range of material on UFOs and alien abductions. I appeared on a different Greek TV show earlier in the year and there really seems to be great interest in the subject in Greece. My first book, Open Skies Closed Minds, has also been translated into Greek.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the alien abduction mystery is the issue of symbols seen by abductees at some stage during their encounter. Clearly if two or more abductees ever reported the same symbol in a situation where it could be established beyond reasonable doubt that they had not colluded, this would be extremely important in evidential terms. Researchers such as Budd Hopkins have a small database of such symbols and in the UK, where I have worked with around 100 people who claim to have had such experiences, I too have some examples in my case files. Researchers involved in this subject do not generally publish such symbols, to guard against the possibility of abductees picking up on the symbols in open source material, but this is an interesting aspect of abduction research on which further work is continuing.
Experiencers eBooks is a website that sells a fascinating range of books on UFOs, alien abductions, paranormal events, angels, Atlantis and much more besides. Titles are generally available as eBooks or paperbacks and the site is well laid out - just click on a book cover in the Bookstore section of the website for more information on a title and details of how to buy it. Check out www.experiencers.net for further details and for details of their eZine.
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