Welcome to the September 2006 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
The Condign Report
The Condign Report still manages to generate controversy, months after its release. The formerly secret UFO report was the most highly classified and detailed UFO study ever undertaken by the MOD and I am still getting questions about it, from journalists and from UFO researchers. The most common question is whether I am the anonymous author. I am not. I suspect the reason many people ask this is that they automatically assume that as I ran the MOD UFO Project, I must have written the report. Also, photographs from my book Open Skies Closed Minds were used to illustrate the report, leading many to see that as a big clue as to authorship. But while much of the material and some of the photographs were taken from my book, none of this means I am the author. The other reason people suspect I wrote it is that I wrote a two-page article in the Daily Express, that was published on the day the MOD released the report. Also, I appeared on GMTV the same morning, and on numerous BBC radio stations, discussing the report. Conspiracy theorists suggested this was part of a government media handling strategy. Again, this is incorrect. When the MOD decided to release the report under the Freedom of Information Act, it was natural that the media would ask for my comment, as I used to run the UFO Project. It really is as simple as that.
Crop Circles - 2006
It has been a fairly quiet year for crop circles, although on past form we may be due a late season spectacular. Theories abound as to the reason for this. Some people cite the weather and the fact that the crops are later this year while others believe that the tragic death of a well-known hoaxer, Paul Obee, might have had a bearing on things. Check out www.cropcircleconnector.com and www.circlemakers.org for all the latest news and images, and for differing views on this enduring mystery.
Conspiracy Of Silence - UFOs In Ireland
Dermot Butler and Carl Nally are the co-founders of UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland (UPRI). Their newly published book, Conspiracy of Silence, examines the UFO phenomenon in Ireland. The cases featured include sightings involving civil and military pilots, together with some alien abduction cases. This is an intriguing book, because it turns the spotlight away from the UK and the USA, but in a book written in English. Buy it at Amazon or go to www.mercierpress.ie for details.
On Saturday 28 October the annual QuestCon, organised by Andrew Collins, will be held in London. This event is dedicated to forbidden and esoteric knowledge, questing and mysteries more generally, and is always worth checking out if you are interested in ancient mysteries and conspiracy theories. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince (who made an appearance in the film version of The Da Vinci Code) will be discussing Leonardo Da Vinci and the Sion revelation, while other speakers include John Reid, Geoff Stray, Anthony Murphy and Greg Little. Andrew Collins will be discussing his new book The Cygnus Mystery. Check out www.questcon.org and www.andrewcollins.com for details of the conference and the book.
Brainwash - The Secret History Of Mind Control
This fascinating book looks at various mind control techniques and will be of huge interest to conspiracy theorists with an interest in such matters. The CIA loom large in the book, as you would expect, and there is lots of material on LSD, interrogation techniques, subliminal messages in pop lyrics, etc. Written by Dominic Streatfeild and published by Hodder & Stoughton, the book can be ordered through Amazon or any of the usual outlets. Intriguing and disturbing in equal measures. If you read The Search For The Manchurian Candidate, or The Mind Manipulators, read this.
Mind Control Event - Silent Sound
Still on the subject of mind control, a controversial new event involving musicians, artists and parapsychologists will attempt to influence the minds and beliefs of the audience in the new Silent Sound exhibition in Liverpool. Running from 15 September to 26 November, with a press preview on 14 September, this event is part entertainment and part experiment. Can music control the mind? The event is supported by the Wellcome Foundation and I understand that the audience will have to sign a disclaimer before taking part. Check out http://www.afoundation.org.uk/greenlandstreet/details.php?id=11 for details of what promises to be an interesting and potentially controversial event.
Budd Hopkins UK Conference Appearance
Budd Hopkins will be making a rare visit to the UK for a conference on 14 and 15 October this year, organised by Dave Gillham and his CUFORG group in Truro, Cornwall. Check out http://www.cornwall-ufo.co.uk/2006/ for details of the conference and http://www.cornwall-ufo.co.uk/2006/index1.html for details of the presentations. Aside from Budd, I shall be presenting an interesting new twist on the Rendlesham Forest incident, while other speakers include Gary Heseltine, Jason Andrews and Dave Gillham. Budd has not spoken in the UK for several years, so this conference is going to be big news.
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