Welcome to the September 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 biggest UFO conference held so far this year. X-Conference 2007 is due to be held on 14 - 16 September at the Hilton Gaithersburg near Washington DC . The conference is organised by Stephen Bassett and will feature around 20 speakers from all around the world, including Richard Dolan, Paola Harris, Alfred Webre, Bruce Maccabee, Donald Schmitt, Michael Salla, Jaime Maussan and Steven Greer. I shall be giving a presentation on the forthcoming release of Ministry of Defence UFO files and recent sightings such as the mile-long UFOs seen by pilot Ray Bowyer in the vicinity of the Channel Islands earlier this year. Go to www.paradigmresearchgroup.org for details of the conference, or search for X-Conference 2007 on Google. If you only go to one UFO conference this year, make it this one.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
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.
UFOs in the Headlines
UFOs in the Headlines is the title of a new book by researcher and radio host Rob Simone. With a subtitle Real Reporting on a Real Phenomenon, the book focuses on newspaper reports on some of the most interesting UFO sightings of all time, some of which are well known and some of which are more obscure. Go to www.robsimone.com for further information on Rob and this new book, or order from Amazon or similar sites. Rob will be one of the speakers at X-Conference 2007.
Large Hadron Collider
In previous columns this year I have highlighted the forthcoming activation of the Large Hadron Collider, the new CERN particle accelerator and collider. With a circumference of 27 kilometres it is the largest machine ever constructed by humankind. Scientists hope that it will help unlock some of the greatest secrets of the Universe, perhaps by validating the existence of the Higgs boson, sometimes dubbed the God particle. The particle has been proposed theoretically, but has never been observed. It is hoped that LHC will change this. It may also help validate theories about other dimensions. Most controversially, some people allege that the switching on of LHC could destroy the Earth, perhaps by creating a mini black hole that does not then evaporate. CERN carried out a risk assessment that covered such end of the world theories and judged that the machine is safe. LHC was due to be switched on this November but technical difficulties mean that the new date is May 2008. There are exciting times ahead in terms of our understanding of the Universe. More news on this in future columns.
And so, another season ends. The harvest has been gathered in and we can now look back at all the amazing formations that appeared this summer. Go to www.cropcircleconnector.com for a look at the best crop circles of 2007. Whatever one thinks of crop circles, there have been some fantastic formations this year which are well worth a look.
Chicago O'Hare UFO Sighting
The sighting of a UFO over O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on 7 November 2006 was one of the most high profile UFO sightings in recent years. There were numerous witnesses and the UFO was seen to have a physical effect on a cloud, by effectively punching a hole through it. The story made international news but now the most in-depth report into the incident has been published. The National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) is an organisation that specialises in investigating UFO sightings reported by pilots and air traffic controllers. Their detailed investigation into the O'Hare sightings has generated a report that runs to 152 pages and is a fine example of a proper, scientific UFO investigation. Go to www.narcap.org to read the report and for details of other intriguing UFO sightings involving pilots and the wider aviation community.
Open Skies Closed Minds Published in Brazil
My first and best known book, Open Skies Closed Minds, has been translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil. The book is an overview of the UFO phenomenon with the emphasis on my time on the UFO project at the Ministry of Defence. The book looks at government policy on UFOs and lifts the lid on some of the sensational cases that I investigated, as well as looking at crop circles, alien abductions and cattle mutilations. The book is published by Madras Editora and the title is Céus Abertos, Mentes Fechadas. Aside from this latest edition and the separate US editions, my books have also been translated into German, Greek, Polish, Romanian and Chinese.
I Forgot What I Wasn't Supposed To Remember
This new book from Katharina Wilson is about the alien abduction phenomenon and has been published on-line and offered free to the public. It covers twelve years of consciously-recalled abduction encounters that Katharina has experienced since she published her journals in The Alien Jigsaw in 1993. Click on www.alienjigsaw.com to read the book, which is in PDF format.
Does It Rain In Other Dimensions?
This is another book about alien abductions, written by a man who claims to have had over 50 years of encounters both with extraterrestrials and with beings from other dimensions - hence the intriguing title. The author, Mike Oram, interprets his experiences in a spiritual way and believes they relate to a soon to come shift and consciousness awakening process. This is a common theme in many alien contact experiences, but the beauty of this book and the previous one is that the experiences are written by the witness and not retold by someone else. Thus, whatever you believe about alien abductions, you are at least getting a firsthand account. For further details of this title go to www.o-books.com or search on Amazon and similar sites. O Books publish a wide range of esoteric and New Age books, so be sure to check out some of their other titles.
The Ferocious Summer
This newly published book is about climate change and although it deals with the situation in Antarctica, its title is both ironic and appropriate, given the weather we have had in the UK this summer. People interested in global warming and climate change often focus on the Arctic, but on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsular, the extent of mean annual sea ice has decreased by a staggering 40 percent since 1979. Author, lecturer and historian Meredith Hooper tells this story by focusing on the lives of a small colony of penguins, showing how their lives and habitat are changing and demonstrating that the Antarctic Peninsular is a sort of early warning system for the planet as a whole. Meredith Hooper tells the story firsthand, writing about her experiences on ice breakers, research vessels and on the Antarctic bases themselves. Order through Amazon or similar sites.
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