Welcome to the October 2004 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize winner, author and abduction researcher John E. Mack was tragically knocked down and killed by a car in London on September 27 2004. John had been in London to speak at the T. E. Lawrence Society symposium, having won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Lawrence of Arabia, A Prince of Our Disorder. John took an active interest in the alien abduction phenomenon and fell foul of the Harvard Medical School authorities for his interest in this controversial area of research. A formal inquiry exonerated him. His books Abduction and Passport to the Cosmos set out his views on the alien contact phenomenon. I met John on several occasions at various conferences and discussed the subject with him on numerous occasions. I was particularly impressed by the help that he gave to an experiencer by the name of Brigitte, who I had worked with for several years. It was ironic that shortly before his death, he had become increasingly interested in the survival issue, expressing surprise that the subject had previously passed him by. I attended a UK cremation on October 13 and paid my respects to a truly great man. A public memorial service will be held on Saturday November 13 at the memorial church at Harvard. Check out www.centerchange.org for details of John Mack, his work and the memorial service.
The joint October and November issue of UFO Magazine contains a feature in which I discuss the current state of British ufology, with particular reference to the Freedom of Information Act, which comes fully into force on 1 January 2004. Now the UK magazine of the same name is sadly defunct, this US magazine is increasingly seen as the standard bearer of ufology. William J. Birnes, Nancy Birnes, Vicki Ecker and Don Ecker are doing a fine job of supporting ufology and publicising the latest news, views and theories. Check out www.ufomag.com for details.
The October issue of the Ministry of Defence house magazine, Focus, contains an article on ghost sightings in Gibraltar. This is the latest in a long line of features about ghost sightings on MOD land. This was a subject that occasionally came my way in the margins of my work on the MOD UFO project. The Ghost Club has frequently come onto the Defence Estate to check out sightings. Check out http://www.ghostclub.org.uk/ for details.
The second X-Conference, organised by Stephen Bassett, will be held on April 22-24 2005, in Washington DC. Check out http://www.paradigmclock.com/X-Conference/ X-Conference.htm for details of the conference, and check http://www.paradigmclock.com/ for details of the wider disclosure orientated work undertaken by Stephen Bassett. More about this in later months, as the event approaches.
Astronaut Gordon Cooper, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, died on October 4 2004. Gordon Cooper took a great interest in UFOs and was quite outspoken on the subject, to the embarrassment of NASA. Cooper was a true American hero, whose story was fictionalised in the movie The Right Stuff.
I shall be speaking at a science fiction convention, Novacon, on Saturday 6 November. I will be discussing my official research and investigation into the UFO phenomenon, giving an insight into the way in which the government and military investigate the sightings. My two science fiction novels, Operation Thunder Child and Operation Lightning Strike, deal with this work in a fictional context and are currently attracting interest from production companies interested in seeing them made into a film or TV series. The conference is organised by the Birmingham Science Fiction Group. Check out http://www.novacon.org/ for details.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon is a way in which many believe the voices of the dead can be picked up and listened to. This used to be regarded as a fringe paranormal phenomenon, but has now attracted the attention of Hollywood. A movie entitled White Noise will bring this mystery to a wider audience early next year. Starring Michael Keaton, the movie tells the story of a man offered the opportunity to contact his dead wife. Check out www.whitenoisemovie.com for details. The movie opens on January 7 2005.
Andrew Lownie, one of the few mainstream UK literary agents who specialises in UFO manuscripts, has launched his new website. Check out www.andrewlownie.co.uk for details of Andrew and his work.
Jane Goldman Investigates
The new series of Jane Goldman Investigates is now underway, on the Living TV channel. I met Jane and her producer earlier this year for a discussion about UFO cases that might be featured on the show. But the series goes far wider than UFOs and alien abductions, covering poltergeists and voodoo to exorcism and mediumship. Check out http://www.livingtv.co.uk/janegoldman/synopses.html for details of the second series of this fascinating show.
Questcon 2004 takes place on Saturday 6 November and features researchers such as Andrew Collins, Alan Alford, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. Check out www.questingconference.com for the latest news on this conference. Graham Phillips will attend if commitments allow and Andrew Collins will conduct a walkabout at the British Museum on Sunday 7 November. The conference is sponsored by Nexus Magazine.
The Fund For UFO Research has published two new UFO related booklets. Alien Invasion or Human Fantasy? The 1966-67 UFO Wave is written by veteran ufologist Richard Hall, while UFOs Exposed: The Classic Photographs is written by Rob Swiatek. Check out www.fufor.com for more details.
Reg Presley Lecture
Reg Presley, frontman with cult pop group The Troggs, is to give a lecture at Strange Phenomena Investigations, will be giving a lecture on Saturday 27 November. Check out www.spiuk.net to hear what Reg has to say about UFOs, crop circles and other unexplained phenomena.
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