Welcome to the October 2006 round up of news and views on UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, the paranormal, the unexplained, the weird and the wonderful.
Russell T Davies has a new sci-fi series starting later this month. Torchwood is a spin-off from Doctor Who and stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack, one of the popular characters from Doctor Who. The 13-part drama series will be darker than Doctor Who and will air after the watershed. The central theme of Torchwood is a government sponsored project looking at evidence of extraterrestrials and investigating other mysteries. A sort of X-Files meets the MOD UFO project! The series will run on BBC Three and is set to be a big hit.
Space Shuttle UFO
The recent mission involving the space shuttle Atlantis was dogged by controversy when the return to Earth was delayed by NASA because of an unidentified object floating in space. NASA were careful to avoid the phrase UFO and stressed that the object may simply have been a small piece of debris from the shuttle itself, but needless to say, conspiracy theorists had a field day and some media outlets did use the word UFO in the story, despite the careful NASA statements. Coming so soon after the story that Buzz Aldrin confirmed all three Apollo 11 astronauts saw a UFO during their historic 1969 trip to the moon, this story is set to reignite the debate over what NASA really knows about UFOs.
The Condign Report - New UK Government UFO Release
The Ministry of Defence continues to release new UFO information as part of a rolling programme of disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The latest information is from the Condign Report, the most highly classified and detailed UFO study ever undertaken by the MOD. The MOD released the report in May but has now released some of the extracts that were previously withheld. Much of the new material relates to theories about charged plasmas, an area where it has now been revealed that the Soviets were undertaking secret research. The new revelation that will provoke most interest and comment from conspiracy theorists is the confirmation that the CIA instigated a secret study into UFOs, even though some information about CIA interest in UFOs is already in the public domain. Check out http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FreedomOfInformation/ for information about this newly released information and other UFO documents released by MOD.
Check out the review page for the specific documents. Interestingly, the MOD receives more requests under the Freedom of Information Act about UFOs than for any other subject.
Crop Circles - 2006
The harvest has been gathered in and the crop circle season is over for another year. It has been a fairly quiet year for crop circles and for the first time in many years, the pressure of other commitments prevented me from personally visiting any of the formations. For those who want to see images of the 2006 crop circles and see comments about the formations and about the phenomenon in general, check out www.cropcircleconnector.com and www.circlemakers.org for all the latest news and images.
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 new information on the Rendlesham Forest incident. 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 in the UFO community.
YouTube is one of the most popular internet sites at the moment. It is also a place where you can view some intriguing UFO videos downloaded onto the site by witnesses and by UFO researchers, either from private footage or from commercial videos of UFOs. Check out http://www.youtube.com/ and put the word UFO into the search box at the top of the front page. Happy hunting.
More Big Cat Sightings in UK
A recent survey has suggested that as many as 6000 so-called big cat sightings have taken place in the UK since 2000. The survey also revealed that other exotic animals not normally seen in the UK had been reported, including crocodiles, wolves and pandas. Some of these sightings may be hoaxes and some misidentifications, but some may be genuine and may be a result of animals escaping from illegal private collections. When I ran the MOD UFO project I received several reports of panthers, lynxes, pumas and other big cats, loose in the UK. There were even reports of lions. I took this seriously enough to agree to a meeting with an official from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, primarily because I was concerned that one day someone would be killed as a result of stumbling across such an animal.
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.
Hitler and Nazis Possessed by Devil
Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist at the Vatican, has claimed that Adolf Hitler and many of the top Nazi leaders were possessed by the devil. The controversial remarks were made in a radio interview where Amorth revealed that during the Second World War, Pope Pius XII attempted to carry out a remote exorcism. The remarks come amidst continuing controversy over a lack of action by the Catholic Church during the war, and over the background of the current Pope, Benedict XVI, who was formerly a member of the Hitler Youth organisation. Amorth also claimed that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was similarly possessed.
Round Table Evidence Found at Windsor Castle
Tony Robinson and his Time Team programme found themselves at the centre of controversy when they conducted a dig at Windsor Castle and unearthed evidence of a round building, 200 feet in diameter, that may once have housed a round table. The archaeological programme was given unprecedented access to the Royal Palace and although the find is linked to a 14th century structure built by Edward III to sit the original 300 Knights of the Garter, the find has inevitably fuelled theories about links with King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
The Dead Are Talking
Ross Hemsworth is best known as a radio show host, as a chronicler of the paranormal and as someone who has appeared in the hit TV series Ghost Detectives. Now, Ross has his own book out, documenting his own research into the paranormal. The Dead Are Talking will be launched on October 31 at Labrynth book shop in Glastonbury. Check out http://www.nowthatsweird.co.uk/ for details of Russ and his radio show and http://www.grayfriarpress.com/catalogue/deadtalking.html for details of his book.
Hunters of Dune
Sci-fi fans will be interested in a new book by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. Hunters of Dune is the latest in a series of books by these two authors, who have continued the legacy of the great sci-fi author Frank Herbert, by expanding on his original Dune books and continuing the story. While the various sequels and prequels have provoked mixed reactions from admirers of Frank Herbert, I have found these new books enjoyable and well written, and believe they are a compelling expansion to the Dune universe. Look out for the next book in the series, Sandworms of Dune, available in August 2007. And check out the official Dune website at http://www.dunenovels.com/ for details of the books.
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