UFO DATA Magazine

International UFO Conference 2008

Some say that time is speeding up, that as we hurtle towards 2012 the second hand is sweeping round faster and faster. Seeing as it seems like no time at all since the Roswell 60 conference a whole year ago, I might just agree with that. It’s hard to believe that twelve months have passed since we all gathered at the Parkside Hotel in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Proceedings began at 10am with some disappointing news. Our first speaker, Rosalind Reynolds, had not arrived. Rosalind had been in a car accident and while she was not seriously hurt, she was badly shaken. Everybody at UFO DATA Magazine sends her our best wishes. Philip Mantle stepped up and admirably filled in, giving a great, impromptu talk about the recent ‘Roswell rocks’ fiasco.

Philip explained how he visited Roswell and was taken out to one of the alleged crash sites, when an extraterrestrial craft was said to have come down in 1947. He was shown rocks in the area, which have a strange, blue substance spattered over them. This substance was jokingly referred to as ‘alien puke’. This substance, Philip learned was called rystalobite. Samples were retrieved and Philip brought them home.

Some time later, a Dr Ronnie Milione contacted Philip and the subject of these rocks came up. Milione said that he had a friend at the Brookhaven National Laboratory that would be able to analyse them.

The analysis came back to Philip from a Dr Ronald Rau and, despite there being several grammatical errors in the text, it was on Brookhaven-headed paper and the reports appeared technical enough to the layman. Philip had several email exchanges with this Dr Raw and he was surprised when the scientist agreed that a UFO crash could have caused some of the results found in the lab tests.

It soon became clear, though, that something was amiss. Philip was contacted by several respected UFO researchers, who warned him that Milione was a well-known fraudster. It also emerged that while there was a Dr Rau at Brookhaven, he retired many years ago. Also, he was not a geologist, but a high energy physicist. Dr Rau contacted Philip and assured him that he had no knowledge of the tests sent to him by Milione.

PPhilip was extremely angry at the hoax that had been perpetrated upon him and legal proceedings are under way. As an aside, Philip revealed that the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) had contacted him and were concerned that they had just signed up Milione as one of their representatives! Philip advised them about Milione and it’s likely they will release him from their organisation.

The fiasco has had a positive outcome, however. A legitimate scientist from the States has visited the Roswell site and has personally gather samples and will test them, promising to forward the results to Philip.

Questions from the audience asked about radiation, geology and if Philip believed a UFO crashed at Roswell, to which he replied that he did, having spoken to many researchers and people such as Jesse Marcel Jr.

Ask anybody to name a town connected with UFOs and top of the list will be Warminster. Kevin Goodman has made the UFO history of this small, Wiltshire town his life’s work. His lecture, delivered in a humorous and endearing style, unveiled his lifelong obsession.

He began by giving a potted history of the Warminster mystery. The phenomena began in the mid-Sixties, not with sightings, but with sounds. People would hear strange noises in the town, often sounding like branches scraping across the rooftops. One chap described the noise as being like every one of his roofing tiles being lifted off and slammed back down again. A reporter on the Warminster Journal would become synonymous with Warminster and its UFOs. His name was Arthur Shuttlewood. Shuttlewood reported the noises and later sightings as a good reporter would, dispassionately. Kevin explained that once Arthur had a sighting of his own, his reporting changed. He was now a firm believer in UFOs and promoted the subject in the six books he would eventually write, beginning with The Warminster Mystery in 1968. Unfortunately, Shuttlewood began exaggerating the stories he heard, particularly in his books, which became increasingly ‘far out’ and esoteric.

Back to Warminster and events there really took off in 1965-1966. A place called Cradle Hill seemed to be the best location to see UFOs. It was right next to a military base, which was only a mile or so from the town and on Saturday nights, fifty or sixty people could attend the regular skywatches held there. Lights in the sky were often seen, such as the famous ‘Amber Gambler’.

Kevin then presented some photographs by Bob Strong. One photo, Kevin explained, was a flare and another was merely a kink in the negative. He also showed us some photos and maps of the area to allow us to get a ‘lay of the land’.

Then we came to the infamous photograph taken by Gordon Faulkner of the so-called Warminster Thing. It is a classic disc-shaped object, oft reproduced in newspapers and magazines. Kevin explained that we generally only see the grainy enlargement of the object and that, in the original photograph, ‘The Thing’ is hardly discernible. In 1980, Faulkner admitted that he had faked the photograph with a cotton reel, only to later recant this and say the image was genuine.

Arthur Shuttlewood, meanwhile, claimed that he was being contacted by aliens via a telephone box. He was also visited by ‘Aryan’ people at his home. Crop circles also appeared in the area and were purported to be UFO landing sites.

In the early 1970s, a Fleet Street reporter, Ken Rogers, moved into the area. He was an admitted UFO buff and would go on to edit the Warminster UFO Newsletter. By this time, Shuttlewood was fully ensnared by the UFO subject and, as mentioned earlier, his books became ever more metaphysical and ‘New Age’ in nature.

It was in the 1970s that Kevin became fascinated by the UFO enigma. When he was fifteen, Kevin was under the impression that UFOs were solely and American phenomenon. He was surprised to discover that the UK had its fair share of UFO lore. As a young man, he would visit Warminster and stay at Star House, the centre set up by Peter and Jane Paget. Kevin and his friend were allowed to stay in the newly-opened self-catering section for the princely sum of fifty pence per night.

From Star House came The Fountain Journal, a subscription-based newsletter edited by the Pagets, Jane’s mother and Arthur Shuttlewood. After just three issues, Shuttlewood pulled out and the journal went into decline. The Pagets asked subscribers to pay a £100 lifetime fee. Not surprisingly, nobody took up the offer and it is a good thing, because The Fountain Journal only lasted for ten more issues!

Returning to Star House later in the year with his friends, Colin and Chris, Kevin became sucked into the Warminster phenomenon. He and his friends went out on skywatches and did some audio recordings at Cradle Hill. They were intrigued to find strange, clicking sounds on the tape (in his book, UFO Warminster: Cradle of Contact, Kevin describes the sounds as ‘thumping’, more akin to a heartbeat than a clicking). They tried again with a different tape recorder and heard the same sounds. On the third attempt, they descended into an old, concrete grain silo, sixteen feet underground. They recorded silence for five minutes and, guess what, the same clicking sounds were on the tape. Kevin cannot explain it to this day. 

One foggy night, the group were standing by the white gates that sit adjacent to Cradle Hill when they became spooked by something. They decided to retreat back to Star House and fully expected the door to be unlocked, as the Pagets ran a more or less ‘open house’ policy. The door wouldn’t budge. They knew that somebody was in, but know amount of hammering at the door or yelling brought an answer. Then it started raining. They looked around the house for another door or an open window and it was then that Colin was pushed over by an unseen force. Kevin found a window and began climbing through. Imagine his ire when he had climbed halfway through and Colin and Chris entered through the unlocked front door!

A year later, Chris and Kevin returned to Star House. They were in a room at the top of the house and had a good view of the countryside from the window. Suddenly Chris leaped up and ran to the window. Kevin joined him and they watched a silver, cigar-shaped object cross the sky from right to left. Kevin had a decent camera and snapped off three exposures, keeping the camera as steady as he could.

Peter Paget offered to have the film developed for them, but Kevin declined. A week later, he collected the photos from the chemist (as you did back then). No UFO could be seen in any of the exposures. He had the photos enlarged, but there was still no sign of the anomalous object that they had seen so clearly. What was going on? Both he and Chris had clearly seen the UFO and Chris had pointed out that people on Cradle Hill were gesticulating towards it. Unfortunately, Kevin no longer has the negatives and he regrets rashly throwing them away so many years ago, given what can be achieved with modern image processing software. 

In the late Seventies, Arthur Shuttlewood separated from the Pagets and became allied with another group called UFO-Info. The Fountain Journal ceased publication when the Pagets left Warminster for pastures new and UFO-Info also folded a short time later.

In 1978, the BBC produced a documentary about UFOs and they visited Warminster. Arthur Shuttlewood was invited to participate and he grudgingly accepted. The documentary spent two nights on Cradle Hill with Arthur. The first night, he was very tight-lipped with them, but on the second, he opened up and began telling some of his more implausible stories, such as being levitated by a ‘white being’. Of course, the BBC broadcast this ‘sensational’ account and the public ridicule ensued.

In 1994, Ken Rogers published his book, The Warminster Triangle.. It looked at UFOs, the paranormal and general Forteana, including a 1912 sighting of a ‘fast aircraft’ seen flying over a nearby town.

Arthur huttlewood died in 1996 and Kevin noted that almost everybody had fond memories of the man.

In 2005, Steve Dewey and John Reis released their book, In Alien Heat: The Warminster Mystery Revisited. It is a sceptical analysis of the events in the town and Kevin recommends it, written, as it is, by two people who have been to Warminster and taken part in skywatches and interviewed witnesses and ufologists alike.

Warminster is a very special place for Kevin. He has started holding anniversary skywatches on Cradle Hill and people come from all over the country to attend. 

While Warminster’s heyday may have been in the 1960s, UFO sightings still continue to this day. In 2006, a woman was out walking her dog and saw five red lights moving quickly towards Cley Hill, a hill fort and barrow near Warminster. The lights formed a triangle and shot off at high speed. Kevin looked into this sighting and could find no explanation for what the woman (and her dog) saw.

Why did so much happen at Warminster? Kevin has a personal theory. In the 1950s, the Clean Air Bill was passed. Atmospheric pollution began to decrease and the skies became clearer. The 1960s were the height of the Space Age and public interest was enormous. This period was also the dawn of mass air transportation, with more aircraft than ever crossing our skies. All these factors, Kevin believes added to the Warminster mystery.

Kevin was asked by an audience member about Arthur Shuttlewood’s ‘UFO detectors’. Kevin, of course did remember these devices that picked up electromagnetic field variations and beeped accordingly. They were not very reliable and were prone to go off even when an identical detector beside it remained silent. Kevin had also alluded to a contactee experience he believed he had had. Kevin was unsure of what had actually happened, so did not like to comment further.

Kevin’s talk was excellent. His book, UUFO Warminster: Cradle of Contact, is a great read and highly recommended and his website can be found at www.ufo-warminster.co.uk

After lunch (and my nabbing of a signed copy of Kevin Goodman’s book!), Wing Commander Alan Turner MBE entered the conference hall. Wing Cdr Turner is now disabled, so could not stand at the lectern. He still managed to keep the packed room enraptured by his talk.

Alan first spoke about his experience at RAF opley in 1971 at the Stafford Paranormal Society four years ago. He retired from the RAF in 1995, due to ill health. 

He began with an explanation of how radar works. A radio pulse is sent out and the return signal is captured in a cathode ray tube. Every fifteen seconds, the sweep is updated and the previous blips begin to fade. This gives the radar operator the relative speed of the aircraft. The closer together the blips, the slower the plane is going. The farther apart they are, the faster.

In the 1960s and 1970s, radar screens had to be viewed in the dark and there was no computer software to remove extraneous information, such as birds, storm fronts etc., as there is today.

Alan showed us a map of the southern portion of the UK and how it was divided into distinct radar zones. RAF Sopley, in Hampshire, was part of Southern Radar and they used Type 264 radar equipment. Alan was the duty supervisor and he had three radar controllers at separate consoles. Each of these controllers had an assistant. On top of this were three more assistants, a supervisor and a cook.

In the summer of 1971, six blips appeared on the scopes. It was about 2pm and the returns were headed in a south-easterly direction. According to the height-finder radar, the closest blip was at an altitude of 3000 feet (914 metres), while the furthest was at 60,000 feet (18,290 metres). The distance from the first to the last blip was about 40 miles (64.4 km). The only type of aircraft that could climb to such a height in only 40 miles was the English-Electric Lightning.

In all, over a period of about twenty-five minutes, about forty blips appeared on the scopes, headed south-east and vanished. Alan said that there was no way so many Lightnings would be sent out in such a fashion. It would leave UK airspace defenceless against the Warsaw Pact. This was the height of the Cold War remember.

Alan checked around and his colleagues at the RAF confirmed that they had nothing airborne at that time. He also found that at least five other radar stations had detected the objects. Two Canberra light bombers were returning from Germany. Alan requested that they check out the radar returns. The pilots also had the objects on their radar and they headed towards them.  As they approached, one of the pilots reported that an object on his scope had ‘climbed like the clappers’. Nobody saw the objects with the naked eye and Alan has no explanation for what caused these radar returns.

As is standard procedure, a camera records takes photos of the radar screens at regular intervals and Alan took the images and locked them in the base safe. Afterwards, he and his colleagues wrote up their reports about the incident.

Three or four days later, Alan was called in to his CO’s office where he was interviewed about the incident by men in civilian dress. They were polite and friendly and Alan thinks that there was nothing sinister about being told not to speak about what he and his colleagues saw on the radar scopes 

In 1975, Alan was stationed at RAF Wattisham when his commanding officer told him that he had heard back from the MoD and that the incident was regarded as ‘unexplained’.

Since Alan came forward with his story, great interest has been shown in the media and he has done many interviews in newspapers, magazines and on various radio shows around the world. The night before the UFO DATA conference, he was contacted by a former colleague who told him that he clearly remembered the incident. Others have also begun coming forward, many from different RAF bases, and are beginning to talk about this and other incidents.

Alan concluded by saying that if the MoD ever released the images from the radar screens, he believes that they would be altered to show nothing out of the ordinary.

Questions from the audience included a query about the size of the objects. Alan explained that the radar could not differentiate sizes. A small aircraft would return the same size blip as a Jumbo jet. He was also asked if he had any ideas about what it was that the radar picked up. He does not know, but he does not discount the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. The galaxy is so huge, he said, that there must be intelligent life out there capable of reaching our planet.

Finally, Alan was asked if the radar returns could have been caused by an SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ or U2 reconnaissance aircraft. Alan explained that when those aircraft were due to overfly UK airspace, a code word was given so that the radar stations knew that the aircraft was friendly. No code word was given that day at Sopley in 1971.

Alan’s lecture was fascinating and the fact that a former wing commander is prepared to speak at a UFO conference about his experiences is a huge step forward for the subject as a whole.

After Alan’s talk, UFO DATA Magazine co-editor, Gary Heseltine took the stage for a special presentation. He told the audience that because of his status as a police detective, he gets extra attention from the media. On the whole, he said, the mainstream media do not give the UFO subject the coverage it deserves, but when somebody like Wing Commander Alan Turner comes along, they should take notice of him. Gary is very impressed with Alan’s story, noting that he served for six years in the RAF and knows the ins and outs of what goes on in the forces. Gary has spoken to large numbers of people about UFOs, including pilots, policemen, military officers etc, and feels that reports from such witnesses should be taken very seriously.

He then went on to cover the Belgian UFO wave of 1990, when a triangular UFO was intercepted by F16s of the Belgian air force. The fighters got a radar lock on the object, which suddenly descended five thousand feet in only three seconds. The object performed a ninety degree turn, pulling thirty Gs, a manoeuvre totally impossible by today’s aircraft. The Belgian air force concluded that the UFO was an unknown, intelligently-controlled vehicle. How can the media ignore a news story like that?!

Gary referenced the recent releases by the MoD concerning UFOs. This garnered much media coverage, including good reports about the Milton Torres incident and the UFO near-miss over Heathrow by an Alitalia jet. Alongside these good stories, though, the media also focussed on the more far-fetched stories from the MoD files, including the one from a lady claiming to be from an alien world of ‘warrior women’, accompanied by sketches of pointy-eared beings and an ‘Amazon’ in flowing robes. Why focus on stories such as this when there are great reports such as the Milton Torres and Alitalia ones?

In August, 2008, Gary met with a television production company based in London. They told him that they were interested in doing some programming based on the UFO subject. The mother of one of the producers had claimed to be an abductee and this was the impetus for making the series.

Gary devised and will present an eight-part series about serious UFO stories. The company is keen to produce this series and is waiting for financial backing. Watch this space!

Philip Mantle also confirmed that a UFO DATA television programme could be in the offing. Exciting stuff.

Russel Callaghan stepped up to the podium after the break. It has been five years since the sad passing of Graham Birdsall and Russ recalled the conferences staged by Graham and UFO Magazine. He noted that this year’s conference had the first increase in ticket prices for twenty years, explaining that this was necessary due to the expense of bringing in speakers from overseas. He commended the Parkside Hotel for providing UFO DATA Magazine with a great venue for the conference.

YouTube has provided people all over the world with a great vehicle for distributing their UFO videos. Of course, most of the UFO footage that appears on YouTube is either of very low quality, fake or both. It has proven to be both a useful tool for ufologists, but at the same time, a boon for hoaxsters.

Russ has been involved with video production for many years and knows the subject well. His tips for posting on YouTube can be boiled down to one key thing: use the best quality footage you can when uploading. If the video you upload is pretty poor, then the conversion process by YouTube will make it look even worse, so use the highest quality original footage you can.

Russ recommended using DV tapes for filming rather than camcorders that come with DVD, hard drives or flash memory. He has found that digital tape provides the best quality.

Moving on, Russ commented on the recent MoD releases, noting that, being written by UFO researchers, UFO DATA Magazine had reported the Milton Torres story, where, in the Fifties, he was a fighter pilot and was ordered to shoot down a UFO, months before the Ministry opened its files. A big thank you to David Cayton for getting that story to us.

Russ accepts that the MoD needs its secrets, after all, they are charged with the defence of our country. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows the public to ask for any UFO files the government may possess. This is great in theory, but in practice, it can be both illuminating and frustrating in equal measure.

Recalling the infamous Condign Report, Russ explained that the MoD refused to allow UFO DATA Magazine to release the report on CD to its readers unless we paid them a huge fee. The report (and all MoD literature) is covered by Crown Copyright, you see. Russ thought this was kind of ironic, given that much of the material in the report was lifted from external, copyrighted sources!

At least the MoD releases have sparked public interest in UFOs and the conference was covered by both the Paranormal Channel and Sky News.

Russ remembered when UFO Magazine received the Martyn Stubbs NASA footage. This would go on to be the subject of the award-winning Smoking Gun video. Bruce Burgess, the documentary maker of Dreamland fame (and more recently, the excellent Bloodline), had arranged to meet Russ and Graham Birdsall at the Laughlin conference in Nevada. They were to visit NASA and do all sorts of things to promote the Smoking Gun video with Burgess. When they arrived at the hotel, a fax from Burgess was handed to them saying that the visit to NASA had been dropped without explanation.

Russ also recalled the time when he appeared on GMTV for UFO Magazine. He took along the Martyn Stubbs footage of the STS-75 ‘tether incident’, along with some other UFO footage, and arrived early for the show. Everything seemed okay. Then there was a ‘mix up’ with the clips and the same UFO footage was shown twice. The Stubbs clips were not broadcast at all. Russ said Eamonn Holmes hit the roof. He was furious. The gallery claimed to have ‘lost’ the STS-75 footage.

That may well be true, but it happened again, when Russ appeared on The Big Breakfast! Why didn’t the broadcasters want the public to see the STS-75 footage?

This year, UFO DATA Magazine contributed to the Channel 5 series, Britain’s Closest Encounters. Russ, Philip and Gary gave up a lot of time and material for their parts in the programme concerning Alan Godfrey. In the end, they only got seconds of on-air time. Russ was very critical of the programme, particularly the way the producers linked PC Godfrey’s UFO sighting to the case of Zigmund Adamski, a Polish immigrant miner, who was found dead in Todmorden a few months before Alan’s incident. PC Godfrey was the officer called to the scene, where Mr Adamski was found atop a pile of coal in a coal yard. Russ explained that Alan has long said that there is no connection at all between Zigmund Adamski and his UFO sighting. They are both mysterious, yes, but they are not connected, except by Alan’s presence.

Russ was also critical of the way the programme treated Captain Ray Bowyer, the pilot who, along with several of his passengers, saw two huge UFOs near Guernsey in 2007. Ray has flown the same route for years. He knows what he saw, yet the programme’s ‘experts’ claimed to know better. It is no wonder that pilots are cautious about coming forward with sighting reports. The late Graham Shepherd, an airline pilot for years, almost lost his job when he spoke about his UFO encounter.

Then we had the Sharon Rowlands footage from Bonsall in Derbyshire. Her footage, once touted as extraordinary evidence, is nothing more than an out of focus light source. The footage shown in the programme resolves in the last four seconds to show us that it is an aeroplane, nothing more. Despite this, an ‘expert’ declares it to be a lamp post!

Russ recalled the time when he and Graham Birdsall visited Bonsall. Local UFO researcher, Omar Fowler, had phoned UFO Magazine saying that he thought the footage showed a plane, but they went anyway. As they approached Sharon’s house, she was out walking her dog. Graham called out to her and she set off running away from them, refusing to speak to Graham and Russ.

The story goes that she was offered £20,000 for her tape. That’s not true, explained Russ. Famed UFO programme maker, Bob Kiviat was offered the film, but he declined and there was no way he would ever pay such an amount of money.

After Russ’ talk, we were treated to an extra guest, as Colin Saunders, an aircraft engineer, told the audience about his family’s UFO experience. He and his family were driving home after a meal in Warwickshire in March 1999. They saw some red lights hovering by the side of the road. As they approached, the object morphed into a saucer or cigar shape and then into a triangle. Colin produced a model of what he saw, complete with flashing lights.

He considers that what he saw was a ‘nuts and bolts’ craft, being about the width of the conference hall from about a hundred feet away. A hedge blocked their view and when they passed them, the object was gone. Then they saw it again in the distance, moving away. He would say the UFO was at least the size of a football pitch and moved in complete silence.

The final speaker of the day was Dr Roberto Pinotti from Italy. He is the director of the Centro Ufologico Nazionale (CUN). His lecture was accompanied by slides which went a little bit awry towards the end, but that didn’t mar the enjoyment of his fascinating talk.

Roberto spoke of his early days in ufology and a wave of sightings in Italy in 1978-79, when more than two thousand reports came in. The reports were so numerous that the Italian air force began a study into UFOs, but Roberto said it was nothing more than ‘a filing exercise’.

According to Roberto, the Italian press is not too bad when it comes to ufology and they cover UFO reports regularly. That these stories are rarely heard outside of Italy is down to the language barrier, he speculates.

Roberto explained that Italy has had many UFO flaps and showed a graph with peaks in 1950, 54, 70, 78 and 1979. There was also a minor wave in the 1990s. Roberto told us of some Italian UFO cases:

In 1947, a professor was in the Italian Alps when he came across two alien entities. They paralysed him, climbed into their craft and took off.

A series of photos were shown that Roberto explained were faked. They depict a saucer landing and a ‘being’ emerging. They were nothing more than models, as explained by Roberto.

In 1954, there were more than a thousand sightings and Italy’s most influential magazine (their equivalent to Time or Life) featured UFO stories heavily. In October of that year, a press photographer captured a UFO on film. Two cigar-shaped objects flew over Florence and were watched by thousands of people. A football match was interrupted as the craft flew over head. The objects released smaller craft. Local newspapers went ‘crazy’ about the incident. ‘Angel hair’ was found and analysed by a university in the first official investigation of the substance in the world. It was found to be made of various elements, but it was unstable, so deteriorated rapidly.

On November 1st, a woman was walking in the countryside when she encountered an object in the fields. It was a flattened cone shape, like a Chinese hat. Beings came out of the craft and spoke to her in a language she did not understand. Despite this, she was not afraid at first. Soon afterwards, though, she became scared and fled. She told of her encounter and others went to the area to find traces on the ground where the object had been. More witnesses came forward, saying they had seen the object taking off. The police interviewed the woman and found her to be very sincere. Roberto believes this is one of the most important cases from Italy.

In Tuscany in 1962, a witness has a Close Encounter of the Third Kind (CE3K) with robot-like entities. A drawing was provided which resembled another case which Roberto would come to later.

During this period, the Italian air force began using the same UFO sighting report forms that were in use by Project Blue Book in the United States. They consist of twenty-seven questions and the same form is in use to this day.

In the 1960s, an important political figure in Italy had a daylight sighting of a UFO. He was in his car with his wife and daughter, driving to the seaside near Rome. They were followed by a disc-shaped object. Terrified, they returned to Rome and the politician passed on his report to the Italian Secret Service. The details of the incident were only released by chance.

More sightings from the 1960s include ones from the Adriatic Coast, an object similar to the famous ‘Adamski saucer’ and a flying triangle intercepted by Italian jet fighters in 1966.

In 1973, three aircraft spotted an unknown object over Turin airport. The same year, the air force picked up unknown objects on radar and an air force sergeant saw a UFO.

In 1974, a boy took two photos of a UFO and Roberto said they were judged to be genuine.

Roberto’s lecture continued like this for a while, with case after case from Italy being mentioned, but not reviewed in-depth. To include them all would take far too long, but they made for interesting listening.

In the 1930s, Italian dictator, Mussolini, became interested in UFOs. There had been many reports of aeroplanes encountering strange objects in the skies over Italy. Believing that other European nations were behind these unidentified craft, Mussolini set up a secret group to research the UFOs. The aim was to capture some of this technology for Fascist Italy. The head of this group was none other than Guglielmo Marconi. During this period, blueprints for an Italian ‘flying saucer’ emerged, only for this and all other UFO research to be seized by Italy’s Axis ally, Nazi Germany.

Italy’s research into UFOs in the 1930s made the country the first in the world to officially investigate UFOs, according to Roberto, beating the USA by a decade.

The English version of the CUN website can be found at http://www.cun-italia.net/welcome.htm

Sunday’s line-up began with Brian Allan, who gave a fascinating lecture on so-called ‘portal areas’, locations that appear to have large and varied instances of paranormal phenomena. Brian meshes science with magic and the paranormal to great effect, linking quantum mechanics to magical spells and more.

While our technology on Earth is based around mechanical and electrical systems, he believes that people from ‘elsewhere’ may have technology that utilises words and chants, what we would have called spells only a few years ago. Could it be possible that by accessing the vibrational fields of the universe, one could open a portal to another place in time and space? Or even a doorway to another dimension of reality? It’s mind-blowing stuff!

In a way, our experiments in quantum physics are a way of doing this, but utilising our understanding of technology. The Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, is a way for our scientists to explore the subatomic or quantum universe. The Holy Grail of quantum physics is to discover the Higgs Boson, the so-called ‘God Particle’, that, if the models are correct can answer some of the fundamental questions in nature, particularly the question of why matter has mass when it is essentially made up from ‘massless’ subatomic particles.

If we can get to the bottom of how the universe ticks, we could create traversable wormholes, much like those seen in the popular movie and TV series, Stargate. In that instance, physical technology is utilised to open a wormhole to another place in the universe, but it may also be possible to do the same thing by other means.

The drug, dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT, is thought by many to be a way to open portals to other planes of existence. Many users experience similar experiences while under the influence of the drug, often taken in the form of ayahuasca, a foul-tasting tea used in South America. Users often report conversing with ‘aliens’, seeing UFOs and many other strange things. 

This leads Alan to the notion that physical existence is irrevocably linked to the conscious mind. He told the story of when Captain James Cook moored his ship beside a lonely island. The natives could not see his ship and were astounded to see men emerging from thin air. They had never seen a ship before, so their minds had no frame of reference. To them, the ship only ‘appeared’ when they touched it. This reminds me of the Anthropic Principle, which states that matter does not exist in a physical form until it is perceived. The ship didn’t exist for the islanders until they touched it.

Alan then showed us a picture of a tesseract, also called a hypercube. A tesseract is a three-dimensional representation of a four-dimensional form (or in the case of the picture, a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional representation of a four-dimensional form – ouch!). While it is difficult to understand what this means, Alan believes he once underwent a shift in consciousness that allowed him to experience the tesseract from the inside out. It made a lasting impression upon him.

Moving on to ‘portal’ or ‘window’ areas, Alan briefly reviewed the so-called Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. This was the subject of a terrific book by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp, based on the investigations of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). NIDS bought the ranch and recorded many instances of unexplainable phenomena, ranging from UFOs to orbs to ghosts to poltergeist incidents and more. 

One thing portal areas have in common, Alan explained, is the reporting of orbs. He has seen them with the naked eye, so they could not be dismissed as dust or moisture, as many orb photographs are.

Other notable portal area ‘events’ include them lying on ley lines, the sighting of jet black, coffin-shaped objects or strange entities, such as mothmen, owlmen, ETs and more. Animal mutilations are also reported more in portal areas; low frequency humming is often heard, like the Taos Hum and the Largs Hum.

Another example of how this ‘magical’ side to the universe has been engaged with is The Philadelphia Experiment, in which the USS Eldridge was made to disappear for a period of time before returning with shocking results – if the stories are to be believed. When the ship reappeared, men and equipment were found fused into bulkheads.

A similar result came out of the experiments of John Hutchison, a Canadian researcher and discoverer of ‘the Hutchison Effect’. Hutchison was trying to recreate the experiments of Nikola Tesla and found that sometimes, by applying methods that are somewhat unclear, he could levitate objects, change the structure of objects and even cause dissimilar objects (such as wood and metal) to merge into one another. Hutchison is a controversial character and there are as many people who believe he is a fraud as those who stand by his research.

Back to the beginning – the very Beginning! Alan thinks that the dawn of our universe, the Big Bang, was actually a portal bursting into our universe and creating it as it expanded.

The Bible tells us that in the beginning there was the Word. Could words and phrases i.e. sounds have created our universe? Everything in the universe has a frequency, a vibrational frequency. Experiments in manipulating frequencies have been conducted that appear to have created light, sound and water out of a vacuum. Tesla noted that everything is ‘vibration, resonance and frequency’. Imagine if he had the technology at his disposal to make his intellect a reality.

Sticking with the Biblical theme, Alan showed us the Tetragrammaton, depicted in Hebrew as יהוה. This is, according to Hebrew myth, the lost name of God. In our alphabet it is YHWH – Yahweh or Jehovah. It is said to be a powerful word when spoken properly and this brought us back to the spells of magicians and the notion that the physical world can be affected by specific sound frequencies. 

Probably the most famous story about using sound to affect the environment is that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In this famous old tale, the Piper uses his flute to rid the town of its plague of rats. The townsfolk then refuse to pay him and, using his flute again, abducts the children of the town, luring them into a cave, never to be seen again. One child could not keep up and returned to the town to tell the tale. The story varies depending on the source, with some of them having two kids escape, some having the children lured into the river and at least one (the one I heard at school) having the children lead to a face of rock, which they then enter while the piper plays his flute.

Was this an example of portal transit? Did the Pied Piper use musical frequencies to open a doorway to ‘somewhere’?

Allan told the legend of the Reverend Robert Kirk. Kirk was walking on Doon Hill (sometimes called Fairy Hill) in Aberfoyle, Scotland, in 1692, when he collapsed and died. The story goes that it is not Kirk’s body buried in his grave, but a duplicate provided by ‘fairies’, the real Robert Kirk having been taken away by them. It is said that Kirk reappeared at the christening of his son, hoping to be released from his fairy captivity, only for it to go a bit pear-shaped. Kirk vanished once more and was never seen again. It is thought by some that Kirk may be a gatekeeper between our world and the fairy world, basically an interdimensional doorman at the portal between realities.

Some famous people have claimed to have glimpsed beyond our dimension and into other realms. Dr John Dee, that jack-of-all-trades for Queen Elizabeth I, was said to have used the method of scrying to view alternative realities. He would gaze into obsidian and other crystals and, he claimed, ‘angels’ would speak with him. He would write down these dictations in the Enochian language he said angels spoke.

Aleister Crowley, the famous occultist, was said to have opened a portal and conversed with a being called Lam, who may or may not have been an Enochian angel. The thing about Crowley’s representation of Lam is that he looks a heck of a lot like a Grey alien! Brian believes there is a connection between the Greys, demons and the so-called Reptilians. It is possible that they can be summoned. Yes, we’re back to incantations again. Crowley was alleged to have successfully summoned demons at his house on the shores of Loch Ness in the early 1900s. A few years later and the loch would become famous for something else entirely. Could Loch Ness be a portal area artificially opened by Crowley’s ‘magic’?

Later, Crowley would join the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) and within only two years would be the head of the British and Irish chapters. He travelled to America and opened a lodge, which had members including Jack Parsons, founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology.

1947 became something of a ‘window year’, with lots of things happening (the dawn of modern ufology, Roswell, the CIA is formed, the IMF is formed, the US Air Force is formed, the sound barrier is broken, the WTO is formed, the first transistor is made and tons of other stuff). Brian believes this may be because in that year (the year of Crowley’s death), Parsons and Hubbard may have attempted to artificially open a portal and it backfired, enabling something to pass into our world. This something was a homunculus, an agent or a demon from elsewhere loosed into our reality and triggering many of the things that have passed into our history.

This brings us to Brian’s favourite subject, Rosslyn Chapel, near Edinburgh. Brian believes that a portal exists at Rosslyn and that there are clues designed into the chapel’s construction that can unlock this mystic doorway. He believes that the key lies in red light, what we could call a laser. One of the stained glass windows casts a red light and Brian thinks that something should be hanging from the ceiling of the chapel to catch the light and produce a beam in front of the altar. In 1998, Brian was visiting the chapel and experienced what he believes to be energy from the portal. It had a profound effect on him. He also thinks the portal was partially opened in 2005.

What is behind the portal? Brian said there are various theories, but he believes it might be a ‘reality of information’. A psychic once told him that Rosslyn exists 99.9% in our reality and 0.1% in another dimension. The quote by Arthur C Clarke came to mind: “Any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic.”

Brian firmly believes that today’s quantum physicists will become the new magicians that will allow mankind to finally traverse the universe.

Details of Brian’s book, TThe Hole in the Sky can be found at http://hiddenmysteries.com

After a coffee break (and, boy, I needed one after Brian’s lecture – rikey it was good!) Peter McCue began his talk about what he has termed hyperscepticism. This is when a different yardstick is applied to extraordinary events than they would to a more mundane occurrence. If you see a car crash, for example, nobody will disbelieve you, but say you saw a UFO crash, then that’s a whole different kettle of fish. Often sceptics will use the famous Carl Sagan fob off: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, meaning “I don’t believe you!” 

Sometimes a sceptic will blurt out something that gives credulity a whole new level. Take, for instance, the case of Alan Godfrey recently featured in Britain’s Closest Encounters. In that episode, researcher Andy Roberts suggested that PC Godfrey had somehow entered an altered state of consciousness and had, in fact, seen a bus! That’s obviously nonsense, said Peter.

According to a sceptic, paranormal events cannot occur. Peter believes such events are commonplace. We all know people who have had some sort of paranormal experience, be it a UFO sighting, seeing a ghost or having a premonition of some kind.

Now, scepticism itself is not a bad thing, in fact it is essential, but hypersceptics, according to Peter, often border on the delusional. There are three main types of people: Credulists, who don’t have enough scepticism and believe practically everything they are told; healthy sceptics, who take a normal approach, investigating seriously and coming to honest conclusions; Hypersceptics, who dismiss everything, even if their alternative explanations are as unlikely as the original claim.

One case close to Peter’s heart is the Clapham Woods Mystery. Clapham Woods lies in West Sussex and has been a hotbed of paranormal activity for many years. In the 1960s, there were many UFO sightings in the area. In the 1970s, several dogs went missing in the woods and others would become distressed, only to return to normal after leaving the area. Paranormal events occurred, with apparitions being seen, presences being felt, big cats being spotted and many other strange goings-on. Going back to Brian Allan’s talk, he referred to Clapham Woods as a ‘window area’.

Occult activity was also reported, with one group, the Friends of Hecate, being prominent. Conducting animal sacrifices in the woods. A walker once found a demonic mural in a barn in Clapham Woods. In 1982, author, Toyne Newton, received a letter from a Friends of Hecate initiate suggesting that human sacrifice had gone on and that the disappearance of a vicar was connected. The Reverend Harry Snelling had disappeared in 1978 and his body was not found until three years later. There have been several deaths in the area in the 1970s and 1980s, boosting the woods’ notoriety.

When Peter investigated, though, he found that a local gamekeeper had admitted killing the dogs that had gone missing, blaming them for scaring his birds. He sees the mystery as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, with the area’s occult status drawing in those with an interest to take part in occult ceremonies. Indeed, signs of occultism can be found all over Clapham Woods, with pentagrams and other symbols carved into trees.

UFO hyperscepticism comes in three main types, said Peter: Naive – where the sceptic is ignorant of the subject and accepts the views of other sceptics; Delusional – where the sceptic is aware of the evidence but will not accept it; Synthetic – where the sceptic makes public sceptical statements, but privately believes otherwise.

Stanton Friedman believed that Dr Donald Menzel, a noted UFO sceptic, was a secret believer, having seen a UFO himself in 1949.

The characteristics of hyperscepticism are: mockery, presupposition, prejudicial language (calling researchers ‘UFO buffs’, for instance), a lack of interest in the broader subject, adversarial arguments, equating sequence with causation (saying the media influences witnesses etc.) and playing to a sceptical audience.

The Skinwalker Ranch in Utah (as mentioned in Brian Allan’s lecture) is named after the Native American shapeshifting medicine man. It lies in the Uintah Basin, which itself has a long history of UFO reports and animal mutilations.

Peter ran through the highlights of the case on the ‘Gorman’ ranch (the family’s name had been changed by Kelleher and Knapp for their book). The family bought the ranch and immediately things began happening. UFOs were seen, strange creatures prowled their land and other paranormal events. In desperation, they sold the ranch to NIDS, but stayed on as caretakers. NIDS documented a great deal of what the Gormans had reported, adding animal mutilations, magnetic anomalies, strange holes in the ground and deliberate vandalism of their equipment by unseen forces.

A review of the book, The Hunt for the Skinwalker, by Magonia magazine was scathing, according to Peter, reduced to derision and mockery. Peter contacted George Knapp, who replied to him saying that such reviewers are why scientists prefer to remain anonymous when conducting paranormal research.

In conclusion, Peter remarked that while scepticism is healthy, don’t overdo it.

After lunch it was Gary Heseltine’s turn to take to the lectern. Gary is a serving detective in the British Transport Police and has had an interest in UFOs since he had a sighting when he was 15. He saw lights in the sky that he could not explain and as they moved over the town, a power cut ensued.

Gary is a firm believer in ‘nuts and bolts’ UFOs, that they are physical craft manufactured by a technology beyond our science. He has been a police detective for 14 years and the vast majority of police officers that have approached him with their UFO stories are, in his opinion, sincere.

Gary’s lecture concerns something, though, that he has not really spoken about before – alien abductions. He begins with a potted history of the abduction phenomenon, covering the most famous cases.

In 1957, a Brazilian farmer called Antonio Villas Boas claimed to have been abducted by four alien beings as he was ploughing a field one night. The creatures, described as five-feet tall, wearing grey coveralls and helmets and having blue eyes, dragged him into their egg-shaped craft, where he had sexual intercourse with a female being that he felt intensely attracted to.

Boas’ case was one of the earliest abduction stories and he defended it to his death in 1992.

In 1961, Barney and Betty Hill were driving home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when they encountered an unidentified flying object. They were led aboard the craft where medical procedures and other tests were undertaken. Betty was shown a star map with lines connecting the systems, some lines denoting trade routes and others routes of exploration.

The Hill case became the template against which all other abduction stories were examined. Barney died in 1969, but Betty insisted the abduction really happened until her death in 2004.

Arizona logger, Travis Walton, and his six crewmates had finished work for the day in 1975 and were driving home to the small town of Snowflake. On the way, they encountered a glowing UFO about twenty feet in diameter. They stopped the truck and Travis ran out to get a closer look. His friends watched as a beam of light shot from the craft and struck Travis, leaving him apparently dead. Panicked, the logging crew drove away before returning after a few minutes only to find both the UFO and Travis gone. A huge search ensued, but no sign of Travis could be found. He showed up five days later, still wearing the same clothes and seeming terrified. 

Travis said he had been taken on board the UFO and encountered short creatures with domed heads and large, dark brown eyes. He tried to fight them off and they left of their own accord. Travis, it seemed was free to roam the ship and he found a planetarium. He even exited the craft to find himself in a hangar with several other, similar ships. A human-like figure led him to a table, where a mask was placed on his face and he passed out.

Travis and his friends have passed several polygraph tests over the years and maintain to this day that the events happened as they claimed.

The 1980 Alan Godfrey case is the only abduction case that Gary has researched in depth. He thinks this case is important because as well as Godfrey’s testimony, there are several independent witnesses that saw something strange in the sky at the same time in the local area.

Gary then ran through a brief timeline of Alan Godfrey’s experience. On November 28th, 1980, Alan was in his patrol car in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. He was sent to check out reports of cattle wandering around a local council estate. He saw a bright light in the road ahead and thought it was a bus. As he got closer, though, it became clear that this was not the case. He found himself looking at a rotating object, hovering over the road. He sketched the craft in his notebook. There was a burst of light and he found himself driving further along the road with no sign of the UFO. He returned to the police station and later found that he was missing about twenty-five minutes of time. The sole of one of his boots was split and he had an itchy, red mark on his foot.

Later, he would undergo hypnotic regression, where he said that he was taken from the car and led onto the craft. Here, he saw robot-like creatures and a humanoid wearing a black skull cap. Gary has studied the video tapes of Alan’s hypnosis session and has concluded that they were well conducted. Alan was not lying. He had nothing to gain from making up his story and, indeed, his experience has had a negative effect on his life.

Gary mentioned a couple of the pioneers of abduction research: Bud Hopkins and the late Dr John Mack. Mack had concluded that many abductions go back to the victims’ childhood. Alan Godfrey had spoken of seeing a blue ‘tennis ball’ in his room as a child. Other have reported these blue orbs both in their bedrooms and other places, such as while driving.

As a police officer, Gary is interested in evidence. What evidence is there to support claims of alien abduction? There is witness testimony, physical evidence (such as marks on the body, implants etc.) and animal mutilations. Gary believes that there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove the existence of alien abductions. 

Turning to his PRUFOS database, Gary selected eight cases he felt were worthy of study. The incidents occurred between 1966 and 1996 (I have copied the following from the PRUFOS website - www.prufospolicedatabase.co.uk):

March, 1966 – 0410 hours. Location - Wilmslow, Cheshire. An on duty uniformed officer, PC COLIN PERKS was on foot patrol on Alderley Road in the above town when he saw a UFO moving across the sky at an altitude of only 30 feet and that it was only 100 yards from him. He described it as being 30 feet in diameter and as bulky as a double decker bus. He said, “There was an eerie, greenish-grey glow in the sky. Then I picked out an object about thirty feet long and built up in three sections with the top looking like a dustbin lid. It gave off a high pitched whine. I was paralysed. I just couldn’t believe it.” The duration of the sighting was five minutes before it disappeared. His police report was forwarded to the MOD who did visit him to investigate his story. On Duty sighting. 1 Officer. Source - UFO Flying Saucers over Britain by Robert Chapman. Mayflower Books 1999. Page 43 and PRUFOS.

September, 1966 - 0300 hours. Between Potters Hill and Bristol Lulsgate Airport, Avon and Somerset. PC LESTER STENNER and a colleague were driving along a quiet road when suddenly they saw an oval shaped UFO approximately 100 feet off the ground above the road ahead. At the same time the object appeared the engine of the police vehicle died as did the headlights. Also the streetlamps lining the road went out. The object just appeared and remained motionless for about 10 seconds when it disappeared. As soon as the object had gone the headlights, street lighting and engine came on. The officers described the object as being around 100 yards wide by 50 feet and made no noise whatsoever. The officers did not report the incident fearing ridicule. UFO CLASSIFICATION – CE1 (CLOSE ENCOUNTER 1ST KIND/EM). On Duty sighting. 2 Officers. Source: The PRUFOS Police Database.

24th October, 1967 - 0400 hours. Location - A3072 between Okehampton and Holsworthy, Devon. Two on duty uniformed police officers, PC CLIFFORD WAYCOTT and PC ROGER WILLEY had spotted a pulsating flying cross whilst driving between the above locations. It was seen at low altitude moving above the treetops of the surrounding countryside. Intrigued they began to chase the UFO, however they were never able to significantly gain on it. At times the object slowed to 50 mph and at one point came to a stop in mid air. The pursuit involved speeds of up to 90 mph and covered a distance of 14 miles. Whenever they did gain a little ground on the object it would simply accelerate away from them. Eventually they reduced their speed fearing an accident themselves. The closest distance they reached to the UFO was 400 yards. At one point they stopped at a farm to wake up the owner so they could gain some corroboration that they were not mistaken in their sighting. At a later press conference PC WAYCOTT said, “The light wasn’t piercing but it was very bright. It was star-spangled - just like looking through wet glass and although we reached 90 mph it accelerated away from us.” Before the object disappeared from view they saw a second UFO that was also cross-shaped, very bright and made no noise. Both officers were impressed by the relevant speeds of the objects as they quickly departed, especially the first one. Enquiries at nearby RAF Chivenor proved negative. Within 48 hours numerous other witnesses began to report sightings of similar objects. A ‘fiery cross’ was witnessed above the skies of Glossop, Derbyshire by six police officers. On Duty sighting. 2 Officers. Source - UFO Flying Saucers over Britain by Robert Chapman. Mayflower Books 1969. Pages 13-15.

Winter 1975 - 0400 hours. Location—Normanton, West Yorkshire. A uniformed officer, PC ROBERT TOMLINSON, was on mobile patrol driving a marked police vehicle on Wakefield Road near Normanton during the early hours when he saw a huge UFO hovering low on his left. He estimated the object’s altitude as being in the region of 200-300 feet. It was shaped like a kids spinning top. There were lights all around the lower rim where there were a number of rectangular windows. He stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road. He watched it for several minutes before the object streaked off in the direction of Wakefield and out of view. Estimated size of the UFO—100 feet in diameter. On Duty sighting. 1 officer. Source—PRUFOS Database.

Winter 1976 - 0215 hours. Crofton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. PC PATRICK TUNNEY was checking on a couple of shops during the early hours of a winter’s morning when he noticed three green lights approaching from around a mile away. His first thoughts were that it was a low flying aircraft. Then he became conscious that there was absolutely no sound. The lights were horizontal as they flew toward him at an altitude of only 200 feet. When the lights were approximately 200 yards from his position they suddenly banked to the left in total silence and sped off an amazing burst of acceleration. At their closest point the officers described the lights as green spheres each the size of a car. UFO CLASSIFICATION – CE1 (CLOSE ENCOUNTER 1ST KIND). On Duty sighting. 1 Officer. Source: The PRUFOS Police Database.

September, 1987 - 2240 Hours. Location - M6 Motorway between Junction 28 and 27. Two uniformed traffic officers, PC STANLEY OSBOURNE and PC DOUGLAS, were driving along the M6 motorway between Leyland and Shevington at Charnock Richard when a cigar shaped UFO raced passed them on a parallel course. It was in sight for approximately five seconds. The UFO was at an estimated altitude of 30/50 making no sound despite the fact that the officers had the windows down. On Duty sighting. 2 Officers. Source: PRUFOS Database.

1996. Location - Scotland. Following a 999 call two on duty uniformed officers observed a huge gold coloured egg shaped UFO hovering over fields in Scotland at close proximity of 200 metres. They viewed the object through binoculars and one of the officers made a pocket book entry regarding the sighting. This forms part of a series of three sightings by the principal officer who is very reluctant to release further details. On Duty sighting. 2 Officers. Source: PRUFOS/ CONFIDENTIAL.

There was also a case from 1981 in Somerset, when a police officer saw lights in the sky and there was some interaction going on.

In conclusion, Gary has been running PRUFOS for six years and has found that 73% of on-duty sightings are made by multiple witnesses.

Gary finished up with the photograph of a strange object near Dudley Castle that featured in the media recently. He told us that three photos were taken by the 57-year old nanny. The first was blurred and she deleted that. The second was the one that we have seen and the third was also blurred. Gary has sent the photograph to Bruce Maccabee for analysis.

Gary ended by informing us that he is currently working with Charles Halt with the aim of writing a book about the Rendlesham Forest Incident.

As usual, Gary’s presentation was excellent and highly informative.

After the break, Andrew Russell gave a spirited talk about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its many perils and pitfalls.

Public bodies are usually forced by law to respond to FOIA requests, with the only exceptions being cases where national security could be compromised. Even when FOIA requests are honoured, they are often censored, sometimes quite heavily.

Andrew explained that requests must be very specific (you have to tell them exactly what you want) and the outcome must be worth less than £600 in labour and materials. After that, you get charged. If a request cost £599 to fulfil, you get it for free. If it cost £601, you have to pay £601.

With regard to requests about UFOs, there are two key players: DI55 and DS8. According to Andrew, DS8 is currently closed to FOIA requests because they are in the process of releasing their files to the National Archives.

When a FOIA request is received, it goes into the Updated Disclosure Log. Andrew points out again that it is pointless putting in a request if you don’t know exactly what you want from the MoD. When the logs are released to the public, Andrew notes that many of them go into detail about the request – except when it comes to UFOs, when usually it just says ‘UFO’.

Andrew told us that of the recent MoD releases, there were nine files that were never passed to the UFO desk (DS8), one of which was a UFO sighting over Felpham, West Sussex in October, 2007.

Aircraft are often seen in the area of a UFO sighting, such as in the Felpham case, but the FOIA replies almost always say that no planes were airborne at the time. Are ‘they’ lying or is there a ‘ghost department’ dealing with UFOs?

It is known that ghost departments do exist, with one famous example being the Force Research Unit (FRU) that operated in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s. The FRU is alleged to have been involved in the assassinations of at least fourteen Roman Catholics in the province between 1987 and 1991. So it is easily plausible that there is a ghost department that deals with the UFO phenomenon.

Another chestnut often quoted by the MoD is ‘Defence Significance’. If fighters intercept a Russian bomber in or near UK airspace, then this is classed as being of defence significance. If a fighter encounters a UFO over UK airspace, it isn’t deemed important. Why?

As for the recent UFO files being released by the Ministry of Defence, Andrew asks if it is kosher? Are they really releasing all of the files they have or is it a controlled release of information? Are we seeing the ‘good stuff’, or is that to come?

In June, 2008, there were reports in the media that a South Wales Police (SWP) helicopter had encountered a UFO over Cardiff. The news stories claimed that the pilots had to avoid a collision and then took off in pursuit of the object. Andrew contacted the MoD and they claimed to have no knowledge of the incident. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) also said they had received no reports.

Initial reports from SWP had the chopper chasing the UFO, but they later denied this. Andrew discovered that Cardiff airport had made planes aware that an unknown object was in the area and that a police helicopter was refuelling at the airport. SWP denied this.

Andrew has come to the conclusion that there is no basis to trust replies to FOIA requests because the MoD is unable to respond to them accurately. The MoD are answerable to the public, yet they do not seem to realise this. It is a conspiracy in practise because it is obvious that the Ministry of Defence knows more about UFOs than they release to the public.

Andrew’s website can be found at hhttp://thetruthhides.wordpress.com/

The final speaker of the weekend was Haktan Akdogan, from Turkey. Haktan is the founder and chairman of the Sirius UFO Space Science Research Centre in Turkey and also runs four UFO museums in the country. It is a full-time job for him. The group’s library has over two thousand books, they hold three large international conferences each year and they have major press coverage in Turkey. Sirius has also set up a mobile UFO museum that has travelled Turkey for the past two summers.

Haktan told us about some UFO incidents between 2004 and 2008, showing many photographs, some taken in daylight and some at night-time. Some of them were quite impressive, particularly one of a ring of lights over the Bosphorus.

He also showed daylight photographs of two metallic objects. ktan told us that the Italian UFO Magazine covered this event, as did the national media in Turkey. He also showed a video of an interview with retired colonel from Turkey speaking of his UFO encounter.

Sirius is planning a Turkish version of the Disclosure Project and Haktan said that he has many military officers who are willing to come forward. He then played a video of one of these officers being interviewed on national television. The officer was talking about an encounter between Turkish F-5 fighters and a UFO that had both visual and radar confirmation.

Haktan then showed some media clips of UFOs:

A night-vision shot of a cross-shaped object over Istanbul which morphed into a triangle in 1999.

Flashing lights over Istanbul in 2003, which were filmed from two separate locations. The lights were also seen by many people across Istanbul.

Night-time footage of red and white lights sending out a beam of light. The sighting was at about 4am and the object was over a football field in Istanbul. The sighting lasted several minutes, but the authorities would not allow Sirius to investigate to footie pitch.

Then we came to the biggie – the footage that has had everybody talking for the last few weeks. The sightings took place in 2007 and 2008 and had many witnesses, including the security guard that captured the footage we were about to see.

Between June and August 2007 and May to September 2008, the witness captured what, if genuine, is surely the most astonishing UFO footage ever released. The main bulk of the shots depict a saucer-shaped object with a dark wedge in its centre. I suggested it looked a bit like a Cylon Raider from the popular TV series, Battlestar Galactica and this was also noted in some of the media coverage. Other clips showed red/orange lights out to see, hovering above the horizon. The footage zoomed in and out, showing the object as a point of light and then as the structured form. We also occasionally saw the Moon in shot.

Haktan explained that the guard was using only the eyepiece of his camera to view the object and that, to the naked eye, it appeared only as a point of light. In the shots, the object sometimes appeared bluish, gold or silver. The witness allowed Haktan to view the footage and examine his camera, which was of the Sony brand.

Haktan hosts his own television show in Turkey and had some great arguments with sceptic guests who claimed the footage was hoaxed. He took the footage to the TUBITAK National Observation Centre. They conducted a seven hour analysis of the footage and came to the conclusion that the object on the film was real and filmed under normal conditions. They said that the object could be called a UFO. The footage was also analysed by experts in other countries, including the USA and Portugal, and all the analyses came to the conclusion that the objects in the video were real.

After the 2008 sightings, which produced more videos recorded when Haktan himself was present, the media exposure exploded worldwide. Haktan assured us that the videos were absolutely genuine and had not been tampered with in any way.

As I said earlier, if the Turkish footage is genuine and not a hoax, and we are not seeing some weird photographic or atmospheric effect, then it is surely the most impressive array of UFO footage in the history of the subject.

Haktan’s presentation brought the 2008 UFO DATA Magazine International UFO Conference to a close and it was another roaring success with a packed hall on both days. Everybody at UFO DATA Magazine would like would like to thank all of our speakers and everybody who attended for making the weekend such a memorable one and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2009.



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Updated 16th August, 2012