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Alien Abduction in Panama

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A never-heard-before encounter from Central America.

A mother blessed with a new baby daughter soon realises that something about her child is special – very special.

The following account is based upon an interview with the mother and daughter conducted in Mexico on December 11th, 1999 in the presence of Graham Birdsall, Russel Callaghan, Roger Leir and Whitley & Anne Streiber. The names of those featured in this recollection are pseudonyms.

Salma is a teacher of anthropology and had no interest in the subject of UFOs. Indeed, when a friend of hers told her that she saw a UFO in 1976, Salma thought she was crazy, so when what you are about to read happened to her, she became angry and confused. Her husband at the time, a doctor and lawyer from a wealthy South American family, refuses to talk about the incident to this day. Salma’s own family is very wealthy also, so she has no interest in any monetary gain from her story.

One day, in the summer of 1977, Salma and her husband, whom we shall call Enrique, were travelling from Costa Rica to Panama in Central America. The couple left San Jose, Costa Rica and were driving to Salma’s uncle’s home in Panama. They had a camper van and were taking in the sights of the region along their journey.

One night, at about 9 or 10pm, they parked up at the border crossing between Costa Rica and Panama and began settling in for the evening. It was a dark, moonless night with no cloud cover. Nevertheless, it was very warm and there was no wind to temper the heat. Inside the camper, it was much more oppressive, as there were only, small, high windows and a single door. Salma had been warned about guerrillas in the region and so chose the camper, feeling its lack of large openings would make them safer.

As Enrique parked the van, Salma went to get him an orange juice. She asked him where they were and he replied jokingly, “We’re in the Land of Nobody”, as they were in the hinterland between the border control offices of Costa Rica and Panama.

When he had parked the camper, Salma’s husband exited the cab and entered the rear section where Salma was holding his orange juice. Suddenly, he began making bizarre noises with his mouth. As there was a history of stroke in his family, Salma feared that this was what was happening to him now. She became very frightened, as they were alone in this no-man’s land between nations.

Salma asked if there was anything she could do for him, but he quietly sat down and continued to make the strange, baby-like noises. She asked if he wanted his orange juice, but he just carried on burbling.

Just then the lights in the camper flickered off and then came back on again. Thinking the battery was failing, she went to the switch for the spare, fully-charged battery. When she flicked the switch, the lights went out completely. Salma asked Enrique what was happening, but he did not reply.

Looking outside, towards the Costa Rican side of the border, she saw that the lights in the offices had also gone out. She turned to try and find some candles and noticed on the opposite side of the border, that the lights in Panama were also extinguished. At first she thought that this was due to a failure of the power grid, but how would this affect the batteries in their camper?

The night was completely still and dark now. Salma was terrified, she felt so alone at that point. She thought her husband was seriously ill and was not sure about what to do. Her husband was mentally a strong man, she said. At parties, his favourite trick was to hypnotise people and have them doing ‘cuckoo things’ for fun. But now, he was just sitting, babbling softly, in the dark. 

In this uneasy quiet, Salma heard something outside, like a car pulling up on gravel. Suddenly, incredibly bright light flooded the camper van. She thought that somebody had come to their aid, turning on the floodlights in the parking area.

Salma looked outside and saw what she thought at first were military tanks with bright lights on them. As there was no war going on in either Panama or Costa Rica, she did not know what to make of the presence of these machines. Whatever their reason for being there, she was grateful for the light they provided.

Salma opened the kitchen window and peered out. She could hear somebody outside making the same noises that she had heard Enrique uttering moments earlier. Suddenly a figure passed in front of the window. Salma could not make out any features, but assumed they were soldiers connected with the tanks. She realised that they must be very tall, as her window was quite a distance from the ground, about two metres high.

Salma went into the cab of the van and saw about a dozen of these figures milling around outside. She also noticed that the lights on the three ‘tanks’ were rotating. She became frightened and pleaded to Enrique, telling him that they were surrounded by these strange, thin figures. She could see now that they were wearing what appeared to be silvery-yellow suits, had large heads and large eyes that reminded her of cows’ eyes. She could see no nose or mouth on any of the figures. She got no impression of any emotion from the beings and described them as being like machines. Bizarrely, the figures she could see outside now appeared quite short, yet she had seen at least one of them looking through her window about six feet off the ground.

Becoming even more afraid, Salma began shouting for help and that is the last thing she remembers. She does not know what happened next, but suddenly, she found herself lying on the floor of the camper. As she got up, she heard a loud, watery, sucking sound and the lights shot away vertically at an incredible speed. She then became aware of a strong smell of cinnamon and burnt honey, so strong that it was very unpleasant. Her nose was running profusely and she had a pain in the back of her head. She got up and began to cry, grateful that the beings and their craft had gone.

Enrique was still sitting in the same position, but had by now stopped making his peculiar noises. She asked him what had happened, noticing at the same time that all the doors of the camper were now open, having been previously locked tight from the inside. As she got to her feet, Salma felt a   pain in her abdomen and described it as being ‘like a hot knife’. Again, she asked Enrique what had happened. He said:

“Something very important has happened here tonight and we will never talk about it. We’ll just accept it.”

Salma could not believe what she was hearing him say. She asked him if he had seen what they had done, how their craft had flown away so quickly. She had recently learned to fly helicopters and knew all about aerodynamics and what was possible at that time. He simply repeated that they should not talk about it. He told her that she should be proud about what had happened. Salma was not proud of what had happened. She was angry. She wanted to know what had happened. Was she going to be alone with these feelings or was he going to help her? Enrique said nothing, simply took his orange juice and went to bed.

Salma curled up on her seat and began to cry. She cried until she fell asleep.

Early the next morning, she awoke. Surprisingly, she found that she had left the doors to the camper open all night and she was usually the kind of person that could not sleep with any doors or windows open. She closed the doors and took a shower. She said she felt dirty and still angry. She felt that she had been violated, although she had no physical evidence of abuse of any kind, save for the ache in her head and the pains in her abdomen. Her husband told her not to think of such things.

Later that morning, the couple went to the offices on the Panamanian border. Imagine their surprise when one of the personnel announced to them:

“You’re the couple that was attacked by the OVNIs last night!” (OVNI being the Spanish term for UFO - Objeto Volador No Identificado)

Salma was so relieved that somebody else had seen what had happened to them. Her joy was squashed when her husband told them that they had not seen anything and ordered her back to the camper. Not being the type of person who takes orders, Salma remained and asked the three people in the border control office what they had seen. They confirmed that UFOs had come down and attacked them. The offices were only about a hundred metres from the camper, so they had seen everything. Enrique had to physically take her back to their vehicle and again told her that they should not talk about what had happened the previous night.

When they entered Panama proper, they found that the newspapers were reporting that the night of their experience had been ‘a hot night’ for UFO sightings in Panama. Salma’s uncle told them about a story in the newspaper about a couple on the border being attacked by UFOs. Salma couldn’t believe it.

“That was us!” she declared.

“We saw nothing,” was Enrique’s response.

Salma still had the pain in her abdomen two months later and was keen to see a doctor, but Enrique was adamant that they should wait until they return home to Mexico. She said that she would go herself and fly back to their home. Her husband said that they would go together and by road.

So, they began the return journey to Mexico, by way of Enrique’s aunt’s house in Costa Rica. While they were there, the pains in Salma’s belly became unbearable and she asked her if she would take her to her gynaecologist.

The doctor examined Salma and congratulated her on being pregnant. Salma was horrified and explained that she had had no sexual relations to account for the pregnancy. An internal examination was arranged and the gynaecologist extracted from Salma’s body a clear, crystal capsule with some sort of green fluid inside. The doctor sniffed the capsule and said that it was not there because of any infection.

Salma became upset and said that it must be connected with that night on the border. Enrique said that it was a mistake for them to see a doctor. She told the doctor that she felt that the beings had placed that inside her body, but did not understand for what purpose. The doctor asked if she wanted to keep it, but she told him to throw it away.

When the doctor confirmed that she was still pregnant, Salma was terrified that she would give birth to some non-human creature like a snake or lizard.

As soon as the capsule was removed, all of Salma’s pain vanished, but she was very upset and told the doctor that she had been violated, that she never asked for these ‘people’ to come and make her pregnant. She had been raised a devout Catholic and could not understand why those around her could tell her to simply accept this. She felt so alone and confused. Her family was famous in Mexico, so she could not go to a library and ask for a book about alien abductions because she was afraid that everybody would think she had gone crazy.

The day after her examination, Salma began to feel another pain in her abdomen and she could feel whatever she was carrying begin to move. Then she began to bleed and, with some relief, she felt that her menstrual cycle was beginning. She was happy because it would prove that she was not pregnant and that the doctor had been wrong in his diagnosis.

On returning to Mexico City, Salma visited her own gynaecologist and he confirmed that she was still pregnant. She could not believe this and became very upset and anxious. Her doctor conducted tests of her blood and urine and confirmed yet again that she was expecting a baby.

Salma returned home, but her bleeding became more pronounced, so she was rushed back to hospital and told that they would have to abort the baby. When told this, she suddenly became aware that she might actually have been carrying a human baby and not some alien monster. Had her fears about what she was carrying blinded her to the truth that she was going to be the mother of a human life? Did she have the right to terminate that innocent life? She convinced the doctors that she should spend the night in hospital before any surgery should take place. She told them that she would ‘talk with her baby’ and if she felt that it was still necessary to abort the foetus the next day, then they could do so.

That night, she talked to her unborn child and said that if it was going to be a ‘person of love and light’ then she would accept it, but if it was going to be something non-human, then she would proceed with the surgery.

The next day, her bleeding stopped. The doctor said that her pregnancy would be a risky one, but there was a chance that she would give birth to a healthy child. 

During her pregnancy, Salma had a mental contact with tall, long-haired beings that soothed her fears about her baby. Despite these visits, she gained hardly any weight and felt nauseous all the time, even though she had been told by her physicians that the nausea should abate after three months.

Five months into the pregnancy, Salma was given the bad news by her doctor that the baby had moved into position and that she had dilated six centimetres. If the baby was born now, they feared it would not survive. Calmly, Salma told her baby to move and to her doctor’s astonishment, the baby moved back up into her womb and out of danger.

When she was exactly eight months pregnant, on March 1st 1978, the baby became distressed and a caesarean section had to be conducted the same day. A beautiful baby girl was born. She was named after her mother, Salma.

After the birth, Salma, the mother, became very ill with a high fever and an infection on her caesarean scar. She had to remain in hospital for a further six weeks and no medication appeared to work. Eventually, a visiting Chinese doctor suggested that they use honey on the infection and it cleared up within two days.

Almost as soon as baby Salma was born, it became clear that she was very special. Within 48 hours, she could turn her head and smile at stimuli such as the use of her name. Other doctors were brought in to witness this amazing child and Salma realised with dismay that her life was going to become a circus.

As she grew, baby Salma displayed more signs that she was special. She never cried (indeed, her mother claimed that she had to be taught how to cry and only did so for the first time when she was six years old!), she ate only once every six hours and at the very young age of five months, she created shadows with her hands for her own pleasure.

At nine months old, she began to stand up and within two months she was walking unaided, with no crawling stage in between. At eight months, she was climbing stairs very quickly.

Her mother became afraid that she would never speak, as she had not uttered a sound for eleven months. Then suddenly, out of the blue, the baby said:

“Mama, give me one potato.”

Her mother was amazed and asked her to say it again, so she did, this time mimicking a licking action with her hand. Salma realised that her daughter wanted a popsicle and not a potato, but that she should say a complete sentence while she had not uttered a single sound for eleven months was astonishing. In one day, baby Salma uttered one hundred and twelve phrases!

When she was two years old, Salma told her mother that she wanted to go to a school with older children because the kids she was with now were ‘so stupid’. These were normal toddlers that still wore nappies and drank from bottles and did not speak, while Salma was toilet trained, drank from a glass and could hold a conversation. It did not matter what school she was sent to, even with older children, she was always at a more advanced stage than her classmates. Eventually, her mother decided that she should tutor her daughter herself.

At four years old, young Salma taught herself how to read.

When she was five, Salma told her mother that she had a ball that she talked with. Her mother thought that she had found an imaginary playmate, but little Salma told her that it was not a ‘secret friend’, it was just a ball that she talked to. She said that the ball told her that there was a planet where people were suffering and had many problems. Her mother thought she was referring to our world, but Salma insisted that it was another planet that she was told about.

One day, when she was eight-years old, little Salma was in her playroom with her little sister and their childcare assistant and some friends called up to the room from outside, asking if she was playing out. Unknown to both her mother and the carer, the window in the room was broken. The carer opened the window and the hinges came away and the whole window fell out towards the children gathered below. Suddenly, Salma made a high-pitched tone with her voice and the window glided four metres above the children and came to rest, unbroken, on a wall behind them.

As this happened, Salma’s mother came into the room, after hearing the screaming as the window broke loose and saw what had transpired. If the window had fallen straight down, as it should have, those children below would have been killed. Little Salma simply said that she did what she had to do because her friends would have been hurt.

It also became apparent from an early age that little Salma possessed some kind of telepathic ability. She knew what people were thinking before they spoke and she could tell expectant mothers what sex child they were going to have. Her mother felt it was necessary to explain to her that it was not always the right thing to do to display these abilities to others. She did not want her daughter to become the butt of ridicule or even anger from superstitious people.

Young Salma also had the power to heal serious injuries. Her mother was in a serious car accident, damaging several vertebrae in her neck. She was told that she was paralysed and would never walk again. One day, her daughter sat her in a chair and placed her hands just above her mother’s head. She told her mother to close her eyes and, suddenly, the vertebrae repaired themselves. Immediately, she felt warmth flowing through her body and almost immediately could move her hands and walk again.

A friend of the family who was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and given two months to live was treated by young Salma and although he still has the cancer, he is living a normal life many years later.

When Salma was twelve years old, she told her mother that she was receiving a great deal of information from a source that she could not understand. She asked her mother, “Who am I?” Her mother told her for the first time about the night on the border when the strange beings had surrounded the camper.

From that day, the family were visited by small, silver spheres. They flew into and around the house, passing through closed windows without breaking them and being witnessed by many visiting friends. These were the same kind of balls that Salma had spoken with since being a toddler, only now they appeared en masse in front of others.

All of her life, little Salma has suffered broken bones and all sorts of ailments and fevers. For eleven years, she was treated for rheumatic fever, but no medication seemed to work and she regularly ran extremely high temperatures. She was told by a doctor who claimed to have been in contact with UFOs that she had no rheumatic fever and that the symptoms were caused because she was not adapted to life on Earth. He told her to stop taking all of her medicines and go away for a while and tell her body to adapt itself to the Earth. Although sceptical, she did this and seven days later returned to the hospital where blood tests showed that all of her symptoms had vanished.

One day, she fell off a swing, banged her head and was knocked unconscious. She also damaged her patella. She was rushed to hospital where it was discovered that her kneecap had been broken into four pieces. Surgery was required to repair the damage. Young Salma told her mother that ‘her people’ would help her, so she was taken home.

The next day, Salma told her mother that her people had come and that she had to travel back to the hospital for another X-Ray. This was done and it was found that her kneecap was in perfect condition. The doctors declared that what had happened was impossible! They accused the family of somehow tricking them.

When she was fourteen, young Salma had an operation for a hiatus hernia. The doctor that performed the surgery said that he removed what appeared to be a foetus within the hernia. Not only that, but three arteries or veins were connected to the ‘foetus’. The surgeon could not explain it.

When she was sixteen, Salma began having problems with her appendix. She told her mother that she would need to go to hospital for surgery, as her people have no appendix, thus could not help her. Her mother, thinking this was some sort of joke by her daughter, told her that she would take her to the hospital the following Sunday.

On the Friday night, Salma was visited by her daughter’s ‘people’. They explained to her that young Salma required the surgery, but that no pentathol should be used as an anaesthetic because it was poisonous to them.

During the interview, young Salma’s mother explained that she had received visits from a man since she was a little girl, but had always thought that they were dreams of some kind. Since the birth of her daughter, she realised that these were real, physical interactions. When ‘they’ need to speak with her about her daughter, she hears music, usually while asleep, and when she awakens, the man is there. He appears human, with long, shoulder length hair, and wears black clothes that appear toga or cassock-like.

She went on to describe an event that occurred some five months before the encounter on the border in which she had a dream that her mother was being burgled. She and her husband rushed over to her mother’s house, only to find everything normal and her mother angry at being awoken in the middle of the night. They returned home to find their servants sitting outside saying that ‘the Devil had visited the house’. Salma’s bedroom stank of cinnamon and three, deep scratches were found in the bedroom door, as though made by strong claws. On showing this to her mother the next day, she demanded that a priest come and bless the house. Salma took her into the kitchen to prepare some hot milk. She turned on the stove and a huge flame erupted, sending the two ladies staggering back. In that instant, the entire metal top of the stove melted and was now pooled on the kitchen floor.

Salma went on to explain how she had always been able to feel things about people, whether they were going to have accidents, if they were going to have a child etc., but after the birth of her daughter, the feelings far from growing weaker, became more intense.

At this point of the interview, young Salma gave her account of her life. In 1999, she was twenty-one years of age, an elegant and graceful young woman with short, black hair and a lovely, soft smile.

She told how that she had her first physical contact with what she called ‘her people’ at the age of fourteen. Before that, all communications with them were mental. She would receive a great deal of information, which she would struggle to write down, such as complex mathematical data. It came to her almost all the time and she would tell her mother that she would wish it to stop, as she was getting no rest.

She also recounted about her contacts with the small, silver sphere that would visit, materialising out of thin air, and tell her things about future events. She always felt tired after it left and suffered from terrible headaches.

Her first physical encounter was with a vaguely human-looking man. She said he had no ears and his mouth was lipless. He had large eyes and three protuberances running front to back on the top of his head. He wore a suit that fit very close to his body, almost like skin.

She was sleeping and felt him touch her forehead. She awoke and felt a sense of great relief because she had been waiting for this first physical interaction for a very long time. A bright light flooded into the room through the window and Salma began to feel sick. She felt tingling in her extremities and suddenly, she was inside the ship.

She was told that he would answer her questions and, for her, the most important one was ‘Who am I?’

It was explained to her that they came from a planet that had suffered some form of catastrophe, possibly nuclear in nature, in the distant past and that the majority of their population had become sterile. She was a part of a project in which human women were taken, impregnated and then returned. When the baby was six months old or so, they would take it away from the mother. The ship that was to take baby Salma away, and the rest of her generation that was part of the project, crashed and they lost them. The children that were lost were assigned to a new project, but not all of them have been found.

The beings have the ability to manipulate time, or at least our perception of time, and Salma was taken back to the night she was conceived. She was told to be very quiet, as they were actually there.

She asked other questions, but was not given answers to all of them. She also asked during another encounter if she could take something back with her to show people that what she was experiencing was real, but she was told that she was not ready.

At first she felt used by these beings and it made her very angry. They contacted her when it suited them, she felt. No thought was given to her needs or requirements. She had been raised in a caring environment by parents who loved her dearly, but these beings appeared to view her as nothing more than a specimen and showed her no respect whatsoever. She told them this, but they simply reasserted the notion that she was not ready for certain facts. This only made her angrier.

After this, her experiences took a darker turn. She was treated with even less respect by the beings and shown no compassion by them. In about 1996, they implanted something inside her head that caused her great pain. It moved around under the skin behind her ear and a doctor even suggested that it be removed surgically. It was also discovered at about this time that Salma was missing collagen from her body. This explained why she had suffered so many broken bones and it was feared that she may never be able to bear children as a result. It was also found that young Salma had two extra vertebrae and had false articulation in her joints (they moved and rotated in a way that was not normal).

Salma had three beings that were in regular contact with her. One was an instructor, who was responsible for explaining things to her. He was the shortest of the three, being about Salma’s height. The others were much taller, she said. He was also the one that had the task of trying to calm her down when she became angry or frustrated when they refused to answer her questions. He told her that she was very lucky because she had a certain degree of free will. She can decide what to do with her life, whereas their lives are totally planned out from birth. Salma described the beings as being very emotionally cold outwardly, but she felt that they still had feelings underneath. They were doing a job and had to remain objective.

They had a bizarre way of gaining permission to do something to a subject. They would ask something like, ‘Are you Salma?’ and she would reply, ‘Yes.’ This simple confirmation appeared to translate to them as an agreement for them to do whatever they liked to that subject. Salma would berate them and suggest that they just tell her what they want from her and she might agree, but they never did.

Not all of the beings are ‘good guys’, it would appear. Salma makes it clear that she doesn’t think that any of them are necessarily good or evil, but some of them act in a way that might be construed as bad.

Salma’s little sister (she is only a year and a half younger and has had a completely normal life, with a normal development, compared to Salma’s) becomes very scared when the beings visit their house. One night, the two girls were sleeping in the same room and Salma realised that a visit was imminent. She became very cold and saw what appeared to be a gas in the room, accompanied by a very white light. The air became very heavy. She sat up in bed and turned to see her sister lying asleep in the bed next to hers. To her right, she saw a very tall, animal-like figure. It was completely covered with hair, except for the head, but had a long tail that resembled an alligator’s. It had long, thin arms that terminated with four fingers bearing long nails. Its face had a long, dog-like snout and large teeth. She was terrified, but more so when she saw that its eyes were the same as the eyes of her people. Salma worried that her sister might wake up, see this monster and begin screaming. If that happened, what would this hulking beast do then?

Salma just sat there, staring at this bizarre creature, its dark, soulless eyes glaring back at her. It began to walk towards her and for a reason that she cannot explain, she held out her hands and told the beast that she loved it. The monster bit her and she remembers nothing else.

The next morning, she awoke with three bite marks on her neck, and one on her chin and one on her arm. The triangular marks faded after a few days.

The next night she had a visit from her people and she asked them about the beastly encounter. They told her that she had done the right thing. She became irate with them, saying that the creature had bitten her. What if she had become sick or even died? She was told to grow up and, again, she had done the right thing.

Another frightening experience occurred in 1996. She had a meeting with the being she described as her teacher and he told her that she was ready for her ‘first important step’. She was excited by this, feeling that she would learn something new. She was told to be one of them and not to think as a human. She told him that she was a human, but that she would do her best as herself.

Salma was taken into a room by her companion, where a blonde-haired American girl was lying on one of the tables where the beings conducted their operations. Around the girl were entities like the ones that her mother had seen that night in 1977. Salma explained that these beings are not alive as we think about it. They are devoid of free will and are completely controlled by the others. Standing behind the girl was a tall being, whom Salma believed was in charge of the situation at hand. He nodded to Salma and her escort and they stepped closer to the table. The teacher then stepped back.

Salma could see that the girl was petrified, yet she could not move. When she saw Salma, she began asking questions about what was happening and Salma took her hand and tried her best to calm her fears and promised that nothing was going to happen to her. The girl calmed down and a light touched her head, at which time she fell asleep.

The being at the table produced a pen-like device that emitted a light. He drew it across the girl’s leg, completely severing it! Salma freaked out. She felt that she had been used to calm this girl’s fears before this hideous operation. She felt incredibly guilty at what she had done. She had promised that everything was going to be okay and now they had cut off her leg! She screamed at the being, wanting to know why they had cut off this girl’s leg. Then the girl woke up, saw her amputated limb and began screaming also. The being rotated the device drew it back across the leg and it became connected once more. He sent the girl back to sleep and Salma began to cry.

Salma felt very stupid, realising that this had been some kind of test and she had failed. She had not shown trust in her people. When she was taken away by her teacher, she felt sad, disappointed, but also angry that she had been expected to show trust in them, yet they never displayed any trust in her.

Later she was told that the girl had been operated on by her people to remove a tumour and that her life had been saved.

When asked by Dr Roger Leir to describe the interior of the ship that she is taken to, Salma described it as being cold, yet the floor, which feels like marble, is warm. Although she feels cold personally, everything she touches is warm, except for the tables she has to lie down upon. She described the tables as feeling like a magnet. The gravity feels different and the air is heavier. A constant mist hangs in the atmosphere, making vision beyond a certain distance difficult, yet she felt that the rooms she had been inside were quite large. When she could discern the edges of a room, she described them as having no corners, all the walls curved into the floor and ceiling.

When asked if she would recognise another person like her, another one of the ‘lost’ children, Salma felt that she would identify them immediately. She can sense a person’s inner self without them even uttering a word.

The main reason that Salma agreed to the interview was so she could find others like her. It became clear to her that the beings were surprised by how well the ‘lost’ children had evolved to living on Earth. She said that she was very much like the beings in many ways, but she was also very human. It was difficult to live in both worlds. She had to develop a ‘third logic’ – a logic of humans, a logic of her people and the third logic was one that enabled her to bridge that gap between the two. She said that if she had not developed this way of life, she would have gone crazy. She finally accepted that if they wanted her for something, they were going to come. If they wanted to implant something, they would just do it. She had no choice, she just had to accept it. Eventually, she stopped asking them questions, content in her belief that anything she wanted to know, she would be told when the time was right. Despite of all the things that they do to her and that she is often angry with them, Salma said that she loves her people.

© UFODATA - 2006

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For years, Graham Birdsall’s UFO Magazine held conferences at Leeds Metropolitan University, bringing some of the top researchers in the field from around the world. After Graham died in 2003, Russel Callaghan, Michael Buckley and Philip Mantle brought out UFO DATA Magazine and held annual conferences, with the 2005 and 2006 events being held at the Leeds Rhinos rugby club. Since then, no major UFO conference has had a stage in West Yorkshire’s largest city.


Until now.

 David Griffin and Anthony Beckett, with the help of Andrew Johnson, have organized the 1st Annual Leeds Exopolitics Expo. Exopolitics is a relatively new field in ufology and one that is growing steadily. Rather than simply studying UFO reports and wondering about what might be the cause of them, exopolitics attempts to view the subject from a political and social standpoint: What are the global implications for open extra-terrestrial contact?

 With five speakers, three from the UK and two from the United States, it was going to be a packed programme for a one-day event.

My brother and I arrived just before the doors opened at 9am and, after a quick coffee, we took our seats in the lecture hall. I was somewhat surprised that the room was not packed, with only about a hundred people in attendance, but there was a good buzz to the event and at 9:30am, David Griffin welcomed us to the conference.

He gave an overview to the exopolitics movement, both here and abroad, announcing that there was going to be a big exopolitics conference in Barcelona in July. Details of this event can be found at

He also spoke briefly about the Disclosure Project and SETI, asking how much evidence is enough and which evidence is acceptable or the most likely to be accepted by the scientific community. Are the so-called implants removed by researchers such as Dr Roger Leir not acceptable as good evidence? What about the good, well-documented cases of UFOs interfering with the world’s military forces, such as the famous Malmstrom Incident, when nuclear missiles were rendered inactive by UFOs in 1967? Or the Rendlesham Forest Incident of 1980?

What about trace evidence? Unexplained marks left on the ground, radar traces or even Betty Hill’s dress, which had some strange, biological residue found on it after her abduction experience.

What about the accounts of abductees, contactees or experiencers, such as Barney and Betty Hill’s encounter in 1961? Should they all be dismissed?

What about government documents, often released via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that frequently tell us that UFOs are a real phenomenon? Is the famous SOM1-01 document genuine or fake? What about the famous Brookings Report that set the framework for what to do (or not to do) in the event of extraterrestrial contact?

Can researchers into ‘Free Energy’ push forward our understanding of how extraterrestrial craft may operate? David spoke of the work of John Searl, an English engineer who has developed the Levity Disc and the Searl Effect Generator (see his website for more details at

What about government witnesses and whistleblowers? Many of these have come forward through the Disclosure Project. Why are they still not taken seriously by the world-at-large?

Does the worldwide UFO cover-up prove that something is going on? Why cover-up something that ‘does not exist’?

1947 saw the dawn of the modern age of ufology. It had Kenneth Arnold’s sighting, the Roswell Incident and the Maury Island Incident. It saw the birth of the CIA and the implementation of the US National Security Act. What was so special about that year?

David called for activists to push for UFO disclosure and to spread information about the subject as much as possible. He reminded us of the plight of Gary McKinnon, who still faces extradition to the United States and a life-term in prison for allegedly causing damage to the US military computer network, an accusation he strenuously denies. Gary says he was looking for evidence of UFOs and free energy research.

David closed by mentioning the weaponisation of space, something that Wernher von Braun warned about many years ago. Is this technology used to police the Earth or to defend us from external attack?

On this sobering note, David introduced the first speaker, Andrew Johnson.

Andrew’s topic was Wilbert Brockhouse Smith, a name that might not be familiar. Smith was an engineer employed by the Canadian government for many years, working for the Department of Transport (DoT) in a research capacity from 1939 until his death in 1962. Smith’s contemporaries included the likes of Kenneth Arnold, Donald Keyhoe, Betty and Barney Hill, George Adamski and Frank Edwards.

Born in 1910, Smith was only 52 years old when bowel cancer took him in 1962. By that time he held 37 patents. During his time at the DoT, he mainly researched the Earth’s ionosphere, but his real calling was investigating UFOs.

A top secret memo, written by Smith and dating from 1952 was found by Nick Balaskas in the archives of the University of Ottowa. It stated that ‘The matter [referring to UFOs] is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher than even the H-bomb’ and that ‘Flying saucers exist’.

A US Defense Department physicist, Robert Sarbacher, met with Smith in 1950 and gave him the details of how highly UFOs are classified by the United States. Sarbacher himself confirmed the meeting during an interview with Stanton Friedman in 1983.

Smith held many files concerning UFOs and he left instructions that they were to be hidden in the event of his death. There were several break-ins at his home after his death, but if ‘they’ were after his files, they were not found. The files eventually passed to Arthur Bray, who held them for twenty years.

In 1952, Smith received funding to begin Project Magnet. Officially, this endeavour was to research the Earth’s magnetic fields, but Smith’s real ambition was to use their equipment to find UFOs. A station was set up in Shirley’s Bay, some 20 miles from Ottowa and the project ran until 1954.

After years of looking at straight lines on their recording equipment, suddenly, on August 8th, 1954, they got a hit, a definite gravimetric variation. Two days later, the project was closed down. Although Magnet received no more funding from the Canadian government, Smith was allowed to use the Shirley’s Bay facilities on his own time and he did so until his death in 1962.

Project Magnet was finally declassified in 1979 and its files tell us that there was a 91% probability that UFOs were real objects and that there was a 60% chance that they were extraterrestrial in origin.

Andrew told us that in the 1950s and until just after Smith’s death, the Canadian government spoke positively about Project Magnet, but later, for some reason, they began denying even its existence.

Wilbert Smith was very open about his interest in UFOs and met or corresponded with many eyewitnesses and contactees. One of these was Frances Swan.

Mrs Swan was a contactee who lived only a short distance from Barney and Betty Hill, in Eliot, Maine. Frances was ‘involved’ with the US government about ‘satellites’ that had appeared 90,000 feet above Washington DC in 1953/54. She claimed they were alien spacecraft and that she was in contact with their leader, Affa, and had been for several years. This was three years before the Soviets launched Sputnik I in 1957. At one point, the FBI investigated Mrs Swan and a document relating to this can be found at

In 1959, Smith was conducting a gravity control experiment in his lab, when he received a telephone call from a blind telex operator in Ottowa. The operator said that he had a message from Affa, stating that the experiment needed to be shielded. Smith built a brick wall around his experiment and on the next run, it promptly blew up.

Smith also had contact with another extraterrestrial, through an anonymous intermediary, names Tyla. Tyla described himself as a ‘garbage collector’. He was responsible for ‘cleaning up’ after nuclear tests and claimed that UFOs often went in after such blasts to clean up the area. Smith stated in 1958: “He gathers up this material, does something to it on board the craft, what we don't know, but it renders it reasonably inert. And then once a year or thereabouts (it takes about a year to process the material), he dumps it in some rather secluded spot. In, I think about 1947, the November or December issue of Time magazine had a picture of Tyla's craft dumping this material out over the American desert.”

One of the aims of Project Magnet was to find out if energy could be extracted from the Earth’s magnetic field. This would be a form of free energy, as the Earth’s magnetic field is constantly being renewed from within. Smith developed a ‘magnetic sink’, which could collect energy from the magnetic field. He claimed the ‘the Boys Topside’ (the aliens) had given his group the information necessary to construct this hardware. He also developed the ‘binding meter’, which was designed to measure the binding force of materials, the ‘caduceus coil’, which could absorb specific energies at certain frequencies with no leakage whatsoever. Smith described it thus: “The info, which we got from the boys topside was that we were making tenser energy, which is a sixth-dimensional radio wave, and is the type of energy they use extensively for radio communications, transmission of power and for pushing and pulling. In fact they use it for just about everything that we could think of. We were not able to control this energy; we could just make it. We are hoping that later on we will be able to learn how to do it, but at the present time we are not just smart enough.”

Smith was certain that gravity could be manipulated by adjusting magnetic fields and he and his team experimented with this many times.

Wilbert Smith also claimed to have handled pieces of UFO hardware many times, recovered either from crashes or military encounters. His son, Jim, also says he has held at least one piece of UFO material.

Smith, according to his son, also claimed to have personally viewed alien bodies, being personally invited by the US military. The descriptions he gave are reminiscent of what we call the Greys. He says that he only saw them for a matter of minutes.

Smith felt that it was pointless debating the reality of the UFO phenomenon. He knew that UFOs were real. What interested him was the meaning of the UFO enigma.

Towards the end of his life, Smith felt that the key to understanding UFOs lie in the realm of metaphysics and he began research towards this. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish it before his death in 1962.

Andrew then played an audio clip of Smith’s 1958 address in Ottowa. In this, he affirms his claims that he has researched the UFO subject, handled UFO materials and had contact with ETs. He defended UFO eyewitnesses, saying they should be believed. He referred to the crash, in 1948, of Captain Thomas Mantell, whom many believe was ‘shot down’ by a UFO. Smith believes that this was not the case and that Mantell’s plane was inadvertently affected by the magnetic fields around the UFO. He did not believe that Mantell died because of hostile action.

To close, Andrew told us that Smith believed that the Earth had been colonised many times by extraterrestrials and that we were very much related to them.

Andrew Johnson’s lecture was very interesting and he made great use of his PowerPoint skills. Wilbert Smith is one of those less well-known figures in ufology that deserves more attention, particularly for his work for the Canadian government. His website can be found at

After a short break, it was time for Nick Pope to take the stand.

Nick’s lecture was about UFO case files that have come to light due to the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, particularly the Milton Torres Incident, which he would get to at the end.

In December, 2007, the Ministry of defence (MoD) announced that it was going to release all of its UFO files to the public. The story was broken by the Daily Telegraph and caused widespread interest.

Nick believed that the MoD’s decision came about because France had just opened its UFO files via its space agency, CNES, which dealt with UFO reports in that country. When that release happened, the CNES website promptly buckled under the strain of millions of hits and crashed.

The MoD, Nick said, believed that a similar release in the UK would be a good showcase for how the Ministry was committed to the FOIA. The MoD sent all of its UFO files to the National Archive (NA) in London and the press coverage for the first batch of released files was good for the NA, Nick felt, but not for the MoD.

Nick explained how the FOIA worked: When it was brought in, by far the highest number of FOIA requests were about UFOs, far more than the MoD expected. All government departments were given mandatory training about how to deal with FOIA requests.

The law concerning FOI is somewhat vague and MoD lawyers sometimes struggle with it. What data should be left open, what should be redacted, that sort of stuff. An FOIA request must be dealt with within 20 working days, but there are ways to get around this and sometimes requests are in the system for months without a satisfactory conclusion i.e. the relevant data being issued. Because of this the Ministry received many complaints.

A decision was made to ‘dump’ all of the UFO files at the NA after they were declassified. This, they felt, would alleviate the pressure at their end, since they could use a standard form directing the inquirer to the Archives. Declassifying the UFO files was harder than they expected, though, due to the vast number of them on record since the 1950s. Apart from over 12,000 sighting reports, there were policy files, correspondences, Parliamentary files and media files to be looked at before they could be sent to the NA. All of these had to be closely scrutinised so any personal information could be redacted in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

On May 14th, 2008, the first batch was released via the NA. Nick was involved in the periphery of this first release, in an advisory role. It was a media sensation in the UK and abroad. A dedicated website was set up for the release and, so it did not suffer the same fate as the French UFO release, backup systems were brought in. Within two weeks, the site had over two million hits.

The public was somewhat disappointed by the data in this first batch and it was mooted that only the most mundane cases were prepared for this inaugural event. Most of the files were just initial reports with no real details apart from a title (which sometimes summarised the event and sometimes didn’t) and a date. Most were misidentifications of one form or another.

There were some interesting titbits in there, though, such as a multiple witness sighting from Waterloo Bridge in London and a sighting by two women in North London, which was corroborated by the police. There was also one from a group of people who ran out of a pub and phoned in a report of flashing lights in the sky, only to state that it was near Gatwick!

Another report came via military radar when a UFO was tracked doing 12 nautical miles in ten seconds. Specialists examined the equipment and readings and said it was ‘the real deal’.

Before the FOIA came into effect, officers would often fob off ‘nutter reports’ to their subordinates and, more often than not, disparaging remarks would be entered into the files. Some of these are still there to see today and it offers a glimpse of how the Ministry handled UFO reports i.e. not well.

The May 2008 release resulted in a rise of reported UFO sightings due to the large-scale media coverage.

On June 7th of that year, soldiers at their barracks in Shropshire caught on camera several orange UFOs. Rather than report this to their superiors, the soldier in question sent off his mobile phone clip to The Sun newspaper. It promptly made front page news and the soldier was ‘told off’ by his superior officers.

On the same night, there was an incident near Cardiff, South Wales, when a police helicopter was said to have almost collided with a UFO. South Wales Police denied the incident, which was widely reported in the press, but a few months later, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) air-miss report confirmed that the incident had actually happened. Shortly afterwards, there was a second UFO-helicopter near miss and Nick believes that there is a genuine flight safety risk attached to the UFO phenomenon.

To emphasise this, Nick used the Manchester Airport UFO Incident of January 1995, where an unknown object passed very close to a Boeing 737 and caused the first officer to duck as it went by, and the 1991 Alitalia Incident, when a passenger jet for the Italian airline almost collided with a ‘missile-like’ object while on approach to Heathrow Airport.

How are such reports to be investigated and by whom? The MoD? The CAA? Nick said that it is sometimes unclear who should be looking into these near-miss cases.

The Milton Torres case was released in the second batch of UFO files from the NA. In 1957, Torres flew USAF Sabre jets based at RAF Manston in Kent. On May 20th, 1957, Torres’ squadron was scrambled and ordered to intercept a UFO that had been detected on radar ‘orbiting Ipswich’. Torres was in the lead aircraft and he quickly picked up the object on his airborne radar. He said that it was a return from something the size of an aircraft carrier. This huge object was virtually hovering, or at least moving very, very slowly.

The UFO was never seen visually and only detected on radar. Torres was then totally surprised to receive an order to shoot down the object. He asked for confirmation and received it. As he armed the 24 rockets his Sabre carried, the UFO began to accelerate away. As he prepared to fire, it shot off at ‘Mach 10’.

Could it have been a top secret aircraft? Nick thinks not. While secret military technology is often decades in advance of what we see in public, Nick cannot accept that in 1957, we had aircraft the size of aircraft carriers that could hover and then zip away at high speed.

On returning to base, Torres was debriefed and told by a man in civilian clothing not to talk about the incident. It was classified Top Secret. He was threatened that if he did speak out, he would lose his wings.

In the 1980s, Torres wrote an account of the incident and lodged it with his lawyer. He also sent a copy to the MoD with a letter saying that he wanted to know what happened that day in 1957.

When the NA release happened in 2008, he felt free to speak publicly and spoke at the National Press Club in 2009. He wept because of the secret he had kept for over fifty years. He was heartbroken that he couldn’t tell his father about it before his death.

Researchers are still trying to find Torres’ wingman and also the ‘civilian’ who threatened the pilots to secrecy. Another question to be answered is: Who ordered Torres to fire?

Nick explained that there have been several cases involving shoot-down orders of UFOs, including the famous 1976 Tehran Incident and the 1980 Peru Encounter.

A third batch of UFO files has now been released. Nick closed by saying that he doesn’t believe that the MoD has some ‘smoking gun’ evidence, such as a UFO in a hangar somewhere. Many might smirk, “Well, he would say that.”

Nick’s lecture was good and the time passed quickly. He had no slides to present or anything to show on the big screen, but he is an engaging speaker and well worth seeing. His website can be found at

Lunch came around a little earlier than expected, due to the university’s cafeteria closing at 1pm. During lunch, Gary Heseltine announced that he is working on a movie script with Charles Halt about the Rendlesham Forest Incident. I wish Gary all the luck in the world, but, in this day and age, I cannot see a major studio financing such a film unless it has all the ‘bangs and whistles’. Where UFOs are concerned, studio executives want action, not some soldiers trudging through the woods at night with a Geiger counter. They want peril. They want moral dilemmas. Dare I say it, they might be more open to making a movie of Larry Warren’s account of what happened. At least that has actual aliens. I hope Gary and Charles are successful, though, because it’s been a while since we had a serious UFO movie. I enjoyed Race to Witch Mountain, but serious it wasn’t!

After lunch it was Ian R Crane’s turn at the podium. Ian’s forte is less ufological and more conspiratorial. His area of expertise is the area of the New World Order and its agenda for the human race.

Ian has given many lectures about the New World Order (NWO) and his style is humorous and engaging. He’s a great speaker and I consider myself a fan, though not necessarily agreeing with everything he puts out there.

As he often does at his lectures, Ian began with a video he had put together. It showed us, using the concept of entertainment and large events, such as the Olympics, how we can be conditioned to accept things that we would not normally. How what we are shown in the media is not always what it seems. How false flag operations can have us looking in the wrong direction 

What Ian was trying to get across was that the threat of an alien invasion may make us accept the curtailing of our freedoms for the sake of security. The same thing is currently happening with the threat of terrorism, but that is on a national level. A threat to the whole world from outside would enable the New World Order to initiate its global totalitarian government. How would they do this? They could do it by CGI in the media and, allegedly, 3D holograms projected into the sky.

Ian believes that a big false flag event will be staged to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics. His identification of the word ‘ZiON’ in the logo for the Games is famous.

According to Ian (and others) NWO Zionists, who have nothing to do with the Jewish people and don’t care about them one iota, by the way, feel that they need to control the people of the world through fear. We need something to be scared of. The fear of terrorism. The fear of war. The fear of an alien invasion. The fear of the Second Coming of Christ. The fear of Armageddon.

Ian refers to a publication called The Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability for Peace. This was published in 1967 and there are still questions about whether or not it is a genuine document. The document relates that in order to achieve the desired one world government, a constant state of war was required. This was not to be a war of two opposing armies, but a war against the people, a phoney war to keep the world’s population terrified. To facilitate this, fake enemies would be created to keep the military-industrial complex busy, false proclamations about the global climate and levels of pollution would scare us into consuming less, there would be a world police force with unlimited powers, the population would be controlled via the use of drugs added to our food and water and finally, there would be the threat of an extraterrestrial invasion.

Ian refers to this assault on the people as ‘bio-spiritual warfare’. The NWO is using all of its arsenal to keep humanity from advancing. Ian said that the leaders of the NWO absolutely believe that they are descendants of the Anunnaki, a race of extraterrestrials that colonised Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago. Whether we believe this is irrelevant. They believe it.

Ian gave a potted history of the Anunnaki. The name has become familiar to many of us through the works of Zechariah Sitchin. Basically, the story revolves around the creation of man as a slave race, the Anunnaki bearing children with them and the subsequent Flood myths. It is these children of the coupling between the Anunnaki and humans, often called the Nephilim, whom the NWO believe they are descended from.

To keep their slaves from advancing, the NWO use tools such as debt, constant surveillance, junk food, microchipping, GM foods, vaccines, the dumbing down of the media, fear and transgenics (the splicing of different species). Companies such as Monsanto are deeply involved, as are many other trans-national corporations.

St Malachy, a twelfth-century Irish archbishop, had a vision of the last Popes of the Catholic Church. The final four, he said, were John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the last Pope, Peter II. Benedict XVI is the current Pontiff. St Malachy foretold that during the reign of Pope Peter II, great tribulations will occur and Rome will be destroyed.

The recent MPs expenses scandal was a smokescreen, said Ian, to distract the public from the European elections. The voter turnout was very low, because there was little media coverage, all attention being focussed on a few politicians fiddling their receipts. Small change!

Under the Treaty of Lisbon, the UK, along with its European partners, will cease to exist as we know it, replaced by a federal superstate under a single president. Ian believes the first president of this new regime will be Tony Blair.

As the NWO program unfolds, we will find ourselves becoming ever more scrutinised by the vast bureaucratic machine. Before 2015, microchipping of the population will become compulsory and our every move will be monitored at all times.

Then there is the ‘2012 Effect’. The year 2012 and its connection with End Time prophecy is very well-known, but Ian explained that the 2012 date only became part of the public consciousness in 1987, when Jose A. Arguelles published his book, The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology. In that book, Arguelles told us that the incredibly accurate Mayan calendar ended its Long Count on 21st (or 23rd, depending who you read) December, 2012. Terrence McKenna also concluded that 2012 was an End Time nexus using different methods.

Then there’s the popular notion that the solar system will align with the centre of the galaxy (or ‘the Dark Rift’, a band of dust that dissects the Milky Way, during the winter solstice of 2012.

Ian also noted that remote viewers cannot see anything beyond 11:11am on December 21st, 2012.

On Tuesday 30th June, 2009, the BBC will be screening a documentary about the conspiracy theories surrounding the 7/7 London bombings of 2005. By the time you read this, it will have aired already. Ian stated that he was certain this would be nothing more than a hit-piece to ridicule the Truth Movement and that he refused to participate when contacted by the Beeb.

Ian firmly believes that attacks such as 9/11, 7/7, the Bali bombing and the Madrid bombing were false flag attacks perpetrated not by terrorist groups, but by our own security services under orders from the NWO. I absolutely agree with this and there is a lot of evidence available to see all over the internet that more or less proves this.

What can we do to stop this assault by the New World Order? We can spread the word. We can let ‘them’ know that we know what’s going on. If the NWO knows that we will not stand for all these fake events, they will fail in their agenda.

As usual, Ian’s lecture was fascinating and illuminating (forgive the pun) and I recommend everybody to catch one of his DVDs or watch his talks on Edge Media TV (if you have Sky!). Ian’s website can be found at

American researcher, Richard Dolan, was up next. His lecture was entitled ‘Exopolitics and UFO Disclosure’.

Richard’s interest in UFOs began fifteen years ago when he was researching President Harry Truman and the formation of the National Security Act. He got a copy of Timothy Good’s book, Above Top Secret, and his interest was sparked.

Eventually, he wrote UFOs and the National Security State in 2000. The book covered the years 1941 to 1973. He was exhausted upon completing it, but found that he had to continue his research. This summer, he will release volume two, which will cover the years 1973-1991.

While volume one was more US-centric, his new book will have a more global outlook. Richard’s website says: “In this new volume, I treat the full range of issues presented by the UFO phenomenon during the 1970s, 1980s, and through the end of the Cold War in 1991. I analyze the phenomenon itself, the response by U.S. and global military authorities, and the evolving efforts of researchers to understand what it all meant. Behind it all, I observe the backdrop of a world in technological, economic, and political transformation.”

Richard has an odd way of looking at the subject of UFO Disclosure. He says: “Disclosure is impossible, but also inevitable.” He goes on to list some of the problems for Disclosure:


  1. The confrontational relationship with ‘them’.
  2. Explaining the illegal structures of secrecy.
  3. What the secret programs are about?
  4. Understanding who ‘they’ are.
  5. Understanding their interest in us.
  6. Challenges to the nature of power, politics, industry, legal, finance, elite control.
  7. Why Disclosure will happen anyway.

Richard listed some of the key UFO documents that have come to light over the years, including the Twining Memo, the Oak Ridge Memo, the Hanford AEC document, the Malmstrom AFB Memo and the famous Halt Memo.

There have been many confrontations between the world’s military and UFOs over the years. There were nine examples in the 1970s, such as the Tehran Incident of 1976, a UFO crash in Bolivia in 1978 and shots fired at a UFO over the Baikonur Space Centre in the USSR also in 1978.

Cases from the 1980s included the Peruvian Air Force opening fire on a UFO in 1980, the legendary Rendlesham Forest Incident, also from 1980, the Zimbabwean Air Force encounter of 1985 and a case from 1986 when Brazilian jets chased a UFO for 25 minutes.

Up to 1990, there were over 40 cases of Soviet jets encountering UFOs. How do we know about them? Well, when totalitarian regimes collapse, people start talking. Colonel Boris Sokolov stated that there were thousands of UFO cases from the USSR in the 1980s and that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian jet fighters continued to intercept UFOs in the 1990s.

In 2002, fifty years to the day since the famous 1952 flap, Washington DC again found itself invaded by UFOs. F16 fighter jets were scrambled numerous times, but failed to intercept the objects detected on radar. Government employee, Renny Rogers saw a bright blue light being chased by fighter jets over his Maryland home.

To this day no FOIA documents have been released about the 2002 DC event.

In 2008, the Texas town of Stephenville temporarily became one of the most famous places on Earth after UFOs were witnessed by numerous people. Some were seen to head across the sky in the direction of George W Bush’s Crawford Ranch, pursued by military jets.

The many confirmed military encounters beg the question: “Why are we chasing them?”

Richard said we should always be suspicious of any government announcement that might seem positive regarding UFOs and extraterrestrials. There is always some hidden agenda and that usually has nothing at all to do with the UFO subject.

The next segment was titles ‘The Structure of Secrecy: Crash retrievals and Money’.

In 1947, the Truman era, the Cold War was just kicking off. The president came to the conclusion that the UFO ‘problem’ had to be kept secret, that any crashed discs had to be kept out of the public eye and that there would be no sharing of extraterrestrial technology with the outside world. Was this the reason behind the formation of Majestic-12?

Another dilemma was about whether or not to keep the secret forever or place it under periodical review.

A decision was made to ‘go private’. This meant bringing in private corporations with high security clearances. The Military-Industrial Complex as we know it today. Since 1947, corporations and government have become inextricably linked. Terms such as Private Government and Shadow Government are bandied about. Secret programs sprang up under the umbrella of ‘The Black Budget’. Were these being developed from alien technology?

Senator Barry Goldwater once said: “This has gotten so highly classified [the secret projects or Black Budget]... it is just impossible to get anything on it.”

Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, said: “We are looking at likely reverse-engineered technology in the hands of humans that are not under government control or any type of high-level control.”

How was all of this secret research paid for? Funds for the Black Budget come from covertly directing public money and supplementing that with private funds. But from where?

The CIA has tendrils reaching out all across America and the world. It plucks the best and brightest from top universities and dumps them into the ‘black’ world. People like Dr Donald Menzel, who was publicly very sceptical about UFOs, but privately accepted that there was something to the phenomenon, had a high rank in the National Security Agency (NSA).

Such far-reaching influence meant that UFO news stories could be choked-off at the national level, with most reports barely even making local news 

The CIA is well-known for using drug money to finance its ‘off-the-books’ operations. Similar tactics were (and maybe still are) employed to fund the Black Budget, illicit methods employed to raise capital.

Bill Sweetman, a well-known writer for Jane’s Defence Weekly (JDW), estimated that there were about 150 Special Access Programs (goon-speak for Black Budget projects) running in 1997. These projects have no democratic oversight, completely independent systems (they are not bound by national laws), they are run almost exclusively by private contractors and their source of funding is unknown.

Catherine Austin Fitts was head of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development during the administration of George HW Bush. She estimated that 85% of the US budget was ‘unauditable’. That means that there is no way to determine what money was spent where and where those funds came from. She also stated that $3.3 trillion (that’s $3,300,000,000,000!) disappeared from the budget between 1998 and 2001. Remember Donald Rumsfeld speaking on September 10th, 2001, saying that the Pentagon could not account for $2.2 trillion in funding??? Bonkers numbers!

James Goodall of JDW claimed that there were at least eight black projects running out of Groom Lake (Area 51 to the rest of us), including a ‘silent triangle’. His sources state that there are “things out there that are literally out of this world.”

George Knapp, the journalist famous for bringing Bob Lazar to the public, claims to have more than a dozen sources at Area 51. None of these (except Lazar) have ever been willing to speak publicly.

One such reverse-engineered craft is known as the ‘Alien Reproduction Vehicle’. It is approximately 15 feet wide, 9-10 feet thick and can travel between 15 and 500 miles per hour. It can execute a right-angled turn at 140 mph and may be able to ‘shape-shift’ to some degree. It was sighted over Nellis AFB in November, 1994. Richard is convinced that this is a man-made vehicle, not extra-terrestrial.

Such talk of Black Projects inevitably leads us to the question: Is there a secret space program and, if so, why?

There are many reports of anomalies on the Moon, Mars and even in Earth orbit or further out in space. Are these extraterrestrial or advanced bases or craft from Earth? Are we engaged in some form of intercourse with extraterrestrials within our own solar system?

Gary McKinnon, spoke of finding mention of ‘Non-terrestrial Officers’ and ‘Fleet-to-fleet transfers’ in his search for UFO evidence in the US computer files. Jeff Challender, who sadly died in 2007 after a long illness, found evidence of UFOs and other anomalies in space in transmissions from NASA and other space agencies. He posted them on his website

Disclosure will have to let us know about the revolutionary technologies and radical programs that have come into being in secrecy. Until then, all we have are questions.

Richard wondered if the covert world had evolved into a ‘breakaway civilisation’, a portion of humanity that has access to incredible technological resources yet chooses not to share that with its fellow, less-advanced kin. What would be the implications of artefacts elsewhere in our solar system? Why should they share their technology with the rest of the world?

What are the aliens like?

Richard explained that according to reports, they appear to be highly telepathic. They have the ability to manipulate space/time. They seem to have no emotions. Are they truly alien or from here? Are they truthful or do they deceive? There appear to be more than one species, each with their own agenda. Why are they abducting humans? Are they creating hybrids, a transgenic species (remember Ian Crane’s lecture earlier?)?

How would we deal with such advanced beings? Why are they interested in us? Are we advancing too rapidly? If we advance too quickly, can we survive?

Are we the ‘greatest show in the quadrant’? Are we worrisome? Do they want to control us? Will they want to help us manage our society so that we can survive?

Do some ETs look exactly like us and are already living here? What if other species war with each other? Should we ‘take sides’? What if they created us?

How would such a huge lie be undone? What would be the cultural, financial and religious consequences? Would we finally achieve ‘free energy’? Would the human power structure be capable of surviving? Would it be the end of our civilisation as we know it?

How prepared are we? Ultimately, we will have to live with ourselves. We will have to deal with Disclosure somehow. Change will come and we will have to cope. Disclosure is impossible and inevitable.

Richard gave a fascinating lecture that raised more questions than it answered. We know UFOs exist. We know the military encounter these things with alarming regularity. It’s what happens when the rest of the world catches up with what we already understand that is the big problem. Those of us interested in the UFO enigma are ready. Is everybody else?

Richard’s website can be found at and he promised that volume two of UFOs and the National Security State would be out within 30 days of the lecture.

The final speaker of the event was perhaps the most controversial. Lloyd Pye has been studying the Starchild Skull for ten years and has yet to discover its deepest secrets. He calls it ‘the most important thing in the world that nobody knows about’ 

The skull was discovered in Mexico in 1930 about 100 miles south of Chihuahua. An American teenager was on vacation with her family in the Copper Canyon region and, despite warnings from locals, went exploring by herself.

She found an old mine tunnel and went inside. About fifty feet in, she found a human skeleton lying beside a mound of earth. Being raised in a desert region, she was used to finding bones out in the arid landscape, so she was not shocked by discovering this old grave.

She noticed that more bones were sticking out of the mound of earth. It was a misshapen hand, being firmly held by the skeleton lying beside the mound. She was sure that whatever was buried was put there by the skeleton on top of the dirt.

Being in a desert region and protected by the tunnel from the elements, the dirt still seemed fresh and she dug it away carefully. She saw a small skeleton with apparent deformities. The skull was large and the limbs small. She planned to take both skeletons back to the USA and donate them to a museum, but she had misgivings. Bundling them up, she hid them among the exposed roots of a nearby tree, so that she could retrieve them later, when she had decided what to do.

That night there was a torrential rain storm and it was three days before she could return to the tree and recover the bones. Unfortunately, the tree had been in a gulley and rainwater had washed them away.  She searched frantically for them, finding both skulls and some other fragments. All the bones had been damaged.

She returned to the United States, taking the remaining bones with her, keeping them as souvenirs of her Mexican holiday.

In the early 1990s, she found that she was dying of an illness and she asked some friends if they would take care of her skulls. Some years after her death, the skulls came into the possession of Ray and Melanie Young in 1998. Melanie was a neonatal nurse and immediately noticed something was odd about the smaller of the skulls. It was considerably lighter than the other and the ‘deformity’ was oddly symmetrical. She knew instantly that it was both special and unusual.

Both Ray and Melanie were members of El Paso MUFON, and they were of the opinion that this was the skull of a Grey!

They contacted Lloyd because of his experience with ‘hominids’ such as Bigfoot. He suggested that they get the skulls tested.

Bizarrely, they found that most experts did not want anything to do with the skull, with many simply dismissing it as ‘deformed’.

The bone is half as thick as a normal human cranium. The eye sockets are very shallow, meaning that the eyes would have protruded markedly. They were also much lower than is normal. As for the ‘deformity’, it was discovered that the Starchild (SC) skull was actually more symmetrical than a normal human skull!

The SC has no inion (the knot at the back of your head which is part of the occipital bone and is found in every ape skull), only a dent. The back of the human skull (which was female) showed signs of being cradle-boarded. This is common in cultures where mothers must return to work shortly after the birth of a child. They wrap up the baby and strap it to a board that can be worn by the mother. So the baby’s head doesn’t flop about, it is tied securely to the board, resulting in the soft, undeveloped cranium developing a flattened area at the back. The SC skull was not cradle-boarded.

It has been suggested that the SC skull shows signs of hydrocephaly, where fluid builds up in the young skull, forcing the head into a bulbous shape. The SC skull shows no similarities to this condition, the cranial sutures being well-healed and not showing evidence of widening.

The SC skull’s Basilar Part is missing, suggesting it was well under the age of 20 at death but this is still in dispute; it has tighter check muscles; its neck was 50% thinner than a typical human and was perfectly situated to balance the skull; it had no sinuses; its inner ear was much larger than normal.

The female skull was measured to have a capacity of about 1200cc, which is roughly normal for its date and origin: about 900 years old in Mexico. A modern human skull has a capacity of about 1400cc.

The SC has a capacity of 1600cc.

Brain specialists examined the skull and said that the SC’s brain should have slid out, having no real cerebellum to support it, yet it appears to have not been the case. Lloyd mused that perhaps the SC was telepathic, owing to the lack of sinuses and an apparently very small or missing tongue.

Dental x-rays initially suggested that this was the skull of a child and it was dubbed the Starchild. Lloyd said that this was the biggest mistake they made, as they now believe that the SC was a mature adult at death. The female lying beside it was confidently aged to 35-45 at death.

CAT scans confirmed that there was no premature closing of the cranial sutures and that the SC was apparently healthy at the time of death (if that makes sense). The inner ear was twice as large as a normal human’s and Lloyd suggests that this may help balance the large head on its skinny neck.

Under an electron microscope, the SC skull was found to be more similar to tooth enamel than bone. This made it very hard, despite its light weight and lack of thickness.

With a few exceptions, Lloyd found himself running into a scientific brick wall. He was often told that ‘nature can do anything’ and ushered out. He decided that the only way to get science to take notice was to get a good DNA analysis 

At the end of 1999, Lloyd looked for a lab that would test the SC skull’s DNA. Due to the skull being 900 years old, any DNA extracted would be classed as ‘ancient DNA’ and more stringent protocols were required due to possible contamination. AT the time, only six labs on the planet existed that could handle ancient DNA and none of them would cooperate.

A Canadian friend told Lloyd that he had a friend who was opening a new forensics lab at the University of British Columbia and he might be able to test the skull for him. Sure enough the university agreed and Lloyd sent off the skull. That is where the trouble started.

For a proper analysis, 1000 picograms of DNA needs to be extracted, yet the lab reached the conclusion that the SC skull was human with only 200 picograms. Lloyd said that they also contaminated their results. Amazingly (and he admitted this), he agreed to a second set of tests at the same laboratory. This time, one of the Sc’s teeth would be used as the sample. Again, they concluded that the skull was human from only a 200 picogram sample of DNA.

Lloyd was devastated. In 2002, he was bankrupt and done with the whole affair.

Then up stepped Belinda McKenzie. She funded more research and new DNA tests could be commissioned. By this time there were 24 labs that could handle ancient DNA. It was also now possible to extract both nuclear (passed on by both parents) and mitochondrial (passed on only by the mother) DNA strands.

Lloyd veered off at this point to discuss the abduction phenomenon. He referred to the many cases where women have been abducted, impregnated and returned. Later, they would be abducted again and the foetuses removed. During later abductions, they would often be introduced to human-alien hybrid children and be told that this was their child. Many of the witness drawings and sculptures match the SC skull quite well.

He also spoke briefly about the so-called ‘Conehead’ skulls. Science tells us that these skulls, found all over the world, are caused by the practice of skull binding. The skull is wrapped in tight bandages at a young age and the soft bones grow into a cone shape.

That’s all well and good and might sound reasonable, but the average capacity of these conehead skulls is twice that of ours, in the region of 2800-3000cc! Binding a skull does not make its capacity larger. Lloyd believes that these skulls should be DNA tested also.

He also mentioned Whitley Strieber’s Communion, perhaps the best-known abduction book ever published. Apparently the famous image of the Grey on the cover is not really like what Strieber described. It is too long and Lloyd feels that what Strieber saw may have looked more like the Starchild.

The popular History Channel series, UFO Hunters, looked into the SC skull for an episode. They commissioned a sculptor (who normally makes aliens for TV and movies) to recreate what the Starchild would look like if it was alive today. Lloyd suggested that the result looked more like Lee Harvey Oswald than a human-alien hybrid 

He suggested that the famous ‘Amoco alien’ (left) or the ‘Dreamland Grey’ (right) should be more close to what the SC really looked like. The black eyes could be lenses, he posited, to protect them from bright sunlight.

Back to the DNA analysis. The lab that agreed to the test both the SC skull and the human female skull found that the Starchild skull was very hard to cut. They also had problems dissolving the bone in the rocker. Human bone will dissolve in the fluid within about a week. The SC skull sample took months to dissolve.

A cross-section of the Sc skull showed unknown fibres running throughout its structure. It is still a mystery as to what these are and their function. They are clearly not bacterial or fungal in nature. The fibres are also extremely resistant to cutting. There is also much more collagen in the SC skull than is normal. Strange, red specks could be seen in the bone and, again, their purpose or origin is a mystery.

When the DNA test results came back, Lloyd was surprised to find that the female was not the Starchild’s mother! The mitochondrial DNA showed that the female was from haplogroup A, while the mtDNA from the Starchild belonged to haplogroup C. The SC had a human mother, but it was not the woman that died with him (the SC skull is thought to be male, I believe).

Unfortunately, the lab was unable to recover any nuclear DNA, so the identity of the father remains a mystery for now. Lloyd thinks that the inability to recover nuclear DNA might possibly suggest that the father of the Starchild is not human.

A company called 454 Life Sciences has developed a technology that would be able to extract the entire genome of the Starchild. The company is due to begin testing the system this year (2009). To get the Sc skull tested at 454 Life Sciences, Lloyd and his team need to raise $250,000. That might seem like a lot of money, but it could be money well-spent if we discover the true origins of the Starchild Skull.

I found Lloyd’s lecture to be excellent and completely fascinating. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed all of the speakers at the Expo. I hope Lloyd, Belinda and the Youngs find the funding to get the skull properly and definitively tested. Maybe once and for all, we can find out the origin of this remarkable, and perhaps tragic, little person.

Lloyds website can be found at

With Lloyd Pye finished, that drew the 1st Annual Leeds Exopolitics Expo to a close. My brother and I had a brilliant day and congratulations must go to David and Anthony and everybody behind the scenes for putting on a great event.

There were some minor niggles, with speakers having to be given ‘the hurry-up’ from time-to-time, as each one had just over an hour to cram in as much information as they could, but for the most part, everything went smoothly. I’m not sure if the air-conditioning affected other things in the hall because early on, they switch on the A/C, but later it was stifling in there. Maybe that’s something that can be addressed at the 2nd Annual Leeds Exopolitics Expo. Fingers crossed!

Steve Johnson – June 2009

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A Knight Journey

by Samantha Carr


New Vision Media LLP

Paperback - 292 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9549222-6-9

RRP: £12.99


Have you had dreams that seem particularly pertinent to your life? Of course you have. We all have. Most of our dreams, though, manifest as odd vignettes, with strange events, people or places mixing together to make us wake up and think, “That was a weird dream!”

Samantha Carr’s dreams have shaped her life. She records her dreams with pen and paper and finds that they very often help her to come to terms with events that happen on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes her dreams seem to be premonitions of things that have not yet occurred.

A Knight Journey is the first of Samantha’s books to explore the world of dreams and the importance of our night-time adventures. She takes us on a very personal journey through her life, explaining how dreams, her growing mediumistic skills and spirituality have affected her over the years.

She has learned how to interpret her dreams and explains how we can do the same, using symbology, history, current affairs and a ton of literary references.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Knight Journey and really felt as though I was there with Samantha as she led us through key points in her life and the changes they brought.

This short review really does not do the book justice and I heartily recommend that everybody read it. Your dreams will never seem the same again.

The book can be purchased from Amazon or bought via Samantha's website at

 Steve Johnson

June 2009

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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

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

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

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 -

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 h

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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Probe International Conference 2008>

YMCA, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire

October 4th – 5th 2008

I had never attended a Probe conference before and could only make it for Saturday’s speakers this time round, but it was a very pleasant experience. Accompanied by my brother, we set off across the Pennines and arrived at the venue shortly after the doors opened at 9:30am.

The hall was already bustling and we checked out the various stalls selling everything from books to didgeridoos. Ellis C Taylor was there, signing his books and Mike Oram was doing likewise. David Boyle, owner of the Dr Who Exhibition and the Exhibition of the Universe (formerly the Alien & UFO Exhibition) in Blackpool, also had a table and was selling gifts and DVDs. There were many other vendors too.

As we settled in for the first speaker, Brian Halliwell, the lights dimmed. Brian talk was about coincidences and synchronicities. He told various tales from history, such as the three ships that sank on the same date in different years, yet each had a sole survivor called Hugh Williams. Or the balloon released by a girl named Laura Buxton, it was found 140 miles away and given to a young girl called Laura Buxton. It turned that the girls were born within a couple of months of each, both were fair-haired and both owned three-year-old female Labrador dogs and have a rabbit and a guinea pig each.

Brian also talked of personal coincidences, such as finding objects that he needed in unexpected places. He feels that mind and matter are connected, that the universe is a far stranger place than we can ever hope to understand and that thinking about a thing can often make it a reality (using quantum mechanics as a springboard). Brian’s talk was very interesting and he delivered it with great humour.

Now, I have to say that it was quite difficult to hear what the speakers were saying. I don’t know if it was the acoustics in the hall (a high-ceilinged gym/basketball court) or the sound system, but it was a real struggle. You could get the gist of what they were saying anyway.

Before the next speaker took the stage, I noticed UFO DATA forum member, ‘captainlockheed’, just in front of us. I introduced him to my brother and we enjoyed the rest of the conference as a trio.

Next up was Ellis C Taylor. Ellis is a qualified hypnotherapist and numerologist. His book, In These Signs Conquer, was reviewed in issue 16 of UFO DATA Magazine and is well worth reading. His new book, Dogged Days, is reviewed at the end of this article.

Ellis’ topic was ‘A Night with the Andrews Family’. This is also featured in Dogged Days and was an experience shared by our friend, Sacha Christie. Ellis spoke about a missing time event he experienced while travelling to the home of Paul and Anne Andrews in 2004 and the strange events that occurred there on another visit in 2006. He also spoke of the strange marks that appeared on his body in 1996, marks that had definite patterns to them. I will go into more detail about these events in the review of Dogged Days.

Ellis’ lecture was terrific and the emotions conjured by his recollections were plain to see. His website is

Time for lunch! We decided not to order from the menu arranged by Probe and headed for a nearby café. It was quite busy and the poor kids running it had obviously not expected a crowd of hungry delegates that day.

Back at the conference hall, I met up with Ellis Taylor. He recognised me immediately and I can honestly say that he is one of the warmest, most genuine people I have ever met.

A short video was presented before the next speaker, showing, basically, lights in the sky. Interesting, but not earth-shattering stuff.

Brian Allan (who is also speaking at the UFO DATA Magazine conference on 25th & 26th October) gave a talk based around his book, The Hole in the Sky. Brian maintains that portals to other places or other dimensions often open in various locations across the globe, most notably the so-called Skinwalker Ranch in Utah.

Science has also attempted to create portals, he said, most famously with the Philadelphia Experiment in the 1940s, when the USS Eldridge was said to have travelled between dimensions during tests to make the ship invisible to radar. Brian also mentioned portals in relation to black holes, wormholes, their references in fiction, such as Stargate, UFO sightings, alien abductions and legends such as the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Brian’s lecture posed many intriguing questions and opened fascinating possibilities with regard to where future science could take us. Brian’s website is

The final speaker of the day was Mary Rodwell. Mary is a principle founder member of the Australian Close Encounter Research Network (ACERN) and offers support to people who have had abduction or contact experiences. 

Her lecture was in two parts, with the second being on Sunday. Unfortunately, I could not attend that day, so, I fear, I only got half the story! Mary gave a fascinating talk about contact experiences and how those who have had them have coped with the ordeal. Many contactees have turned to art to express their experiences and Mary showed many examples in both slides and videos.

She spoke about the so-called Indigo Children and how they may be a new evolution of humanity. We learned of Boriska, the young Russian lad who appears to know more than he should at such a young age, Tracey Taylor, who creates amazing artworks based around her encounters, and, of course, Jason Andrews, whose life has been publicised in books such as Abducted and Jason: My Indigo Child.

Mary’s presentation was top-notch and gripped the audience from beginning to end, even when the rain hammering down on the roof of the hall attempted to noisily disrupt proceedings. The ACERN website can be found at

All-in-all, we had a great day in Lytham St. Annes and I can heartily recommend the Probe conferences to everybody. Sam and Jean Wright and everybody connected with organising the event have done a sterling job once again.

As promised, here is my brief review of Ellis Taylor’s new book, Dogged Days. The copy I read was a pre-publication version that Ellis had printed especially for the Probe conference. The full edition of the book will be coming out very soon. Anyway, here’s what I thought about both the book and the man:

There are few writers, particularly in the realm of the paranormal, where you feel that you are a part of their journey, as though you are inside their head as they write down the words you are reading. Ellis C Taylor is one of those people. He writes from the heart and that shows on every page of every book he has written. He calls a spade a spade and leaves the reader to decide whether or not to believe him.

Having spent a lifetime dealing with bizarre circumstance, Ellis is supremely qualified to write about the subject. In Dogged Days, he does just that, taking us on a personal voyage from childhood to the present, cataloguing events that range from witnessing UFOs to ghostly manifestations to coming face-to-face with a gnome – yes, a gnome! – and coming to terms with alien abduction. Some of the things of which he writes appear fantastical, but his sincerity shines through and you find yourself saying, “Wow!” as his story unfolds.

Armed with photographs, diary entries and accounts from friends and family, Dogged Days is a fabulous book, written in Ellis’ usual, witty, self-deprecating style and should take pride of place on anybody’s bookshelf.



Since writing the above review, I have received a ‘proper’ copy of Dogged Days, with more accounts and full colour photographs and pictures. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.

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STS-48: 15 years on

STS-48 Blasts offOn September 12th, 1991, the shuttle mission designated STS-48 blasted off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Aboard the Discovery were astronauts John O. Creighton, Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr., James F. Buchli, Charles D. Gemar and Mark N. Brown. Their primary mission was to launch a seven-ton observatory, called the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), into a low Earth orbit. The mission, however, became more famous for quite another thing.

On September 15sup>th, 1991, a camera at the rear of the shuttle’s payload bay captured something extraordinary. Focused on the distant, curving horizon, over Australia, a violent thunderstorm raged three hundred miles below Discovery. Between the Earth and the shuttle, several objects were moving in seemingly random paths. All of a sudden, another object appeared from over the horizon and began moving to the left of the camera’s field of view.

Suddenly there was a bright flash from the far left and the new object streaked away it the depths of space. Several, but not all, of the other objects also altered their courses. A second later, two streaks flashed through the frame, one of which passed close to where the new object had been.

What had the payload bay camera just witnessed? This would be a question that still causes heads to be scratched fifteen years later. The complete footage can be viewed below:

NASA’s explanation was that the objects were nothing more than ice particles and their sudden motion was caused by the source of the flash, Discovery’s manoeuvring thrusters.

This explanation did not sit well with many researchers, though, and one, Dr Jack Kasher, a physicist from the University of Nebraska and in the employ of NASA also, set about to test the ice particle theory. His method was to try and prove that the objects were indeed nothing more astounding than the chunks of ice that follow all space flights, but what his analysis proved to him was much more fascinating and not a little disturbing.

Dr Kasher enlisted the help of the microbiology department of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. They had developed software that enabled them to plot the trajectories of tiny microbes in Lake Michigan. This software would be ideally suited to obtaining accurate data on the objects seen in the STS-48 footage. Dr Kasher also found equations to work out the 3-dimensional geometry of the footage i.e. taking the 2-dimensional image from the television screen and calculating the 3-dimensional movements of the objects depicted – basically adding the z coordinates to the existing x and y.

Armed with graphs and charts from the guys in Milwaukee, Kasher set about trying to prove the ice particle theory.

NASA explained the objects as being ice particles caught in the exhaust from the shuttle’s Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters. Kasher had to find out which of the thrusters had fired. Each orbiter has 44 thrusters (38 primary and 6 vernier).  As the flash came from the left of the camera, it must have come from one of the aft clusters, so the 16 thrusters at the forward section of Discovery can instantly be dismissed. The camera is mounted at the back of the payload bay on the right-hand side, so it is unlikely that the thrusters on that side, behind the camera would be seen, so this eliminates another 14 thrusters. So, what we have remaining are the 14 thrusters in the left-hand Orbital Manoeuvring System/Reaction Control System (OMS/RCS) pod.

The OMS engines are used for orbital insertion, orbital transfer and de-orbit functions, amongst others. Basically, they move the shuttle in space and are the largest, most powerful engines after the main ones.

The main RCS engines are used to change the attitude of the shuttle both in orbit and in the atmosphere. They control the yaw, pitch and roll functions, as well as small velocity changes along the orbiter’s axis that may be required. The vernier engines are much less powerful and are normally used for stabilising the shuttle in orbit or for station-keeping.

The upshot is that if any of the main thrusters were the cause of the flash on the screen, then the angle of the horizon should have changed as the orbiter moved in space. It didn’t, the distant horizon remained fixed. Dr Kasher calculated that if any of the relevant thrusters had fired, the picture should have rotated about 6 degrees, a motion that should clearly have been visible.

Let us assume, then, that the flash was caused by the vernier RCS firing. Remember, the camera is located at the rear of the payload bay on the right hand (starboard) side. It is looking across the left (port) side of the shuttle and up at an angle of roughly 50-70 degrees from the main body of the shuttle. The camera is focused to infinity, so we can see the horizon clearly.

Dr Kasher worked out that if the objects were ice particles, with the camera focused to infinity, the objects would have been about 65 feet or so from Discovery to be in focus. The verniers can fire from 1 to 125 seconds in steady-state mode or in pulses of 0.08 seconds. NASA designs its engines to produce a purely laminar flow, meaning that the exhaust remains, as much as possible, in a steady, even stream. The exhaust gases do expand, obviously, but could they reach a point almost a hundred feet from the shuttle at such a steep angle and still affect debris 

It should also be noted that the flash in the footage lasted for almost 0.4 seconds. So neither the steady-state thrust (1-125 seconds) or the pulse-mode thrust (0.08 seconds) match that timeframe. James Oberg countered this by suggesting that the camera only picked up part of the thrusting manoeuvre, so we only saw the back end of it, so to speak.

In an article that Dr Kasher published in the Journal of UFO Studies, he had managed to get hold of the telemetry data from STS-48 and found that the only thrusters that fired at that time were the two downward-pointing verniers on the left and right-hand sides of the shuttle (L5D and R5D – Left and Right thrusters 5, firing Downwards). Obviously the thrust from the starboard thrusters could not possibly reach the ‘ice particle’, so we are left with the portside vernier. In his article, the only way in which Dr Kasher could accept that the thrust from L5D could possibly interact with the main object was if somehow the gases ‘bounced’ off the left wing of the shuttle! If this occurred, though, it would go against the design requirements of the spacecraft, making the thrusters less effective. In the fifteen minutes preceding the ‘flashes’, the vernier thrusters fired nineteen times. Dr Kasher finds it odd that none of these other thrusters exhausts produced a ‘flash’.

The main object in the film, the one that streaks away after the flash, was found to actually stop dead in its tracks for a full half-second. Kasher’s analysis of the flash found that there were actually two flashes, a short pre-flash and the main one. It could be argued that the pre-flash was the one that stopped the object dead and the main flash was what caused it to shoot away. Unfortunately for that theory, Dr Kasher calculated that the object was actually moving away from the shuttle at the time of the pre-flash. For anything to stop it in space, it would have had to come from the opposite side i.e. the exact opposite direction in which the vernier fired! Obviously this is impossible, unless the object was some sort of controlled craft and stopped under its own power.

Using the trajectories of the two main objects, Kasher was able to discount that it was the RCS thrusters that caused them to move. He found that, drawing lines back from their trajectories after the flash, they did not converge on where the thrusters should have been. In fact, they diverged, never meeting at all!

Next, Kasher worked out (still assuming these were ice particles, remember) the actual velocities of the objects in the film, compared with what their speeds should have been if they were influenced by the thruster’s exhaust.

His calculations showed that the main object was accelerating away for 1.7 seconds at about 5-6 feet per second, while the exhaust pulse lasted for 0.4 seconds with a velocity of about 8,400 feet per second. This causes a slight problem, because the equations show that the object, if it is an ice particle, should be travelling at 98% of the exhaust velocity of the vernier thruster, which would give it a speed of about 8,300 feet per second. A slight difference!

Also, the object, if an ice particle, should be about 65 feet from the shuttle. It reacts half a second after the main flash. This means that the exhaust velocity should be about 130 feet per second. As we have seen, the velocity of the gases from the vernier rockets are in the order of 8,400 feet per second, so this is another example of how the object cannot be an ice particle close to Discovery.

Now, as we know the exhaust velocity of the vernier thrusters, we can work out how far the ‘ice particle’ would have to be from the shuttle if it took half a second to react to the flash. It turns out that it would have to be 22.2 miles from Discovery! Also, drawing a line back through the trajectory of the object places the thrusters 14.8 miles behind the shuttle. It could be argued that the shuttle is zipping through space and covers 14.8 miles quickly. At an altitude of 354 miles, the shuttle is travelling at 4.7 miles per second, so it would take over three seconds to travel 14.8 miles, not the half-second required to make the numbers fit. Also, it is unlikely that an ice particle small enough to be affected by the vernier rocket would even be visible to the camera from 22 miles away.

So, from Dr Kasher’s analysis, he cannot conceivably conclude that what we are seeing in the footage are ice particles close to the camera. His calculations seem to suggest that what we have are large objects, manoeuvring above the Earth’s atmosphere under their own power.

Kasher also calculated the acceleration of the main object. As we don’t know exactly how far away the object is, he was forced to work out figures for different distances:

  • 1 mile distance means the object moved away at 10.5 Gs with a velocity of 250 mph.
  • 10 mile distance means the object moved away at 105 Gs with a velocity of 2,500 mph.
  • 100 mile distance means the object moved away at 1050 Gs with a velocity of 25,000 mph.
  • 1000 mile distance means the object moved away at 10,500 Gs with a velocity of 250,000 mph.
  • 1,710 mile distance (the horizon) means the object moved away at 18,000 Gs with a velocity of 430,000 mph.

Obviously these are forces that would crush any human pilot, were any present.

If the flash is not from the RCS rocket, then what causes it? Another strange aspect to the STS-48 footage are two streaks that zip away into space, one of them passing through the area the main object had been before the flash. What were they?

It has been suggested that the streaks were actually missiles fired from the Earth! If so, then they are extremely fast-moving missiles. A projectile from a rail gun or coil gun or a beam from a projected energy weapon has also been proposed. Was the flash from some kind of targeting system?

If the streaks were not just more bits of ice passing through the frame, then it poses a difficult question. Why are we shooting at stuff in orbit? The objects easily out-manoeuvred our attempts, but it is still a scary thought.

There were other objects caught by the camera that were also affected by the flash. On the right side of the screen, several objects, with what appeared to be flashing lights, slightly altered their trajectories after the flash. Other objects, though, seemed unaffected.

Afterwards, the camera pans down and we see a strange, triangular object for a brief period before it is swallowed by the reflected glare from the rising sun. Then we see the payload bay of the shuttle grossly out of focus. The camera adjusts and we then see it clearly, proving that the camera focus was previously set to infinity.

The STS-48 footage has become the stuff of legend in the UFO community and, despite their best efforts, NASA seems unable to explain it, sticking steadfastly to the ice particle theory. Jack Kasher’s calculations seem to prove that they are not so. Other researchers, such as Mark Carlotto, have also independently come to the conclusion that these are not chunks of ice close to Discovery.

Is this definite proof that we are not only ‘not alone’, but that we are also in conflict with somebody from beyond our planet?

I contacted Dr Kasher and he graciously answered some questions:

Dr Kasher, thank you from everybody at UFO DATA Magazine for agreeing to speak with us. Anybody with an interest in UFOs will know of your research into the famous STS-48 footage, but not everybody will know that you were working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the time. Are you still doing research for NASA and if so, what are you working on these days?

I began my research for NASA in the summer of 1992, studying supergranules on the surface of the Sun, and continued working for them off and on until I retired in 2001 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha after 33 years there. I have not done anything for them since then.

Are you also still active within the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)?

I am currently a member of MUFON, and serve as a consultant in physics, Nebraska State Director, and Central Regional Director over 20 states in the middle of the USA. In my capacity as consultant in physics I have most recently helped analyze several pages of physics equations written by Stan Romanek both after a hypnotic session and during the night while he was asleep. Most of the equations are very advanced, and deal with quantum gravity. They are way beyond anything Mr. Romanek is capable of by himself. As Nebraska State Director I help organize and run our bi-monthly meetings, assign cases for investigation, and give UFO talks locally when asked. As Central Regional Director I communicate with the State Directors in my region, and offer assistance in any way that might be helpful.

In the last few years, ufology has been said to be in something of a decline. Do you agree with this or are you of the opinion that UFO sightings are actually on the increase?

My general sense is that UFO sightings are at least steady, if not increasing. I know that here in Nebraska we are getting more reports now than in the recent past. And the sightings down in Mexico, and the crop circles in England, continue on as well. I haven’t made a quantitative study of the issue, though; so I can only give you my impressions, which are not based on counting the number of sightings worldwide.

Going back to the STS-48 footage, your analysis has become a benchmark for the study of this particular case. Do you stand by your findings, that what appears in the film are controlled spacecraft, or do the arguments from NASA, that they are ice particles agitated by Discovery’s thrusters, now seem more likely?

I have not changed my opinion about the STS-48 footage. I still think that the objects in the video were not ice particles, but rather spacecraft out in space away from the Shuttle, exhibiting flight characteristics well beyond anything we are capable of here on the Earth.

In your analysis of the STS-48 objects, you implemented some equations that gave you the trajectories, velocities etc. of the objects based on their motion in the film. Some sceptics, such as James Oberg, have suggested that your figures are wrong. Do you still stand by them and have any of the debunkers come up with alternative figures?

To the best of my knowledge no one, including James Oberg, has come up with a detailed, rigorous, scientific analysis proving that my calculations and figures are wrong. Debunkers MUST do this, if they wish to defend the ice particle theory. Since they have not presented this analysis, and since more than ten years have passed since I published my calculations, I assume that no one can show that I am wrong. I wholeheartedly stand by my calculations and figures. To prove the objects were ice particles, it is not enough to simply watch the video and make a qualitative judgment. A rigorous quantitative analysis is needed.

There is another aspect of the video that has been somewhat overlooked. After the main flash, and immediately after the bright objects move in apparent reaction to the flash, two streaks move in straight lines up from the lower left of the picture into the regions where the objects had been. One of these streaks moves through the previous location of the main object, and the other goes through the right side of the picture, where two other objects had been. These two streaks are clearly of a different texture and appearance than the glowing objects of interest. They have a fuzzier appearance, move in straight lines, and their trajectories can be traced back to a common point that is below the lower part of the screen. No one from NASA has commented on or tried to explain the different appearance of these two streaks, which are obviously very strange ice particles, if that is what they think they are. In addition, the timing of the two streaks is very coincidental, if they are ice particles.

There has been a multitude of other NASA footage showing anomalous objects, possibly the most widely known being the ‘tether’ footage from STS-75. What are your thoughts on some of this other evidence?

I have always had a problem believing the tether footage from STS-75 shows some anomalous event. The tether itself is about 13 miles long and less than a centimeter thick. In the footage the thickness of the tether is way, way out of proportion to its length. This suggests to me some distortion in the picture caused by a camera effect. Until this can be clearly explained, I will find it difficult to interpret the tether footage in terms of something extraterrestrial. The best analysis I have seen is by James Oberg, at

Another Shuttle flight I find very interesting is STS-80. There were several unusual objects moving in very strange ways. The cameraman obviously noticed them, because in one instance he zoomed in on three objects as they moved fairly evenly around the right side of the Earth. I can’t say what the objects were. It would be nice if someone at NASA had tried to explain them for us.

Have any NASA astronauts commented to you about STS-48, STS-75 or any other UFO footage? What is the feeling amongst them about UFOs in general?

No astronauts have ever contacted me or commented to me about my analysis of the STS-48 footage or their belief in UFOs. However, Gordon Cooper has very clearly and publicly commented on his experiences, especially the case when a saucer landed on the runway at Edwards Air Force base in California when he was stationed there in the 1960s. Anyone wishing more details about Cooper’s experiences can find them in his book, Leap of Faith.

Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin recently stated in the television documentary, Apollo 11: The Untold Story, that on their way to the Moon in 1969, Armstrong, Collins and himself saw an unidentified object travelling alongside their craft. I mean, if it wasn’t a section of their own launch vehicle, then what could it have been? Something from the earlier Apollo missions, prior to the landing, perhaps? He also claimed that NASA ordered the men not to discuss the incident afterwards. What impact do you think this disclosure will have and do you believe it is a part of the overall disclosure program to drip-feed the public into the reality of the UFO/alien visitation subject?

I didn’t see the documentary, so I can’t comment from first hand knowledge. But if they saw something on the way to the Moon, before they got there, then it is very, very unlikely that it was something from the earlier Apollo missions. It would have to be trapped in orbit, and there wouldn’t be an orbit at that location. Also, you would think that the astronauts would recognize something from their own launch vehicle. So it is difficult to say what it was that they saw. It is also very interesting that NASA told them not to discuss the incident.

My opinion about an overall disclosure program by NASA is purely speculation; but I strongly doubt that NASA is doing this.

What do you make of the old stories that the Apollo astronauts saw ‘something’ while actually on the lunar surface? There’s a famous tale, for instance, of Armstrong and Aldrin seeing alien spacecraft ‘lined up’ on the edge of a crater. Remembering that the UFO sighting whilst en route to the Moon was essentially folklore for many years, do you think anything will happen with regard to this more dramatic story 

Like most of us in the UFO field, I am aware of this interesting rumor. I find it quite fascinating, and would love for it to be true. But I don’t think we’ll ever have the evidence to prove it. It would take a major press conference by all the astronauts involved, and I don’t think that will happen.

Since STS-48, has anything from NASA relating to UFOs piqued your interest that the general public might not be aware of?

I have no secret files or confidential cases to disclose. Those I find most interesting, like the STS-75 and STS-80 footages mentioned above, are known to the general public.

Recently, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a document to the public that suggested that most UFOs, those that could not be explained as terrestrial technology, were weird atmospheric phenomena such as plasmas. Have you had the chance to examine the report and, if so, what do you think of its conclusions?

I have not read the report first hand, and have only seen summaries of it. But it appears to me to be far-fetched to try to explain most UFOs as atmospheric phenomena. I wonder how many of the more than 3,000 trace cases studied by Ted Phillips were included in their report. I would guess none, since these cases would simply blow their conclusion out of the water.

2007 is likely to be a big year for ufology, being the sixtieth anniversary of the Roswell Incident. No doubt the mainstream media will latch onto it and we will be inundated with UFO-based programming for a while, probably some good, but more likely, mostly bad. What do you think of the way the mainstream media handles the UFO subject? For instance, the current series of The History Channel, UFO Files, is an excellent example, in my opinion, of good, mainstream UFO programming. At the other end of the spectrum, here in the UK, we suffered The World’s Strangest UFO Stories on Discovery, which handled the subject with a great deal of ridicule.

I would give the mainstream media mixed reviews for their coverage of UFO issues. I was disappointed with the Peter Jennings report last year on ABC; and the major networks at least part of the time seem to lean too much toward scepticism. But, as you point out, The History Channel has produced a good number of fine, objective programs recently. When I watch one I always look forward to a solid, fair treatment of whatever issue they are presenting. I hope this trend continues throughout 2007.

What are your plans for the future and how do you see ufology progressing in the years to come? Do you think we will ever get definitive answers or is the UFO enigma going to remain just that, an enigma?

I plan to continue working for MUFON in the three capacities mentioned above, especially applying my knowledge of physics when I can. As far as the future of ufology is concerned, we can always hope that the big breakthrough is just around the corner. But I recall a comment made by Dr. Leo Sprinkle at a presentation of his I attended some years ago. Someone asked if he thought we would have these definitive answers very soon, and he replied (I’m paraphrasing him) “Yes, I certainly do, very soon. I thought that in the 1960s, and in the 1970s, and in the 1980s, and in the 1990s.” In other words, we always appear to be on the brink of the big discovery, but never quite seem to get there. But it’s fun to keep trying.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us, Dr Kasher. Everybody at UFO DATA Magazine wishes you all the best for the future.

© Steve Johnson - 2006

Below are copies of Dr Kasher's analysis:

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In June and July, the UK network television broadcaster, Channel 5, aired a four-part series entitled Britain’s Closest Encounters. Produced by Firefly Film and Television Productions, the series was narrated by Anthony Head and featured UFO eyewitnesses and experts from all around the United Kingdom.

The first episode focussed upon the notorious Berwyn Mountains Incident from 1974. During the evening of January 23rd, 1974, the town of Landrillo in North Wales was shaken by an earthquake. In nearby Corwen, Sergeant Elfed Roberts (who would go on to become the Assistant Chief Constable of North Wales Police) feared that the dam at nearby Bala had breached and rushed to investigate. Satisfied that the dam was secure, he headed for Bala Police Station, where the phones were ringing almost constantly. Reports were coming in from the residents of Landrillo about lights in the sky. A ‘ball of fire with a tail’ was seen coming down over the mountains close to the village.

Sergeant Roberts and a colleague headed out to Landrillo and witnessed an arcing, green light, with blue edges, in the sky, unlike anything Roberts had seen before. When they arrived in the village, the locals told of what they had seen. Fearful that an aircraft might have crashed, the policemen began searching the area. Commandeering a local farmer’s Land Rover, they headed up the mountain, sweeping the area with their torches. Then they decided to switch off the flashlights and waited quietly to see if anything unusual could be seen or heard.

A few miles away, local nurse, Pat Evans, also feared a plane had crashed and set off with her daughters to see if anybody required medical assistance. She described seeing a circular, red light with other lights moving around it. Meanwhile, Sergeant Roberts’ search proved fruitless.

The next day, the media descended upon Landrillo, curious about the strange story coming from the village. Astronomer, Dr Ron Maddison arrived with colleagues and began searching for what he suspected was a meteorite coming down in the mountains. No evidence was ever found of a plane crash or a meteorite impact. The mystery persisted.

The British Geological Survey had measured an earthquake in the area with a magnitude of 3.5 on the Richter Scale. So, that explained the rumbling, but what about the lights in the sky? The Royal Astronomical Society explained that a meteor shower had been visible that night and they had received reports from all over the country about particularly bright meteors.

The case was forgotten for about fifteen years, until Pat Evans spoke to Jenny Randles about what she had seen. Her story reignited the mystery. Investigators once again descended upon the area and, eventually, Nurse Evans became so fatigued with the attention that she moved abroad.

Three weeks after the earthquake, local gamekeeper, Geraint Edwards, witnessed something on the mountain that remained in his memory ever since. He described a red object, shaped like a rugby ball, but with more pointed ends, hovering sixty to a hundred feet over Pen-Y-Bryn. As he and his friends watched, it took off at high speed over the mountains.

For some bizarre reason (and this happened in every episode), the programme whisked us away from Berwyn and across the country to Derbyshire to check out another case.

In October, 2000, Sharon Rowlands saw something over Bonsall and captured it with her camcorder. She said that what she saw was a segmented disc with a dark centre that was as large as ‘a detached house’. She became very nervous when she feared that the object would land in the field close to her house. As she recorded the event, the object blinked out. When her story appeared in the local paper, UFO investigators from all over the world began contacting her. She decided to place the video tape in a vault at her solicitor’s.

Video expert, Peter Marriot, came to the conclusion that what Sharon had recorded was simply a street lamp. Sharon discounts this explanation, saying that what she saw was not a streetlight and was like nothing she had ever seen. Judging from the clip shown in this episode, just before it blinks out, there appear to be two steady lights with flashing lights accompanying them. Frankly, that looks like a conventional aircraft to me. Sorry, Sharon.

Jenny Randles explains that out of over ten thousand cases she has looked at over thirty years, ninety-five percent can be explained as IFOs, Identified Flying Objects. Aircraft, balloons, Chinese lanterns, meteors etc. fall into this category of misidentification. We are then told how Chinese lanterns have sparked a UFO wave over the UK in recent years. Andy Roberts agrees, saying that the general public are somewhat ignorant of what is in the skies above their heads and that he has seen several things that he cannot explain.

Back to Berwyn, sceptics such as Andy Roberts claimed that what Pat Evans saw was people on the mountain across the valley. These, according to Andy, were the police and farmers meeting a group of poachers. One of the poachers in question, Ieuan Roberts, is doubtful that the lights they used that night could be mistaken for anything else. He said that Pat could not have seen their lights that night.

Could so-called earthlights have been what people witnessed that night? Jenny Randles believes that this is a possibility. Earthlights are caused by tectonic stresses grinding together rocks and releasing piezoelectric energy into the sky in the form of plasma.

The programme then moved on to the alleged cover-up regarding the Berwyn Mountains Incident. Huw Lloyd, son of the farmer whose Land Rover was borrowed by Sergeant Roberts, believes that a cover-up did, in fact, take place. Nick Pope doesn’t think so. Reports of what the programme called Men-In-Black interviewing witnesses in Landrillo (although none of those interviewed described them as such on camera) were, according to Dr Roger Musson of the British Geological Survey, seismologists sent to check out the earthquake reports

Locals reported that army personnel arrived and deployed on the mountain, apparently searching for something. A Landrillo fireman said that the area became a virtual no-go area for a while. Andy Roberts explained sagely that what they saw was a three-man team from RAF Valley and this trio was mistaken for a ‘huge military presence searching for a crashed UFO’.

Local newspapers reported that army vehicles had been seen with soldiers loading large, black boxes. Then in 1996, a former soldier, going under the pseudonym of James Prescott, claimed in UFO Magazine that he had been part of a unit that had extracted the bodies of two dead aliens from the mountain and whisked them off to Porton Down. Elfed Roberts and Andy Roberts doubt that this story is true, citing technical and operational difficulties in getting vehicles up and down the mountain. Andy suggested that a helicopter would have been used rather than trucks. Nick Pope agreed, saying that he never heard a whiff of UFOs or aliens being connected with the Incident.

The programme solved nothing about the Berwyn Mountains Incident and believers (i.e. the people who saw what happened that night and shortly afterwards) and sceptics remain at loggerheads about the case. To quote a popular member of the UFO DATA forum: “Next!”

The next episode stayed in Wales and cast a critical eye over the infamous Broad Haven Triangle. Broad Haven is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, South Wales and in 1977 became the global focus for UFO researchers.

On February 4th, 1977, young David Davies was playing with his friends when they noticed something in the field behind their school. He said that a silver, cigar-shaped object, about the size of a bus, ‘popped-up’ from behind the trees and appeared as though it was trying to take-off. It paused for a few seconds and then dropped back down behind the trees. The kids ran inside and told of what they had seen. Their head teacher sat them down and asked them to draw what it was that they had witnessed.

Hugh Turnbull, a reporter for the Western Telegraph went to the school and asked David Davies to show him where they had seen the object. Hugh and David could find no tracks in the field to suggest a vehicle had been there and David noted that a telegraph pole cross-member had been dislodged and was at about forty-five degrees.

Liz Philpott, an administrator at the school, thought that what the children might have seen was a tanker truck from the nearby sewage works. Speaking to an employee of the works soon discounted that theory. She was told that a tanker truck could not get into the field in question.

Hugh ran the story and the school became the focus of worldwide attention.

That was not the end of the story, however. A few miles away, in the village of Herbrandston, Maureen Dytor was taking in some fresh air one night when she saw a ‘cylindrical object with lights’ zip across the sky in seconds. In Little Haven, Dorothy Cale was in a car one evening as a passenger. She described a series of very bright flashes that lit up the whole village. The driver hit the brakes when they saw a very bright light that appeared to have a glass dome. As they watched silently, the object flashed and vanished.

Astronomer Ian Ridpath glibly suggested that what was seen could have been a bright star or a planet.

Stephen Bamford and Robert Best saw a segmented, orange object, moving from ‘right to left’ one evening. They set out and drove towards it, in the hope of finding out what it was. As they watched, the object collapsed in on itself and disappeared. They discounted ideas such as the Moon or ships at sea and are still baffled by what they saw.

Professor Chris French admitted that multiple witness sightings should be taken more seriously than those where only a single person saw something. He added, though, that when people see things, they talk about them and stories can become interlaced.

The police and newspapers continued to receive reports from the area between Broad Haven, Milford Haven and Haverfordwest and a bone fide flap had begun. Dr David Clarke explained about flaps, citing the UK’s first one at Warminster, in Wiltshire.

The Warminster events began on Christmas Day in 1964. John Rimmer, editor of Magonia magazine, told us about strange hammerings, shakings and mechanical noises going overhead. By May 1965, sightings of lights over Warminster had begun and famed researcher, Arthur Shuttlewood, gave the world ‘The Warminster Thing’. Following Shuttlewood’s newspaper reports, dozens of skywatchers would spend each evening on the hills around Warminster hoping to catch a glimpse of something.

Kevin Goodman was one of those skywatchers and described the community spirit that arose during the long, dark hours of observations. He told of how he saw four red lights, spaced evenly apart, crossed the landscape before the lead object shot upwards at tremendous speed. It then made a ninety-degree turn and shot out of sight. About thirty seconds later the remaining three lights shot straight up into the sky.

Warminster is surrounded by military facilities of all kinds and the locals are familiar with the armed forces going about their business. Were aliens interested in these bases or were people seeing military activity from these various installations?

RAF Brawdy lies close to Broad Haven. Squadron Leader Tony Cowan explained that activity from the base could have explained some of the sightings in South Wales. Dorothy Cale said that what she witnessed was definitely not anything from the Brawdy airfield. She was quite used to seeing activity from the base. Squadron Leader Cowan admitted that there were some reports that remain a mystery.

Former RAF engineer, Gordon Bowden, explained that while regular aircraft activity can be misidentified as something mysterious, he has personally seen something that he cannot explain. On two occasions, he saw lights out to sea that accelerated with ‘impossible’ speed. He said that he knew of no aircraft at the time that could change direction so rapidly without killing the pilots.

Close to RAF Brawdy was a top secret facility that was once operated by the US Navy.

Mentioning the Americans gave us the chance to look at the Lakenheath Incident from 1956. US personnel at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Bentwaters saw something strange on their radar screens. Fighters were scrambled to intercept. David Clarke continued the story of how RAF Neatishead also picked up the unknown contacts. Numerous fighters were sent out and two gave chase, but failed to intercept or identify the objects. Dr Clarke admitted that the case has never been explained.

Then there was the big one: The Rendlesham Forest Incident. We all know this story from 1980 about lights being seen in the woods between RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters and Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt’s venture through trees, recording the audio as he went and the subsequent memo. Nick Pope thinks it’s a supremely important case, while Ian Ridpath thinks it was Orford Ness lighthouse. Pope disagrees, saying that in no way could the lighthouse be mistaken for anything else. Ridpath countered with an explanation consisting of a meteoric fireball. “If it was nothing more than a lighthouse and a fireball, why were the base personnel not allowed to talk about it?” asked Anthony Head.

Anyway, back to Broad Haven and the top secret US Navy facility. When the base was decommissioned, it was revealed that it had simply been monitoring Soviet submarine activity and housed only computers and stuff. Mystery solved, then. Well, not really, because strange things were still happening.

Dozens of reports of silver-suited figures landed on the desk of local bobby, Ernest Jones. One in particular made the headlines. It came from the Coombs family at Ripperston Farm. The Coombs’ story has become infamous and they no longer wish to discuss what happened to them thirty years ago. Ernest, though, picked up the story from his perspective. He received a call from them and went out to the farm. He was told that a silvery figure had been seen close to the window and it had terrified the family to such a degree that the policeman made arrangements for them to spend the night elsewhere.

David Clarke found that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had found the reports from Broad Haven intriguing and they had made discreet enquiries into the events there. They came to the conclusion that ‘a local prankster’ was behind some of the events, particularly the silver-suited figure.

Glyn Edwards, a businessman from Milford Haven, owned up to being the culprit. He had cobbled together a silver spacesuit for a fancy dress dinner and decided to lurch about the village, scaring any local people that stumbled across him. He denied ever visiting Ripperston Farm, however. 

As with all flaps, the sightings diminished and the press moved on, but the mystery remained. Again, those who witnessed these things stand by their stories, but the sceptics claim to know better.

On the night of November 28th, 1980, PC Alan Godfrey was investigating a report of cattle wandering around a Todmorden, West Yorkshire. As he drove along a damp Burnley Road, he saw what he thought was a staff bus that had skidded across the road. As he drew closer, though, it became apparent that this was not what he was looking at.

He described a diamond-shaped object with a rotating lower section. He tried contacting the station using both of his radios, VHF car radio and his UHF handheld radio, but neither worked. He decided to make a sketch of the object. Then there was a brilliant flash and he was further along the rode driving. He glanced in his mirror, but the object was gone. He pulled up and got out of the car. Checking the area where the object had been, he saw that it was dry in a circular or whirlpool pattern, as though the rotating section of the craft had agitated leaves and twigs into this pattern.


Puzzled, Alan returned to the police station. He told his colleague, Malcolm Agley, what he had seen and Malcolm saw no reason to disbelieve him, having known Alan for six years.

While at the station, Alan realised that about half an hour of time could not be accounted for. He also found that the sole of his boot was split across. He also had an irritating itch on his foot. On removing his sock, he found a circular red mark on his instep that was very itchy.


The next day, he was told by an inspector that three officers in nearby Halifax had also had some sort of encounter. Asked for a statement for the inspector’s report, Alan was pleased that he was not alone in having something bizarre happen the previous night.

The three police officers in Halifax had been out searching for stolen motorbikes when they saw in the sky a ‘cold-steel, blue light’. One of the policemen, John Porter, described the light as pulsating and darting about the sky incredibly quickly in complete silence. As with Alan Godfrey’s experience, their radios were non-functioning. John said that WPC Julie Baxter admitted to be very scared. PC Howard Turnpenny, like John, was intrigued, but not afraid. As they watched, the light shot off towards Todmorden. John said, “It was completely alien to my understanding.”

Two police officers in Littleborough, some five miles from Todmorden, reported seeing a glowing orb hovering between two electricity pylons. The object then headed in the direction of Todmorden.

The late Seventies and early Eighties saw UFO sightings double. The programme connects this trend with the release of films like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Jenny Randles investigated the Alan Godfrey case for the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA). She met Alan and felt that he was a ‘no-nonsense bobby’ who would not have reported anything unless he was certain of what he had seen.

Andy Roberts felt that Alan entered ‘some form of altered state of consciousness’ and that what he saw was actually a bus, but he interpreted it as a UFO. Alan described the object as having two rows of windows. Like a bus. Hmmmm…

Alan refuted that, explaining that what he saw was hovering off the ground, had no wheels, was a metallic colour and had black panelling or dark windows. “I know the difference between a bus and what I saw that night.” He added, “If I had got out of the car and thrown a brick at it, it would have gone ‘clang’! That’s how real it was.”

What about the sighting in Halifax? Could that have a rational explanation? Dr Ian Griffin, who used to work for NASA, but now researches asteroids from his home in Todmorden, thinks so. He cited the planet Venus, meteorites and aircraft as likely candidates. We should also consider earthlights, said Dr David Clarke, who undertook a study of the phenomenon called Project Pennine. Dr Clarke suggests that these lights follow fault lines or natural magnetic variations and can be mistaken for intelligently-controlled craft.

David Clarke looked into MoD reports about the police sightings on the night of November 28th, 1980. He found the report from John Porter and his colleagues, but nothing about Alan Godfrey’s sighting. Dr Clarke mused if this incident just too weird to pass on to the Ministry.

UFO Data Magazine co-editor and serving police officer, Detective Constable Gary Heseltine, has compiled a database of UFO reports from police officers. He believes that police testimony should be regarded very highly concerning UFOs. Andy Roberts stated that police officers tend to see a lot of UFOs because they are out at night very often.

Between 1970 and 2000, there were over 700 UFO reports filed by police officers. David Clarke admitted that when a police officer makes a report about something they have seen in the sky that might be a UFO, it is not something they will do lightly, as it could have an impact upon their career.

In 1976, PC Patrick Tunney saw something bizarre in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. PC Tunney described three green lights gliding towards him at an altitude of about 150 feet. Suddenly, the lights banked left and streaked away.

Jenny Randles felt that Alan Godfrey’s case cemented the Pennine region’s reputation as a genuine and major hotspot for UFO activity. Eighteen months before Alan’s encounter, orange lights had been observed speeding across the skies of Lancashire.

In the early hours of November 24th, 1979, Mike Sachs saw a bright light illuminate his bedroom. Through the window, he saw a huge, ovoid, pulsating orange-white light. As he watched, it descended into a nearby quarry.

The same night, Alf Kyme also saw a bright object, ‘the size of two double-decker buses’, pulsating different colours, but mostly orange. The object moved across the sky and descended towards the quarry 

Mike Sachs phoned Bacup police and was told that two officers had also seen the light in the quarry. Mike and his brother went to the quarry and found the policemen still there. They confirmed that they had also seen the orange object and feared that it was coming down on top of them! The four men checked out the quarry, but nothing out of the ordinary could be seen.

That night, between 2:30 and 2:50 am, over a dozen sightings came in from Lancashire and Merseyside. Dr Ian griffin suggested a satellite re-entry may have been the culprit, while Andy Roberts thought they were aircraft. Our own Russel Callaghan admitted that while ninety-nine percent of cases can be explained away, there is a small number that remain mysterious even after considerable investigation.

The MoD released a statement that between February 21st and 24th, 1979, military exercises resulted in aircraft flying low over the UK. Had Mike Sachs and Alf Kyme seen such an exercise? Mike thinks not because he sees all sorts of aircraft flying over the valley and what he saw was extra-terrestrial. Jenny Randles agrees that something genuinely unidentified passed over the area that night.

Getting back to Alan Godfrey’s experience, we are told that he declined hypnotic regression to find out what happened in the missing half-hour. His only experience with hypnosis was with stage hypnotists using it as entertainment. Eventually, though, he was persuaded and was hypnotised in the presence of two psychiatrists, and, coincidentally, Mike Sachs. No details were given of Alan’s case, except that he was to be regressed to a certain date and time to try and recover information about an incident that may or may not have happened. Mike described the atmosphere in the room as electric.

Under hypnosis, Alan described being taken aboard the craft by alien beings. Andy Roberts admits that when a police officer says this sort of thing, it should be taken more seriously. Professor Chris French, though, believes that under hypnosis people become confused with what is real and what is fantasy.

Alan Godfrey and Malcolm Agley were also connected with another mystery that may or may not be connected with UFOs – the case of Zygmund Adamski.

On June 11th, 1980, Alan and Malcolm were sent out to investigate a body that had been found on a heap of coal at a local yard. Neither policeman could understand how the body got where it was without disturbing the coal beneath it. The body was that of a retired coalminer, Zygmund Adamski. Mr Adamski was from Tingley, near Wakefield and had disappeared five days earlier.

Alan explained that if Mr Adamski had climbed the heap and died, he should have been covered with coal dust, yet he was not. He had burn marks around the back of his head and a blister at the nape of his neck, where some form of green ointment had been applied.

The coroner, James Turnbull, found that Mr Adamski had died of a heart attack, but the ointment could not be identified in any toxological analysis. Speaking in 1993, the coroner admitted that it was his most baffling case and if UFOs had been said to be involved, he would only have raised ‘half an eyebrow’.

Philip Mantle added that when the Adamski case came to light, UFO researchers speculated that Mr Adamski had been the victim of a botched abduction and was dropped onto the coal heap after his death.

John Sheard, a reporter for the Sunday Mirror, wrote an article about the Adamski case and it made the front page with the headline: AMAZING UFO DEATH RIDDLE. The article resulted in the newspaper being deluged with thousands of letters and hundreds of phone calls from interested parties across the world. John also wrote about Alan Godfrey’s experience, saying that individually, the stories are fascinating, but together, with the possible connections, they are ‘dynamite’.

Andy Roberts pops up, suggesting that while Alan’s encounter may have been real to him, that does not make it real in fact. Yeah, you said that earlier, Andy…

Alan Godfrey and John Porter are reunited and have a good laugh at the thought of Alan being asleep or hallucinating his entire experience. “I’d only left the police station five minutes earlier!” he exclaimed. Philip Mantle agreed that Alan’s story has never changed and that he had more to lose than to gain from telling it. This puts it up there as a classic case from British ufology 

David Clarke adds that it does not add up that swarms of alien ships are zipping across the universe to visit us, while Ian Griffin remarks that he has not come across any UFO sighting that cannot be explained. Alan Godfrey, John Porter, Mike Sachs and Alf Kyme disagree.

The final episode investigated the most recent case featured in the series, that of the Guernsey UFO.

On April 23rd, 2007, Captain Ray Bowyer took off from Southampton Airport on a routine Aurigny Air Services passenger flight (Flight GR544) to Alderney in the Channel Islands. He had flown the same route for ten years, but today would be different.

As he busied himself with the various duties that pilots do, paperwork, checking the instruments, checking the flightpath etc., he saw a yellowish light in the direction of Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands. At first he suspected it might be sunlight reflecting from greenhouses.

When the object had not disappeared after several minutes, as you might expect sunlight reflecting from a stationary object to do, he grabbed his binoculars for a closer look. He described it as a disc-shape, pointed at each end and brilliant yellow, except for a dark band about two-thirds of the way along its length. Ray’s passengers also saw the object and could tell that the pilot was concerned, although he did not voice this to them.

Ray contacted Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. The actual recording of the conversation with Paul Kelly at Jersey ATC was then played. Ray, in a very calm voice, said that there was a bright object in his twelve o’clock position (directly ahead), describing it as cigar-shaped, and asked if they had any traffic in that area of the sky. Paul replied that there was no air traffic at Ray’s twelve o’clock position. By this time, Ray’s plane had been flying towards the object for ten minutes.

Ray handed his binoculars to a passenger and asked him to confirm what he was seeing. The passenger did so and added that another object had appeared in addition to the first. John and Kate Russell, two of the passengers also confirmed that a pair of bright objects was directly ahead of them.

Captain Bowyer estimated that the objects were about the size of a Boeing 737 airliner, assuming that they were approximately five to ten miles away. He later concluded that he had first seen them from about fifty-five miles distance, making the objects much, much larger, perhaps a mile across.

Paul Kelly reiterated that nothing was ahead of Ray’s plane for at least forty miles. The pilot of a Blue Islands Airways plane came on the radio and confirmed that an object was in the vicinity. Ray was relieved to arrive safely and on time at Alderney airport. Once they were safely parked, Ray admitted to his passengers that what they had seen was something he had not experienced in over twenty years of flying. The sighting had obviously affected him because one of the ground crew told him that he looked like he had seen a ghost 

At Jersey ATC, Paul Kelly filled in the forms necessary when a UFO is reported and he asked Captain Bowyer to fax him the notes that he had taken during the flight. Paul said that on the form, there is a phone number for the MoD and when you dial it, you get an answering machine. Paul faxed his report to the Ministry and waited to see what happened.

News of the sighting spread around the islands and Joel de Woolfson, of the Guernsey Press, contacted Ray. The newspaper reported the sighting seriously and word spread, soon reaching the national media, both print and broadcast, with Ray appearing on popular talk show, Richard & Judy.

Dr David Clarke found the case fascinated and offered to investigate the sighting. Ray had had many offers from researchers to look into the report, but he waited until he felt that somebody could perform an unbiased assessment of his experience.

Dr Clarke assembled a team and they began looking at alternative explanations for what Ray, his passengers and the Blue Islands pilot had seen.

Meanwhile, atmospheric physicist, Dr Grant Allen, had created a computer model of the weather patterns for that day and found that there was a temperature inversion that could have created the illusion witnessed. Ray is convinced that what he saw was not an atmospheric effect. What he was ‘was tangible’.

Troy Queripel, a pilot for Flybe, believed that what Ray saw was real, but was of military origin. He pointed out that there are restricted military airspace zones around the Channel Islands and that what the Aurigny pilot may have seen was a secret test program.

David Clarke contacted the MoD, who denied that any military activity occurred in the area at that time.

Seven weeks earlier, Alderney builder, Paul Gaudion, was alone at the northern tip of the island at about 6:30 am. He saw two lights just below the cloud base, appearing to ‘bob about’ at a height of about three hundred feet. Paul explained that the only aircraft normally visible at that time would be the plane carrying newspapers to Guernsey. Suddenly one of the lights darted to the west and when Paul looked to where it had gone, he could see about twenty similar lights in a ‘broken arrow-head shape’. This group of objects was moving silently south below the cloud base towards Guernsey.

Professor Peter Sammond, of University College London, believed that what might have been seen were earthlights. Four days after Ray’s sighting, Kent was rocked by the largest earthquake in the region for fifty years. Alderney lies close to a fault line called the Alderney-Ushant fault. Could the build-up to the earthquake have generated the forces necessary to create the earthlight phenomenon over the island? Professor Sammond admits that earthlights are unlikely to form over water, as the energy requires to be released directly into the atmosphere.

It was then time for one of the series’ little detours. In June, 1954, Captain James Howard was flying his BOAC Stratocruiser from New York to London when he sighted something bizarre in the sky. He explained in a BBC news report from the time that he saw an object that changed shape and that he was convinced it was under intelligent control. Best-selling author and UFO researcher, Timothy Good, explained that pilot sightings from the UK began in about 1950 and peaked in 1952. Winston Churchill demanded answers about the ‘flying saucer problem’, but he was fobbed off by his advisors, telling him that everything was under control and all the sightings had been explained. The reports continued to come in, though.

In October, 1954, Flight-Lieutenant James Salandin took off in his twin-engined Meteor jet from RAF North Weald in Essex. When he reached 16,000 feet, he saw three objects ‘come down’. At first he thought they were aeroplanes, but when he was about 800 yards away from them, two of them peeled-off to the left. One was silver in colour, while the other was gold and both were saucer-shaped with ‘buns’ on top and below. The third object closed to within 200 or 300 yards before moving away to follow the other two craft. Salandin attempted to follow them, but they were too fast.

Professor Richard Wiseman believes that when pilots see strange phenomena in the sky, it all happens too fast for them to report it accurately. They may be honest and sincere, but are they accurate? Ray had twelve minutes to watch the objects he encountered.

David Clarke listened to the ATC recordings of Captain Bowyer’s sighting and heard Paul Kelly say that there was an object at Ray’s ten o’clock position and about three miles away. Could this be what the pilot was looking at? It was explained as anaprop or anomalous propagation. This is when radar is deflected by atmospheric phenomena, reflections from the sea, solid objects such as flocks of birds or many other sources. Dr Clarke had the radar recordings analysed to see if anything concrete could be obtained from them. More of that in a bit…

First, we made another detour to another pilot sighting from 1971. Wing-Commander Alan Turner was, at the time, a Duty Military Supervisor at RAF Sopley in Hampshire. He was informed of an odd radar return of a pair of objects east of Salisbury Plain and travelling south-east. As they watched, more blips appeared on the screen, all from the same location. In all, he said there must have been thirty to thirty-five contacts.

Alan concluded that the only aircraft capable of the speeds being shown were the English Electric Lightning fighters, but Alan cannot imagine all of those aircraft being deployed at the same time in the same area. The Wing-Commander ordered two Canberra bombers, which were inbound from Germany, to vector towards the blips and one of the pilots reported in a jittery voice, “I don’t know what that was. It was a quarter of a mile away, climbing like the clappers and we saw it on radar. We did not see it visually.”

Alan reported that, in all, seven different radar stations (six on the ground and the one in the Canberra) detected these objects. He gathered together all of the video and audio recordings and made the appropriate entries into his log. More than thirty years later, the MoD has not made those recordings or Alan’s log public. David Clarke suggested that the Ministry may have just been baffled by what happened and simply did not want the public to know that they had no clue.

Back to Ray Bowyer’s sighting: the Jersey ATC engineers had analysed the radar recordings and stripped away all known radar contacts. This left two traces that were yet to be identified, one travelling north, the other south.o:p>

After checking timetables, David Clarke’s team came to the conclusion that at least one of the radar tracks was of a ferry on a regular run across the Channel. The final report about Captain Bowyer’s sighting, however, was inconclusive. David suggests that rather than calling what Ray saw a UFO, it should be classed as a UAP, an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, something that is natural in origin, but is yet to be understood by science.

Ray admitted that he was disappointed that Dr Clarke’s team had come to no definite conclusions about the case. His final words emphasised his belief that what he saw ‘was not from around here’.

This four-part series was very well-made and appeared to give believers and sceptics equal opportunity to get their points across. It is good that network television stations are prepared to broadcast programmes of this nature and while Channel 5’s ratings are nowhere near that of BBC1 or ITV, it still was able to bring the UFO subject to a wider audience in a serious manner.

As with all programmes of this nature, it might be naïve to expect any definite answers about the topics discussed and we certainly did not get any answers at all from this series, only the reporting of mysteries that have yet to be solved. That is the nature of the beast in the UFO field and paranormal issues in general. It is difficult to bolt on solid, scientific strictures to phenomena that are, at best, transient and unrepeatable. Even when we have solid evidence, such as radar traces or multiple eyewitnesses, we still have a certain amount of uncertainty in how to evaluate that information. Different people will have a different perspective on what that data is telling us. So we are back to square one with a mystery.

Top marks for trying, though.



The report into Captain Bowyer’s sighting by Dr Clarke’s team can be viewed at

Coincidentally, I stumbled across a YouTube video of what I believe is Ray’s plane coming in to land at Alderney airport in March 2007, just a month or so before his sighting. It can be seen at


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South Wales Police Encounter a UFO


On Friday 20th June, 2008, we had another big UFO story to hit the mainstream media. Many newspapers, ranging from The Sun to The Telegraph picked it up and television news reports also ran the story.

Initial reports told us that a helicopter operated by South Wales Police had to take avoiding action when an unidentified object approached the aircraft. The surprised officers in the chopper gave chase, pursuing the UFO across the Bristol Channel into North Devon, before running low on fuel and being forced to return to base.

At the time of the near-miss, the helicopter was waiting for clearance to land at the military base at St Athan, near Cardiff, and hovering at about 500 feet (152 meters).

The Telegraph Online reported: “A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “We can confirm the Air Support Unit sighted an unusual aircraft. This was reported to the relevant authorities for their investigation.”

“It was reported that the aircraft closed in at great speed, aiming straight for the helicopter which swerved sharply.

““They are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they know what they saw.”

The Sun went on: ““After the near-collision they decided to follow it to find out what the hell it was. They belted across the Bristol Channel in pursuit, but it was too quick. They got to the North Devon coast and had to turn back because they were running low on fuel.”

“The chopper is crammed with hi-tech cameras and surveillance gear, but the UFO somehow avoided being caught on film.

“Strangely, the crew could not see the craft with night-vision goggles – but all said it was “clearly visible” to the naked eye on the night of June 7.”

The BBC reported: “A South Wales Police spokesperson said: “The crew are very experienced and responded in a professional manner in relation to what they saw.

““In today's skies, there are a wide variety of aircrafts which come in a range of different shapes and sizes and in all probability, this sighting has just confirmed that one of these was in the area at the relevant time,” the spokesperson added.

“A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said they had heard nothing about the incident.

““But it is certainly not advisable for police helicopters to go chasing what they think are UFOs,” the spokesperson said.”

An amendment to the BBC’s initial report contained the following:

“George Withrington, of St Mellons, said he reported the sighting to police and was given an incident number.

“The ex-RAF glider pilot said he was sitting in his garden reading a book on 8 June when he spotted the object at around 1620hrs. 

““I was looking at an aeroplane overhead when I spotted this thing was in the corner of my eye.

“It shifted direction very quickly, in the blink of an eye.

“I looked at it for quite a while, I was watching it for at least 10 minutes. It flew off towards the east, towards Newport.”

I contacted South Wales Police (SWP) and asked them for any information they could pass on to us. Oonagh Moore from the SWP Press Office replied the very same day. The email read:

““South Wales Police can confirm the South & East Wales Air Support Unit sighted an unusual aircraft. This was reported to the relevant authorities for their investigation. In today's skies, there are a wide variety of aircrafts which come in a range of different shapes and sizes and in all probability, this sighting has just confirmed that one of these was in the area at the relevant time.”

“Extra information:

“**It was not a flying saucer and has not been described as so.

“**The helicopter did not chase it.

“**The police helicopter was not attacked.

“**The unusual aircraft did not speed straight at the helicopter.

“**The helicopter did not have to swerve sharply to avoid being hit and
the crew would not have been “dead” as stated in The Sun.

“**The helicopter did not follow it, or chase it, across the Bristol
Channel and the North Devon coast.

“**We haven't confirmed any of the details in The Sun story and a lot of
the details are inaccurate.

“**The South & East Wales Air Support Unit is a facility shared between
South Wales Police and Gwent Police.”

I never mentioned The Sun in my initial contact with SWP, so I do not know why they have picked on that particular newspaper. The same basic story appeared in several other places, such as The Telegraph. Perhaps it’s because The Sun is the most widely-read newspaper in the country

What was this mystery aircraft that almost collided (or didn’t) with a police helicopter? Was it a secret, military aircraft or drone? Was it a genuine unidentified flying object? Well, as it has not been identified yet, that’s exactly what it is.

Did the pilots pursue the UFO? Early reports suggested they did, but the South Wales Police press release says that they did not. What sources furnished the news media with the details of the encounter and can they be trusted?

I contacted the author of the article in The Sun, John Coles, asking about his sources. He replied that he could not identify the source, but did say that “they are well-placed”.

On Tuesday 24th June, a BBC report claimed to have solved the mystery. A wedding party in Cowbridge, close to St Athan, set off about thirty Chinese lanterns between 11pm and 2am on the evening in question. The groom, Lyn Thomas, said: “There's no doubt in my mind it was our lanterns. We went on the internet on our honeymoon in Turkey and saw a report about this UFO. I thought, “Oh no, it was exactly the same time and I remember they were going straight towards St Athan way.”

He added, “I read about the UFO on the BBC website and saw it had had coverage in India and in the New York Times. It made us laugh. I suppose this sheds a bit of light.”


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Planet X:

What’s Going On In The Outer Solar System?

The theories about Planet X are among the most popular in ufology. There are many, many websites, books, videos and magazine articles about this mysterious, and possibly mythical, member of our solar system.

Before we proceed further, let’s take a potted history of the solar system’s ‘back of beyond’... The term ‘Planet X’ came about when astronomers were looking for a planet beyond the orbit of Neptune. The ‘X’ simply meant ‘unknown’.  The first contender for the term, though, was Uranus. For millennia, there were only six planets sharing space: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Of course, our ancestors didn’t realize they were planets and called them ‘wandering stars’, which is what ‘planet’ means. Their orbits make them move quite quickly against the background stars, you see.

Although Uranus is sometimes just visible to the naked eye, it wasn’t ‘officially’ discovered until Sir William Herschel spotted it in 1781. Fifty-five years later, Neptune brought the Sun’s planetary tally up to eight.

When Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, we suddenly had nine planets orbiting the Sun, so the search for Planet X became the search for the tenth planet. ‘X’ is ten in Roman numerals, obviously.

For over seventy years, Pluto was held as the outermost member of the Sun’s family, a tiny, rocky/icy body that had an orbit like none of the other planets. Its orbit brought it inside that of Neptune for several years and its orbit is at an angle very different to that shared by its eight cousins. The other eight planets orbit in what is called ‘the plane of the ecliptic’. They all share this orbital slice of space within a few degrees of each other. You might liken the solar system to a dinner plate, with the Sun being a big baked potato in the middle and the planets being, say, peas placed on the plate at regular intervals.

Pluto, though, is a pea that some naughty kid is throwing at the plate from above. Its orbital inclination is seventeen degrees from the ecliptic. Pluto was also much smaller than expected, being only 2,390km (1,485 miles) in diameter. The search for Pluto was sparked by an apparent eccentricity in the orbit of Neptune. It seemed that something was tugging at the gas giant and affecting its orbit. Pluto was way too small to have this kind of an effect. It turned out that an error had been made and Neptune was not being pulled by a massive body somewhere in the far reaches of the solar system.

In 1992, the first Kuiper Belt object was discovered. The Kuiper Belt is a swathe of rocky/icy bodies that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. They are often referred to as Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs). Since then, many more TNOs have been found, with at least one being larger than Pluto. This created a quandary for the International Astronomical Union. If there were objects out there more massive than Pluto, then why should the ninth planet be called a planet at all?

In 2006, there was a radical redefinition of what constitutes a planet and Pluto got demoted to the status of a ‘minor planet’. Loads of TNOs also fell into this category. So far, over a thousand Kuiper Belt objects have been discovered and it is thought there may be at least seventy thousand of them out there in the dark, cold reaches of space where the Sun’s light is a tiny fraction of what we have on Earth.

So, we’re down to eight planets in the solar system again. But are we?

In February,  2008, speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), NASA’s Alan Stern said, “Our old view, that the Solar System had nine planets will be supplanted by a view that there are hundreds if not thousands of planets in our Solar System.” He went on: “It could be that there are objects of Earth-mass in the Oort cloud but they would be frozen at these distances. They would look like a frozen Earth.”

The Oort cloud is a theoretical region around the Sun where comets are said to reside before being shunted into closer, solar orbits by passing stars. It is much further out than the Kuiper Belt, stretching perhaps a light-year out into space.

At the same meeting, it was declared that between twenty and sixty percent of stars may have rocky planets orbiting them. That’s a heck of a figure. If only a small percentage of those planets fall into the so-called ‘Goldilocks Zone’, the region where liquid water can form, then there may be literally billions of life-bearing planets in our galaxy alone.

Anyway, back to Planet X…

We have seen that the outer solar system is more heavily-populated than we could have imagined half a century ago. We have also seen that Earth-sized bodies might be out there waiting to be discovered.

Where does Planet X fit into ufology?

Search the internet for Planet X and you will also find words like Nibiru, Nemesis and numbers such as 2012 being used. What do these mean?

Nibiru, as students of the works of Zecharia Sitchin will know, is a theoretical planet that has an elliptical, 3,600 year orbit around the Sun. Sitchin claims that thousands of years ago, a race known as the Anunnaki travelled from Nibiru to Earth when it entered the inner solar system, created humans as a slave race and then left when their home planet began its outward trek once again. It has been suggested that Nibiru will return in the year 2012 (Sitchin has said the year 2085 is more likely), the date forecast by the Mayans as the end of an age. The Anunnaki needed us to mine gold for their planetary shield. This prevented their atmosphere from freezing as they moved further from the Sun.

According to Sitchin (and others that agree with his hypothesis), Nibiru and its moons collided several times with Tiamat, a planet that existed where the Asteroid belt now resides. These collisions created the Earth and Moon, the Asteroid Belt and many comets. Sitchin has also suggested that Nibiru may be a brown dwarf. It’s all very complicated…

 For many, Nibiru is Planet X. It is widely believed that in 2012, Nibiru will return. That’s only four years away and you would think that astronomers would have spotted such a large body heading this way. Even amateur astronomers with modest equipment should be able to see it. We’ll see.

So that’s Nibiru and 2012 out of the way. What is Nemesis?

More often than not, stars form in multiple systems i.e. binary, triple, quadruple systems etc. with more than one star. In fact, lone stars are in the minority in the galaxy.  Many scientists and astronomers believe that the Sun may have a faint companion, a red or brown dwarf star. This has been given the worrying name, Nemesis. Nemesis was the goddess of revenge in Greek mythology. Said to orbit at a distance of up to nine trillion miles (about fourteen and a half trillion kilometres) from the Sun, the presence of Nemesis may explain the perturbation of cometary orbits and also mass extinctions that affect the Earth every few million years.

It is more likely that Nemesis, if it exists, is a brown dwarf (remember Sitchin’s Nibiru?), a star that has failed to ignite, as a red dwarf so close to us would probably have already been spotted. In 2009, the WISE satellite will be launched. This is the Wide-Field Infra-Red Survey Explorer and is five hundred times more sensitive than previous mission such as IRAS. It will scan the entire sky over a seven month period and if a brown dwarf does orbit the Sun a little more than a light year away, then WISE should find it.

It is well-known that the two Pioneer probes are hurtling out of our solar system into interstellar space. Currently, they are still well inside the boundaries of the Sun’s influence, about six and a half billion miles (about a hundred and five billion kilometres) away. Something is slowing both of these probes down. They are about a quarter of a million miles short of where they should be. What is happening? Many theories have been suggested, ranging from dark matter or dark energy to trans-dimensional membranes intersecting our solar system and affecting the probes to, of course, Planet X. The simplest explanation (and therefore the most likely), suggested by astronomers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, is that both probes are still well within the domain of the Kuiper Belt. It is thought that streams of material are being pulled towards the orbit of Uranus from the Kuiper Belt. While this material is extremely rarefied, it is spread evenly throughout the belt. Even this very slight matter would, over time, create drag on the probes, slowing them down slightly. It’s just a theory, but one that explains why each probe is being affected identically to the other, despite them being on opposite sides of the solar system.

My sub-heading for this article is ‘What’s Going On In The Outer Solar System?’ What is going on out there? New discoveries are being made all the time and it seems to be becoming increasingly crowded the further out we go. Does Planet X exist? I think so. In fact, I think there are likely to be many Planet Xs. If one of them has the Anunnaki living on it, we’ll just have to wait until it swings back into our neighbourhood again.


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Apollo 20:

The Controversy Continues

In the article, The Apollo 20 Controversy, I took a look at the controversial claims of William Rutledge. He claimed to be a former US test pilot and mission commander for a secret mission to the far side of the Moon in 1976. That mission was dubbed Apollo 20 and launched, according to Rutledge, in August, 1976, from Vandenberg AFB in California.

The mission, conducted by the US Air Force, not NASA, and including three crew members, was to locate and explore an object on the lunar far side that was photographed by Apollo 15. The object (and it is real) appears as a cigar-shaped ‘whatever’ sticking out of the ground and is completely unlike anything surrounding it. Could it be a derelict, alien spacecraft?

Under the username of ‘retiredafb’, Rutledge posted several videos to YouTube, claiming them to be from the Apollo 20 mission. They were impressive, but few people thought they could be real. They just had to be hoaxed. Didn’t they?

Italian researcher, Luca Scantamburlo, conducted an email interview with Rutledge, who said he was retired to Rwanda, and, while still sceptical, thought his story had merit. Luca has now stepped back from active investigations, but his work can be found at his website:

The YouTube videos depicted the launch of the Saturn V from Vandenberg, a fly-over of the ‘spacecraft’ and some shots from the lunar surface. Some of these, particularly the surface shots of an alleged ruined alien city, have been shown to be fake. But does that mean the whole story is untrue?

Rutledge has removed his videos from YouTube and moved them over to another video hosting site. This can be found at

On April 7th and 8th, 2008, two more videos were added to the website. Titled APOLLO 20 E.B.E. Mona Lisa TV unscheduled transmission and APOLLO 20 E.B.E. Mona Lisa 16 mm film, they show the inside of the lunar module (LM), one of the astronauts, probably famed Soviet cosmonaut, Alexei Leonov, a piece of yellow paper with some odd markings and the body of a female ‘alien’.


Immediately, cries of FAKE! resounded from around the web and it is easy to see why. The interior of the LM looks impressive, as does the view out of the window, but the ‘body’ just doesn’t look right. It looks manufactured and plastic. Let’s cut Rutledge some slack, though. After all, ‘Mona Lisa’, as she was dubbed by Leonov, according to Rutledge, had been inside the alien craft for millions of years. He also said she was still alive, but she doesn’t look very sprightly in the video.

Okay, let’s look at the video itself, rather than its contents. It was allegedly on 16mm film, but there are periods that look like interference on picture. How is this possible with a film camera? The image is captured onto film chemically, not electronically, as with video, so electromagnetic interference should not be a problem.

The marks on the film, giving it the appearance of age, look like the sort that can be added in video editing software, rather than genuine scratches and dirt.


During the shot out of the LM window, there seems to be a dissolve, as though the shot of the approach to the window and the shot of the outside are separate pieces of film spliced together. Outside, there appears to be some sort of wheeled vehicle. An eagle-eyed member of the Above Top Secret (ATS) forum, ‘olegkvasha’, identified the vehicle as the Soviet Lunokhod rover. Lunokhod I set down in Mare Imbrium on the near side of the Moon in November, 1970. Lunokhod II landed in the Le Monnier crater, again on the near side, in January, 1973. While the first rover’s location is currently unknown, the second carried a photodetector and its location can be pinpointed to an accuracy of less than a meter. Were other Lunokhod’s launched to the lunar far side? Not officially. Could Lunokhod I have trundled thousands of kilometres around the Moon to the alien spacecraft in the space of six years? Unlikely.


The interior of the LM looks very clean. The Apollo astronauts told us that lunar dust was a major problem for them. It got everywhere and they tracked lots of it back into the LMs after their EVAs. Why isn’t there any lunar dust in evidence in the film? Also, why go to all the effort of creating an impressive LM interior and then bodge together an alien body that looks so fake?

 Rutledge also told Luca Scantamburlo that the head of another alien (a dead one) was taken back to the LM. Why isn’t this in the clips? If this female alien they returned to Earth is still alive, will Rutledge release ‘film’ of her walking about?

The whole Apollo 20 saga smacks of an elaborate hoax, but one wonders why the hoaxers have done this? How much money can they expect to make? After the Santilli Alien Autopsy debacle, I doubt the major networks would touch it with a barge pole. Maybe it was done simply for fun or to create some notoriety. Whoever did it (if it is a hoax) can certainly make good models (the LM interior, the lunar surface flyover, the lunar surface on the ground, the Lunokhod rover and, to a lesser extent, the ‘Mona Lisa’ body), so is it somebody with a background in film or television? Perhaps one day somebody will come forward, but I’m betting we haven’t seen the last video release from the elusive William Rutledge. What ‘wonders’ will we be shown next?


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Updated 23rd March 2010