Thursday, 26 June 2008
The reason for my mirth is that this time, people who should have known better got bitten and in doing so, have compromised the ideals by which they stand. In the UK there was much excitement and anticipation at this event for after all, it was the experienced crew of a police helicopter who made the report. Every one of them a trained observer who could spot a balaclava clad Chav from 1,500 feet while eating a prawn sandwich and scratching his crotch.
Yet the value of so called expert witnesses has been called into question in recent years, something with which I whole heartedly concur, but that didn’t stop instant FOIA requests from being thrown in and much telephoning of press offices and a general scurrying around. There was unquestionably a major emotional commitment to this event and the sense of anticlimax and profound disappointment when the denouement was revealed could be felt like a ton of bricks.
Personally, this has been a defining moment for me. I thought prior to this that I had been drifting towards a sceptical perspective. I now realise this isn’t true and that what I really am becoming is a cynic. I was no more intrigued by this sighting than I have been with any UFO report of recent times and my sense of a let down was minimal. What a menche.
Furthermore and as a consequence, The Sun newspaper has taken it upon itself to go on a UFO kick and has been running front page stories on the subject for the last few days, ably abetted and assisted by our good friend Nick Pope. The fact that the Sun is a tabloid and is fundamentally incapable of taking anything seriously, let alone the subject of UFOs, has resulted in much wailing and hand wringing amongst the cognoscenti and aforementioned experts who fell for the Cardiff trick. Why can’t UFOs be taken seriously they cry? Because they’re funny, that’s why. Why can’t the subject be written up responsibly and accurately? Why should it be and frankly, who cares anyway? They’re freaking UFOs for God’s sake. Get a grip.
Friday, 20 June 2008
3.The Rich Reynolds interview; Rich just talking……………….
AW: You were talking a few moments ago about Stan Friedman, and in terms of the way you paid tribute to the guy, I have no disagreements. But, somewhat belatedly recently, Loren Coleman gave a reboot to a previous blog posting of yours which went the rounds again and caused a stir. I refer to it as the “Kill them all” piece (in which Rich postulated that UFOlogy wouldn’t move on until all the older researchers and observers had died. Although he never said it, there was a sense within the article of him urging them to get on with it – Ed). Stan would be a perfect candidate for that category. He is one of the old guard. He’s been there since the year dot and really, surely, its people like him that you just want to sweep away in order to usher in a new way of thinking and a fresh approach.
RR: Stanton Friedman is like Moses, telling the story until we’ve had enough of it. But he’s a venerable kind of guy and he’s up there in years, in fact not much older than me, but I would hate to see anything happen to him. He is the ballast in the UFO ship. I think he’s wrong about the MJ12 documents and a couple of other things, but he musters enough evidence to keep things alive and you can’t discount him totally. So I’d hate to see him disappear from the scene, but he is going to at some point which may end up being helpful. There was a debate on a forum recently about the cult of personality in UFOlogy and who could take up the mantle of the movement. You’ve had this problem too. When you start dealing with people other than Stanton Friedman, like Richard Hall or Jerry Clark or Rudiak or a number of other people, they can be so belligerent to outside views that differ from theirs, and I think it’s time to clear that slate.
You have this gorgeous young woman, Brittany Babakioff, who maybe represents a new generation. I have this thing, which I know you hate, that the messengers are so homely that when we see them on the air that we tend to discount the message. She’s so gorgeous that we would tend to discount the message from her. I’d say, “Oh my God, here’s a babe who has something to say” but you’re so taken aback by her beauty, her attractiveness that you discount what she’s saying. You can’t go either way. You can’t have people too ugly or too beautiful.
AW: Rich, it might be too late in life to try to get you to do this but; you need to focus on the words!
RR: I know but I just get so distracted. Somebody recently said that the message has to have the right messenger. As a psychologist I think there is some validity to that. The problem is we don’t have anybody who stands apart from the UFO crowd; there are just a lot of people within the UFO community who feed off from each other. But from the public standpoint, who is the spokesman for UFOlogy? It used to be Donald Keyhoe who I actually adored, he had personality quirks or whatever but I loved the guy and he was the face of the UFO message. Goofy as he looked, he made the point for us.
AW: A lot of people would say that Stan is that face in the United States.
RR: When you see Stan Friedman, you know he is going to talk about UFOs, and you expect that. But there is a lack of dynamism about Stan and there’s some mystical element there that he just doesn’t have. But I can’t name anybody else who does what he does. I don’t know who’s going to come forward to make the case in the public eye. Who could do this that would be reasonable and sensible and have the austerity and charisma to get the message across?
AW: Why do we need a figurehead?
RR: You think UFOs on their own are valid enough to represent the issue? You don’t think we need a messenger?
AW: Well I wonder if we need a messenger or whether we need a number of competent people that can talk in an articulate manner about the subject.
RR: You know as well as I do that when you get those people together in a room then it can become a cacophony of nonsense. Everybody would be trying to get attention. In the UFO community, that is what everybody does. Everybody wants to be recognised among their peers and they don’t care about the public. The biggest self promoter is Paul Kimball, who I actually like very much. But he’s a self promoter and wants to be recognised. He’s so diverse and has so many things going on, and he doesn’t concentrate just on UFOs necessarily, but he wants to be recognised. Everybody wants to have somebody hang their hat in their doorway so they can be seen as worthwhile, and they don’t give a dam about the public.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
2. A Conversation with Greg Bishop speaking here on American UFOlogy, Project SERPO and cattle mutilations:
AW: You don’t get the same level of theatre in other countries. The current reasoning we are told now for the likes of stories like SERPO is the control and manipulation of belief systems - how easy is it to convince a large number of people via the Internet that such and such a story is true, and so on.
GB: I think there are probably some deep psychological reasons as to why the Americans do this. There’s a culture of secrecy in every country but there’s been one here for a long time. They took their cues from Russian and South African intelligence and a bunch of different people who were really good at it. Britain was involved with it as well in World War 2 and the Germans also because a lot of those people came here after the war. There’s a long culture and heritage of how to mess with people’s minds and on how to keep a secret.
But there are things that developed here that weren’t developed anywhere else at the time as regards weaponry and air craft. I think that the CIA and the NSA, Air force and Naval intelligence, anybody that could, saw an opportunity and seized upon the UFO subject as something to be used to confuse and bamboozle other agents from other countries and to some extent, people here as well because agents from other countries and news people can talk to people that live here. If I’m working for the government and looking for ways to cover things up, I’m going to use anything possible. Let people believe anything as long as they don’t find out what we don’t want them to find out.
As far as SERPO is concerned, I don’t think it was covering up any project. There was no project for it to cover up because nobody was looking anywhere for it. While the whole story was happening, I was talking to Bill Moore and he was giving me his thoughts about what was really happening. And since he knew all the old players, I listened. I asked him what he thought it was. And what I think they were doing was simply passing messages. Victor Martinez, the guy that was first writing about it, he was the point man who this person “Anonymous” - how original - was sending messages to by email, and who was asked to put the things up on his List. I wondered why he just didn’t put the damn things out himself.
If you know about codes and ciphers and things like that, things can be written in a certain way to say a certain thing that has nothing to do with what the text says. I got a hint of this when Martinez got in trouble with Anonymous because he was editing the messages. He was editing them to read properly so they flowed logically and so on. I mean, the guy’s a teacher and an editor and he knew what he was doing. Anonymous said “I’m not going to let you do this anymore. I’m not going to give you the information unless you put it out exactly as I’ve written it. Spelling errors, grammatical errors and all other improper use of the English language to be left intact”.
And to me that means that there’s something written in there that gets screwed up when you change the message. So what I think was happening was that somebody was passing messages back and forth that were meant for only a certain number of people and also a number of people who would try and crack the code and act upon it. For example, you conceal in a SERPO email a message that X is bringing this to Y and it’s going to be delivered here, and then you watch and see who shows up. That would mean that if someone turned up who shouldn’t have been there, then they had figured out your code. It was a way to flush people out.
That is speculation. If I keep going down that road then I don’t know where it ends but I do think that at the core base of it, it had to do with passing messages back and forth about some project or other, or people. I could be totally wrong but it has the hallmarks of that to me. And all the other stuff was hung on top of it I guess as a show, to get people interested. I think it’s a case of hiding in plain sight. Make a big noise about something so that nobody in the mainstream culture or media wants to pay any attention to it and make it as ridiculous as possible.
Also, I think I irritated Doty when I went on Art Bell with him. I didn’t know he was going to come on but two days before the show the producer called me and I mentioned that I had an idea to bring Richard Doty or Bill Moore on as well and the only person who said yes was Doty. I called him the day of the show to check on him, and he was apparently out at Kirtland Air Force Base. Well he supposedly had been retired for about ten or fifteen years. What was he doing over at Kirtland right before going on national radio? He was probably being told what he could and couldn’t say. All these years later……….. That was interesting to me when I found this out.
I wrote about it in that SERPO piece on my blog. And also because he got more and more involved in the UFO subject and in the public eye a little bit, I think he was sort of getting back into the business of counter intelligence at somebody’s behest because they thought he was good at it. I don’t know if SERPO worked or not, it kind of came and went, and now the only person left talking about it is Bill Ryan. I talked to Bill Moore about Ryan and he said, “You know what? I think I’ve seen him before but I can’t tell when, and it was a long time ago.” He’s apparently, possibly, not just somebody that came out of the woodwork.
AW: In the last few years, since I last spoke to you, have your views or opinions on what cattle mutilations are all about changed? Where we last left it, you thought it was almost certainly some sort of government programme designed to check on the food chain either to protect against bio warfare attack or because something nasty escaped from a laboratory a long while back and the Feds are checking to see whether it got into the cattle stock.
GB: I’m sorry, no new news, and no, it hasn’t changed! It’s only been strengthened actually. I had gotten to the point where I had wanted to write a book about it but nobody wanted it, which mystifies me. I think publishers want books where UFOs and aliens are abducting people and mutilating cattle. And because I don’t think that’s what’s happening, therefore it doesn’t fly with them.
Think how many people would buy a book that said, “You may be ingesting some horrible thing and somebody is very worried about it and has been since the late 1960s.” The subject directly affects everybody that eats beef, which is a pretty big segment of the population! I’m part of that! Even knowing this I still eat meat.
My opinion hasn’t changed and as time passes, it makes more sense. I’m not saying it explains all things that have been observed with regards to cattle mutilations. There have been some weird lights that have been doing things that aircraft that we know about don’t do, and there are mysterious aspects to it. But to me, 90% of what’s been going on can be explained by that theory.
Something horrible happened somewhere and somebody or some company or entity have been trying to keep it from the population because it would cause a huge panic and ruin the beef industry. That’s a pretty strong motivation to be quiet about what you’re doing. Then people say, “Well why don’t they just keep their own stock of cattle and test them? But you can’t do that because if it has spread everywhere you have to go and check it out.
The full interview is carried in issue 3 of Alien Worlds. Please see
and the following link for purchasing a copy or a subscription
Monday, 16 June 2008
A series of extracts from the latest edition of Alien Worlds magazine issue 3
1. Professor Paul Davies interview.
Actually, the Prof doesn’t quite make the claim in the headline, but almost does. This is what he had to say about UFOs and abductions:
I was, as a closing question, because I was told, and I don’t know how accurate this is, that at the very beginning of your career, there was a period of time when you had some truck with UFOs in that you were prepared to consider that they might have some interest.
I’m always prepared to consider and evaluate ideas, however out of the ordinary they might be. I knew Allan Hynek, who was the Chief Scientific Advisor to the US Air Force Project Blue Book, and so I visited him and looked at some of his data and investigated a few cases myself because they were fascinating stories. I was able to explain two or three of these cases, including one rather famous case in Britain involving strange lights over Stonehenge which I managed to identify as military flares. It featured in a Granada television production.
As scientists I think we should be open minded and be prepared to look at the evidence and in the case of UFOs, I’m one of the few scientists who has actually looked at the evidence. I’ve read the Condon Report which came out of Project Blue Book and talked to witnesses. Obviously people see things in the sky all the time and the vast majority of sightings are just misperceptions or atmospheric phenomena of various sorts.
Then there’s a tougher residue that’s harder to explain and I would say two things about those. One is that these are real experiences - I don’t think anyone is lying. The second thing is that to me, they don’t have the hallmark of extraterrestrial visitation and it is not what I would expect from ET. So whatever lies behind this, and there may be different explanations for different things, I don’t think will be extraterrestrial visitation will be one of them.
The one situation where I do feel I have an understanding of what’s going on is with alien abduction, which I think are closely related to lucid dreams.
Not sleep paralysis?
That’s more or less the same thing. I have had lucid dreams and have enjoyed the experience of them. First of all you’re paralysed and secondly, unless you’re experienced with this, you don’t know you’re dreaming and you think you’re awake and there’s always a sense of malevolent presence in the room.
And you’ve experienced that sensation yourself? How did you rationalise it?
I went and learned a bit about it. I bought a face mask from the New Scientist magazine that could induce lucid dreams and I have them a few times a year, although I don’t use the face mask very much any more. The last time I had one, I did an experiment. Interestingly, because I hadn’t thought of it in advance but my dream self did at the time, I looked at my image in a mirror to see if it was the mirror image or the inverted image, and it was the mirror image. This was like doing a physics type experiment in a lucid dream.
If you don’t know you are dreaming, I think these lucid dreams can be very scary and have all of the hallmarks of an abduction experience. I think that is easily the most plausible explanation for what’s going on there.
The upshot of all this is, in principle we could be being visited but I don’t think we are. I don’t think it is happening now and if it is, I’m very disappointed in ET.
Why would you be disappointed? You said before that it wasn’t what you would expect from him. What would you expect?
I would expect that if there was going to be actual contact, that this would be a civilisation-changing event that would be carefully managed by the other side, and not just a few extraterrestrials flitting around as tourists or whatever they’re supposed to be doing. If they are here right now, then what exactly are they doing and where are they now and where do they go at night? Where’s the warehouse? This was always the problem with UFOs. People see them but they are just some sort of local phenomenon. They appear and they disappear and they’re not around. It just doesn’t make any sort of sense.
So unless we’re dealing with something that is just truly outside our experience, something that is in the realm of the paranormal, then I see no reason to invoke those sorts of explanations. In the cases I investigated personally, I was always open minded, and when I investigated them, I could see that even when presented with the reality, people would often remain in a state of denial. If you’re not a trained observer or scientist and you see something weird that comes and goes, a transitory phenomenon, then you retain a certain memory and your brain rationalises the experience. If then later somebody explains to you what it was you saw it can be that you will still say, “Well, I don’t believe it”
We’ve just had a case in Phoenix last week where people saw lights, and then some guy fessed up shortly after. And yet witnesses still refused to believe it. Its great fun and endlessly entertaining, but just another depressing aspect of the whole UFO scene.
I got interested in the subject in my teens and as you correctly say, I met witnesses and was interested in the material but nothing has really changed since then. We’re still getting the same sort of dismal reports forty years on. Nothing has moved forwards. Richard Fineman was the person who expressed it well. He said, “In good science, the more observations you make, the better the science gets. With bad science, the worse it gets” and it seems to me the UFO thing is exactly like that. No matter how many observations are made, you get no further forward and so that suggests to me this is not a scientific phenomenon. We’re not dealing with extraterrestrial visitation but instead probably a whole range of different things.
The full interview is carried in issue 3 of Alien Worlds. Please see
and the following link for purchasing a copy or a subscription
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Welcome to issue 3. Below is a description of the articles, features and interviews that appear in this edition. The magazine is available in the UK at WH Smiths, Menzies and Borders as well as a large number of independent retail outlets. It is stocked in Easons in Ireland and in some outlets in Europe. In the States it is mainly sold in Barnes and Noble. If you prefer, you can subscribe at the web site at http://www.alienworldsmag.com/ where you can also purchase a single issue if you so wish.
A conversation with Greg Bishop
Greg is an outstanding and experienced observer, author and critique of the UFO field. What marks him out is his ability to think outside the box and to keep an open mind. Without any particular angle or position to hold or promote, he intelligently reads the situation in a thoroughly objective manner. He is, frankly, one of the best minds in the field and is a man I much admire.
Professor Paul Davies
It is quite a coup for Alien Worlds to have been granted an interview with Professor Paul Davies, one of the world’s leading cosmologists and thinkers. Innovative, imaginative, brilliant, and an outstanding mind, this charming man runs the rule over a few of the major debates and arguments to do with the likelihood of cosmological intelligence, possible messages in our DNA, the Great Filter, life on Mars, the Earth as a computer, the Goldilocks enigma, and, amongst a host of other things, his own early interest in UFOs and the abduction phenomenon. You will need your science hat on.
Why Do I Feel Like Someone Is Watching Me?
Diana Tumminia is an American lady who is a member of the Sociologist sub species of Academicus - a tribe of Humans who secretively study the lifestyles and whims of alien worshipers. That’s the likes of you and me pal. She is the editor of a book which is nothing to do with this magazine but is nevertheless called Alien Worlds. It is a large collection of essays written by a respected number of fellow members of the Academicus tribe as well as a couple of human escapees by the name of Jerome Clark and Jacques Vallee, who have all piled in to give us their observations about UFO’s, contactees, alien related religions and similar.
Rich Reynolds; UFOlogy’s Biggest Pain In The Ass
A man who attracts large dollops of odium, Rich Reynolds is the perpetual outsider who knocks on the door of UFOlogy only to spit in the face of the person who opens it for him. He perches on the fringe and throws slingshots and ridicule at those who take the subject seriously. Untroubled by the technicality of hypocrisy, 69 years old Rich blunders on in his quest to cleanse the subject of anyone over the age of 30 while remaining the person that many will not touch with a ten foot barge pole. So naturally we had to talk to him.
Life On Mars On Earth
One day Man will go to Mars. Before that happens he will need to practice a bit so the Mars Society have built these toys, sorry, Mars Desert Research Stations (MDRS) in various locations around the world for people to go and practice in. Heather Allaway, a young Canadian gal from the Science of Reproduction Faculty at Saskatchewan University went on one of these expeditions back in April. As she also has a keen interest in the problems of human reproduction in space, she was an ideal person for Alien Worlds to speak to.
Cosmic Questions and Conundrums - Examining The Evidence For Alien Abduction
Starting off with the alleged Betty and Barney Hill abduction, Nigel Watson engages in an excellent and very thorough review of the phenomenon, covering every conceivable aspect of the experience that so many thousands of people have claimed to have. This is a balanced, no punches pulled article.
Ufologists swamped with Ministry of Defence (UK) data
Joe McGonagle gives us a quick general overview of the recently released MoD files of UFO sightings.
Beyond Bedtime Closets (and continental shelves) - Meet ‘Angelic Aliens’ And ‘Monsters’ [that] Ink!
Instead of looking upwards for his aliens, Nick Parkins turns his gaze downwards beneath the oceans and examines some of the weird life and organisms that we never see. When you remember that two thirds of the surface of this planet is liquid, Nick takes us down, down, down, into a beautiful and slightly scary world of beauty and majesty that is only matched by the poetic style of his prose.
Hypothetical Model for Space Travel with Medieval Level Technology
Daniel Schilling is a one off. I’ll be honest and say that for the first five minutes after I originally came across his writings, I thought he was off his trolley. That thought lasted as long as it took to realise that behind the madness was a genius who made me smile. He started a blog on the Internet called How I discovered that Romans used to live on Mars in which he alleged that they managed to get there in wooden sailing ships, and it soon became obvious that we were heading off into the land of epic narrative. In this specially written piece, Daniel expands upon his thinking.
UFOs, Sonic Booms, F-16s and an Earthquake
On Wednesday 16th April this year, a series of loud explosions and earthquake like tremors accompanied by reports of strange lights and fireballs were seen and felt in Kokomo, Indiana, panicking the local residents and prompting a flood of 911 calls to the emergency services. Inevitably, a massive search was launched but nothing was found. Confused and concerned, local folk began to suspect the air force who thoughtfully issued a statement. And it was at that point that things started to go a little funny. Frank Warren reports.
Yet again two outstanding articles by, gentlemen take note, two women! In the first, S.J. Porter runs the rule over Sex and (its) Consequences in Space. In a witty and remarkably insightful piece, S.J. casts her eye a few years into the future and finds that some things still remain the same.
In the meanwhile, my old friend Kithra runs riot with the Cumberland Spaceman and the Ilkley Moor alien, and just for good measure, there’s a large rubber Frenchman thrown in as well. Thank you both ladies and a message to you all: I sit here all day waiting for you lot to do my job and write this magazine for me. Please send me articles.
Warminster-The Forgotten Enigma.
It’s true that the Warminster phenomenon was conveniently forgotten about for many years, but thanks to Steve Dewey and Kevin Goodman, we seem to have made up for it in recent times. And quite rightly so. A strange mixture of a charismatic figure, a town gripped with fear, strange lights in the sky and something called “The Thing” rampant along the village lanes, this sleepy Wiltshire town was suddenly catapulted to national fame. In a revised and updated article, Kevin Goodman recounts the details of what happened from a personal perspective.
Above and Beyond
Award winning columnist Paul Kimball combines his love or travelling and his interest in UFOs and takes us on a tour of The Seven Wonders of the Ufological World, revealing in his choices symmetrical beauty, oddness, mystery and a brush of wackiness.
Our Rob picks up a great big flat and soggy wet fish and whacks Professor Andrew Watson of East Anglia University full in the face with it as he refutes the points that the Proff raised in his recent paper on The Great Filter, in which he alleges that the chances of finding other intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe are not very high.
Why do I bother?
Regular columnist Joe McGonagle explains what drew him in to the subject of UFOs and why, as a self respecting sceptic, he still stays, by highlighting some intriguing cases involving sightings by children.
The Round Files: The Really, Really Secret Mission of Apollo 18
We are very pleased to extend a warm welcome to Las Vegas new columnist Daniel Brenton who, like me, likes to push your buttons a little. Very dry, you’ll need to be on your toes and awake with this one.
The brightest and most exciting new star in the glittering world of cosmological clutter, Brittany is a breadth of fresh air that is untinged by the bitterness and cynicism that befall wizened old hacks like myself. Here she recounts in detail her recent visit to her first UFO conference at Landers in Southern California where she attended the Retro UFO 3 Convention held at the Integratron.
Your Editor Squeaks
Stuart waffles and trills. He does love the sound of his own voice.
What we hope will become a regular feature, if you belong to any kind of group that is either directly or loosely connected to our subject, please tell us about it.
Professor Stephen Hawking Speaks
…………and we listen
Books of Interest
All that’s new and upcoming in print, including a review by Nick Redfern of Jon Downes new book, Island of Paradise
Some of you have got very grumpy about some things in issue 2. That weird bloke from last time is back. He sent me the £5 I suggested that he send for printing his last missive. It was crumpled.