- Review of 20th Leeds International UFO Conference
Leeds University - 21 to 23 September 2001
By Anthony Chippendale
Every year for the past 20 years UFO Magazine UK has held a UFO conference
in Leeds, England. This year's conference was, in my opinion, the best yet!
It was a total sell-out and the lecturer's that UFO Magazine editor Graham
Birdsall lined up for us were great! They included Budd Hopkins, Dr John
Mack, Nick Pope, Georgina Bruni and more! It all kicked off at 7pm on the
Although the conference wasn't due to start until 7pm I was there at bang on
6pm when the doors opened. As soon as I walked in, I grabbed my first of
many bargains that weekend! Sat at a little desk amongst many piles of books
was researcher Alan F Alford and he was flogging off his personal stock of
his books at only £5 each! Normal selling price for these (they were
hardbacks) is £20 each! I grabbed a copy of each of them, which he duly
signed for me. They were: Gods of the New Millennium, The Phoenix Solution
and When the Gods Came Down. I can't wait to read them!
In previous years the Friday evening has been dominated by the showing of
video footage of recent UFO sightings, this year, however, as many people
could not attend the Saturday and Sunday as tickets had sold out, they gave
each of the weekend's speaker fifteen minutes at the lectern to give a
little talk about what there lectures, during the weekend, would be about.
First up were Nick Pope and his abductee friend Brigette Grant. Now, for as
long as I've been attending the Leeds conference (this was my 4th
conference), Brigette has "tagged along" with Nick, but no one has ever
known who she was.... I actually thought she was his girlfriend! But this
weekend we got to know the truth.... she is an abductee, with a very
interesting tale of a lifetime of experiences with UFOs and the paranormal.
Next up was Dr John Mack, the Harvard psychiatrist who believes abductions
are real, followed by New York researcher Budd Hopkins. They both give a
quick ten-minute overview of what they were going to be talking about in
their lectures the following day.
After a thirty-minute interval during which I picked up a copy of the new
October 2001 issue of UFO Magazine and a copy of the double video "What
Happened on the Moon?" Georgina Bruni, author of Rendlesham Forest book "You
can't tell the People" gave us a quick introduction to the new MOD files on
Rendlesham Forest, which she was going to be elaborating on in her lecture.
After Georgina came Mexican researcher Santiago Yturria Garza who gave us a
brief introduction and promised us that during his Sunday afternoon
presentation we would be seeing some amazing new film footage from Mexico.
Finally, UFO Magazine's own Russel Callaghan showed us some interesting new
UFO footage, which he would be expanding on, on Sunday.
During the evening Graham Birdsall had one little surprise for us, from
behind the thick black curtain came Canadian Martyn Stubbs who was
instrumental in bringing the "secret NASA transmissions" to the world.
Martyn is very ill with a brain tumour and received a very warm welcome from
Saturday morning, on arriving at the conference auditorium I found my second
bargain of the weekend! This time, Nick Redfern, British researcher, had a
stall of all his old books and magazines. He is currently making a permanent
move to Texas to live with his new girlfriend, who may even become his wife.
So, he was flogging off all these old paperback books at only £1 each! I
grabbed nine of them.... they are old 1970s books on Atlantis, Bermuda
Triangle and a couple of UFO ones. They are CLASSICS and have been out of
print for decades. It was a great find! CHEERS NICK!
First up after some introductions from Graham Birdsall was a one-minute
silence in memory of the tragic victims of the 11 September terrorist
attacks. During the minute they played some footage of still pictures of the
World Trade Centre. It was a very moving display.
Following the one minute silence they played a short five minute video
called "A Year in Profile" showing a few new UFO clips that have emerged and
reviews of bits of UFO news that have occurred since the last conference a
The first speaker of the day, Dr John Mack, came next. Dr Mack is a
psychiatrist at Harvard University and a winner of the much sought-after
"Pulitzer Prize". He was written two books on the subject of alien abduction
titled "Abduction" and "Passport to the Cosmos". He told us of how when he
announced that he believed that aliens were abducting people; he came under
investigation and close scrutiny from Harvard University. He also briefly
discussed his views on abductions and then took some questions from the
Q: Are there any similarities between the types of people abducted?
A: No, they come from all socio-economic groups.
Q: Can we hear of any positive or constructive encounters?
A: Yes, a common experience during abductions is the abductees been told
about how we were destroying the world, pollution etc. Experiencers would be
less negative if the worldview of abductions wasn't so much negative.
Q: What is your view on "channelled" information?
A: Not everything that is channelled is true and not everything that is true
Following the one-hour luncheon interval, Graham Birdsall introduced two
special visitors who had made the long journey all the way from S Korea to
be with us at the conference!
First up in the afternoon was MOD (Ministry of Defence) employee and UFO
book author Nick Pope and alleged abductee Brigette Grant. Instead of the
usual lecture from the lectern, Nick and Brigette took a seat on some
armchairs and Nick conducted a sort-of "interview" of Brigette, during which
she recounted the various paranormal experiences that she experienced while
she was growing up including several ghost and "fairy" sightings. These
paranormal experiences culminated with an impressive UFO sightings and
abduction in 1993 in Los Angeles, California, where she was living at the
time, although she now lives in England.
Immediately following Nick and Brigette Graham Birdsall, for the benefit of
those who were absent on the Friday night, once again brought Martyn Stubbs
out from behind the curtain! The audience showed their appreciation for his
attendence with a massive ovation of applause.
Following that it was the turn of Rendlesham Forest investigator and author
of Rendlesham book "You can't tell the People", Georgina Bruni. Georgina's
lecture cantered on a review of some new evidence, which has recently come
to light, including the release of new MOD documents about the incident.
These new documents are stamped "S/R 2025" which means they were not
scheduled to be reviewed again until the year 2025. This indicates that the
documents were recently given an early review and release by someone within
the UK government or MOD. She also revealed that there are now five new
written statements by USAF personnel confirming that the incident did occur
as reported. These new witnesses confirm that they saw alien "humanoids"
inside the craft, which allegedly landed in Rendlesham Forest. Georgina also
announced that following extensive research she has discovered that UFOs
landed in the forest in the late 1800s and even in the 1600s!! She is
currently researching this for more information.
The last speaker of the day was New York abduction researcher Budd Hopkins.
His presentation centred on a review of the 1989 Linda Cortile abduction. He
showed us some photographs and x-rays of an object that was discovered in
her nose. He also said that he is in contact with some of the secret service
officers who allegedly witnessed Linda being floated out of her apartment
First up on Sunday morning was the executive director of NARCAP (National
Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena). His presentation focused
on the risk posed to aircraft by UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena).
Unfortunately, a lot of his presentation, which was based on a slide show,
was a run-down of some statistics relating to UAP sightings and near air
misses. He made the important point of "Primary issue should be aviation
safety, not the probability of occurrence". He also told us of how there
have been some sightings of UAPs "orbiting" aircraft! Which is very
Following on from Ted Roe, he took a seat on the armchairs along with former
British Airways pilot Graham Shepherd and pilot Malcolm Smith along with
friend/researcher David Cayton. They took several questions from the
audience and they also discussed the recent World Trade Center disaster.
Graham Shepherd made the important statement "There is no way to prevent a
catastrophic event from occurring on an aircraft event." and "All the new
security measures are purely cosmetic.". Private pilot Malcolm Smith briefly
told us of his 1997 sighting which involved a large "shadow" which appeared
over his aircraft.
Following the luncheon interval, UFO Magazine editor and conference
organiser Graham Birdsall took to the lectern and gave a presentation
entitled "Origins". Although his presentation, which was about the links
between SETI and the Vatican and their researcher into UFOlogy, was
interesting, there was little new information, a lot of it was "old stuff"
that he has already spoken about in the magazine and at previous
conferences. Nevertheless, it was interesting stuff and it was nice to hear
it all put together in a nice presentation. He also made the statement that
he believes we have had technological "help along the way" from an ET
Straight after Graham came UFO Magazines website manager and film
specialist Russel Callaghan who showed us some impressive film footage of
UFOs around England. He also discussed the claim made in the UK press
earlier this year that a woman had been paid £20,000 for some UFO footage,
he dismisses it as "crap"! One interesting piece of footage was shot from a
police helicopter in Brighton and it shows a cylindrical object flying near
the helicopter, it was certainly an impressive piece of footage which once
again affirms my view that ET is visiting us!
Graham and Russell then took a seat on the armchairs with Martyn Stubbs who
came out from behind the curtain for a chat with us. He told of how he had
been making more progress with research into the "secret NASA transmissions"
and he also told of how this could be his last visit to the UK due to the
seriousness of his malignant brain tumour. I have to say that I could tell
that he was ill.
The final speaker of the day and of the conference was Mexican researcher
Santiago Yturria Garza who I thought was a great guy!! He's presentation was
basically an hour-long movie of UFO footage/pictures, which he cleverly
narrated over. The footage included classic Mexican footage of swarms of
UFOs including some spheres, but the most interesting was that of
"humanoids" in the air. The footage wasn't 100% clear but you could easily
make out these strange humanoid figures just "floating" in the sky. I won't
say anymore about it because I have my doubts about its authenticity and I
don't want to comment on it!!
In conclusion.... I would just like to say a big thank you to Graham
Birdsall and his team at UFO Magazine (UK) for putting together a great
conference. This year's conference was the best so far with good audience
participation and some very interesting lectures and topics discussed.
- Anthony Chippendale
When you are true to yourself and open your heart and mind, the
possibilites are endless.
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