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Fwd = Nick Pope's Column

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl URL: http://www.hotgossip.co.uk/pope.html Original Date: 1st Nov 99 8.49pm==========================
    Message 1 of 54 , Nov 1, 1999
      Forwarded by: fwestra@...
      URL: http://www.hotgossip.co.uk/pope.html
      Original Date: 1st Nov 99 8.49pm

      ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

      Hot Gossip UK November'99

      Welcome to November's column, and the latest news and gossip
      about ufology, the paranormal and anything else that catches
      my eye.

      Leeds Conference

      I had planned to write an account of all the news and gossip
      from the Leeds conference organised by UFO Magazine, but
      there's already been a fair bit about it on the Internet,
      together with a detailed account that ran in the
      November/December edition of UFO Magazine itself, which hit
      the news-stands a couple of days ago. Accordingly, I won't
      say much, aside from saying that I thought it was a very
      good conference. UFO Magazine managed to bring speakers from
      Germany, America and France, as well as British speakers,
      and it's this that makes these events special, because there
      aren't too many conferences that have the resources to do
      this. The UFO phenomenon is a global one, but unless we have
      the opportunity to hear and meet researchers from overseas,
      we run the risk of developing an insular view of ufology.
      The Internet can help break this down, but there's no
      substitute for actually meeting these people face to face.

      Ufology And Popular Culture

      I'm sure many of you have seen the new television
      advertisement for the Ericsson T28 mobile phone. It's a
      slick production based around an alien abduction, with the
      hapless victim being taken up a beam of light and into a
      craft where the aliens mistake his cellphone for the
      intelligent life (The long version even features a cow
      that's been taken on board!). It's witty and visually
      striking, but the interesting thing is that it was made at
      all. Advertisements only work when they tap into something
      with which the audience is familiar, so it's an interesting
      indictor of the extent to which the basic abduction scenario
      is now embedded into the public psyche. Interestingly - and
      I don't know if the producers were aware of this - it's not
      the first time that the abduction scenario has been used to
      sell mobile phones. There was a similar advertisement that
      ran in America in 1992, for AT&T. It showed a golf buggy
      being drawn up a beam of light towards a UFO, and the slogan
      was "At a time like this, whose cellular phone would you
      rather own?". A few years later a British advert showed a
      car being similarly drawn up a light beam, with one of the
      people on the ground saying "You'd better ring the Royal.".

      Operation Thunder Child

      I've been out promoting my new book, Operation Thunder
      Child, and have done various television, radio and other
      media work over the past month or so, ranging from The Big
      Breakfast on Channel Four, to Steve Wright's show on Radio
      2. I've noticed two interesting things. First, interest in
      ufology among researchers, producers and presenters hasn't
      waned, even though the market for UFO books has slumped in
      the aftermath of the Summer 1997 peak. Secondly, so much
      more promotional work is done on the Internet these days.
      I've done two live Internet interviews and another interview
      specifically for an Internet site, in the past few weeks. In
      addition, a lecture I gave was publicised on the popular UFO
      Updates site, and a review appeared on CNI News. I hope this
      encourages other authors, and if I might offer one tip, it's
      a plea to make sure your publishers are alive to the power
      of the Internet when it comes to marketing your books.

      My Role At The MOD

      There have been several recent Internet posts about my work
      at the Ministry of Defence, and regrettably, some of what
      has been claimed is inaccurate. It all started when James
      Easton wrote to the MOD asking for some details about their
      policy and views on UFOs, and enquiring about my official
      research and investigation. From what I understand, Easton
      has only quoted selectively from the MOD's reply, and this
      has resulted in a misleading picture being given. The
      situation has been further complicated because Easton's
      subsequent post has been picked up by other researchers who
      have subjected it to their own interpretation. I thought I'd
      set the record straight, and to do so, we need to look at
      the statements in the MOD letter:

      "The Ministry of Defence has not investigated a case of
      alien abduction, crop circle formations or animal

      I described my work with abductees in chapter 8 of The
      Uninvited, while my work on crop circles and animal
      mutilations was set out in chapters 5 and 6 of Open Skies,
      Closed Minds. Both books were cleared by the MOD.

      "Mr Pope was employed as an Executive Officer in
      Secretariat(Air Staff)2. His post was designated Sec(AS)2a.
      The main duties of the post concerned non-operational RAF
      activities overseas and diplomatic clearance for military
      flights abroad."

      I've always made it clear that I had other duties aside from
      those connected with the UFO phenomenon. These included work
      on clearing some of the books written by military personnel
      about their Gulf War experiences (In my previous tour of
      duty I'd done Gulf War-related work in the Air Force
      Operations Room - part of the Joint Operations Centre).
      While I did do some diplomatic clearance work, this was an
      additional task that I only acquired in the final few months
      of my three year tour of duty. In practice, the
      Administrative Officer in Sec(AS)2a did most of this work,
      as well as providing clerical support to my boss and me.

      "A small percentage of time is spent dealing with reports
      from the public about alleged 'UFO' sightings and associated
      public correspondence."

      This statement describes the current situation in Sec(AS)2a,
      and I couldn't possibly comment on that. What I can say is
      that during my tour of duty the situation was somewhat
      different. A considerable percentage of my time was spent
      investigating UFO sightings from both public and military
      sources. I also prepared material for media enquiries, and
      drafted replies for defence ministers to send to Members of
      Parliament who asked about MOD policy on UFOs, or enquired
      about particular UFO incidents.

      I can't respond to every Internet post that makes misleading
      statements about my official research and investigations,
      but in this instance a genuine MOD letter was being
      selectively quoted from and misinterpreted. I don't know if
      this is because those concerned have genuinely misunderstood
      the position, or whether it was a deliberate attempt to
      downplay my role, but in either event, I hope this has
      cleared up any confusion.

      Ed's Note:

      Nick Pope's three books, Open Skies, Closed Minds, The
      Uninvited and Operation Thunder Child are available from all
      good bookshops. His UK publishers are Simon & Schuster. In
      America, The Overlook Press publish his books in hardback
      while Dell Publishing produce paperback editions.

      � Hot Gossip UK 1999

      ========================== Forwarded message ends ========================
    • Frits Westra
      Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) URL: http://www.hotgossip.co.uk/pope.html Original Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 07:58:36 -0700
      Message 54 of 54 , Jul 2, 2003
        Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
        URL: http://www.hotgossip.co.uk/pope.html
        Original Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 07:58:36 -0700

        ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

        Hot Gossip UK July 2003

        Welcome to the July 2003 round-up of news and views on UFOs, alien
        abductions, crop circles, the unexplained, the weird and the

        A Roswell Requiem

        Volume 10, Number 1 of Skeptic magazine contains an interesting 14
        page article on the Roswell incident. The article is written by B. D.
        ìDukeî Gildenberg, a meteorologist who was involved with USAAF and
        USAF operations, including Project Mogul, that he believes were
        responsible for triggering the Roswell incident. He was also involved
        in work for Project Blue Book, and more recently he was involved as a
        witness and researcher for the 1997 Pentagon investigation into the
        incident, which culminated in the publication of The Roswell Report:
        Case Closed. The article is entitled A Roswell Requiem. Given this,
        and the magazine in which it is published, readers will not be
        surprised to learn that the author attributes the Roswell Incident to
        Project Mogul, compounded by the fallibility of human memory, and
        exaggeration and lies on the part of certain people. He blames
        authors, publishers and TV producers for fuelling a modern myth, and
        concludes that ufology should move on from what he regards as a
        totally discredited case. Those who have read the two USAF reports The
        Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert and The
        Roswell Report: Case Closed will not find much new in the article, but
        this is not to detract from what is an important and well-written
        summary of the sceptical case against Roswell. Gildenberg uses the
        testimony of Captain Cavitt against the claims of Major Jesse Marcel,
        and that of Professor Kimball against the claims of Glenn Dennis.
        Believers can legitimately argue that the memories of Cavitt, say, are
        no more or less reliable than those of Marcel. However, any suggestion
        that those witnesses or experts supporting the official view are part
        of the conspiracy, or have been got at, would be more tenuous. The
        article has a sarcastic tone in places, but setting that aside, it is
        an important piece of journalism that, whatever ones views on Roswell,
        deserves a wider audience in ufology than it will probably get. Click
        on [1]www.skeptic.com for details of the magazine.

        Crop Circle Advertising

        Images of crop circles have often been incorporated into
        advertisements, illustrating how they have become part of the popular
        culture. The same has happened with UFOs and aliens. A new
        advertisement for tourism in Wiltshire has now used a crop circle
        photograph to promote the area, which is an interesting example of
        local government officials using the imagery. The imagery appears in a
        magazine advertisement, but there are a couple of references to crop
        circles on the official local authority site at [2]www.kennet.gov.uk
        together with links to some crop circle websites.

        NASA Nuclear Mission

        In a controversial move, NASA have given the go ahead to a deep space
        mission powered by a miniature nuclear reactor. The move has upset
        environmentalists concerned at the safety implications, especially in
        the light of the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia earlier
        this year. An essential safety feature will mean that the reactor
        cannot be switched on until the spacecraft has gone well beyond the
        orbit of the Earth. Project Prometheus involves NASA funding Lockheed
        Martin to investigate the concepts needed to design a viable nuclear
        propulsion system. The first aim would be a mission to some of the
        moons of Jupiter such as Callisto, Europa and Ganymede, where
        primitive life may exist in oceans beneath the icy surfaces. The
        likely launch date will be 2011. In the longer term, this technology
        may be the first step towards the previously stated NASA aim of a star
        mission. For this to occur in a meaningful timescale, radical new
        propulsion systems will be needed, incorporating nuclear mission, or
        matter/antimatter annihilation.

        Open Skies Closed Minds in Romania

        I am pleased to announce that my first book Open Skies Closed Minds is
        to be published in Romania. Open Skies Closed Minds is an overview of
        the UFO phenomenon, focusing on my running the UK Government UFO
        research and investigation project, at the Ministry of Defence. My
        books are available in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and
        have previously been translated into various other languages,
        including German, Greek and Polish. On past form, English language UFO
        books being translated into other languages leads to greater liaison
        between researchers in different countries, and results in previously
        unreported cases being given greater prominence. My thanks go to the
        respected ufologist Ion Hobana for arranging this.

        Glastonbury Symposium 2003

        On 25, 26 and 27 July the Glastonbury Symposium 2003 takes place at
        The Town Hall, Glastonbury. Entitled Investigating Crop Circles and
        Signs of Our Times, the symposium features a host of well known names,
        including Maurice Cotterell, Ed Sherwood and Michael Glickman. The
        special Sunday night guest is Budd Hopkins. However, the focus will be
        on crop circles, and the event includes a coach tour of whatever
        formations are in the area at the time. The event is hosted by Andy
        Thomas and Karen Douglas, and details can be found at the
        [3]www.glastonburysymposium.co.uk website.

        The 2003 Crop Circle Convention

        If Glastonbury whets your appetite, then there is another three day
        crop circle conference on 8, 9 and 10 August, in the Cricklade Theatre
        in Andover, Hampshire. Invited speakers include Colin Andrews, Reg
        Presley, Philip Mantle, Lucy Pringle and Busty Taylor. I have no
        internet site details for this event, but further information can be
        obtained by telephoning 01392 677462 any evening. Bookings can be made
        by calling 01264 360063 during office hours.

        Ed's Note:

        Nick Pope has written four books. Open Skies, Closed Minds is an
        overview of the UFO phenomenon with the emphasis on his official
        Ministry of Defence research and investigation. The Uninvited is an
        overview of the alien abduction mystery. Operation Thunder Child and
        Operation Lightning Strike are science fiction novels about alien
        invasion, incorporating UFO and abduction data. All four titles are
        available from most good bookshops and all the usual Internet book

        © Knight International 2003

        ========================== Forwarded message ends ========================
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