|Nick Popes Weird World|
|Posted by Georgina Bruni
Editor in Chief Hot Gossip UK
Check out Bruni's Column
Time marches on, so appropriately enough, here's the March
column, with a mixture of news, reviews and gossip about ufology,
the paranormal, the weird and the wonderful. This month, I'm afraid,
starts with extremely sad news.
It's with great sadness that I have to report the tragic and untimely death of American singer Helen Wheels, one of a handful of entertainers who was brave enough to speak out publicly about UFOs and abductions - not least about her own extraordinary experiences. Helen's experiences and philosophy were described in chapter nine of Michael Mannion's book Project Mindshift, and she was an abductee who worked with researchers such as the late Pete Mazzola and Budd Hopkins. She was a gifted singer/songwriter who used her music to get across information about UFOs, abductions, Freedom of Information Act UFO material and the issue of a UFO cover-up. Songs like The Saucer Song were entirely UFO-related, and she used her album covers to disseminate information about UFOs. She also wrote material which was used by other bands, such as Blue Oyster Cult. Helen was the sister of ufologist Peter Robbins, and my deepest sympathies go to Peter and the rest of the family. Tributes can be left at www.helenwheels.com.
The Atlantis Enigma
Fans of authors like Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval will be interested in a new book by Herbie Brennan. The Atlantis Enigma draws on ancient myths and postulates that Biblical accounts of the Great Flood tie in with accounts of other cataclysms mentioned in other cultures. Brennan, however, puts forward the intriguing idea that this great and very real cataclysm was caused by the explosion of a nearby star, which sent debris through our own solar system. There's a lot of material highlighting extraordinarily advanced knowledge possessed by ancient peoples, but plenty of new and thought-provoking ideas that are bound to lead to debate. The Atlantis Enigma is published by Piatkus at £10.99. Check out www.piatkus.co.uk for details of this and other Piatkus titles.
Satanic Abuse Claims Resurface
The controversy over ritual satanic abuse has been something that alien abduction researchers have followed with interest, as both phenomena have been denounced by some psychologists as having their roots not in reality but in a mixture of hoaxing, fantasy-prone personality and therapist-induced False Memory Syndrome. An apparent absence of any hard forensic evidence prompted some to suggest that ritual satanic abuse existed only in the minds of over-zealous social workers, and sceptical ufologists have suggested some interesting parallels with over-zealous abduction researchers. Now the debate is back with a vengeance, as psychotherapist Valerie Sinason claimed that some children in Britain were being specifically bred for ritual sacrifice. She claims that 46 of her patients have reported seeing the murder of adults and children, while 16 reported seeing induced abortions or the murder of babies. She also claims to have seen photographs showing injuries to children, ceremonial sites and mutilated animals. Doubts have been cast on these claims by a number of other experts, including Professor Richard Green from the Department of Psychiatry at Imperial College School of Medicine in London. But Valerie Sinason is putting together a report for the Department of Health, and Scotland Yard are reported to be investigating. I'll keep you posted on this disturbing story.
There can be few more enjoyable pleasures than sitting outside on a warm summers day, sipping an ice cold beer. But if you fancy an unusual tipple, an American company - Crop Circle Beer - is marketing a beer brewed from barley from within crop circles. The deal involves Alton Barnes farmer Tim Carson and Warminster Maltings, who ensure that the barley used in the brewing process is not mixed with barley from other fields. The beer isn't yet available in the UK, but I'll be making every effort to get hold of some, strictly for research purposes, of course!
Intruders Foundation 2000
Hot news just in: Dr John Mack has agreed to speak at the Intruders Foundation abduction conference being organised by Budd Hopkins in New York on 6 May. More details in next month's column.
The Knights Templar
Much spookiness, mystery and conspiratorial skulduggery has been laid at the door of the Knights Templar, and there have been numerous claims made in the last few years, linking this Order with The Holy Grail, Freemasonry and the Turin Shroud. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince wrote a controversial, well-researched and meticulously referenced book called The Templar Revelation which linked them to various practices that would be denounced as heretical by the Christian church. Now there's a new book offering a less spooky history of the Order. Entitled The Templars, and written by Piers Paul Read, it paints a rather more orthodox view of the Templars as a Crusading Order whose fantastic wealth attracted the jealousy of a politically strong but impoverished French King. The book is published by Weidenfeld at £20.
Researcher James Easton has caused much amusement among ufologists with a new theory about Britain's best-known UFO case, the Rendlesham Forest incident. James was previously best known for loudly championing Ian Ridpath's theory that the triangular, metallic craft seen by numerous United States Air Force personnel in Rendlesham Forest was a lighthouse, although as one of the witnesses wryly pointed out, lighthouses don't fly! Now Easton has a theory of his own: that the entire incident might have been caused by the misidentification of a tractor. The apparently serious suggestion started when Easton was driving late at night and saw a tractor in a field, festooned with lights. Unfortunately, theories like this - quite apart from being at odds with the data - serve only to infuriate witnesses, believers and sceptics alike. Witnesses stand accused of ridiculously poor judgement, while believers think it's yet more negative, ill-informed debunking. Ironically, it's serious sceptical researchers who tend to be most annoyed by such nonsense. Why? Because wild claims like this do far more than simply undermine the credibility of sceptics; they make them laughing stocks · and for serious researchers, that's the kiss of death.
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.