|Nick Popes Weird World|
|Posted by Georgina Bruni
Editor in Chief Hot Gossip UK
Check out Bruni's Column
Welcome to June's column, where I'll
be offering the usual mixture of news
and gossip from the weird world of
UFOs, aliens and the paranormal.
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
I'm back from the Year 2000 UFO Abduction Conference in New York, which was organised by Budd Hopkins' Intruders Foundation and took place on 6 May. I won't say much about it for now, because I'm writing an exclusive report for the next edition of UFO Magazine. What I will say is this: in terms of data presented and quality of presentations, this was about the best conference I've attended, and I've attended a lot, believe me. My full report will be in the July/August edition of UFO Magazine, which should hit the shops on 29 June. In the meantime, watch out for reports and feedback from the Intruders Foundation itself, at www.IntrudersFoundation.org. I'll soon be off on my travels again though, and this month I should be attending the 8th International Meeting on UFOs and Related Phenomena (being held in San Marino on 3-4 June) and the Second International UFO and New Age Symposium (being held in Istanbul on 23-25 June). It's funny, you wait ages for an invitation to speak at an overseas conference, then three come along at once!
We're still here. The world hasn't ended, despite the views of various seers who predicted that an unusual planetary alignment on 5 May would spell the end for life on Earth. I didn't run the story last month because there' s no point scaring people with such grim tales when the scientific community have patiently explained that the gravitational effects of the alignment would be negligible. Enough apocalyptic nonsense has been trotted out in recent years (in relation to stories about giant spacecraft arriving in the tail of Comet Hale-Bopp, and in relation to the prophesies of Nostradamus, for example) and I decided not to fuel this particular fire. For those interested in real threats to our existence about which something can be done, let me direct you to Spaceguard UK, a group set up to raise awareness about the threat posed by comets and asteroids, and to lobby for action. Details can be found at http://www.ds.dial.pipex.com/spaceguard/.
UFOs And The FBI
One of the speakers at the New York conference was Bruce Maccabee, who very kindly gave me a copy of his new book, UFO-FBI Connection. I'm in the process of reading it now, and have to say that it's fascinating. The title will obviously appeal to fans of The X-Files, but in truth the book goes much wider than the involvement of the FBI, and brings in the CIA and,more comprehensively, the United States Air Force. The subtitle (The Secret History of the Government's Cover-Up) hints at this broader perspective. People who are familiar with Nicholas Redfern's intriguing book The FBI Files (Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 1998) will want to check out Bruce's book, and anyone interested in how the US Government and military have responded to the UFO phenomenon will not be disappointed. UFO-FBI Connection is published by Llewellyn Publications at $14.95. Check out http://www.llewellyn.com for details of this and similar titles, or get hold of it via the usual Internet book sites.
Oh no, not another book on the mysteries of Ancient Egypt? Oh yes! Still, I'm not too depressed, because this latest in a long line of books on this subject is by the prolific and eminently readable Herbie Brennan. Frankly, I really don't have the expertise to evaluate the data in books like this, but if Egypt is your thing, why not give it a try? It's certainly a wide-ranging book, and it's an easy read, with each chapter subdivided into shorter, titled sections. The Secret History of Ancient Egypt costs #16.99 and is published by Piatkus Books (further details at http://www.piatkus.co.uk).
The Darwin Awards
Those of you who don't know about the Darwin Awards are missing a real treat. These hilarious - if rather sick - awards are given to those who remove themselves from the gene pool by managing to kill themselves, unintentionally, in the most bizarre and stupid fashion. The awards, naturally, are posthumous. Recent awards include the man who decided to play Russian Roulette not with a revolver but with a semi-automatic pistol. Consequently, the probability that the bullet would fire was . 100%. Check out http://www.darwinawards.com for macabre laughs.
Caught With Their Pants Down
While we're on the subject of weird and wonderful websites, you might also like to check out www.thesmokinggun.com, which details, how can I best put this, celebrity indiscretions. For legal reasons I'm not going to repeat any of these tales, but if you want confirmation that the rich and famous are just as fallible as anybody else, this site is worth a visit.
Those of you who work in offices are doubtless familiar with posters carrying inspirational slogans, helpfully supplied by the personnel department. Fed up with soundbites? Want to hit back? I've seen a whole list of alternative suggestions recently, and here are my personal favourites:
Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity
Go the extra mile. It makes your boss look like an incompetent slacker
Indecision is the key to flexibility
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines
Aim low; reach your goals; avoid disappointment
Rome didn't create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them
Nick Pope London June 2000
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.