Nick Popes Weird World
- June '99
  Posted by Georgina Bruni
Editor in Chief Hot Gossip UK
Check out Bruni's Column

Welcome to the June column, and the latest news and gossip from the weird and wacky world of UFOs, alien abductions and the paranormal.

Alien Big Cat Sightings
The Beast of Bodmin, the Beast of Exmoor, the Surrey Puma. There have been a steady stream of big cat sightings over the years, and some new ones have just come to light from Devon. The term "Alien Big Cat", by the way, doesn't mean they're supposed to be extraterrestrial, and is simply a reference to the fact that if they're seen in the UK, this is "alien" to what's judged to be their usual habitats. These sightings are of interest to ufologists because it may have a bearing on animal mutilations. I kept an eye on these stories while investigating UFOs for the Government, and made some low key enquiries with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. These new sightings occurred on 5th May, one in Harford and one in Wrangaton. As it happens, my brother lives in Wrangaton, so I telephoned him, to see if he could put me in touch with the witness. Well, Forteans among you can guess the rest; he was the witness! He told me that he was just putting the chickens away, when he saw a large, tan-coloured animal standing in the road. He described it to me as being "around three or four feet high, and five or six feet long". He told me that "I looked at it, and it looked at me, and then it turned and went". He admitted that he didn't know enough about big cats to say whether he thought it was a lioness, a panther, a puma or a lynx, but I'll be getting a more detailed account from him, and will keep you posted.

Crop Circle Study
Many of the national newspapers carried the story of how the American millionaire Laurance Rockefeller is to fund an in-depth research project into the crop circle phenomenon. The study will be co-ordinated by Colin Andrews, who already has a computer database of over 10,000 formations from all around the world. Much of the money is likely to be spent on hiring aircraft so that more aerial photographs of formations can be taken. It certainly looks like being an interesting summer, down Wiltshire way.

New UFO Videos
UFO Magazine have an exclusive deal to market videos of five intriguing programmes made by Transmedia Productions, and shown recently on Discovery channel. The programmes include one on animal mutilations, one on alien abductions and one on mind control. Details can be found on page 41 of the current (May/June) edition of UFO Magazine. These videos won't be available in the shops until later this year.

Global Abductions
I've often tried to highlight the fact that reports of alien abductions come from a wider range of countries than Britain and America. To prove my point, I have four new cases that have come my way in the last couple of weeks. Two were from Britain, but one was from Australia and the other from Norway.

Traitors On The Net
In the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, and the recent nail bomb attacks in London, the extreme right have been subjected to more scrutiny than usual. Coincidentally, British ufology's resident Nazi has been keeping a low profile. However, he's now resurfaced, and in a move of breathtaking stupidity decided it would be clever to circulate the list of alleged MI6 agents that appeared on the Internet recently. Sorry, but there's nothing clever about treason, or about putting people's lives at stake to satisfy your own ego.

Space Debate
On 4th May the House of Commons was the scene of a rare parliamentary debate on space issues. Billed as a debate on satellite communications, it widened out into a more general discussion. Topics raised included concerns over the militarisation of space, and the potential for "cyberwar", including vulnerability of military satellites to hacking. It's not often that such issues are aired, and it's an intriguing sign of the times when they are. There has already been a debate on the threat from comets and asteroids.

World Wide Whinge
I received a highly entertaining e-whinge from Andy Roberts recently, after I dared to question his commitment to witness confidentiality, and indeed to ufology. And yet, he makes my own case for me when he haughtily advises me "Don't listen to what ufologists say - they know squat!". He goes on to freely admit that he and Tim Matthews/Hepple laughed at an abductee while at a TV show. Andy told me "&Mac183; we both openly jeered at an abductee. So what? Both their stories (sic) were funny and without any foundation in reality". Giving me his perspective on the Independent UFO Network (IUN), he promises " a surrealist, chaotic, non-organisation &Mac183;". As it happened, we didn't have long to wait before we were treated to an example of Andy's radical, new approach to ufology: he was due to write an article for UFO Magazine about the Berwyn Mountain case, but has decided he can't talk about the case for now, as he's got a book coming out: It's all in the book! Read my book! Radical stuff, Andy! We've never heard that sort of thing before in ufology! He's not a bad chap, but it seems to me that he's far more interested in point-scoring than in ufology. Still, if all his e-rants are as hilarious as his last one &Mac183; keep 'em coming!

Positive UFO Encounters
In my last column in featured a company that specialised in material relating to positive alien encounters, and gave details of the website. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that the site was up and running at the time. Anyone interested in a more New Age interpretation of alien contact should now be able to access this site, at Alternatively, write to them at Dolphin Ray Productions, PO Box 32, Launceston, Cornwall, PL16 0YF.

The Unopened Files
The new edition of The Unopened Files is out now, and available from all good newsagents. This fascinating magazine started off as a spin-off from UFO Magazine - it's edited by Mark Birdsall - but is now well-established in its own right, and is published Quarterly. As well as material on UFOs, it features articles on the Millennium Bug, BSE, biological warfare, cults, cover-ups, conspiracies and lots more. It's well worth checking out.

Peer Pressure
Dr John Mack, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is well-known for his view that the alien abduction phenomenon is worthy of serious study. This was a central theme in his book, Abduction, and it is a message that he continues to press home through the group that he set up to study abduction reports. The Program for Extraordinary Experience Research (PEER) produces a regular newsletter, PEER Perspectives, and has a website at Alternatively, snail mail them at PEER, PO Box 398080, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. There is essential information here for all serious researchers into alien abductions.


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