|Nick Popes Weird World|
|- July '99|
|Posted by Georgina Bruni
Editor in Chief Hot Gossip UK
Check out Bruni's Column
Welcome to the July column, and the latest news and gossip from the
weird and wacky world of UFOs, alien abductions and the paranormal.
A New Beginning
First of all, news that this column is going to be moving in a new direction. Over the past few months I'd been becoming more bullish in my response to certain people within ufology who'd been sniping at me over the years. Nobody likes criticism, and I'd been getting a fair bit - little of it constructive in nature. If people were criticising my views on, say, Roswell, then fine. I wasn't there, and so my view probably counts no more or no less than anybody else who's followed the case with a reasonable degree of interest. But it rankled when outsiders who'd probably never even visited MOD Main Building started casting doubts on my knowledge about - and access to - government and military UFO files.
I've worked for the MOD for over fourteen years now, and three of those were spent researching and investigating UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations and any other weird and wonderful reports that came my way. This inside knowledge doesn't give me a monopoly on the truth, but it shouldn't simply be waved away by people who find it inconvenient, because it conflicts with their own beliefs. Sadly, I'd fallen into the trap of responding to ill-informed criticism, instead of ignoring it and not giving the critics the oxygen of publicity. I'd allowed myself to be overly provocative in questioning certain people's commitment to ufology or to witness confidentiality, and had asked some awkward questions about other researcher's political affiliations. And in going on the offensive against what I call the militant anorak tendency within ufology (whether skeptics or believers), I found myself on the receiving end of a collective world wide whinge unprecedented even in ufology. What to do? Well, the answer's simple, and is a move which I'd like to see copied in the wider world of ufology. From now on, there will be no personal attacks in this column, and personal attacks on me will be ignored. That's not to say that there won't be attacks on people's data, where I believe it's justified. And I'll be more than happy to respond to any constructive criticism on my data. Will my many critics be able to rise to this challenge, and have the courage to respond in kind? Only time will tell.
There haven't been many new UFO books from British authors so far this year. We've had Tony Dodd's Alien Investigator, which was reviewed in a previous column, and we've also had the paperback of Colin Wilson's excellent and comprehensive Alien Dawn, which has also been reviewed here. Now there's another new book, penned by a rising star of British ufology, Nick Redfern. Entitled Cosmic Crashes, Nick's book highlights a number of strange incidents from the UK, and suggests that Britain might have had its own share of UFO crashes. Personally, I'm extremely skeptical about this, but there's no getting away from the fact that Nick has amassed a wealth of intriguing material, together with some new witnesses. By the sort of bizarre synchronicity that crops up in this subject all the time, one of the most striking things about the book is that the cover design is very similar to that of the hardback of Tim Good's last book, Alien Base. And it's even more similar to the cover of Impact Earth, an excellent new book highlighting the threat from comets and asteroids. Spooky, eh?
KGB Remote Viewing Revelation
Much is known and has been written about official US remote viewing programmes, such as GRILL FLAME, SUN STREAK and STARGATE. But less is known about the work done in the former Soviet Union. Quite by chance, the other day, I stumbled across an interesting nugget of information in an open source publication. I was reading Ken Alibek's excellent and highly disturbing book, Biohazard, in which the author described the Soviet's covert biological weapons programme (something he should know about, because he was in charge of it). And there, on pages 143 and 144, Alibek describes how the KGB used a psychic to try and track the location of a defector from the biological warfare programme. Now, Alibek admits that the KGB officer who told him about this was probably trying to test his reaction, to see if he'd known about the defection in advance. Accordingly, it's just possible that the story was invented by the KGB as a way of hiding the fact that they had an asset who'd passed on information about the defector's location. But that's not my reading of the situation, and taken at face value this new and intriguing revelation suggests that remote viewing was used, operationally, by the KGB.
Freedom of Information
The draft Freedom of Information Bill was published on 24 May, and promises to revolutionize UFO research in this country. It will open up some of my X-Files, which (when I was working on them) I'd naturally assumed would be covered by the Thirty Year Rule, and wouldn't see the light of day until at least 2021. Anyway, the draft Bill is in the consultation stage, and lots of people have asked me how to get hold of a copy, and contribute to the consultation process. Well, you can buy a copy at any HMSO outlet, or go to http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/foi if you have Internet access. Government files - the truth is in there.
Blood on the Mountain
I've been sent a fascinating new book to review. Blood on the Mountain is written by Richard Andrews (co-author of The Tomb of God), and deals with the intriguing subject of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Woven throughout the story is the recurring theme of the Ark of the Covenant - the most sacred relic in the Jewish Faith. What was the Ark? Does it still exist, and if so, where is it? These are some of the questions explored in a book that also contains information about the Freemasons and the mysterious Knights Templar. As we approach the new Millennium, Jerusalem will become a major focus of world attention - this fascinating book is an essential guide to this city and it's mysteries. The book is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. It's expensive, costing £20, but is meticulously referenced, and contains a comprehensive index and bibliography. Well-researched, easy to read and interesting, this book is highly recommended.
Operation Lightning Strike
Regular readers will know that my novel Operation Thunder Child will be published on 4 October by Simon & Schuster. It's a technothriller with an alien theme, combining my officially gained knowledge of UFOs and alien abductions with my experience of crisis management, gained during the Gulf War. Now, I can exclusively reveal that the sequel will be entitled Operation Lightning Strike. This, too, is to be published by Simon & Schuster, and will be available in October 2000. You heard it here first.
New CIA Blunder
In an amusing mistake on the CIA's Internet site, British parliamentary democracy was wiped out in the stroke of a keyboard. Their kids' page stated, in its information on the United Kingdom, "Elections: None". Then again, maybe they know something we don't?!
The National Institute for Discovery Science are an American group devoted to serious, scientific research into UFOs. NIDS was founded and is largely funded through the generosity of Bob Bigelow, who has previously sponsored the Abduction Study Conference held at MIT in June 1992. It's sad that work like this has to be done by the private sector, because I believe that governments have a responsibility to investigate anything which suggests that national airspace is being violated. But since Project Blue Book was closed down in 1969, the US Government have (officially) been out of the game, so it's left to the efforts of private citizens to take matters forward. It's not unlike the situation with regard to the SETI programme, which is now continuing with private finance. Anyway, the latest NIDS venture is an opinion poll undertaken by the Roper Organisation, and this focused on the likely human reaction to alien contact. The most intriguing results were that 25% of those polled thought that there would be mass panic, while a massive 80% thought that the government would try to classify or suppress the evidence. Click on http://www.accessnv.com/nids for further information about NIDS, and the full text of the poll.