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

Welcome to the October column, bringing you the latest news and views about UFOs, alien abduction and other weird stuff.

Operation Thunder Child

My new book, Operation Thunder Child, is out this month. The official publication date is 4th October, but copies should have found their way into the shops towards the end of September. Operation Thunder Child is a science fiction novel set in the near future, and deals with the concept of an escalating and hostile alien presence. What I've tried to do is to tell the story in as realistic way as possible, drawing on my official knowledge and experience of working at the Ministry of Defence. Accordingly, I use knowledge about UFOs and abductions picked up during my three years researching and investigating these phenomena, and also utilise information picked up while working in the Air Force Operations Room (part of the Joint Operations Centre) during the Gulf War. I've really tried to write as accurate an account as possible, giving people an insight into the way in which the government and the military would really respond to hostile alien contact. What I've tried to do is give readers a seat at the "Top Table" in the MOD, and show people how decisions are made in times of national crisis (although the book deals with alien contact, details about crisis management would apply equally to any normal conflict). Authenticity was a paramount concern: I discuss Rules of Engagement, weapons systems, operational doctrine and tactics and other real-life details. I also explore the way in which this situation would be reported to parliament and dealt with in the media. That said, some details have been changed to ensure that no classified information is included - this is the first time in publishing history that a science fiction novel has needed to be officially cleared by the Government! Another interesting fact concerns the disclaimer. Most novels have to contain a statement that all the characters and events are entirely fictitious. But my book draws on real UFO incidents from the Government's files, and reflects other things that have actually happened. For legal reasons, therefore, my book had to contain a specially worded disclaimer that points this out. Unsurprisingly, the book is already proving to be controversial, and there is as much - if not more - bad feeling about this book in certain quarters as there was about either of my two non-fiction books. I should be making various media appearances in late September/early October, so look out for me, talking about this new book. Operation Thunder Child is published by Simon & Schuster as a large format paperback, and costs #9.99.

New Abduction Book

Another new book has been published about the alien abduction mystery. The Complete Book of Aliens and Abductions is the latest offering from Jenny Randles, and is a brave attempt to give an overview of the whole alien abduction/alien contact mystery. It covers a lot of ground, looking at links between abductions and folklore and examining the possibility that cultural factors (e.g. science fiction films and television series) may have an influence on the phenomenon. Lots of potential explanations are offered, and there are plenty of case studies - some well-known and some less so. This is a welcome addition to the number of books devoted more to abductions than UFOs, and is a well-written and comprehensive overview of this intriguing mystery. The book is published by Piatkus, and costs #17.99.

New Magazine

After the demise of Sightings, Alien Encounters, Uri Geller's Encounters and UFO Reality, it seemed as if magazines on UFOs and the paranormal were dropping like flies. Now a new title has appeared. Beyond is a monthly magazine which hit the news-stands in September, and promises to reflect all shades of opinion, whether people be believers, sceptics or neutrals on the topics covered. There's considerable diversity in the subjects featured: the first issue contained plenty of news and articles about UFOs, but other featured subjects included ghosts, crop circles, psychic detectives, synchronicity and much more besides.

The Unopened Files

On the subject of magazines, an established title which I consider to be one of the most interesting and thought-provoking publications currently available is The Unopened Files. This magazine covers ufology, but also carries a range of fascinating articles on secret technology, conspiracies and suppressed information. The Autumn issue (Number 12) is now out, and should be available from all good newsagents. One of the features is a lengthy interview with me in which I make some candid remarks about Operation Thunder Child, and explain why my new book is already proving so controversial.

Psychic Development

For those with an interest in all things spiritual and psychic, check out an interesting new book: The Psychic World of Derek Acorah. This new publication is part autobiography, part psychic self-development guide, and is packed with interesting accounts of occasions where Derek's powers were demonstrated. There are also various tests to judge your own psychic powers, and suggestions for developing such skills. It's informative but fun, and is well worth a look. It's published by Piatkus, and costs #9.99.

Alternative Therapy

Every now and then my work with abductees can throw up a bizarre and abstract moment. One such moment occurred a few weeks ago. There's a particular abductee who I've been working with for about three years, and we've got to know each other socially. We went out one evening for a drink, and found ourselves in a karaoke bar. After some encouragement from her, I volunteered to do a song, and found myself belting out a number to a packed pub. The song I chose, somewhat appropriately, was the classic David Bowie number, Life on Mars. I'm sure there'll be some people who might think this a tad unprofessional, and I'm not quite sure what other abduction researchers will make of this. In reply to any criticisms, I'd simply point out that having fun is pretty good therapy for just about anything.

Leeds Conference

The annual conference held by UFO Magazine took place in Leeds on 17th, 18th and 19th September. Next month's column will contain a full report on this event, with all the conference news and gossip.

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.

The Uninvited and Open Skies,
                         Closed Minds Ed's Note: Nick Pope's books, The Uninvited and Open Skies, Closed Minds, are available from all good bookshops, in paperback. His publishers in Britain are Simon & Schuster. The Uninvited is available in the US, published by The Overlook Press, who plan to publish Open Skies, Closed Minds later this year.


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