Abduction Watch 16/17

Number 16/17, January 1999



Don Worley – Talking Dirty

It is, I think, time to publicly apply rigorous tests to the factual reality of the claims made by the most influential individuals in the abduction field. If we can combine an exhaustive examination of the competence and reliability of the investigators and researchers who spread and support the abduction message with (see the Abduction Reinvestigation Project item later this issue) a similarly thorough review of the credibility of the most influential abduction cases, then we might just begin to get close to the truth. I guess that we’re already working on the strange case of Derrel Sims, Roger Leir and Eve Frances Lorgen (candidates, if ever there were candidates, for being the purveyors of deliberate US government disinformation, with their influence and resources way outreaching both their competence and their absurdly non-scientific material). But in this issue, I’d like to concentrate on Don Worley, and take a quick look at two or three others, as well.

A couple of months ago the US UFO Magazine published part of AW6 (the regression hypnosis one) under the title ‘Alien Charade’. Soon after this auspicious event (they haven’t even paid me the promised $30 yet) I received a package of papers from Don Worley. You may recall previous mentions of Worley and his strange contributions to the SPI magazine.

Worley is, he tells me, “77 but still a fighter”. He is a consultant to Flying Saucer Review (but then, who isn’t?) and is widely published. He has sent me copies of recent articles of his published in Fate and Contact Forum, and Gordon Creighton is clearly happy to publish him at length. His limply sarcastic letter exhorts me to both investigate and believe in abductions, and it’s worth quoting at some length. Indeed, it’s worth looking closely at Worley’s construction of his own world-view, and the way in which he elicits the supposed experiences of ‘his’ 100+ abductees, and then passes them on so freely to others to encourage further reports. Anyway, first, the letter.

“Kevin I feel really sorry for you. God! you are missing the most awesome drama ever in your life. I read your Alien Charade and of course it makes me into some kind of super idiot who has spent 33 years time, far too much money and tremendous effort working on becoming convinced due to actual on the scene experience with a lot of this via normal intelligent persons that it’s all for real. So now from your words I learn how mistaken I am and what a colossal fool I am. What a waste.

I respect your right to your opinion of course. However under your statements and tone I see the same hate and emotional disbelief I once had about such an outlandish impossible situation. I suspect you are really an armchair student without much total time, cases, at the scene experience. So all of this is a creepy sideshow of fun. My over 40 articles, huge files, over 112 abductees handled and many helped is something that can damage the whole spirit of human enquiry???

Wrong wrong wrong Kevin!!! Those who are present have fooled you totally. In my article ASSAULT I have spelled out what the stakes are and it is a shame you can’t resolve to reexamine your views by actually getting into the abductee struggle there in England. Time is running out on us and you can be a real champion for the truth there in your country. I am willing to send you my questionnaire and answer any questions on how to proceed. Begin to find out about lost timers there and contact them. Begin to add up the truthful data of the cases. Most can be done by mail. I’ve learned to stay off the phone here for among other things the MIB shut us down in one important case.

You said there is no physical evidence of alien intrusion and abduction. Wrong again there are cases. I’ve mentioned two in my Fate article. The burned places and the killed foliage and crushed down telephone stand. How are you really going to explain away the skin effects, implants (they are being recovered and examined). You trashed hypnosis – I have never liked it either so about all my cases are what they can recall. Some of it bubbles up years later. Kevin I have had all these people, I just cannot be so stupid that I would not know the real truth. I’ve been down the avenues of UFO, MUTES, Ape-like entities, MIB etc and I’ve hated it but it is vital we face the truth. By your ignorance you are in effect on their side where as I said you can with true objective determined effort be on our side. You are needed. Do wake up. It’s such a shame to see you like you are. I have sent some actual abductee pages and want to see you explain away such convincing pages. If you can do it I will hate to see your sheer mental delusion. Come on and help! Maybe it’s not too late. We can try even though it all looks pretty impossible.”

In the package of material he sent, on one letter from ‘Andrew’ of Little Rock, Worley has added:

“Andrew is a new resident from England who had the aliens follow him to this country. Once you are chosen to be abducted, usually in childhood, there is no escape. Also even though his wife and son are also being abducted (as often happens to some around the primary abductee.) the three seem to be in the acceptance stage which could suggest alien residual control beyond the actual abduction time periods. Here on this page Andrew describes the type (of) alien we call the Gray. He has also been visited by the beautiful, soothing, human-like usually long blonde haired type alien we call the Nordic or Blonde.”

Another letter, from Worley, is dated 2.7.98. It purports to explain how the ‘abductee’ can “defeat the forces arrayed against you”, but seems more likely to just confirm the beliefs and terrors she already has.

“Peggy you are my 105th abductee and I have helped many so will you please pay attention to me. Next I want to tell you how to combat those who come in the darkness and violate your personal sanctity. It could be successful, partly successful or a failure, but it is very much worth attempting. It matters not what religious persuasion you have only that you have an abiding faith that the creator of it all will help those of his creation who call on him. At bedtime taking the Holy Bible read a suitable selection on his love for us. Ask then for his protection in the night. Have nearby or wear a cross. At the slightest hint of their coming (often an abductee senses it before time.) grip the cross, raise it toward them if you can and pray. Mentally, in the name of Jesus Christ demand that they go from you. If they still get you will yourself to not be a whimpering blob of jello. Have guts sass them back, resist them when possible. They respect honesty and courage. Never give in to them especially in the day which must be yours. Remember it’s all in your control of your mind at least at this time.

I have sent you another article of mine. I believe the Nordics have a great part in all of this. The second article on Lorgen brings up your Insectoids or Reptilians what ever they are.”

Worley also says of this same woman that:

“In later contact I learned that this abductee when she was in an Atlantic City casino walked by a row of 5 computers causing them to all pay off at once. Money flowed players were delighted and the attendants shocked. This abductee has a lot of nose bleeds so the implant is probably in her head and causes this interference with electromagnetic devices.”

It would certainly be interesting to know which casino this was, and on what date this amazing event occurred. I wonder if Worley knows, and if he does, whether he’ll tell us so that the facts can be checked?

Worley preaches a sort of alien-driven apocalyptic, unusually involving sexually predatory Nordics as well as the more usual Greys, and his approach is set out at the beginning of his Contact Forum piece:

“An epic unseen struggle has been raging for many years. Large intelligence groups in Earth’s leading nations and the valiant forces at their disposal are locked in a hopeless struggle with a foe whose power is unsurpassed. Sleeping humanity little suspects what lies in its perilous future. It is much like the falsely secure revellers on the doomed Titanic. If some miraculous help does not finally intervene it is probable that our cherished values and even we ourselves will be annihilated. You think the preceding statements are the babblings of an ignorant irresponsible fool . . The aliens’ ruthless, skilled abduction project presents major problems for our beleaguered forces who do not have the slightest chance of ever coping with this cunning para-physical form of alien penetration.”

Worley numbers ‘his’ abductees, and clearly immerses those who approach him in his own, dismal world-view, but is also convinced he is helping. He says:

“I have been a “refuge in a terrifying time” to many, but it was inevitable that the time would come when I would see defeat in this incredible contest. One of my abductees hanged himself and this devastating news caused me to send out a special letter to my abductees.”

The third point in that letter was, “Insistence on a last phone call to me before the final tragic mistaken act is performed”. This conjures up an unusual picture of abductees on spaceships demanding access to some wonder-phone that can reach across space to Worley in his home in Indiana, but it is hard to see what comfort Worley could bring, when his world-view is so pessimistic:

” . . it is my belief that no one in the clutches of the aliens ever retains his own normal cerebral functions . . the aliens had detained a military man. His vocal chords had been removed and not a thing could be done about it. He knew about jets and was listed as missing . . Wanda (abductee #102) is Valic’s special Earth assignment and a valuable one for the aliens for she has produced 25 fetuses for them . . Underground, Wanda has seen dark haired humans bossing some short Grays and one human she called the commander who had black graying hair. In dirt or finished tunnels and large rooms she has seen captured humans she thought were homeless people and runaway kids who would not be missed in society.”

Worley has also mixed elements of Christian Fundamentalist/anti-New World Order eschatology with his belief in the limitless powers of the various aliens interfering with humanity:

“The cunning and skill of the aliens would be such that the bulk of humanity would never suspect what was happening to them until it was far too late. This would be the time of the cashless society and individual economic control. If you didn’t embrace or cower before the powers of darkness and take the UPC 666 code mark in your hand or forehead you would starve . . “

His Fate article makes similarly dismal assertions:

” . . once you are chosen, often as a baby, there is no escape – at least not until they finish with you. A multiplying factor is the “satellite” scenario. Immediate family, relatives and friends are often taken, making up a “satellite” group around the main case.”

In Fate, Worley speaks dismissively of “prominent scientists on TV”. He says:

“The blunt truth desperately needs to be told. Contrary to what these biased debunkers think, something of monumental importance is happening to our beloved nation and planet, and it may already be later than we think. I am positive that if the debunking scientists out there would leave their illusionary academic world, come out into the field, and objectively investigate the kinds of cases I have mentioned, they would emerge from their foolish, primitive state of unawareness.”

I’m no scientist, but that sounds like a challenge to me, and it’s one I’m happy to take up. Not by going out and reinforcing the misery of the unfortunate people Worley has contrived to share his world-view, but by applying rational and objective invitation processes to his own claims. Firstly, let’s see if we can establish the depth of his research. He quotes freely from the claims of other non-objective researchers like Sims and Streiber, and sets out what he affirms are accounts of “multiple” and “terminal” abductions. Here’s a selection – what does Worley really know about them, precisely when and where these supposed events took place, the names and addresses of the supposed victims, what Police, Marine, FBI, or even journalistic investigations took place, where the records of those investigations can be inspected, and what conclusions were drawn by anyone else apart from Worley himself?

“It is apparent that alien entities are capable of abducting large groups of people. In Bridge, Indiana, two abductees who had recall saw a crowd of people standing like zombies near a UFO. At the end of the event, they saw the crowd dispersing to homes on the nearby street. In another case at a suburban Indianapolis swimming pool, everyone was put in suspended animation and taken one by one up a large tunnel-like form that extended down from the UFO. Another Indiana man described an evening when he and his neighbors assembled under a large UFO. Later, inside it, he saw his neighbors sitting around on benches looking like they were frozen stiff . . In Marseilles, France witnesses watched 10 young bicyclists round a curve and go into a thick fog bank from which they vanished forever. In 1978 Eva Rencher, of Dej, Romania, went to get a soccer ball, turned, and vanished as friends looked on. Burn spots remained at the spot. In 1987 Matthias Gramson, 42, Arkranes, Iceland, skydiving with friends, vanished 300 feet below his companions who were coming down. In World War II on Iwo Jima, 7 men of the 24th Marines watched a dazzling white light envelop five officers and men standing on a rise overlooking the ocean. In an instant they vanished.”

The last batch of these sound apocryphal or worse. I look forward to Worley’s account of how he made absolutely sure they were true before reprinting them. I’d hate to think he might just believe any old rubbish that fits in with his miserable beliefs.

To move on from generalities, there is one specific, extraordinary ‘case’ – of which Worley is clearly particularly proud – which involves not only the credibility of Worley himself but that of Flying Saucer Review editor, Gordon Creighton, too. We may often find that the case an investigator regards as the most important – like Hopkins with Napolitano and de Cuellar – is actually that which is too absurd, too far-fetched. Where by straying outside of the experiencers’ heads and into the real, real-time world, it becomes clear that the story doesn’t cohere or convince, and that the investigator’s judgment, if ever it was sound, is now shot. These are probably the cases to look for. It’s worth bearing that in mind. The claim of Worley’s with which I’d particularly like your help relates to a religious superman who supposedly runs a vast, alien-based cult. Of which I’ve never heard. And Creighton has twice chosen to feature versions of this disturbing account in Flying Saucer Review (FSR)

In FSR for Winter 1995, he is introduced as a “Nordic-experiencer” but is not named – “Psychologist, physician, Ultra-Evangelical Pastor – Canada.

As a child he was held on the lap of his lifetime-mentor ‘Gold’ (golden sheen to eyes) and watched what was done to his loved ones. Over 300 ‘lost time’ periods, and many abduction details recalled in 45 years. Several of these involved groups of six persons. He has had intimate relations with the Nordics and seen them breathe, eat, drink, lift “dumbed” abductees out of a lake with their arms, and physically glide over the surface of water. He has used their Asiatic style toilet (their what???), knows their anatomy like his own, and insists they are flesh and bone. Being a doctor, some of his descriptions of the alien instruments employed on the head and reproductive areas of the human body are classics in themselves. Here we have an in-depth involvement, with the Nordics, of the Leaders and Brethren of a major religious group, and perhaps more can be revealed later.”

Well, more is revealed in the Autumn 1998 FSR. Here, this extraordinary person is named as “Reverend David Adams”. The piece is far too long to quote in full, but the description of his position and his church should be ample to find him if he exists . .

“This brilliant, exceptional pastor possesses a number of University degrees, including those in Philosophy and Medicine, and has had many years of successful leadership experience. He carries the title “Most High” in his own religious Order . . his religious group, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands in Canada and the northern European countries, are entirely familiar with the type of alien whom we call the “Nordic” or “the Blond” . . “

Maybe Gordon Creighton is now so immersed in his beliefs that he failed to notice, but this second piece of Worley’s dealing with Adams has some extraordinary, repulsive and persistent undertones of sexual violence and paedophilia. If Adams exists, and runs any kind of religious group, there may be considerable cause for concern. Have a think about some of the following quotes from Worley’s article. You don’t even have to read between the lines to understand the possible implications. The gleeful suggestion of inter-galactic cottaging just beggars belief . . .

” . . Gold respirates. You bet. I have had my head against his chest more times than I can recount. Not only have I heard breathing but also noted the rising of the chest. When Gold touches me, whether in the clinical treatment or otherwise, it is as though there is a palpable emanation of energy incorporate with his touch . . I’ve never seen any obese non-Terrians. Of the few that I have seen totally naked, all have possessed complete genitals. The testicular mass seems to ride up higher than in human males. Most are slender, averaging something like 7.5 feet in height . .

You want to know about a toilet aboard those places of indistinction? Yeh! There have been times when I had to go, and wasn’t hooked up to some gizmo that’d suck it out of me. Reminds me of an Asian toilet. You squat if you’re defecating, over the hole-like spot, and there is some suction to it, so that our excrement goes whooshing into the hole. And yes, I’ve seen some non-Terrians entering and exiting from the self-same cubicles, albeit not in the act of using the toilets.

Yet in spite of being Gold’s own special one, you can sense that this kindly man David Adams at times would like to be normal and above all free. Far too often he will awaken, and find that something has been done to his genital parts. There will be a bloody tee-shirt and sheet in the vicinity of his groin. Often he will have to suffer testicular, prostatic or urethral damage. One would think the aliens could do a cleaner job at sperm-taking.”

Three brief accounts of ‘alien’ attacks on “boys” certainly demand further investigation -

“In 1963, in the Icelandic State Park in South Dakota, a party of seven boys saw no UFO, but only recovered normal consciousness next day.

In 1965, on an island on the Wisconsin River, seven more boys were taken in a similar manner. Then, in 1995, 11 boys on a float trip in Northern Maine were hit by a beam of blue light as they slept around the glowing embers of their camp fire. Able only to breathe and move their eyes, they were all drawn up, sleeping bags and all towards the source of the blue light. All of these episodes involved concentrated focus on the male sexual system and on that spark of life, the sperm.”

If an extraordinary ritual event recounted by Worley, as apparently told to him by Adams, actually occurred, then this too warrants far greater attention that Roswell ever did. If it actually occurred . . .

“If memory serves me right it was in late August 1987. Just about all of our Brethren who would be participating in the most-telling ritual were out on the landscape. That would make about 400 men, women, and children, plus several hundred animals.

The aliens appeared just as we were commencing our march to our most holy place. One second they were not there, and the next second they were. Of the few Brethren facing in the direction in which they appeared the word was that, just prior to the arrival of the non-Terrians , there was to be seen a rippling in the air, not unlike that of heat. A most abrupt silence descended on the Brethren when they realised just who had joined our party.

It was five Nordics, led by my ‘buddy’ Gold. Only he was observably masculine. The others were of the non-gender variety as far as we could determine. as chief functionary I approached Gold. He said mentally that they wished to witness our ritual. they hung around for the entire procedures, then went back to the spot where they had appeared, before departing in the same manner.”

So, Worley assures us that this “brilliant, exceptional pastor possesses a number of University degrees, including those in Philosophy and Medicine”, and then in his articles about him makes him sound, frankly, like a deluded pervert at best, and possibly far worse. However, Worley also sent me a copy of a page of a letter from Adams, writing round the edge of it (presumably addressed to me, or does Worley send the same stuff out all over the world?)

“This is a large religious group populating Western Canadian Provinces. they own ships, a fleet of Lear Jets, resorts etc. The Most High Reverand with OK of Council of Elders, and ‘Gold’ his Nordic mentor, plus God according to them – wanted me to come behind the wire to their colony to arrange to teach them about UFOs. Due to adverse things I learned about them and having no desire to break their sacred statute of no graven image plus opposition of loved ones, it never happened.”

So, the second page of a letter from Adams, Worley’s “Abductee #90″. A medical doctor and Ph.D, holder of other university degrees, and Pastor to hundreds of thousands of Canadians and North Europeans. So Worley tells us . . .

“Uro-genital? Hey, that’s how I know when ‘they’ve’ dealt with me! Painful urination. Sore nuts. On one occasion, a case of what seemed to be Epididymitis, but couldn’t have possibly been the real ‘McCoy’! And latest, a lump and an incision in the right upper locus of the scrotum which seeped blood for better than twelve hours.

When? Why just go ahead and pick a year, if referencing such as painful urination. Better yet, pick a month! Is there any particular time of year or month? Not that I have ever been able to determine.

Spots of blood sometimes; spots of semen sometimes; and unexplainable splashes of urine or the equivalent of bed-wetting in someone who’s never had such a ‘problem’. Also well into adulthood! . . .

There is no presence of hair except on head’s . . Of the few chest’s I’ve seen, there are nipples as on any human male. Haven’t counted ribs, yet of these there seems to be as would be in any human. No naval’s though . . Of the few who I’ve seen totally naked, all of these have possessed complete genital’s. The scrotal sacks seem to ride higher than a human’s and fail to hang. The testicular mass that I’ve gotten my hands on, suggest that the non-Terran’s so equipt have much more oval testes than human’s do. These testes, are also much warmer than a human’s . . “

And so the page ends, our medical doctor, pastor and Ph.D having demonstrated an inability to spell, use grammar, or show any real sign of intellect at all. However, his continuing obsession with male human and alien genitalia is all too apparent. If this person has any pastoral responsibility for young or vulnerable males, I would be happy to know that the relevant Police or child protection agencies were aware of Adams’ interests and beliefs.

So, to the business of the credibility of both Worley and Creighton, who together have twice decided to publicise this tale. Much has been said about Creighton’s lack of objectivity, and I’d be the first to criticise his trust in Jorge Martin, who has been allowed to make the once-respected FSR a laughing-stock among even belief-based ufologists: either Puerto Rico genuinely experiences a range of ill-documented entity events unheard of in the rest of the world, and the rest of recorded history, or there is a persistent investigator effect arising from Martin’s own beliefs and, maybe, his interest in making a living. I know which I consider to be more likely. However, Creighton has a background of intelligence, integrity and highly-developed communication skills in his career as a diplomat, and if his handling of this case suggests that he has not investigated it properly prior to publication, then that this will cast serious doubt upon the veracity of the other unlikely material that he, as Editor, chooses to publish.

I’m not aware that Worley has any particular credibility. That’s for him to establish. As I mentioned previously, I’ve never heard of a major religious leader called the Reverend David Adams, or a sect with hundreds of thousands of adherents based on intimate homosexual contact with Nordic extraterrestrials. Generally, I reckon I’m pretty well-informed about cult groups, particularly those with alien/UFO elements, so maybe I’ve just missed this one. But if this supposedly huge group really does function in Northern Europe as well as Canada, then I’d expect to have come across it.

So, my instinctive response to the claims made by Worley on behalf of Adams – and published twice by Creighton – is that they are broadly untrue. It’s probably not that Worley hasn’t been told by “Adams” what Adams wants him to hear, but the extravagance of the claims, and the essential foulness of the accounts provided to Worley suggest to me that “Adams” is more likely to be a deeply troubled fantasist than a genuine medical doctor, Doctor of Philosophy, and “leader of a large religious group which numbers in the hundreds of thousands in Canada and the northern European countries, and owns ships, a fleet of Lear Jets, resorts etc.”

I will be sending this issue to both Worley and Creighton, and also to a number of the impressive names that act as Consultants to FSR. They may wish to reconsider their association with the magazine in the light of the faith placed in this case. All concerned may wish to think about, and if possible answer, the following questions, bearing in mind Worley’s bold assertion that, “I just cannot be so stupid that I would not know the real truth” -

  1. What is the full name and place and date of birth of the Reverend David Adams?
  2. Where does he live?
  3. What is the full name of his church/religious organisation?
  4. At what precise address(es) in Canada and Northern Europe is his church/religious organisation located?
  5. In what country or countries does Adams and/or his church/religious organisation pay taxes?
  6. What evidence has Worley that the membership of Adams’ church/religious organisation runs into the hundreds of thousands? Has he checked this claim?
  7. What evidence has Worley that Adams’ church/religious organisation owns “ships, a fleet of Lear Jets, resorts etc.”? Has he checked this claim? Can he name any of the ships and the ports where they are registered, or give the registration numbers of the planes so that their ownership can be verified? Which resorts does it own?
  8. Has Worley verified Adams’ claim that he is qualified as a medical doctor? From which university did Adams obtain his medical qualification? What precisely is this qualification, on what date was it awarded, and by what awarding body? During which years did Adams study for this qualification?
  9. Has Worley verified Adams’ claim that he is a Doctor of Philosophy? From which university did Adams obtain this qualification? What precisely is this qualification, on what date was it awarded, and by what awarding body? During which years did Adams study for this qualification?
  10. Has Worley verified Adams’ claim that he has other academic degrees? From which universities did Adams obtain these qualifications? What precisely are these qualifications, on what dates were they awarded, and by what awarding bodies? During which years did Adams study for these qualifications?
  11. Has Worley – and/or Creighton – any evidence that Adams deals or works with children or vulnerable adults in his church/religious organisation? In view of the repeated reports of violent sexual assaults on ‘abducted’ young males by ‘aliens’, have either considered bringing Adams’ claims to the attention of the relevant Police forces or child protection agencies for investigation? I will certainly undertake to do so once Worley – and/or Creighton – has provided sufficient information in response to the above questions.

I hope I receive some informed responses to this issue of Worley and Adams. Worley seems to be determined both to spread a deep and lasting fear of abduction and assault, and to persuade abduction believers that he is in a position to help them. In view of his pronouncements I find that proposition hard to believe, and I strongly suspect that those numbered abductees he intends to help would probably be far better off without his input. I hope that the questions I’ve raised here will serve not only to pin down the truth – or otherwise – of the claims made by David Adams, but will also assist in assessing the competence of Worley himself as both investigator and therapist.

Out of Sight and Out of Mind?

If you’re familiar with the wild claims habitually made in Matthew Williams’ (defunct?) magazine Truthseekers’ Review, you won’t be amazed to have seen the “Statement from Crop Circle Makers in the UK” that turned up on the Net in November. Issued, it appears, on behalf of Williams and fellow truthseeker Paul Damon, it began

“I Matthew Williams admit that during the summer of 1998 I made crop circles in the United Kingdom. This effort was undertaken in order to continue research into the circles phenomena and follows on from limited circlemaking which took place in 1996 and 1997 . . ”

The claim then rambles on setting out various pseudo-scientific purposes, says it wasn’t a hoax but an experiment, reports various “unusual phenomena in and around the fields whilst making circles”, that “we were in communication with a much higher intelligence regarding the responses to our circle designs – ie: other circles which appeared as an apparent response to circles we created”, and that “we then started to see circlemaking as a form of sacred art which has a higher purpose.”

All of this is pretty much the standard, self-advertising fantasy, reminiscent of the claims made by Andy Collins and his chums around the period of Black Alchemist, when they spent time living in a self-induced reality that had no substance for the rest of us, and we all had the good sense to ignore them accordingly. But then, even those most likely to believe in the impossible were generally wiser and more demanding of evidence. Now, the threshold for acceptance is so low that Williams’ claims have attracted genuine and sustained interest, with questions being asked about which circles they made, and when, and how. The belief in non-human circlemakers, and investigation through non-scientific techniques, is now set so deep in the believing psyche that no attention has been paid to the obvious clue that either the claims are hoaxes in that

  1. they are not made by Williams and Damon,
  2. they are made by Williams and Damon, the reported events never happened, but, having fallen into the habit by believing in rubbish like the Welsh Crash and Security 580, Willams and Damon have so lost touch with what is real and what is not, they have convinced themselves that their statement genuinely represents the truth.
  3. they are made by Williams and Damon, the reported events never happened, but for some reason they have set out to deceive the gullible, and have succeeded in doing so. It isn’t difficult.


So, what is this clue? Where should even the most idiotic believer draw the line, and refuse to be dragged down any further into the morass of credulity? Simply this . .

“Whilst making circles we became aware that we were being protected by some unseen force or intelligence whilst we worked. This was evidenced many times to us and even took on the form of making us invisible and inaudible to people standing on the edge of the field we were working in. We at first found this very very disconcerting having thought that we had been caught out by either members of the public or circles researchers, only to find out that we could not be seen or heard! Maybe this is why no human circlemakers have ever been caught . . ”

Yes readers, Williams and Damon couldn’t be seen because “some unseen force” had made them invisible. Quite why we never heard from the “people standing on the edge of the field we were working in” about how they had watched this year’s complex formations, er, making themselves, isn’t explained, but I guess this means that any formation that nobody saw being made, Williams and Damon had probably been out there making it! If I thought Williams was bright enough, or could reach a worthwhile audience, I might suggest that he really was involved in testing the credibility of the public in believing in extraordinary events, but unless the US and UK governments have instituted some sort of MK MORON mind control programme, designed to test the dimmest and most irrational minds in this stupid field, I don’t think that’s the answer. If these postings really did come from Williams and Damon, I guess they genuinely believe that they occupy a reality somewhere between fairyland and pantomime. And they’re right in believing that they’re not alone.

While You Were Sleeping

As many of you will be aware, I’ve never been a great fan of BUFORA bigshot John Spencer: there are barricades out here and they need to be manned by the few effective communicators we have. I’ll probably return to the uncritical, largely secondhand melange that is True Life Encounters – Alien Contact (Millennium 1998), but for now I’d just be grateful for some information presented by the Spencers (John and Anne) in a lengthy interview with Ros Reynolds in that book. Again, it’s about some material that hopefully hasn’t just emerged from the heads of the experiencer or investigator, but which we can actually go out and check. If it turns out not to be true, we can reasonably draw conclusions about those who have chosen to publicise this case.

The passage from the book that intrigues me arises from Reynolds’ 1988 contact with a Clacton UFO group through an ad in a “freebie” newspaper. The resulting investigator “suggested using a hypnotist”. Ros recalls:

“The hypnotist arrived; he brought a sceptic with him. But the hypnosis session never happened. In fact the hypnotist has told me that he won’t go near me again. what happened was he got all his equipment set up and all I know is that I laid on the couch in the back room and went to sleep. But apparently what happened, so I was told, was this beam of light appeared in the middle of the room. all the clocks stopped. The sceptic got thrown to the wall (I know the feeling – KM) got mauled by something and had four claw marks on both arms. All sorts of weird and wonderful things started exploding, electrical phenomena and light bulbs going off, things flying round in the air. It’s really spooky. The UFO group brought SC into it (another UFO researcher) . . The group showed me pictures of ‘aliens’, most of which I didn’t recognise. But I came across one I knew from when I was about three years old . . ”

I’ll be sending a copy of this issue to John Spencer, who I hope has thoroughly investigated these claims prior to publication. However, if these events (through which Reynolds apparently slept, so she presumably only knows of them from what she’s been told) actually occurred as reported, I’d be delighted to know which group ran the investigation, who organised the hypnotist, who that hypnotist was, what “equipment” he needed, at what address and on what date these extraordinary events took place, who the “sceptic” was and whether he went to hospital or a doctor (where/who/when?) with his injuries, and who “SC” was. Addresses for all these persons would be most helpful.

All of these should be checkable facts. If they are not forthcoming, and checking is made impossible, I will certainly wonder whether Ros Reynolds was told the truth by those who put her in this ill-advised situation, and to what extent this information has contributed to the sad and intrusive beliefs she currently holds. Any help or advice will be appreciated.


I guess that the preceding piece suggests what I have in mind here. If I’m ever going to do anything effective with my firm, and hopefully rational (rather than just sceptical) conclusion that no human or animal has ever been abducted by a non-human, alien being, then I need to be able to explain to abduction believers and media alike just how this belief has developed and become accepted by so many people. Much abduction research is more or less hermetically sealed to protect it from outside interest. Jacobs, Hopkins, Mack, Boylan, Dodd, Robinson, Worley and the rest do not want ‘their’ abductees to consider alternate views to the ones they have introduced, maybe even imposed, and any genuine, thorough reinvestigation of the individuals involved is almost unheard of. And why? Because it’s never allowed to happen.

Actually, the truth is that nobody even really tries, and that’s about as bad as bad science gets. Because we deem that abductions don’t happen, we dismiss the multitude of abduction reports rather than trying to comprehend them, we fail identify any stimulus that may be related to them, and don’t try to revisit the evidence with the witness. The witness remains firmly in the thrall of the writer or researcher who has overlaid their experience with an abduction interpretation, and simply encourages others to take the same route into belief.

We have found, in just over a year of Abduction Watch, that some of the most prominent of supposed abduction cases – A70, Alan Godfrey, ‘Jason’, almost anything put out by Derrel Sims and his acolytes – are deeply flawed. So deeply flawed that they could help others understand that so huge are the errors in interpretation and investigation that have been made, the whole myth of abduction is less than likely to be true. This may not be what either abduction believers or the media want to hear, but it seems likely that, in due course, the balance would change, and the media in particular would find the explanation of existing cases of more interest than the constant accretion of increasingly unlikely abduction accounts. In consequence, less abduction believers would be drawn in to the mythos, and we might begin to understand the real nature of internal, anomalous, experience.

I see this process as taking up to two years, starting whenever. Initially, I’d like to revisit some of the cases published in FSR during the years when it had a better reputation, but when many of the ‘abduction’ investigations were being conducted by individuals we now know are eager to believe in anything from circlemakers to orgone, from dowsing to ancient astronauts. Particularly, I’d like to identify all the UK cases where memory-enhancement techniques were used, and to establish the identities and competence of those who extracted the ‘memories’ presented as real events. I think that would be a very good place to start. If you know of anybody else at all, anywhere in the world, who is already involved in the detailed reinvestigation or re-examination of old abduction cases, please let me know, or pass my details on to them. Thanks.



Kevin McClure retains the copyright of all material published in AW, but if any responsible magazine or e-zine would like to reprint anything, I’m likely to agree if you ask in writing. Thanks.

Saucers and Science: Where did it all go wrong? John Harney

From Magonia 65, November 1998

There are several reasons why the scientific community refuses to treat UFO reports very seriously and a discussion of them could prove enlightening. We could begin by asking a question: When reports of strange aerial phenomena first attracted wide public attention in the USA in 1947, why where the most detailed and best-witnessed of these reports not simply subjected to critical analysis in an attempt to explain them?

From a scientific perspective the answer is fairly clear. Even when reports came from sources generally considered reliable it was difficult to pass them on to the appropriate experts for analysis as it was difficult to decide who might be competent to assess them. If most reports are thought to be generated by delusions or misperceptions, then they should obviously be investigated by psychologists. If they are thought to be unconventional or foreign aircraft, then aviation and defence experts should be consulted.

In the USA in 1947 the reports of flying saucers that could not be explained as misinterpretations of aircraft, balloons or natural phenomena were thought by some to be secret aircraft being tested. Very few people believed that they were alien spacecraft. Some of the reports were undoubtedly generated by secret military experiments. In the Mantell case of 1948, the US Air Force was unable to identify the object that Mantell was chasing in his aircraft, so resorted to guesswork. It was eventually discovered that the object was almost certainly a large balloon carrying scientific instruments. The Skyhook balloon project was run by the Navy. As it was classified secret, they had not told the Air Force.

In the early 1950s, serious attempts to investigate the UFO phenomenon were bedevilled by the activities of the contactees, such as George Adamski, Daniel Fry and Truman Bethurum. Few of those who presented themselves as serious researchers or writers on UFOs, such as Donald Keyhoe, took their stories seriously, but their activities tended to discourage scientists from taking an active interest in the subject.

The main difficulty seems to be that ufologists did not know exactly what they were supposed to be studying. A collection of UFO reports would require many different skills and different types of scientific expertise to explain them, including meteorology, astronomy, atmospheric optics, aviation technology and psychology. Scientists who did become involved either tried to explain all reports with reference to their special knowledge, or got hopelessly out of their depth because the phenomenon proved to be far more complex than they had imagined.

There were many sceptics among the scientists but, unfortunately, very few of them knew much about UFO reports and their complexity. Those who tended to dismiss the reports as nonsense when questioned by the news media, had an irritating habit either of picking on cases that were easily explained or of ignoring inconvenient facts in discussing more difficult cases.

A further problem arose when ufologists began to evolve unconventional theories or models to explain particular UFO reports or UFOs in general. In America, some became emotionally committed to the contactee cult, whereas others, such as Keyhoe, with support from some senior Air Force officers, regarded them as probably being alien spacecraft. However, they refused to consider reports of UFOs landing and their crews being seen, in order to avoid being tarred with the contactee brush.

We can thus trace back the American predilection for preferring one kind of UFO to another, based on preconceived theory rather than evidence and testimony, to the activities of Keyhoe and Project Blue Book investigators.

Blue Book had Dr J. Allen Hynek as its scientific consultant for over 20 years. As an astronomer, he was easily able to explain reports generated by misinterpretations of stars, planets and meteors, but not those generated by sightings of experimental aircraft or unusual atmospheric phenomena, or those generated by optical illusions and hallucinations, which often involved other persons present at these incidents by a process of hysterical contagion.

Hynek began as a sceptic but eventually became a believer, taking an occult approach to the subject. As a physical scientist, he tended to take reports at face value and thus tended to assign those he could not explain in physical terms to the realm of the paranormal. Another scientist, Dr Jacques Vallee, began by attempting scientific and statistical analyses of the UFO data, but gradually became more concerned with the bizarre and subjective aspects of the subject when he found that although some reports resisted easy explanations in physical terms, they did not seem to make sense when interpreted as visitors from other planets. This change in his approach led to the publication of Passport to Magonia, (1) which compared modern UFO reports with traditional fairy lore and demonology.

Nuts-and-bolts ufologists were even less pleased with the researches of John Keel when he published a detailed account of his investigations of the weird phenomena associated with UFO sightings. (2) His speculations were unscientific and incoherent, but his actual reports were the fruits of considerable field work. Those who attempted to follow up his investigations were horrified to find that they were told similar stories by UFO witnesses.

The result of all this was not that ufology split into supporters of the nuts-and-bolts extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) and paranormalists, but that readers of Vallee and Keel refused to take their writings at face value and used them to evolve the theory that ufology was a modern myth whose details could be attributed to various social and psychological causes. As Jerome Clark put it: “In Passport to Magonia the groundwork for the psychosocial hypothesis was laid.” (3) The paranormalists tended to be marginalised in any attempts at serious discussion of the topic, being despised by ETHers and proponents of the psychosocial hypothesis (PSH) alike.

When stories of UFO abductions gradually became more prominent, a split appeared in the ranks of the ETHers. Those who were physical scientists tended to attribute these to psychological causes, in agreement with the PSHers, whereas others were inclined to take them at face value and gradually evolved the fantastic theory that the aliens were using humans in a programme to produce human-alien hybrids. The nuts-and-bolts ETHers, however, could not accept this because many of the claims of the abduction enthusiasts ignored the basic laws of physics and biology. They were not sceptical about the idea of UFOs crewed by aliens, though, and they were keen to discover any physical evidence to support the ETH.

The Roswell incident was a gift to the nuts-and-bolts people. Here was evidence that the saucers were physical devices which, like earthly aircraft and spacecraft, could sometimes go wrong and crash. As the Roswell obsession developed, at the same time the UFO abduction researchers were honing their theories. Perhaps the two most influential of them are Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs. Neither is a scientist; Hopkins is an artist and Jacobs is an historian. Both men came to the conclusion that abductions were taking place on a grand scale and they were merely irritated by more numerate ufologists who calculated that such operations were not a practical possibility, even if the saucers and their crews really existed. Physical scientists, together with others having a modicum of common sense, also took issue with the abductionists’ assertions that the Greys could get into abductees’ houses without opening doors or windows and without being seen by independent witnesses, or recorded by security cameras or other equipment. Hopkins and his friends wave all such objections aside. The Greys have the power of “selective invisibility” which enables them to choose who will or will not see them. They also seem untroubled by the biological absurdity of the notion of human-alien hybrids. After all, is not this a familiar theme in many Star Trek episodes? If humans can mate with Vulcans and Romulans can mate with Klingons and produce offspring, why not humans and Greys? In the world of the abduction researcher there seems to be little distinction between science and science fiction.

One would have thought that the activities of Hopkins and company would draw nothing but contempt and derision from the world at large, but this does not seem to happen to the extent that one would expect. Here we come to one of the more serious aspects of the whole business – the credulity of many people who are sufficiently intelligent and well educated to know better. These people are easily taken in by the apparent sincerity of the abductees and the emotions they display when questioned by abduction researchers about their experiences.

Abduction researchers have managed to create a big impression by using the technique of hypnotic regression. They claim, contrary to the best evidence, that this, when used correctly, can reveal the truth about their subjects’ past experiences. Untold harm has been done by the use of this technique by psychiatrists, and by persons with no formal qualifications, in producing stories of Satanic ritual abuse. Families have been broken up and persons sentenced to long prison terms because police, lawyers, judges and jurors have taken these fantastic tales at face value. This has happened in spite of the absurd details and the lack of any physical evidence to support them.

As the inevitable reaction set in against these injustices, many of the hypnotists have become involved in expensive lawsuits, as victims attempt to obtain compensation. UFO abduction hypnotists feel that they are on safer ground, though. The persons accused of wrongdoing are not parents or teachers, but the Greys who remain safely out of reach of the law. However, many alleged abductees have complained that, although they have had strange experiences and perhaps have seen UFOs, they do not really believe that they have been abducted. It is surely only a matter of time before one of them sues an abduction enthusiast. The results could be interesting.

Meanwhile, the abduction obsession makes the study of unusual aerial phenomena extremely unattractive to physical scientists and gifted amateur investigators. But this is not the only reason why few scientists get involved with ufology. Most scientific research is carried out because governments and private companies provide the necessary funds to pay for it. Ufology must be a spare-time pursuit and available resources are very limited. Well-witnessed, detailed reports for which fairly obvious explanations are not apparent, occur rarely and unpredictably. Some reports, which at first seem promisingly mysterious, attract media attention and the waters become so muddied by liars and fantasists who want to get in on the act that it becomes almost impossible to establish the truth about the alleged incident. A good example of this is the Varginha case of January 1996.

The principal barrier to the objective investigation of UFO reports is the ETH. The ETH can be stated in a beguilingly simple and seemingly reasonable form by saying that there are a very few unexplained reports for which this would seem to be an explanation worth considering. Few ufologists are aware of the temptation and the trap. If you think that the ETH might – just might – be true, then there comes a point in your investigation in which you stop working on a case and say that you have considered every possibility and that the ETH is the only one left. Therefore further investigation would be a waste of time.

Fellow ufologists are very impressed; you are congratulated on your hard work and are favourably compared with carping critics superglued to armchairs. Then what happens? You and your fellow ETHers build up a collection of inexplicable reports which should eventually accumulate so that a disbelieving world will finally be convinced that the ETs are here. Then along come the dreaded Sceptics and the Debunkers. They want to investigate your investigations to see if they are as meticulous and objective as you say they are. They look for hidden agendas and the concealment and distortion of negative evidence. Some of them even get out of their armchairs and cause you no end of trouble.

As the ETH is taken most seriously in the USA, this is where it has developed in its most extravagant form. As ufologists have no convincing proof of the ETH after more than 50 years, then there must be reasons for this situation. One of the favourite explanations is that the evidence is systematically concealed by government agencies. This notion has inspired numerous books, some of them written by people who are manifestly insane. These do nothing to entice the scientific community to take the UFO phenomenon seriously.

The belief that physical proof of extraterrestrial spaceships is kept secret is hopelessly irrational. Most ETHers cannot see this, so it is necessary, even if boring to some, to say why this is so and to keep on saying it as loudly and clearly as possible.

It is certainly true that governments and their agencies can keep secrets. But what many fail to realise is that these secrets concern matters controlled by governments. For example, if it is decided to construct and test a new type of weapon, then the government department responsible for it can decide where it is to be constructed and tested, and who shall have access to information about it. No persons will be informed about any aspect of the project unless they need to know. If defence journalists suspect that something unusual is going on, there will be cover stories ready for them to lead them away from the truth.

However, those who believe in government cover-ups of UFO evidence never seem willing to say how any government could preserve secrecy about something over which it has absolutely no control. UFOs can appear anywhere, at any time. Yet, against all logic, many ufologists still believe that an alien spacecraft crashed near Roswell in 1947 and that it and its occupants are still kept, under heavy guard, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Less credulous ufologists have pointed out repeatedly that, although the crash of a secret prototype of a US Air Force plane could be hushed up almost indefinitely, it would be extremely dangerous to attempt to do this in the case of the crash of an alien spacecraft. What would happen if the crash were followed by a similar incident in another country? And what if this incident were witnessed by thousands? Is it likely that the saucers are so designed that, in the event of mechanical failure they are programmed to crash within easy reach of US Air Force recovery teams?

The Roswell enthusiasts are unwilling to address themselves to such awkward questions. They either ignore them or attempt to preserve the myth by devising ingenious, paranoid fantasies. One of these is the story that the aliens are in league with the US government and that there is mutual co-operation in the effort to conceal their activities from the public. Another is that the US Air Force is so efficient and powerful that it can retrieve crashed UFOs quickly from any part of the world and persuade various governments to assist it in preserving secrecy by means of censorship and disinformation.

The problem with this sort of nonsense is that it distracts attention from the UFO reports themselves. Paranoid conspiracy theories get us nowhere, whereas the PSH if used fairly and carefully can enable us to take account of the effects of psychological factors and popular culture on the reporting and investigation of mysterious aerial phenomena. Those reports which still remain mysterious after these factors have been taken into account are the ones most worthy of further investigation.

On the other hand, ETH proponents are not interested in puzzling reports, they are interested only in those which seem to them to point to the ETH as a possible explanation. They do not want to see such cases highlighted and subjected to intensive critical examination because a convincing explanation of one might be capable of being applied to most of the others, leaving them with no evidence to support their hypothesis.

For example, ETHers rightly lay great stress on reports involving multiple independent witnesses but there are in fact very few of these. In a number of cases allegedly involving multiple witnesses the careful reader will notice that the story is told to investigators by only one or two witnesses and that investigators mysteriously fail to interview any of the others. A notorious example of this is the Trindade Isle sighting of 16 January 1958, when photographs were taken from the deck of a Brazilian navy vessel. Sceptics pointed out that the photographer was known for his trick photographs and said they were obvious fakes. Believers insisted, and still insist, that up to 100 witnesses saw the UFO. Unfortunately, journalists and others who boarded the ship to interview crew members were apparently unable to obtain statements from any of them confirming that they had actually seen the UFO. ETHers are sure there are such statements but somehow don’t seem able to locate them, or that no one has yet got around to translating them into English, or whatever. However, they feel sure that there must have been all these witnesses, because that’s what Coral Lorenzen said in her book, Flying Saucers: The Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space. (4)

It is understandable that ETHers should complain about sceptics who insist, a priori, that the ETH is nonsense and suppress and distort evidence in order to come up with conventional explanations for UFO reports, but they also resent open-minded researchers who actually dare to apply scientific and technical knowledge to their investigations. Such an approach, practised by Allan Hendry and reported in The UFO Handbook, (5) resulted in conventional solutions to all but a few of the cases he was able to investigate. Inevitably, some of the most puzzling cases had only one witness each, so not much weight could be given to them.

Although some of the more intellectually honest ETHers have praised Hendry’s work, many of them hate his guts for whittling away at the evidence so that there are very few reports which cannot be explained by competent investigators. Hendry also managed to conduct his investigations without the usual paranoid rantings about government agencies concealing evidence, silencing witnesses and giving false information to news media. He just investigated the cases, without any tantrums or histrionics. Most ufologists who are fairly new to the subject have probably never heard of Hendry. This is because his objective approach is not likely to excite the crowds of believers who attend UFO conferences.

This brings us to another reason why scientists despise ufologists – ufology as show business. There have been notorious examples of this in recent years, some of them spin-offs from the Roswell circus, such as the Santilli “alien autopsy” film. And then there’s the long-running MJ-12 saga, which might be called the thinking man’s UFO entertainment.

Alien abduction was a favourite theme of science fiction films long before it became an obsession of certain ufologists. As a result of this, many producers of radio or television entertainment seem to see abductees as fair game. Recently, Jenny Randles was phoned by a TV company in London, asking her for the phone numbers of “robust witnesses who could stand up to being grilled in a fun way”. She told the caller that ” . . . abductions were a serious issue that needed proper assessment not the kind of farcical, fluffy chat show intended.” (6)

Randles is certainly correct in her attitude. Holding up abductees to ridicule is no more likely to throw any light on the matter than the touting of absurd theories about selectively invisible aliens gliding through bedroom walls.

What is needed to entice physical scientists to take an interest in the study of UFO reports is a supply of genuinely puzzling cases, with multiple witnesses. These would also attract qualified psychologists, who could give advice about the limitations of human perception and memory and how these should be taken into account in the evaluation of sightings.

One somewhat neglected source of interesting UFO reports is the Hudson Valley area, to the north of New York City. A new edition of a book on these sightings has recently been published. (7) It summarises a collection of over 7,000 reports from the area covering the period from 1982 to 1995. After sightings of stars, planets and aircraft had been weeded out, there were many multi-witness reports of large flying objects with coloured lights, seen at low altitudes. The authors say that, because of the large number of reports, they lacked the resources to investigate more than a small proportion of them. However, as the reports are so numerous and the mysterious objects were continuing to be observed in recent years, there is plenty of material to work on for anyone who is keen to devise a sensible theory to account for them. It is possible, of course, that the Hudson Valley sightings can be explained without recourse to speculation about alien spacecraft or unknown natural phenomena, but only careful, scientifically informed and unbiased investigation can uncover the truth. Perhaps some resources could be diverted from Roswell, MJ-12 and all that nonsense?

Finally, what is to be done? Is ufology to continue as a form of popular entertainment, or is it possible to investigate and present cases in such a way that professional physicists and psychologists will be prepared to take them seriously? There are some hopeful signs. Three British glossy, news-stand UFO magazines, Alien Encounters, Sightings and UFO Reality, have recently gone down the plughole, a fate they truly deserved for their general fatuity, empty-headed speculations and paranoid conspiracy-mongering. It was also pleasing to note that when the recent Sturrock Report was published, it was not only Philip Klass who noticed that the ufologists who presented UFO evidence to the panel of experts suppressed any negative findings or negative evidence about the cases they submitted. We now know not to trust these characters in future. In Britain, some influential ufologists are no longer prepared to tolerate the practice of unscrupulous people who allow unqualified persons to hypnotise alleged abductees, and they are making plans to do something about it.

The best way ahead is undoubtedly to develop the psychosocial hypothesis, but it must be applied with care. There is much that remains to be discovered about human perception and memory, and the workings of the brain. There is also much remaining to be discovered about natural phenomena which are rare or difficult to observe and record. PSHers must be careful not to discard evidence that does not seem to suit their preconceptions. There is little to be said for the ETH, though. While seeming superficially reasonable, it leads researchers inevitably to distort the evidence to accommodate it and frustration at its failure to deliver convincing proof leads to the unedifying paranoid fantasies and cover-up conspiracy theories that we have been subjected to for so many years.


1. Vallee, Jacques. Passport to Magonia, London, Neville Spearman, 1970

2. Keel, John A. Operation Trojan Horse, London, Souvenir Press, 1971

3. Clark, Jerome. The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial, Detroit, Visible Ink Press, 1998, 495

4. Lorenzen, Coral. Flying Saucers: The Startling Evidence of the Invasion from Outer Space, New York, Signet, 1966, 168

5. Hendry, Allan. The UFO Handbook, London, Sphere Books, 1980

6. Northern UFO News, No. 180, October 1998, 8

7. Hynek, J. Allen, Imbrogno, Philip J. and Pratt, Bob. Night Siege, St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, second edition, 1998


See also: Is the ETH a Scientific Hypothesis, by Peter Rogerson


Abduction Watch #15


Number 15, November 1998


This issue of AW is a special, looking at claims of small objects being implanted into the bodies of people alleged to have been abducted by aliens. Like No.6, when AW dealt with hypnotic regression, other magazines are welcome to use the whole of this issue as an article, and I will be happy to supply it on disk – name your format – to any respectable editor who wants to publish it, or to anyone who wants to put it out on the Net. We might as well reach as wide an audience as possible when people are being led to believe that they are being controlled and spied on by aliens, and when the evidence presented for that assertion is at best idiotic, at worst psychologically harmful. I am at a loss to comprehend the motivation of those who want us to believe that we are no more than slaves to aliens, and this issue is a challenge to them, their evidence, and maybe their motives and integrity, too. Let’s see.

The technical and scientific input in this issue has come primarily from members of ASKE, the Association for Skeptical Enquiry, so far as I know the only effective, national sceptical organisation in the UK. Membership of ASKE costs only £15 a year, including the substantial journal the Skeptical Intelligencer. Details can be obtained from The Secretary, ASKE, 15, Ramsden Wood Road, Todmorden, Lancs, OL14 7UD, or at their web site.

In AW14, I wrote briefly about the article reporting an analysis of ‘alien implants’, written by Dr Roger K Leir – a close associate of ‘Alien Hunter’ Derrel Sims – and published in both the June 1998 MUFON UFO Journal, and the UK UFO Magazine for November/December 1998. Appearing in such high profile locations, with no critical context whatever, it will have convinced some readers that the implants are real, whereas the truth is that it is strongly persuasive that the scraps of unidentified material found are just that, and no more. Happily, the short piece in AW14 produced two more professional, scientific views of what Leir had to say, which I’m happy to present here.

The ‘implant’ myth is the last refuge of the abductionists. Everything else but blind belief has collapsed, and even Whitley Streiber has, in Confirmation, admitted that his own much-publicised ‘implant’ was nothing unusual, let alone alien. You hear little of implants, now, from Hopkins, Mack or Jacobs, but they are firmly out there in popular belief. And where myth is, so too is Derrel Sims and his team. Oddly enough, implants are one of the few consistently unambiguous elements of the X-Files: it may not be quite clear who placed them there, but their reality is unarguable. And they are undoubtedly one of the nastiest of the ways of persuading abduction believers that they are enslaved, and controlled, unable to control their fate, and in need of the help of Sims, or somebody like him.

As I explained previously, you’ll benefit from reading the whole report, which I can’t publish but I understand is out there on the Net. However, the comments I’ve been given make the situation pretty clear. What it is absolutely vital to remember is that Leir’s article is allegedly based on reports of analyses conducted by Los Alamos National Labs and New Mexico Tech, yet we hardly get to see a word of what they have to say. What we do get is a confused apologia from a chiropodist. Which may be what we deserve. To quote Skeptical Inquirer, Sep/Oct 1998, “Many of the removals have been performed by “California surgeon” Roger Leir. Actually Dr Leir is not a physician, but a podiatrist (licensed to do minor surgery on feet). He was accompanied by an unidentified general surgeon (who did not want to be associated with UFO abduction claims). The latter performed all of the above-the-ankle surgeries”. Leir explains that

“The first surgeries consisted of two candidates, one male and one female. They were both subjects of the alien abduction phenomenon . . (with objects in their bodies that appeared on X-ray examination. these first surgeries resulted in the extraction of three objects, two from the toe of the female patient and one from the hand of the male.)”

I’ll start by reprinting the comments of Trevor Jordan, a retired GP, and a member of ASKE who previously looked critically at Sims’ claims of alien fluorescence

“Re the encapsulation of the foreign matter in a ‘dark gray shiny membrane’ consisting of ‘a protein coagulum, haemosiderin granules and keratin’. All of these are, as the paper admits, naturally occurring: the haemosiderin suggests a ferrous object which has, in effect, rusted. All this, I suspect, is no more than the tissue which develops around any retained foreign matter in the body, and I can’t see how the author substantiates his claim that this combination of elements has never been seen before. The lack of any ‘fresh or resolved’ inflammatory or rejection process in the surrounding tissue suggests that the foreign body had been there for some time: once it is encapsulated, the inflammation has done its job, the encapsulation membrane isolating the foreign matter from the rest of the body.

The presence of ‘nerve proprioceptors . . which are never found . . in the deep tissues next to the bone’. My understanding was that nerve proprioceptors (if such they were) are virtually universally present in all tissues . .

The ‘solar elastosis’ (again, if it is that) is evidence of UV exposure but it is usually patchy and no significance attaches to the lesion found having been circumscribed: this is normal. It certainly does not indicate localised or circumscribed exposure to UV, otherwise we would say the same of, say, malignant melanomata which are also more common after excessive UV exposure, yet they are also discrete lesions. Nor does it necessarily indicate excessive general exposure – ordinary exposure to sunlight is enough to account for it; though it is more ‘common’ after excessive exposure, it isn’t necessarily solely due to that factor.

In short, a poor piece of scientific writing which is unconvincing in its claims that these lesions were anything other than those which might be as well explained (we would say, better or more probably explained) as natural phenomena . . ”

The next selection of comments comes from another ASKE member, Barry Jones. He is the Managing Director of a scientific instruments company.

A Response to “Alien Implants” by Dr. Roger K. Leir – MUFON UFO Journal, June 1998.

When I was asked to comment on this article I started off intending to read through the paper and respond to each claim in turn, but I quickly discovered that this would result in my virtually retyping the entire paper. Almost every sentence contains some element of nonsense, and the result would have been very boring.

On the surface, the whole tone of the article is one of wondrous, uncritical amazement, but between the lines you begin to realise that this is partly just a front designed, no doubt, to promote the interests of Leir and others in the Aliens Business. The article is full of hyperbole and wild and fanciful descriptions, with supposition and wishful thinking substituted for careful, thorough, scientific analysis. The entire report is a tenuous, over-hyped and fanciful interpretation of very feeble data. Reams of “facts” are presented so as to appear “astounding”, whereas in fact they are totally mundane with no credible explanation given to support the hype. Or maybe explanations were given by the labs involved, but we don’t see them reported because they don’t suit the author’s purpose. For example, although the name of the Los Alamos National Laboratories is introduced, we don’t get to see any direct quotes from their report.

To give a flavour of flavour of the original article to those who haven’t yet seen it, I have included many quotes in the following commentary which I hope the reader will find illuminating, and perhaps even amusing.


The article deals with the supposedly-scientific examination of supposed “alien implants” surgically removed from subjects, including a number of supposed “alien abductees”. These “implants” were examined by the New Mexico Tech (a “world class laboratory”) and by the Los Alamos Laboratories, though the extent to which these organisations were wholehearted supporters of the project is to my mind questionable, as we shall see later. The article discusses the results of the investigation in four broad categories: collection of the samples, appearance, physical state, and metallurgical analysis, and these are the categories I will also comment on.

Collection of the samples

The first point to make here is that there is mention of seven other such surgeries having been performed to date – where are the results of these other procedures?

The first two subjects were “both subjects of the alien abduction phenomenon”- a bold assertion. Both had objects in their bodies that showed up on x-ray, two in the toe of one subject, one in the hand of the other. Note that these are extremities where one would be most likely to pick up a splinter or other foreign body. Also they seem to me to be locations where the danger of damage or detection would be relatively high. Surely an advanced civilization who can abduct human beings silently in the night through solid walls could find a better place in the body to hide their devices?

The patients reportedly showed a “violent reaction” to having the objects touched, and they reported pain one week before the surgery and a “feeling of freedom” afterwards. This I can sympathise with – I get exactly the same feelings when I have a splinter in my finger.

A lack of inflammatory response in the tissue around the objects is apparently the subject of “numerous professional debates” – could we please be introduced to just one of these debates? Leir demands that critics show where similar findings are found in the literature, but the answer is probably quite simple – no-one else finds this particularly remarkable, and you don’t report non-events. Another example of this “never-before-seen” hysteria appears in the analysis of two small balls removed from one subject, which materials analysis apparently showed to contain “a multitude of combined elements never before seen attached to a skin pedicule”. Rather than “never before seen”, what he really should say is “never before reported”, which is not really remarkable – no serious scientist is likely to make a big deal out of such a minor fact as the elemental composition of a piece of biological tissue, even if an elemental analysis were ever done. Does Leir have a list of elements which are normally found in these circumstances? I doubt it.

Some subjects apparently displayed “solar elastosis”, meaning that the skin had been exposed to severe ultraviolet radiation, which Leir found “rather shocking”. Shocking? Really? In New Mexico, especially in the summer? New Mexico may be short of a few things, but ultraviolet radiation is certainly not one of them. Leir was also very surprised that the lesions were well demarcated, which he took to “prove” that the applied radiation had not exceeded the boundaries of the lesion itself. This is total rubbish; solar-induced skin lesions are in fact often well demarcated, as I myself know – I’ve got one, the result of being follicly challenged combined with too much ultraviolet radiation (some of it indeed acquired in New Mexico, but not from aliens!).

An item removed in a previous surgery was apparently examined by an “eminent scientist”, Dr David Pritchard, at “a well-known University in the eastern United States”. Why the reluctance to name the University? The object in that case was found to be “made of earthly material”, surely a good indication that other such objects are likely to be of similar origin, but this possibility is given little consideration.


Electron microscopy photos were taken of some of the surgically-excised objects. These show the objects to be rather rough and irregular, with pitted, knobbly, flaky surfaces. They certainly do not display the smooth, undamaged appearance one would expect from an advanced, high-tech device. Nevertheless, the appearance of the objects is claimed to show “distinct and interesting features” – a barb, a rounded end, and some indentations. In fact it’s so irregular you could imagine you could see the face on Mars if you looked hard enough (watch out for a forthcoming Leir article!). One object was in two pieces, with a horizontal T-shaped part having an indentation so that the vertical part fitted into it “in a most precise manner”. Maybe my imagination is a bit lacking but the fit didn’t look that precise to me. Anyway, perhaps it was originally in one piece and broke off, so it would look like it fitted together, or is that too simple an answer?

All the bar-shaped objects were covered with a “dark gray shiny membrane” which resisted cutting by a scalpel. This was not what they expected – so what did they expect? They were “shocked” by not being able to cut through “an ordinary piece of biological tissue”- but hold on – why did they assume it was biological tissue? And shock has no place in a real scientific investigation – you just find what you find and then try to explain it.

Later we are told that the membrane was a “complex cladding” of eleven different elements, but we are not told what was so complex about it, or why we should be amazed at a material that contains eleven elements. We are surrounded by natural and artificial materials that will commonly contain at least 6 or 7 elements, and countless materials will contain 11 or more. Big deal. Later in the report, we are finally told that this membrane (“which could not be opened with a surgical blade”) was shown to be a protein coagulum, haemosiderin granules, and keratin, all of which are natural substances found in the body. If the identity of this material was known all along, what was the point of all the mystery and build-up about a “complex cladding” and “strange, gray membrane” which “could not be opened”? Just hype, yet again.

It is claimed that six of the specimens fluoresced under ultraviolet radiation, which shows that they were not looking at metal, as metal does not fluoresce. However, there could be many kinds of biological matter in which UV fluorescence would be perfectly natural, including the kind of fungal growths that are the most likely cause of the claimed fluorescence on the skin of so-called abductees.

At one point Leir makes some vague comparison of one of the objects to an antique crystal radio set and then leaps seamlessly into pure science fantasy, with confused rambling about “structures” performing “numerous complex functions” using “technology such as the superatom and neutrinos”. Let’s hold on a moment here – “technology” can perhaps be defined as the application of science to practical devices, but what practical application has Leir ever heard of for superatoms and neutrinos? Apparently this is what one of their “consulting engineers” has “theorized”, but any theory needs to be based on some factual evidence and there is none of that here – this is complete pseudo-scientific hogwash. No evidence was shown for any kind of circuitry or other internal structure in any of the samples. Mostly they’re just pieces of iron with a protein-based coating – hardly miraculous or mysterious.

Metallurgical analysis

The elemental analysis seems to be seized on as evidence of rigorous scientific investigation, but on even rudimentary scrutiny it turns out to be as vacuous as the rest of the report. Long lists are given of the elements found at various points on the samples, but without any indication of relative amounts or any attempt to comment on the significance (or otherwise) of the presence of these mundane elements. This is nothing less than a blatant attempt to blind the reader with pseudo-science. Also, the different compositions found at different places are hardly indicative of a precision-made item – more likely a piece of some irregular, natural material which these samples almost certainly are.

In a highly confusing paragraph, Leir says one lab told him that the samples were most likely from meteorites (I’d love to see the original quote from the lab report on this), although the nickel/iron ratio was apparently wrong for meteorite material, so, in another leap into the far side, they surmised that perhaps the samples were from just part of a meteorite! Why on earth would anyone in his right mind make such a baseless assumption? Leir, predictably, was “astounded at this revelation” and evidently didn’t stop to think that these tiny samples (1-2mm diameter and less than 10mm long) were obviously a fragment of something, and fragments of anything are very likely to show statistically-varying compositions. In short, the samples are so small and irregular that their elemental composition is pretty much totally meaningless as an indicator of their origin.

In summarising these “scientific” findings, Leir says the labs made “two major statements” – first that one sample contained 11 different elements, and secondly that another sample had an iron core and iron and phosphorus in its “cladding”. These statements were hyped like evidence of the Second Coming, but no attempt was made to try to explain the supposed significance of these extremely mundane findings – presumably because there is none.

The metallurgical analysis showed that part of one object contained a carbon core that was soft and “magnetoconductive”. Here they seem to invented a new scientific term – what exactly does “magnetoconductive” mean, and how was this tested? Magnetism would certainly pass through it if it was soft carbon, and it would be electrically conductive, so what’s the surprise, and why do we need a new word, except as yet another attempt at scaremongering? The other part of the same object, we are told, had an “iron core” that was “harder than the finest carbide steel”, and that it was magnetic. Please make your mind up, Dr. Leir – was it iron (in which case it certainly wasn’t harder than carbon steel) or wasn’t it? And if it was iron, it’s no great revelation that it was magnetic.

After the tests, Leir says he “immediately” contacted NIDS for clarification. They took several weeks to respond, which is perhaps indicative of the lack of seriousness which they attached to Leir and his antics. Leir devotes a few paragraphs to complaining of “the politics of scientific testing”, but my overwhelming sense when reading his criticisms was of responsible scientists and laboratories, having been somehow drawn into this business, trying desperately to distance themselves from a crackpot subject and its promoters.


The conclusion of Dr Leir and his colleagues was that these objects obviously have a purpose, but it was not clear to me how this inference could be drawn. An electrical engineer working with them apparently has a theory about these objects might work, but we are not treated to any details about this theory, presumably in case we injure ourselves laughing. We will have to wait for his forthcoming book to find out. Suggestions put forward by Leir himself include a tracking device or transponder, a behaviour-controlling device, or “more plausibly”(!) a device for monitoring pollution levels or genetic changes in the body. Of course – that must be it!

In all seriousness, there is only one way in which these questions will be satisfactorily answered, and that is for Leir and his supporters to turn over one of their objects for independent, peer-reviewed analysis, under sceptical scrutiny, and for the analysts to make their report publicly known in full. If he needs any help in facilitating this we can certainly help, but I doubt very much that he will take up our offer.

Barry Jones for ASKE
11 November 1998

Thirdly, picking up the point made by Trevor Jordan about histopathological analysis, ASKE member Jamie Revell obtained the views of a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, and clarified this with his own professional opinion:


In Roger Leir’s article in the MUFON journal, he refers to a number of supposedly unusual features of the histopathology associated with alleged alien implants. I have consulted with a professional histopathologist regarding the features Leir regards as unusual. The following summarises his response:

1) The foreign bodies were not associated with any inflammatory reaction (in one part of the paper, Leir refers to a ‘mild infiltrate’ of inflammatory cells in one instance). This is not at all unusual.

2) In two of the cases, well circumscribed lesions of solar elastosis were observed. While it is unusual for such lesions to be defined in this manner, it is not unknown for this to occur. Likewise, while the parts of the body on which the lesions were observed were unusual, they are not unknown.

3) It was further implied that solar elastosis normally only occurs in individuals with excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Again, this is unusual but not unheard of; such lesions can occur spontaneously in the absence of excessive radiation. Furthermore, lesions indistinguishable from solar elastosis may be caused by any form of radiation (such as that used in radiotherapy) and not just ultraviolet.

4) The objects were surrounded by a membrane said to consist of protein coagulum, keratin (the protein which forms hair, nails and the surface of the skin) and haemosiderin. The doctor quoted in AW#14 suggested that the haemosiderin might be due to a rusting iron object in the body; while this is possible, haemosiderin is also a normal finding in any healed wound whether or not the object causing it was made of iron. This is because haemosiderin is a normal breakdown product of haemoglobin. Protein coagulum and haemosiderin are normal findings around foreign matter in the body. Keratin is somewhat unusual, but the pathologist I consulted was able to think of two possible explanations without any great difficulty:

a) The whitish objects could be calcified sebaceous cysts; these can become very hard, are visible in X-rays and would be surrounded by keratin.

b) Keratin from the surface of the skin could have pushed into the subcutaneous tissue by the foreign body at the time of the injury, and remained surrounding it afterwards.

5) Proprioceptor nerve endings were found in the deep tissues near the lesions, ‘next to the bone’. There is more than one kind of proprioceptive nerve ending, so my colleague found this insufficient information to render an opinion. He speculated that this was most likely to refer to Pacinian corpuscles, a highly distinctive type of nerve ending, which would be unlikely to be confused with any other. He was unable to recall any information on the distribution of Pacinian corpuscles in the body.

Therefore, I conducted my own research of relevant textbooks. A Text/Atlas of Histology by Leeson, Leeson and Paparo (WB Saunders, 1988, p671) says concerning Pacianian corpuscles: “These are distributed widely in subcutaneous tissue, particularly of the palms, soles, digits and in the nipples, periosteum, mesentery, cornea, pancreas and loose connective tissues.” You may be interested to know that the ‘periosteum’ is the layer of tissue which immediately surrounds bones.

There are, however, two other kinds of proprioceptor. The first are Neurotendinous Endings of Golgi, which are found in tendons, and which are of similar appearance to Corpuscles of Ruffini, a type of mechanoreceptive nerve ending found in many connective tissues, but most commonly in the dermis and in joint capsules. Depending on what exactly Leir means by ‘close to the bone’, either of these do not seem particularly out of place.

Secondly, proprioceptive Neuromuscular Spindles are found in muscles, usually close to tendons. Neuromuscular spindles by definition include muscular fibres, so that it would be meaningless to say that they were found in tissue other than their normal location (so I think we can assume these last aren’t what Leir was referring to).

I also note that Leir omits to define ‘proprioceptive’ for the benefit of those less familiar with the relevant terminology. A proprioceptor is a sensory nerve ending which detects information about bodily posture, stretch of muscles, etc. It transmits information away from the nerve ending, making it difficult to see how the alleged implant could be using it to gather information.

My own relevant qualifications are:

Fellowship of the Institute of Biomedical Science, specialising in histopathological technique (not diagnosis) State registered Biomedical Scientist, specialising in histopathology (again, this is a technical, not a diagnostic qualification). The doctor I consulted is an MD, a practising consultant histopathologist at a district general hospital, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.

Jamie Revell, BSc, FIBMS

Finally, let’s look at Leir’s conclusion

“It would seem that these are structured objects which serve a purpose. This purpose has not been determined yet. We hope that further study will provide answers regarding function . . I feel it is safe to put forth theories, but these must be looked at scientifically and either proved or disproved. One such theory pertains to their ability to act as a tracking device or transponder. This would enable someone or something to find their subject anywhere on the globe. Another possibility is that they may act as behaviour controlling devices. We know that abductees seem to have compulsive behaviours. I believe a more plausible purpose might be a device for monitoring certain pollution levels or even genetic changes in the body. This may be similar to the way we monitor our astronauts in space. Only more time, effort and study will answer these questions.”

I’d like to assist in providing that “effort and study”. It has taken Sims and Leir more than two years to come up with these vague and, clearly, unconvincing assertions. ASKE has taken just a couple of months to produce a more comprehensive and meaningful analysis than that given by Leir, and I am happy to offer to arrange to have any of his ‘implants’ independently and comprehensively tested in this country, provided the results are published in full. Perhaps there are US readers who could make a similar offer. In the meantime, is there anyone out there who knows what ‘Los Alamos National Labs and New Mexico Tech’ really said about these objects, and what their view of alien abductions might be? There has to be a reason why Sims and Leir don’t want us to know what was actually said. If, as has been suggested, the tests were funded by the Bigelow Foundation, they might be keen to avoid any comment that spoils the myth, and might inhibit further support. But so long as people believe in the reality of alien implants, then those people will also have their lives changed and blighted by that belief. Any effort to help those people must be more than worthwhile.



In the UK, 12 issues cost only £10. Otherwise, £5 (cash, UK cheque or International Money Order) will bring you 5 monthly issues in the UK, 4 in Europe, and 3 issues anywhere else in the world. Outside the UK, issues will be sent by economy air mail, wherever available. All back issues are available. Please make payments out to Kevin McClure, and send to 3, Claremont Grove, Leeds, LS3 1AX, England.

Kevin McClure retains the copyright of all material published in AW, but if any responsible magazine or e-zine would like to reprint anything, I’m likely to agree if you ask in writing. Thanks.

This will probably be the last issue of AW before Christmas and the New Year. Between now and then I hope to find time to delve more into the ‘Nazi UFO’ business, and the ludicrous farrago that is (or more likely isn’t) the Montauk Project. Many thanks to Peter Williams and David Sivier for their dauntingly erudite comments on both subjects, which just keep everything moving on. I hope you’ll all have a fine holiday, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you again in 1999! Thanks, Kevin

Abduction Watch #14


Number 14, October 1998



The Derrel Sims Roadshow limps on, with fresh revelations from his motley bunch of not-quite doctors, new age scientists and dodgy analysts. His team certainly has the knack for publicity, with “Dr Roger K Leir”, who I understand to be a podiatrist – treating hands and feet only, apparently not the same as an M.D. – having an article about an ‘analysis’ of the odd little objects he apparently cut out of the extremities of various abduction believers in both the June 1998 MUFON UFO Journal, and the UK UFO Magazine for November/December 1998.

You should read the article. Its language seems unnecessarily obscure, and its conclusions “these are structured objects which serve a purpose” wholly unjustified by the findings presented. I don’t have space to set out Leir’s claims, but in that most of you should have access to them (I imagine they’re going to be out there on the Net somewhere – the first line is “On August 19, 1995, a historic surgery took place in Camarillo, California”) some comments from a real doctor may be helpful. This GP is the member of ASKE who previously looked at Sims’ claims of alien fluorescence, and while he stresses that he is no expert in histopathology, and has no knowledge of metallurgy, his comments may be helpful if read in conjunction with what Leir has to say. I hope to have further comments from other professionals in time for the next AW. In the meantime, has anybody wondered why in spite of his claims of scientific validity, Sims can’t get one, single, real doctor to work with him?

“Re the encapsulation of the foreign matter in a ‘dark gray shiny membrane’ consisting of ‘a protein coagulum, haemosiderin granules and keratin’. All of these are, as the paper admits, naturally occurring: the haemosiderin suggests a ferrous object which has, in effect, rusted. All this, I suspect, is no more than the tissue which develops around any retained foreign matter in the body, and I can’t see how the author substantiates his claim that this combination of elements has never been seen before. The lack of any ‘fresh or resolved’ inflammatory or rejection process in the surrounding tissue suggests that the foreign body had been there for some time: once it is encapsulated, the inflammation has done its job, the encapsulation membrane isolating the foreign matter from the rest of the body.

The presence of ‘nerve proprioceptors . . which are never found . . in the deep tissues next to the bone’. My understanding was that nerve proprioceptors (if such they were) are virtually universally present in all tissues . .

The ‘solar elastosis’ (again, if it is that) is evidence of UV exposure but it is usually patchy and no significance attaches to the lesion found having been circumscribed: this is normal. It certainly does not indicate localised or circumscribed exposure to UV, otherwise we would say the same of, say, malignant melanomata which are also more common after excessive UV exposure, yet they are also discrete lesions. Nor does it necessarily indicate excessive general exposure – ordinary exposure to sunlight is enough to account for it; though it is more ‘common’ after excessive exposure, it isn’t necessarily solely due to that factor.

In short, a poor piece of scientific writing which is unconvincing in its claims that these lesions were anything other than those which might be as well explained (we would say, better or more probably explained) as natural phenomena . . “

For more on the shady world of Derrel Sims, see The Derrel Files

Montauk, LAPIS, and the propagation of Nazi myths

The Montauk Project – publicised, and presumably originated by, Americans Al Bielek, Preston Nichols, Duncan Cameron and Peter Moon – forms the basis for the worst-evidenced, most unbelievable set of claims that exist in our field. I don’t think the material has ever been properly debunked (any relevant information would be greatly appreciated), although every element of it falls somewhere between preposterous and absurd. It is based pretty much on the premise that because of links with, or involvement in the (non-existent) Philadelphia Experiment, the writers can somehow travel through wormholes in time, being different people in different places and times, and reporting back on their alleged experiences.

Debunking Montauk shouldn’t actually be difficult, but I think time in the USA would be needed to do it. Many of the claims demand the ability to research local geography and history, but that aside, much of the material is obviously sourced from books and accounts of equally unreal events and experiences, which the Montauk Four appear to accept, unquestioningly, as true. Nowhere is this more apparent than in their latest volume, The Black Sun – Montauk’s Nazi-Tibetan Connection (in case you’d missed Montauk’s earlier connections, they’ve included invisibility, the Pyramids and the Pleiades. As you might expect if you trawl low-grade New Age sources for ideas!)

The Black Sun, however, isn’t just harmless rubbish. It isn’t harmless at all. Which was why I was concerned to see that Al Bielek is the featured speaker, speaking on both days, at the LAPIS ‘Saucers, Secrets and Superpowers’ Conference at Blackpool in November. Although the book itself was written by Moon, the Montauk team work together. I’m told by Sam Wright, one of the Conference organisers, that although LAPIS aren’t paying Bielek a fee, he is allowed to sell the Montauk books at the Conference. Which will include Black Sun.

So, what’s wrong with this book? Well firstly, it really is rubbish. It includes extensive material about the supposed reality of the Vril and Haunebu Nazi flying saucers, complete with illustrations. If there’s one issue that all serious investigations of German wartime UFOs agree on, it’s that theVril, Haunebu and V-7 material is not only a fake, but a recent fake, too, concocted well within the last 20 years. That Moon and the Montauk believers accept it as true, and publicise it so vigorously, only confirms their gullibility, and their incompetence as researchers. (Unfortunately, the same appears to apply to the Polish researchers featured in the current UFO Magazine.)

Secondly, it could reasonably be described as pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic and Holocaust Revisionist. I’ll try to give you a flavour of the book’s culpable failure to deal with the reality of the Holocaust, the grovelling admiration for the demented thuggery of Nazism, and the willingness to accept any claim with which, through Montauk’s conquest of time and space, the Montauk authors might enhance their own self-esteem. And sell their wretched books.

“Hurtak says the most important aspect of the Third Reich is that they opened the window to other worlds . . on the 3rd and 4th of January of 1934, Hitler and Himmler got together to discuss the Vril Project. They talked about the prospect of sending a huge space ship through a dimensional channel that was a tunnel independent of the speed of light. It was supposed to go to Aldebaran . . Long before Roswell, there were similar incidents in Germany. This nation had the peak scientists in the world, and it stands to reason that they would have been contacted. . . People miss with regard to Mengele when they assume that the diabolical aspects of his work were inspired only by a lust for evil deeds. His “whimsical” (not a word anybody with an ounce of sense or compassion would use of Mengele) thumbs up or down at the death camps was not merely his rendition of a past life as Nero or Caligula. He was looking for specific genetic traits with his highly trained eyes. Mengele was diabolical all right, but there was a more exacting and greater scheme behind the holocaust than anyone has imagined . . if The Protocols (of Zion) were a forgery, they are an exact methodology through which a group such as the Illuminati would use to control world politics . . Jan (van Helsing) claimed that Jewish factions currently run the country of Germany . . reparations are still being paid by Germany to fund the state of Israel . . Some (Germans) think that World War II was a manipulation by the Zionist Jews to engineer a situation where the Germans would fund Israel. This sort of thinking is common in Germany.”

I spoke at some length to two of the organisers of the LAPIS Conference, and found that neither had even seen the book. Indeed, neither had any clear idea of what the Montauk myths are all about: they just wanted people to pay to come to their conference and had heard that Bielek was a good attraction. Neither considered seeking an alternative speaker, and neither seemed much concerned about having The Black Sun on sale at the conference. What’s that line about what you are if you’re not part of the solution??

A Bunch of Fifes

It started so simply, and then got more complicated. And eventually, I found myself wondering why the hell we spend all this time and effort on studying reports collected by biased and incompetent investigators from confused and uncomprehending witnesses. Robert Moore, who promises to be an excellent editor for BUFORA, had asked me to write a response to an article by Malcolm Robinson about the ‘Fife Incident’. Initially, I just agreed, but on further consideration sent Robert what seemed like a reasonable sort of letter . . .

Since I spoke to you about the Fife case, I’ve been having a think. You may recall that, prior to the last Conference, I contacted Gloria to explain that I understood that the family – the witnesses – didn’t want Robinson publicising their case, and weren’t happy with his investigation or his account of what had happened. Gloria acted very properly, and Malcolm changed the subject of his talk.

Now that he’s supplied you with a lengthy piece for publication, I wonder if the family’s attitude is actually any different? And whether anybody has asked them whether they want another piece published about them?

I suspect, having read a number of accounts of Fife, and some comments in private letters, too, that underlying the witnesses’ discomfort is an element of disillusion with what they first believed to have happened. I rather think they don’t want to retract, but nor do they want Robinson endlessly reiterating their earlier claims.

This does raise a problem, because if the case is never revised, then anyone publishing Robinson’s account may simply be perpetuating a set of falsehoods. Consequently, can I suggest that – as we probably always should – you try to put Robinson’s account to the witnesses, and publish only what they confirm as true, and give permission to publish. If that approach isn’t followed then I don’t think I’d want to contribute comments which, of course, I would want to be submitted as well.”

You won’t be surprised to hear that I think we should do this – check that we intend to publish is acceptable to the witness(es), and give them the opportunity to read what is to be said about them – in any serious or complex case. By serious or complex I mean one which involves any exotic or ‘mental’ element – something beyond CE1, or just possibly CE2. I suggest that if we were to revisit, reinvestigate, old cases fitting CE3 and above, in a rational and objective way, and ask what the witnesses think of them now, we would find that a high proportion would have reviewed their perception. I think we would find that although they would not always deny the reality of their experiences, they would have drawn different conclusions from them as time had passed. In many cases, I think we would conclude that the really significant encounter, which primarily shaped their perception of their experience, was actually the encounter with UFO investigators. Away from their influence, a more rational and balanced assessment may well have been made.

Unfortunately, Malcolm Robinson’s approach to witnesses seems to allow little opportunity for quiet, rational contemplation. His account of SPI’s investigation of the ‘Fife’ case – to which I have referred before – is a catalogue of investigator incompetence and investigator effect. The case having, apparently, already been investigated by an appointee of alien mouthpiece Tony Dodd, Robinson went along accompanied by Billy Devlin (see AW 10/11) and A70 ‘abductee’ Garry Wood, all briefed by Linda ‘Queen of the Mutes’ Moulton Howe over the telephone. They spoke at length to one adult witness, and asked ludicrous, leading and wholly inappropriate questions of a ten-year old boy, who should never have been dealt with in this way. Channeller Graham Wylie (AW10/11) only became involved later when he “felt (as we all did) a negative feeling at one location (and) later performed a ‘cleansing ceremony’ at one site and he now feels that these ‘beings’ won’t be back!!” (Of course, if they were never there in the first place, we can only wonder what Wyllie ‘cleansed’. ) Robinson gave the case an immense amount of publicity, freely describing it as “amazing”, “impressive” and “important”.

To return to the plot, Robinson’s immediate response to my reasonable suggestion that our articles be put to the Fife witnesses prior to publication was to send out another of his wretched circulars, this one titled ‘The Fife Incident – Malcolm Robinson now believes that it may be a hoax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ (yes, that’s 25 exclamation marks).

Suddenly, from being a case of importance, which warranted pestering a young child with pathetic questions about aliens and ghosts, Robinson decides that ” . . we have to say that this case is suspicious. I’ve had these feelings for some time now but never written them down”, and notes, variously, that “Mary Morrison was a subscriber to a number of UFO publications prior to her UFO sighting . . (she) bought a copy of a UFO magazine whilst on her trip out to buy a cup of coffee . . ‘perhaps’ (please note that I say perhaps) her sighting did not occur and she concocted it with the others to test the gullibility of UFO researchers or just to see how far the story would go . . They might not have known the full extent of how big the UFO issue really is in this country, and their make-believe story (if that is what it truly was) reached uncontrollable proportions and swelled across the globe (which it did). Better to say nothing perhaps lest they have to come clean!!!”

It’s no secret that I don’t expect any report of an encounter with alien beings to turn out to have been physically real, but nor would I try to blame confused and emotional witnesses – who I had deliberately sought out and whose story I had deliberately publicised across the world – for my own failures in investigation. All the information referred to above was available when Robinson set about selling this case: little or nothing has changed since. It seems possible that, when challenged to have his story checked and approved by the witnesses, he may have tried to find an easy way out of a potential problem. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened.

My personal view is that we shouldn’t do any of this to witnesses. We shouldn’t charge out, full of belief, devoid of proper caution, and anxious to find a story, briefed by a professional journalist, pressing a child for details of experiences that will please us, and do nothing for him. We shouldn’t issue copious press releases about cases, inviting publication by all and sundry, without checking what we are publicising with the witnesses first. Even more important, we shouldn’t then turn on those same witnesses and suggest they have set out to conduct a deliberate hoax unless we have very good evidence for doing so. That is a breach of trust rare even in the self-seeking craziness of ufology.

Robert Moore was absolutely right to try to present a balanced assessment of the Fife case. It was an extraordinary case from the outset and by its very scale and variety it raised, in a big way, questions about the nature of anomalous experience which, if answered, would solve so many of our problems in understanding what triggers the reports with which we try to deal. But the nature and character of ufology in the UK – and the USA as well – made it almost inevitable that it would be investigated by a bunch of amateur, unscientific, over-eager believers in aliens and abduction, who would fail miserably to find or preserve any worthwhile data about the experience the witness(es) had undergone. Who would, as usual, identify only the noise, and completely miss the signal. Even Mulder and Scully – and Chris Carter bears a heavy responsibility for these wannabees who parade their ignorance all over the UFO press – remember that they work for the FBI, get the job done, and write-up their reports in a calm and competent fashion. Our most prominent investigators hardly ever do even that.

The result of this failure in competent investigation is that while we have several shallow, publicity-oriented accounts of this case, we have no understanding of it at all. We don’t know why and how these reports came about, what contributed to them, who of the witnesses perceived what, and when, what part was played by the interaction between the witnesses, and by their prior knowledge of the subject gleaned from such crackpot sources as Flying Saucer Review and Alien Encounters. All that will live on are the initial illusions created by SPI and Quest International and, now, this suggestion of a witness hoax. What a stupid waste of time and effort, when we might have learned, and understood, so much.

Doing anything on Friday the 13th? Why not come and hear some of this country’s best informed academic sceptics (and me) at


A Free Conference on Friday 13th November at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The conference is organised by The Association for Skeptical Enquiry (ASKE) and Manchester Humanists, sponsored by the Dept. of Sociology, at the Manton Building, MMU, on Friday 13th November 1998. Here’s the timings -

12:00 – Opening Remarks and Welcome
12:15 - Dr. Richard Wiseman, Perrott-Warrick Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire. The Psychology of Luck
13:45 – Kevin McClure Alien Abductions
14:45 – Dr. David Stretch, Dept of Mathematical Psychology, University of Leicester. Critical Thinking and Alternative Medicine
15:45 – Dr. Tim Taylor, University of Bradford. Pyramids Ahoy! Pseudo-archaeology
16:45 - Dr. Michael Heap, Department of Psychotherapeutic Studies, University of Sheffield. Non-conscious Movements and the Paranormal
18:00 – Dr. Christopher French, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths College. The Psychology of Superstition
19:00 – Mr. Tony Youens, Conjurer. A Demonstration of Pseudo-psychic Trickery
For further information, including advice on travel and access, have a look at the website. I think that the whole proceedings will be live on the ASKE site, too:

The ‘Alien Symposium’ idea – one step forward, two steps back


It’s just 15 months now since the first Abduction Watch, and in that time there really has been some progress in dealing with this pernicious myth. Because the simple, underlying truth is that the less publicity alien abduction receives, the fewer people have their lives messed-up by believing in it, the highlights for me have been the failures of the news-stand magazines – Alien Encounters, Sightings, UFO Reality, Enigma and others – and the retirement of Tony Dodd, which seems to have ended the interest of UFO Magazine – justifiably the sole newsstand survivor – in most abduction material. I doubt that I’ve played any part in these failures – I notice that even Arcturus Books, long a brilliantly successful specialist mail-order business, is no longer even covering its expenses – but we may well have turned the corner.

Which is why, when some of the best minds, and clearest thinkers in our field – Andy Roberts, Jenny Randles and Gloria Dixon – started to organise a UK ‘Alien Symposium’ (AS) – hopefully to replicate the success of the 1992 MIT symposium, only with more media involvement – I decided not to be involved, despite my original admiration for the idea. When I saw Andy’s list of who wanted to speak, and/or attend, I responded . . .

“Dear Andy/Gloria/Jenny

Thanks (to Andy) for the invite to an initial meeting but . . . I’m increasingly looking at the belief in abductions, which I have no doubt is a belief in an event which has no physical reality, and no cognitive non-human input, as a problem to be solved rather than a phenomenon to be investigated. Looking at it, if you like, as I would an unpleasant and dangerous belief, or even a form of mass hysteria which can produce self-harming behaviour.

On this basis, particularly having looked at the participants, I suggest that the AS – as have its predecessors – can have only one outcome: that the belief, illusion, contagion is spread further on the back of the event, complete with its ‘name’ and ‘banner’ and whatever. However many sceptics and doubters and rationalists may attend one of these events, it is always the proponents and the experiencers who dominate the media. Put a journalist among this lot and with one or two worthy exceptions they’ll find, unerringly, the ‘abductees’, Pope, Mantle, Williams and Conway, and Budden and King if they’re desperate. They’ll be interested in the idea of the Charles Fort Institute, because Fortean Times is a great source of trivia for journalists, but they won’t give a toss about the rational undertones the CFI involvement should carry. What evidence is there that the sceptical input to MIT had any real influence at all?

So, here we are, all personally uncertain or more about the reality of the abduction phenomenon, planning to give it its most public platform in the UK for years. This doesn’t seem like a good idea. If I felt that we had the arguments to deal with abduction, I’d be happy to give it a try, but because this is a belief, the defence of ‘if you aren’t an experiencer you can’t understand’ is becoming increasingly common. If you’ve read S.P.A.C.E., the WSG’s Rapport, or even the MUFON UFO Journal recently (among many others), you’ll know that we’re up against a far more difficult situation than prevailed even five years ago.

I don’t really know how to deal with the personal effects of the abduction belief – publishing AW is pretty much the best I can come up with, and I’ve scrapped the book idea I was working on because that, too, would only provide another platform for the believers, who would inevitably attract the bulk of the media attention. But I’m pretty certain that the AS idea won’t help potential abduction believers at all, so with the greatest respect I’ll drop out of the planning at this stage.”

Which is pretty much where I stand at present. Not with my head in the sand, believing that if we ignore abduction, it will go away, but conscious that, for a reason I don’t really understand, accounts of abduction are somehow attractive to some kinds of people, who become convinced that they have had the same, or similar, experiences. And for that reason, the less favourable and attractive publicity that alien abduction receives, the better for everyone.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sky. Gareth Medway

From Magonia 64, August 1998.

This article was the winning entry in the first Roger Sandell Memorial Essay Competition.

In Magonia 57 I argued that belief in Ancient Astronauts is a species of religion, a substitute credo for those disaffected with Christianity. The corollary is: what do Christian believers think of extraterrestrial hypotheses?

A number of attacks on Erich von Däniken were published in the 1970s – exceeding in number his own publications – and the majority had a Christian stance. (1) (For some reason Australian Christians were the most vocal.) Though von Däniken described his own work as a hypothesis made up of many speculations, (2) his critics appeared to take it a great deal more seriously than its author did.

Though Some Trust in Chariots!! (3) was not specifically presented as a Christian work, and the 17 contributors included a member of the Jewish community, and at least one agnostic , there were also five (Australian) clergymen, the maverick theologian Barbara Thiering, and a schoolmaster who specified that he found von Däniken’s views absurd as a Christian . Even the title is a Bible quotation. (4) Collectively they professed to find Chariots of the Gods? careless, ill-informed, gratuitously offensive to honest scholars, and ultimately likely to be unhealthy in its social effect ; its popularity, amazing, distressing and saddening . The general suggestion was that the author and his publishers had unscrupulously bamboozled the public for financial gain. (5)

Co-editor Edgar Castle was particularly irked by the spin-off TV film, which he considered dangerous , and its success sinister . Now, the advance publicity for the film had stated that it was nothing but an hypothesis. It does not pretend that is how it was, but says that is how it could have been. Castle asked indignantly how this could be, when the business of the film is illusion and its aim is the total involvement of the audience ; and denied that any kind of tentativeness is transmissible by film or television . Rather: The film cannot by its very nature be speculative. What it shows must seem to be true, at least at the time. (6)

Like many True Disbelievers, Castle suffered from what one might term a superiority complex . He was not taken in by the film; he saw through it as ludicrous nonsense; yet he expected that the general public, who did not (it must be supposed) possess his great intelligence and strength of character, were likely to be brainwashed into false belief, disclaimer or not.

Though they were quite legitimately able to show that, as a piece of historical reconstruction, Chariots of the Gods? is full of holes, underlying all of this was an awareness that the book had thrown out a challenge to their religion, though they mentioned this only in order to deny it: Insofar as Chariots of the Gods? states, or suggests, doubts as to the validity of the main items of Christian doctrine, rebuttal is easy. Christian people will not be troubled by it. The Christian faith is anchored firmly in real history. (7) This does not quite ring true: people who were unconcerned by a theory would not bother to write a whole book attacking it.

Collectively, the authors represented a liberal Christian outlook. In consequence, they attacked von Däniken for treating the Bible as history! The Rev. Stephens complained that he thinks that theologians really do believe that what the Bible says about the creation of the world, the history of the Jews and the visions of the prophets, is literally and truly historical . . . In particular, von Däniken had suggested that the sons of God in Genesis 6:2 might have been spacemen. The Rev. Alan Cole retorted that this passage must be an old piece of symbolic mythology, not to be understood literally . (8)

This is highly ironic in its context, since it is a tacit admission that a work that sells far better than Chariots of the Gods? - more copies than anything except the Guinness Book of Records – is in large part untrue, and known to be untrue by those who peddle it. Were these learned clerics merely suffering from psychological projection? In any case, the authors of the early books of the Bible clearly did intend them to be understood as literally true (whether or not they really were), and would have been astonished at any suggestion they were only symbolic mythology – a concept that hardly existed at that time.

This attitude is also curiously dated, though the book appeared only a quarter of a century ago. The Protestant churches had long since become polarised between liberals and fundamentalists; and a few decades ago observers thought the liberals would win out, since archaeology and textual analysis had made the fundamentalist position logically untenable. This expectation was naive, of course: people want a religion to give them certainty, which fundamentalism offers but liberals do not; and in any case faith has nothing to do with reason. In fact, since 1970, fundamentalism has flourished, whilst the liberal churches have gone into decline.

(Though it is possible to draw distinctions between fundamentalists, evangelicals, charismatics, and so on, these categories overlap, and the blanket term fundamentalism – meaning Protestants who believe in the literal truth of the Bible, and are committed to Evangelism – will suffice for the present purpose.)

Since the fundamentalists consider that they have all the right answers, beyond dispute, they find it irksome that there are people out there who do not agree. One consequence is that a large body of fundamentalist literature is devoted to attacking cults . One of the more prolific British anti-cultists is John Allan, whose works include TM: A cosmic confidence trick, and The rising of the Moon against the Unification Church. (9) Allan’s basic position is: Cults . . . are unlikely to go away. This makes it vital for those of us who are Christians to attempt to understand them; to trace the motivations which lead people to join them rather than respond to the invitations of Christian evangelists . . . (10)

One of Allan’s earliest publications was The Gospel According to Science Fiction. (11) The bulk of this pamphlet was a criticism of the theories of von Däniken et al. as being based on slipshod reasoning and dubious facts , Allan’s own source for facts being mainly Some Trust in Chariots!!

Though until the last chapter Allan tried to reason objectively, in several earlier places he gave away his viewpoint by bringing in arguments which assumed the truth of Christianity, indeed of Protestant Christianity. Thus, he criticised von Däniken for citing the Talmud, since: The Talmud is a commentary on the Old Testament, and was never thought to carry the same authority . (12) It might not have quite the same religious authority (though it has nearly as much for the Rabbis), but that does not mean that it cannot have as much weight for the historian. R.L. Dione, he complained, treats the Fatima visions as equally important with the New Testament (when even those statements of the visitants” which he quotes contradict the New Testament) . (13) Why shouldn’t he? Dione was trying to argue from first principles, not inherited tradition, and while there is witness testimony that the Fatima visions were miraculous events, there is no evidence (except tradition) that the New Testament was divinely inspired. (Fundamentalists try to prove it is by quoting 2 Tim. 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God ; not only is this argument circular, but in any case Paul must have been referring to the Old Testament: he could not have meant the Gospels, which were not then written.)

But Allan’s final argument did not depend on reason at all: By an act of incredible generosity, Jesus died willingly to pay the penalty which really we deserved to pay, for breaking God’s laws. According to the Bible (and quite frankly I know it’s true, from my own experience) this makes it possible for us to get to know God again, by simply inviting him to take command of our lives. Von Däniken believes that one day we will contact beings in another dimension. The Bible claims you can do it right now!

He concluded from this: I do not distrust von Däniken and the others because the details of their argument are mistaken. I distrust them because I can’t do anything else. If I know that the God who created everything is not only alive but also at work in my life right now, it becomes pointless for me to speculate that he may have been a bunch of spacemen.

This is hard to understand. Why should a personal experience of God preclude the possibility of the existence of space Gods ? After all, Barry Downing and some other von Dänikenites retained a conventional religious faith. However, it is clear that Allan recognised that belief in Astronauts was a religious creed, and by his own lights a false creed, hence in need of refutation just as much as those of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. When he wrote sarcastically of the believers: How nice it is to know that you are one of the Privileged Few who understand the human situation! the remark applied just as well to himself.

In general, Allan’s writings demonstrate the futility of arguing about religion. In a later pamphlet, Accept no substitute, (14) he considered and then rejected Pluralism, the view that all religions are equally valid. If, he pointed out, members of only one particular religion will be saved – he meant his own religion, of course – then adherents have a moral duty to convert as many as they can. This is true, but it fails to eliminate other possibilities. If, as some Roman Catholics maintain, only Roman Catholics can go to heaven, then Protestant Evangelists are leading people to damnation. Or, if the Pluralists are correct, then all Evangelism is a mere waste of time.

Another Australian Christian, Dr Clifford Wilson, provided actual evidence concerning the dangerous and sinister consequences of people reading Chariots of the Gods? In an interview he asked the Rev. William Gill (of the famous New Guinea UFO sighting) what he thought of it, and was told that he personally was pleased in some ways that this book had received the publicity it did, because it had provided a tremendous stimulus so that people were now very much more ready to take an interest in ancient history, archaeology, and religion. He stated he had found that young people were more stimulated through these writings than through any other writings spread over his own career as a teacher. (15)

The book’s effect on Dr Wilson himself was more curious. Asked to do some radio talks in answer to it, he only agreed reluctantly, not being much interested in the subject. Yet eventually his material grew until it filled a book, Crash Go the Chariots, and he also gave many public talks. he then turned his attention to contemporary flying saucer reports, and jumped from scepticism to belief: The days of doubt have ended. The fact is – whether we like it or not – the UFOs are here. (16) His evidence for this consisted of many of the usual anecdotes commonly found in popular UFO paperbacks.

His conclusion was set out in vague terms, but revolved around his belief that we may well be the last generation, during whose time Christ will return, to be followed by the final battle of Armageddon. The Bible suggests that spiritual powers as well as mankind will be involved in that great conflict between the forces of good and evil. The UFO occupants, he said, had a mission impossible because their aims were opposed to those of Almighty God.

The following year a far more explicit statement of his views would be published, but before discussing it, the real implications of extraterrestrial life for Christian doctrine must be considered. Nearly four centuries ago Kepler asked: if there are globes in the heaven similar to our earth . . . Then how can all things be for man’s sake? How can we be masters of God’s handiwork? (17) Theologians have usually assumed that the cosmos was created for the benefit of the human race: but if our planet were to prove only one of many inhabited worlds, a big prop of their system would be knocked away.

In the mid-19th century William Whewell saw this very well: Can the Earth be thus the center of the moral and religious universe, when it has been shewn to have no claim to be the center of the physical universe? (18) His own response was to argue that there was in fact no other life out there: the nebulae are balls of gas which could not support life; there is no evidence that the stars have planets; and the planets of our solar system are too unlike ours to be habitable. This was (and still is) a valid scientific argument, but as he virtually admitted, he only espoused it because he was too disturbed by the implications of the existence of non-terrestrial intelligence to countenance it.

(Whewell also considered uneasily the geological evidence that the earth was far older than the six thousand years taught by Genesis; this raised similar issues: if the earth is billions of years old, then the human race is as the blinking of an eye in its history, hence we are temporally as well as spatially insignificant.)

Since extraterrestrials would thus pose a threat to fundamentalism, its adherents are not likely to be pleased by evidence for their existence. Now, while Ancient Astronauts can readily be dismissed to their satisfaction, UFOs may be a bigger headache. Ufology is not based merely on speculation about old texts and ambiguous artefacts, but (apparently) on the hard evidence of sightings, and even on actual contact with beings from other planets. A 1970s poll showed that 15 million Americans had seen unexplained things in the sky, and that figure must have included many fundamentalists. A 1979 UK poll proved that more people believed that aliens were visiting, or had visited, us than believed in God. (19)

This possibility of aliens in our skies cannot but raise awkward questions. If man was made in the image of God, in whose image are the Greys? If salvation only comes through Jesus, what will happen to all the people on the billions of other planets out there, who cannot have heard of him?

A further problem concerns the end of the world. Two thousand years ago, when it was thought that the sky was a glass dome a few thousand miles high, it did not seem too odd that the world as it was known might soon be brought to an end by its creator. But this belief is now acquiring a parochial air. The observed universe is billions of light years across, and possibly crammed with life. Why should it all suddenly come to an end for the sake of one tiny speck of dust in the spiral arm of one galaxy not too different from millions of others?

Liberal Christians profess not to be at all disturbed by the issue. The Rev. Dr G.H. Stephens, a modern theologian who described Chariots of the Gods? as theologically naive, specifically mentioned von Däniken’s claim that discovery of life on other planets would be devastating to conventional religion: . . . such proof would not alter for one moment the Christian belief that life is abundant and various, and that quite probably other forms and shapes sing praise to God on other planets. It is not as if Christians claimed to have a monopoly on God. (20)

Fundamentalists do, however, claim to have a monopoly on God. Conceivably, it could be argued that spacemen are visiting the earth because this is the only planet where the true religion is known, but so far as I am aware no one has done this. Some, like John Allan, have simply dismissed UFOs on the usual grounds that the known planets are uninhabitable, while outside the solar system, The distances are too great to allow extensive contacts . (21) He thus had no need to bother about the problem.

A more interesting solution was suggested by John Weldon ( a research editor for the Christian Research Institute ) and Zola Levitt ( a Hebrew Christian who met the Lord in 1971 ) in UFOs: What on Earth is Happening? (22) In contrast to Allan’s sceptical approach to spacemen, the authors began by declaring that: The UFOs are real! . . . Millions of people the world over have seen them . . . (23) and unlike the liberals they recognised that the existence of extraterrestrials posed a threat to Christian doctrine: If, as the UFO folks imply, there are billions of inhabited planets out there with their variety of craft and their interplanetary organizations, Jesus’ sacrifice looks rather paltry. If He really were to die for all of God’s creatures . . . He’d have to die billions of times, in billions of forms, and so on. It would make the Gospel look ridiculously inadequate. (24)

As the authors noted, ufological writings generally, and contactee stories in particular, have a strong metaphysical dimension. For example, in 1965 a Californian TV repairman, Sidney Padrick, was given a flight in a saucer that landed near his home. The craft proved to contain a room similar to a chapel, where he was asked to pay your respects to the Supreme Deity . He said later: I’m forty-five years old, and until that night I had never felt the presence of the Supreme Being, but I did feel Him that night. (25)

It might be thought that a personal experience of the Supreme Deity was a decisive event, but fundamentalists would not agree. John Allan, who as ever provides a fair epitome of their views, states that if one is born-again in the Lord (as Allan himself was) it is a genuine religious experience, but if something similar yet non-Christian occurs it is merely a delusion. (26) This is because God only manifests in order to spread the true religion.

So, if fundamentalists alone have a direct line to God, how come there are other religions, who likewise claim divine inspiration, visions, miracles and so on? The fundamentalist answer has always been that these religions are the work of devils and demons. The Gods of the Pagans, they said, were demons, which was why their worship had to be suppressed. With the modern improvement in global communications, they have come into contact with Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faiths, and unilaterally denounce them as worship to demon gods .

Nor did matters end here, as all Christian heresies were thought to be inspired by demons. When the Reformation started, the Pope was held to be the Antichrist; Counter-Reformation propagandists responded by depicting Martin Luther as a mouthpiece for Satan’s opinions. Fortune-telling was done with the assistance of demons (unlike Biblical prophecy, of course). Lunatics were possessed by demons. Witches were instruments of demons . Early Protestant theologians held that ghosts were not really spirits of the dead, but demons who took on their form. Spiritualists are likewise accused of contacting demons rather than the dear departed. In some modern churches every misfortune, from a bad back to a bad debtor, may be blamed on a demonic influence in the life of the afflicted person. (27)

It is not hard to guess from the foregoing what some fundamentalists think flying saucers are. Thus Weldon and Levitt: UFOs and the other strange manifestations we are seeing represent demon activity . . . [as Christians] we are privileged to understand easily what is a befuddling mystery to the rest of the world. (28)

They were able to take all kinds of observations and facts as proof. The giants of Genesis, whom the liberal Rev. Alan Cole had dismissed as symbolic mythology were in fact real, they said, and the same as modern UFO entities; but, as they pointed out, according to the generally accepted theological interpretation , those giants were fallen angels. UFOs are most often seen at night, the very time that black magic ceremonies are normally held. George King made contact with the space brethren after practising Yoga, which is considered by fundamentalists to be demonic . (29)

One advantage of this approach is that it is easy. Those who consider that UFOs are all weather balloons or temperature inversions have a hard time fitting some of the data to their chosen interpretation. Those who say they come from Venus have to explain away the evidence that Venus is uninhabitable (and perhaps the rival claims of those who say they come from Mars). More generally, as John Keel liked to point out, believers in nuts-and-bolts spacecraft ignore or even suppress anything suggesting that they are non-physical. Even the worst UFO author is thus usually required to do some thinking.

No such effort is needed by UFOs-are-demons proponents. Since demons have almost unlimited occult power, no sighting story can be too absurd or unreal to be dismissed. How come, a believer in contactee stories could be asked, contactees all say different things about where saucers come from, who pilots them, and how they are propelled? The Fundamentalist can simply answer, Demons are liars! Villas Boas had sex with a spacewoman? She was a succubus demon! Flying saucers are hostile? Demons are hostile! Space brothers preach cosmic awareness? Demons want to lead us into theological error! Do you doubt this all-embracing explanation? Then you are in the thrall of demons!

Best of all, they were able to turn the potential threat to their creed into support for it. Since practically everything written in the Bible about fallen angels could be applied to UFOs, this proved that the Bible is true, e.g.: The demons seek to rest in human bodies (Luke 8:30; 11:24-26; Matt. 12:43-45), including children’s bodies (Luke 9:39), and even those of animals (Matt. 8:30-32; Gen. 3:1-5). By way of comparison, possession occurs also in UFO contactee cases, and animals react with sheer terror when UFOs or UFO beings are in the area. (30) And, of course, the great number of flying saucer reports in recent years shows that the demons are stepping up their activities, as predicted would happen in the Last Times.

Since 1975 it has become a commonplace of fundamentalist literature that UFOs are demons, though nothing much new has been added to the theory. Hal Lindsey, well-known author of The Late Great Planet Earth, had this to say:

“I believe these demons will stage a spacecraft landing on Earth. They will claim to be from an advanced culture in another galaxy. They may even claim to have planted” human life on this planet and tell us they have returned to check on our progress . . . If demons led by Satan, their chief, did pull off such a deception, then they could certainly lead the world into total error regarding God and His revelation. They could even give a false explanation for the sudden disappearance of all the world’s Christians – which will happen in the final days. (31) We are still awaiting the sudden disappearance of all the world’s Christians.

Bob Larson, a leading American radio-evangelist, has given further reasons why UFOs cannot be spaceships:

If God did choose to create intelligent beings on other planets, they too would be tainted by Adam’s sin which affected the entire cosmos. They would be fallen creatures like mankind and thus have the same technological limitations that we do. If sin’s retrogressive impact on man’s advancement has prevented us from going to visit them, how could they possibly visit us? If for some reason sin has not invaded their race, would God permit such an unfallen civilization to contact us and thus be contaminated by our sin? The answer to both of these questions is decidedly negative. (32)

The most interesting development has been reports of close encounters that appear to confirm that those lights in the sky are fallen angels. Clifford Wilson and John Weldon later collaborated on Close Encounters: A Better Explanation, in which they cited three case histories of people who had seen UFOs regularly but later became convinced they were demonic manifestations. (33) It may be of significance that one of them, a Canadian woman, had believed she was in touch with God’s messengers until Weldon’s 1976 book convinced her otherwise.

Some fundamentalists are encouraged to listen to the word of the Lord – apparently with practice it is easy enough to talk with Him on a regular basis. One of the most celebrated of these direct-communication Christians is Rebecca Brown, who was once a doctor in Indiana. She used to ask the Lord to diagnose her patients’ illnesses and prescribe treatment. Other doctors, who had a more conventional approach, did not agree with the Lord, and she lost her medical licence. Brown considered that this was because the medical profession was dominated by Satanists who had instructions to get her, but that in any case it was a good thing in the long run, as she was able to start on a more successful career of Evangelism instead. (34)

Among the many Christians Rebecca has since helped with demonic problems in their lives was a woman in her 60s named Lydia , who complained that she was having trouble reading her Bible ( a pretty typical sign of demonic infestation ). Every time I open up my Bible, I start to see whirling circles of light in my peripheral vision. As soon as I try to focus my eyes on the words, those lights come to block my vision so that I cannot see the words. I can read any other book without difficulty.

Lydia finally realised that these lights resembled a UFO she had once seen whilst living on the East Coast. Driving home one night she had seen a round object with whirling lights floating over the fields near the highway. She stopped to watch, and saw other cars stop too. Just then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me, Don’t stop, you’ll be hurt”. But I was too fascinated to really listen to Him. I stopped anyway.

She started conversing with the UFO by mental telepathy. It told her they were visitors from another planet, come to look at the earth. They talked like this for some time, until she asked them if they worshipped Jesus. They replied, Well, we have a choice who we serve. This bothered her. But how can you have a choice when Jesus is God, and created the entire universe including you? Rather than answer, the UFO went off into the sky and disappeared. Rebecca Brown saw this as confirming her own supposition that the UFOs were demonic phenomena , and that Lydia didn’t realize it at the time, but she was really testing the spirits by asking them about Jesus. They flunked the test! (35)

What should we conclude from all this? Perhaps it comes down to the fact that faith overrides reason. Those who are born-again in Jesus read the Bible and see the perfect words of God. Atheists read the same book and conclude that there is not a word of truth in it. Those who are predisposed to believe in Ancient Astronauts find evidence for them in scripture. Much the same thing happens with today’s UFO reports: you can use them to back up whatever world-view pleases you.


1. The only secular anti-Däniken book was Ronald Story’s The Space-Gods Revealed (New English Library, 1976), and even that had an appendix on UFOs and the Bible by a Professor of Religion.

2. Chariots of the Gods?, 77

3. Edited by E.W. Castle and Rev. B.B. Thiering, Westbooks, Perth and Sydney, 1972. I do not know if the Rev. Thiering and Barbara Thiering were related.

4. Psalm 20:7

5. Thiering and Castle, op. cit., Preface (unpaginated), and 3, 98

6. Ibid., 107-108

7. Ibid., 92

8. Ibid., 41, 115

9. Both these published by Inter-Varsity Press, 1980

10. Shopping for a God: Fringe religions today, Inter-Varsity Press, 1986, 12

11. Church Pastoral Aid Society, 1975. Allan’s first book, I Know Where I’m Going (i.e. to heaven), Lutterworth Press, 1975, won a United Society for Christian Literature and Lutterworth Young Writers Award .

12. The Gospel According to Science Fiction, 24

13. Ibid., 26-27

14. UCCF Booklets, Leicester, 1991

15. Dr Clifford Wilson, UFOs and their Mission Impossible, Signet, New York, 1974, 114

16. Ibid., 1

17. Quoted in Paul Davies, Are We Alone?, Penguin Books, 1995, 4

18. William Whewell, Of the Plurality of Worlds, 2nd edition, 1854, 100

19. John Grant, A Directory of Discarded Ideas, Corgi, 1983, 18

20. Some Trust in Chariots!!, 41

21. Mysteries, Lion Publishing, 1981, 51

22. Bantam, 1976 (1st Harvest House, 1975). Incidentally, the address of Bantam Books was then 666 Fifth Avenue!

23. UFOs: What on Earth is Happening?, 1

24. Ibid., 152

25. John Keel, Our Haunted Planet, Futura, 1975, 161

26. John Allan, Yoga: A Christian analysis, Inter-Varsity Press, 1983, Chapter 6

27. The literature on this subject is too vast to give useful references in the space of a note.

28. Weldon and Levitt, UFOs, 17

29. Ibid., 24-25, 108, 125-126

30. Ibid., 84

31. Hal Lindsey, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, Bantam Edition, New York, 1981, 33

32. Larson’s New Book of Cults, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois, 1989, 346

33. Clifford Wilson and John Weldon, Close Encounters: A Better Explanation, Master Books, P.O. Box 15666 [!], San Diego, California, Chapter 14

34. Shawn Carlson and Gerald Larue, Satanism in America, Gaia Press, El Cerrito, California, 1989, 104-106

35. Rebecca Brown, Prepare for War, revised ed., Whitaker House, Springdale, Pennsylvania, 1992, 303-305



Abduction Watch #12/13


Number 12/13, August 1998


Somewhere, out there . . . are Tim Rifat, David Morehouse and a host of people who’ve been on Remote Viewing training courses!

We are, soon, going to be suffering from a surfeit of Remote Viewing, which looks like being the coming fad among the X-Files generation. I understand that Century have paid substantially for Tim Rifat’s forthcoming book, and I’d like to stimulate a vigorous and constructive debate on the reality of RV at an early stage. Before, perhaps, it becomes necessary to suggest that the Fraudulent Mediums Act could be used in specific instances.

To my surprise, a number of senior figures and Council members from BUFORA seem to have been impressed by RV, and attended a course run by David Morehouse, one of those involved in the scrapped US government research. Steve Gamble writes about it in the pseudo-history magazine Quest, and the man responsible for inflicting Derrel Sims on last year’s BUFORA conference, Richard Conway (in AE 28), recounts two of Morehouse’s cases, both of which involved time travel. One necessitated travelling a mere year or so, allegedly ‘explaining’ the TWA 800 crash in July 1996

“The viewers went back to that point in time and saw the plane explode in the air . . they saw the entire side of the plane cave in, and saw heads explode as well as bodies . . The viewers discovered through many viewing sessions that a microwave weapon had been fired during a test, and it was this weapon that had ripped through the plane”

For the second journey, the viewers went back more than 80 years

“One of the targets that I found most fascinating that the viewers had to view was the Tunguska incident, also known as the Great Siberian Explosion . . Experts have advocated that this was caused by a meteorite/space debris. However, 17 remote viewers witnessed very similar things when doing a routine training exercise in the military program. They saw a rip open up in the sky and a structured craft of some sort come through the rip. David Morehouse described having a feeling that the pilot of the craft was nothing more than a learner driver.”

If the claims made for RV were true, it would be reasonable for either governments or individuals to pay. In Alien Encounters Tim Rifat – who charges £160 for a postal training course in RV – describes RV’s potential for human cruelty

“Both Russia and China have already deployed remote viewing as psi-warfare against the Americans. It enables them to hypnotise people at a distance, give them cancer, or even kill them.”

Rifat also demonstrates the immense range of RV, and of the viewers. He reports that

“Leading (though unnamed) experts have revealed that American and Russian beam weapons are regularly shooting down alien craft, engaged in a secret war to protect mankind. Remote viewers are able to psychically spy on these UFOs and aliens, some of whom come from different dimensions, such as the ‘transcendentals’ from the biophysical realm.”

The British Association of Remote Viewing and Paranormal Research, based in Selby, N Yorks wants to develop programmes using RV “as an aid in personal development and emotional problems” and for “A UFO reporting and investigative network”. It commends readers to the writings of Carlos Castaneda, Tim Rifat and David Icke, and also gives a stern instruction to potential members

“The Remote Viewing of United States and British security installations is forbidden to our members. We do not recommend the RV of Soviet sites kindly leave them alone to get on with whatever they need to do. You have been warned.”

You might think that a learnable – purchaseable, even – skill like RV could be easily demonstrated. If it’s really possible to travel out into different dimensions in space to see invisible aliens being shot down by American and Russian “beam weapons”, or to hop back 80 years with 16 other remote viewers (who would presumably all have to be observing at the same time, even if they started out separately!) to see what caused the crater at Tunguska, surely much simpler journeys could be easily achieved.

Yet that never seems to be the case. As often happens, really remarkable events are reported when they can’t possibly be tested or verified. If only remote viewers can go to those extraordinary times and places, the rest of us can’t prove those events didn’t happen. Confusing, isn’t it?

I’ve suggested before – and suggested to Tim Rifat, too – that there must be straightforward tests which could, compared to all this travel in time and space, be easily performed. Finding out the makes, colours and registration numbers of the cars parked in a nearby car park? The colours of the front doors and the layouts of the front gardens of the houses in a particular road? The titles, authors and cover colours of the books on a particular shelf in a local library? I’m not aware that any remote viewer, despite the extensive claims made for RV, has ever publicly succeeded in, or even attempted, such straightforward but potentially convincing tests.

More to the point, if RV really can be learned, and operated so specifically that 17 remote viewers can travel back 80 years to precisely the same place, and the same moment in time, then I don’t understand why it is only used for such stupid, speculative, trivial and useless purposes. Or why anyone is impressed or satisfied by hearing stories which sound as if they are designed to appeal to those with a dumb, speculative, believer’s interest in the paranormal, willing not only to suspend disbelief on demand, but also happy to pay for the privilege.

Those selling RV make very clear claims. They claim that it can be used to travel freely in space or time – preferably backwards in time, but not necessarily or exclusively so – to precise times and geographical locations. There appears to be no limit to either parameter. After all, 80 years and deep space are supposed to be no problem.

If those claims were true, then I cannot comprehend why RV is not being used, day in and day out, all over the world, to prevent and solve all kinds of crime. If a range of the sort of simple tests I’ve suggested above could be set up by US or UK police forces, and passed repeatedly by remote viewers to establish their dependability, I am sure that it would only be a short time before police forces and courts all over the world would accept RV as a sound investigative technique which produces reliable evidence. If the claims made for RV are true, surely it would be so simple for remote viewers to return – maybe just a few hours or days, not 80 years – to a crime scene. They wouldn’t even have to travel geographically: they could be taken there by the Police.

Once at the crime scene, it would surely present no problem for the remote viewer to travel back in time to see precisely how a crime was committed, the sequence of events, what was said, who was responsible. If 17 remote viewers can go to a precise second at Tunguska to see “a rip open up in the sky and a structured craft of some sort come through the rip”, then I don’t see that precise descriptions of vehicles, descriptions of persons involved, how a murder or assault was carried out, what weapon was used, and how and when the criminal(s) left the scene of crime, could present any difficulty at all. Where a child goes missing, and was seen, for instance, being taken away in a car, the remote viewer could easily go back those few hours or days, look at the car, remember its registration number and description, describe the person or persons who have taken the child away, and presumably, being able to move at will in space or time, follow the car and lead the Police to where the child has been taken. War crimes trials could be transformed: the remote viewer could provide precise evidence of how torture and killing had taken place, who was responsible for it. Once it was established that RV is as reliable as those who make money from selling it claim it to be, what criminal would be able to argue against the evidence of remote viewing? What court, in what country, would not accept the evidence of RV?

Investigation of this kind would absolutely transform the solving of all kinds of crime. It would be a far greater deterrent than the death penalty, dramatically reducing serious and violent crime all over the world. And, as well as specific criminal events, RV could be used to investigate – precisely, by locating the black box, for instance – the cause of air crashes and other disasters. It could be used to monitor human rights abuses all over the world, prisons and other establishments being visited through RV, so that brutal regimes would fear the wholly dependable revelations made by remote viewers about the treatment of political prisoners.

If the claims made for remote viewing were true and accurate, the potential for good that could come out of it is almost limitless. I am sure that the best remote viewers would be lauded by society, and paid salaries commensurate with the effect that their skills could have. RV could, without doubt, change the world for the better.

Yet none of these remote viewers, or even the governments alleged to have found that they could genuinely do what they claim, have ever used RV for any good or constructive or worthwhile purpose. Claims for the reality of RV are all based in the fringes of the paranormal, in conspiracy theory, in the myth of alien intervention, in fear of a supposed New World Order. They cannot be tested or checked, and whether potential customers accept RV or not is a matter of belief, not proof. So long as RV is as pointless and useless as it currently seems, and so dependent on fear for its publicity, I suggest that we treat it as a rather unpleasant and exploitative nonsense. If the claims made for RV are true, then not only are there easy ways to prove them, but we should be able to look forward to seeing remote viewers use this remarkable skill to really help others, and not just to make money for themselves. Somehow, I think we might be in for a very long wait.

Alison’s Balloon update – the GMC responds


I finally wrote to the General Medical Council, which has responsibility for the conduct and discipline of most doctors in the UK. I couldn’t insist that the GMC gives me its opinion of the use of ‘recovered memory therapy’, because nothing has happened to me which I, personally, could complain about. Nor was I writing to them on behalf of anybody who wanted me to. It was up to the GMC if it wanted to give an opinion. Here’s the essence of what I wrote -

“You may be aware of the relatively recent phenomenon of people believing that they have been ‘abducted by aliens’. This belief generally entails a conviction that the person has been physically taken into a spacecraft by alien beings, and has there been subjected to an intimate, pseudo-medical, physical examination and other procedures. For female ‘abductees’ – the majority – the other procedures tend to involve insemination, followed some months later, during a separate abduction event, by the forced removal of a hybrid – alien/human – foetus. Later , it is believed that they will be taken again in order to ‘nurture’ the hybrid children, who are supposedly bred so the aliens may continue their bloodline in the face of imminent extinction.

These unusual beliefs have been primarily developed and promoted through the use of regression hypnosis, which has generally been induced and controlled by abduction investigators themselves, few of whom have any kind of relevant training or qualification in medicine or psychology. The accepted justification for the inability of the abductee to recall these extraordinary events consciously, without hypnosis, is that the aliens have covered the true events with ‘screen memories’ which only hypnosis can penetrate. Sometimes the abductee is allegedly aware of is a period of ‘missing time’, for which he/she cannot account.

At a conference earlier this year, I heard an account of an instance of a working GP using regression hypnosis specifically for this purpose. The account was given by the ‘abductee’ herself, and by a solicitor, well-known for his belief in the reality of alien abduction, who had arranged the involvement of the GP. The GP was named, and he has responded to an enquiry I sent, confirming that he used regression hypnosis in this case.

I understand that the GP had attended a training course in hypnosis ‘for dentists’, which I presume would be concerned with hypno-anaesthesia rather than regression and the recovery of memory. The solicitor had apparently sought out the young woman who was not, prior to his involvement, aware that her sighting of an unusual aerial object entailed a period of ‘missing time’. Once she had decided that was actually the case, the arrangement was made with the GP, and the purpose of the hypnosis seems to have been to explore what ‘happened’ during that period, in the context of the ‘unexplained’ object (which from the video taken by the young woman appears to many to be a balloon).

It is likely that a video was made of the regression, although I have not seen it. However, the solicitor explained that the young woman “became very distressed and frightened under hypnosis”, and indicated that she did not wish to continue with it after recalling that she had been “taken from her home into a black hole”. She spoke at the conference on the basis that she was speaking at first-hand about the abduction experience. The impression was given that she accepted the reality of her being “taken” as she had said. Further hypnosis was not ruled out.

I would be grateful to know whether the GMC would consider that hypnotic regression, undertaken by a GP with this training, for these reasons, with these results, raises any issue of conduct. I don’t know whether it is pertinent to the question, but it is likely that this solicitor (see the Newsletter of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis No 20, April 1983) will have paid the GP for his services.

I have in mind, particularly, paragraph 17 of ‘Good Medical Practice’, which under the heading ‘Abuse of your professional position’ provides that doctors registered with the GMC “must not . . recommend or subject patients to investigation or treatment which you know is not in their best interests”. It seems unlikely that any investigation – or was it treatment – in which the patient “became very distressed and frightened”, and in consequence of which she came to believe that she was “taken from her home into a black hole”, was likely to have been in that patient’s best interests.

It would seem inappropriate for any person – least of all a doctor – to seek to represent that regression hypnosis is an accurate or dependable method of ‘recovering’ memories of hitherto unremembered, but deeply traumatic events. I would imagine that you are familiar with ‘Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse – Implications for clinical practice’, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry no 172 (1998). Summarising a detailed exposition of the problems of ‘recovered memory’ techniques, this article explicitly finds that

“when memories are ‘recovered’ after long periods of amnesia, particularly when extraordinary means were used to secure the recovery of memory, there is a high probability that the memories are false, ie of incidents that had not occurred.”

The authors refer specifically to ‘alien abduction’, saying that

“The creation under hypnosis of memories of previous lives, often as distinguished historical subjects, or of abduction by aliens and sexual abuse in space ships reveal the extent to which this technique is suspect. Of concern is the extent to which people who elicit and report such memories appear to believe them despite their semi-delusional nature.”

Reflecting a substantial amount of other medical, psychological and legal opinion, the authors go on to urge the utmost caution in any consideration of the use of techniques to enhance or recover memory. I would, in conclusion, be grateful to know whether the GMC would also consider that hypnotic regression is an undependable and possibly harmful technique, the product of which is likely to be confabulated at best. And whether the GMC considers that the use of hypnotic regression by a registered GP for the purpose of exploring an alleged experience with an unidentified flying object could ever be regarded as acceptable conduct, whether or not it resulted in the patient becoming “very distressed and frightened”, or convinced that she had been “taken from her home into a black hole”.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

I received a brief ‘holding’ reply, and then the following response from Head of the Standards Section of the GMC, which leaves me with some difficult decisions.

“Thank you for your letter of 27 July about the use of regression hypnosis by registered medical practitioners. I have referred your letter to a medical member of the GMC. He has asked me to reply in the following terms.

First, it might be helpful to explain our role and remit. The General Medical Council licences doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Our purpose is summed up in the phrase: Protecting patients, guiding doctors.

The law gives us four main functions:

  • keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
  • giving advice on standards of professional conduct and on medical ethics
  • promoting high standards of medical education
  • dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt

However, we are not in a position to judge the value or effectiveness of particular medical therapies either in orthodox or non-orthodox medicine. This is a matter for bodies such as the Royal Colleges and the BMA. Nor can we comment on specific cases, such as the actions of the general practitioner which you discuss in your letter, as to do so may compromise the fair consideration of a complaint at a later stage.

We provide guidance to doctors on the standards of practice and care expected of them, and I enclose a copy of the second edition of our booklet Good Medical Practice, which was published last month. We also consider under our fitness to practise procedures the actions of doctors who have put patients at risk by behaving in an irresponsible manner, for example by providing treatment without having adequate training or experience, or by offering treatment while knowing that it is not effective, or is inappropriate to the patient’s needs.

If you have concerns about the conduct of a doctor, whom you believe to be putting patients at risk, the member suggests that you raise this with us formally, providing the name of the doctor concerned, and any documentary evidence you have about the events or the conduct of the doctor. This information can then be considered formally through our fitness to practise procedures. I enclose a copy of our booklet A problem with your doctor? which gives some further information about the scope of the GMC’s procedures, and how to make a complaint to us.”

So, what do I do? Making any kind of formal complaint against a doctor is a serious business, and I’m conscious that I know nothing of the GP’s motives or intentions when he decided to become involved in this. He may have thought he was helping, he may have thought his actions were for the best. He may, perhaps, have become convinced of the reality of alien abduction, and may see himself – as other apparently responsible and intelligent people have come to see themselves – as playing a part in understanding that reality. He may be an excellent doctor with an unusual belief, and I wouldn’t, personally, want to disadvantage him professionally simply because he holds that belief.

I have the impression from the careful wording of the reply that the “medical member of the GMC” considers that there may be a real issue here, and that if a complaint was made, it would be taken seriously. But I don’t know enough about the circumstances of the case, and the individuals involved, to put anyone at risk simply because, quite possibly, an individual made a poor judgment for the best of reasons. “Above all, do no harm” is as good a byword for me as for those I criticise.

My view – and I’d be happy to hear any other constructive opinions – is that it would be best to communicate to other researchers that if any doctor subject to GMC discipline becomes involved in regression in connection with alien abduction, he may well find himself subject to a complaint and investigation. And that if it isn’t appropriate for a doctor to regress, then it certainly isn’t appropriate for some belief-ridden amateur with no medical training. And, also, to see whether I can follow-up the GMC’s suggestion and obtain a general view of the technique and its use in this context from the BMA. Please let me know of any other/better ideas you might have.

The Secrets that you Keep (and the ones you don’t!)


If we’re ever going to get to grips with the constantly-growing belief in alien visitation, which underpins the more specific, and even more frightening belief in abductions, we need to look behind the other strand of belief in aliens. This is the ‘real evidence’ strand, that claims to have accessed hard information from official sources, to know what governments believe and, more important, really know, about alien life and the threat it presents.

In the USA, this strand has found its Holy Grail in Roswell and associated crashes, landings and recoveries. You’ll probably be all too familiar with them by now, and have realised why the most sensible figures involved have concluded that it’s worth demanding that the US government releases whatever facts it has. Without some sort of new input, there will never be anything but argument and the endless dissection of minutiae with ever-decreasing results. Personally, I doubt that the US government knows enough to be any help: if we can’t find a plain answer with what we already know, then I don’t suppose there’s one to be found. Sometimes you have a mystery you can solve. And sometimes, you just have a mystery.

Here in the UK, Tim Good, Nick Redfern and Nick Pope are the three prominent figures writing at this end of the ‘alien reality’ spectrum. Good and Redfern seem less than comfortable with the medical/millennial content of abductions. Pope – strongly rumoured to consider himself an abductee, though unwilling to let that be seen to cloud his apparent objectivity – seems able to believe in more or less anything if his column in Sightings was anything to go by, but his employment with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) gives him a credibility as a source that he is not alone in finding useful. The three of them propagate – and seem genuinely to believe in – the proposition that Earth has been subject to a persistent history of physical, real-time alien visitation, about which the UK government knows much, and deliberately keeps secret from its people. All three make substantial sums of money from writing books based on that premise.

Yet the quality of evidence depended on by all three appears consistently poor. All use essentially the same simple tactic, mixing together

  1. ‘official’ accounts of UFOs and of ‘official’ investigations
  2. ‘unnamed soldier’ material, from anonymous and untested sources who ostensibly claim to know the secrets behind the ‘official’ reports and investigations, and to be willing – usually for no apparent reason – to pass them on to popular UFO authors, who may then make money out of telling them to everybody else
  3. UFO reports made and investigated by believers in alien visitation, presence and, often, abduction of humans and animals as well (Good, for instance, depends on more than 70 references culled from the frequently loopy and apocalyptic Flying Saucer Review – and some of the world’s worst, old, untested UFO photos – to glue together his speculations in Alien Base. Pope – who referred callers to the MoD to Tony Dodd’s regression-riddled Quest International, regurgitates much of Quest’s array of belief in abductions without asking any of the vital questions as to credibility and proof, and the production of accounts through the amateur, secretive use of hypnosis to obtain ‘memories’ of abduction. The most dramatic ‘new’ case in Redfern’s Covert Agenda is the now utterly devalued ‘Welsh Crash’, for his Rendlesham account he was willing to depend on Larry Warren, and for other secrets of government activity he was content to rely on John Lear and Linda Moulton Howe.)

Its unfortunately easy, if authors aren’t scrupulously careful, for anonymous speculation to appear to turn into official information. I’ve been cross-checking a few of the more unlikely references, and, by way of example, came across this clear instance of a wild and unproven secondhand tale being made to look like a fact -

In his book A Covert Agenda – The British Government’s UFO Top Secrets Exposed, in the chapter ‘Meeting the Ministry’ – actually just an interview with civil servant and fellow alien presence believer Nick Pope – Redfern makes an apparently astonishing, but unequivocal statement about the MoD’s financial and policy commitment to UFO research, along with a hint that there might be a cover-up of the real facts

“Pope has advised me that Sec (AS) 2a has no appreciable ‘UFO budget’ to support its investigations. Yet, as Timothy Good has learned, in 1978 no less than £11 million was appropriated by the MoD to ensure that in-depth studies into the UFO enigma were undertaken.”

Redfern does give a reference for this assertion – to page 18 of Timothy Good’s book Alien Liaison – The Ultimate Secret. And there’s the source for Redfern’s supposed knowledge of MoD spending and activities. Good says

“And as to the lack of Defence funds to undertake in-depth investigations, I have learned otherwise. Via an academic source who was involved in secret research for the Ministry of Defence, I was informed that in 1978, for example (a year of intensive UFO activity), no less than £11 million had been appropriated.

The same source confirmed that secret research by the RAF had determined the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs, and furthermore suggested that the origin of humankind was in some way connected with the visitors. Unfortunately, I am unable to substantiate these claims except in apocryphal terms.”

So, Good can’t substantiate his unnamed source, who, for someone involved in secret research himself, and apparently passing on other secrets as well, seems surprisingly untroubled by having all these secrets set out in a UFO pot-boiler. Particularly when you consider that there must be so few people who would fit his description that Good might as well have named him in great big letters. If he wanted to. If he actually could without it becoming apparent that the claims made were absurd.

But Redfern doesn’t just draw the line at accurately reproducing Good’s proofless claim. No, instead of merely passing on the speculation that £11 million had been appropriated, he goes on to add that this was “to ensure that in-depth studies into the UFO enigma were undertaken”. Good had never said that, nor had Good’s unnamable source. An appropriation of £11 million – making £11 million available – becomes £11 million of studies that have actually been undertaken into the UFO enigma by the MoD, studies which the MoD supposedly wanted to be “in-depth” and which it wanted to “ensure” were undertaken. There isn’t a shred of proof for this claim. It doesn’t appear in Good’s account, which appears to be Redfern’s only source. Maybe Redfern had another source who could be depended on to provide accurate information to back up, and provide more detail of, the claims made by Good’s source. But Redfern doesn’t indicate that he has such a source, and the way he has set this passage out indicates that this could be one of the “British Government’s UFO Top Secrets”, promised in his title. That sure would back up an argument that aliens are real, and that the government knows all about it. Which could be useful if that’s what you want potential buyers of your books to believe is true.

I don’t know quite how to describe this problem. It’s unfortunate – and potentially misleading – enough for this claim to be given the appearance of fact, but Redfern is regarded as a relatively dependable researcher within the field. The incestuous reproduction of attractive and saleable accounts of UFO and alien reality worldwide suggests that in due course – if it hasn’t happened already – yet more authors will state that the UK government actually spent £11 million on in-depth UFO research in 1978. Which will almost certainly be untrue.

Because of the degree of commitment that all three of the UK authors – typical of others around the world – have to the reality of the alien presence, it probably wouldn’t be right to make any suggestion of dishonesty. These people have their own agenda. They want to provide evidence which supports what they believe to be true, and consequently they are happy to use any claim or report which offers that support, regardless of how feeble or flawed or unlikely or disturbingly anonymous it may – to us outsiders – appear to be. But however much external disinformation, from a source or sources we have barely started to identify, there may be, there is also an element of what I might term ‘self-hoaxing’, where believers build on each others’ fears and beliefs to present what appears, at first glance, to be evidence that supports their beliefs.

A heavily-publicised example of this ‘self-hoaxing’ appears in a recent ‘News Release from Nick Redfern’, dated 17 July 1998, where he pursues a tactic he adopted in the ‘Meeting the Ministry’ chapter of his book A Covert Agenda, publishing (it also appears in the last edition of Alien Encounters) an interview he apparently conducted with Nick Pope.

Some of you will have seen this: it’s worth a read. It’s written in the usual terms, implying secrets not quite understood, with shadowy hints of the suppression of facts, and ever-present eavesdroppers waiting to prey on would-be whistleblowers. Remarking on his “interest in the MoD’s involvement in the UFO issue”, he describes Nick Pope’s “forthcoming book, ‘Operation Thunderchild’ (scheduled for a 1999 release)”. Pope is quoted as saying about it

“The book tells the story of an encounter between UFOs and the RAF. Forget Independence Day; this is how it would really happen. There will be all sorts of things I can say in there that I can’t say in a non-fiction book.”

After a couple more questions, Pope goes on

“I have to be careful with every single word I say, because I know that every word, every sentence will be picked over by ufologists, the Ministry of Defence and, er, a number of other agencies”.

Redfern comments – a bit heavy-handedly -

“Despite repeated attempts on my part for clarification on the issue of ‘other agencies’ noting his every word, Pope refused to elaborate. A slip of the tongue perhaps? Who knows?”

And goes on to be surprised at how much cooperation the MOD gave in the making of that wonderfully OTT, formulaic, unoriginal but entertaining SF extravaganza ‘Invasion Earth’. Oh wow. But if what Pope had said really was a “slip of the tongue” then surely Redfern would have had the decency not to deliberately issue a ‘News release’ emphasising what Pope had apparently said, neither would he have published the same information in Alien Encounters. This reads like melodrama, staged for a purpose, rather than a chance unfortunate remark.

At a time when Redfern and Pope are headliners at conferences, when both are well-paid for their books, and Good commands extraordinary sums of money for his written work, I feel distinctly out of step here. But, the raw documentary research aside – and I admire Redfern’s work in that respect – there is no solid proof for the claims of alien presence made by any of them. Good and Redfern depend on official documents and secondhand sources, and Pope implies a direct access to secrets. But I have reason to doubt that, much as Pope may genuinely believe in the reality of an alien/RAF encounter and the rest of the alien presence/abduction construct, any significant proportion of what he says he knows arises directly from within the MoD.

In an early article – as in his first book and repeatedly since – Pope claimed that, “I held the rank of Executive Officer when in Sec(AS)2a; this civil service rank equates to that of an Army Captain. I am now a Higher Executive officer, which equates to the rank of Major.” I have little doubt that this comparison has assisted Pope to give an impression of authority and access to inside knowledge that a clearer explanation of his position in the MoD – and the precise limits of his job in Sec(AS)2a – would not. In 1996 I wrote -

“It appears that while Mr Pope was collecting the apparently vital and significant information that he is now presenting to the public in various different formats, he was an Executive Officer in the civil service, a rank he says, “equates to that of an Army Captain”. As an Executive Officer (EO) myself, in the HQ of another department, I found this an intriguing proposition.

After more than twenty years in the EO grade, on the maximum of the ordinary pay scale, and with some additions for good performance, I earn less than £16,000 a year (all figures are as of April 1996). When I joined the civil service, the entry qualifications for the EO grade were two ‘A’ levels of any description, and I don’t think that has changed much since. I currently have no responsibilities for staff, and have never been responsible for more than seven. Occasionally, an EO might supervise up to a dozen staff, but he would rarely have personal responsibility for significant decisions involving their deployment. If you get fed up at your local social security office, or Jobcentre, and demand to see the supervisor, that will be an EO. It’s a job where you need to be honest, accurate, and technically sound, but it’s nothing special in the great scheme of things. Higher Executive Officer (HEO) is the next step up, and is a standard civil service ‘middle management’ grade.

The comparison with the Army ranks suggested by Mr Pope did not seem to ring true to me. I had this impression that a Captain could well, in combat, be responsible for the lives and deaths of a substantial number of men. A Major even more so. Using the straightforward investigative technique of finding out the facts, I compared the pay scales of the two civil service jobs with their supposed Army counterparts. This was enlightening.

  • Executive Officer between £11,433 and £16,826
  • Army Captain between £23,668 and £27,521
  • Higher Executive Officer between £15,363 and £21,491
  • Army Major between £30,054 and £36,010

In addition, Army officers receive subsidies for food and accommodation, and various allowances. Civil servants seldom receive any addition except London Weighting. The differences in income are actually greater than the figures suggest. The differences in responsibility are as great.

Continuing my investigation – actually, having a chat with the Sergeant in the local Forces Information office – I found that probably the only way in which civil service grades equate with Army ranks as Mr Pope has suggested is in the privileges given to civil servants if they visit an Army base. Where they eat – the Officer’s Mess – and where they sleep. Otherwise, I suspect that they do not equate at all, and that Mr Pope’s comments might possibly be regarded as misleading.

If the Government has entrusted responsibility for the conduct of its information-gathering, assessment and public relations regarding UFOs to a mere EO, then you can be pretty sure of one of two things. Either it has secrets to protect, and placed in the job someone who has no idea what they are, and whose ignorance is useful in protecting those secrets. Or – and this is far more likely – the Government has long since decided that UFOs have no defence or other significance, and decided to fill its ‘UFO liaison’ job as cheaply, and as at low a grade, as would be consistent with the rudiments of providing a service to its customers.”

Later, as Pope’s star continued to rise in the firmament of ufology, I wrote a couple of letters to the MoD asking about the nature of his job, his responsibilities, and the time he spent on it, as well as querying the sense of referring callers to the dubious skills of Quest International – which in a second letter they informed me they no longer did. Kerry Philpott’s replies were consistent with my view that an EO would have been responsible only for dealing with incoming phone-calls, logging them, and sifting them for anything that would be of interest further up the line before issuing standard replies. It seems that this was far from a full-time job: Pope’s ‘Meeting the Ministry’ interview, “There is no specific ‘UFO budget’, excepting the staff costs, ie around 20% of my salary”, suggests it only occupied one day a week.

The caption to Pope’s photo in Covert Agenda says “Nick Pope, who for three years (1991-4) investigated UFO sightings for the Ministry of Defence.” If he had the Sec(AS)2a job for three years, then if he spent only one day a week on it, the maximum number of days he could have spent on the UFO issue in work time was around 156. An average civil servant, even without sickness, will have around 7 weeks a year off, which would bring that down to around 135 days on the UFO task. In the Introduction to The Uninvited (p.xiii) he states of his time with the MoD “My conversion was not a blind leap of faith, but was based upon numerous instances where my rigorous official investigations had failed to uncover any conventional explanation for what was seen.” In Open Skies, Closed Minds (p.3) he refers to “The hundreds of cases I investigated each year . . . ” Considering that he had to man the phone and answer letters as well, I wonder what Pope’s “rigorous official investigations” amounted to. It scarcely seems credible that he could have conducted hundreds of rigorous investigations each year in around 45 days.

From Kerry Philpott’s letter to me dated 4 November 1996, it seems likely that Pope’s job didn’t actually require him to “uncover any conventional explanation for what was seen”. Instead, Philpott explains – and this seems to fit the available work time much better than Pope’s version – that

“The MoD examines any reports of “UFO” sightings it receives solely to establish whether what was seen might have some defence significance; namely, whether there is any evidence that the UK Air Defence Region might have been compromised by a foreign hostile military aircraft. The reports are examined, with the assistance of the Department’s air defence experts as required and, unless there is evidence of a potential military threat, and to date no “UFO” sighting has revealed such evidence, we do not attempt to identify the precise nature of each report.”

In other words, Pope’s task may have been different to what he has intimated. Was he really, in the course of his work, looking for unknowns? Or was he looking only for reports of “defence significance”. Despite his claim that “my official status gave me an edge over other researchers” (Open Skies, Closed Minds, p.3), was research actually part of his job? The MoD’s real level of interest in reports from the public may be summed up in a brief extract from Hansard, August 1998.

Lord Hill-Norton Why [has] the MoD installed an answering machine to report UFOs? Lord Gilbert It carries a message that explains that callers will be contacted only in the event that follow-up action is deemed appropriate.

Unfortunately, nobody seems to have asked Pope just how he obtained all the remarkable information he claims to know. Maybe people have assumed that he would have access to it, by virtue of his job, maybe convinced by his Captain/Major comparisons. But I can’t think of a situation in which a lowly EO would be given that access. Are we to believe that Pope has been accessing information for which he does not have clearance? That he’s a master of espionage? I think not. So, should we really accept that what Pope says about secret and sensitive information comes from within the MoD? Why should we believe it? What proof has Pope provided not only that it’s true, but also that it comes first-hand from official sources?

Although the part-time occupant of the ‘UFO desk’ would have heard and read some interesting reports going up the line from the public, he wouldn’t have been told any more about a matter of serious importance or secrecy. Why would the MoD bother to pass secret, sensitive information back down the line to a desk EO who wasn’t even engaged full-time on the UFO task, and had management responsibility for only one shared, junior member of staff? He had no need to know. He couldn’t do anything with the information. The proposition that he would have been included in the distribution of secret and sensitive information makes no sense at all.

That Pope is still churning out ‘new’ secrets is also a surprise. I understand that he was promoted to Higher Executive Officer (HEO, the grade I’m now working in too, by chance) in 1994. I gather that this took him away from the Air Secretariat into, if I remember correctly, some sort of Finance/Admin work. The MoD is a huge government department, and the chances of Pope continuing to have access to any sort of ‘secret’ material after his change of job – let alone material about a UFO/RAF confrontation – are pretty much nil. Even if a rumour went around the MoD to that effect, Pope would know no more than anyone else who heard it, and it’s unlikely that any such rumour would be more than fragmental, tiny suggestions of strange events. Any significant leak of information would undoubtedly be reported, and the appropriate security action would be taken. The civil service has clear and well-used disciplinary procedures, and I’m not aware that Pope has been made subject to any of them. The MoD isn’t MI5, Pope is no David Shayler, and I suggest that any supposedly ‘secret’ material he appears to have accessed since his change of job should be scrutinised with particular rigour to identify its source.

If Pope really were party to information about a UFO/RAF confrontation, if such a confrontation had ever actually taken place, then I am reasonably confident that he wouldn’t be writing a book about it, let alone boasting about it in advance to acquaintances. For me, the fact that he is doing so, and so far in advance of publication, leads me to believe that what he has to say is of no concern to the government, however convinced he may be of its truth. I suggest that it may be wise to look at Pope’s claims in the light of his unusual, possibly unsubstantiated, beliefs, rather than accepting an extraordinary access to state secrets – secrets which nobody else has dared to reveal. In Open Skies, Closed Minds he thanks, among others, Tim Good, Budd Hopkins, Tony Dodd and Colin Andrews. In The Uninvited he adds Peter Robbins, Betty Hill, Whitley and Anne Strieber, Philip Mantle and Harry Harris to that list. No doubt they would thank Pope, too, for carrying their beliefs to a wider public on the back of his employment with the MoD, but I suggest we should be more than cautious in assuming that Pope’s information about alien reality – including an alien/RAF encounter – comes from the government, when it seems so much more likely that he heard it from his new-found friends. Who probably started him worrying about there being “er, a number of other agencies” interested in him, too!



In the UK, 12 issues cost only £10. Otherwise, £5 (cash, UK cheque or International Money Order) will bring you 5 monthly issues in the UK, 4 in Europe, and 3 issues anywhere else in the world. Outside the UK, issues will be sent by economy air mail, wherever available. All back issues are available. Please make payments out to Kevin McClure, and send to 3, Claremont Grove, Leeds, LS3 1AX, England.

Kevin McClure retains the copyright of all material published in AW, but if any responsible magazine or e-zine would like to reprint anything, I’m likely to agree if you ask in writing. Thanks.

PS I’m not trying to ignore the ‘Nazi UFO’ investigation. I’m just swamped with ground-breaking material from incisive and generous researchers all over the world, with more promised and on the way. I already have hundreds, probably well over a thousand pages of relevant sources to go through, so it’s going to be a while before Secrets or Lies 2 makes it onto the printed page. But please don’t let that deter you from keeping the flow of research going. This one really is worth doing!

Abduction Watch #10/11

By Kevin McClure

Digging up the pavement on the Road to Hell

Number 10/11 June 1998



Strange Investigation Phenomena

Let’s start this issue with some serious concerns about Strange Phenomena Investigations – SPI. This used to be Malcolm Robinson’s group, but now that he’s moved to pastures new in London, it appears that one Billy Devlin is running SPI Scotland, whereas Robinson is to start SPI England while continuing to play a major role in the Scottish group, too.

As many of you will be aware, last year I sent out a letter to BUFORA members titled BUFORA’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WELFARE OF WITNESSES, in which I tried to sum up the problems and dangers caused by the use of regression hypnosis in ufology. Particularly, I commented on the degree to which regression had created belief in alien abduction where no real event had occurred, and on its use by BUFORA members, despite BUFORA’s clear and long-standing policy that the technique should not be used. That letter grew into issue 6 of AW.

I received some excellent, intelligent responses to what I had written. Most were supportive, a few were critical, but only one person saw fit to respond by writing and distributing – widely both in the UK and abroad – an ill-informed article recommending the use of regression hypnosis, titled Hypnosis, is it a reliable tool?. That person was Malcolm Robinson, who presented none of the extensive scientific, medical, legal and psychiatric sources which make it abundantly clear that hypnotic regression is not only useless but dangerous, but did make the specific claim that the hypnotist that he used in SPI investigations was qualified to undertake regression hypnosis, thus lending his use of the technique some respectability. He also insisted (see AW4) that “only qualified people are allowed near our witnesses”. Specifically, Robinson stated that in Hypnosis, is it a reliable tool? that

“I would now like to address some of Kevin McClure’s misinformed statements . . . He states that the A70 case was developed using (as he calls it) ‘amateur regression hypnosis’. Dear oh dear, why do people write things without checking their facts first? Although the regressionist concerned was also a psychic, she was/is a professional and qualified hypnotherapist, she was not a ‘fly by night practitioner’. She was qualified, end of story.”

Since then, despite a series of requests to do so, Robinson has failed to provide any evidence of the qualifications of ‘Helen Walters’, the psychic/hypnotist in question. So, I was greatly surprised by his much more recent statement in Strange Phenomena Scotland for March/April 1998, where he stated that “I’ll be sending Kevin all the relevant details soon”,. He went on to give the impression that what I was doing – debating the issue of the psychological welfare of witnesses on the basis of scientific and medical evidence – was a waste of his valuable time.

When I read this article, published under the editorship of the aforementioned Billy Devlin, I wrote to Devlin asking him to substantiate the statement, and provide me with details of the qualifications held by Helen Walters. More of that letter and Devlin’s reply in a moment, but a few days later Robinson phoned me, taking the wonderfully macho approach of asking if I was “man enough” to debate the hypnosis issue with him on the phone.

Well, yes, I was man enough, though a public debate appealed – and still appeals – much more. Once Robinson had got over his surprise that I didn’t believe the sad ramblings of David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins, we got to the issue of Helen Walters.

This is, perhaps, a good point to remind those of you who have been confused by a mistake in Fortean Times and a misapprehension by Eric Morris, that I am not a qualified social worker, but that fraud investigation was one of the jobs I’ve had while working in social security. Occasionally, the skills accrued then come in useful, and in due course I found out why Robinson had not responded to my requests for information. He couldn’t because, as he explained to me, and regardless of his much-publicised written statements

  • he doesn’t know what qualification(s) – if any – Helen Walters has
  • he has no proof that she has any qualification(s) at all, and
  • when he asked her for details of the qualification(s) he may have believe(d) her to have, she refused to provide him with any information, on the grounds that such a request was an invasion of her privacy.

So much for, “Dear oh dear, why do people write things without checking their facts first?” There are only a few possible explanations for the contradiction between Robinson’s comment and the facts, and they centre round the question of whether he did check with Walters that she was a “professional and qualified hypnotherapist”. If he did check, why doesn’t he know what her qualifications are, and why won’t she tell him again? If he didn’t check, why has he repeatedly asserted that she was a “professional and qualified hypnotherapist”? Was this an attempt to mislead, or a basic mistake by an investigator who didn’t think to check the most basic facts before jumping to conclusions? Was it an attempt to cover-up for having allowed an unqualified and possibly completely inappropriate person to become involved in pseudo-medical procedures with vulnerable individuals who he had assured of her professional standing? Was it simply a desperate attempt to legitimise SPI’s continued dependence on a useless and dangerous procedure without which the abduction elements of the A70 case – which Robinson confirmed changed his own view from scepticism to belief – would never have existed?

I have offered Robinson the opportunity to explain himself in AW, and suggested that SPI should refrain from making use of Helen Walters until they have proof that she genuinely has meaningful, professional qualifications. Unfortunately, it appears that a lengthy period of consultation between Robinson, Devlin, and their committee has to be completed before these questions can be answered. Let’s hope no harm is done while their discussions take place. I’ll report back in due course.

Which brings us on to the plans and beliefs of Billy Devlin and SPI Scotland, the other extraordinary content of Strange Phenomena Scotland for March/April 1998, and one of the most disturbing rumours I’ve heard in years.

There has already been some debate among the Scottish UFO groups about SPI’s increasing determination to take its UFO message out to children. The group wants to continue to give talks in schools, and further involve children in its investigations. To quote Robinson

“SPI are thinking of setting up a junior section where we can advise and assist youngsters in their interests. If enough people are interested, we may hold classes for would be investigators, where we would learn from each other, organise field trips, and generally have fun with the subject”

He goes on to invite calls to the phone numbers published in the magazine.

So, children read the magazine (why else ask them to phone in?), and SPI wants to train them as investigators. Yet, at the heart of SPI’s investigations is a psychic/hypnotist who declines to reveal any qualifications she might have, and the organisation is run by two individuals who are totally convinced of her powers and, despite all the evidence, believe in her regression hypnosis as a first-line method of obtaining factually accurate but supposedly repressed ‘memories’ of complex abduction events for which there is no objective evidence. Walters also does a variety of mediumistic routines, and it is apparent that Devlin (“I actually saw what looked like an arm come out and take hold of Helen by the arm”) believes that he, too, possesses psychic powers.

The magazine offers readers – including the children – other disturbing delusions, too. In what appears to be an advert for ‘The Alien Abduction Helpline’ Devlin publishes, without comment, the claim that (apparently through the psychic channelling of Grahame Wyllie) “Josef of Aragon, head of one of the twenty four civilisations . . . is able to extend both physical and psychic protection to any individual who asks of their own free will.” Protection, that is, against abduction by aliens. I wonder what the Advertising Standards Authority would make of the accuracy of that explicit boast?

Similarly, Devlin advertises ‘Truthseekers Tayside’, whose advert could also prove deeply disturbing to any vulnerable person, including children. It makes wild assertions, for which there is no proof, about the existence and purpose of various kinds of ETs, and encourages distrust of government agencies, and belief that they have been “infiltrated” by “one or two insidious ET races”. I wonder what proof there is for the accuracy of these explicit claims? And then there is the ‘Alien Activity in America’ column, which asserts the power of aliens over human beings, the reality of child abduction, and claims that in one case the ‘alien activity’ led to suicide. What effect might these assertions have on a vulnerable child – or adult, for that matter – who was encouraged to believe them?

I wrote to Devlin asking what checks he had made of these claims, but he appears not to feel responsible for only publishing information that is factually true. I sent him copies of ‘Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse – Implications for clinical practice’, from the British Journal of Psychiatry no 172 (1998), ‘Fading reveries: repressed-memory madness in the UK’, from The Lancet, June 6 1998, and Abduction Watch 6. Between them, these make a powerful case for never using regression hypnosis to attempt to ‘recover’ memories of traumatic events, and strongly discourage real professionals from doing so. Devlin’s reaction, among some ‘stream of consciousness’ drivel about my lack of “experience in the use of hypnosis” (why would I want to use hypnosis when it’s both useless and dangerous, Billy?) is to say

“I found the articles very interesting and you can be assured that I will consider them when I next have to use hypnosis”.

I really hope this doesn’t mean that Devlin himself is practising hypnosis. The use of the words “I next have to”, when he never actually has to at all, and when it would be advisable that he never should, certainly raises several questions.

In view of SPI’s commitment to involving children in its research, and its apparent lack of self-regulation, I wrote and explained to Devlin that, “should I hear that SPI, or any person acting on behalf of SPI, or with SPI’s encouragement or approval

  1. Has used any form of hypnosis or regression, or any other memory enhancement technique on a child
  2. Has in any way led or encouraged any child to believe that he or she, or any other child, has been sexually assaulted in any degree by a non-human being, or has supported a child in such a belief
  3. Has published any account asserting the fact of the abduction or assault by aliens of a child with whom SPI has had any form of contact , or
  4. Has instructed a child in the practice of hypnosis

I will bring the matter to the attention of the Director of Social Services for the appropriate county, and/or the Police, and/or the media, as appropriate.” As I will.

I’ll ignore the nasty little threats made by Devlin in response, because these people are abduction fundamentalists, who are convinced of the reality of alien abductions. Fundamentalists often turn nasty when their beliefs are challenged in any way, and it’s Devlin’s beliefs – rather than any real or tangible evidence – that I’m challenging here. However, a recent rumour concerning SPI’s possible approach to abductees only strengthens my determination to ensure that children are protected from its activities.

In Ron Halliday’s magazine Phenomenal News for Spring 1998, he publishes a report of a talk given by Gary Wood, one of the “A70 case” abductees, who had no recollection of a series of complex interactions with his alien abductors until he had been hypnotised and regressed by Helen Walters. It appears that he has been hypnotised a number of times, coming up with new material on each occasion. On one occasion, under hypnosis, he “saw”

“a naked woman, her eyes red with crying, trying to cover herself up. Gary couldn’t do anything to help her. She sat with her back to him. There was also a fat young girl of 9 or 10 with long hair and flabby dimpled skin.”

From his TV appearances Wood appears to be a pleasant and likeable person. If Walters really were professionally qualified in any area of therapy, and belonged to a professional body with a code of conduct and a disciplinary procedure, I doubt that her membership would survive this shambles. How was Wood led to come up with such a bleak, tragic image, feeling he should have helped this woman, but couldn’t do so. What is the child doing in this reverie? And why does regression hypnosis conducted by hypnotists well-versed in the abduction mythos repeatedly produce these scenes of sadistic sexuality?

The rumour in circulation is that SPI not only believes that the naked, crying woman and the fat girl of 9 or 10 are real people, but that they have considered looking for them in the Edinburgh area If this rumour is accurate – and I have no proof that it is, and I am not saying that it is, (I hope that, perhaps, SPI would have the grace to confirm or deny its accuracy) – then I would be grateful if everybody with contacts in the Scottish UFO scene could be alert to SPI claiming to have found this child ‘abductee’ or any other, and would keep me informed.



The alien explanation – a lazy solution to genuine mysteries

There have been three major UK ‘alien abduction’ cases: Aveley, Alan Godfrey and the ‘A70′ case. All three of these featured different, but intriguingly anomalous experiences reported by reasonable and credible people travelling in cars. Each, because of the use of regression hypnosis, ended up being explained away in a mush of alien visitation and abduction and all the junk that goes with it. It was this that changed the lives of each of the ‘experiencers’ involved, and not the experience they actually remembered. Because individuals with unprovable, subjective beliefs took over the direction of each of these cases, each has been given an ‘explanation’ in keeping with the beliefs of those individuals.

Which means that the real mystery in each case – the consciously-recalled, apparently real-life, real-world, real-time experience – has been largely forgotten in the rush to the all too common, now nearly standardised ‘alien explanation’. Because hypnosis is so easy, and the alien explanation so well-known and so readily accepted, we are probably missing out on the opportunity to investigate some really unusual events. I suggest that its many fans are actually saving the hard-line sceptics a lot of work. They are burying the genuine unknowns in the dross and detritus of alien abduction.

What brought this point home to me recently was reading through some draft material Robert Moore has prepared for a new BUFORA handbook. Well-informed about pre-abduction ufology, he set out with clarity many of the key issues that should have been considered in the Aveley, Godfrey and A70 cases, the issues of which competent investigators should all be aware. Moore’s thorough work reminded me that until hypnosis and the alien explanation became fashionable, intelligent, competent investigators were happy to work on reports of this kind for months or years, with great thoroughness. They usually found reasonable, if unusual solutions to the problems that the evidence presented, but that simply emphasised the importance of the few surviving unknowns. Now, few cases receive that sort of attention. Investigators skip the difficult stuff, call for the hypnotist, and then the experiencers’ problems begin.

It seems that the experiencers in all these cases really wanted no more than a rational explanation for what they consciously perceived had happened to them. I suspect that none of them needed the alien explanation they were given, and that their lives need not have been changed in the way that hypnotic regression has changed them. In addition to what we already know of the effect on the experiencers at Aveley, and on the A70, evidence has recently emerged in the Godfrey case which suggests that here, too, hypnosis and the alien explanation have led to nothing but confusion and, quite possibly, some degree of personal distress.

Issue 20 of the Newsletter of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, published in April 1983, includes an article – hitherto, how shall I put it, somewhat overlooked – by the Society’s Chairman, Dr H B Gibson. Its title is ‘Hypnosis and Flying Saucers: A Case Study’.

The writer tells of being contacted by “a solicitor in a northern town . . a man of high intelligence, engaging personality and expensive tastes” who “asked me to come up to this town and hypnotise a policeman . . he . . wanted the policeman age regressed to a particular date to see what could be discovered about his experiences.” The writer was not keen to take the case on but “This policeman had been hypnotised twice by psychiatrists and some very strange facts had emerged: the psychiatrists had been convinced of the genuineness of what they appeared to have found out. But apparently this solicitor did not feel satisfied with what had apparently been produced and wished to secure the services of someone who might have a more scientific approach to investigation”.

The detail of the account of this attempt at regression hypnosis, and the personal issues that arose and are recounted here, are not mine to reveal. If I’m going to preach about witness confidentiality, I ought to practise it. Suffice it to say that the alien explanation found for this case appears to have been neither warranted nor helpful and that, in some way, the findings of this respected psychologist should be taken into account in assessing the overall significance and meaning of the case. Finally, it does make a clear point about the use of regression hypnosis. Notably, that even the solicitor who arranged it appeared to have had serious doubts about its accuracy in this case, and that it does not appear to have assisted the experiencer in dealing with what he consciously remembered about his experience. The weight of evidence arguing that hypnosis is useless and dangerous grows ever more compelling, supported from the least expected directions.


Bob Dean – an important article in ‘The Unopened Files’


You wouldn’t really expect me to commend articles that appear in ‘Quest International’ publications, but it seems that since Tony Dodd parted company with the Birdsalls, they feel free to publish much more balanced, investigative, even debunking material. There is still some wildly speculative stuff, but I’ll certainly keep buying both UFO Magazine and The Unopened Files while they include material like this.

Briefly, the article is the outcome of a long investigation at high military levels, conducted by Timothy Good and Admiral Lord Hill-Norton – neither of them sceptics in any way. This investigation has concluded that Master Sergeant Robert Dean – Bob Dean – did not, while posted to SHAPE from 1963 onwards, see a copy of a ‘Cosmic Top Secret’ document titled ‘An Assessment – An Evaluation of a Possible Military Threat to Allied Forces in Europe’. This document supposedly assessed the vast evidence of alien visitation and intervention on Earth, and Dean has been travelling the world talking about its contents for several years, featuring at conference after conference and accruing followers in many countries, not least the UK.

The reason that Good and Hill-Norton conclude that Dean did not see ‘The Assessment’ is simple. It never existed. An alleged copy of the front cover of the document is described as “not authentic”, and the document Dean provided describing his security clearance level at SHAPE as “Cosmic Top Secret (Ultra)” is described by Good as “patently bogus”. For Quest International to run this story, considering the extensive platform they have given to Dean in the past, shows some courage.

I mentioned in AW4 that Phil Klass had uncovered Dean’s service record, and that his role in SHAPE was actually that of ‘Chief Clerk Language Service Branch’. Obviously he would never have been given the level of security clearance he claimed, a level that Good and Hill-Norton have established never even existed. It now seems to be time for a number of magazine editors and authors to apologise for the inadequacy of the research and verification they exercised before printing Dean’s claims, and for us all to look more closely at these people who appear to remember more than it is likely that they ever knew. Wendelle Stevens and Clifford Stone are just two more individuals whose stories might benefit from similarly thorough investigation.


Nazi UFOs – more secrets than answers

I’m not a very political person. I tend to say what I mean, and I persistently fail to anticipate the tactics that people will use to protect what they perceive as their interests. Of course, when I started digging into the strange world of belief in ‘Nazi UFOs’ I was aware that this is an area of mixed motivations, and that I might, if my research undermined the accepted evidence, provoke some difficult reactions.

A few weeks ago I wrote and distributed my research in this area to date under the title Secrets or Lies (and there’s been a lot of research, hence the delay in producing this double issue). I’ve included an updated version below. Helpful and enterprising friends put it out in the right places on the Net and elsewhere, and I’ve had a marvellous response from researchers all over the world. As a result, I’m now even more persuaded than when I asked the questions in Secrets or Lies that whatever plans or drawings there may have been – and the evidence even for them is painfully thin – there is no persuasive evidence that any high-performance circular or spherical aircraft flew in Germany or its occupied territories during the Second World War. To say that the legends of Nazi UFOs are founded on sand is probably an insult to sand. Founded on popcorn is probably nearer to the truth.

This proposition may cause concern among a number of individuals and groups. It is clear that the concept of the existence of vastly superior German technology, demonstrated while Hitler was still alive and the Third Reich still unbeaten, is an issue of real importance to some people. It underpins a wide range of beliefs, all of which I suppose I will have to try and address. It can support the idea that the Germans could only have achieved those flights with alien help, or by back-engineering a crashed alien craft on the one hand. It can nurture the hope that post-war UFO sightings are evidence of Nazi UFO bases hidden in the Antarctic, where the Reich, and maybe Hitler too, lived on. It can be a profitable theory for some, like the German Research Project, the publishers of the video UFO Secrets of the Third Reich, the author WA Harbinson, and the writers of the increasing number of badly-researched recent articles on the subject in the UFO, New Age, and right-wing anti-NWO press.

It can also be used to argue the less exotic view that there is a proven line of secret aeronautical development from the wartime flying saucers and spheres, through many later saucer/UFO sightings, to the current ‘Flying Triangles’ and beyond. To quote Tim Matthews’ monograph ‘Secret History’ (widely available on the Net, and now in UFO News Issue One, available for £2 from 78, Greenall Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9)

“Surely it is to the military -industrial complex and not the heavens above that we should look for the origins of the flying saucer . . The case for man-made UFOs is stronger than ever whereas the evidence for ‘alien flying saucers’ is wholly untenable . . It is up to UFO researchers to reorient their thinking, to come to terms with man-made flying saucer reality and the ongoing cover-up relating to it . ”

Matthews has responded to me both personally and, in rather grumpier terms, on the Net. He’s concerned that I will debunk his book in Fortean Times (only if I’m asked, and only if it’s got bunk in it), thinks I’m devaluing his research by referring to the more lunatic fringe conclusions and sources as well as his own much better research in Secrets or Lies, and thinks that I’m wishing away the evidence he has presented because I’m a UFO sceptic, or something.

In a month or two I’ll deal with all the additional material that’s come in when I publish Secrets or Lies 2, but in view of the relatively narrow divide between Matthews’ current view (as I understand it) and my own, I think it’s worth clarifying the key point where I suspect that Matthews has gone beyond the evidence, and is depending on secondhand assertion to support his propositions. Recent suggestions that Robert Jungk’s Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and David Masters’ German Jet Genesis add to the weight of evidence are undermined by their containing no more proof than their Schreiver/Lusar antecedents, from which they simply seem to copy.

Simply, where I consider that the evidence for the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ is so improbable and self-contradictory that it is safest to presume that it neither existed nor flew, Matthews believes that Schrievers’s account of it is “a most credible story” and that researcher Bill Rose has, through “on-site research in Germany, Canada and America”, been able to confirm that movie film was taken of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ flight(s). He asserts that Rose has seen stills which he has no doubt are taken from that film and, essentially, that the standard legend of the personalities, research and development, and dismantling and dispersement of the technology relating to the February 14, 1945 flight of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ has been positively confirmed and is therefore true.

What is missing, however, is the checkable detail of precisely who Rose received this information from, how and where he made contact with them, how they established access to their material and knowledge, and why none of this information is in the public domain more than half a century after the alleged events occurred. To date, Matthews has not responded to my suggestions that the provenance and reliability of the information given to the undoubtedly competent and knowledgeable Bill Rose should be made known and thoroughly tested. Until Matthews or Rose allow us to look at this most vital piece of their jigsaw of information, I will find it hard to believe that they have established the complete picture. Virtually all the ‘Nazi UFO’ material to emerge in the past thirty years looks, to me, like junk. Rose’s information might just be the exception, but if it isn’t opened to inspection, or it isn’t resoundingly convincing, then I suggest that we really can write off the Schriever/Lusar accounts of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’, and, inevitably, all the accounts which derive directly from them.

Anyway, here’s a revised and updated version of Secrets or Lies. Any further information will be gratefully received.


SECRETS OR LIES? – investigating the Nazi UFO legends

by Kevin McClure (Version 2)

This is

  1. a request for help with research
  2. a report on research so far
  3. a note of caution to those who have concluded that there is a continuous line of development from a world war II German technology involving the flight of high performance circular and spherical aircraft, to the stimuli for a wide range of aerial events that have been reported between the end of the war and now.
  4. a response to the information presented by Tim Matthews in his widely distributed report titled Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!


I’m certainly not the first researcher to attempt to establish what is, and isn’t, true among the many claims made concerning the achievements of German wartime technology. I’m sure I won’t be the last. I’ll openly admit that I have a very limited understanding of any kind of technology, including aeronautical issues, and that I have to depend on others to assist me in that respect. But then, I suspect that much of the research that is necessary here deals with a mixture of history, belief, and disinformation. And I’m familiar with all of those.

I do hope to reach a reasonably firm conclusion to the question, at least so that if any further information on the subject comes to light, we can tell how it fits in, and whether it’s likely to be true. And it’s only fair that I admit to my current view. I’m not exactly open-minded, and on the basis of my research to date I’d like to suggest the following hypotheses as a starting-point -

  1. Prior to 1950, no claim was made of any successful flight by high performance circular or spherical aircraft in Germany during the war.
  2. No contemporary documentary evidence (from before 1946) has been produced regarding any successful flight by high performance circular or spherical aircraft in Germany during the war.
  3. The only sources of original information and evidence for the wide, circular ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ come from a brief newsagency report quoted in Der Spiegel in 1950, under the name of a “Captain Rudolph Schriever” (also possibly appearing at the same time in the Italian press), and from German Secret Weapons of the Second World War by Major Rudolf Lusar, published in Germany in 1957, and in London and New York in 1959. Schriever seems to suggest that the craft did not progress beyond blueprint stage, but Lusar appears to have taken the ‘Schriever’ account, turned the planned speed and height figures into ones that had actually been achieved, changed some of the technical details, and added the vague, non-technical drawing of this supposed craft which has been reprinted in various contexts since.

    I am not aware that Schreiver’s existence has ever been confirmed, and no proof has been produced to show that Lusar would have had direct access – denied to conventional historians – to any source of information about such a ‘flying disc’, which he claims “climbed to an altitude of 12,400m” “within three minutes”, “and reached a speed of 2,000 km.h”, on 14 February 1945. There is no independent evidence which suggests that these claims have any basis in fact. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war, together with German encyclopedias, has found no mention of Lusar, or of any ‘Flying Disc’ with such a performance record.

  4. The only source of original information and evidence for the spherical craft described as feuerball and kugelblitz is the writer Renato Vesco, author of (the English title) Intercept – But Don’t Shoot, published in Italy in 1968 and in the USA in 1971, and of two other books in Italian. He was also the first to make the link between those alleged craft and various reports of light anomalies during the war, suggesting that they were the cause of the ‘foo fighter’ phenomenon. No proof has been produced to show how or why Vesco would have had access – denied to conventional historians – to any source of information about these flying spheres, and there is no independent evidence which suggests that these claims for feuerball and kugelblitz have any basis in fact. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war, together with Italian encyclopedias, has found no mention of Vesco, or the feuerball and kugelblitz.
  5. It is highly probable that the kugelblitz (fireball/ball lightning), which Vesco, first, and many others since have believed to be an aircraft, circular or spherical, tested early in 1945, was actually an anti-tank gun. Two prototypes of a weapon of this name were, it seems, tested early in 1945. (Source German Tanks of World War II in Action by George Forty)
  6. There is no contemporary (pre-1946), or other, documentary proof of any kind for the existence or flight, during the war, or at any other time, of the unconventional ‘flying saucer’ craft known as Vril and Haunebu. The material suggesting that these craft, and the related methods of propulsion, existed appears to have made its first appearance some 40 years after the war. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war has found no mention of Vril or Haunebu.
  7. Schriever and Lusar make no mention of the feuerball and kugelblitz. Vesco makes no mention of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’. Neither Lusar nor Vesco mention the Vril or Haunebu craft.

Do you know more – or better?

None of the hypotheses set out above are final conclusions. I want them to be discussed, and if evidence emerges to prove any of them wrong, or to improve our understanding of this subject in any way, it will be included in Secrets or Lies 2, which I hope to put out in 3 months or so from now. However, they do have a particular context, which needs explaining.

For some reason, a number of writers have recently placed new articles about ‘Nazi UFOs’ in the UFO media. The first of these that I came across was by UK researcher Tim Matthews, whose article ‘The New Ufology’ in Sightings magazine, Vol.2 No 7 depended heavily on ‘Nazi UFO’ material taken from the Net, which I recognised from a little research I’d done several years ago. Since then, I understand that Matthews has written a book called UFO Revelation, to be published by Blandford in 1998, which will make substantial use of the supposed reality of German wartime technology. He has also – as many of you will be aware – published on the Net (and graciously sent me a hard copy) a report titled Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!

While I am responding particularly to Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!, this is certainly not the only material to have been produced recently. UFO Magazine, Alien Encounters (twice), The Probe and Atlantis Rising have also published lengthy pieces which include a variety of theories, including the one that the Nazi UFOs were actually back-engineered from an alien craft that crashed in Poland in 1938, and was appropriated by the Germans when they invaded. Corso’s Day After Roswell seems to suggest that the German technological advances were so great that they may have had ‘help’. Nick Redfern’s FBI Files expresses an acceptance, at least, of the ‘Nazi UFO’ hypothesis on a similar basis. Without exception, all of these pieces, and the arguments on which they are based, depend on the assumption that successful flight(s) by high performance circular and/or spherical aircraft took place in Germany during the war. If the available evidence is insufficient to reasonably conclude that those flights did not take place, then we should be concluding that all those pieces, all those arguments, are deeply flawed. The same point applies to W A Harbinson’s Genesis/Projekt UFO material, which has been widely accepted as authoritative until now.

Specific questions

A number of questions need answering in order to progress this research. Any help you can give with any of them will be greatly appreciated. They also suggest some of the areas I believe require consideration before anyone concludes that there really were any ‘Nazi UFOs’.

  1. Any search on the Net using the key words ‘Nazi UFOs’ or similar will produce several items by “Al Pinto” or “Tal”, apparently “Sponsored by Vangard Sciences, PO Box 1031, Mesquite, TX 75150, USA”. At first sight the extensive information given on these sites appears factual and well-researched, and apparently quotes an article written by Vesco for Argosy Magazine, August 1969, which goes some way beyond what is included in Intercept. Additional material re Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger is added to quotes from Vesco and Lusar, particularly a claim that Schauberger had developed the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ at Malthausen Concentration Camp, using prisoners to do the work. Who are “Al Pinto” and “Tal”, and what is “Vangard Sciences”?
  2. What genuine, provable, biographical information is available for Renato Vesco? Pinto states that

    “Renato Vesco is a fully licensed aircraft engineer and a specialist in aerospace and ramjet developments. He attended the University of Rome and, before WWII, studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development. During the war, Vesco worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy. In the 1960s, he worked for the Italian Air Ministry of Defense as an undercover technical agent, investigating the UFO mystery.”

    However, on the cover of Intercept – But Don’t Shoot is the unambiguous statement that

    “Renato Vesco was born in Arona, Italy, in 1924. A licensed pilot, in 1944 he commanded the technical section of the Italian Air Force. In 1946-47 he served in the Reparto Tecnico Caccia. Mr Vesco has been a senior member of the Italian Association of Aerotechnics since 1943, and is a student of aeronautical problems, particularly in the field of jet propulsion. He is a contributor to various aeronautical publications.”

    There is clearly something very wrong here. Born in 1924, Vesco would have been 14 or 15 when WWII broke out. Surely, by that age, he had not attended the University of Rome and studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development? If he worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy, why didn’t Schreiver or Lusar mention him?

    Would he really have “commanded the technical section of the Italian Air Force” at the age of 19 or 20, and “been a senior member of the Italian Association of Aerotechnics” at the age of 18 or 19? Surely, if he really were that remarkable, that important, his name would have appeared in the index or references of at least one of the countless books about the war that I’ve examined? Yet it doesn’t. Who was Vesco, and what did he really know about wartime German aircraft? Where did his material come from?

  3. Similar questions arise about Lusar. He is never more than vaguely described, sometimes as being involved in the wartime German Ministry of Propaganda, and elsewhere as being in the Patent Office. However, he was only a Major, and it seems likely that the material in his book was all, by 1957, available to those who went to look for it. Is there any convincing biographical information available about Lusar that suggests that he had any special access to information about the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’?
  4. Is there any convincing biographical information of any kind about Captain Rudolph Schriever to confirm that given in the Der Spiegel report? He was said to have been a former Luftwaffe Captain, born in 1909 or 1910, and a graduate of Prague University. He is also said to have been an aircraft designer whose blueprints for a “flying top” were stolen from his laboratory before Germany’s collapse. In 1950 he was a US Army Driver at Bremerhaven. If all these claims are true, I suspect that it should be possible to trace Schriever, and to establish whether he really worked with the others near Prague in 1944 and 1945 on the development of a ‘Nazi UFO’.
  5. Is there any convincing biographical material at all about “Habermohl” that suggests that he was the Klaus Habermohl who “designed the first radial-flow engine”, and which places him with the team near Prague in 1944/45?
  6. Is there any biographical information at all to suggest that “the Italian Bellonzo” referred to by Lusar is, as asserted by Matthews, the same person as “Guiseppe Belluzzo”, who Maurizio Verga has said was a “turbine expert who had been working upon various circular craft from 1942.”
  7. The link between German spherical craft and the ‘foo fighter’ stories appears to have been made first by Vesco in 1969. Generally, the ‘foo fighter’ stories referred to lights and not to solid objects, but Vesco produced a handful of very detailed accounts (including reported conversations between the pilots involved!) which have formed the basis of most modern accounts of this phenomenon. I have a strong suspicion that in order to find these accounts Vesco looked no further than contemporary popular magazines such as Ray Palmer’s essentially fictitious Amazing Stories. The issue for May 1946 has been mentioned. Has anybody else looked at this issue, and come up with any answers? I intend to deal with ‘foo fighters’ in detail in Secrets or Lies 2.
  8. Has anybody ever seen a copy of the supposed magazine/newsletter Brisant, which is used to introduce Harbinson’s book Projekt UFO? Henry Stephens’ ‘German Research Project’ sales list claims that “Harbinson’s publisher lost his copy of Brisant, no complete copy has been located”. All that is usually published from it is a supposed drawing of a plan of a flying saucer, to quote Harbinson “altered by the West German government to render them ‘safe’ for publication”. I’ll be putting this point directly to Harbinson’s publisher, but is there any convincing evidence at all that Brisant, including the drawing, was anything other than a work of imagination produced more than 30 years after the war?
  9. Has anyone, previously, suggested that the AP release of December 1944 about the Germans having “a secret weapon in keeping with the Christmas season” which “resembles the glass balls which adorn Christmas trees”, “are coloured silver and are apparently transparent”, and “have been seen hanging in the air over German territory, sometimes singly, sometimes in clusters”, was actually a light-hearted bit of fun designed for Christmas? The phenomenon described certainly doesn’t bear any resemblance at all to the ‘foo fighter’ reports.

    More important, this item apparently appeared in the South Wales Argus for 13 December 1944 and the New York Herald Tribune for 2 January 1945. Any competent historian will be aware that in wartime, censorship ensures that the existence of mysterious, enemy secret weapons is not announced by AP, and published openly by the newspapers of combatant nations. Mainstream history has taken no notice of these reports, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I suggest they were no more than reprints of a slight, seasonal joke.

    Conclusion, and a search for reference material

    As I have said, this document is just a starting-point. To be able to pursue this subject further much more reference material is needed, and I’ll set out a few items which, if you can provide copies of them, would be really helpful. I can pay a bit, but loans or photocopies would be hugely appreciated! The following items come to mind . . .

    • American Legion Magazine, Dec 1945(?) re foo fighters
    • Ray Palmer’s Amazing Stories – any issue referring to foo fighters
    • Terziski, Vladimir – Close Encounters of the Kugelblitz Kind (book)
    • Michael X – The German Saucer Story (book)

    Thanks are due to David Sivier, Dave Newton, Peter Brookesmith, Peter Williams, Wayne Spencer, Andy Roberts, Peter Rogerson, Eugene Doherty, Hilary Evans, Martin Kottmeyer and James Moseley, for their help and advice in getting this far.

    Updates, and an intriguing possibility

    Well, the regressionist doctor in the ‘Alison’s Balloon’ case didn’t respond to my second letter. I sent him, too, a copy of the lengthy article ‘Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse – Implications for clinical practice’, from the British Journal of Psychiatry no 172 (1998), so that he is clear about the current professional view of using hypnotic regression to recover memories of traumatic events. I also asked him to confirm, in view of the RCP warnings, that he would never use the technique in the context of a supposed UFO case again. Let’s hope that he is, at least, inhibited from undertaking such a procedure again. I’ll write to the GMC on this issue as soon as I have time.

    Silence, too, from the publisher Headline (who had sent a holding letter promising an informed response), and investigator Tony Dodd about the serious discrepancies between the two accounts of the ‘Jason’ case. It seems that neither is willing to have the evidence examined or tested by any person other than those involved in the creation of the book. As we can’t tell which version – if either – is true, I suggest that we might just as well ignore this wretched book, and spare a thought for Jason from time to time. Perhaps the apparent marginalisation of Tony Dodd within UK ufology will reduce the chances of this scenario occurring again in future.

    And silence, as well, from Remote Viewer and self-publicist Tim Rifat, who I asked for objective evidence of his supposedly far-reaching powers, offering to put him in touch with scientists who would be only too happy to run the appropriate tests. I suspect that there is no independent proof whatsoever available of Rifat’s claims of positively superhuman powers, which underpin his well-documented attempts to make substantial sums of money, so I was intrigued when, a couple of days ago, I came across a copy of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951. I’ve had little time to research this yet, but it still appears to be ‘in force’ – that is, I don’t think it’s been repealed – and it seems, interestingly, to apply in Scotland. Section 1 of the Act provides that

    (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person who -

    (a) with intent to deceive purports to act as a spiritualistic medium or to exercise any powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers, or

    (b) in purporting to act as a spiritualistic medium or to exercise such powers as aforesaid, uses any fraudulent device.

    shall be guilty of an offence.

    (2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under the foregoing subsection unless it is proved that he acted for reward; and for the purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to act for reward if any money is paid, or other valuable thing given, in respect of what he does, whether to him or to any other person.

    Subsections (3) and (4) provide for fines and periods of imprisonment on conviction. This definition of “powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers” interests me greatly with regard to RV, though we clearly have no evidence, as yet, to suggest that any of the supposed Remote Viewers cannot do all the wonderful things that they claim. I’m sure we can anticipate a convincing, and testable, demonstration of their many remarkable skills in the near future.

Abduction Watch 8/9



Number 8/9, March/April 1998

Please accept my apologies for the delay in producing this bumper, double issue. No 8 was ready to go when the first Jason Andrews article appeared in the SUN. Because a number of people contacted me for information, I decided to see the press coverage, obtain the book, and put issues 8 and 9 together in order to provide, in the only UK publication committeed to dealing with alien abduction, some coherent coverage of this tragic case. By chance, the OVNI article turned up a couple of days later, and then the ‘Nazi UFO’ material from Martin Kottmeyer. I hope you’ll think the wait was worth it. We’ll be back to normal in May.

Tony Dodd and Jason Andrews – chosen by aliens?

You’re probably aware of the 4-day serialisation in the SUN of the story of the supposed 14-year old abductee, Jason Andrews. With luck, you may also have seen the cogent, but sad, account of James Dalrymple in the Daily Mail, attempting to interview Jason. He found that the child had little to say, being repeatedly answered for by the co-authors of ‘Abducted – The True Story of Alien Abduction in Rural England’ – his mother, Ann Andrews, and writer Jean Ritchie. The book is published by Headline, at £16.99, and I advise you to buy it if you wish to understand how the abduction belief is spread and nurtured, and how very, very close it has come to being a cult, with its own creed, priests and prophets. It might be best not to order the book from your library: you wouldn’t want other children to pick it up and be convinced by its extraordinary claims. To be going on with, here’s my view of some of the more immediate issues. I’ve tried not to quote too much, but there is an issue of public interest and child protection here, and it is also important to report accurately, rather than just pick out the most disturbing sentences in an undoubtedly disturbing book.

At last, after years of rumours, circumlocutions, and seemingly groundless assertions of the reality of the abduction of those he has investigated, the book sets out Tony Dodd’s perception of his own relationship to aliens and abductions. As does a letter to a recent magazine. I can now understand why some apparently intelligent elements in ufology present Dodd as a powerful and mysterious figure who possesses information and understanding that the rest of us don’t. One suggested that, if I was lucky, I might be allowed to enter Dodd’s “inner sanctum”. I hadn’t realised why so many of the references had a religious, mystical overtone. Now, perhaps I do.

Let’s look at the evidence of the beliefs of the man who has undoubtedly had the greatest influence in forming opinion about alien abduction and mutilation in this country, and who is held by many abroad to speak with authority on both subjects. In a letter to veteran UFO and Flying Triangle investigator Omar Fowler, published in the March/April 1998 edition of Fowler’s magazine OVNI, Dodd writes

“I have no doubt whatsoever that some of the flying triangles witnessed over the past few years are of terrestrial origin. I am fairly certain also that some of the huge triangular craft seen in Scotland and in the Arctic Circle both entering and leaving the sea are extraterrestrial. My information from highly placed sources indicates that there is without doubt liaison going on between a race of ETs and our own people. There is also substantial information that another race of ET with malevolent intent is visiting us. It would appear that we are being given advanced technology by the friendly ET to enable us to defend against the unfriendly, hence the new generation of triangular aircraft. The weapons in use appear to be highly advanced particle beam weapons which have been used with great success.

This also confirms the reason why so many huge underground facilities have been appearing all over the globe when we are supposed to be living in a peace time environment. Of course the animal and human mutilation situation is part of all this.

With regard to your request for the verses which I received telepathically. As I said this was one of many messages I received . . ”

Dodd’s position is also clarified at various points in the book. Near the end the views of various abduction believers – John Mack, Nick Pope, Maria Ward, James Basil, and Dodd himself – are set out. Confirming the belief in direct contact reported in OVNI, the authors state that

“Tony Dodd agrees that being abducted should be regarded . . as the start of a spiritual journey. He has recorded the messages that he ‘receives’ in his brain from alien intelligences, and the recordings have been used to bring a great deal of spiritual comfort to many people, particularly to patients in hospices who are facing up to the end of their time on Earth.”

Accustomed as I am to reasonably high strangeness, this reference to “patients in hospices” astonishes me. While Christian – even Spiritualist – assurances of life after death are not uncommon among hospital and hospice staff and visitors, I’ve never heard of anything with an alien content. Presumably, Dodd’s ‘messages’ offer some kind of assurance of continued existence beyond death, based on interaction with “ETs”. Perhaps it’s the proverbial ‘we’ll be there to meet you’ promise.

I’ll refrain from further comment at this stage, and let Ritchie and Andrews explain more of Dodd’s experiences and beliefs

“Tony now feels that his initial experience of the UFO was a deliberate introduction engineered by the aliens. He believes he has been regularly abducted for many years . . chosen to pass on messages promoting world peace, and greater understanding of the cosmos. The messages ‘appear’ in his brain, and are so unlike any of his own, familiar, down-to-earth thought patterns that he feels sure they are planted there by benevolent aliens . . . Tony does not believe all aliens are benevolent, nor does he think the earth is simply being buzzed by one particular race of space beings, but by several. He subscribes to the view that world governments are involved in cover-ups, that they know far more about alien activity than they admit to the populace at large.

The authors give an account of an early contact with Jason. I have serious concerns about what Dodd apparently saw fit to say to Jason, then presumably 11 or 12 years old, soon after his parents were convinced by a television programme showing a regressed ‘abductee’ that alien abduction was the explanation for their child’s behaviour problems, contacted Dodd and asked for him to become involved in their situation. Direct quotes from Dodd are included

“Over the phone he described his own abduction to Jason, and admitted he was scared . . “They still come for me, and although I know that they mean me no harm – and have accepted it – it still scares the hell out of me . . Having seen their crafts and the awesome power they possess, I know that we can never stop them. How the hell do you fight something which can not only paralyse you, but can levitate you out of the house through solid walls?”

Again Dodd is quoted,

“I feel the aliens will follow him for many years to come, probably all his life. But he will come to terms with it. He’ll find a way of coping.

I think he may, eventually, prove to be a very important abductee. Some of the experiences he has had make me think he is being groomed as a “teacher”, a human who is entrusted by the aliens with messages for the whole of mankind.”

It appears that Dodd has, in Jason, identified somebody with very similar experiences – and powers – to his. Perhaps he thinks, as some cult leaders do, that he has found his successor, a young person able to perceive, and pass on, those messages from the aliens.

You may know that when Tony Dodd first wrote about this case in UFO Magazine for March/April 1996 I repeatedly questioned – as reported in my publication Promises & Disappointments – the claims he made in his article. Then, the child was identified as ‘Jason Williams’ and although only 11, the magazine chose to publish photos of him with only a black strip across his eyes, as well as photographs of the grounds around the family home.

I asked, particularly, whether Jason had really, as Dodd claimed, been “expelled from school for disruptive behaviour”. Whether he was “rushed into hospital” on “three separate occasions”, when “Disturbingly, on each occasion, Jason’s mother noticed a strange red circular mark on his stomach which she described as the size of her hand”, whether social services had been contacted about the supposedly mysterious injuries and needle marks the child was said to display, and about the supposedly extraordinary behaviour of MAFF, among other issues that seemed to make no sense at all. I ended up with a solicitor’s letter discouraging me from writing about the case: Dalrymple suggests that the family has been guaranteed £60,000 for the book and serialisation.

I’ll be reviewing the book for Fortean Times, and I suspect that in due course there will be substantial further coverage of this, the first UK book to go beyond half-baked case reporting, and set out the abduction faith in full. Looking at the facts, it seems that the book says that Jason wasn’t expelled from school, wasn’t rushed to hospital three times, and when he did go to hospital had different marks from those Dodd described. Dodd said Jason was 8 when the experiences started: the book says he was 4. The story about MAFF has changed drastically, with animals alive in one version, dead in the other, several vehicles calling to collect carcasses in one, only two in the other. The MAFF story still makes no sense at all.

What is clear from both versions is that this family had chosen to believe that their son’s disturbed behaviour – which had taken him previously to a child psychologist and various doctors – resulted from repeated abductions by alien beings, and had no other cause. They bought UFO books, immersed themselves in the culture, then sought out an investigator, and found Tony Dodd. It seems that, since then, all kinds of memories have – without the use of hypnotic regression – come flooding back. A national journalist, apparently of some standing, saw fit to write a book around Jason’s developing reminiscences and Dodd’s views on aliens, implants (Jason apparently has two) and the wonders of recovered memory. In line with some of the more oppressive US beliefs about abduction being a generational phenomenon, the mother believes herself to have been abducted, and has found an explanation for a miscarriage in the conviction that the foetus had been taken by aliens, and may have been an alien-human hybrid. The elder son now recounts encounters with aliens. And – echoing the success of witness support groups in the USA and elsewhere in keeping abductees on track, and supportive of the abduction belief – Jason has been taken round to meet and mix with other abductees, including Maria Ward and James Easton.

The family’s experiences fit neatly to Dodd’s templates for abductee experience, particularly re animal mutilation. Sadly, Ritchie seems to be unfamiliar with any other area of anomalous experience, of the development of cult behaviour and belief, or of the way in which a vulnerable, troubled child can be led, like so many other human beings, to believe in the reality of events which never occurred. She records, without apparent concern that when Jason went missing in the night, and his brother had informed the family that “the bastards have taken him again. I knew it was happening but I couldn’t move, I couldn’t stop it”, that another abductee decided that the Police should not be informed, or asked for assistance in finding him, because

“Going to the Police, when they already knew what the explanation for the disappearances was, would only make matters much worse for the boy . . ”

Sadly, the family was so convinced of the abduction explanation that it accepted this advice: advice I consider no parent should ever accept.

Ritchie seems to have done nothing to challenge the belief elements, to seek evidence from MAFF or the Police or the RSPCA as to whether the family had reported the criminal acts of hurting and wilfully killing animals. While regression has not been use here – it has hardly been necessary – she includes extensive support for the technique, and says nothing of the utter discrediting of the use of hypnotic regression as a tool for the accurate recovery of memory of actual events, or of the problems of false memory, where there is no objective, corroborative, evidence. And there is none here.

This is a sad, depressing, intrusive, inconsiderate case, where a child is being paraded for the media, and it is apparent that not everybody can have been telling the whole truth throughout the case. As we know, animal mutilations reported by Dodd seldom, if ever, get referred to the Police or RSPCA. Here, the dead animals just serve as evidence of a supposed interaction with ETs. As, pretty much, does Jason himself.

So now, we can reasonably speculate why Dodd does not respond to abducted and injured children, or mutilated and murdered animals, in the same way that most of us would. Why he does not – despite his own long service – take matters to the Police, or the RSPCA, so that they can be investigated by human beings, and perhaps be dealt with in human courts. It is not only reasonable to speculate. I suggest that it is actually in the public interest to do so.

I suspect that Dodd fails to make these contacts because “the animal and human mutilation situation is part of all this”. Because “I know that we can never stop them. How the hell do you fight something which can not only paralyse you, but can levitate you out of the house through solid walls?” Because “I wish I could promise Jason that it would stop one day, but it is unlikely. Having been selected for multiple abductions, I feel the aliens will follow him for many years to come, probably all his life.” And perhaps he doesn’t approach government departments, like MAFF, because “He subscribes to the view that world governments are involved in cover-ups, that they know far more about alien activity than they admit to the populace at large.” Why tell a minor government official what you believe his distant superiors already not only know, but are concealing from “the populace at large”?

I have absolutely no reason to doubt Tony Dodd’s sincerity, or his commitment to his role as a spokesman for ETs. But there is little reason to believe that without his involvement either the article or the book would ever have seen the light of day. Ritchie and the Andrews family may be open to criticism – as may the medical and social services that seem to have permitted this psychological tragedy to happen, when I know that I, at least, referred the matter to Kent Social Services and NSPCC in some detail – the focus should fall on Dodd at this stage. I understand that neither he nor his wife are in good health at present, and that he may have retired – permanently or temporarily – from active investigation. But even if that is the case, and while I wish him no personal harm, the legacy he has left in this book is just too dangerous, too threatening to the psychological health and peace of mind of other children and adults who may become convinced by its claims, not to challenge it, and not to seek an open debate as to the accuracy of its content.

One serious consequence of the way in which this child has been surrounded by abduction believers is demonstrated by another quote from the book

“The most dispiriting and depressing moment that I had while researching this book was when I asked Jason what the future held for him. He shrugged his shoulders and said that he did not see it ever getting any better, nor did he see himself ever learning to accept it. Chillingly, he told me how he had seriously contemplated suicide, even going so far as to take a rope into the woods in an attempt to hang himself . . suddenly, the reserve broke, and tears came to his eyes as he shouted angrily at ‘them’, the uninvited strangers who have robbed him of so much of his youth.”

In any other context encouraging, maybe even persuading, a child to hold beliefs which lead not only to the contemplation of suicide, but to obtaining the means, and to going to the intended location, of death, would be regarded with the utmost seriousness. I can think of no reason why the context of a belief in alien abduction should provoke any less concern, or indignation, or intervention by individuals or agencies which have a genuine concern, or a legal responsibility, for the welfare and protection of children. Perhaps it is necessary to establish among the caring professions, a national view as to whether any child, let alone one who has already required the services of a child psychologist should be, as the book repeatedly puts it, “counselled” by those who believe themselves to have been abducted by aliens.

There is much work to be done here, on a case which could either establish the abduction myth in the UK, or provide a route to a much more critical public understanding of how belief groups and cults work, and how people can become convinced of the reality of the unreal. Maybe – if we work really hard – we can move towards understanding the core experiences that underpin the patterns of visions and encounters with the apparently non-human. We need to do far more than tell experients that they’re lying, because they are frequently completely sincere in their belief in what has happened to them – and in their belief that others can have, and will have had, those same experiences. The construction of an irrational and unevidenced cosmology is a frequent consequence of those sincerely-held beliefs.

My view is that the first stage of the investigation of any case is to look for inconsistencies, contradictions, in the evidence as presented. Here, we are fortunate in having two separate accounts of what are supposedly the same events and experiences: the UFO Magazine article from 1996, and the book from 1998. When both versions are allegedly based on Dodd’s own “rigorous” investigation, any credibility the story has will be greatly diminished if no resolution to the inconsistencies is forthcoming. So far, I have written to the publishers to seek their views not only about the apparent contradictions, but more particularly about the specific issues of the organisation for suicide, the decision not to go to the Police when Jason went missing, and the failure to report otherwise unexplained the death and injury of both wild and domestic animals. I’ll pass on any reply I receive, but I would, now, welcome your views on how you think this matter should be taken forward, and with whom. This situation is largely unprecedented on this side of the Atlantic, and it is the right time to try to prevent it arising again.

Yesterday belongs to me

There’s an article in Alien Encounters for April 1998, titled ‘Roswell Explained’, apparently written by a Pole named Zbigniew Blania-Bolnar. The idea is that there was a UFO crash near Laredo on 7.7.1948, characterised as ET, but actually a (Nazi-developed) “kugelblitz”, manned by a monkey. Thus, he argues, Roswell probably had just the same cause.

The source for this material is meant to have been an “American military man of Polish descent called Robert Allan Kolitzky”, who allegedly wrote articles about the event in 1948, but seems to have first provided this report in 1981. It’s worth seeing the piece in AE, but the source material seems typical “. . it’s diameter was estimated to be about 27 meters, and its central part was about 8 metres tall . . It was one of the flying crafts brought over from Germany after WWII, known under the collective name ‘kugelblitz’ (fireball). The eyewitness had access to a military report which states that the post-war American army had at its disposal a considerable number of V2 rockets, several V3 and V4 prototypes, and about 30 kugelblitzes of different kinds”. It’s worth noting that ‘kugelblitz’ is a word used by ‘Renate Vesco’, and that a 27-metre wide flying disc would look nothing like a fireball at all!

‘Blania-Bolnar’ is said to have written a book about “the Laredo Incident” and to have had it published in Poland. The cover is shown, and it is titled “Zdarzenie W Emilcinie”, which apparently means something like ‘incidents/events/happenings at’ “Emilcinie”, which is a place name that appears in a 1991 Polish case. Nothing at all to do with Laredo. I wrote to Editor, Nina Pendred, suggesting this is yet more Nazi disinformation dressed up as investigation, and asking whether AE was given any evidence of BB’s findings, or indeed his existence. She has given me an address for ‘Blania-Bolnar’, so I can ask him myself, and a brief note warning me about libel and slander! Not surprisingly, she makes no mention of having checked the accuracy of the piece prior to publication, and for now, this looks like a distasteful concoction of neo-Nazi propaganda, dependent on yet another mysterious military man, not ‘unnamed’ but strangely unfindable.

More seriously, I’ve been lucky enough to find, through the local library, a copy of the other key work – taking into account the assorted contributions of ‘Renate Vesco’ – in the ‘Nazi UFO’ mythos. This is the almost legendary German Secret Weapons of the Second World War by Rudolf Lusar, translated by R P Heller and M Schindler. The copy I have was published in 1959 by the Philosophical Library, New York, but printed in Great Britain. Lusar gives a little information about himself at the end of his Foreword, originally written for the German edition in April 1957. He says it was written in Munich, and he signs himself as “RUDOLF LUSAR (Major of the Reserve) (ret.) I am not aware that any competent check has been made of Lusar’s background, rank, or of how he obtained – as a mere retired Major – the vast amount of supposedly highly secret material he presents in this book. Some of which seems to originate only with Lusar himself.

Famed US researcher Martin Kottmeyer has been good enough to provide me with some ‘Nazi UFO’ material from a range of sources. One newscutting from the New Britain Herald for Thursday, March 14, 1957 is credited to AP, and is headed

No Flying Saucer Built by Hitler

“Washington (AP) James H Doolittle says it “just ain’t so” that Nazi Germany developed a flying saucer and a bomber that could attack the United States and return without refuelling. The veteran airman, chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, gave a House Appropriations subcommittee his estimate of reports published in Germany of great aviation accomplishments under Hitler. These were contained in a book by Rudolf Lusar, former German War Ministry special weapons chief.

Doolittle’s testimony was published today, along with that of Hugh L Dryden, director of the advisory committee. Dryden said “there is no truth” in a statement that German engineers designed a flying saucer which attained a height of 40,000 feet and speed of 1,250 miles an hour. “This is an advertisement for a book which includes material discovered by our groups who went into Germany after the war”, he said. Dryden said also the man supposed to have designed the bomber that could cross the Atlantic without refuelling had written a book of his own with no mention of any such invention. Doolittle, asked about both the saucer and the bomber, said, “It just ain’t so”.

It would be interesting to know whether Lusar can actually be identified as the former “German War Ministry special weapons chief”, or whether this is an unsubstantiated claim made in the 1957 publicity for the book. The reality of the “Flying Saucers” section of German Secret Weapons of the Second World War is that it runs to just two pages and five lines. More than half a page is taken up by a drawing – devoid of detail – of an aerial and side view of a thin “flying disc” of absurd simplicity, with something like a big balloon gondola stuck through the middle of it. It promises all the aerodynamic potential of a chicken, but Lusar claims that

“during the war German research workers and scientists made the first moves in the direction of these “flying saucers”. They built and tested such near-miraculous contraptions . . . Habermohl and Schriever chose a wide-surface ring which rotated round a fixed, cupola-shaped cockpit. The ring consisted of adjustable wing-discs which could be brought into appropriate position for the take-off or horizontal flight, respectively. Miethe developed a discus-shaped plane of a diameter of 42m. in which adjustable jets were inserted. Schriever and Habermohl, who worked in Prague, took off with the first “flying disc” on February 14, 1945. Within three minutes they climbed to an altitude of 12,400m. and reached a speed of 2,000km./h. in horizontal flight(!) . . . these novel “flying saucers” are far superior to conventional aircraft – including modern turbo-jet machines – that they surpass their flying performance, load capacity and manoeuvrability and thereby make them obsolete.” (pp.166-167)

I don’t know much about weapons or aircraft, but I do know that this clumsy disc apparatus, with something like a large domed summerhouse on top, did not fly at more than 1100 mph, or climb to around 8 miles up in three minutes. How many aircraft ever have? I also know little about cameras, but enough to identify another of Lusar’s claims as pure fabrication

“Among especially important developments of German research were cameras capable of taking up to 8,000,000 photographs per second . . Cranz-Schadin developed an apparatus consisting of a camera with special sparking plugs connected with the electric condenser with twenty-four spark-gaps and twenty-four single-exposure cameras which were geometrically so arranged that one camera belonged to each sparking plug. This camera was able to take up to 5,000,000 pictures per second.”

Let’s just consider these cameras. For 24 cameras, between them, to “take 5,000,000 pictures per second” means that each camera would have to take, er, 208,333 pictures per second. Quite a shutter speed. And an ability to move 5,787 x 36-exposure films past that shutter in just one second. I suppose Cranz-Schardin might just have linked up 24 cameras to shoot in sequence at intervals of one five-millionth of a second, over 24 five-millionths of a second and no longer. But I very much doubt it and, anyway, that just isn’t what ‘Lusar’ claims. He clearly wants us to believe that German cameras could “take 5,000,000 pictures per second”. If ‘Lusar’ was a real person, recording what he believed to be true, then he was, technically, grossly incompetent. His claims for flying saucers and cameras are just two examples to which I can relate. There may be plenty more.

His agenda is made clear at the end of the book, saying that “The achievements of the German people in the Second World War are almost beyond belief . . Confident of justice, trusting in God and Right the German people fought on with superior courage despite great difficulties . . the German sword had to break, since this was the will of Germany’s adversaries”. I can identify no regrets here. Lusar appears to be an unreconstructed Nazi, indulging in the standard disinformation and propaganda that lay at the heart of that regime. He wanted the world of 1957 to think that the still-exciting flying saucer phenomenon was the work of his comrades, a touch of Nazi genius that outlived the war. And he was willing to deceive to achieve that end.

In my view, the confirmation from the 1957 AP release that Lusar mixed real and fabricated information in his book is entirely consistent with the rest of our knowledge of the ‘Nazi UFO’ mythos. The later development of half-baked flying discs bears no comparison to Lusar’s claims. There is no more of a timeline between Lusar’s 1945 flying saucer and real aircraft in the real world than there is evidence that the thing ever existed, let alone flew. I have no doubt that the claims of performance, at least, are lies, concocted by whom, and why, we cannot be sure. But if believed, they make the Germans – the Nazis – look far cleverer than those sick losers have any right to appear.

I have a simple proposition to make. Unless anyone can find a convincing, coherent version of the February 1945 test-flight – not of some half-baked US flying wing a decade later – then I suggest that this “flying saucer” account was a fiction distributed by Lusar, whoever and whatever he may have been, possibly based on the highly dubious account said to have been given by Rudolph Schriever in West Germany in 1952. I also suggest that both were later elaborated by ‘Renate Vesco’ in the late 1960s to include wildly speculative interpretations of the ‘Foo Fighter’ material which, by then, was more widely known, and to place the test-flight in the same month, but in ‘Thuringia’. Since then it has been propagated by one insufficiently careful author after another, particularly in the entertaining, but hardly meticulously researched, work of W A Harbinson.

If this tale is to survive, it’s time for somebody produced a credible, authoritative account that doesn’t quote ludicrous speeds of travel and ascent, that has some clue about the mechanics of the craft’s propulsion, and which, preferably, doesn’t come from a source that claims to have been actively involved with the wartime Nazi regime. Similarly, in the context of the flawed nature of the rest of the evidence, any claim based on the existence of surviving film of wartime ‘Nazi UFO’ test flights would require substantial investigation to be regarded as credible, including an explanation of exactly who presented that material, and how it came to be on show.

It’s important to try to get this right. It’s no good our having some success in controlling the ‘alien abduction’ and ‘secret government’ myths if we just get stuck with a disinformation-based ‘Nazi technology’ one instead. Tim Good’s latest book, the under-researched Alien Base, refers to “‘Flying Saucers of the Third Reich: The Legacy of Prague-Kbely’ (pending publication) by Mark Ian Birdsall”. Another forthcoming book may represent Lusar as authoritative, and further propagate as a revelation a view for which I have yet to detect any proof. That may only highlight my many shortcomings as a researcher, but unless some solid, testable evidence comes along to balance the blatant lies, I think that we have a responsibility to do now what is necessary to dispose of this crude confabulation before it has a chance to achieve a respectability it does not seem to deserve.

Alison’s Balloon

This falls firmly under the ‘work in progress’ heading, but some apparent facts have emerged. Firstly, that this case was researched by a responsible and well-informed group before Harry Harris became involved with Alison, and at that stage there was no suggestion of any period of ‘missing time’. Secondly, that there is no objective evidence that the video taken by Alison shows other than a mundane, terrestrial object, which is airborne because it contains a gas that is lighter than air.

Thirdly, and this is where the work needs to be done, the General Medical Council’s guide to the conduct of doctors, ‘Good medical practice’, includes a section headed ‘Abuse of your professional position’. This includes the instruction that

“You must not abuse your patients’ trust. You must not, for example . . . recommend or subject patients to investigation or treatment which you know is not in their best interests”

I suspect that the GP who regressed Alison did so two, maybe three years ago, before the use of hypnotic regression for the recovery of memory was so thoroughly, medically and legally, discredited. Certainly, long before its use was banned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the highest medical authority in the field in this country, and a ban to which I presume that the GMC would have some regard. But in that Alison seems to believe that she was “taken from her home into a black hole”, and was apparently afraid to continue with the hypnosis, I strongly suspect that the regression was demonstrably not in her ‘best interests’.

So far as the individual GP is concerned, I will seek his assurance that he would not, in view of the information now available about regression hypnosis, seek to use the technique to recover memory again. Then, when I have a couple of weeks to spare, I’ll make a submission to the GMC seeking a view on the involvement of doctors in investigating alien abductions and allegedly related events through the use of regression hypnosis. If I receive anything resembling an authoritative response that might help deal with the problem, I’ll do my best to distribute it to all those who will benefit.

Alien B*ll*cks

Thanks to Jorge Martin, Puerto Rico has become the centre of the alien world, and the Chupacabras the best-known alien on Earth. Yet Martin’s only claim to authority appears to be that he edits a UFO magazine, and his stories are almost all second or third hand, sometimes undated, and show no evidence of any critical, medical, or serious veterinarian investigation. At times he seems to be doing no more than recounting urban legends, but so far nobody seems to have cared. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a skeptics group in Puerto Rico, so the best we can do at this stage is to look for contradictions in the material he presents.

I’ve been doing some research in order to review Tim Good’s ‘Alien Base’ for Fortean Times. It has proved very interesting partly because, on the grounds of Martin’s material, the only location for an ‘alien base’ really suggested by Good is Puerto Rico.

Hopefully, you’re familiar with the idea that, unprecedented in the whole of human history, unknown to all scientific knowledge, a chap known as Chino met a group of 12″ -14″ tall aliens in Puerto Rico, and killed one of them with a stick. Astonishingly, he can’t recall whether he murdered this sentient, living creature in 1979 or 1980, but does recall all sorts of marginalia about keeping its body in a jar, in a biscuit tin, and under the bath, before it was taken away by men who said, as men do seem to in Martin’s Puerto Rico, that they were taking it to NASA.

Luckily for all of us, a series of polaroid photographs of this funny little concoction of big, rather plastic-looking dented head and hopelessly non-matching scrawny little skeletal body has, it seems, survived. They’ve appeared in small numbers all over the place, but never seem to have been given, together, to any person qualified to examine the image, and decide whether it is likely to be a real creature or just a Nineties equivalent of one of the prepared ‘mermaids’ that even I can remember seeing in sideshows.

Tim Good has chosen to publish one shot of what he describes as the “small creature killed by ‘Chino’”, and the illustration he has used is particularly informative, being one of the few that shows the ‘creature’ full-length, and face on. The total height of the creature is said to be only 12 – 14″. In this picture, the ‘creature’ appears to be positioned with its torso resting on a flat surface, and its legs folded. At a rough estimate, the head and neck appear to account for 30% of the total height, the torso 27%, and the legs 43%. If we take the maximum estimated height of 14″, that would make the head and neck around 4.2″, the torso 3.8″, and the legs 6″. The width of the body at the shoulders would be around 3.5″.

Articles in Flying Saucer Review, Winter 1997, and UFO Magazine, March/April 1998, recount Martin’s latest version of Chino’s alien. As Good has dedicated ‘Alien Base’ to the FSR Editor, and quoted extensively from it, and has worked closely with UFO Magazine in publicising this book and others, I presume that he regards both as trustworthy and dependable sources.

Although the translations differ somewhat, the content of Martin’s latest account of the creature is clear, and is patently designed to prove, by giving evidence of sexual maturity, that it is not a foetus. Stupid theory, anyway. Foetuses don’t have big plastic heads, and their cranial bones are incredibly soft, with the fontanelle in the centre of the skull. They wouldn’t dent in a straight line like Chino’s little victim.

However, in trying to make the tale more credible and definitely not like a foetus, Martin states that, to quote the FSR version translated by Editor Gordon Creighton himself

“it had large and well-developed sex organs – nothing whatsoever like a foetus. Indeed it had a large penis and large testicles as big as those of an adult man. (Sra. Elizabeth Zayas also confirmed all of these details and said she found the size of the little creature’s sex organs quite extraordinary!).”

If we use a relatively conservative estimate of male genitalia being 3″ wide, 4″ in height and perhaps 2″ deep, then on a ‘creature’ with a torso 3.8″ high and 3.5″ wide they would be a completely overwhelming feature. The whole torso, from neck to thigh, would be covered by its genitalia. The ‘creature’ would be grotesque and absurd, and nobody would begin to take it seriously. The illustration in ‘Alien Base’ shows nothing of the sort. Is Good – or anyone else who has used these photos – able to explain this apparent inconsistency? Does he feel that it might reflect on the veracity of Jorge Martin? Is it time we started questioning, much more seriously, all that Martin writes and says?

UFO Magazine Editor an abductee?

I don’t want to be burdening you with too much of the Jason Andrews book, which you should be buying for yourselves, but a snippet at the bottom of page 80, about the reasons for setting up ‘Quest International’, astonished me. It says that

“Quest came into being when Graham Birdsall, who set it up, found himself wondering who to turn to about his own abduction experiences. He soon found that there was a need for an information forum for others in the same boat as himself: intelligent, rational people who had found themselves drawn into something beyond the frontiers of normal life?”

Graham Birdsall’s own abduction experiences? Really?? What do we know about this?

MI5, Tim Rifat, and the alien secret

Somehow, Tim Rifat has managed to persuade not only those who pay for his training courses, but also the publisher Century, that he can actually do ‘remote viewing’. You know, new age astral projection with added paranoia. He apparently has a book coming out in September which may include his claims, produced in the ever-accurate Alien Encounters, that

“American and Russian beam weapons are regularly shooting down alien craft, engaged in a secret war to protect mankind . . My research into abductions indicates that biophysics enables the aliens to wipe abductee’s (sic) memories, paralyse them, and even psychically possess them. One explanation is that a certain alien grouping is using humans for research purposes with the intention of a covert take-over . . In many cases the abductee’s biophysical field is captured or destroyed and replaced with something alien and malign. The extreme measures MI5 have used to try and shut me up, even threatening my life, points to their terror that the public disclosure of remote viewing will allow them to learn the truth about aliens.”

I’m sorry to have to ask, but are we aware that Rifat has ever come up with any convincing evidence that anything he has ‘remote viewed’ has ever existed outside of his own head? And if not, shouldn’t somebody explain that to Century?

‘Honed’ Memories

Ernie Sears (see AW passim) has a piece in the April SUFOG Newsletter responding to AW6. He dislikes my view that no physical abduction has ever taken place. He summarises the cult-like attitude of abduction believers, saying that “There are the unsolvable differences twixt the ‘experiencers’ and the investigators, and never the twain shall meet until the latter have their own experience!”, but more important is his assertion that he has been able to pierce ‘screen memories’ covering experiences he had up to 60 years ago. A ‘memory’ of seeing fish tanks, each containing a fish, piled high in a ‘fire station’ at Romsey has, after reading Jacobs, become one of “incubariums” where “hybrid” foetuses were nurtured. A childhood memory of a scar on his wrist being caused by “having a knife thrown at me at school, warding it off with my arm” has been deemed mistaken, and is now one of “exactly similar incidents in abductees stories”. In a letter to me he describes the process of correcting his memories, saying that his point of view has been, as he puts it, “‘honed’ many times since the 1930s when UFOs and ‘abductions’ were virtually unknown as such, ‘honed’ being the only description that might fit, as much of the early years all was buried in the subconscious.” To know how abduction memories are created, and then protected and confirmed by a group of believers, this is a particularly useful source.

Professor Freemont and Quest International

I received (see AW7) a prompt and helpful reply from the Professor, which only confirms that in spite of Tony Dodd’s claims of evidence of mutilations, including those connected with Jason Andrews, Quest International has given him no physical evidence at all. The Professor is clearly willing to conduct an examination of any alleged victim of mutilation, but ends his letter “To date I have not received anything other than a splinter of rotting wood from Mr Caton. In particular, I have not received any animal tissue. I should say, that should such tissue become available through proper channels, I would be delighted to examine it.”

A couple of enquiries . . .

1. If anyone out there knows any good reason why the unfavourable comments of a highly respected psychologist – the third doctor to be involved with the case – hitherto unreported beyond a small professional publication in 1983, and about a regression conducted on one of the UK’s most prominent ‘abductees’, should not receive wider publicity, please let me know.

2. There are rumours that Nick Pope regarded himself as having had an alien abduction experience before the publication of his first book. It is certain (see Appendix 3 of ‘Open Skies, Closed Minds’) that members of the public who approached the MOD with a UFO enquiry were given Quest International’s phone number as a contact point, as well as BUFORA’s. It’s unlikely that BUFORA would have investigated cases on the basis of the reality of alien abduction, or have used hypnotic regression. However, particularly in view of what we now know about Tony Dodd’s beliefs, it seems possible that a person approaching the MOD with a rational enquiry could have ended up being assured by Quest of the reality of abduction, and being recommended regression as the best way to explore it. If, when in his post at Air Secretariat 2a, Pope was already as convinced of abduction as he is now, and if anyone emerged from the investigative process as an ‘abductee’, there may be some serious issues for the MOD to consider at a high level. No government employee should, I am sure, be responsible for putting any member of the public in that position. Can anybody clarify the situation, please?

Abduction Watch 7



Number 7, February 1998

The recent ‘Abductions’ conference at Southport produced the most constructive debate of the subject I’ve yet heard. It was a well-organised, balanced, purposeful day, and I hope that the plans Tim Matthews has for an event on a larger scale will be realised in the near future. Thanks to all those involved, definitely including Eric Morris!

David Caton and Harry Harris – see below – came up with some intriguing material on behalf of Quest International, and Jenny Randles began, with style and conviction, the long journey which will eventually lead to the removal of the Rendlesham case from the diminishing list of genuinely unsolved UFO mysteries.

Shock of the day, however, came from the BUFORA NIC, Gloria Dixon, who told us about the number of children, age 9 upwards, who are phoning and E-mailing BUFORA because they have become convinced that they are abductees. I’ll hope to return to this issue, but for now two thoughts come to mind.

Firstly, that it’s vital there there is a competent, accessible, national UFO organisationto provide a service of this kind, with somebody as sane and competent as Gloria to deal with those calls. And secondly, that we would be inviting tragedy if we left this difficult task to to some of the crackpot UFO organisations and individuals who advertise their investigative services so freely. To me, this is the best argument yet for us to throw our support behind BUFORA, and ensure that it is a positive, active, intelligent organisation, able to command the authority and respect that no other national investigative organisation could possibly be seen as fit to assume.

Dead Loss

The first part of the ‘Quest International’ presentation at Southport was from one David Caton. I’d already, in my talk, explained how both MAFF and the RSPCA know nothing of the many extraordinary ‘animal mutilations’ reported repeatedly as having been investigated by Tony Dodd. Caton said nothing to counter my comments, but explained that Quest had some involvement and support in its investigations from a Professor Freemont, “Professor of Pathology at Manchester University”, who had been shown photos that were somehow stronger than those published in UFO Magazine. Caton said the Professor’s view of some of the evidence was that “He doesn’t think it’s humanly possible”.

This appears to be a Professor A J Freemont, Professor of Osteo-articular Pathology at the University of Manchester. I was surprised that he appears to be qualified in human, rather than veterinary, pathology, but I have written to him enclosing some of Dodd’s speculations on the links between dead animals and aerial light phenomena, my letters from MAFF and the RSPCA, and the advert for the Solihull Conference, all mentioned in earlier issues of AW. I asked him a variety of questions about his own views, and particularly whether he feels it is important that mysterious animal deaths should be dealt with by the Police and RSPCA.

I’ll let you know what, if anything, the Professor has to say, but the real mystery here is this. To read Dodd’s articles about UK mutilations, you’d think that there were numerous cases, across a range of species. He’s published pictures of dead deer, foxes, a lamb and a hedgehog. He writes about sheep and badgers, and that “I now have evidence that shows creatures as small as mice have been killed and their rectums cored out”. Yet Caton explained that, despite spending money on advertising in the agricultural press, and though Professor Freemont is apparently keen to investigate a mutilation, Quest has not been able to supply him with one single carcass. Not one! Nothing but photos. Surely, it cannot be that Quest’s written claims are not based on competent investigation of the physical evidence, on investigation of the carcasses of the animals themselves. Surely, those claims can’t just be based on photographs, phone calls, and mere assertion. Can they? Possibly?

Alison’s Balloon

Considerable excitement arose from the presence of Harry Harris, who spoke as part of the Quest presentation. He introduced one ‘Alison’, a young woman who had, it seems, videotaped an interesting aerial object for a number of minutes, from both inside and outside her house. To me, it looked like a balloon. I know very little about aerial phenomena, but a competent research group had also, apparently, reached that conclusion previously, among others. Harris gave some apparently persuasive reasons why it was not, but it seems that no analysis of this intriguing – and, if of a genuine unknown, potentially extraordinarily valuable – tape has been made by anyone not associated with Quest International.

‘Alison’ seemed lively and intelligent, and particularly remarked on the efforts Harris had gone to in locating her. She talked about making the video, and then Harris showed it, and made the point that the circumstances of its making, and linked events, suggested that Alison had experienced a period of ‘missing time’ when she had moved from inside to outside her house. Harris said to me afterwards that “It’s this missing time that intrigues me about UFOs”.

I don’t know how events moved from suspicion to investigation, but Harris then told us that he had arranged for ‘Alison’ to be hypnotically regressed by a currently practising GP, who had attended a hypnosis course for dentists. He named this GP, whose name I will not repeat at this stage. I do not know whether ‘Alison’ is registered as one of his patients.

Harris explained that ‘Alison’ “became very distressed and frightened under hypnosis”, and recalled that she had been “taken from her home into a black hole”. Given the choice of continuing the session or breaking it off – a choice signified, I think, by shrugging one shoulder or the other – she chose to break it off. I don’t know whether there is an intention to regress her again, but I had the impression that ‘Alison’ regarded what she said under hypnosis as being a recollection of a real event. If so, I imagine that she must be living with a number of unanswered, and worrying, questions.

It is, of course, very rare for a case of this kind to have been given so much publicity: particularly a Quest case. It is unusual for the practitioner who used recovered memory, and caused ‘Alison’ “to become very distressed and frightened”, to be identified, and in view of the information we now have about the failure rate of recovered memory techniques, and the problems they have caused (see AW6), I don’t feel that the matter should just be left. Who knows what else ‘Alison’ might ‘remember’ in due course?

This is very difficult ground. I have no reason to believe that anyone is acting dishonestly, or improperly, or other than in accordance with what they regard as reasonable in the context of their own beliefs. I know that Harris is held in low esteem by a range of people in the field, but here he appears to be pursuing a matter that he regards as important, in a way that he considers responsible: at least he has sought the services of a qualified medical doctor, with a professional code of conduct, which is more than many others have done. His personal view of man’s relationship with alien beings is, undoubtedly, very different to mine, and I guess that his views lead him to seek out witnesses, and to conduct investigations of this kind.

I very much doubt that the GP involved has breached what the General Medical Council (GMC) sets out as the ‘Duties of a doctor’. I have written to this person (all GPs are listed in the Medical Register and Medical Directory), and without in any way identifying the GP involved , I have spoken to the GMC via their Helpline. They have sent me information, and suggested that while I could not make a complaint, even if I wished to, as a third party I may be able to seek the GMC’s view on the use of regression hypnosis in these circumstances.

And that, particularly in the context of the recently published views, and disciplinary provisions, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, is what I intend to try to do. Not to specifically name, or cause any difficulty for this GP, who has presumably only learned hypno-anaesthesia (I don’t think dentists do a lot of regression work), and considers that he is trying to resolve a difficult personal situation. But I think it’s worth attempting to establish some parameters for the use of recovered memory techniques by professional clinicians in cases where the patient’s ‘problem’ arises from belief in perceived events, rather than from identifiably real ones. This case appears to provide the opportunity to work towards achieving that end, and to be able to inform this doctor, and others, accordingly.

This case, which I’ll refer to in future as ‘Alison’s Balloon’ until proved wrong, may be one of the most crucial yet in understanding the way in which false memory and recovered memory techniques work. If thorough investigation is allowed, it could even be the case that makes – or breaks – abduction research in the UK, and possibly elsewhere. Here, thanks to the open approach taken by Harris, we have a clear proposition that a recorded event – the aerial object – is linked to an amnesiac episode and the ‘recovered memory’ of the witness to the recorded event that she was “taken from her home into a black hole”. The nature of the interruption of the regression inevitably suggests that there was more to be told.

If professional, independent analysis of the video shows – and I suspect that the definition is sufficiently good to allow this – that the aerial object is of unmistakably terrestrial origin, then it would seem to be reasonable to conclude that the material ‘recalled’ under hypnosis was probably deeply flawed, and did not derive from the recollection of real events. It would strongly suggest that this method of investigation is seriously unreliable, even when implemented by a fully qualified GP, and that where recovered memories are not supported by objective evidence, their content might best be dismissed. It would also suggest that a ‘witness’ can display fear and distress under hypnosis, even where there is no ‘real’ stimulus for the display of those emotional states.

This information will, I am sure, be tremendously useful in understanding how the widespread belief in alien abduction has come about. I look forward to seeing the results of a professional, independent analysis of this unusual videotape being made public, so that these issues can be resolved to the benefit of all involved.

Nazi UFOs?

Unless some convincing evidence emerges unexpectedly, it looks as though most of the wartime ‘Nazi UFO’ material has its roots in disinformation, and its survival in naivete and inadequate research. Many thanks to those who’ve provided accurate information – particularly David Sivier and Dave Newton – which together with what I’ve found on the Net, a bit of book buying, and an utterly fruitless search of conventional histories of air warfare in WW2, brings me to this conclusion. (David Sivier has written a substantial and impressive article about Nazi UFOs for Strange Daze No 15, which should be out in the last week in February. For a copy of the excellent Strange Daze, please send £1.50 to Dave Newton at 2A, East Cheap, Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 5UA). Thanks, too, to Tim Matthews, who I criticised in AW5, and who, at his excellent Southport Conference, most generously acknowledged his mistake in taking some apparently authoritative reports as true. I wish that might happen more often!

We know that the Nazis had plans for all sorts of unlikely and impossible schemes and structures. Plans were what they were best at. It seems that they even had plans for circular flying machines, but that there is little or no evidence that any flew convincingly during the War. Apart from the writings attributed to ‘Renate Vesco’ – just one article and one book that has been published under various titles – there is no evidence at all for either the feuerball or the kugelblitz, the two supposedly spherical, powered, wingless, controllable German craft which are meant to have given rise to the reports and rumours (and these need some serious sorting) of ‘foo fighters’. The ‘foo fighter’ material actually seems to relate to lights of assorted different colours, moving in hugely different ways, much of it reported by one squadron of US night bombers at a time when the flyers would have been very anxious, very afraid, and very anxious to look for lights.

There’s more work to be done here, and I’m delighted that Fortean Times want to publish the conclusions. But just to concentrate on Vesco for a moment, does anybody have a photo of him, an old or current contact address, or any biographical material beyond, or supporting, ‘his’ claim in the 1969 Argosy article that he ‘was a fully licensed aircraft engineer, specialist in aerospace and ramjet developments, attended the University of Rome, studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development before the war, worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations during the war, and in the sixties worked for the Italian Air Ministry of Defence as an undercover technical agent, investigating the UFO mystery’. I have copies of ‘Man’Made UFOs 1944-1994′ by Childress and Vesco, and of W A Harbinson’s ‘Genesis’ and ‘Projekt UFO’. Copies or a brief loan of any other relevant material would be greatly appreciated. As of now, I rather doubt that Vesco ever existed. But if I’m right, who made all this up, and why?

No more Unnamed Soldiers?

Too much to hope, probably, but the lack of them has been noticeable in past three issues of both Sightings and Alien Encounters. Even Jon Dillon’s started writing about dull old unidentified flying objects again! Probably pure coincidence, but I’m slightly chuffed! And lest we forget how this disinformation works, Sightings Vol 2 No 9 reprints, in an article called ‘The Wicklow Hotspot’, an undated newsclipping which reports that “SAS soldiers waiting to ambush IRA gunmen were stunned when ALIENS walked in front of their gun-sights, it was claimed yesterday . . The “aliens” and soldiers stared at each other for a minute. Then the “spacemen” disappeared – and seconds later the eight SAS troops saw a flash in the sky. They were so disturbed by what they had seen they took the rare decision to abandon the stakeout. Their commander was furious . . but the eight stuck to their story and it was accepted. Now, four years later, it has been revealed to an Ulster UFO study group by a former Army intelligence officer. Belfast-based expert Hugh O’Brien said, “We are trying to interview the soldiers even though some may be too embarrassed to come forward . . ” If anyone knows where Hugh O’Brien is now, I’ll send him some relevant back issues of AW, and explain how this thing seems to work.

Meanwhile, I’d be interested to hear your views on this disinformation issue. It’s become traditional, particularly among the tunnelling classes, to blame all that’s odd and misleading on ‘the government’. Secret bases, agreements with aliens, mind-control, psy-ops, nuclear bunkers for the rich and famous, the suppression of Reich and Schauberger, world government, the United Nations, the New World Order, Freemasons, and all the rest. This material has been linked to alien abductions in a sort of celebration of helplessness, suggesting that because the phenomenon is in some way real, and widespread, there can only be two choices as to why it is allowed to go on. Either the government is in league with the aliens, and permitting them to do what they do, or the government is doing it, and misleading us all by blaming aliens who may, or may not, really exist.

Let’s consider the ‘Unnamed Soldier’ – and similar – material in this context. It promotes the concepts of our helplessness and our ignorance, as we try to cope with apparently overwhelming official secrecy. That secrecy, however, turns out to leak like a sieve, and we are given sufficient information to be able to blame the government, the armed forces, the Americans, the secret services, and in passing some aliens, whose role is primarily to have carelessly crashed on a lonely hillside having successfully navigated their way across billions of miles of interstellar space, before being collected and kept secret – a very bad secret – by various agents and employees of the aforementioned government.

I can see parallels here with the way in which the Patriot and Militia groups and beliefs have been led to develop in the USA, nurtured by a similar diet of disinformation about a federal government allegedly dominated by freemasons, financiers, and the New World Order, so that the believers are now locked in their own loop of exclusive, defensive, self-protective, self-perpetuating belief, where nothing that comes from official sources can be safely accepted. While I can see how tragic and ill-conceived events like Waco can fuel those beliefs, they seem to derive more from conspiracy theory and disinformation – from people like William Cooper and Texe Marrs, to give both secular and religious examples – than from any factual basis. I can see no logical reason why that disinformation should have come from government sources.

Similarly, if the ‘Unnamed Soldier’ material is in any degree deliberate disinformation – and I think it probably is – then I can see no reason why it should have come from a government source. It decreases respect for the government, it promotes fear and loathing of government agents and employees, and it appears to tempt the young and foolish into illegally entering government establishments in the belief that they are so wise and uniquely informed that by so doing they will defeat all this secrecy, and carry the truth back to their chosen people. In that I assume that the UK government’s intention is broadly, subject to a difficult mix of dogma and expediency, to promote the well-being of its citizens – and I work for the government in an area where I have a slight acquaintance with the development of social policy – there is no apparent sense in planting and distributing information of this kind. Information which, as we have found, remains convincing only so long as it isn’t properly investigated. There might just be an argument that the government is running an experiment to test gullibility, to see just how readily, and consistently, people can be persuaded to believe in the impossible and the absurd. But that kind of research doesn’t really need to be done. We know it all already.

So, whoever is spreading this nasty, pernicious material because they have wilfully decided to do so – rather than because they believe it to be true – appears to be committed to promoting fear, hatred, secrecy, divisiveness, and underpinning it all a complex tissue of lies on which all the above reactions depend. There are not only parallels with those who encourage the Patriots and Militias, but also, historically, with the witchfinders and exorcists, both ancient and modern, and with those who for millennia have promoted belief in an imminent, unpleasant, fear-filled end of the world. If anybody can explain exactly who chooses to undertake these dark and depressing tasks, and why, perhaps they’d be good enough to share the secret with the readers of Abduction Watch!

Finally, a warm welcome to Magonia readers who have just joined us, and many thanks to Mark Pilkington, who has made a fine job of linking AW back issues to the Magonia web site, itself a gem well worth your attention. Thank for your letters – I’ll be back again in March!

Abduction Watch 6

By Kevin McClure



Number 6, January 1998

The old and new material presented in this special issue underpins and explains what I’m trying to do with AW, and why. We’ve already achieved a number of worthwhile ‘hits’, but the abduction myth, and the way it disturbs and disrupts real human lives, is the serious target I’m aiming at. If any responsible editor wants to reprint this whole issue, as an article, I’ll be happy to give permission if asked, and to provide a copy on disk if you wish. Maybe I’ll do another special next year, to bring the legal and medical material up to date, and assess just how far we’ve got!

If I’m right, and there never has been a single, physical, enforced act of abduction of a human being by an alien, non-human being, the belief in abductions has left some very confused people out there. For some, the confusion will arise from a belief that aliens intervene in our lives for our benefit. They will be depending on an alien presence for love, support, care, even rescue. Even if they feel that they have been abducted and used for physical, sexual purposes, and have minimal control over what is happening to them, they will have faith in the good intentions of their unseen benefactors. A sort of Stockholm Syndrome with invisible captors.

For others – apparently the great majority – the confusion will have more serious implications. Because of their belief in the reality of abduction, many groups and individuals have changed their ways of life. Many believe that they have been abducted to be inseminated by aliens, have become pregnant with a hybrid foetus, and have been abducted again to have that foetus removed so the child can grow up on a spaceship. They recount their memories of these supposed events during hypnotic regression and they, and others, live in fear that the next time they are regressed they will discover that they have, once again, been abducted and abused. They will have concluded that they are not in control of their own lives, and that compliance is the limit of their range of choices. They will be deeply involved in listening for explanations of their perceived experiences, in sharing their experiences with other abductees. To borrow a term from the ‘Courage to Heal’ movement, they will be sharing much of their lives with other abduction ‘survivors’. They may believe that because abduction is “generational” – an often suggested possibility – that if they have children they, too, will become abductees. They may not want to have children.

A thorough look at ‘UFO close encounter’ reports before Hopkins’ Missing Time appeared in 1981 shows that claims of physical, involuntary abduction were exceedingly rare. They had none of the really unpleasant elements – the repeated interference with children, the gynaecological and rectal examinations, the implanting and removal of foetuses, the maternal visits to alien nurseries. Until these concepts were introduced from ‘recovered memory’ material, and they received wide publicity, they scarcely occurred in published accounts. Researchers as wide-ranging as John Keel, Jerome Clark, D Scott Rogo, Brad Steiger and Jacques Vallee found it possible to believe in, and write about, all kinds of phenomena. But they simply found no evidence for the type of abduction experience which, by the time Streiber’s Communion came out, had become the standard. The alien abduction mythos has appeared from somewhere, by some means, and it has appeared surprisingly suddenly. How has this happened?

It is increasingly clear to me that the alleged ‘physical’ evidence that we were told would validate the claims that the abduction experience is real is all, simply, worthless. Implants continually disappear prior to investigation, except for those ‘obtained’ by Derrel Sims which are somehow never fully analysed, however much time passes. ‘Cup and scoop marks’ could be anything, and are almost certainly ordinary abrasions, wounds and scars. There is no evidence that they are made by aliens. The alleged UV fluorescence resulting from ‘alien handling’ has been shown to be a hundred and one things – but none of them ‘alien handling’. There is no medical evidence of alien involvement in ‘missing’ or interrupted pregnancies. Indeed, there is no medical, or even simply objective and tangible, evidence to suggest that aliens interact with human beings at all.

Which leaves only three possible sources for the increasingly widespread belief in the reality of abduction by aliens. The ‘memories’ recovered through the use of memory enhancement techniques, primarily regression hypnosis; the assertions of the researchers, investigators and authors involved in arranging the use of those techniques that the accounts so obtained arise from real events; and those who are so convinced by those assertions that they come to believe that they, too, may have been abducted. At which point they will often find themselves being regressed by the investigators and authors, thus completing the cycle, confirming their own beliefs and those of the researchers, and themselves becoming full-fledged abductees.

I suggest that, without the use of ‘recovered memory’ techniques, there would be no alien abduction phenomenon. The line of development of the abduction mythos in the US is clear. From the freak example of the Hills, to Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack, Carpenter, Boylan, Sims and their various acolytes and assistants, all can quote cases – a handful of cases – which have first presented from supposedly conscious recall. But none of these has ever been shown not to derive from the key, media-friendly, ‘recovered-memory’ accounts of which anyone with an interest in the subject is inevitably, unavoidably aware. And all those researchers resort to ‘recovered memory’ techniques to further explore those consciously-presented cases. Similar approaches prevail in the UK. Recovered memory techniques are utilised by Tony Dodd of Quest International, who has refused to disclose who his hypnotists are, or what appropriate qualifications they may have, if any. Malcolm Robinson of SPI became convinced of the reality of abductions through the ‘A70′ case, although all its abductions arose during hypnosis. He says that he only uses a qualified hypnotist, but has repeatedly failed to reveal what that qualification is. Other researchers who publicise material obtained only through the use of recovered memory techniques include Jon King, Philip Mantle, Jon Downes, Matthew Williams and Peter Hough, none of whom have dealt satisfactorily with the question of why regression and hypnosis need be used if the memories are actually of real events, when real events are so seldom forgotten.

Increasingly, the evidence regarding the use of ‘recovered memory’ techniques suggests – strongly – that they are wholly undependable. That what is produced is likely to be an impenetrable melange of fabrication, misapprehension, remembered real experience, misremembered real experience and the ‘rememberer’ wanting to please those he knows to be present, or interested in, the ‘memories’ that are recovered. And there is pretty much no evidence that material obtained in this way is actually true.

To me, if I understand this right, this suggests that those whose lives are being affected and interfered with by their belief in their abduction experience are victims of abuse. Not, maybe, abuse that is committed or caused deliberately, but abuse that arises from the strong, utterly mistaken, personal beliefs of those who propagate the abduction myth. It isn’t real abuse like that which human beings regularly, persistently inflict on each other. But it’s abuse, and it hurts, and it damages nonetheless. I think we would be right in seeing ‘alien abductees’ as victims, who we have a duty to inform and assist.

Unfortunately, much of the vital evidence about the reliability of recovered memory techniques is drawn from the field of real, human to human, abuse. There is strong, indeed overwhelming evidence that ‘recovered memory’ can produce accounts which are wildly, tragically, untrue. But I want to emphasise that nothing I say here belittles or doubts the horrors of the real abuse of children by adults, which is one of the unforgivable failures of our society. It is not those who are abused or hurt who are at fault, but those who take on responsibilities for therapy, and for establishing the truth, in circumstances which they are totally incapable of handling.

It has become undeniably clear that the use of techniques for hypnosis and regression can have disastrous consequences for therapists, patients and their families. Across the USA, courts and juries are awarding huge amounts of damages to patients whose therapists have led them to believe, through using these techniques, that they were the victims of hideous physical, sexual and psychological violence, including what became known as Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). When it became clear that the ‘memories’ they had produced were not of real events, the therapists and their therapies were closely investigated, and found to be tragically flawed.

$5.8 million was awarded in one case alone in Texas in August 1997, where a patient had been led to ‘remember’ that her family had “practised murder, cannibalism, sexual abuse and incest”. Courts awarded two patients of a Minnesota psychiatrist sums of $2.67 million and $2.5 million, because “under hypnosis and sodium amytal, and after being fed misinformation about the workings of memory, they had come to remember horrific abuse by family members”. A church counsellor in Missouri settled out of court for $1 million because it was found that the memories developed during therapy, which her patient had been convinced were accurate, could not have been. Her father had resigned his post as a clergyman because of the accusations. A Wisconsin psychiatrist who implanted demonstrably false memories, and attempted to exorcise her patient, too, settled out of court for $2.4 million.

In some of those cases, families had been broken up, lives had been ruined. But though greed – in obtaining money from medical insurances – played its part in the exploitation of unwitting patients, most of the therapists involved believed sincerely that the information they extracted was true, and a recollection of actual events. They believed they could help their patients by telling them to accept the reality of these ‘memories’, and to challenge their supposed abusers, who were commonly close family members. Now we are considering a much more unlikely phenomenon for which there is absolutely no objective evidence, where the abusers are extraterrestrial. Yet what research and investigation there is, is often conducted using very similar techniques. The claims of alien abduction are, perhaps, even more outrageous and incredible than those of SRA, and even less likely to be true.

There is minimal medical or scientific support for the belief that ‘hidden’ or ‘forgotten’ memories can be accurately recovered or restored through hypnosis or other regression techniques. Such techniques are seldom used by the Police, and, increasingly, courts will not accept testimony recovered through regression unless there is separate, independent corroborative evidence to support what has been ‘recalled’. It is rare for regressions involving abduction by aliens to be conducted by anyone other than amateurs, well-meaning or otherwise. Where professionals are involved, they are generally already believers themselves, and bring to the scene of the regression all their own beliefs and preconceptions. It’s not hypnotising people that’s difficult, it’s having the sense and knowledge to understand what you should, and should not, do with a person’s mind once trance has been induced. And how what you do might affect their lives, and the lives of those around them.

Plenty of professional research results, and advice and opinion, at the highest level, is available to those considering exploring supposedly hidden memories. Any therapist willing to make the effort should have no trouble finding out about the unreliability of hypnotic regression. A statement by the Research Council of the American Medical Association in 1985 said that

“memories obtained under hypnotic interventions contain confabulations, pseudomemories and inaccuracies. Self-report, alone, cannot be used to determine the reliability of true from false memories.”

The Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (Kaplan & Sadlock,1985) said

“Hypnosis not only fails to produce more accurate memories but also increases the patient’s willingness to report unclear memories as facts. Confabulations, distortions, fantasies and cued responses all add to the potential unreliability of such memories.”

Phil Mollon, the Head of the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Service at Lister Hospital, Stevenage states in Clinical Psychology Forum that

“Experiments show that false memories, including those of past lives and abduction by aliens, can be implanted through hypnosis. Hypnosis can elicit both true and false memories, but with enhanced belief in their accuracy”.

The Guidelines Related to Recovered Memories of the Australian Psychological Society state that,

“‘Memories’ that are reported either spontaneously or following the use of special procedures in therapy may be accurate, inaccurate, fabricated, or a mixture of these.”

Even experimental hypnotists themselves, commenting in The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (January 1996) on the use of hypnotically elicited recall as legal testimony, list a number of problems with hypnotically induced memory. These include the likelihood that suggestibility increases; confabulation increases; confidence in the memory increases; critical review of the memory decreases; sources of the memory are confused; reconstruction increases as a result of new in-puts; fantasy development may increase; practitioner’s beliefs may influence the patient. Comments of this kind are the rule, not the exception, and continue to emerge as the seriousness of the recovered memory problem becomes apparent. I’ll try to update you in AW whenever important new findings appear.

Although here are hundreds of academic and professional studies, books, and journals about the problems of the recovery of memory in therapeutic situations, I haven’t yet seen one which regards recovered memories as always being even halfway dependable, let alone completely accurate. Not only is recall under hypnosis widely recognised as unreliable, and has been repeatedly proved to be so, but it is very unusual for people not to remember, consciously and often repeatedly, a severely traumatic event that happened to them either recently, or many years ago. I understand that memory blocks are very rare, because that isn’t generally how memory works. So, if a detailed, vivid, exotic account of supposed events emerges during regression, there is a high probability that the exotic elements of the account will have no objective reality at all. This is where the common argument that because some truthful material will emerge from regression, regression should be used regardless of the known risks, fails miserably. It’s an argument born of desperation, which defies rational thought in accepting that the most implausible ‘recovered memories’ are also the most likely to be true.

Those who want – need – to defend the myth of alien abduction protect their belief by claiming that conscious recall of abduction is rare, and regression necessary, because the aliens deliberately confuse abductees and block out their memories of what they have suffered. This stupid and unprovable suggestion is remarkably arrogant – brave hypnotist defeats sly aliens – but it can serve to lead people away from the reasonable, logical conclusion that where the only evidence for an event is the product, direct or indirect, of recovered memory techniques, then it is highly likely that the evidence results from the techniques, and not from memories locked away by aliens. The near-Victorian idea that the brain is a series of little storage facilities, some locked and some not, is particularly popular among those who want to be seen to have the power to do the unlocking, but I am now confident that the secret lies in the process and circumstances of regression, and not in the hidden memory of the person being regressed. Regression is not a magic key to unlock limitless hidden truths, but that is certainly a valuable illusion for an unscrupulous investigator – or therapist – to maintain. So, what separates those who ‘recalled’ being victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse from those who recall being the victims of complex abductions and medical procedures at the hands of aliens? Only one factor, in my opinion. That the ‘experiencers’ of alien abductions have not yet questioned the validity of the experiences they have said they have had. They have not yet started fighting back. With SRA, the accusations were made against human beings, who could in some cases start their own legal actions, provide their own information about what had been recalled. They could prove that they didn’t chop the heads off babies, didn’t perform sacrifices to Satan. They could prove that they were in another state, another country, at a time when their son or daughter said they were at home abusing them. They could show that the accusations of abuse, the supposed memories, had never existed before the therapist became involved. They were able to prove that while their accusers had not told deliberate lies, the hypnosis, the regression, the therapy, were all deeply flawed.

The aliens – should they actually exist – have no such opportunities. They can’t take the abduction investigators to court for leading people into having false memories, or being persuaded of horrible abuses they never really suffered. The aliens are compliant, silent, ideal bad guys who can never say anything to defend themselves.

It will, in the long run, be down to the abductees to begin to realise that they’ve been led into making reports for which there is no substance, through the use of recovered memory techniques that are known to be inaccurate and unreliable, if not actually dangerous. Ten years from now, I doubt that new abductees will be coming forward, and many current abductees will, by then, be deeply embarrassed by what they have reported. Even now, I’m sure that some of those who have reported extraordinary events to their repressers must, sometimes, wonder why on earth they ever did so. But they must be afraid of looking foolish, or gullible, or just plain ill. It’s not like SRA, where your family can forgive you and welcome you back. There is little for an abductee to gain by recanting, saying it never happened, saying they were wrong. And there are scarcely any examples for them to follow.

Despite all the adverse publicity, some investigators, researchers and therapists may still not know the important facts about seeking recall through regression. They may not realise what they are doing. For me the first tenet of therapy, of helping people in any way, is ‘Above all, do no harm’, but great harm is being done. There is clearly a great need to stop the abduction mythos causing any more damage to those it has already taken in, and to prevent it taking in any more than is absolutely unavoidable. Then, beyond that, there is the important task of enabling those who have become convinced they have been abducted, with all that entails, to realise that they have been misled. To enable them to realise that, simply, they are not abductees, and that they don’t have to deal with those problems any more. And nor, as investigators, do we.