Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ufology's Generation NOW - #7, Will Wise

Will Wise is a very bright guy - he graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Wesleyan College with a dual-major in Philosophy and Religious Studies, and has a Master's Degree in Software Engineering from Brandeis University. After working for several Boston area biotech firms, he founded his own software development consultancy, Digital Elite Inc.

Will, 36 years old, is "wise" as well as bright (the two traits don't always go hand in hand), and maintains a skeptical but open-minded stance towards the UFO phenomenon. He stays in the background for the most part - largely, it seems, because he has neither the time nor the patience for the petty turf wars that are part and parcel of today's ufology (and also, I have no doubt, because he has a real job, and a real life). This means that most readers probably aren't really aware of him, but he plays a critical role in maintaining perhaps the single most important research resource on the Internet - The Project Blue Book Archive, which provides the most comprehensive on-line interface to documents dealing with the American government's investigation of the UFO phenomenon. You won't hear this mentioned on the paranormal radio shows, or on the conference circuit, and that's a shame, and part of the problem with modern ufology. As Brad Sparks said to me last week, there are literally thousands upon thousands of pages of Blue Book materials that no-one has ever really looked at, and which might contain very important cases. The Project Blue Book Archive provides everybody who has a computer an opportunity to do some original research, and maybe be the nexy guy or gal to find a Big Case.

In short, it provides them with the opportunity to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, all from the comfort of their own home.

If there is to be a future for the serious study of the UFO phenomenon, it's guys like Will - talented, bright, hard-working, open-minded, and more concerned with results than selling books or self-aggrandizement - who will be at the forefront.

Paul Kimball

Ufology's Generation NOW - #8, Joe McGonagle

In his mid-forties, British ufologist Joe McGonagle had been interested in the UFO phenomenon since the 1970s. Initially an adherent of the ETH, he has drifted into the more sceptical camp over the years, and now states that he regards himself as a "true sceptic, i.e. drawing conclusions from the evidence presented to me. On that basis , the extraterrestrial hypothesis is neither proven, nor disproved" (you can read his full position statement here).

McGonagle is a member of the Flying Saucery group, which includes Andy Roberts, Gary Anthony, and Dr. David Clarke, and which was recently responsible for the release of the Condign Report. His primary areas of interest include the history of British ufology, the role of the Ministry of Defense in British ufology, and the promotion and establishment of stadards within ufology, including training (that last one being especially important).

McGonagle's biggest contribution to the serious study of the UFO phenomenon has probably been the "Ufology in UK" Internet e-mail list he set up in 1999 for people interested in British ufology (although it now covers far more than that). As of January, 2006, the list had 1,150 members, although McGonagle has been weeding out some lapsed or inactive memberships since then. It might not be quite as big as UFO Updates, but its an important discussion forum and resource.

McGongale might be from the other side of the pond, but he's thought of pretty highly at the Other Side of Truth - and will continue to be an important figure in ufology in the years to come.

Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball Produces Jerry Pippin Show??

Have I become a producer for the Jerry Pippin show??

Well, not really. But I was interviewed by Jerry while I was in Laughlin back in February, and he snapped my picture (it's not a good shot, as you can see - I need to lose a few pounds!), which has somehow made its way to his website as the photo for Programming Production and Remote Producer James Smith. You can see the mistake, at least for now, here.

I think it's all part of a Serpo / MJ-12 plot!

Anyway, here's a better, more recent shot of me from the trip to California a week and a half ago, hanging with Rear Admiral Zorgrot at Newport Beach.

Paul Kimball

P.S. Don't tell Jerry - I want to see how long it takes them to figure out the goof!

Ufology's Generation NOW - #9, Tim Binnall

Tim Binnall is a bit too credulous for my liking, and he comes across as both a bit of a huckster (he sells underwear with his picture on it, for Pete's sake) and a "fanboy" (but never a sycophant, like some do)... which makes him perfect for ufology in the early 21st century!!

Seriously, though, Binnall has created quite a little ufological mini-empire for himself at his Binnall of America website. He has a forum, columnists (it may surprise some folks, but I actually like Lesley's stuff, even if I don't often agree with it), regular reports on things like Coast to Coast (alas, Binnall seems to like Rense as well), but his biggest contribution so far has been his podcast interviews with some of the major (and a few not so major) figures in ufology (Stan Friedman, Nick Redfern, Colm Kelleher, and Steven Bassett, to name just four). In this respect, Binnall is at the cutting edge of where ufology is going - on-line, 24/7, with no boundaries, for good and ill.

He's only 27, and I suspect that as time goes by he'll become a bit more skeptical (which is a good thing, at least as far as I'm concerned). Or not - who knows? Regardless, Binnall's enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air, and he's become a significant alternative, DIY force in ufology, which I respect. He has the potential to someday be the successor to the likes of Coast to Coast's Art Bell and George Noory... and I mean that in a good way!

As for the hucksterism, well... I kind of like that too. It shows he has a sense of humour, and that's important, especially in ufology.

Just ask Jim Moseley!

Paul Kimball

James T. Kirk is God, Vol. 1

From Modern Drunkard Magazine Online - my fellow SOPS comrades take note!

Top Ten Signs Your Starship Captain is a Drunkard

10. When Spock mind probes him, Spock gets hammered.

9. Wakes up next to a Klingon chick at least once a week.

8. Starts the ship’s self-destruct sequence just to screw with the yeoman who blew him off in the officer’s lounge.

7. Each time you discover a new planet he tells Spock to scan the surface for cheap scotch and loose females.

6. The first thing he says when negotiating with Romulans is, “So, what’s the ale situation?”

5. McCoy tells him, “I’m a doctor, Jim, not a bartender!”

4. He keeps slipping down to the engineering room to “discuss ancient Scottish traditions” with Scotty.

3. Giggles every time Spock says they should launch a “deep space probe.”

2. Whenever a female yeoman brings him a clipboard he tries to open a tab.

1. Is willing to make beer runs into the neutral zone.

Read the entire article here.

Paul Kimball

Ufology's Generation NOW - #10, Kyle King

When I was on Coast to Coast last week, George Noory asked me who I thought were the top young(ish) people in ufology today. I gave a few names, but - as I have a fondness for rankings - I've decided to create a top 10 list of those who are under 50 years of age (in ufology, "youngish" is a relative term) and actively engaged in studying the UFO phenomenon, and doing good work at it.

Over the next ten to twenty years, these are the people who I think will chart the direction ufology takes.

As always, I start with number 10...

#10 - Kyle King

Deep in the heart of Texas, 45 year old Kyle King has carved a niche for himself in the ufological discourse with his well-written, thoughtful blog, UFO Reflections. Kyle takes a careful, skeptical look at the UFO phenomenon, but he keeps an open mind, and manages to achieve a minor miracle by generally maintaining good relations with all sides in ufology. He also posts - too infrequently, alas - at the UFO Planet forum, and, occassionally, at UFO Updates.

Kyle's output has been relatively small to date, but he exemplifies the principle that quality trumps quantity, especially when he passionately advocates an instrumented study of the UFO phenomenon. Keep an eye on him in the future.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Will Wise on "Borg... or Highlander"

Will Wise, of the Project Blue Book Archive, has responded to "Borg... or Highlander". You can check it out at his personal blog, Rational Geek.

Will is one of the bright, young(ish) guys engaged in the serious study of the UFO phenomenon, and is well worth a read when he has something to say about the subject. I'm hoping we get the opportunity to interview him for Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases (a question of time and available travel money).

And, for the record, Natalie Portman is a fine choice for a cyborg body!

Paul Kimball

Borg... or Highlanders?

Mac Tonnies has been discussing life and death, in his own inimitable, post-human way, over at his blog, The Posthuman Blues. As I find the subject fascinating, for a variety of reasons, I've decided to take part in the conversation... but here at The Other Side of Truth. You can see Mac's original post here.

While in California I phoned an author acquaintance to say hi. We ended up talking about Kurzweilian life extension, which my friend thought indicated an unhealthy fear of death. I offered that, without definitive proof that there is an afterlife, radical life extension -- perhaps via mind-uploading -- is both sensible and justified. My friend, the author of a nonfiction book dealing with spiritual matters, countered that one can achieve subjective validation that consciousness is more than epiphenomenal. In other words, some aspect of our awareness persists after biological death -- but, so far at least, it's impossible to prove this to anyone who hasn't experienced his own sense of cosmic rapport. Fair enough.

So how to experience consciousness as an abiding energy (if such it is) and not merely as the output of millions of synchronized synapses? Drugs, perhaps -- although I've been warned that the "tripping" experience is confused and noisy, leading to false positives and replete with neurological static. Meditation seems a better, safer route. Still, how does one know that a moment's spiritual insight is anything more than an experience cooked up by the brain as a way of appeasing our incredibly deep-seated fear of death and obliteration? Not having experienced any deep insight into the nature of consciousness, I have no choice but to remain agnostic.

Even if awareness transcends death, how does life-extension obstruct spirituality (for lack of a better term)? It seems to me that a longer, better life can help facilitate a more intimate understanding of consciousness and its ultimate role. It's been argued that an upload isn't the same as the original mind, rendering the point moot. I'm not convinced. Just as a person with prosthetic limbs and artificial organs is still a human, a person whose brain architecture has been methodically supplanted with newer, more durable components is still the same entity -- just less vulnerable to the threats that routinely kill or incapacitate meat-based humans.

Rather than hindering development of "soul wisdom," a machine substrate just might provide the processing power needed to realize the mind's true potential. If so, "posthumans" may be richly more endowed than their predecessors. Instead of the shambling caricatures encountered on board "Star Trek's" Borg (or other cinematic attempts to grapple with the posthuman condition) our machine-based descendants may be unexpectedly sagely, free of the biological clutter that contemporary gurus spend their lives attempting to jettison.

"Spiritual" arguments against transhumanist technologies (and especially attempts to equate life-extension with simple fear of dying) strike me as suspiciously hollow, no matter how well-intentioned. I don't think the medium matters; the process is what we should seek to preserve if we choose to remain at least partially true to our brief, embodied tenure as Earth's dominant species.

My response:
I think we have already crossed the proverbial Rubicon when it comes to using technology to enhance and even extend our lives - organ transplants, artificial hearts, drugs, even the dreaded iron lung - all of these things are man-made inventions, many of them mechanical in nature, that keep us living longer than nature, or God, intended. Indeed, if there is a God (and like Mac, I'm a hopeful agnostic on this question), then surely He gave us our superior intellect (well, superior to squirrels at least) in order that we would use it, for a whole bunch of things - including, I would think, living longer, better lives.

Really, it's just a matter of degree, isn't it? Today an artificial heart... tomorrow, an artificial body (I'll take the Jessica Alba model, thanks - and if you have to ask why, you don't know me very well).

What is the "soul" anyway (or, for the non-religiously inclined, "consciousness")? Beond this plane of existence, who knows, for sure? In the here and now, however, isn't it the sum of our experiences that matters? What harm in transferring that to another body, i.e. a clone, or perhaps a cyborg, should our technology someday allow it? I don't think we're defined by the outer shell - indeed, any religion that I know of views the body as a mere vessel. It's what's inside that counts, and I see no reason why that couldn't be transferred, whole, to another vessel (well, no non-technological reason, at any rate).

About that Jesica Alba remark, above - seriously, if we could bounce from one body to another, would that not open up some intriguing possibilities about the nature of sexuality, race, etc., which might explain why religious types don't much like the idea (to say the least), but why it might be a good thing for humanity in general. Perhaps not the Jessica Alba model - perhaps the Halle Berry model? Wouldn't that drive home the message that we're all just humans, and that it's who we are on the inside that counts?

Here's another thought - what if we are working our way back to a sort of Garden of Eden, with near immortality the goal? As we increase our life spans, do we not bring ourselves closer to God / the divine / an understanding of the universe (pick one)?

Perhaps this is what's meant by "finding the kingdom of heaven" - maybe we are meant to create it here, on Earth (or, should we travel to the stars, "out there" as well), on our own?

Think of it this way - perhaps God is the ultimate "Posthuman", just waiting for us to catch up.

Regardless, life is about challenges - getting off of Earth and out into space is one of the few great challenges left. Cheating death - or at least delaying it as long as possible - is another. Not because we fear death (the final adventure, in the sense that we have no idea what comes next), but because it allows us a greater opportunity to explore the ultimate mystery on this plane of existence - ourselves.

And here's one other advantage - by extending our life-spans as much as possible, we make it more likely than ever that we can actually travel the great distances between stars... and maybe even encounter someone, or something, else.

That's called "living" two birds with one stone!

Paul Kimball

Greer vs. Salla - continued

One of the people we interviewed in the United States had some rats in his home as pets. The mother rat had just given birth to a litter of baby rats. Alas, if the rats get hungry, they will eat their young - which is exactly what happened to one of the unfortunate newborns.

Exopolitics is a lot like that. "Hungry" for attention, and willing to devour their fellow "rats" to get it.


Paul Kimball

Monday, May 29, 2006

Crypto MT - One Heck of a Camera Assistant!

Here's a photo of Mac Tonnies, aka Crypto MT (the rap nickname we gave him), hard at work as part of the Redstar Films crew out in California (that's Findlay Muir, aka Big Man Video, next to him).

If Mac ever hits it big as a screenwriter, he can always look back on his first gig (alas, non-paying) as a crew member with fond memories.

Mac Tonnies, camera assistant - coming soon to a credit roll near you!

Paul Kimball

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

George Noory posed an interesting question to me last week on Coast to Coast - "do you" he asked, "believe that there is intelligent life in the universe besides our own?"

"Yes," I replied, without hesitation. I then pointed out that most scientists agree with that conclusion.

At which point George pointed out that this was just a belief, because there is no proof that such life exists. I agreed with him, although I noted that the universe is a big place, and the odds favour the existence of life "out there" (some of it possibly coming here), certainly on a "balance of probabilities" standard, if not beyond a reasonable doubt.

As I recall, George paused for a second or two, and then asked something along the lines of, "Don't you think it would be lonely if we were the only life in the universe?"

I think I just said that I wasn't too worried about it, as I don't think we're alone in the universe, and then we moved on to another subject.

But what if we are alone?

Does that prospect bother me?

Nope. No more than the prospect that we're not alone bothers me. I'm "good" with either possibility. I think it would be wonderful if ET is out there, for a whole host of reasons. On the other hand, if they're not, I'm perfectly happy to go it "alone".

Skeptics are never bothered at the prospect of ET - as I've said before, Phil Klass would have been the first person to shake ET's hand, should he have met him in his back yard (er... assuming ET was friendly).

No, the people who are bothered are not the skeptics, but rather those who can't come to grips with the possibility that we may indeed "alone". Who are they? Some of the peple who believe that ET is out there, and that he / she has come here.

Not folks like Stan Friedman, who, if you could prove to him that there was no life in the universe besides ours would probably just shrug and say something like, "Hmph... well, I guess we better get our act together down here then." Stan champions the ETH not because he wants or needs to believe in aliens, but because he's looked at the evidence and come to the conclusion that aliens exist. I think that his conclusion is premature, but I respect the way he came to to it.

No, the people who would have trouble if we really are "alone" are the ones who have pinned their hopes and dreams for a better world on the intervention of extraterrestrials. In this respect, they are no different than religious types who count the days until the return of God (in whatever form), so that He can save us from ourselves.

They look to the sky (literally for the die-hard ET believers, figuratively for the religious types) for salvation from a world that they see as gone mad (usually for different reasons).

They eagerly await the "other" to solve their problems here on Earth, and lead us to a better future.

They may be in for a rude awakening (which was, I think, the general thrust of the notorious "Klass curse") - or not. Who knows?

What I do know is that if ET does exist, and we find it, either here or "there", the skeptics will have little trouble adjusting their worldview accordingly. We're ready for it - most even hope it's true.

So, when the true believers toss out the red herring that skeptics are afraid of the "other", don't believe them for a second.

The fear is really coming from them, caused by the nagging concern - perhaps conscious, perhaps not - that we may really be "alone", and that we may actually have to solve our problems the old fashioned way, i.e. by ourselves.

In short, the problem isn't that skeptics don't want to believe in ET , but that the believers don't want to believe in humanity.

Which means that unless ET lands on the White House lawn, they really are "lonesome tonight", whether they realize it or not.

Paul Kimball

My "Other" Radio Appearance

I really enjoyed my time on Coast 2 Coast last week. I made my points (for good or ill, depending upon your point of view), and reached a huge audience. It also helps that George Noory is a good host - a pleasure to talk to, he makes it a conversation, not a lecture, and the three hours flew by pretty quickly.

But C2C wasn't my favourite radio appearance while I was on the road. As much as I enjoyed chatting with George Noory, the two hours (plus) that I spent with Mac Tonnies and Greg Bishop the night before, on Greg's Radio Misterioso program at, was even more fun (even Rear Admiral Zorgrot was there).

Sure, the number of listeners probably only numbered in the dozens (if that), but Greg will have it up at his site soon as a podcast, so you can listen to it there. If you thought I took the gloves off on C2C, I was even more forthright on Radio Misterioso - and so were Mac and Greg. There really were no holds barred.

The best part was getting to chat (in studio) with two guys who have become good friends. I made a point of mentioning Mac and Greg on C2C, as two of the good young(ish) people in ufology, and I meant every word of it. They're bright guys, with myriad interests outside ufology - which is how it should be. They're also not afraid to work outside the box, and question ufological orthodoxy - which is probably one of the reasons we get along so well, even when we disagree!

Keep an eye on Greg's Excluded Middle site for the podcast (I'll make a note here when he gets it on-line). I think you'll find it well worth a listen.

Paul Kimball

LMH & Fields of Fear

While I was on Coast 2 Coast last week, George Noory and I chatted about Fields of Fear, my upcoming documentary about Canadian cattle mutilation investigator Fern Belzil. George asked me if Linda Moulton Howe, perhaps best known in ufology for her work as a cattle mute investigator, was interviewed for the film. I said no, she wasn't, and we moved on from there to other topics.

Interestingly, this has sparked some chatter on various sites. Accordingly, I'd like to expand a bit on why Ms. Moulton Howe won't be in the film.

The film is more the story of Fern Belzil than anything else. It addresses the subject of cattle mutilations, of course (how could it not), but the primary focus is on Fern. In that respect, it is very similar to the film I did a few years ago about Stan Friedman (Stanton T. Friedman is Real) - it addressed things like Roswell and MJ-12, but at the end of the day it was really about Stan, and his work. Ditto Fields of Fear, and Fern.

Given that the primary focus is on Fern, there was simply no reason to even ask Ms. Moulton Howe to appear in the film, as she and Fern barely know each other. Whatever expertise she might have about cattle mutes was covered, from the "pro" side, by Fern himself, and from the "anti" side by Kevin Randle, with locals from St. Paul, Alberta being interviewed about Fern, and Nick Redfern and Greg Bishop chiming in about cattle mutes in general.

You also won't see a discussion of the "government is doing it" angle so popular these days south of the border, because that's not where Fern is coming from (he dismisses this explanation outright).

Given the nature of the film, there was no place for Ms. Moulton Howe in it. Simple as that.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Back in the 902

I arrived home last night from my 12 day sojourn through the United States (Kansas City, Dallas, southern California, and Washington, D.C.). As much fun as it is to be on the road, it's always great to get back home to the "902" - especially when I have Linda to come home to.

Photos from the trip will be coming fast and furious over the next few days.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Coast 2 Coast

Thanks to George Noory and the gang for having me on C2C tonight. It was a lot of fun. Hope I didn't bore everyone to tears - especially truckers on a late night run!!

I'm off to D.C. later today, and, as posted before, will be back to regular posting on the 28th, the day after I get home. The filming goes well - lots of good stuff!!

Paul Kimball
Santa Ana, CA ('til twelve hours from now)

Monday, May 15, 2006

On Hiatus Until May 28th

I head to the United States tomorrow to begin shooting for the Best Evidence documentary.

I'll be back on the 27th, and in the office again (and blogging) on the 28th.

Feel free to peruse the archives while I'm gone.

See you when I get back!

Paul Kimball

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Veronica Reynolds UFO Fan Club - Vol. II

A photo from the 2004 Las Vegas trip - this time, from the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, which was next door to the Luxor, where we were staying.

Not since Agincourt has a knight been so easily disarmed!

As I recall, that was a very stiff suit of armour.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Kimball Goes "Coast to Coast"

I leave on the 16th for an 11 day trip to the United States, where I'll be filming for the Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases documentary. Stops include Kansas City, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.. As you can see, it will be a "coast to coast" trip.

It will also be a "Coast to Coast" trip, because while I'm in LA (Santa Ana, to be precise), I'll be making my return to Coast to Coast AM, with George Noory. Tune in on the 23rd, when I'll be chatting with George about all sorts of ufologically-related things for what I understand will be three hours.

Who knows? Perhaps Rear Admiral Zorgrot will make a surprise guest appearance?

Check the C2C listings for further details. You can listen to the show here.

Paul Kimball

Back in the (Musical) Saddle Again

An old friend, half-jokingly, asked me the other day whether or not I had slipped into some sort of mid-life crisis, what with all of the old music stuff I posted here recently. I just smiled. I'm too busy looking forward to be in a mid-life crisis (besides, I intend to download my consciousness into a robot at some point, so I hope to live to 1,000, meaning I'm nowhere near mid-life yet!).

Nope. I just happened to be in a musical mood because I'm planning my return to the music career. Well, "career" is a stretch (don't worry, Linda - I'm not going back to playing gigs for $100 a night), but I've got some unfinished business to take care of - namely, an album's worth of songs that were half-finished when Julia's Rain broke up in 1998. I hauled out the tapes the other day, and had a listen, and the songs are as good as I remembered, so I'll be putting a band together this summer to finish the project under the name "The Spartacus Union". The album will be titled "Strange Deliverance".

Coming to the Internet and a record store near me sometime in fall, 2006. I'll provide an update when it's done.

Back in the musical saddle again.

Time to tune up the Les Paul!

Paul Kimball

Veronica Reynolds UFO Fan Club - Vol. I

As she seems to have developed something of a fan club amongst some people interested in ufology, I've decided to start a "Veronica Reynolds UFO Fan Club" update feature - photos, news of her acting career, perhaps even a guest column or two down the road - in order to keep her fans happy, and to add a bit of glamour to the rather staid world of ufology.

The photo above was taken in November, 2004, when Veronica and I were in Las Vegas for the 2nd Annual Crash Retrieval Conference, where she was a big hit.

Paul Kimball

Hmm... Has Anyone Told My Aunt Marilyn?

Hey, Friedman! Get away from my fiance!!


Seriously, though, the photo was taken at the 2005 Kimball family reunion, Fredericton, New Brunswick. That's Stan and my better half, Linda.

Stan and my aunt Marilyn are hosting this year's reunion, which I hope to be able to attend.

Both Linda and Marilyn head for the proverbial hills as soon as Stan and I start talking about MJ-12, or Wilbert Smith, proving that they have far more common sense than we do!

Paul Kimball

Friday, May 12, 2006

Strangeways, Here I Come!

This will be a lot of fun - I haven't been back to the UK since I finished my year on exchange at the University of Dundee in 1988. While my old pal Peter Black and I spent four weeks travelling throughout England, Wales and Scotland on spring break (March, 1988), we had a chance for a day trip to Manchester. I'm keen to see how things have changed.

However, I am a bit chuffed that Redfern got top billing. Anyone who considers the Ramones to be superior to The Smiths has no business being at the top of the card in Manchester!

On the other hand, Stuart Miller called me "internationally reknown", so it's all good. As my friends will tell you, with me flattery will get you everywhere!

UFOs, ghosts... and there's a bar? Could this be heaven??

My Director of Photography Findlay Muir will also be with me - he was born and raised in Scotland, so this will be a nice "sort of homecoming" for him too.

Paul Kimball





Doors open 9:30am, Commence 10:00am. Ample parking, bar.



Author of the new book On the Trail of the Saucer Spies: Ufos And Government Surveillance

Now living in the States, Nick is a long standing and very well known Ufological writer and is the author of several successful books on the subject as well as on cryptozoology. He is generally recognised as the UK’s leading researcher and has a reputation as a direct, no nonsense journalist who is prepared to get his hands dirty and doesn’t like taking “No” for an answer. In 2005, he turned the world of Ufology upside down with his book Body Snatchers In The Desert which gave the most likely and most realistic explanation of what really happened at Roswell and why.Nick will be speaking about the UK and U.S. intelligence agencies observation over the years of people involved in Ufology, and will explain why and how people were watched and also who was watched, highlighting specific cases. He should know. Special Branch kept a close eye on him for many years!

From Canada.
Internationally reknown documentary film maker and UFO researcher
"The Wilbert Smith Story: Separating Fact from Fiction of a Ufological Icon".

Wilbert Smith held both a B.Sc. and M. Sc. in Electrical Engineering, and was Senior Radio Engineer, Broadcast and Measurements Section, in the Canadian Department of Transport (DOT).Smith's interest in the UFO phenomenon and his influential position within the Canadian government caused him to make a proposal to the Canadian DOT to establish Project Magnet to officially investigate UFOs. Smith stated in the proposal that his group believed that they were on the track of something which may well prove to be the introduction to a new technology.

In 1950 he wrote the "Smith Memo." This was a memo which attracted a lot of attention around the time of the MJ-12 papers and it helped lend a certain credibility to the whole MJ-12 milieu. It was originally sent to the Controller of Telecommunications as a proposal to study officially the UFO situation. In this memo, Smith wrote, "The existence of a different technology is borne out by the investigations which are being carried on at the present time in relation to flying saucers." He also stated that by making discreet inquiries at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, he had learned from Dr. Robert Sarbacher that:

A. The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States government, rating higher even than the H-bomb.

B. Flying saucers exist.

C. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush.

D. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.

But is all this true? Was Smith all he was cracked up to be? Paul Kimball has made a number of incisive and successful documentaries on the UFO subject and as a fellow Canadian has taken a special interest in Smith’s career. Paul will be looking over Smith’s career in some detail and as the title of his talk says; will separate fact from fiction.


The Alien Autopsy Film –A Review and Update

In the light of the revelations brought out by the current Ant and Dec feature film, namely that the Alien Autopsy footage that appeared in public in 1995 was a fake put together by Ray Santilli, Neil Morris, who has been heavily involved in researching the validity of the film pulls together the whole sad story for us and brings us up to date with his research and recent events. Was Santilli lying back in 1995? Is he lying now? Was this the first sight that the people of this planet had of a life form from elsewhere, was it simply an autopsy performed on a disfigured human being, or was it just a cynical money making effort designed to fool the world?


CHINGLE HALL – The Most Haunted House In Britain

Just north of Preston, in the small village of Goosnargh, lies one of Britain’s oldest and most haunted buildings (it’s the oldest inhabited brick building), Chingle Hall. The house formerly known as Singleton hall was constructed in 1260 by the knight Adam de Singleton. The Hall remained in the de Singleton’s family late into the 16th Century but in 1585 the Wall Family who were related to the Singletons, moved into the Hall. Its history continues to this day and over the centuries there have been many, many sightings and strange and bizarre events. Here is one example:

“In 1985, sounds of bricks being moved were recorded by a visitor in the Priest's Room, which seemed to originate in the Priest's hiding hole. He peered within and saw part of a human hand moving one of the bricks. As he watched, the hand stopped moving and disappeared. This witness later managed to capture the sounds of footsteps on tape and a shadowy form on film. Later bricks were found scattered on the floor of the Chapel on the ground floor.”

Dave is the founder and co-ordinator of the Unknown Phenomena Investigation AssociationWith a background in Aircraft Engineering, Dave has been involved in Paranormal and UFOlogical research and investigation since 1995, forming the UPIA in 1998 as a result of an increasing number of reports emanating from the North West of England. Dave has studied and passed The BITC and AITC courses in the Anomalous Phenomena, ran by Manchester's Association of Paranormal Investigation and Training, and has appeared in Numerous documentaries regarding the subject. For two years and along with Para.Science, Dave hosted a weekly paranormal radio show on BBC Radio Merseyside on the Roger Lyons show. He has also had many articles published in magazines and North West Newspapers. Although The UPIA investigates many unusual reports, currently investigators are basing their studies primarily in the hauntings area although another section of the group does take part in other areas.


Tickets: £15.00 on the day at the door - £12.50 in advance. For advance bookings, cheques only I’m afraid to UFO Review, The New House, Church Bank, Richmond road, Bowdon, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 3NW. Tel; 0161 929 1846Doors open 9:30am. Commences 10:00am sharp. Ample off street parking, bar, food available, Stall holders welcome - Please contact organiser.Organised by UFO Review. 0161 929 1846. Email at

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Laughlin Photo Album - Volume V

My good friend Veronica Reynolds overlooking the Hoover Dam back in February.

Two of the wonders of the modern world in the same shot! Wow!!

Perhaps the only thing that Steven Bassett and I agree upon is that ufology needs to recruit more people like Veronica.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for her in what is sure to be a career-making role in the upcoming Trailer Park Boys film, due in theatres, last I heard, in the early fall.

She promises to "dazzle".

Paul Kimball

A Letter to the Editor re: the MOD Report

Our main local paper, the Chronicle-Herald / Mail Star, ran The Sunday Times article by Jack Grimston regarding the MOD UAP report on the front page Monday, under the headline "Relax, it's just gas, not a UFO".

My response, in a letter to the editor follows (who knows if they'll run it?).

Paul Kimball

"To the Editor:

With regard to the front page article "Relax, it's just gas, not a UFO" (Monday, May 8), a couple of critical points need to be made.

The first is that the MOD report states unequivocally “that UAP exist is indisputable...[they] clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile – either manned or unmanned.” (note that UAP mean Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, a more scientific way of saying UFO).

The second is that while their explanations undoubtedly explain some UFO cases, which comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the phenomenon and the evidence, they do not explain all UFO cases. I am working on a documentary for Space right now, titled Best Evidence: The Top 10 UFO Cases, and I can guarantee you that "plasma" does not explain the top 10 cases (which does not mean, of course, that they are alien spacecraft).

Most important, however, is the fact that the report indicates that there is something "up there" which is worthy of serious scientific study "down here". Some people think UFOs are alien spacecraft, others think they are extra-dimensional travelers, and others think that they are unknown or not completely understood atmospheric phenomena.

Regardless, the message to science should be to take the subject seriously, and to begin legitimate, sustained study of the phenomenon.

As a scientific review panel chaired by renowned Stanford physicist Dr. Peter Sturrock stated in 1997, "The UFO problem is not a simple one, and it is unlikely that there is any simple universal answer. Whenever there are unexplained observations, there is the possibility that scientists will learn something new by studying those observations."

The UK MOD report merely confirms the panel's conclusion.

Best regards,

Paul Kimball
Redstar Films Limited

Monday, May 08, 2006

Winning the UFO PR Battle - 2006 Edition

Ufology's biggest problem, or at least one of them (there are so many to choose from these days)?

It is populated, by and large, by pro-ETHers, a group that is simply lousy at public relations.

So lousy that they make George Bush and the current administration look like a PR genius.

Rather than take an issue or event, like the Peter Jennings UFO special last year, or the release of the United Kingdom MOD report on UAP yesterday, and try to see the positive things in it, they pander to their ever-dwindling base. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - many of these guys and gals would rather be big fish in a very small pond, than little fish in a bigger pond.

Don't believe me? Then check out some of the early reactions over at UFO Updates.

Here, for example, is my friend Don Ledger, whom I normally consider quite sensible:

"The dynamic debunker trio strikes again. Here I thought theywere coming up with something serious. I should have known better. This drivel showed up in the Sunday paper, with the usual childish title, Relax, it's just gas, not a UFO. Whenever David Clarke and Andy Roberts and Joe McGonagle come rushing out, breathlessly, with the latest UK government regulations/revelations we should all know better. What a load of malarky. Why would this be kept secret? It's kept secret for some years. Why, if it's just natural phenomenon, like lightning? Then it takes an act implemented by government to force freedom of information, then it's only to be reased to debunkers in England who have coyly previewed this as "UFO" information, when it's just more of the same nonsense. And where's the science, that's been hidden from a public that would naturally be terrified by this new "natural phenomenon'that's more sinister than tornadoes and tsunamis and lightning and hurricanes? Are these scientists saying that they now believe in the oft recycled ball lightning? I now believe - what I've suspected for some time - that there is a sustained coverup of this phenomenon and that many governments have an agenda and have kept the truth from us for some 60years. This confirms it."

Hmm... that's certainly one way to try and frame the debate. However, while it may make you feel better, and it will wow the crowds at UFO conferences, it's not very productive. It won't change anything.

There is a different tack, however, that would potentially yield more results, and actually accomplish something useful. William Wise, the archivist at the Project Blue Book Archive, suggested it in a comment on an earlier post here, but it's worth printing on the main page, so hopefully more people will read it.

"As you've mentioned before, this sort of news could well be spun positively. Here's a possible headline: "British MOD Reports Existence of UFOs 'Indisputable'" or for this article in particular "More Scientists Than Ever Search for E.T."

Instead, as you also pointed out, most Ufologists will simply viciously attack the government for not coming clean with "full dislosure", whatever that may mean to them. (I suspect that for some full disclosure means the government admitting that "gosh, actually we've been as stumped as you are all these years" while for others it will mean "people of Earth bow down before your new alien overlords!")

To me, the fact that a major western government has concluded that the fact "that UAP exist is indisputable" is a major step forward toward getting science to take a closer look at the phenomena.

The plasma theory seems to be, by the report's own admission, a pretty tenuous explanation and the mental effects aspect is already being questioned by actual physicists:

We'll know more once the report is released in full but, quite frankly, I'd be quite suprised if the naturally occuring plasma notion is really anything more than a stab in the dark. Going out on a limb (whee! in Pflockese) I notice that it is often conjectured that it might be difficult or impossible for us puny humans to tell the difference between the localized manifestation of an advanced alien intelligence and some seeming force of nature itself. Strange plasmas that leave you wobbly in the head might be worth a second look with this in mind!"

Right on, Will! I agree with you one hundred per cent.

None of that means that reasoned, rational criticism of elements of the report can't be brought forward. I already know at least one serious ufologist who's working on just that. I suspect that there are others, including Don, who spelled out a few criticisms at a subsequent Updates post.

But it needs to go beyond that. Rather than just assuming that the whole report is dross, why not look for some gold, as Will suggests, and then highlight that?

Frame the story to your benefit.

It's the difference between seeing the trees and seeing the forest.

Will sees the forest. So do I. So do some others.

For everyone else, it's time to think about the big picture, and act accordingly. Set some realistic goals, and then work towards them.

Start with the MOD report.

Paul Kimball

Congress & Intelligent Life in the Universe

Knock SETI all you want, but how many times in the past, oh, three decades, have UFOs been discussed in a Congressional subcommittee?

Life in the Universe hearing before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Committee on Science, House of Represenatives, 107th Congress, First Session, 12 July 2001.

Here's the opening statement from Representative Dana Rohrbacher:

"I have always enjoyed Hollywood movies like War of the Worlds, Independence Day, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Unfortunately, the popularity of such movies changed our expectations regarding the search for extraterrestrial life in the universe.

I don't know if little green men exist. I do know that the science community is attempting to determine the existence of basic life on planets neighboring Earth, as well as planets beyond our solar system. With the help of scientific methods, we are just now beginning to answer a question that has existed since the dawn of humankind: are we alone?

Today's hearing will review real efforts concerning the search for life elsewhere in the universe. I want to thank the distinguished member from Texas, Lamar Smith, for suggesting that the Subcommittee review this topic.

Unlike Hollywood movies, Viking and Mars Pathfinder space probes allowed us to actually view the real Martian landscape, consider the possibility of water for supporting basic life forms on Mars, and search for intelligent life across the universe. Indeed, Earth itself has provided us with valuable insight as to the possible nature of extraterrestrial life. Today we look to our panel of experts to explain how science will help us sort fact from fiction."

Now, this might all seem amusing, with the references to movies and little green men, but note that all of this is just a preface - it is clear that the committee is open to the possibility of alien life "out there". Given that, how hard would it really be to get Congress to discuss UFOs if it were people like Dr. Peter Sturrock approaching them, as opposed to "Disclosure Project" true-believers?

How hard? Not very, I think, especially if presented properly, by the right people.

Which is why Dr. Steven Greer et al have been such a disaster, and why the press conference here in Canada on Tuesday is a huge mistake.

Of course, some of the exchanges are unintentionally hilarious. Having cross-examined a few witnesses in my younger days as a budding lawyer, I know how hard it can be to pin someone down. Here is my favourite, with the scientists dodging faster than kids playing four-square on the schoolyard playground. All that poor Representative Gordon wants is a simple answer as to the odds - a personal opinion. The scientists, like eels, keep slipping and sliding.

Finally, Dr. Chyba gives an answer... and you just have to laugh! Good old SETI.

Paul Kimball

Dramatis personnae:

Rep. Bart Gordon, Tennessee

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Department of Astrophysics and Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History, New York City

Jack D. Farmer, Representative, Arizona State University, NASA Astrobiology Institute

Edward J. Weiler, Associate Administrator, Office of Space Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Christopher F. Chyba, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, and Associate Professor, Department of Geological and Environmental Science, Stanford University

"Mr. GORDON. All right. Well, why don't we just start with Dr. Tyson. Again, I don't mean to be abrupt. We just have a short period of time here. This is hard, hard, I know, to—you want to put premises. But just give me your own gut feeling as to odds that there is extraterrestrial life and then that there is extraterrestrial intelligent life.

Dr. TYSON. Yeah.

Mr. GORDON. What odds? Just give me some odds.

Dr. TYSON. I would say it is near certainty that there is life elsewhere in the universe of any form.

Mr. GORDON. Okay.

Dr. TYSON. And I am somewhat more skeptical about the likelihood of intelligent life as we have defined it to be technologically capable, just given how rare that has exhibited itself in our own——

Mr. GORDON. Dr. Farmer, do you want to give a—give some odds here?

Dr. FARMER. Well, I would agree. I mean, I think that the kind of technical intelligence that we are talking about is probably rare.

Mr. GORDON. Well, just give me some odds. That is all I am really asking for right now.

Dr. FARMER. Well, I—you know, I think it is very hard to do. But I would—you know, these estimates that people have made are all over the map.

Mr. GORDON. Yeah. But I am just saying, you know, just——

Dr. FARMER. But within our own backyard, I would think that——

Mr. GORDON. I am just—well, you know——

Dr. FARMER. I would think on the order of hundreds of potential civilizations within our galaxy. I would feel comfortable with that.

Mr. GORDON. So do you think there is a 90 percent chance that there is life? At 80 percent? A 12——

Dr. FARMER. In our solar system, I have always said about 50/50 and that is—again, that is just—that is not——

Mr. GORDON. Okay.

Dr. FARMER [continuing]. Science. That is a personal opinion.

Mr. GORDON. Oh. No. No. That is what I am asking for. That is all I am asking for.

Dr. FARMER. And, you know, if you——

Mr. GORDON. And what about intelligent life? What kind of odds?

Dr. FARMER. In—beyond the earth and our own——

Mr. GORDON. Yeah.

Dr. FARMER [continuing]. Solar system, I would put at essentially probably nonexistent because I am——

Mr. GORDON. Okay. Dr. Weiler, how about you?

Dr. WEILER. I have learned never underestimate the ability of humans to make themselves special, number one. I believe the possibility of life, of any kind of life, including a bacterium in the solar system, is maybe 50/50; intelligent life, zero, other than the earth. In the universe, I think the probability of intelligent life is 1.0, 100 percent. To not believe in a universe with 1—to 10 stars that intelligent life only sprung up on our little special place in the universe.

Mr. GORDON. Okay. How about you? Do you want to give some odds?

Dr. CHYBA. I think that it is almost certain that life exists elsewhere, although we don't know. And I think that it is quite possible that intelligent life exists elsewhere, but the only way to find out is to search.

Mr. GORDON. So what odds—how do you define quite—50? 40? 30? 20?

Dr. CHYBA. Mr. Gordon, I wish I knew. I just don't know.

Mr. GORDON. Yeah. But—well, I know you don't know, but what is your—if you—you know, what is your feeling? Nobody knows. Okay.

Dr. CHYBA. I would flip a coin."

Laughlin Photo Album - Vol. IV

Lately, Mac Tonnies has been speculating about cryptoterrestrials, and their relationship with children (i.e. why do more children seem to report seeing them than do adults).

Well, the same is true with extraterrestrials. In this photo, taken in Oatman, Arizona, on our sojourn to the International UFO Congress conference back in late February, intrepid alien explorer Rear Admiral Zorgrot (he gets promoted faster than Lee Adama!) was attempting to communicate with an indigenous earth creature when he was observed by a young boy.

Some photos are just priceless!

The boy and Zorgrot had a short chat, after which the boy offered Zorgrot his ice cream cone. I kid you not!

Zorgrot politely declined, and the young boy went on his way, having had one more close encounter than most ufologists ever will.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tough Day for ET in the UK

It's been a tough day for ET, and those who are interested in him (whether he's "out there" or "down here"), in the British media.

They obviously need a better press agent.

Paul Kimball

But what if no one's out there at all?

Scientists back new projects to scan the skies for alien life - but confidence in finding it is dwindling

Robin McKie, science editor
Sunday May 7, 2006
The Observer

Despite 40 years of effort, it has yet to produce a single result. Millions of pounds have been spent and thousands of man-hours expended, yet Seti, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, remains the great unfulfilled hope of modern astronomy.

On Friday, at the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists will reassess their prospects of finding aliens in our galaxy. They will gather at a special meeting to explain current programmes and outline a series of projects aimed at finding out whether or not we are alone.

'Twenty years ago, scientists were confident there were at least a million alien civilisations in our galaxy,' said the meeting's organiser, Dr Ian Morison of Jodrell Bank Observatory. 'No one thinks there can be anything like that number now.'

Scientists' failure to hear ET's call accounts for some of this loss of optimism. For 40 years, radio astronomers have trained their telescopes at stars to try to pick up a single 'Hello, I'm here' signal. Earth's own growing ecological woes have also led astronomers to fear that civilisations, if they do emerge, may be extinguishing themselves in very short timespans.

'I am sure life exists on other worlds,' said Morison. 'But it may be rather primitive. Few other worlds may have the right conditions for complex organisms to evolve as they have on Earth.'

For example, our moon keeps our planet spinning in a stable manner while our sun does not have wild fluctuations in radiation output. On other worlds, battered by radiation bursts and crashing comets, life may be so disrupted that it has remained rooted at the level of amoebas and primitive pond life. This is known as the 'aliens are scum' scenario.
However, such dwindling hopes have only sharpened astronomers' appetites and at this week's meeting scientists will highlight new methods.

One idea - to be outlined by Dr Ian Crawford of Birkbeck College, London - involves using Nasa's next manned missions to the moon to search its surface for space debris from alien civilisations. 'We are not talking about digging up monoliths like those in 2001: A Space Odyssey,' he said. 'The idea is to look for microscopic fragments of alien spacecraft.'
Russian scientists have calculated that a civilisation capable of space travel would produce massive amounts of debris, like the space junk - old rocket boosters, lens caps dropped by astronauts - that is building up around Earth today. This alien detritus, which would include microscopic particles shorn from spacecraft, could have drifted across space for billion of years, eventually becoming embedded on our moon and ready for astronauts to dig them up. Crawford proposed the idea to Nasa at a special meeting on lunar science earlier this month.

But this is not the only new concept on offer. Paul Horowitz, of Harvard University, will describe how his team has started surveying the sky for signs of interstellar Morse code. 'We used to think alien civilisations would say "hello" by sending radio signals,' he said. 'However, we have realised they could also do it by beaming out laser pulses, so we have built a telescope that can monitor sections of the sky to pick up these flashes. We have studied 100,000 stars in the last two weeks, but have seen nothing.'

At the same time, Paul Allen - one of the founders of Microsoft - has backed the construction of an array of several hundred radio telescopes in California in a bid to intensify the traditional search for electronic messages from alien civilisations. 'If anyone is beaming signals at us anywhere in our neighbourhood of the galaxy we will pick it up,' added Morison. The trouble with this method is that it will only succeed if aliens are deliberately advertising their existence to the galaxy. Although they may be transmitting radio and TV broadcasts to themselves, these would not be powerful enough to be detected on other worlds.

But why would aliens want to announce their presence, some astronomers ask? 'If researchers on Earth wanted to try that sort of thing, they would have to go to their governments and ask for millions of pounds just to send signals into space without knowing if there was anyone out there to pick them up,' added Morison. 'We wouldn't get very far. I am pretty sure of that. So we will just have to hope our alien counterparts have fared a little better with their paymasters.'

Condign Website

The UK MOD report and other information is, or soon will be, available here.

As I said, it will be interesting to see Nick Pope's take on all of this.

This all comes hours after Stan Friedman and Frank Feschino appeared on Strange Days... Indeed to trumpet their research into US military aircraft crashes allegedly caused by alien spacecraft.

I wonder if the UFO talk radio shows - SDI, C2C - will invite the Brits on to chat about their new information as eagerly as they have invited the ETH supporters on to chat about their theories?

Regardless, ufology was in the doldrums for the past little while. Looks like things are starting to heat up.

As Karl Pflock would say, "wheee..."

Paul Kimball

More on the UK MOD Report


Phil Klass must be smiling somewhere.

By the way, while I'm no supporter of the Roswell case, here's another lazy reporter for you. The Alien Autopsy film was fake, you idiot - but that doesn't mean that Roswell was bogus.

Sheesh... doesn't anyone at the Times fact check anymore?

Then again, I was always an "Independent" kind of guy.

Paul Kimball

The Sunday Times
London, UK May 07, 2006

Sorry ET, You're Just A Puff Of Plasma
by Jack Grimston

They didn't come from outer space: UFOs crash on Planet Sceptic

BRITAIN’s defence intelligence chiefs have come up with a detailed scientific explanation to solve the mystery of unidentified flying objects.After a four-year inquiry, they have concluded that most sightings can be explained by a little-understood atmospheric phenomenon.

Scientists at the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) describe how glowing "plasmas" of gas are created by charges of electricity. Air flows then sculpt the plasmas into aerodynamic shapes which appear to fly at extraordinary speeds through the sky.

The document is emphatic that UFOs do not come from alien civilisations or hostile powers, but equally it does not dismiss those who claim to have seen them as fantasists or hoaxers.

Instead, the scientists say such plasmas can play tricks on the mind, creating vivid impressions. They note that "local [electromagnetic] fields... have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the brain".

As a result, UFO witnesses may not be mad but instead suffering from "extended memory retention and repeat experiences" induced by the plasmas.

Their report says that, though UFOs have "defied credible description" as to their cause, they are confident that they now have "a reasonably justified explanation".

It goes on to recommend that the findings on UFOs — of which more than 100 are sighted in most years — could be developed for "novel military applications", adding that Russia is already investigating such weapons.

The report has been released under the Freedom of Information Act following an application by Dr David Clarke, a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, and Gary Anthony, a fellow researcher. The pair will give a presentation on the results this week.

It has been a bad year for conspiracy theorists. Last month, the "Roswell incident", another favourite, was debunked. John Humphreys, a special effects expert behind the television cyber-presenter Max Headroom, claimed he was one of the hoaxers behind grainy black and white footage supposedly showing an autopsy on alien corpses in 1947. He said the bodies were latex models.

Files released last year under freedom of information laws showed that the Ministry of Defence maintained a special unit, named S4F, responsible for logging sightings of UFOs by the public and the military, which numbered 88 in 2004. Those files gave detailed accounts of sightings but did not indicate that the intelligence services were using the information as the basis of an inquiry codenamed Project Condign.

They began their inquiry in 1996, apparently without the knowledge of Michael Portillo, who was then defence secretary and responsible for the DIS.

The project was intended to assess any military danger UFOs might pose to Britain (it concludes they pose none).

The investigation by the DIS’s section DI55 was completed in 2000 under Geoff Hoon, now Europe minister, when other branches of the same agency were busy trying to find Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

The document, marked UK Eyes Only and entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region, analyses 30 years of evidence on UFOs. Only 11 copies of the report were made."

Credited with the ability to hover, land, take off, accelerate to exceptional velocities and vanish, they can reportedly alter their direction of flight suddenly and clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile," states the report.

While some non-hoax sightings of UFOs may be caused by wrongly identifying aircraft, various optical illusions or obvious natural phenomena, the most common explanation, the report concludes, is "several types of rarely encountered natural events within the atmosphere and ionosphere".

It describes how an "electrically charged... gaseous mass" can form in the atmosphere which is often invisible to radar but resembles the bright, fast-moving, round or cigar-shaped objects typically reported by UFO spotters.

Although the plasmas share the characteristics of reported UFOs, they remain a mystery. "The method of formations of the electrically charged plasmas... is not fully understood," the report finds.

Many of the other phenomena reported by UFO spotters can be explained by plasmas. For example, the report says the space between two plasmas sometimes "forms an area... from which the reflection of light does not occur", giving the impression of a "black ‘craft’, often triangular and even up to hundreds of feet in length".

In addition, the report finds that because plasmas are electrically charged, they can change shape or colour if hit by another energy source, such as a radio signal sent by a UFO spotter. "This has led ‘ufologists’ to imagine that an ‘alien response’ is being given to their signals," the report says.

UK Ministry of Defence Report on UFOs Released

The following article comes from the BBC. Expect a great deal of "I told you so" from certain UFO commentators. They should be careful - as should those who will immediately criticise the report (it will be interesting to see what Nick Pope makes of this).

What everyone should remember is that it seems to represent only one man's opinion - and an anonymous man at that.

This means that, while the report isn't worthless, it isn't worth much, either - at least not until all of the details about it are made public.

More information will apparently be coming from David Clarke et al in the next few days. I'll keep an eye out as the story develops.

Paul Kimball

UFO study finds no sign of aliens
Mark Simpson BBC News

The 400-page report was kept secret for six years.

A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms.

In spite of the secrecy surrounding the UFO study, it seems citizens of planet Earth have little to worry about.

The report, which was completed in 2000 and stamped "Secret: UK Eyes Only", has been made public for the first time.

Only a small number of copies were produced and the identity of the man who wrote it has been protected.

His findings were only made public thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, after a request by Sheffield Hallam University academic Dr David Clarke.

The four-year study - entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK - tackles the long-running question by UFO-spotters: "Is anyone out there?"

The answer, it seems, is "no".

The 400-page report puts it like this: "No evidence exists to suggest that the phenomena seen are hostile or under any type of control, other than that of natural physical forces."

It adds: "There is no evidence that 'solid' objects exist which could cause a collision hazard."

So if there are no such things as little green men in spaceships or flying saucers, why have so many people reported seeing them?

Well, here is the science bit.

"Evidence suggests that meteors and their well-known effects and, possibly some other less-known effects are responsible for some unidentified aerial phenomena," concludes the report.

"Considerable evidence exists to support the thesis that the events are almost certainly attributable to physical, electrical and magnetic phenomena in the atmosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere.

"They appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically-charged conditions and are observed so infrequently as to make them unique to the majority of observers."

People who claim to have had a "close encounter" are often difficult to persuade that they did not really see what they thought they saw. The report offers a possible medical explanation.

"The close proximity of plasma related fields can adversely affect a vehicle or person," states the report.

"Local fields of this type have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the human brain. These result in the observer sustaining (and later describing and retaining) his or her own vivid, but mainly incorrect, description of what is experienced."

There are, of course, other causes of UFOs - aeroplanes with particularly bright lights, stray odd-shaped balloons and strange flocks of birds, to name but a few.

Yet, it will be difficult to convince everyone that there is a rational explanation for all mysterious movements in the sky.

Some UFO-spotters believe governments will always cover up the truth about UFOs, because they are afraid of admitting that there is something beyond their control.

It is not clear how much time and effort the MoD has spent looking at the skies in recent years, but it appears there are no plans for an in-depth UFO report like the one written in 2000.

A MoD spokesperson said: "Both this study and the original "Flying Saucer Working Party" [already in public domain in the national Archives] concluded that there is insufficient evidence to indicate the presence of any genuine unidentified aerial phenomena.

"It is unlikely that we would carry out any future studies unless such evidence were to emerge."

What's In a Name?

UFO is a term loaded with a lot of baggage. It is also, unless you happen to be an adherent of the ETH or EDH, inaccurate - for those of us who maintain that the phenomenon remains a mystery (worth study), the "O" presents a problem, because "object" carries with a certain conclusion that the evidence doesn't yet support (and maybe it never will).

So, some folks, myself included, maintain that UAP - Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - is a better, more scientifically descriptive term, and one that doesn't have the stigma attached to it that "UFO" does.

Widespread acceptance of this term would probably help with the promotion of the serious study of the phenomenon. "UFO" could be left for the fringers, and the true believers.

However, there is a problem.

If someone who studies UFOs is a "ufologist", practicing "ufology", then logic dictates that someone who studies UAP is a "Uapologist", practicing "Uapology".

Which makes perfect sense, no doubt, to those, like Stan Friedman, who have no time for "apologist ufologists"!

Then again, Stan still insists on using "flying saucers", a term of even more questionable lineage and applicability than UFO.

All things considered, perhaps the status quo isn't so bad after all!

Paul Kimball

Lyrics - Vol. II

I wrote this one back in 1996 - it seems even more applicable today.

Beware of people with easy answers, and beware of people who prey upon your fears, and tell you that "this group" or "that group" is to blame for all your problems.

In other words, don't get played.

Paul Kimball

Strange Deliverance

An incident occurs down the street
go and find out who has died,
then let the dead bury their own dead
and follow me.

Words hang loosely like your threads
cut them to pieces and pick them up,
throw them back in their lying faces
and follow me to better places.

Another time another man
won't do for you what this one can,
what will you do when you finally see
well, you'll get in line and follow me.

Walk the path of life on coals of flame
you feel the anger, you live the pain,
you're searching for someone to blame
well, follow me and I'll give you their names.

Hellyer, Corso and Greer

In the run-up to this Tuesday's impending embarrassment... er, exopolitical press conference... I think it's important for anyone who's interested, and who might be inclined to take Paul Hellyer seriously, to review this short, five minute interview with MSNBC's Tucker Carlson from last December. Note that Mr. Hellyer was already touting Dr. Steven Greer, although the supposedly "sharp-as-a-tack" former Minister of Defense had trouble remembering Dr. Greer's name (presumably he'll get it right on Tuesday).

More important, for those who have suggested otherwise, note that Mr. Hellyer clearly stated that it was Philip Corso's book The Day After Roswell, that formed the core of his belief system, including the contention that the United States was intent on building a moon base to monitor and shoot down (if necessary) aliens.

The amazing thing is that Mr. Carlson, who has a reputation for being confrontational, to say the least, actually treated Mr. Hellyer with the utmost respect.

The sad thing is that it was Mr. Hellyer who was the guy being interviewed as some sort of spokesperson for the study of the UFO phenomenon.

I feel sorry for Mr. Hellyer. Whatever one's views about the policies he implemented in office all those years ago (especially the disastrous decisions he made with respect to Canada's armed forces, which reverberate to this day), it's sad to see him come to this near the end of his life.

He was once a politician of considerable talent and promise. If his ego hadn't gotten in the way, he might have done great things.

Alas, for Paul Hellyer, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away from the one he inhabits today.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lyrics - Vol. I

From 1994:

A Drawing Down

I read the news today
I really thought it would mean something to me,
but stranger tales I have heard,
nothing that happens seems to make me anymore,
just round and round it goes
through my revolving door.

I heard a song today
I really thought it would mean something to me,
but truer songs I have heard,
nothing they write seems to touch me anymore,
just round and round it goes
through my revolving door.

Candles burning on the floor
Aleister Crowley knocking at my door,
come around, come around
to this drawing down,
on this unholy ground...
come see what I have found.

I heard a voice today
I really thought it'd mean something to me,
but stronger voices I have heard,
nothing they say seems to move me anymore,
just the Word going in and out
through my revolving door.

Paul Kimball

Dr. Greer vs. Dr. Salla?

Aha - a rift in the exopolitical camp between two of the main proponents of exopolitical "thought".

Dr. Steven Greer in his most recent paper takes a clear shot (or two) at Dr. Michael Salla. Dr. Greer comes very close to calling Dr. Salla a disinformation agent, either wittingly or unwittingly!

So what's this all about?

Who knows with these two? Almost anything is possible. However, the market for exopolitical "leaders" is pretty small - perhaps Dr. Greer is a bit chuffed that Dr. Salla is stealing some of his "thunder" (i.e. radio airtime, conferences, etc.).

I'll be keeping an eye out for Dr. Salla's response.

And if you get the impression that I'm enjoying this, you're absolutely right. They deserve each other. With any luck, the whole exopolitical mess will implode.

Paul Kimball

Louder Than Bombs

Hmm... I think it's pretty clear that I'm a Smiths fan, considering I wrote a song called Louder Than Bombs, which was the title of a Smiths "Best of..." compilation CD.

I always liked this one. Straight-forward alternative-pop (as we called it back in the mid 1990s).

"You make me turn, and stare at you,
You seem to walk on water,
I open my eyes, and hear a sound,
Louder than bombs falling down..."

I wrote that for / about Linda over ten years ago... it still holds true today.

Paul Kimball

May Poll - Which UFO Publication is the Best?

Where do you get your UFO-related information?

Which UFO publication is the best?
UFO Magazine (USA)
Saucer Smear
MUFON Journal
International UFO Reporter
Other (please specify in comments section)
Free polls from

Paul Kimball

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fields of Fear - Behind the Scenes, Vol. I

Hunting chupacabras is dangerous business.

Here I am in Puerto Rico, last September, as the sun sets, trying to find the dastardly little beast.

As I recall, the "intrepid" Nick Redfern was back in the van with the air conditioning on listening to the stereo.

Wuss. :-)

Paul Kimball

Mysterio Meets Vampirella

If we ever had a "hit" this was it. Both bands - Tall Poppies and Julia's Rain - performed the song over the years.


I wish I could re-record this one above all others - this version was done just after Julia's Rain was formed, and it wasn't quite where I wanted it. It developed into a better, "rockier" version, as the years went along.

The song was named after a Spider-Man villain - although it had nothing to do with him!

Speaking of comic book characters...


There's an interesting story about how this one was recorded. We had limited studio time (time really IS money in a recording studio), and when the drummer laid down the bed track, his drums had a technical flaw (a squeak, as I recall) which only became apparent after he had left town on a tour with another band. We didn't have time to wait for his return to re-do it, so I thought the song wasn't going to make the album. Then, one night while engineer Laurence Currie and I were listening to playback, he hit upon the idea of taking the drums out altogether, except for the kick drum, which would serve as a sort of a heartbeat. We tried it, and it seemed to work. I suggested that the kick drum start out softly, low in the mix, and increase as the song went along, giving the feel of the approaching vampire. That worked even better. Then, to add some atmosphere, Laurence and I put a guitar on the floor, hit the effects pedals until we got the right mix, and sat back and tossed coins, cups - whatever we could find, at the guitar strings, which is where the swirling atmospheric sounds you hear come from.

Live, we rocked the song up - we once did a very "White Wedding"-esque version on a live television performance (which someday I'll post here). But the fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants creativity of the much moodier album version (which we never duplicated live) is one of my fonder memories of the music career.

Paul Kimball

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dr. Greer goes to... Canada?

Last September, Paul Hellyer, an octogenarian former Canadian Minister of the National Defence (from the 1960s), came forward and stated that he believed ET was here on Earth, and that the government was involved in a massive cover-up of this knowledge. Where did this knowledge come from? He read Phil Corso's Day After Roswell, and that convinced him. The exopolitics faction of ufology made a big deal about this development. A few comedians and political commentators had some fun with Mr. Hellyer (whose career as a political flip-flopper hasn't left him with many friends or any influence). And that was about it. Most of the rest of us saw it for what it was - a non-event (at best).

Well, Mr. Hellyer and his exopolitics chums are still at it, nattering on about the need for official "disclosure" (although Mr. Hellyer has said that he didn't see anything to disclose during his tenure as Minister of Defence!) - they have even called for hearings in the Canadian Senate on the subject of the "Cosmic Watergate" (sorry, Stan, but in part these are your illegitimate ideological "children").

In a new development, however, they've decided to bring in some "help" from south of the border.

Canada, meet Dr. Steven Greer!

On May 9th, Mr. Hellyer and Dr. Greer will be joining forces at a Toronto press conference to promote the exopolitical cause in all its glory (you can view the press release here).

That's right - Canada's exopolitics adherents, led in this case by Ontario's Mike Bird and Victor Viggiani, have enlisted the aid of the man who most American ufologists believe single-handedly killed any prospect of Congressional hearings into the UFO phenomenon back in the late 1990s... to forward the cause of Parliamentary hearings on the UFO subject in Canada!

There are many words that can be used to describe this turn of events. I'll leave it to the reader to come up with his or her own favourite, but here's mine... Nuts!

Alas, I won't be able to attend (I seriously considered flying up to Toronto to watch the circus, and get a good laugh, but I'm too busy prepping for the upcoming Best Evidence shoot). But, in the interests of common sense, here is Errol Bruce-Knapp, host of Strange Days... Indeed, in an interview with UFO Review's Stuart Miller, summarizing what people interested in the serious study of the UFO phenomenon think of Dr. Greer:

"SM: Why don’t you care for [Steven Greer]?

EBK: Because he’s a loose-cannon. The man is erratic and he can’t focus and UFOs is what we’re focussed on and this whole Star Dreams initiative, Star Wars Defence initiative, Steven Greer, the lying shysters and all of the other nonsense this man is spouting just gets in the way and up here in Canada we have one chance. Just like Greer had the one chance at the possibility of getting Senate Hearings in the United States and he blew it. He showed up at the press conference with all of these witnesses without having checked them all out and you got the Warrens and the Clifford Stones and a couple of other people there, all ready to swear on their lives, and lying shysters, some of them. So what we have now going on is an absorption of Alfred Webre and Steven Greer and all his nonsense and Michael Salla and this is a combination that ain’t gonna work. And as I’ve said to Victor [Viggiani], my concern for Victor is that he’s going to get dragged down and tarred with the same brush as all of these other people. Exopolitics ain’t going to work. They have one run at it here and they’re going to blow it."

If you doubt that Errol's view reflects a fairly broad consensus, go to UFO Updates, and run a search of Dr. Greer's name with the name of one of your favourite UFO researchers (try Dick Hall for starters).

Oh well. Maybe after the press conference is over, Dr. Greer can take any media members who show up out to Newmarket, or some other suburban area, and try to contact a few spaceships with flashlights. I'm sure that will impress them!

The shame is that some of the "Disclosure Project" witnesses are quality, credible people with stories that the media should take seriously. However, these good witnesses have been largely ignored because the people who present their testimony have no credibility, and their accounts are mixed in with those of frauds, con-men and loons.

People like Mr. Viggiani say, "well, you shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater".

This statement misses the point completely.

The blame for the indifference shown to the legitimate witnesses goes directly to people like Mr. Viggiani and Mr. Bird, who, by continuing to associate with and promote Dr. Greer and the exopolitics "movement," actively keep the baby in the bathwater.

As Errol said, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. On May 9th, the organizers of the Exopolitics press conference are going to blow that one chance right out of the water.

Oh, Canada...

Paul Kimball

Julia's Rain - "Manchester" and "Starfish"

Two more songs from wonderful broken silence, more upbeat than "Prospect of the Sea".


Starfish (co-written with singer Kelly Mckeigan)

These two tracks were produced by Laurence Currie at Idea of East studio in 1996. The musicians were:

Yours truly, guitar
Chris MacKenzie, guitar
Glenn MacCulloch, drums
Kelly McKeigan, vocals
Rob Currie, bass on "Manchester"
Mike Riley, bass on "Starfish"

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Julia's Rain - Prospect of the Sea

You can listen to "Prospect of the Sea" - a song from the Julia's Rain e.p. wonderful broken silence (1996) - here (if only we had this kind of technology back in the early and mid 1990s).

This song was always one of my favourites. We recorded it with Andrew Watt, here in Halifax, in 1994, and released it a couple of years later. The live version eventually morphed into a more punchy, early "Police" version, but I have a soft spot for the original, although the synth was mixed a bit too heavy, and I wish I could re-do the guitar parts.

The musicians are:

Yours truly, guitars
Kelly McKeigan, vocals (that's her pic on the left)
Glenn MacCulloch, drums
Rob Currie, bass
Andrew Watt, keyboards

"The air that you breathe, steals from my throat..."

Now, I wonder who I wrote that about?

Paul Kimball

There is a Light...

No, not a light in the sky (although who knows) - a light that never goes out!

To be precise - "There is a Light That Never Goes out".

Best Smiths song... ever!

This is for my pals Mac Tonnies, Nick Redfern (yes, they were better than the Ramones), and Peter Black - and Linda, of course!

"And if a double decker bus
crashes into us
To die by your side, such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
kills the both of us
To die by your side,
the pleasure, the privilege is mine."

Now that's true love!

Go here for a live solo Morrissey rendition, and here for a live Smiths version.

The former is much more polished, as it was recorded professionally, whereas the latter is pretty ragged - but I prefer it, because it's the Smiths, and it reminds me of old video from some of my gigs back in the mid 1990s.

Speaking of which...

Here's a verse from "All Afraid", a song my first band, Tall Poppies, recorded on our Fields of Addiction e.p. in 1993 (yes, kids, that's a cassette cover -there was a time before compact discs, or IPods) which was definitely influenced by the Smiths:

"What are you so afraid of,
What has brought you to this state,
Where are your natural emotions,
You're such a sad, sad thing...
All afraid
you feel your back against the wall,
caution hasn't paid,
it's set you up just to fall,
You sit around with your rope
You sit around with your rope
One loose knot and no hope
One loose knot and no hope."

Ahh... the good old days!

Maybe one of these days I'll figure out how to get some old video and music on the Net.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Me A-Z Meme...

If it's good enough for Mac Tonnies, I'm willing to give it a try!

The Me A-Z Meme

Accent: A slight Maritime accent.

Booze: Yes, please!

Chore I Hate: Umm... how do I pick just one? Cleaning the bathroom.

Dog or Cat: Dogs!

Essential Electronics: X-Box.

Favorite Cologne: Old Spice.

Gold or Silver: Silver.

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Insomnia: All the time.

Job Title: You mean the current one? Film & Television Producer / Director / Writer / Editor.

Kids: I like them, in small doses. Frankly, I'm best-suited to be the crazy uncle.

Living arrangements: Movin' on up... soon. At the moment, upstairs flat with my fiance.

Most admirable traits: I know exactly who I am, for good and ill. Sense of humour. Honesty.

Not going to cop to: Well, if I told you, then I'd be copping to it, wouldn't I?

Overnight hospital stays: Not since I was a kid.

Phobias: Bees! BEES!!!!!

Quote: "All people are created equal - but not all opinions."

Religion: Agnostic / Christian (depends on the time of day, and whether or not the plane is taking off or landing).

Siblings: Two.

Time I wake up: As late as possible.

Unusual talent or skill: Making duck sounds.

Vegetable I love: Potato.

Worst habit: Too many to list, although always playing Devil's Advocate has led to its share of unintended dust-ups. Procrastination is a bad habit too.

X-rays: I wish (oh, it's not referring to X-ray vision.... oops). Dental.

Yummy foods I make: Kraft Dinner... Grilled cheese sandwiches... Mr. Noodle... A glass of Diet Coke.

Zodiac sign: Capricorn.