Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ufology's Generation NOW - #1, Nick Pope

Nick Pope is the most articulate spokesperson for the reality of the UFO phenomenon around today. Unlike some people, he isn't burdened by an affiliation with a particular theory - he is therefore well-positioned to make the case to the mainstream. Of all of the people I have interviewed about the UFO phenomenon, including Stan Friedman, Nick is the best at understanding how to make the case to the media, and through them the general public.

Is Nick the best researcher alive today? No, although sometimes his good work doesn't get enough credit.

But there are plenty of researchers around, some very good, many not so good. What ufology lacks is someone who can bring the good research to the public. That requires media savvy, and a certain presence. Nick has both - not to mention the experience and credibility that comes from his role within government. No, he wasn't the UK's "Fox Mulder", but he was posted to a division of the Ministry of Defence called Secretariat (Air Staff) from 1991 to 1994, where he was given the job of researching and investigating the UFO phenomenon. He has continued his research in the years since, even as he has moved on to other positions within the MOD.

Nick has written four books: Open Skies, Closed Minds details his official UFO work, while The Uninvited deals with alien abductions; Operation Thunder Child and Operation Lightning Strike are science fiction novels.

Nick isn't the most popular guy within ufology, especially in the United Kingdom, where some people seem to be a bit jealous of his success, and the fact that he is often the first person contacted by the media when the subject of UFOs pops up (Stan Friedman, the de facto public face of ufology for the past thirty years or so, has encountered similar criticism throughout his career). But so what? The number of people who actually care about what ufologists think about other ufologists can be counted in the hundreds (to be generous - I suspect it is really more like a few dozen). That kind of stuff doesn't matter to the general public.

What does matter is having a credible, telegenic, well-spoken person who can make the case for the objective reality of the UFO phenomenon, in a reasoned, sensible manner that is designed to bring people into the "conversation", as opposed to driving them away.

That guy, for the current generation, is Nick Pope, and it makes him #1 on my list, because what he brings to the table is what ufology needs most these days.

So, to recap...

#1 - Nick Pope
#2 - Nick Redfern
#3 - Mac Tonnies
#4 - Greg Bishop
#5 - John Greenewald, Jr.
#6 - Dr. David Clarke
#7 - William Wise
#8 - Joe McGonagle
#9 - Tim Binnall
#10 - Kyle King

I think the future of ufology is in pretty good hands.

Paul Kimball

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