Monday, June 05, 2006

Ufology's Generation NOW - #2, Nick Redfern

If Mac Tonnies is the Morrissey of the UFO world - i.e. smooth, melodic, a bit angsty, philosophical - then Nick Redfern is ufology's Johnny Ramone, brash, three chords and a guitar, take-no-prisoners, and in your face. He's not afraid to take pot shots at ufology's sacred cows (even the mutilated ones), to challenge dogma and the "establishment", and to encourage people to think for themselves, even if that means picking apart his own theories.

Still only 40 years old, Nick has more books in print, makes more conference appearances, and has done more actual research over the past decade or so, than most people in the field - including many of the "icons". He's a regular in film and television documentaries (he's been in three of mine, and will be in another one upcoming), and edits Phenomena Magazine. In short, he's a busy guy!

Not everyone agrees with the conclusions that Nick draws, of course - I certainly didn't when it came to his controversial book Body Snatchers in the Desert, released in 2005 (although for reasons different than some of the "Roswell as ET" supporters - more than a few of whom pounded the book, and Nick, without actually having read it). That's fine with Nick. He respects constructive criticism, and has the intellectual integrity to admit when he's wrong, or when he doesn't have all of the the answers; on the other hand, he has little use for belief masquerading as objective thinking. Proper thing.

As noted above, Nick is a prolific author - his books include A Covert Agenda: The British Government's UFO Top Secrets Exposed, Cosmic Crashes: The Incredible Story of the UFO's That Fell to Earth, Strange Secrets: Real Government Files on the Unkown (written with Andy Roberts), The FBI Files: The FBI's UFO Top Secrets Exposed, Three Men Seeking Monsters (my favourite), Body Snatchers in the Desert, and his latest, On the Trail of the Saucer Spies - but he's also a hard-working researcher, chasing down leads, and rooting through reams of documents.

Nick doesn't just talk the talk - he walks the walk. He has lots of good work left in him, both in ufology and in other paranormal fields (cryptozoology, for one). He's inquisitive by nature, and that will keep him on the trail of the truth for many years to come - a good thing for ufology and ufologists, even though they might not always realize it.

Paul Kimball

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