Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Rev. Barry Downing: The Bible and Flying Saucers

The third episode of Ufology Unplugged features an interview I conducted with Rev. Barry Downing in 2001. Downing is best known as the author of The Bible and Flying Saucers, one of the earliest and most influential works in the "ancient aliens" ouevre. In this interview he discusses his work and his theories, particularly the idea that the stories of the Bible may not be supernatural in nature but rather may represent tales of human contact with advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.

Paul Kimball

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Shag Harbour UFO case - What the people involved thought it was

Most people within ufology have seen the headline in the Halifax Chronicle Herald from Saturday, 7 October 1967, which read: "Could Be Something Concrete in Shag Harbour UFO - RCAF," largely because it is the more sensational one. But here is the follow-up reportage a few days later - still rife with speculation and uncertainty (understandable all things considered), but also showing that an ET spacecraft was the furthest thing from anyone's mind. The explanation that most people credited was a secret American craft of some sort... which is what Laurie Wickens, the first person to see the UFO and report it, still thinks it was, all these years later - and I agree.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The New York Times' Roswell coverage in 1947

I was doing some archival research today on non-UFO related history at Acadia University, and I took the opportunity to check the New York Times on microfilm for their version of the Roswell "crash"... and here it is. What I found particularly interesting was the coverage the "flying disc" phenomenon was getting in the week before the Roswell incident, stemming from the Kenneth Arnold sighting in June, 1947. Flying saucers were certainly in the news, and imaginations were working overtime, which is probably the biggest reason why the people who jumped the gun and released the press release about the "Roswell crash" got it wrong... and then had to retract their error shortly thereafter and use the weather balloon cover story for what they had really found - the top secret Project Mogul. Anyone who thinks those kinds of things can't happen to even the best of us just doesn't understand human nature.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Steven Greer: Disclosure

The second episode of "Ufology Unplugged" consists of a 2001 interview I conducted with Steven Greer, the controversial founder of the Disclosure Project, intermixed with a clip of Greer speaking at the 2001 MUFON Symposium press conference. Greer talks about the disclosure of what he claims is the cover-up of the reality of ET visiting Earth and reverse-engineered free energy that is being withheld from the human race by a secret cabal of government and corporate insiders. 

Paul Kimball

The Bookshelf

Most of my "weird" books are in boxes in a storage locker (at over 150 paranormal-related ones, it's just too much for my apartment) - these are some of the ones I have on hand. It's an eclectic bunch, that's for sure.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Randy Barnes: Contact Experiences

In this episode of "Ufology Unplugged" I present a 2003 interview I conducted with American contactee Randy Barnes in Aztec, New Mexico. Barnes describes his long history of what he claims are "contact" experiences with extraterrestrials, and offers some thoughts on what it might all mean. Besides his "contact" experiences, Barnes was one of the key research partners of Scott Ramsey in his re-investigation of the 1948 Aztec UFO hoax.

Paul Kimball

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rob Swiatek - FUFOR and "Final Report on Operation Majestic 12"

Rob Swiatek of the Fund for UFO Research talks about the early days of MJ-12 research and how FUFOR came to fund Stan Friedman's "Final Report on Operation Majestic 12" in the late 1980s. An excerpt from an interview I conducted with Rob in Aztec, New Mexico, in 2003. 

Paul Kimball

Dr. John Mack - Alien Reality and Humanity

From my video vault - John Mack speaking at the 2001 MUFON Symposium press conference about the media and UFOs, and anthropocentric humanism and how an alien reality would change the way we view ourselves, and the society that we have created. Stan Friedman makes a cameo appearance at the end. 

 Paul Kimball

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Episode 1.2: Kevin Randle - Cattle Mutilations

UFO researcher / author Kevin Randle (The Abduction Enigma, The Government UFO Files, Case MJ-12, The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell) discusses the cattle mutilation phenomenon, which he investigated in the 1970s for APRO.

Having looked into the cattle mutilation stories myself several years ago, I agree with pretty much everything Randle says here. The more interesting take-away for me from all of this is that most of what Randle says about cattle mutilation investigations, and investigators, is equally applicable to every other type of ufological investigation, whether it be "alien abductions" or crop circles... or Randle's own bread and butter, crashed flying saucers. His great failing is the blind spot that he has always had when it comes to that latter subject.

But as Karl Pflock always said, and it is a sentiment that Randle ironically echoes in this episode - belief can be a powerful thing.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ufology... Unplugged - Pilot Episode

Feature films are my thing now, and I really enjoy it (my two latest films just screened at the Atlantic Film Festival last month to a great reaction and after a couple minor tweaks we'll have done by early November they'll be headed out to the broader festival circuit), but a small part of me remains fascinated by the subculture of Ufology. Fortunately, I've got hundreds of hours of interview footage that I accumulated over my years making documentaries, and I have some free time, so... behold - Ufology... Unplugged! A project I've been meaning to get to for some time. 

In the pilot episode I pull excerpts from two separate interviews with Stan Friedman. The first was in September, 2001 - Stan discusses his thoughts on Steven Greer and the Disclosure Project, which was the "big thing" in ufology at the time (and one could argue that it still is). In the second, which was conducted in 2003, Stan talks about his relationship with his former research partner William Moore.

Lots of interesting nuggets in here, but there are three that stand out for me. The first is Stan's line in the Greer interview that "I think that there should be plenty of secrets in the world," which might come as a surprise to some (particularly the forcefulness with which he delivers it here),. Second are his remarks about his disagreements with Moore about UFO Cover-Up Live and the failure of Moore to honour his commitments to people who ordered things from him via mail. Both point to Moore's intrinsic dishonesty (as does Stan's admission that Moore could be "tricky"), and yet he continues to maintain, in the face of everything we know about Moore and Doty, that the MJ-12 documents are bona fide because Moore could not have faked them. Finally, Stan offers a firm denial of the charge leveled against him over the years by Karl Pflock, Kevin Randle, and Brad Sparks, that Stan had discussed the prospect of faking documents with Moore and Shandera.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stanton Friedman - William Moore and MJ-12

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in 2003, Stanton Friedman talks about his relationship with fellow ufologist William Moore, who was his research partner on Roswell and MJ-12 for a decade from the late 1970s through the 1980s.

Much grist for the mill here, most of it centering on the cognitive dissonance of what Stan says about Moore's honesty - "Bill was a tricky guy," "He liked to float proposals, run them up the flag pole and see how people would react," he was committing mail fraud - and his blithe brushing off of the prospect that Moore created the MJ-12 documents by saying that Bill couldn't have know certain details so he couldn't have created the documents. What Stan ignores is the probability that Moore was working with someone else (or a small group of people) who could have found all the needed information, namely Moore's other "partner" in the 1980s - Rick Doty.

As for a motive, Stan details that as well, even as he ignores its implications - Moore's financial problems in the 1980s. Nothing like some fake documents to gin up interest in his cash-cow story (Roswell) which was starting to grow cold.

The MJ-12 story really is that simple. Stan has all the facts at his command, but he just can't see the forest for the trees - a triumph of belief over reason and common sense.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kevin Randle - Alien Abductions

Kevin Randle (co-author of The Abduction Enigma) outlines his views on the "alien abduction" phenomenon in this short clip from an interview I conducted with him in 2001.

Paul Kimball

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kevin Randle - Ufologists as part of the Roswell story

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in September 2001, UFO researcher Kevin Randle responds to the assertion by anthropologist Dr. Benson Saler that ufologists have inserted themselves into the Roswell story and therefore become as much a part of the story as the witnesses themselves.

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern - MJ-12 and the FBI

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted in 2003 with my good friend, author Nick Redfern, he talks about the interest that the FBI had in the MJ-12 documents, and the possible reasons for it.

Paul Kimball

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Stanton Friedman - UFO frauds: Bob Lazar and Philip J. Corso

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with Stan Friedman in 2001, he discusses frauds in UFO research, and focuses on two of the most egregious examples in the past thirty years - Robert Lazar, and Philip J. Corso.

Paul Kimball

Karl Pflock - The creation of the MJ-12 documents

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in 2003, my friend the late Karl Plock (author of Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe) discusses the MJ-12 documents, and who he is convinced was responsible for faking them.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

New Billy Meier "beamship" photo!!

This just in - a new "beamship" photo from Billy Meier!

Clearly this is further indisputable (and tasty) evidence of the Plejaren reality!

Paul Kimball

Bruce Maccabee - The UFO Cover-up

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted in 2003 with Dr. Bruce Maccabee, author of The UFO - FBI Connection, he talks about why he is convinced that the government knows more about the UFO phenomenon than it has told the public.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Karl Pflock - UFO photos and government interest

My good friend, the late Karl Pflock, who served in a variety of posts in the US government before he entered the private sector (including the CIA and the Department of Defence), is seen here talking about some of the conversations he had with people during his time in government about the UFO phenomenon. This footage was shot at the Meet & Greet session at the 2003 Aztec UFO Conference in Aztec, New Mexico, where I was filming a documentary.

Paul Kimball

Rev. Barry Downing - The Religious Implications of the UFO Phenomenon

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in 2001 in Irvine, California, Rev. Barry Downing (the author of The Bible and Flying Saucers) talks about how various Christian religious traditions view the UFO phenomenon, and how they might react if UFOs were proven to be extraterrestrial.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2001 - Breaking Ufology

The 2001 MUFON Symposium press conference was one of the most surreal things I've seen in the 15 years I've been studying the subculture of ufology. Coming just two months after the Disclosure press conference in Washington of Steven Greer, the press conference at the MUFON Symposium (indeed, the entire symposium), revealed the growing fracture within ufology.

On one side, you had the "old guard" - people like Stanton Friedman, Robert Wood, Barry Downing, Ann Druffel, and Budd Hopkins - who had been researching and talking about UFOs for decades. 

On the other side you had the brash new "revolutionaries," epitomized here by Greer and his cohort Daniel Sheehan. Overtly political, they were willing to go far beyond the simple old flying saucer gospel of the Old Guard by tying the belief that the UFO phenomenon represented extraterrestrial visitation (which is what the Old Guard had been pushing for years) to a determined activist agenda that dealt with a wide range of topics that they saw as related to ET visitation. 

Towards the end of the 2001 MUFON press conference, those tensions / fault lines boiled over, as can be seen in this exchange about the Strategic Defence Initiative between Greer and Sheehan on one side, and an ineffective Druffel on the other. At the end, Hopkins stands up and takes a clear shot at Greer and Sheehan and others like them, to the approval at the end of Friedman (whose body language throughout tells you what he was really thinking about Greer and Sheehan). 

What the Old Guard failed to understand, however, was that the political activism and rampant conspiracism that was being put forward by Greer et al was a natural extension of the things the Old Guard had been talking about for years. In that sense, Greer et al were not a radical departure from traditional ufology, as Hopkins implies - rather, they were the logical result of a world-view that believed (a) aliens were visiting Earth and abducting humans, and (b) that the government was covering it all up. It is why I have called Friedman the Godfather of Exopolitics when I wrote:
Friedman is the de facto Godfather of Exopolitics - in large part, he created the "family" that is modern pro-ET, "Cosmic Watergate" ufology, but like Vito Corleone, he is incapable of taking what he has created and moving it into its next logical phase. Indeed, like the Don, it is a phase that he wants nothing to do with, even as others around him, who have been inspired by him, recognize the logical and inevitable implications of what Friedman has been saying all of these years, and are prepared to act on it, no matter how much he protests.
But while I singled out Stan, it implies to the others as well - Hopkins with his abductions, Wood with his MJ-12 documents, and so forth. If Stan was the Godfather, these other figures were his capos.

For anyone interested in the history of Ufology as a social movement of American society, the 20 minutes in this video are a fascinating look at the year where everything really changed (the 9/11 attacks accelerated the move two months later by fostering even more paranoia and conspiracism), and Disclosure and Exopolitics began their move to become the dominant theme within the subculture.

Paul Kimball

Richard Dolan - The Early History of the UFO Phenomenon and the Government Cover-up

UFO researcher Richard Dolan talks about his research into the early years of the UFO phenomenon, from the Second World War until the end of the Truman administration, in this interview I conducted with him in Aztec, New Mexico, in 2003.

Paul Kimball

Friday, August 29, 2014

Karl Pflock - The Cutler-Twining Memo

UFO researcher / author Karl Pflock discusses the infamous Cutler - Twining Memo (part of the bogus MJ-12 documents) in this 2003 interview I conducted with him at his home in Placitas, New Mexico. He puts to rest the notion that there was no way that the memo could have been faked and then planted at the National Archives, as he reveals that he once did exactly that himself as an experiment.

I miss Karl. He was a good friend, and a rare voice of reason and common sense amongst "ufologists."

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Steven Greer - The Disclosure Project (2001 interview)

My interview of Steven Greer at the 2001 MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California. He discusses the Disclosure Project, government secrecy, abductions, and other topics. I always edit an interview to delete my questions, but I left them in this time because I think watching Greer fidget when someone else is talking is instructive.

On the particular false claim by Greer of his "briefing" of former CIA Director James Woolsey, see Woolsey vs. Greer, which I wrote back in 2005. 

Paul Kimball

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bruce Maccabee: The UFO Cover-up Begins, 1947 - 1952

In this excerpt from an interview I shot in Aztec, New Mexico in 2003, UFO researcher/ author Dr. Bruce Maccabee (author of UFO/FBI Connection: The Secret History of the Government's Cover-Up) discusses the early days of the US government's alleged cover-up of the ET origins of the UFO phenomenon, culminating in the 1952 Washington, D.C. case.

Paul Kimball

John Mack - Hypnosis and "alien abduction" research

In this clip from footage I shot of the press conference at the 2001 MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California, Dr. John Mack answers a question about the efficacy of using hypnosis for "alien abduction" research.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Karl Pflock - Witnesses and the Government response to the "Roswell Incident"

In this clip from an interview I conducted with the late Karl Pflock in September, 2001, the author of Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, discusses the dearth of quality witnesses to anything "extraterrestrial" at Roswell in 1947, as well as the nature of the government's response to the incident, and UFOs in general, and how it points not to a cover-up of crashed spaceships but rather the opposite.

Paul Kimball

Kevin Randle - "Why Project Mogul doesn't explain the 1947 Roswell UFO crash"

In this 2001 interview I conducted with UFO researcher Kevin Randle, he outlines why he thinks that the explanation offered by the USAF for the 1947 Roswell Incident - Project Mogul - does not fit the facts. 

Paul Kimball

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nick Redfern - Possible government involvement in the chupacabras mystery

In this clip from a 2005 interview I conducted with my good friend Nick Redfern (author of Three Men Seeking Monsters and Monster Files) whilst we were in Puerto Rico filming for my documentary Fields of Fear, he discusses possible involvement by the government in the creation of the chupacabra phenomenon / myths / legends.

Paul Kimball

Stanton Friedman - Charles Berlitz and "The Roswell Incident"

In this clip from the interview I conducted with Stan Friedman in 2001 for the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real, he discusses the writing of the 1980 book The Roswell Incident and his relationship with Charles Berlitz.

Paul Kimball

Chris Rutkowski discusses Canadian UFO Report

Chris Rutkowski interviewed on August 15th about the recent Canadian UFO Survey, which covered the past twenty-five years. The radio station is 680 CJOB radio in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

Chris has a pretty low profile within "ufology," primarily because he is one of the rare UFO enthusiasts / researchers who is sensible, measured, professional and credible, which isn't what plays on UFO blogs looking for click bait and sensationalistic TV "documentaries" looking for aliens at every turn. As a result, he's one of the few people worth listening to within "ufology."

Paul Kimball

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Real Research - The Canadian UFO Survey

The Canadian UFO Survey was released today, which covers the past 25 years here in the Great White North. No, it doesn't prove that aliens (or inter-dimensionals or anything else really weird) are coming to Earth. It isn't "sexy" like that, which means that you won't see many UFO blogs and websites posting about it, because it won't increase traffic for them (word to the wise - a blog or website that doesn't reference this study isn't serious about the UFO phenomenon. In that sense, it will serve as a good way for folks to tell whether a site is really worth visiting). And no, it almost certainly won't be the subject of a television documentary (which is a good thing, judging by the quality of UFO-related programming put out these days, like the execrable Hanger 1 and Chasing UFOs). But what it does represent is real research and data collection, which makes it far more worthwhile than any Citizens Hearing on Disclosure or "Roswell slides" or "Dream Team." Kudos to Chris Rutkowski and his colleagues for their hard work.

Paul Kimball

UFOs - Skepticism vs. Belief

In 2001 I interviewed skeptic Vaughn Rees from the Center for Inquiry - West for the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real. In this clip that didn't make the film, Rees discusses what differentiates skepticism and skeptics from belief and believers, and why some people believe that UFOs are extraterrestrial visitors.

Paul Kimball

Stanton Friedman discusses Karl Pflock's "Roswell" book

In this clip from my 2001 interview for the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real, Friedman discusses Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, Karl Pflock's skeptical book about the 1947 Roswell incident.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stanton Friedman on his interactions with the media

In this never-before-seen outtake from a 2001 interview with Stan Friedman (for my 2002 film Stanton T. Friedman is Real), he discusses his interaction with the media over the course of his career, and why it's had both its positive aspects and its negative aspects.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Greg Bishop - Cattle Mutilation investigations

In this clip from an interview I conducted with Greg Bishop in 2005, he discusses the investigation of alleged cattle mutilations, and how many "researchers" ignore the possibility of human involvement because they are wedded to an extraterrestrial / UFO explanation.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stanton Friedman - UFOs and New Mexico in 1947

In this excerpt from an interview I did with Stan Friedman in 2003, he discusses why extraterrestrials would have been interested in New Mexico in 1947.

Paul Kimball

Cuckoo in the Clock and Roundabout to premiere at 2014 Atlantic Film Festival

Tangentially related to the world of the paranormal, I have two feature films premiering at the 2014 Atlantic Film Festival here in Halifax in September - the Cuckoo in the Clock, and Roundabout. If you're in town, come on down to Cineplex Park Lane on Thursday, September 18th, and check them out (and say hello)... or keep an eye out for them at a festival near you over the next few months.

Here are the festival write-ups for the films:

"Two desparate lovers, Eve and Lara, are on the run from the Mob and flee the city. They eventually take refuge in what appears to be an abandoned rural home. They soon discover that they’re not alone when they encounter Nick, the handsome and charming caretaker who offers them sanctuary. The situation quickly descends into a dangerous three-way dance of temptation and jealousy, until a terrifying secret is revealed that threatens to destroy Eve and Lara unless they can find a way to escape the hell that they have created for themselves."

"When Leda, a radio talk show host whose specialty is the para-normal, is haunted by the memory of her best friend’s death, a series of events begin to unfold that tears at the fragile nature of everyday reality. Starring Annie Briggs in a bracing performance as Leda, Roundabout is a feature film that blends science fiction, romance and politics and pits it all against a winterized East Coast land, sea and cityscape resulting in an intensely dramatic and richly visual experience."

Paul Kimball

2001 MUFON Symposium Press Conference - Excerpt

An excerpt from the press conference for the 2001 MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California that I shot while filming the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real. Appearing in the clip are John Schuessler, Rev. Barry Downing, Dr. Robert Wood, Daniel Sheehan, Stan Friedman, the late Budd Hopkins, the late Bob Pratt, Ann Druffel, and the late Dr. Roger Leir. Unfortunately, our camera was not able to pick up the three other people on the panel - Ryan Wood, Joe McMoneagle, and the late Dr. John Mack.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Dr. Benson Saler on Stanton Friedman and the Roswell Myth

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted in 2001 with Dr. Benson Saler of Brandeis University (co-author of "UFO Crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth"), he discusses the role of Stanton Friedman in the creation of the Roswell myth, and contrasts Friedman's work with that of other Roswell researchers Kevin Randle and the late Karl Pflock. 

Paul Kimball

Friday, August 08, 2014

Steven Greer on the origins of the Disclosure Movement (2001)

Here is an excerpt from Steven Greer's lecture at the 2001 MUFON Symposium, wherein he talks about how the "Disclosure movement" got started. Recorded while filming my documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real.

Paul Kimball

Rev. Barry Downing - Religion, Science and UFOs

Rev. Barry Downing, author of The Bible and Flying Saucers, discusses the difference between scientific and religious perspectives towards the UFO phenomenon in this excerpt from his lecture at the 2001 MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California, that I filmed while shooting the documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real

 Paul Kimball

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Stanton T. Friedman - Canadian Government and UFOs


In this never-before-seen outtake from an interview with Stan Friedman for my 2004 film Do You Believe in Majic, he discusses Wilbert Smith and the Canadian government's policy over the years towards UFOs, including its relationship with the US on the issue. 

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Rev. Barry Downing - UFOs: Angelic or Demonic?

A brief excerpt from the Q & A session of Rev. Barry Downing's 2001 lecture at the MUFON Symposium in Irvine, California (I was there shooting Stanton T. Friedman is Real), wherein he talks about the nature of the UFO phenomenon, and whether it is good or evil... angelic or demonic... or something else entirely.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Kevin Randle on the UFO Cover-up

As part of a more comprehensive film project, I'll be spending the next couple of weeks going through all the tapes of UFO-related interviews I've shot over the years (well over 50 hours worth). The end result will be a series of more complete releases elsewhere, but I'll post a few clips here along the way. Here's one from 2001, featuring Kevin Randle talking about the UFO Cover-up.

Paul Kimball

Monday, August 04, 2014

Somebody really is watching you... but it's not the Government!

Question du jour: How would you feel if you found out that a UFO "researcher" was conducting background checks, including criminal checks, on people who were just commenting on a UFO blog?

Maybe I'm out of touch, or just too old school, but I know how I view it: unethical and antithetical to a free and open debate in the new media era.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary to the 1st Moon Landing

Happy anniversary to humanity's greatest achievement - landing on the Moon 45 years ago today. Sadly, we have frittered it away ever since... which has led to no end of barmpot conspiracy theories (like the loony Bob Kiviat "documentary" about aliens on the Moon that airs tonight in the United States). 

Despite a lack of real vision for the space program in the years since, I'm confident that if I live to be 80 I'll be around long enough to see us back on the Moon, and also on Mars.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Some British Ghost Stories

Holly Stevens and yours truly in the United Kingdom, May 2009.
When I was a kid, maybe ten or eleven, I read a short story in which a young boy and girl wander into an old cemetery at night. They decide to play a game of hide-and-seek and the boy makes the mistake of walking around the church in a counter-clockwise direction as he searches for a hiding place. Because the church had been cursed this caused him to become invisible, as if he had run into a portal and shifted out of phase with the universe or something like that. The only way he could get back to our plane of existence was by walking around the church in a clockwise direction which would reverse the effect. As I recall, the boy eventually figured it out and escaped from the trap, but not before both he and the girl were frightened out of their minds. Little did I know that three decades later I would find myself at a church in England where the truth would prove stranger than childhood fiction.
In order to broaden the international sales appeal of the television series Ghost Cases that I produced, directed, wrote and hosted in 2008-09, I decided that we would film four episodes outside of Canada. Our first choice was Louisiana, and we had the locations and the trip booked, but we were turned away at the airport by US Customs, apparently because they don’t like any competition for the dire ghost shows produced in the United States. Or perhaps they had read my Facebook postings critical of American foreign policy. They didn’t really give us a reason.
Fortunately, I had met a good bloke named Dave Sadler when we were both speakers at a paranormal conference in Altrincham, England, a couple of years before. At the time Dave had made the mistake of telling me that if I ever needed any help from “across the pond” all I had to do was give him a call. With our American trip now a non-starter I definitely needed help, so I rang him up. He was more than happy to work with us, and two months later, largely thanks to his research and connections, we landed in England to film the four foreign episodes.
Dave picked my Ghost Cases co-host Holly Stevens and me up at the airport, drove us back to our hotel in Congleton (a town about a half an hour south of Manchester), and introduced us to his fellow investigators from a group known as the Unknown Phenomena Investigation Association (UPIA). This  somewhat motley but serious-minded crew included Steve Mera, an experienced investigator who would join Dave, Holly and I for all four episodes.
Thus began a week of all around strange happenings, the likes of which Holly and I had not quite run into before.

Our first stop was the White Hart Hotel in Uttoxeter, a location where a number of supposedly paranormal happenings had occurred, including the voice of a small child in the basement and a demon-haunted bedroom. Dave was very skeptical – he thought that the hotel manager might be pulling a fast one in order to make a few bucks by billing the location for haunted tours. However, during our evening at the hotel a room that we had locked off and left a camera running in was found to have a substance that was subsequently confirmed to be blood spattered on a shower curtain. No-one had entered the room.
Then the manager took Holly and I down to the basement to conduct a “séance” in an attempt to contact the little girl that people had reported hearing. I thought the exercise was a bit daft so I excused myself shortly after we began, but Holly stuck it out. Nothing happened and after about half an hour she and the manager called it quits. Holly, however, had left her tape recorder running, and unbeknownst to any of us at the time it picked up what appeared to be the sound of a little girl crying out “no” just after Holly can be heard saying to the manager that it was time to head back upstairs.

Our second location was another old inn, the Lion & Swan in Congleton, where we were also staying for the duration of our time in the area. One of the stories about the Tudor-era location was that a painting stored in the basement was supposedly cursed – if anyone touched it, someone close to that person would die. This story sounded impressive – and more than a bit dangerous – until I actually saw the painting, which was a cheap 60s knock-off of a half-clothed woman.

Dave Sadler and yours truly in the basement of the Lion & Swan.
As Holly, Steve, and Paul Reeves (another member of the UPIA) investigated other areas of the inn, Dave and I set ourselves up in the basement with “Caroline” (the name we gave to the woman in the painting). Not taking things seriously, we mocked the story of the curse, and then I reached over, paused for dramatic effect, and grabbed the painting. After a moment I handed it over to Dave. We had a good laugh and then continued with filming our part of the investigation. Nothing happened in the basement and the entire evening passed uneventfully overall.
When I wandered into the inn’s dining room the next morning for breakfast, however, I was surprised to see that Reeves, who had been quite excited about coming with us to the next location, was not present. Dave and Steve, who both looked more than a bit shaken, explained to me that Paul’s father had died suddenly the night before.
As Steve wandered off to tell Holly, Dave pulled me aside.
“Do you think…” he asked, and then his voice trailed off.
“No,” I answered. “Absolutely not.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Pure coincidence.”
“Right,” I replied.
Despite our dismissal, neither of us seemed completely certain of ourselves as we joined the rest of the team in the dining room.

After we finished breakfast we made our way out into the English countryside to our third location near the small village of Shocklach close to the Welsh border. At the end of a lane which ran off a deserted country road we found St. Edith’s, a small Norman church built in the 12th century, which makes it one of the oldest ecclesiastical buildings in Cheshire. Dave had been to the church dozens of times while Steve was visiting it for the first time.
As we walked around the grounds Dave recounted some of the strange things that he had experienced there over the years. He started with a story that involved a little girl who seemed to move through time by running around the church, which immediately caught my attention.
“A friend and I came to the site a few years ago,” he explained. “It was his first time, and he brought his young daughter with him. We wanted to talk about some things away from the prying ears of the child so we walked to the rear of the church. He lit a cigarette, took a drag of it, and asked her to go play. She ran to the opposite side of the church, and then as she went around one corner she automatically appeared around the corner closest to us, straightaway in an instant. I’m probably talking, for an eight year-old child to run that distance, about thirty seconds.”

Dave followed up the “time slip” story with one about audio anomalies. He told us about how numerous visitors, including other members of the UPIA on a previous investigation, had heard the sound of horse’s hooves on cobblestone and the neighing of the horses, despite the fact that there are no horses anywhere near the church and certainly no road that would sound like cobblestones. When Holly asked him what he thought might have caused the noises, he offered the following theory: “There’s a report from the 1800s of funeral processions coming to the church. At the time, obviously, it wasn’t hearses but horse-drawn funeral carriages coming down the road.”
After our walk through of the site I got the crew ready, set up the lights that we would need later in the evening, and then Holly, Dave, Steve and I began our investigation. As the sun began to set we split up and wandered through different areas of the large cemetery surrounding the church. Within a matter of minutes Steve saw Holly standing next to the church, where she looked out of sorts.
“Clear as anything,” she told him when he went over to check on her, “I heard… I heard the horse’s hooves.”
“You heard the horse’s hooves?” he asked.
“I heard the horse’s hooves,” she repeated. “I thought that was laughable because we had heard so much about them, but it was so clear, and so distinct, and so close.”
She was laughing, but it was laughter to cover her nervousness. She looked over at Steve, who was examining the surroundings, and said, “It’s very disconcerting to hear something that’s not there.” All that he could do was nod in agreement.
The sun tucked itself beyond the horizon shortly afterwards, at which point things proceeded to get even weirder. I had parked myself on a bench tucked up against the front of the church where I sat scanning the night sky. There was no-one else anywhere near me. My co-producer Dale Stevens and the two-man camera crew were at the other end of the grounds filming an interview with Dave, and Holly and Steve were out by the car checking the monitors. And then I saw something really strange.

St. Edith's church, Shocklach, UK.
“So here’s the crazy thing,” I told my cameraman. “I wasn’t going to say anything, because I’m the skeptical member of the team, but I’ve been talking with Dale and he and I have seen the exact same thing at different times and in different places. Trained as a lawyer, as an historian, what I want is confirmation and now I have it. What Dale described, and what I’ve seen, I would describe it almost in a science fiction sense as if a door opened and a shape formed. It was totally black and surrounded by the night sky, which was slightly illuminated by the moon and a town off in the distance. As soon as it was there it was gone, maybe two or three seconds afterwards. What makes it really weird is that it appeared exactly over the spot where I was standing two hours ago, filming a segment where I was discussing Holly’s experience. The way my mind works, it was like a trans-dimensional door opening or something, full of blackness, as if the sky was totally blacked out.”
Dale and I seeing the black void in the sky at different times and in different places set off a rapid-fire succession of anomalous events. First, the batteries in our sound-man’s equipment completely ran out of juice despite the fact that he had just put brand new ones in the equipment twenty minutes before. Steve also experienced battery drains on his flashlight; he had to change them four times that night.
Then Steve reported seeing some unusual moving lights behind the church. “I was actually situated in the back of the church,” he told me, “along with an infra-red camera, and I saw this light appear across a tomb. So I went around the corner of the church to look for somebody and I couldn’t see anybody there, so when I actually brought it to your attention, trying to rationalize the experience, I thought that maybe somebody further down in the lower graveyard may have been flashing a light around and maybe somehow it had caught a reflection and strayed up to the top end of the church where I was.”
We accounted for everyone’s whereabouts at the time, and established that none of us could have been responsible for the lights. Despite Steve’s initial attempts to rationalize his experience in the same way that I had tried to rationalize the black void he remained genuinely puzzled.
“We couldn’t replicate it, so I can only presume that it was something unusual,” he concluded.
It was at this point that I told Holly I had also heard the horse’s hooves earlier in the evening in a different part of the cemetery. As with the black void in the sky I think I was going through my own process of trying to rationalize it, and when I realized that I couldn’t come up with an explanation I decided to tell her.
“Are you serious?” she asked me with a mixture of anger, relief and curiosity. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
I started to explain off-camera, in a sort of stream-of-consciousness way, when I suddenly stopped talking and looked directly at her.
“Did you hear that?” we asked each other, at almost the exact same time.
It was the horse’s hooves again, and this time we both heard them for five or six seconds.
None of our cameras or audio recorders picked up anything anomalous that night. But those of us who were there all know that we saw and heard things that were genuinely out of the ordinary.
As Holly put it, “What happened to us that night at the church? I still don’t know. But we all saw and heard things that we can’t explain – it’s almost as if the whole night, something was playing with us.”
I still haven’t been able to come up with an explanation for the events that occurred that night at St. Edith’s church, or the previous evenings at the White Hart and the Lion & Swan, but I can tell you one thing – once the weirdness started to happen in Shocklach I made sure that every time I walked around the church I went in a clockwise direction.
Just in case.

Paul Kimball

Overrated UFO Cases - JAL 1628

Robert Sheaffer has just posted an excellent summary, with lots of good follow-up links, to one of the most overrated / underwhelming UFO cases in history - the 1986 JAL 1628 "incident." I heartily recommend folks take a look.

If it were a Shakespeare play, JAL 1628 would be Much Ado About Nothing.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Mount Rushmore of Ufology

At the UFO Updates Facebook page, Alex Sarmiento posed the following question yesterday:

"The Mount Rushmore of ufology would consist of...?"

I suppose it depends on how you view "ufology." Should it be the most popular figures in the history of ufology? The most significant in terms of actual research? The craziest? A combination of all three?

I guess we should look at the real Mount Rushmore. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt largely for their role in preserving the United States and expanding its territory. If we were to apply that rationale to ufology, then I think the choices become obvious, at least to me.

1. Donald E. Keyhoe - The man who more or less started it all.

2. George Adamski - The most recognizable of the Contactees; the undercurrents of his influence can still be felt.

3. Stanton Friedman - The most prolific UFO showman ever, and the man who brought the Roswell incident to the fore and then became its public face.

4. Steven Greer - His Disclosure Project and subsequent Exopolitics movement have changed the subculture of ufology.

One can trace a direct line in terms of development between the conspiracy-minded Keyhoe to the even more conspiracy-minded Greer, and include Adamski and Friedman along the way.

That would be my Mount Rushmore of ufology, for good and ill. What about yours?

Paul Kimball