Interview With Nick Pope, World Famous UFO Expert on 8/21/07

Interview With Nick Pope, World Famous UFO Expert on 8/21/07

Nick Pope famous ufo investigator: Mr. Nick Pope worked for the Ministry of Defense in the U. K. He was in charge of ufo investigations for three years. He is the author of several ufo books and has appeared in various documentaries and tv programs.

Ken: Webmaster of About Facts Net Internet Magazine.

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Ken:

First of all I want to thank you for the interview, I really appreciate it and I thought that maybe, since I have a mixed audience, there not all ufo buffs, I thought that you might like to go into your duties at the position you had at the Ministry of Defence at the UK and maybe tell us about the books you have written?

Nick Pope:

Sure, well I only left the British Ministry of Defense last year, after a 21 year career. The way that one is attached to a post there, is what they do is, they move you around every 2 or 3 years to different posts. In my number of years there, I have done a number of different jobs there, all of them very interesting. The ones that I suppose that I am best known for were from 1991 through 1994. I was working in a division where my duties included researching and investigating into the ufo mystery. Although it wasn't in the formal term of reference, you can't run a ufo project without finding yourself on the receiving end of anything, so by default I got pulled in to things both weird and wonderful. So I got drawn in to other things like alien abductions and crop circles, ghosts and remote viewing, so that's my background.

Ken:

OK so now maybe you would let us know some of the books that you have written?

Nick Pope:

I have written two non fiction books, one called “Open Skies, Closed Minds”, that was an overview of the ufo phenomenon, the book concentrated on my own official research and investigation, and I also wrote the “Uninvited”. And the only point in each was that they focused on alien abductions. I also decided to really speculate, I suppose, to combine some of what I learned about ufos with wider issues of crisis management in a government environment. I decided to write two science fiction novels, based on alien invasion, called Operation Thunder Child and Operation Lightning Strike and those were really speculative novels and I was having a bit of fun with the content but the main thing is that they claimed to be a superior beings or lifeforms.

Ken:

Well I imagine that it must be quite frustrating to you when some people think that you have all the answers to the ufo questions and they just won't accept the answers that you give them. What was your most frustrating encounter?

Nick Pope:

Well yes, I think you hit the nail on the head there. I think some people have accused me of being part of the cover up myself. I've been portrayed, at least in the UK, of being a sort of real man in black type character. Yes you are quite right there are some people who think that I know all about the ufo phenomenon, they want an answer quick and they want a solution and they think that I know where the smoking gun is and when they hear the answer, certainly as far as I am aware in the UK that while the British government and the Air Force over the years has investigated thousands and thousands of cases, I'm sure we will get into that in a little while, some have been tracked on radar, some seen by pilots, we don't have the answer, we don't know what the ufo phenomena represents. Most are a case of misidentification of course, but we don't know what that unknown 5% is. The possibility does remain about those things being extraterrestrial and indeed that statement can be seen on the MOD's website, but we don't have any evidence that points to ufos being extraterrestrial and we don't have any hard proof. There are no spaceships in hangers here in the UK.

Ken:

The disclosure project has been getting some press for the last few years and I saw your name mentioned in some of the articles on the site. Correct me if I am wrong, you spoke as a witness, didn't you?

Nick Pope:

Yeah, because I had written books on the subject. By the way I should clarify that I am in no sense a whistle blower. My book and indeed all my major activities have been cleared with the Ministry of Defence. Just as any former government or military or intelligence official wishes to write books and I am sure the situation in America and indeed all around the world is, that anyone who genuinely wants to write a book and wanted to draw on their official work to write a book after they left, that book has to go through a very detailed executive procedure to make sure that they didn't inadvertently disclose any classified information. I of course, because I take my oath of secrecy very seriously, I have of course followed that system to the letter. So in no way should I be called traitor or simply whistle blower, speaking out or spilling the beans type of thing. Yes, in fact, fine, to answer the question. That information is in the public domain about ufos, that is in my book. I have no objection to having my name added to a list of witnesses. There were a number of other people on that list known to me, such as Lord Hill-Norton the former chief of defense staff, here in the MOD and much more senior than I and his name was there too, so I just felt that if it could help having my name on the list, somebody who's background could be verified through a trail of documents and that it could be verified that I am who I said I was, that I just felt that it would do some good and I put my name on the list.

Ken:

Do you think that they have a chance of succeeding in their mission of getting all the ufo documents declassified and gaining access to alien technology if indeed alien technology exists?

Nick Pope:

I don't know. I can only of course speak with any authority and knowledge of the United Kingdom, I don't know what information still may or may not still exist in the U.S. that has not been released or declassified, so the honest answer is I don't know. I wish them well, maybe there is a smoking gun, but as I said earlier, if there is a smoking gun, it certainly is not in the U.K. Its not one that I have been briefed on.

Ken:

When you testified before the Disclosure Project you said, and I hope I am quoting this correctly, “And if, as governments consistently say when the politicians probe on this issue or when the media inquire, that there's really nothing to worry about, then okay, let's see all the data.” Does this mean that you believe that important ufo data is being withheld from the public?

Nick Pope:

No it doesn't mean...that quote is accurate, but what I mean by that quote is perhaps something slightly different from the way in which it has been interpreted. What I was really speaking about was freedom of information. I was speaking in the run up of the introduction of the British Freedom of Information Act, which many of your readers may not realize didn't really come into force until 2005, where I know that perhaps it was geared to the Americans. But er I was thinking about information which I knew was about to be released. I was really encouraging my colleagues, as it were, to embrace the Freedom of Information Act, to embrace the concept of open government, they have and at least recognize that there can be a huge degree of interest in information about ufos and indeed my prediction proved correct. The British Ministry of Defence receives more Freedom of Information Act claims relating to ufos than any other subject, including the war in Iraq. So my quote was really preempting the huge interest and indeed, the MOD had disclosed hundreds upon hundreds of pages of documents some of which were classified at levels of Secret UK Eyes Only, some of which were pretty interesting. None of that information though was obtained through an extraterrestrial presence. I mean there really is sort of something going on. The good evidence suggests something tangible such as ufo sightings and they are not all misidentification, hoaxes or delusions, but we don't know what they are.

Ken:

That is an interesting fact that you just gave me that there are more inquiries than on Iraq, I didn't know that myself.

Nick Pope:

Yes, it is just phenomenal interest, a lot of it from the media, some of it from the ufo community and from individuals who just want to use the Freedom of Information Act to read about it and perhaps check details of their own sightings and see whatever investigation may or may not have taken place. But yeah there is an absolutely phenomenal amount of requests on the subject that are coming in over the years and it is that interestingly, that has led to deciding in the last few months, doing what the French governments did earlier this year and saying rather than this piecemeal approach, just filling in the cracks, this reactive approach, just ruling on a case by case basis, do what the French did, posting the entire archive and that is currently under consideration.

Ken:

I wasn't going to ask this question, but since we got on to this topic, I saw a memo that is posted on the internet. Supposedly, the name is redacted, but it seems to come from somebody who is very high in the Ministry of Defence and it pertains to putting the data on the internet and it sort of suggests that one of the reasons they want to put all of the data on the internet is that if they don't put it all on, they can say to people that down the road its coming, do you know what I mean?

Nick Pope:

Yes I've seen that document. It is a very difficult issue. I don't think the person that was writing that was intending to do anything underhand. All the person meant was that under the Freedom of Information Act this information is about to be released, you can actually answer a request and say we are dealing with that file now. Rather than respond to your individual request, if you can wait a few weeks, the whole lot is going to be posted on the internet. It is much easier to get it from the internet than the National Archives, because the National Archives you have to visit. It is very difficult for someone who is not in touch. You know that once its on the internet, just about anyone with internet access can find it. The person was not trying to do anything underhand they were just saying that this is what the law says you can do. We had to find a way, given the volume of requests, to make this a bit more manageable. Quite frankly, my former colleagues there are absolutely sinking in a sea of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Ken:

I can imagine.

Nick Pope:

They are honestly not trying to be difficult about it but they just need someone to cut them a little bit of slack.

Ken:

Ancient ufos seem to be a topic of interest with many people. Did the Ministry of Defence ever find any evidence of ancient ufos or artifacts, that might indicate that ufos may have landed on Earth some time in our past, or that some ancient race may have existed on Earth that could have had space travel capability?

Nick Pope:

No, I have never seen any research done on that matter. Very much the terms of reference that we were operating under were very much geared to the current situation. In other words, investigating ufo reports as they came in to see whether there was evidence of a threat or evidence of a safety threat, as it were. I could do research, but historical research was frowned upon, it would have been outside the frame of reference. Frankly I was getting two or three hundred ufo reports each year, that had to be my priority.

Ken:

I guess that kept you kind of busy?

Nick Pope:

Yeah, absolutely. I'm aware of course of the literature of all sorts of people, Von Daniken, Velikovsky and many many others, Graham Hancock. Its an interesting area, but its not something that I have looked into and its not an area that interests the MOD as far as I am aware of.

Ken:

I would like to ask you a personal question, it has to do with the question I just asked you. There are cave paintings and ancient statues that some have interpreted as depicting men in space suits. There are also bones of giant people that have been found in tombs in different locations, do you believe that our ancestors might have met people from other planets, or that we ourselves may have come from other planets and settled on Earth?

Nick Pope:

I'll give you the honest answer again, I don't know. I've seen some of those cave paintings and at first glance they certainly look very interesting, but I also know that skeptical people say that we really don't understand the psychology of our ancestors. Some of these images might not be visual, they might be allegorical. They could represent someone with a space helmet on, but they could just as easily represent some archetypical demon from a dream or nightmare.

Ken:

What famous ufo sightings occurred during your watch and what made them so much more interesting to you than some of the other ufo sightings?

Nick Pope:

The most significant case on my tour of duty was something called generically the Cosford Incident. You can go to the Ministry Defence website and that, by the way is just, MOD.uk and if you put in Cosford this is one of the case files that the Ministry of Defence has already released and it runs to over 100 pages of documentation, it is well worth the look. This was a case where over a period of about 6 hours we had a number of different ufo sightings from the 30th to the 31st of March 1993. We had ufo sightings from a number of different areas of the United Kingdom, seen by witnesses that included quite a lot of military personnel and police officers. The description varied, with reports of large triangular shaped craft that were fairly well represented in the case files. Most interesting was that ufos flew over two Air Force bases. Cosford had them, then a nearby base called Shawbury and seen by a patrol of Air Force police officers at the first base and seen by a meteorological officer as an unidentified flying object at the second base. Its size was midway between a C-130 Hercules transport and a Boeing 747. While clearly near to the base, there came a low frequency humming sound coming from the craft that inspired American military fighters on the ground and from a very slow pace it probably accelerated away very quickly. There was a witness that had been in the Air Force 8 years and saw military jets, helicopters on a daily basis. So clearly, witnesses like that are pretty interesting. We launched a very detailed investigation, one of the first things that we did was check the radar tapes. There were some inconclusive readings, but nothing you could hang your hat on. Some of my Air Force colleagues, that I sent out, said well it could just be ground clutter. It sometimes happens with some of the radar systems at the base. Nothing to say to that and even my very skeptical head of division, when he wrote on this event some two or three weeks after, summarizing this investigation, wrote to the assistant chief of the Air Force, a two star military chief and he said briefly, briefly in summary, that there seemed to be some evidence that an object or objects, was flying over the United Kingdom. Now that is about as close as you will ever get to saying on the subject that yeah, there is something here and its real, of course none of that means an extraterrestrial. Its certainly a case that changed a lot of people's minds, both the civilian employees and the military colleagues that were briefed on it.

Ken:

As we know, a lot of different satellites have the capability of looking down and also the space shuttle has the capability of taking pictures both looking down and looking out into space and the United States has taken some pictures of some unknown objects. Were you ever involved with any project with the MOD where sightings were taken through satellites, of ufos?

Nick Pope:

No I have not been involved in anything like that, having said that, what I did do, an organization that I did work with was an air force base called Fylingdales which was part of the ballistic missile early warning system. Fylingdales of course had a network of space tracking radar and were part of a system to track about 8 thousand objects in space like satellites and a spanner dropped by an astronaut and when I was doing my ufo investigations with the agency, there were two staffers at Fylingdales. That is just an area that I can't go into in great detail.

Ken:

I understand

Nick Pope:

Having said that, I'll tell you an anecdotal story that you just might find interesting. I just had to check the capability that we had with one of my colleagues and he said, well yes we sometimes see very strange things here. Like things traveling at speeds of 15,000 or 20,000 thousand miles per hour, or something like that. We call them all fireballs.

Ken:

Can I stop you for one second and ask you one quick question?

Nick Pope:

Sure.

Ken:

Have they ever seen anything that they thought might have hit the speed of light or exceeded the speed of light?

Nick Pope:

No. They were talking speeds of 15,000 to 20,000 miles per hour. They said yeah, we call them fireballs. Well I said sorry, but how do you know that they are fireballs? They said because they go very fast. So it was a kind of catch 22. A lot of government ufo research is like that, it can be quite frustrating. You don't really get all the answers, because every time you answer a question, you get another one.

Ken:

Did you have any access to any other ufo records, such as European records or records from the United States?

Nick Pope:

In terms of reference we were very much limited to the United Kingdom, however on occasion we used to get reports from elsewhere, you couldn't really investigate them because you didn't have jurisdiction. But what I did do on occasion was a little bit of liaison, in particular with the Belgians. There was a very famous wave of sightings over Belgium in 1989 and in 1990. I immediately, when I investigated Cosford, I immediately recognized the parallel with what happened in Belgium. Not the least was the staff who say I'm linking the main Belgium sightings of 30 31st of March 1990 and the Cosford incident itself was 31st of March 1993. See that in itself is interesting as was the fact that we are dealing with large triangular shaped craft that are capable of maneuvering at a very quite rate of speed. So I contacted our air attache at our British embassy in Brussels and he had said that a call was made to two pilots of the Belgian Air Force and they had scrambled and tried to intercept the ufos, and a call was made to Major General De Brower, the Belgian officer who after those incidents gave a press conference on all this. Yes this was a major news story.

Ken:

I think that this was televised.

Nick Pope:

Yes and certainly I had it confirmed to me by the embassy. Yes, everything you read about this and it was on tv. Please bear in mind that the Belgian Air Force, the Belgian government, the pilot, and the general air defense staff and the Belgian Air defense headquarters, all believe that the craft was a real solid object and there was an almost funny and humorous anecdotal story at the end of this. It was, well thank goodness that they were friendly, because if they hadn't have been, we really couldn't have done much about it.

Ken:

Thats for sure.

I know that you have discussed this many times, but I am under the impression that you consider the Rendlesam Forest ufo case to be one of the most important. Is that correct?

Nick Pope:

Yes indeed. Although it happened in the 1980s before I joined the Ministry of Defence. I was soon getting questions about that. Members of parliament were asking questions about it, military were asking about it, ufo people were asking about it. So of course, one of the first things that I did when I took up my post at the ufo project, was to pull the file up. At first, of course, I was extremely interested because you had a report of a landed ufo. We had numerous United States Air Force witnesses. We had radiation readings taken at the landing site. We had a defense intelligence staff of experts who stated that radiation readings had been “significantly higher than background” and again there is another file, another case file that is on the MOD website for people to see. Once I got beyond my interest, I became a little concerned, I don't ever like to criticize my former colleagues, it is just a matter of loyalty and professional courtesy, but I do have to say the investigation, the original investigation, was not handled, shall I say, the way that I would have handled it.

Ken:

Many people feel that way, yeah..

Nick Pope:

A number of fundamental things that I think should have been done, were not done. The most logical thing that should have been done, that wasn't done, was the immediate cordoning off of the landing site, post guards on it and protect it from decontamination. Another thing that wasn't done was the taking of soil samples and of control samples from immediately outside of the landing zone. Perhaps worst of all, we effectively had two parallel investigations. The United States Air Force were busily interviewing the various witnesses and taking statements and details of the craft, detailed sketches and descriptions, right down to the hieroglyphics seen on the side. The Ministry of Defence was busy sending the radiation readings, getting intelligence on the craft, getting an assessment on the radar tape, but no one person was in charge. No one single person was making sure that all this data was shared, so you had a bizarre situation where the Ministry of Defence knew that the radiation readings were significantly higher than the background, but failed to give that fact to the United States Air Force. The United States Air Force failed to pass the witness statements to the Ministry of Defence, for example sketches of the craft with the markings on the side, so that is just to start, I could probably write a much more detailed critique that would probably go on for pages. Those are some of the errors.

Ken:

Well let me ask you this then, Gordon Edward Williams was a Major General, I think. He was involved in this, with the Brentwaters Woodbridge ufo and he stated, just recently, that he actually talked to an alien.

Nick Pope:

Well I'm not sure he did say that. I saw it reported on the internet, but I would be very surprised if it was a first hand quote. I mean I've actually sat down, together with a civilian ufo researcher Georgina Bruni, who wrote a book on this. We sat down and had dinner with the General a couple of years ago and he certainly made no such claim. I would be extremely surprised, I'm not sure what the source of that is, I have a feeling that its a second or third hand quote.

Ken:

Yeah you are probably right, I don't know the source either, I just happened to see it.

Nick Pope:

I don't think he made the quote, I don't think he saw the ufo, let alone any extraterrestrials. Just going back to the investigation on a critical question, a ufo investigation should be similar in a way, to a police investigation with some of the things you do. In other words you need an investigation plan, an interview, witnesses, to identify, recover and analyze evidence. Those two strands, as it were, are common in both police investigations and ufo investigations. One of the things that can go wrong in either investigation is delay and delay was a critical factor, I'm afraid, in the Rendlesham Forest investigation. In part because there was a critical period and many of the key personnel were on leave. I think it exposed a gap, as it were, by virtue of the fact that there should have been a standard operating procedure, so that everyone should have known what their actions should have been. Instead, I think, everyone ran around saying oh gosh what do we do, we never had anything like this before?

Ken:

Do you think that's because nobody takes a ufo investigation very seriously?

Nick Pope:

I think that is a big part of it. I agree very much so by the very nature of the word ufo. Some people will roll their eyes and start humming the X-Files, all sorts of potential ridicule, and I suppose that's why Air Force pilots who have seen ufos never reported them, probably because they feared ridicule. They felt that the chain of command might question their judgment and psychological state, such is life. Yeah I think that was the critical factor perhaps in what went wrong in the investigation at Rendlesham. They thought, ufos what do we do? In fact that was one of the reasons, when I was filling the post, we tried banning the use of the word ufo, at least in our internal discussions. We tried to replace it with UAP Unidentified Ariel Phenomenon. We felt that we were just trying to rebrand the whole phenomenon in a more scientific way, because it was due to the critical nature of the ufos and I think your audience attributed this to a political or military or governmental forum.

Ken:

Have you ever heard of a ufo crash in the British Empire?

Nick Pope:

I have certainly seen, shall we say, all sorts of second and third hand reports, but certainly I have not seen a first hand report. I think that what is a potential crash site to various researchers will invariably turn out to be an aircraft crash, or a fireball, or indeed, just a very tall story. So that, yes I heard many many stories, but really only in ufo literature, not in any of the MOD case files.

Ken:

I don't know if you can answer the next question or not? Project Blue Book had about 4 employees. How many people worked at the ufo project at the MOD and what were their duties?

Nick Pope:

Well it was effectively just me and one administrative duty officer in a support role. Having said that, of course you have to understand, that doesn't tell the whole story of what we couldn't do, or be it that they were not full time on the project, but any time we wanted, we could pull in. So we were the ones, as it were, at the center of the web, but we could pull in, for example, Air Force Officers to impound radar tapes, then to pick them up and analyze them, get special personnel, special equipment and make inspections of personnel and equipment. Make sure we had the personnel and special equipment to punch through the formality to get the radar tapes at Fylingdales, so that when you look at Blue Book and you look at us, it sounds like very small numbers. I hope and think that we punched above our weight.

Ken:

I think that you did.

Have you ever come across any ufo cases that turned out not to be ufo cases, just some people pursuing an agenda?

Nick Pope:

You mean an out and out hoax?

Ken:

Well a hoax or something where they were using it to make a reputation for themselves.

Nick Pope:

No, not in an official capacity. I've come across all sorts of hoaxes, pranks, things like that. There are a number of videos and things like that. I am not talking about anything official, we didn't go on file sharing sites, like Youtube and things, that you see on almost a daily basis. They are what I suspect, some viral marketing campaign or some designer showcasing their talents and having a bit of fun with a hoax. I think that is something that has always gone on. Back in the 1950s, people were trying to fool the Ministry of Defence by literally cutting out saucer shapes and pasting them to their window and taking a photograph. So its always gone on. Its just that the technology to do it is getting more sophisticated, but I don't think, hoaxing has always been a part of the problem, but it is a minuscule part of the problem. Again without going into the details of the base facility we had we had all sorts of specialists, equipment and indeed personnel to analyze these things, who could very easily spot a fake.

Ken:

Right.

Well the next question I just have to ask you. I only ask you because there are so many rumors on the internet. Have you ever seen any documents that indicate that the Nazis succeeded in building a flying saucer and that it could have been copied by the victorious forces and that what we are seeing today is the modern day version of it?

Nick Pope:

No, I think one of the points about disc shaped craft is that they are incredibly unstable and this would be a very very difficult shape to fly. Now I don't dispute, it is a matter of record that there were aircraft designers that were thinking about these things, but I don't believe and I see no evidence to suggest that the Nazis ever got anything remotely like a working prototype, let alone an operational craft and lets face it, this was total war, if the Nazis had something like that, a craft like that, they would have used it. I don't think the thought or ideas of such a craft went very far off the drawing board.

Ken:

The United States had at least one incident where several missiles were shut down and prevented from going back on launch ready status, while a ufo hovered above the silos. An example of this happened at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, in 1967. This would seem to be a threat to the world's defenses. Correct me if I am wrong, but the British government has said in the past that ufos pose no threat. Did the British government ever investigate this incident and if so, what conclusion did they come to if you know?

Nick Pope:

I don't know. I am aware of the case from the literature. I am not sure whether the Americans ever shared any information on that with the British government. I don't, to be honest, know if the British government ever asked the Americans for a report on that. So, yes, sorry I don't know.

Ken:

Alright thats the answer.

There seems to be a rash of sightings by airline pilots. One was reported over the Channel Islands in April [2007] and it was said to be about a mile wide. How can something this size, which is seen by a professional pilot, or in this case two pilots in two different planes, be disproven or even ignored by the government or do you think that they are secretly investigating the sightings?

Nick Pope:

Well I am familiar with that case. I think that what might have been called a ufo might have been two ufos and not as much as a mile long. I haven't heard officially. I think I recall having an interview with the pilot concerned. His name is Ray Bowyer in which he said well that was just an estimate of something very far away, I think I might have worked it out. So this is really not something of value. Having said that, perhaps it being a mile wide seems to be of extreme interest, in the short term, the MOD did investigate and there is a case file, a very small one and again it is on the MOD's website. If you search the term ufo, Channel Islands, you'll find it. I think it is about a half dozen pages. Well again I don't like to criticize, but it is not the most detailed investigation in the world and no one seems to know for sure what type of radar sensor there was at the airport security, which I would have thought would have been the first question that they asked. Whether there is anything new going on or indeed the civil aviation authorities might know something as well, I don't know. It may be that the pressure from the journalists and Parliament and the ufo community might cause the MOD to scan a bit. There is a small case file on it and indeed now from Ray Bowyer, the pilot, and from one of the other sources in the aviation community here there does seem to be an indication that they are working on the tracking on radar and there does seem to be corroboration of the findings. So those things say a lot.

Ken:

Alright.

It is said that only one in seven sightings is reported. When it comes to airline pilots, there is probably much less reporting, because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Airline pilots just might be in the best position to see ufos and might have a far greater number of sightings. Do you agree with this statement and if not, why?

Nick Pope:

Yes I do agree with it and I guess its true of both military pilots and civil airline pilots, many of whom have told me, off the record, of ufo sightings and many of whom have told me that they didn't write a report, because they feared for their jobs or they feared ridicule from their colleagues or they knew it would cause them much difficulty. Its extremely unfortunate. Technically, reporting isn't optional it is mandatory, particularly if the object comes close enough to present a potential hazard. By training, all pilots do have to do that and I think it is encouraging that there have been several more over the years, but I do think that there is still a job to be done in selling this message to the aviation community. It is not something to be embarrassed about, frankly it should be in the training. Its very interesting, a couple of years ago previously, the Ministry of Defence published a previously highly classified discussion on ufos and one of the recommendations did relate to flight safety, so there is an issue quite apart from what ufos are, having flight safety as the issue and certainly I'm aware of quite a number of cases where there has been a near collision between aircraft and ufos.

Ken:

Did any of the reports you received on non ufo topics ever seem to tie into a legitimate ufo sighting? For example did you ever get a paranormal report and it turned out that it was really a ufo sighting that they were talking about?

Nick Pope:

No, I got, I think I mentioned at the outset, I did get reports such as alien abductions, crop circles and ghosts. All those sightings tended to be fairly compartmentalized. I am always wary of bad science in explaining one sighting by another. I mean literally, I would get a report from some security guard saying they were on night patrol and saw a shadowy figure walk through a wall for example. I would regard that as a ghost report. I didn't have much to do with it, I didn't try and explain one mystery by another.

Ken:

Giorgio Bonguivanni met with the Russian military after getting permission from former President Gorbverchov to do so. The Russians answered questions pertaining to ufos. The Russian general that was interviewed said that he believed that there were powers other than humans and they were expecting something from us and that information is being withheld by Russia and the US on ufos. What is your opinion about his statement and does it surprise you that he was so candid?

Nick Pope:

Well again I know that there are so many statements that are doing the rounds that are false

Ken:

May I interrupt you on this?

Nick Pope:

Yeah.

Ken:

This was on a dvd. The whole meeting was recorded on video.

Nick Pope:

So this was the general first hand?

Ken:

Unless the dvd is a fraud.

Nick Pope:

Ok, well I better not, for legal reasons, go down that road. Yes, of course I have to see the comments in context.

Ken:

Well are you familiar with Mr. Giorgio Bonguivanni, he's a....

Nick Pope:

Yes I believe I met him, he is a stigmatic.

Ken:

Exactly.

Nick Pope:

Yes I met him a few years ago in London. So yeah, I am familiar with him. In fact I may have seen the dvd or one certainly very much like it. I have seen all sorts of former Soviet military personnel speak on ufos. What I'm listening to invariably, is someone dubbing. I don't know Russian so I don't know if everything is taken in the literal sense, or the comments are simply about belief. For example Lord Hill-Norton, who I mentioned earlier, went on the public record a number of times saying that he believed that there was a cover up. He didn't know, that was his belief.

Ken:

Well that is what the general claimed too, he was just saying his belief.

Nick Pope:

Whether that belief comes from knowledge or first hand evidence, we don't know.

Ken:

I guess you know Bob Lazar?

Nick Pope:

Yes,

Ken:

Do you think that he actually worked at Area 51 and do you think that he actually saw a flying saucer?

Nick Pope:

Again I'm going to have to fall back on I don't know. My only knowledge of this is through ufo literature therefore I'm better at my work qualifying what I used to do.

Ken:

Ok, I've got a more interesting question. A famous sighting occurred at Shag Harbor in Canada on October 4, 1967, where a ufo supposedly crashed into the water and a second one came to rescue it. There were all sorts of stories about American and Canadian ships chasing them and divers seeing the craft and even aliens. Do you think that there is any truth to any of this and if not, what could the objects have been that seemed to be able to navigate while flying and also while submerged?

Nick Pope:

Well again I'm familiar with that case, but I am sorry to keep.....

Ken:

I'm only asking a personal opinion.

Nick Pope:

Again, I really don't know. Its not a case that I have studied at the MOD. Again I really don't know any more or less than anyone else. I read the odd magazine article. There is an old saying used by intelligence analysts all over the world. The phrase is interesting if true.

Ken:

Thats a good one.

Nick Pope:

In cases like this its hard to say. You know if I was interviewing you and asked for an answer to every single case in Britain, Canada and America I think it would be awfully suspicious. No expert I know, knows it all.

Ken:

I wasn't really asking for you expert opinion in this, I just wanted to know how you felt about it.

Nick Pope:

I am going to have to fall back on the, interesting if true.

Ken:

Ok.

I see where the Ministry of Defence has released 29 sightings and they all seem to be over Lincolnshire in Great Britain and they cover several years. Is there any reason that you know about, that so many sightings would be in the same area, such as an experimental military craft being tested in that area? Did you ever notice that more ufo reports were coming from one spot, more than the others?

Nick Pope:

I think that what happened there is that what you might have is a local newspaper report. What happened over the last several months, is that the Ministry of Defence released summary sheets of all ufo sightings reported to the department from 1998 to 2006, but what happened is that all the local media have seized on this, they found it on the Ministry of Defence website, so they have run stories, but only about ufo sightings in their area, so you have got a lot of people saying we found 20 ufo sightings in Lincolnshire over the last few years. What they don't go on to say, is that if they look at the summary sheets in their entirety, that each year there is over a hundred reports that come from different locations. I think what you got here is just reporting things in their own area. Having said that, there are occasional hot spots and I asked one of my administrative staff to go back through the files to try and make an outlying map and try and pinpoint those sightings geographically. Interestingly, what you got, er, what you have is basically a population density map. Which essentially only proves that if there is a ufo sighting over 50 people are likely to see it, probably not. The ufo hot spots actually turn out to be big cities, London, Manchester and Liverpool in Great Britain.

Ken:

We were always under the impression that if there were hot spots they would turn out to be nuclear power plants, etc.

Nick Pope:

Well there is something there, what you call clustering in interesting ways, it is quite controversial. Military bases for example, had a lot of ufo incidents, Randlesham Forest, Woodbridge, the Cosford incident although in fact, there are several dozens of ufo reports all around the country that pertain to military bases. Whether that means that ufos are interested in these sites or whether it is just that these sites are where the witnesses are trained observers and they are aware of ufos or more likely they're more apt to get investigated.

Ken:

Have you ever investigate any abduction reports?

Nick Pope:

Yes, having said that, I think the word investigated might be difficult to describe that. It is what you might call, in terms of reference, in depth, perhaps a dozen or so. While short of doing something way outside our frame of reference, like calling the people in and doing hypothetic regressing, which is very controversial and that sort of thing. It is questionable, I think, morally. Now what I tried to do was to give them the pros and cons of regression and to point them to civilian ufo researchers. So I did get the report, I am not sure I can put my hand on my heart and say that I investigated them the same way that I investigate a ufo sighting.

Ken:

At this point I've talked to you for an hour. I'd like to ask you more questions but I don't want to presume on you. Are you alright?

Nick Pope:

I am happy to keep going for a little bit.

Ken:

Could I change my tape?

Nick Pope:

Sure.

Ken:

Thanks. Ok, I'm back in business.

Nick Pope:

Ok, I don't know how many more questions you prepared?

Ken:

I'm not going to go through all the questions. I drew up 54 questions, because I didn't know how long each question would take and it seems that we can do about 24 questions in about an hour.

Nick Pope:

Ok, we done 24, I'm not going to volunteer to go all the way to 55. That would probably take up the rest of the evening.

Ken:

Of course, I wouldn't do that. I'm going to skip a lot of questions here.

Nick Pope:

Yeah, I'm happy to do another 15 minutes or something like that and answer any really important questions that you may want to cover.

Ken:

Ok. I want to ask you about Gary McKinnon, are you familiar with him?

Nick Pope:

I am, that is going to be a very quick answer though, because legal proceedings are still ongoing. I don't want to discuss that I'm afraid.

Ken:

Thats ok, I'll skip it.

The next question is just a personal opinion. Are you familiar with the fact that scientists have stated that 95% of our dna is alien, and what do you think about that?

Nick Pope:

I'm not familiar with that and I guess my question would be, which scientists have said that? No I am not familiar with that claim at all. When they say alien, I don't understated how they could be saying that? No I am really not familiar with that claim and I would be extremely surprised if it is a claim from any mainstream....

Ken:

It is from the Genome Project.

Nick Pope:

Well....

Ken:

It is from the scientists working on the Genome Project. They actually came out and said that.

Nick Pope:

Alien, I mean....

Ken:

As in not being from the Earth.

Nick Pope:

Ah, well now.....

Ken:

Not as in alien

Nick Pope:

Maybe there buying in to the Panspermia theory that organic materials have come to Earth from elsewhere. It is not a field that I am familiar with. I follow it in a very casual way, not a scientific one.

Ken:

How about this, you are very familiar with remote viewing. Did you ever hear of a remote viewer picking up what he thought was the inside of a ufo?

Nick Pope:

I have heard about that, but again it was from literature. I should say that the Ministry of Defence did have a kind of project to investigate the possibility of remote viewing, long after the Americans had launched their project which was Stargate The Ministry of Defence came very late to this particular phase. It was 2001 before the Ministry of Defence started work on studying remote viewing to see if anyone could demonstrate remote viewing. Of course I wasn't involved in it and found out years later about it. It was a very interesting project, but whether it ever developed into a operational project, I don't know. I have seen books by some of the Americans like David Morehouse who made a number of claims, but I seen nothing like that in any British projects. Incidently the British study is something that again is on the Ministry of Defence's website. Go to MOD.uk and type in remote viewing and you will see what us Brits have been up to.

Ken:

Disinformation is the topic of conversation between many people today. You have probably come across it yourself. Without naming any names, do you feel that there are any ufo organizations that are there only to put out disinformation?

Nick Pope:

No. I think that there are a number of individual ufo organizations that are putting out information that is plain wrong. But in my experience, certainly in Britain, I see no evidence that the government or MOD used ufo organizations to put out disinformation. In a sense they don't have to do a thing. The ufo community is their own worst enemy. I think that there is so much noise as it were and so little substance sometimes. Governments don't have to use disinformation.

Ken:

I want to ask you about the ufo that was over O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Have you ever spoken to anybody about that?

Nick Pope:

No I haven't. It was only published a week or two ago. I've seen the NARCAP report. by Ted Roe

Ken:

Yeah, thats where they say it was a danger to air traffic.

Nick Pope:

Yeah I have to be totally honest with you, because of the shear length of the report, I haven't read it in its entirety yet, but I think its from, what I have seen, its a splendid piece of work by NARCAP. I think this is a tremendous, really something that should have a proper scientific investigation and you can't have ufos flying around in controlled air space. The Federal Aviation Agency or others should look at this very seriously. Its interesting that there have been thousands of reports from pilots and controllers and other people in aviation, so they are doing their job.

Ken:

What do you think about all the sightings in Mexico? Thousands and thousands of people have seen them. I am not going to go into the record, I think that you are familiar with them. They never seem to make the papers, at least in the United States, why do you think that is?

Nick Pope:

I think that some of them are probably helium balloons blowing in the wind, to be honest. I am not saying that there are not some more interesting ones in there. Its not something that I have been following too closely, but I'm going next month, when is it, in just about three weeks time, I be in D.C. for the X conference. I think, from memory, that Jamie Maussan....

Ken:

I was going to ask you if you knew Jamie Maussan?

Nick Pope:

I think that he is one of the other speakers there and it may well be that after the X conference, I think that Jamie will be there and I may get to ask him that question.

Ken:

Many recorded communications are said to exist that prove that astronauts have been followed by ufos and have reported seeing ufos. Have you ever received any documents to indicate that this is true and do you believe that this has happened?

Nick Pope:

Well I think that it is a matter of public record that people like Gordon Cooper and Edgar Mitchel and people like that made comments about ufos, some of which relate to them being seen, some of which relate to their belief, going back to the question of which statement comes from first hand knowledge and which statement is belief. I think somebody sent me one of the very many videos that is around on the subject, the other day. There are all sorts of things floating around in space. When they catch sunlight, they can perhaps look bigger than they are and literally fit the ufo definition, because the astronauts don't know what they are, they are ufos. Of course now at actual NASA conferences, the NASA people will say that these are probably ice crystals, maybe off of the space craft or lint or other very informal material, material off the shuttle bay or things like that. I am not one of the believers that NASA is part of a ufo cover up. NASA would love them to be ufos, they would probably quadruple their budget overnight. So yes, there are strange things that the astronauts have seen, but I think that they are some times difficult, because they get shoved into a ufo documentary and you get people who are not qualified to really know what they are looking at. I am talking about going deep into making contact.

Ken:

Here is what I wanted to ask you about. Have you ever heard of any ufos that were visible through binoculars, in other words with the aided eye that couldn't be seen with the naked eye and were not at a distance that precluded them from being seen with the naked eye?

Nick Pope:

No, I haven't come across anything like that.

Ken:

Well I have, that is why I was asking you the question.

Nick Pope:

I can't say that I have. Maybe there are one or two cases in the MOD files. I haven't looked at every single case right from beginning to end. Nothing should be ruled out in Britain

Ken:

Well it sort of ties in with people that have taken photos, just taken a photo of the sky, didn't see anything there, and yet when they looked at the photo they saw a ufo on the picture.

Nick Pope:

I am certainly familiar with many many cases where that has happened. I think that in many of those cases that have been investigated it was more likely to be the camera itself. I don't rule out something on the photo.

Ken:

Lastly this is your chance to discuss anything that you would like to.

Nick Pope:

Well ok I'll em..., I guess that my allegiencey to the ufo phenomenon does raise important defense questions. I don't have any knowledge that constitutes a smoking gun and I am not aware of anything that could fall into that category. It definitely points in the way to ufos, but there is nothing in the way of proof that I can show anyone. I think, really as a closing statement, that I would say that I think that there are various natural phenomenon I know that this is probably a very unpopular statement for a ufo researcher. If there is life out there and I am fairly sure there is, I suspect that our proof will jump up through the ufo community. It will probably come through radio astronomy. And I think that it is particularly interesting that what has happened, er what is happening in regard to things like the Square Kilometer Array, which is the next generation of big space telescope.

Ken:

We call it the large array, it is the same thing.

Nick Pope:

You have got the Very Large Array, which is already operational which I think is in use. My understanding is that the Square Kilometer Array is either going to..., construction hasn't begun yet.

Ken:

Oh!

Nick Pope:

This is the next generation one. It is going to be built, they had four sites, the last I saw they had two final sites, one is in Australia I think, the other is in South Africa. It is not going to be operational until 2020, but when it is operational, its sensitivity and power is going to be several orders of what you have now. Certainly I am aware that they believe that there are other civilizations out there, certainly within a hundred light years of here. That a distance that contains several thousand stars. Any signal that emanates should be detected. I have great hopes and I think those hopes are going to manifest themselves in SETI and the radio astronomy unit. I think they are, but that is just the way I feel at the moment.

Ken:

The interview is officially finished now and I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed it.

Nick Pope

I enjoyed it too.

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References:

The Disclosure Project - A group of concerned people from all walks of life that are trying to get the US government to release all ufo data and alien technology, if any.

Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident - In December of 1980, a ufo landed in the woods outside an air force base in Britain, It was manned by Americans who saw the craft and investigated the landing along with the British.

Project Blue Book - An Air force project to explain ufo sightings.

Gordon Williams - A British General that was rumored to have said that he talked to aliens during the Rendlesham Forest incident.

Malmstrom Air Force Base - in 1967 a ufo was over this US base in Montana when several missiles were taken off line unexpectedly.

Giorgio Bongiovanni - An Italian who was allowed to interview a Russian General about ufos. The KGB were also present.

Bob Lazar - A person who claims to have been an engineer at Area 51 who said he saw a ufo there and was employed to reverse engineer them.

Shag Harbor - A ufo incident that occurred in Canada in 1967 where a ufo was said to have crashed into the water only to be followed by a second one.

Gary McKinnon - A famous British hacker that hacked into NASA and the US military. He was caught and claimed that he found important secret ufo data.

Remote Viewing - A technique that was used during the cold war by the US, Britain and the Soviet Union to see into places while remaining at a location. It was said to have no limit as far as distance was concerned.

Jamie Maussan - A famous Mexican tv news reporter that specializes in ufo reporting.

Area 51 - A secret US Air Force Base.

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