Thursday, 21 August 2014

UFO Truth Magazine Conference 2014

Holmfirth is the most picturesque location for any conference I've ever been to. It lies in a steep-sided valley in West Yorkshire around a rocky, fast flowing river. The town has a lucrative tourist industry mostly courtesy of the BBC because it was the location used to film the long-running and very successful TV comedy series Last of the Summer Wine. There are numerous pubs, cafes and shops catering to the busloads of visitors that arrive every year to follow in the footsteps of Compo, Clegg, and Foggy as they stroll around cooking up various childish schemes to get the better of Nora Batty. I saw a group of Chinese people taking photographs; Last of the Summer Wine is one of the BBC's biggest exports as well as being a domestic favourite. The sky was cold and grey as I stepped off the bus in the centre of the town, and I got out the map I had printed out to find the way to my accommodation. I had decided to camp again, just like I had at the Bases Conference last week, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-bases-project-conference-2014.html. Camping is very cheap and easy to organize and if you know what you're doing you can be perfectly comfortable. The campsite was on the edge of town, however in Holmfirth that often means a stiff climb. I left the main road, ascended the dramatically steep and narrow streets and gazed at the unique local architecture which is totally different to anything I'm familiar with. The town consists almost exclusively of grey stone houses with dark slate roofs. This style covers all periods, from buildings ostensibly dating back several centuries, to fresh new developments with smooth facades unblemished by time. As I climbed higher and higher, I had to dip into that legendary Hospital Portering stamina because the roads continued upwards, their gradients showing no mercy. The lanes passed between lumpy and precarious pastures of the richest green. Sheep gaped at me as if they'd never seen a human being before; rabbits bolted at the sound of my footsteps. Another distinctive difference is that the fields near Holmfirth are edged by dry stone walls; indeed some of the earliest houses I saw are also made of dry stone. These constructions are extremely durable and can last for centuries; they use no cement and are built by skilfully fitting the right shaped stones in the right places. I hear that this is a dying trade known only to a few elderly artisans and in the future nobody will remember how to do it. It's sad to think that the gaps I saw in the walls might have to be replaced one day by the more mundane and familiar barbed wire fences. A short but dense shower fell on me; the clouds above me looked much closer than I'm familiar with; obviously because I was climbing higher and higher. I almost tripped over one of many dead rabbits I was to come across over the course of the weekend. My campsite was right on the crest of the hill next to a smelly barnyard; it looked like an ordinary field about an acre in size, no different to many of the others, and as I opened the gate I saw sheep grazing in it. I paused, wondering if I'd come to the wrong place, but there was one caravan parked up and a toilet hut, the only building; so it was indeed a campsite, albeit a very rudimentary and empty one. I pitched my tent and marvelled at the view. The lines of sight were extraordinary; to the west I could easily see Manchester; indeed at night-time it would be laid out on the horizon like an illuminated garden pond. The town of Holmfirth lay below, every house visible on the terraced streets; cars on the opposite side of the valley looked like crawling insects, dwarfed by distance. And to the east any sense of scale I felt was eliminated by the dark, gargantuan bulks of the Pennines. There were no roads or buildings there, just the sheen of distant moorland stretching up to desolate and inaccessible peaks of extreme black rock. The Pennines towered over my campsite the same way the campsite towered over the valley. I had a ringside seat on UFO Alley.
 
However I had no time for skywatching; as soon as I'd got my tent up I went back down the hill into town to meet up with the other people attending the conference, in many cases these were old friends and people I've only ever associated with before online. I was delighted to meet them again, people like Peter Robbins, Larry Warren, Richard D Hall and Brigitte Barclay. There were a few new faces too whose names I knew but had never met, like Pia Knudsen and Capt. Robert Salas. We fell into the Old Bridge Hotel and beer speedily flowed our way. One man I have become very close to in my internet social circles is Tim (not his real name). It was great to meet up with him again; I've not seen him physically since last year's conference, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/ufo-truth-magazine-conference-2013.html. Tim kindly offered to drive me back to the campsite after Friday evening's festivities had died down. I gladly accepted; although the site was well within walking distance. It is very steeply uphill, as I said, and if somebody offers to give me a lift I don't plan to try and talk them out of it. Tim needed bottom gear as we tacked up the hillside, the headlights disturbing the local wildlife. We reached the campsite and I said goodnight and thanks to Tim, and I entered the field as he turned his car round for the five minute drive back down into Holmfirth. I was walking across the grass towards my tent when I suddenly heard a man shouting angrily at the top of his voice outside where Tim was. Tim drove off and the voice went silent. It was only the following morning that I found out from Tim exactly what had happened. As he was driving away from the entrance of the campsite somebody burst out of a neighbouring barnyard and attacked him; luckily Tim was in the car and his assailant could only pound the chassis with his fist as he hurled abuse. This was a baffling and motiveless assault; Tim thinks the man was drunk. On Saturday night Tim offered again to drive me back to the campsite; I suggested he drop me off a short distance away in case the man came back out again to harass him. Tim refused and said that he would happily take me to the same place he did last night. I accorded, because after all, what was he doing wrong? He merely parked his car for a moment to let me step out and then drove away. He has a perfect right to do that and nobody should be threatening him or otherwise trying to prevent him, least of all through violence and rudeness. As we followed our tracks back up the hill we were preparing ourselves for any potential aggravation. I recommended we grab tree branches to use as weapons, Dr Jonathan Reed style, only half-jokingly. We laughed and quipped: "I bet he packs a hefty punch seeing as he probably has seven fingers on each hand from inbreeding!" I questioned that he might be some kind of escaped monster that the farmer had been breeding in his basement, like in some story by HP Lovecraft. As I walked past the entrance to the barnyard I was bracing myself for that thug to come out again and attack, me as well this time. Tim kept his car in gear and pointing towards the campsite gate. If the man came out again he planned to rush over and back me up. But nobody did; all was quiet in the barnyard except for a dog barking. But for now let us return to Saturday morning.
 
Gary Heseltine
This second UFO Truth Magazine Conference was a far more ambitious project than the first one last year. Gary appears to be working his way up the ladder bit by bit. He had booked a much bigger venue, the Holmfirth Civic Hall, and made this a two-day event. I'm glad to say that he managed to sell all his tickets too, which is a rare thing in this business. Gary seems to have excellent organizational abilities as well as a passion for the subject; that's a rare combination. He also has a flair for the dramatic, as we were to find out. Gary has come under some criticism, especially at last week's Bases event, that he only wants to promote his magazine and nothing else, and he's using these conferences as a platform to do so. Well, yes and no. Gary is focused on the magazine, but not for the magazine's sake in itself; the magazine is a means to an ends he believes in, the Disclosure... or disclosure- lower case d... of UFO's. An entire third of the profits from sales are ring-fenced for investment into UFOlogical and exopolitical causes. I dare say he takes a living wage out for himself as well, but why shouldn't he? Gary believes that the UFO community badly needs a new magazine, one that is based in evidential science and also accepts that the UFO phenomenon does contain a genuinely extraterrestrial factor. There are plenty of journals that display one of these two features but very few display both. When Gary first became actively interested in UFO's he read UFO magazine which was edited by Graham Birdsall. Here he is giving a lecture in Leeds in 1996; it is largely due to Birdsall's influence that Leeds is the pivot of today's UK exopolitics movement, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RijlwPpGlg (the less said about this revolting obituary the better: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/mar/14/pressandpublishing.uknews). It was a copious publication which ran from 1981 until 2004 and had over eleven thousand regular subscribers in forty-four countries. After Birdsall died it quickly ground to a halt and, in Gary's view, nothing has ever replaced it. This dealt a serious blow to UFO scholarship because a regular and popular British-based journal is an essential ingredient in serious study of the field. I recall the rapid rise and fall of UFO Data and I read a few copies myself during its brief incarnation. I was impressed by UFO Matrix, of which I bought a two-year subscription, but this also folded. Therefore Gary believes that the launch of UFO Truth Magazine is highly significant because it fills a very obtrusive void. As I said, Gary is good at the practicalities of organization and has thought the publication plan through carefully. He has taken the revolutionary step of not releasing a print edition at all. For a long time now all magazines have been available both in electronic form and good old fashioned paper and ink, but Truth is the first to be an e-zine alone. This is because electronic readers have recently become so effective and convenient that all their previous disadvantages have been negated. I don't agree there; I love the rustle of pages and the thump of paper hitting a doormat, but my motivations are probably just from me being a sentimental and stubborn traditionalist. Smart phones and tablets have improved electronic text enormously and most people I know always read that way now. What's more, releasing a print edition is prohibitively expensive and requires a far greater initial investment; the fate of Truth's predecessors gave Gary pause for thought. So with his idea developing he went out and recruited the best writers and researchers in the field to contribute; I'm honoured that he considered me among them, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/ufo-truth-magazine-issue-7.html. Gary says that we have a major challenge on our hands because of the success of the truth embargo, as Stephen Bassett calls it; this has not only suppressed and distorted the information on UFO's, but has bred confusion, fear and apathy among the general population. It has indeed, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/confessions-of-alien-abductee-aftermath.html. According to Google, search terms like "UFO" and "alien" are second only to those relating to pornography... not that I know anything about that personally of course... this means that a billion people or more have at some time used the internet to look for information on UFO's. This is backed up by opinion polls in the United States, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/usa-conspiracy-theory-poll.html. Yet the biggest UFO-themed public events attract no more than a few hundred individuals. This means that the vast majority of people interested in the subject take no associated action; they don't speak out, they do no research. They are in the closet, as it were. We who have "come out" are a tiny tip of a huge iceberg. This is encouraging in one sense, as I explain in the above link, because there is an entire host of potential activists out there just waiting for a call to arms. I believe that the propaganda we see in the world today- the lies, the ridicule, the demonization, is intended more to keep that silent majority in their place, rather than to give oblivious loudmouths like me a hard time. So the solution is to take the step of revealing your true nature to your family and friends. We could even set up support groups; "Hello everybody. My name's Ben and I'm a UFO enthusiast." As far as Gary is concerned, this is the role UFO Truth Magazine will hopefully play. We also need money. The singer Robbie Williams was at one point interested in UFO's. He'd had contact experiences in his youth and was outspoken in the media for a while; he even went to the International UFO Congress. However it seems to have just been a phase he was going through and he has since dropped off the scene. This is a shame because his own personal capital could fund the kind of projects Gary has in mind many time over; it would be small change to Robbie. Interest in UFO's and other conspiratorial subjects is very demographically homogenous; black or white, rich or poor, male or female. Therefore there must be a proportion of millionaires taking the subject seriously; so why won't any of them offer to help financially? None of them ever have with the exception of Bob Bigelow. Basically we need more Bob Bigelows. One of the first things Gary wants to do is put a full page advert on UFO's in The Times. This would cost £5000. If the newspaper refuses to publish it, even if we do pay up with the correct fee, then this will beg the question why. The Times will then be caught in a corner, either they publish the ad or confess that they've been "advised not to" by "somebody". So with the expenditure of the price of a second hand car, we will have made a groundbreaking move against the truth embargo, whichever way they go. Another idea Gary has is for a UFO data bank; a one-stop shop for all the hard facts about the subject. This means that if any journalist comes knocking at the door, we can just send them to the bank. If that reporter is under a mandate to call us all "nutters!" then he'll have a much harder time of it. Another flaw that Gary has detected on the scene is ego and division. There is a lot of personal animosity and rivalry in UFOlogy. This is a big subject, but it does need to be touched upon. A good example Gary didn’t mention, but has caused a major split, is the connection between UFO conspiracies and other kinds of conspiracy theory. As regular readers will know, I take many conspiracy theories seriously that are not directly related to UFO’s; I see them as all connected at a higher level. Many people at the conference share my opinion, but not all do. There is a contingent of people in exopolitics who disagree with general conspiracy theories and/or believe that the UFO issue should be kept separate from them. I was talking to a friend at the conference, a man I’m fond of and feel respect for, and the subject of the moon landings came up. I have serious doubts that the Apollo moon landings happened the way that history tells us it did, see: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/i-went-to-godamn-moon.html. My friend replied that he totally differed and that it was “insulting” and “anti-American” to suggest otherwise. I certainly would never willingly insult anybody, and I’m definitely not anti-American, but if something I say based on intellectual honestly offends somebody, so be it; I won’t tell lies to avoid that. I do not judge Apollo astronauts like Dr Ed Mitchell, who is involved in the exopolitics movement, and if I ever met him I wouldn’t even bring up the subject. 9/11 is another contentious issue and after his speech at the 2011 Leeds Exopolitics Expo Bryce Zabel wrote an article entitled: UFO’s and 9/11 Truth Don’t Mix. Again, I admire Bryce a lot too, but I disagree with him totally. I do not believe the official story of 9/11 and there’s good reason to suspect that the Breakaway Civilization behind the UFO truth embargo is the same entity that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Nothing can be achieved by denying it. I know that when talking to somebody new to these subjects it’s sensible not to overload them with all this challenging information and if I were discussing UFO’s with a newcomer I would stick to that one issue and no other; but if that newcomer asks me what I think of 9/11 I will answer truthfully without hesitation. Truth is now in its second year; a new issue, number 8, is due to hit the press just a couple of weeks after the time of writing. Who knows what will happen between then and the third year, but I'm very confident that the magazine will still be running and it's going to be an exciting ride. Gary loves to give us surprises and during his speech he paid homage to the man who inspired him, Graham Birdsall, and he presented a posthumous award to him, which was collected on stage by his wife Christine. This was not the only unexpected incident he had in store for us.
 
Mary Rodwell
This is the second time I've seen Mary Rodwell in as many weeks; she was at the Bases event, see link above. Mary has become famous for her work with children and how so many of them nowadays are talking about encounters they've had with non-human intelligent beings and the ways this is affecting their lives. Through her work with a mutual friend of ours, Ellis Taylor- see links column, Mary established ACERN, the Australian Close Encounters Resources Network. She used to be a nurse, midwife and counsellor in Britain but when she moved to Australia in 1991 she found a new calling. She began to meet people who related the most extraordinary experiences: they had had encounters with intelligent creatures that were not from this world. As more and more of these people came into her life it became clear that this was something that affected many people; many more than were willing to openly admit it. It was also a global phenomenon and people from all over the world were reporting very similar experiences. Some of these people developed remarkable abilities as a result of their encounters like extrasensory perception, high intelligence, healing and being able to speak and write in unknown languages. Very young children report these encounters, sometimes almost as soon as they’re old enough to speak. They often come out with information that they couldn’t possibly know through conventional means; in fact it seems that some of the extraterrestrial beings have a mission to educate human children. One child said “I learn more on the ships than I do at school”. Adults affected come from all walks of life and do not all fall into the condescending popular characterization of “UFO nuts”. They include, among others, an Australian model and an Israeli computer engineer. Remarkably, many people who’ve had no contact with each other and live in very different cultures see the very same creatures. There’s such a long list of different beings that it's almost a full biological taxonomy. The classic “Grey” is the species that has entered popular culture, but it is by no means alone; many less well-known ones regularly visit experiencers: Mary has gathered information on the attributes and personalities of the various creatures. There’s the “Praying Mantis” that resembles a giant version of the insect of that name. Despite it's fearsome countenance it is popular with its contactees and seems to be wise and benevolent. The same can be said of the “Lion Man”, a being that is humanoid, but is covered with golden fur and has a lion-like mane and a feline face. There’s the “Owl Man” that is like a Grey, but it has owl-like features; indeed it is sometimes seen in the form of an owl when it first tries to make contact. Some beings are very humanoid like the classic “Nordics”. Images of ET’s are not confined to modern reports; they’re described in everything from mediaeval paintings to native African mythology and Australian Aboriginal petroglyphs. Some children report completely unique beings and give them their own nicknames like "clowny" and "the scaries". It’s obvious that something very strange but manifestly real is going on here. Mary describes this as a "trigger of consciousness", the emergence of a new kind of human, Homo noeticus- the conscious man. This comes at a time when the world is ruled by malevolent forces that are desperately trying to prevent this emergence from happening. It seems to me that a very subtle and silent war is going on; it also takes the form of crop circles. Crop circles are actually just one manifestation of many different kind of medium used by some intelligence out there which is creating marks on the ground. Many people know that they also use grass, sand and snow to plant shapes onto the earth, but in Australia they've been using fire. Bush fires have been burning in specific patterns that are very similar in style to crop circles. Mary's work interests me a lot; it means that somebody "out there" is taking an interest in affairs on Earth and is bringing aid. I'm repelled by the idea that we've got to wait to be saved by divine intervention, the Messiah, or god-like aliens coming down from the sky etc. I've always believed that we humans are masters of our own destiny and therefore are our own saviours. On the other hand, if some friendly passing hyper-dimensional being offers to lend a hand then I'll happily swallow my pride and accept. Mary's work gives me hope, inspiration and comfort. I feel optimistic, whether I'm correct to feel that way, you decide.
See here for Mary Rodwell's appearance on the HPANWO Show: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/programme-11-podcast-mary-rodwell.html.
 
Alan Foster
Alan Foster is a writer and researcher on UFO’s, crop circles and spirituality. His journey began in 1983 and he has come to the belief that interactions with extraterrestrial life comes in three stages: contact, preparation and awakening. He claims that we are already through the contact stage and are onto the preparation, and the chief sign of this is the emergence of the crop circle phenomenon. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of scientific research has been done on crop circles, and some has concluded positively that they are not all man-made hoaxes despite claims to the contrary, like from Matthew Williams at Bases, see link above. The Leavengood study has shown us that the methods used by the known human hoaxers are not how many of the formations are created. They are actually created by focused energy beams into the growth nodes of the plants causing them to bend over. Autopsies of plants in crop circle lay show burning and expansion bubbles in the stalks at those growth nodes. Non-human made crop circles also contain magnetic anomalies. Compasses go wild in them and birds, which use the Earth’s magnetism to navigate, refuse to over-fly them. Sometimes crop circles appear in daylight, like the Stonehenge Julia Set which appeared in a thirty minute period in daytime, witnessed by two Stonehenge security guards and a pilot flying a light aircraft overhead. The pilot, Busty Taylor, went on to become a croppie himself and presented the Bases conference last weekend. A disturbing aspect to this phenomenon is that the authorities seem to be engaged in a campaign of harassment of crop circle visitors. Many people who’ve visited them for scientific data, or even just to sit and meditate in the formations, have been chased away by military helicopters. Alan spoke at some length about a series of crop formations that emerged near the Chilbolten radio telescope in Hampshire. This could be because Chilbolten was once part of the SETI network, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. One image was of an alien face, another was a fascinating adaptation of the Arecibo transmission. In 1974 this coded radio message was broadcast at a nearby star: http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/project/details/arecibo-message. It contained images and information about the Earth and its inhabitants. Amazingly, the crop circle facsimile of it came with several important differences. The human figure is replaced by a “grey”, the planets are different and so is its DNA depiction. Crop circles are usually abstract, but sometimes they are of religious symbols or recognizable images. A few can be seen as 3D images, some of which I only noticed when Alan pointed it out. Many Skeptics ask: “Why do aliens communicate like this? Why not just speak or write in human language?” and “Why don’t they just approach our world leaders? Why bother with ordinary people”. This is a case of anthropomorphizing; the Skeptics who make this point are effectively just saying: "If I flew to another planet I would not behave like this." We cannot speculate on how an extraterrestrial or other dimensional intelligence would communicate with us. Other strange things have happened that makes it clear something out there is trying to tell us something; one of the most interesting cases Alan brings up is from 1967 when a Polish merchant ship encountered an invisible craft. They detected it only when the object landed on the helicopter pad at the aft end of the vessel. The weight of the UFO made the ship angle upwards so far that its entire bow rose above the waterline. Strangely the ship suffered no structural damage; indeed the helicopter pad should have been crushed under the weight before the ship’s hull moved at all. Alan has also studied alien abduction and brought up a particularly interesting case; interesting because some third party strangers witnessed it happening. They allegedly saw the abductee being levitated through a window. The case became even more amazing when one of those witnesses was found to be Perez de Cuellar, who at the time was United Nations Secretary General. Alan is a fascinating chap to listen to because he has a scientific attitude towards UFO's and related phenomena, but also understands, like Mary Rodwell, that there is a spiritual matter at stake which we may not yet be able to comprehend, but need to learn to.
 
Peter Robbins
"Time to pull the pin" said my old friend Peter Robbins as he entered the auditorium to give his speech. One of the most notorious characters in the UFO world is Nick Pope. This former... or allegedly former... government agent was originally in charge of "Secretariat Air Staff 2A", a rather prosaic name for the UFO desk at the UK Ministry of Defence, one of the few official UFO research operations in the world since the closure of Project Blue Book in 1970. He has authored several books on UFO's and also was keen to promote the 1997 book Left at East Gate by Larry Warren and Peter, describing it as "dynamite... meticulously researched... gripping and provocative." The authors and Nick Pope became good friends and Pope assisted them with their promotional tour. This was a happy time for Larry and Peter; the book was sailing up the best-sellers list, a copy had been sent to Tony Blair and that late, great UFO hero Admiral-of-the-Fleet Lord Hill-Norton was making some great scenes in Parliament. So when Nick Pope published a new book on the Rendlesham Forest Incident- Encounter in Rendlesham Forest- the Inside Story of the World's Best-Documented UFO Incident (Thomas Dunne Books 2014) which he co-authored with Jim Penniston and John Burroughs, two of the principle witnesses, Peter returned the favour. However as soon as he read it he knew something was badly wrong. His review was intended to be a short article in Phenomena magazine but it soon blossomed into an entire volume in itself, with lots of sources and footnotes which the reader can check; one of Peter's criticisms of Nick Pope's book was that it lacked such background material. Peter has published the book for free online, see: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0ByUXMaBHOgPLUUJIQmd5V1I5dUU. He called it Deliberate Deception- a Case of Disinformation in the UFO Research Community, a descriptive title if ever there was one. I should point out that I've not yet read Nick's new book, yet I intend to and will be able to confirm or deny whether or not I agree with Peter's assessment. I will also be interviewing John Burroughs on the HPANWO Show soon and I intend to ask him about the points Peter raises. Peter read out some excerpts from his critique while on stage. He feels very annoyed that Nick's book draws heavily on Left at East Gate, but there is no acknowledgement of that fact in the text; Peter describes this as plagiarism, which it is by definition if so. Also Peter thinks Nick purposely downplays Larry Warren's role in the Rendlesham Forest Incident, an attempt to write Larry out of the story by omission. Peter specifically addresses Nick in his review and feels that although Penniston and Burroughs are officially listed as co-authors, they are really just sleeping partners in the firm, offering only token assistance to the real mastermind behind it- Nick Pope. For example he says that nobody has ever backed up Larry's claim that he was there on the night of the 28th and the airman Larry was with, SSgt. Adrian Bustinza denies it. This is not true; although Bustinza has generally kept very quiet about the RFI in recent years he did state categorically that Larry Warren was with him that night when the craft landed at Capel Green. Bustinza also made a comment that he had seen another object just like it land in Alaska some time before. There have also been a number of suicides among the men who experienced the events of Christmas 1980 and this is what motivates Larry to do what he does. This could also be caused by the "debriefing" the witnesses had to go through which included death threats, assault, being poisoned with drugs and kidnapping. What's more Peter believes that the forest was attacked by a weather warfare weapon which destroyed most of the trees in the wood; we know this as the Great Storm of 1987, but it could have been generated using secret government technology based on Wilhelm Reich's cloudbuster. A lot of the tension that has emerged in the last few years comes from Jim Penniston's explosive new statement, on the 30th anniversary of the event, that he had telepathic communication with the UFO and that it "downloaded" some information to him in binary code. I was there when he first brought it up on stage, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/rendlesham-forest-incident-30th.html. This announcement has been met with incredulity by the bulk of the UFO community. Nick does not address that adequately, in Peter's view. Nick fails to consider... or deliberately skirts round... another possibility- that Penniston has been targeted by a psychological warfare operation to discredit the entire RFI. Left at East Gate is a remarkable book and since I first read it I've got to know Larry Warren personally. He's an honest and open man, loud and humorous like New Yorkers are supposed to be. He dotes on his son and feels deeply for his family, and for his brothers-in-arms who suffered so badly along with him due to the UFO events of 1980. He's also had other experiences of ET contact which have happened to him and his family all his life; there may be a connection there to what happened in Suffolk that night. In another of the conference's drum-rollers, Gary announced that Larry has given him a letter that is dated the 9th of January 1981; it's the one he reports having written to his mother soon after he saw the UFO. Sceptics of Larry's testimony claim that he lied about writing the letter, but there it was. I've held it in my hand myself and read the ending where he talks about the UFO. The paper is thinned and yellowish the way old paper tends to be. It's also in an envelope which is a standard US military mail issue one, with a postmark and stamps that also match the early 1980's. Gary is going to have it forensically analyzed and if it is dated to the correct time period then this will vindicate Larry's story completely. It will also be a vital historical and evidential document because it will be literally the first written reference to the RFI, predating the Halt Memo by a full week. The moment was captured on video, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI_hgO29vkY.
See here for Peter and Larry's appearance on the HPANWO Show: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/programme-41-podcast-rendlesham-forest.html.
 
Richard D Hall
I've known Richard D Hall a long time and we've collaborated on several occasions, see links below. He's a very independent and self-styled researcher who runs his operation virtually single-handed. This includes his TV series, his films, his investigations and his nationwide tours, like his recent one in London that I attended, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/richplanet-live-in-london.html. His research is extremely varied and covers a wide range of subjects beyond UFO's; in fact he's just completed a documentary about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Before that, he released what was surely his most disturbing film, UFO's and NATO- the Human Mutilation Cover-Up. It's freely available online: http://www.richplanet.net/starship_main.php?ref=175&part=1. It's been known for a long time that animals have sometimes been found dead suffering from mysterious injuries that can't be explained by the usual causes of death- attacks by predators, disease, accidents etc. Flesh stripped off the jaw, organs surgically removed etc. Although this is often called "cattle mutilation" all kinds of species have been struck down by it, wild animals as well as farm livestock, even marine mammals. What Richard has discovered is that it was premature of us to assume that Homo sapiens was immune. There have been instances, including two confirmed in the UK, of human bodies turning up with these kinds of injuries- a teenage girl and young man in the Brecon Beacons in Wales and a group of seven people in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire. When this happens there is an even bigger attempt to cover up the details than when it happens to animals. There's even a special military unit that secures the scene of these shocking incidents and sometimes it has to deal with UFO's and aliens on the ground. Richard has managed to contact a former member of this unit via a UFOlogist in South Wales. Richard has visited the man and confirmed his identity and he was a part of this taskforce, Section Five-Eight, a detachment of the SAS special forces regiment and the Royal Engineers. Since making the film Richard has found an independent source to confirm that this unbelievable and terrifying phenomenon is real. Who... or what... is behind this, and why, is a big question with no obvious answers. The same question that was asked when animal mutilation was first identified by Linda Moulton Howe in the 1970's. None of the theories proposed so far fit, but there is sometimes a connection between these attacks and UFO activity. I'm disappointed to report that when Richard contacted Linda Moulton Howe about his research she instantly dismissed it. She tabled all kinds of totally inadequate explanations even though these bodies had suffered the exact same kind of mutilations she herself had identified as anomalous in cows and other beasts. This is suspicious; could LMH have been turned into a "limited hangout"? I hope not, but she has reacted very unexpectedly. Like myself, Richard is interested in the behaviour of the media and has studied their underhand machinations very carefully. He was approached by Plum Pictures to take part in what they call their "documentary" about UFO conspiracies. Like myself, Richard wisely declined in no uncertain terms; see here for background from 23.50: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMdyMb8ndPk. Unfortunately some of our peers have agreed to assist Plum Pictures; this is foolish and I'd be very surprised if it doesn't lead to disaster, like with the Off The Fence fiasco, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/confessions-of-alien-abductee-aftermath.html. Richard has developed a very dim view of Miles Johnston and explained on stage why that is. I don't agree at all and I think Richard is being unfair to Miles; Miles has done a lot of good work in raising awareness and distributing information. The AMMACH and Bases witnesses are always eager volunteers to be interviewed. Afterwards most of them remain pleased to have been involved. Many of these witnesses are close friends of mine and they feel they've achieved something and made a difference to the world by being on the sofa. In terms of their personal wellbeing they've commented to me that they find it healing and inspiring. This is not to say that Miles hasn't made a lot of mistakes; he's given a platform to some highly incredulous characters indeed over the years, but all in all I think he's genuine and has done a lot of good. That being said, Richard is correct to criticize Miles for signing up with Plum Pictures, and I do so myself in my recent interview with Miles, see: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/programme-92-podcast-miles-johnston.html. It's an extremely ill-advised move, especially in light of recent experience with Off The Fence, and when the programme is broadcast I think this will become very obvious. Miles was originally going to be at the UFO Truth Magazine Conference and manage the filming, but he had cancelled at the last minute meaning that the conference was not recorded. Some have speculated that this is because of Richard's presence there, but I doubt it. Miles was happy to speak at last autumn's Probe conference when none other than Joanne Summerscales was in the audience, and he did so with great dignity, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/return-to-probe.html. Richard's lecture on human mutilations gave me the chills I must admit. I think Richard is quite correct to speak out about the subject and I'd frankly be much more concerned if people were not talking about it, but I did feel a bit vulnerable when I was lying in my tent that night, up on top of a remote hill where anything could come and grab me if it wanted to.
 
Stephen Mera
I first came across Stephen Mera when I read his enthralling book Strange Happenings; it was a vital research textbook for my film Gateway to a Parallel Universe, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/gateway-to-parallel-universe.html. I was delighted to be able to interview Steve personally at later on at Exopol, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U81u057HVK8. He is the chief editor of Phenomena magazine and a member of MAPIT, Manchester's Association of Paranormal Investigators and Training. Steve covers all kinds of subjects as well as UFO's and told us about how many ancient UFO images there are. They appear in renaissance paintings, mediaeval church iconography, Egyptian hieroglyphics and even cave paintings from prehistoric times. One is forced to ask how many of the artists of those works watched 1940's science fiction movies. There is also a great deal of forensic evidence including skulls with horns and skeletons much bigger than a normal man. Amazingly the world's earliest UFO photo was in 1870. Again, it's pretty obvious that UFO's go back much further in time than Skeptics would have you believe. It's possible that some of what we call "UFO's" are actually man made. The Nazi's were particularly advanced in this field and had a project codenamed "the Bell" or "The Beehive" towards the end of World War II. These involved free energy and antigravity. Ed Fouche has recently been interviewed talking about the TR3B which might have been developed from the work of the Nazi scientists and also back-engineered extraterrestrial technology from crash-retrievals like Roswell, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJy53lx_vCI. It's possible that even some aviation projects that are publicly acknowledged use this kind of technology secretly, like the B2 bomber might achieve some of its lift from electrogravitic forces. Steve's lecture was very interesting and a good introduction, I'd say, to a lot of these concepts; one to show your friends and family who might not go along with all your ideas yet.
 
Pia Knudsen
UFOlogy in Scandinavia is very old and very unique. It was the Swedish Army Air Corps who in 1931 deployed aircraft when a strange object appeared in the sky; this was the world's first recorded UFO aerial interception. The region is also where the "ghost rocket" phenomenon took place. These date back to the 1930's and continue to be reported to this day. Unlike most UFO's these do bear a moderate resemblance to man-made aircraft or projectiles; they tend to be streamlined and have wings, fins and propulsion nozzles and they often end their flights by dropping into lakes. Pia Knudsen is a Danish UFOlogist who is the leading authority on the subject in the country and has earned an international reputation for her research. She's a personal friend and colleague of Gary Heseltine and writes for the magazine. She and Gary had a sighting at a lake near Bergen in Norway. In 1952 Denmark took part in Operation Mainbrace, a massive international naval exercise involving over two hundred ships. It was a vast muscle-display for the Soviet Union in the early days of the Cold War. UFO’s have always taken an interest in human military affairs, for reasons only known to themselves, and Mainbrace was the scene of a UFO flap that covered the entire area of the exercise, from Greenland to the British Isles. Many objects were seen by Danish ships and an officer on one of them became a principle witness. Another Dane who has spoken out about his UFO experiences is the policeman Evald Maarup. In 1970 in Hadersley, Denmark he encountered a strange object in the sky and took a photograph of it. This was the first of many encounters he was to have over three years. He describes the objecg as being ten metres in diameter and with a hole at the bottom from which shone a beam of light. His fellow police officers laughed at him and suggested he see a psychiatrist. Pia has had experience with all the various UFO organizations in Denmark and when she described them I was surprised how similar they sounded to the various organizations we see in the UK. She works directly for Copenhagen UFO Research and Exopolitics Denmark, but there is also an outfit called SUFOI- Skandinavisk (Scandinavian) UFO Information, see: http://www.sufoi.dk/. Pia is highly suspicious of this group because although it formally declares that it still takes the extraterrestrial hypothesis seriously and pays the odd bit of lip-service to those who genuinely do all the time, it is in practice mostly a pack of Skeptic debunkers. So CUFOR and Exopolitics Denmark appear to be the equivalent of Exopolitics Great Britain and Gary’s PRUFOS Police Database, SUFOI sounds to me very similar in form to BUFORA, see here for my review of their 2012 conference: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/bufora-conference-2012.html. Interestingly the year before, BUFORA cancelled a lecture by Richard D Hall at their 2011 conference. Nevertheless UFO research in Denmark is going full speed ahead, there’s a conference there this year on crop circles with the Norwegian film maker Terje Toftenes. I wish Pia all the best with it.
 
Roberto Pinotti
The next of the conference’s foreign speakers came all the way from Italy. Roberto Pinotti has been studying UFO’s since long before most of the conference’s delegates were born. He can speak good English, but he has a strong accent and I had to concentrate hard to understand him, and I’m glad I did. He helped organize a very successful UFO conference in 2010 in San Marino, as I read in Flying Saucer Review. He has travelled the world working alongside J Allen Hynek and John Mack. In Roswell he interviewed the witnesses Lt. Walter Haut and Glenn Dennis; he also knew the late Col. Philip Corso, a well-known spokesman on the subject. I’ve read Corso’s book and don’t quite know what to make of his story. Although he is highly thought of in most of the UFO community, also he is a former intelligence officer and Pentagon official therefore a high calibre witness, I can’t help finding some of his testimony dubious, see:  http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/day-after-roswell-by-col-philip-j-corso.html. Roberto told us that he “infiltrated” the scientific community, no mean feat that. He concentrated on SETI-the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence. This is a project intended to detect radio signals from intelligent beings out in the deep cosmos; it was passionately endorsed by Carl Sagan and he wrote a novel about it which was turned into a film- Contact. Roberto tried to arrange an affiliation between SETI and UFO groups, which seems bizarre. SETI proponents are totally Skeptical of UFO’s for obvious reasons; it makes their efforts somewhat superfluous. Roberto also defied Cold War allegiance by forging links with UFOlogists in the Soviet Union; that area has the richest and most promising UFO data in the world. There was the Tunguska event of 1908 and the famous sighting in Voronezh in 1989. Roberto’s journal Notiziaro UFO published articles that were also put out in the famous Russian broadsheet, Pravda. Roberto also spoke about a wave of UFO sightings in 1954; these included the incredible close encounter over Florence at the packed football ground- Stadio Artemio Franchi in which a group of objects flew low over a Fiorentina match, see here for more details: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/football-ufo-in-florence.html. UFOlogy in Italy has a long history, in fact the dictator Benito Mussolini was obsessed by the subject and ordered an official government investigation in 1933, a full fourteen years before Project Sign. Il Duce’s interest was sparked off by a wave of sightings of black triangles, a form of UFO still widely reported today. Another case in Italy I’m interested in is the creature encountered by Filiberto Caponi; Timothy Good investigated this personally in his book Unearthly Disclosures. See here for more detail: http://www.filibertocaponi.it/index.php?lang=it. I asked Roberto about it and he laughed. “That one is nothing to do with UFO’s he said. It’s cryptozoology!” Technically he is correct. There’s nothing connecting the being Caponi claims to have encountered with ET, but the features of the entity do resemble those reported by witnesses of beings which do come from close encounters of the third kind, so is Roberto being a bit hasty? It was good to meet Roberto and his wife; it was a very interesting lecture.
 
Capt. Robert Salas
Stephen Hawking once commented on UFO’s; through his electronic voice box he declared that, seeing as they only appear to “cranks and weirdoes” he was very sceptical of their existence. However this next witness is a member of a profession who, by its very nature, has had his psychiatric health more carefully monitored and screened than anybody else in the world. The job Capt. Robert Salas USAF, ret. used to do was man the launch control station for intercontinental nuclear missiles. In the event of all out nuclear war it was his finger that was “on the button”, and he who would send the missiles on their way. If at any time he launched his missiles without authorization, because he lost his mind, or by mistake, then the country targeted would most likely shoot back before asking questions and this could result in an all-out exchange which would destroy the world forever. Who would let a “crank” or “weirdo” do a job like that? Yet Capt. Salas did have an encounter with a UFO and he is speaking openly about it today. It was one morning in 1967 and he was on duty in the launch facility. This is in an underground bunker, or “capsule”, in a rural area of Montana USA, a long way from his headquarters at Malmstrom Air Force Base; nuclear facilities are always spread out over a wide area in remote locations so that they can’t all be targeted by enemy fire. He was in the bunker monitoring the missiles, ready as always in case the order came through to launch, when he received a phonecall from the security police outside. There was a strange light flying around beyond the compound. Half an hour later there was a large glowing red object hovering right outside the gates. At the same time an alarm went off on the control panel. All the missiles began to shut down. Pretty soon all the siloes were in a no-go situation. It’s reasonable to presume that the presence of the UFO’s disabled the missiles. There were several other similar incidents at other nuclear bases. As Pia Kundsen also revealed, UFO’s seem to be fixated on our military activity, especially nuclear weapons. I myself took a photo of a UFO close to a nuclear weapons facility, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2gBQVSgfvg. The UFO’s clearly have the ability to interfere with the electronics of nuclear missiles. Does this mean if it ever came to a war they’d step in and put a stop to it; don’t know, but I hope so. However at the time Capt. Salas had his encounter America was not at war and his team were on routine alert. Why did the UFO’s choose that time and place to fiddle? Only they know. Since then Capt. Salas has appeared at the Citizen Hearing and studied man more cases of UFO’s at nuclear sites, in Israel, Pakistan, Russia and many other places. There were events in Vietnam too. He refers to what he calls “The Secret Group” people who know some of the facts about UFO’s which they’re not willing to reveal to the rest of us; this sounds like the same people Richard Dolan calls “the Breakaway Civilization”. Capt. Salas said that Wilbert Smith, a Canadian engineer, knows a lot more as well, see here for more details: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/who-is-wilbert-smith.html. Capt. Salas has had many contact experiences of his own, which might be an answer to why the UFO’s buzzed his team that day in 1967. He’s a staunch advocate for Disclosure and it was interesting to hear his speech.
 
I felt quite drained of energy as the conference drew to a close. I did also after Bases last weekend; it’s strange how just sitting there listening can take it out of you. We headed off to the Old Bridge for a social gathering and I had a “dirty burger” which was very nice. I had a lovely evening chatting to old friends and then it was time for bed. Some people left on the Sunday evening, but this was out of the question for me; I decided to stay overnight and travel home on Monday. The wind had strengthened during the day and the walls of my tent were battered continuously; it felt like somebody was punching them over and over. It rained very hard as well. However the fabric and poles of the tent held firm; not bad seeing as the tent is over fifteen years old. I bought it in 1998 for a trip to Ireland and it’s still in good shape. I couldn’t help feeling slightly uneasy because of what Richard D Hall talked about. The unfortunate victims of human mutilations are often people alone in remote areas like the Brecon Beacons and Dalby Forest. The campsite I was in was empty, my tent was the only one and there were no buildings as I said; I was several miles from Holmfirth on the isolated crest of a hill hundreds of feet above the populated valley. It was dark, cloudy and windy out there. I was intensely aware of my vulnerability. Was this the last anybody would hear of me? I’d be listed as missing while Section Five-Eight’s helicopter flew in to pick up my remains. Nevertheless I eventually drifted off to sleep. When I woke up it was light and the wind and rain had stopped. I breathed an only just slightly tongue-in-cheek sigh of relief and crawled out onto the waterlogged ground to strike the tent and pack everything into my rucksack. I then realized that I hadn’t paid the lady who runs the campsite. When I first booked online I couldn’t pay right then because I’m kind of “between bank accounts” right now… if you know what I mean. I phoned up the lady and explained and she said that was fine; all I had to do was give her the fee in cash when I arrived. However, as I explained, there was no management accommodation at the site and her personal address was in another town a few miles away. I had not seen her all weekend; nevertheless I was out all day from early till late and this might be why. So I had no choice but to head for a post office and send her the money via a postal order. When I got home and fired up my PC I had an email from her entitled Thanks for Nothing! It went on to say: Hi Ben. I noticed you’ve just packed up and left without paying. Here I am trying to run an honest business and people can’t be honest with me. I should have known better than to trust people. I never will again! It was signed: a very upset campsite owner. I’ve noticed that trust is generally regarded as a rather quaint and na├»ve notion in the modern world and those who succumb to it are suffering from childishness and weakness; this is deliberate social conditioning I think, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/eastenders-murder.html. Even somebody at the conference suggested that I do a runner and count myself lucky that there is still “one born every minute” and I’d quite rightly squeezed thirty quid out of one. If I had decided not to pay her it would have been easy. I didn’t give my home address or surname when I booked over the phone. No doubt there are many people who would hold her to blame for her gullibility had I done so. She apologized after I emailed her to explain. Presumably the postal order has arrived by now. I’m glad I didn’t cheat that lady, and that I did cheat the social manipulators. The second UFO Truth Magazine Conference was a glorious success and I’m very grateful to Gary Heseltine and his family who took part; also to all the speakers and assistants. I talked to the other delegates and I didn’t come across a single one who had any complaints. I had a great time and can’t wait for next years which will hopefully be even bigger and better.
 
 
 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Voyage of the Unicorn

I first saw Voyage of the Unicorn in about 2010. I came home from work and my daughter, aged fifteen at the time, rushed up to me and yelled: "Dad, you've got to watch this!" She presented me with a DVD in a plain cardboard sleeve; it was a free gift that had been enclosed in a newspaper, the kind of thing the papers did a lot in those days. The cover was of a stout looking man holding a cutlass and surrounding him were a circuit of strange beings. "Let's watch it, Dad!" enthused my daughter. "Please?" I settled down in front of the TV and prepared myself to be bored for a couple of hours in the course of my paternal duty in keeping her company. About three quarters of the way through the film she told me she'd had enough of it and wanted to turn it off. "No!" I retorted "I want to see all of it!"
Voyage of the Unicorn can be purchased on Amazon, see: http://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Unicorn-Beau-Bridges/dp/B0009ETCXS/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1399149334&sr=1-1&keywords=voyage+of+the+unicorn. (Beware, because there is a 132 minute feature cut of this floating about; I advise buying only the full three-hour miniseries.)
However, at the time of writing the series is currently a freebie on YouTube, but please support the film makers and buy the DVD if you can:
Highlight- Miranda's dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DXJcB0Y4L4.

People often ask me why I ever watch television, seeing as I criticize it so much. This is true and there have been some TV programmes recently that have been utter pieces of turdcraft which I have given a well-deserved and merciless pasting, for example see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/gypsies-on-benefits-and-proud.html and: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/confessions-of-alien-abductee-aftermath.html. However when it comes to my studies of the media, I cannot agree with those who say it's completely controlled by a monolithic power-structure which dictates every single thing that comes out of it. This can't be the case otherwise the media would in fact be a very different entity to what we have. A completely controlled media would have a counter-propositional side to it in order not to make the manipulation too obvious, but it would be very attenuated and insipid; for any seasoned eye this duplicity would be very transparent. The kinds of productions I talk about in this article, see: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/some-of-them-are-on-our-side.html, would never appear. I know people who tell me Avatar, Blakes 7 and V for Vendetta are pure psy-ops; in that case I'd like to ask them by what criteria could anything ever be considered genuine by them?

Some programmes in the mainstream media are in fact good, and some a truly magnificent. A few months ago I did a review of my favourite, Gone to Seed, see: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/gone-to-seed.html, and the one now under discussion is without a doubt a close runner up. Voyage of the Unicorn is a "TV movie". This, as its name suggests, is a film produced specifically to be broadcast on television and is not intended to be released in cinemas. This inevitably makes TV movies stylistically distinct from films targeted at the big screen; they tend to have smaller casts, a less ambitious scope and less sophisticated plots. They very often have lower budgets and even if they sign up a star to play the lead role, the supporting acts tend to be from the B-movie pool. They're often formatted like the episodes of a TV drama series and have minor suspense scenes added periodically, together with pauses worked into the score, for the inevitable commercial breaks. They're sometimes regarded with snobbish condescension by movie connoisseurs; there is even a film called Based on an Untrue Story which is a parody of TV movies, see: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106362/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt. If there is any point I could ever agree with less, when I watch Voyage of the Unicorn I truly doubt it. This particular "TV movie" comes from Canada and was broadcast on the TV1000 channel in 2001. It was directed by Philip Spink and written by Dan Levine.
Credendo Vides
Synopsis
The film is centred on a man called Prof. Alan Aisling, played by Beau Bridges, the best known actor in the film. He's a university lecturer who has two daughters, Miranda, who is aged about sixteen and Cassandra, who is three or four years younger. Aisling leads quite a lonely life since his wife died some months before the start of the story. His life consists mostly of looking after his daughters, who are taking their mother's death very badly. When he is at work he teaches a course in comparative mythology, only he does it in a very unorthodox way. He writes on the classroom blackboard the words credendo vides, this is Latin for "by believing one sees"; this becomes the motto for the entire film. One student shows him a brass doorknob and says it reminds her of the sun; and Prof. Aisling, instead of telling her not to be silly and to put it away, congratulates her on her imaginative and creative thoughts. He's a very non-conformist teacher, the kind I wish I'd had when I was at school. Unfortunately Aisling's maverick teaching methods result in him falling out of favour with the university authorities, in a storyline similar to the wonderful film Dead Poets Society. The officious and highly conventional dean of the college reprimands him for leading his students astray from "what they really need" which is practical and scientific matters alone and not "airy fairly" nonsense. Aisling retorts emphatically: "Science begins with imagination!" Voyage of the Unicorn is based on Voyage of the Basset, an illustrated book by James C Christiansen, in which we see a picture of the dean trying to measure his own imagination with a scale! However, from the very start of the film the viewer is told that something odd is afoot. Gusts of wind keep blowing across the scenes filled with a sparkle that hints of magic. But at the same time dark and sinister shadows lurk in corners and perch on rooftops. Miranda and Cassandra are two very different girls who express their grief in different ways. Miranda is pessimistic and cynical, battening down her feelings with a facade of resilience and pragmatism. Cassandra has gone the opposite way. Their mother used to illustrate fantasy books and Cassie has become obsessed with her late mother's artwork. She has begun to have visualizations about the scenes in her mum's portfolio, seeing them as real. Sometimes in her dreams, her mother appears to her in the photo she has on her bedside table. The viewer is never told for certain whether these apparitions are just Cassie's imagination, or whether the spirit of their mother really is still watching over them. At first, like her mythological namesake, nobody listens to Cassandra. But then something happens.
Beau Bridges as Aisling, with Miranda and Cassie
For a hitherto unexplored reason, our world comes into contact with another. The dark shapes that have been haunting the characters are actually ghastly monsters from another world; they're called "trolls", but they are very similar to Tolkienian Orcs. Their leader is called Skotos, brilliantly played by MacKenzie Grey and he has come into our world to hunt down Prof. Aisling. Fortunately the same merging of dimensions has also permitted a pair of friendly helpers from that same otherworld. They are Malachi and Sebastian, captain and first mate of a ship called the Unicorn and together they and the family escape through into the Faerie Kingdom. The ship is beautiful; it has a pure white sail with the words credendo vides embossed on its sail. Below decks the magic of the world really takes hold because, like Doctor Who's TARDIS, the ship is bigger on the inside; it contains a huge library and luxury quarters. Interestingly in Cassie's cabin there is a wardrobe full of the most magnificent dresses, yet in Miranda's there's just a drab homespun gown. Yet when she puts it on it transforms Cinderella-style into multiple divine fashions. This is quite revealing about Miranda's nature and it hints at what is to come later in the story.
The good ship Unicorn
 Sebastian, who is an elf, is the only member of the ship's company apart from his captain Malachi. His parents were killed by the trolls when he was a child. He is clearly quite smitten by Miranda. He is a sweet soul and his flirtations with her are extremely benign and appealing. This is very politically incorrect in today's world dominated as it is by feminism; Voyage is at its basis a radically traditionalist tale. Captain Malachi is a dwarf who is good-natured and knowledgeable; he serves as the family's guide in their new surroundings. Their first port of call is Faerie Isle, the centre of the Kingdom. This is a Rivendell-like Idyll of enchanted groves, dryads, butterflies, waterfalls and sacred springs, all benevolently ruled over by King Oberon and Queen Titania; of course these are characters from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. One of the most recognizable features of Voyage is the way its plot blends several different existing mythologies and literary allusions together, and it does so very cleverly and stylishly. Oberon and Titania then reveal to the family how they came to be brought to the Faerie Kingdom; it turns out that their heavenly land is under threat from the trolls and that there is a prophesy that they will be saved. In a very dramatic and moving scene, an ancient turtle-like creature called "the Senechal", who is a keeper of mystical knowledge, recites the prophesy: "There shall come unto us a man of wisdom and two maidens gentle of spirit. From beyond the seas, by there hand heroes enslaved be freed. Old wounds cleansed and the mightiest among us reborn. Know them by these signs, a ship, a sword and a banner thus; credendo vides- by believing one sees. Trust in their quest! Aid them, even to your peril. For they mark a new beginning and an end to darkness." Titania gives them each a special gift and private counsel intended only for themselves. However King Oberon is far more sceptical. He says: "mortals don't believe in magick." And most interestingly: "We can see into your world, but apparently you have turned your back on ours." That's a fascinating theme which I will come back to later. The balance of power in the Faerie world is kept by a great dragon, but he has vanished. The family's quest is to find the dragon and restore him... before the trolls do. The trolls are based on Troll Island, a place wreathed in darkness that resembles the land of Mordor in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It is barren and lifeless with volcanic cracks and streams all over it. Skotos returns to his fellow trolls announcing that the humans have succeeded into entering their world and they must now be hunted down and killed before the prophesy is fulfilled. The trolls' ship is as characteristic as their homeland, dark, crude, ugly and dirty. They immediately set sail in pursuit of Aisling and the girls.
MacKenzie Grey as Skotos
 The first place the family look for the dragon is a ruined stone temple on a dry desert island. Cassie wanders into an underground chamber and gets lost in a maze of corridors. Here she encounters a huge being which is half man-half bull. This segment is explicitly drawn from the ancient Greek legend of Theseus, the labyrinth and the Minotaur. Unlike the original story, in Voyage the Minotaur is good; in fact he's a very strong, brave and loyal companion who joins the family on their quest. While on the island they also encounter a huge reptilian skeleton. Could this be the remains of the dragon? They take the skull back to the ship. The next island they explore has a huge temple on it too, and one far better preserved. The family go inside and come across Medusa, a gorgon. Once again the film delves into the classical world for its storyline. The gorgons are creatures that resemble a human female except they have snakes on their heads instead of hair. Their magic power means that anybody who looks into their face will be instantly turned to stone. In the Legend of Perseus, the hero beheads Medusa and then uses her head as a weapon to turn his enemies to stone. In Voyage, Aisling uses an eye-shield of amber, a gift given to him by Titania, to protect himself from Medusa's gaze. In doing so he sees that she is not really a gorgon, but a lovely woman who has been cursed. She is lonely and lost living in the temple, but dares not go outside because she keeps turning everybody she meets into stone. Aisling takes her back to the ship and turns the amber plate into a pair of goggles for her to wear so she can interact with other people in mutual safety. But first the family can't leave the temple until they've solved the Riddle of the Sphinx: "What is it that walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon and on three in the evening?" The answer is: a man. As a baby, in the morning of life, he crawls on all fours; in the middle of life he walks normally on two; and in the evening of life he needs a walking stick, three legs. The Sphinx then lets them go free. In Greek mythology the Sphinx is not connected to the story of Medusa and instead guards the entrance to the city of Thebes. Also in Voyage, and I find this enormously interesting, the Sphinx is not an animal, but a winged humanoid. These kinds of creatures turn up all the time in myths and legends; angels and demons are usually both depicted as winged humanoids. What is less well-known is that the archetype also appears in paranormal reports, like the entity in The Mothman Prophesies and the Cornish Owlman. Why is that? Do the film makers know something they're not letting on? The family invite the Sphinx to join them on their journey, but she declines and flies off; although she returns to the story later.
The Sphinx- played by Kim Hawthorne, portrayed as a typical winged humanoid
 Once out at sea again the trolls' ship catches up with the Unicorn and they attack, boarding the ship. A swordfight ensues between the heroes and the trolls. It ends in disaster when Skotos captures the dragon skull; with the power of the skull he now has the authority to unify the troll clans and conquer the entire world... and even beyond. When Medusa tries to help by removing her goggles to petrify the trolls, she accidentally petrifies Malachi instead. Also the device by which the ship travels between dimensions, called the "Wunterlab", is damaged beyond immediate repair leaving Aisling, Miranda and Cassie trapped in the Faerie Kingdom. When Oberon and Titania hear of this news Oberon is devastated. He was sceptical of the prophesy from the start, but the news of the trolls' victory strips him of all hope. In an act of desperation, he defects to the trolls and offers them a deal; he'll help Skotos hunt down the humans in return for his homeland being left alone by the trolls. Everything looks hopeless, but they refuse to give up. Cassie maintains her faith through thoughts of her mother and Miranda plays the piano. Medusa is mortified by what she unintentionally did to Malachi and keeps to herself, although the others bear her no resentment for it. Aisling searches the Unicorn's dimensionally transcendental library for a solution and comes up with an amazing book of ancient magickal wisdom. In one of the best comic relief elements to the film, we see that it is a pop-up book in which the characters are all animated and intelligent. They explain that the only way to change Malachi back is with a silver apple and unicorn's tears. Fortunately these can both be found on a nearby island. When they arrive they find the unicorn galloping around an enchanted forest which is very similar to Faerie Isle. Oddly enough it has an image of the famous 1991 Barbary Castle crop circle printed on its hindquarters. In the sequence which follows, Miranda hands the silver apple to the unicorn, a picture that was captured in her mother's illustrations; here the viewer understands that Miranda is really very deeply magickal herself, but she has kept it hidden beneath her pain. This scene is very powerful and is the spiritual denouement of the film. It's prevented from becoming overwhelming by the antics of Olaf, the lovable ogre who owns the island. The unicorn sheds a tear at the sight of Malachi's statue and the ship's captain is joyously restored to life. They return to Faerie Isle with the unicorn on board to seek advice from Oberon and Titania to find that the trolls have sacked it. Titania is left alone, not knowing about Oberon's treachery. The family beg for counsel and the Senechal simply repeats the words of the prophesy and then dies in front of them among the ruins of Faerie Isle. Oberon himself is taken prisoner by the trolls. He promised to deliver Aisling and his family to the trolls and Skotos promised he would not destroy his kingdom, and Oberon realizes that he was foolish to believ him. Using Oberon's information the trolls cast a spell on the ocean so that a monstrous sea serpent attacks the Unicorn. Then, in one of the best known scenes from the film, Miranda saves them with her own supernatural abilities; see the highlights scene above, Miranda's Dance. It's extremely surreal with its animated sequences and seems incongruous within the movie, but I find it very effective. Aisling originally plans to sail the ship as far as he can from the trolls to keep his daughters safe, but the others persuade him that you can't run from them, they're everywhere. The only way to deal with a troll is to stand and fight. He tells Malachi to set a course for their headquarters on Troll Island.
Cassie, Miranda and Aisling with the Minotaur and Medusa
 The Minotaur, Medusa, Malachi, Sebastian and the unicorn all join the family as they sneak ashore on Troll Island at night. Here they find slaves from the occupied lands forging weapons for the trolls. They all steal some troll clothing as a disguise and infiltrate the trolls' main settlement. Skotos is making a speech to his rabble, leaving the dragon skull unattended in his throne room. Cassie distracts the guards outside and the others rush in to redeem it. Cassie is captured. Aisling tells Miranda to take the skull to safety while he and the Minotaur attempt to rescue Cassie. Skotos is about to drop Cassie into a volcanic pit to cook her for dinner when Aisling and the Minotaur burst in to try and save her. They're totally outnumbered by the trolls and it looks as if Cassie is doomed, but then out of the blue the Sphinx swoops down and snatches her away to safety. By now it is daylight and Miranda is running as fast as she can with the heavy skull, but the perusing trolls are catching her up. Eventually she rushes free of them and meets up with her father. Malachi, Sebastian, Medusa and the Minotaur have all been captured and Sebastian and Malachi are sent to the quarry to join the other slaves. Medusa is put to work as a servant in the trolls' house where she meets a shamefaced Oberon who is doing the same. Skotos tortures the Minotaur to try and force him to reveal the location of the dragon skull. Skotos even cuts off one of his horns, but the Minotaur staunchly resists. Miranda is watching from a cliff top and can bear it no longer. She jumps up, brandishing the skull and yells to alert the trolls. Aisling and Miranda flee by climbing up a waterwheel but Miranda falls back down, dropping the skull. Cassie and the unicorn appear at the top of the cliff while the trolls shinny up in pursuit. Skotos and Aisling fight to reach the skull while Miranda has to fight her way out from the mob at the bottom of the waterwheel; she's helped by the Minotaur who has now broken free. The skull falls into a log flume and washes down it. Skotos seizes it, but Cassie gallops up on the unicorn and snatches it back. Skotos corners them all together and tells Cassie to give him the skull, promising to let them all live if she does. Meanwhile Medusa has found the keys to the slaves' shackles and is releasing them. Skotos says to Cassie: "Do you really think that you, a mere human, have the power to unleash the dragon?" Aisling orders his daughter to hand Skotos the skull. But Cassie lifts the skull above her head and cries: "Credendo vides!" The skull levitates into the air, flesh and bone appear around it and an entire dragon materializes. The dragon dives down, breathing fire, burning up the trolls' buildings, while the slaves all rush forward free of their chains. The trolls flee in panic. Miranda embraces Sebastian and gives him a passionate kiss. The smoke clears and all the free people head home to their own islands. In the next scene the family are back in our world, each one thinks they had a dream until they all realize their dreams were the same. They then check and see and it turns out that they still have all the presents Titania gave them. Their experience makes the family happier. Aisling goes back to work and finds out that the original dean has suddenly retired, and so Prof. Aisling becomes Dean Aisling in his place, and naturally makes sure that his mythology course is approved for future terms. He also meets a woman who looks very similar to Medusa, and is played by the same actress, Kira Clavell. Miranda becomes a top musician and performs her songs in front of live audiences. Cassie tries her own hand at illustration and continues to be a dedicated and unapologetic dreamer and seer of great visions. Sometimes she dreams she sees the ship the Unicorn, and also her mother standing on deck waving.
End of synopsis

After I'd watched it all the way through and realized that I was now a fan of Voyage of the Unicorn I went online to see if there were any others I could compare notes with. There are but they're almost all young girls! I was worried that their parents might think I was a paedophile for trying to communicate with them; would they really believe that I was doing so simply because I love the movie too? I actually surprise myself a bit, especially when I read through the synopsis I've just written. Voyage of the Unicorn is aimed at younger viewers, there's no doubt. A lot of its plot is not terribly original for a fantasy story; its characters are what you find in existing fantasy literature, along with beings and settings from the classics; indeed it reminds me of Homer's Odyssey in many ways along with all the other classical links I've identified. This is not uncommon. However there is a far deeper dimension to Voyage, one that other related stories might lack. This is the world of metaphor and symbolism of the human condition as it relates to the spiritual universe. There's something about it that's profoundly pagan and very pantheistic; perhaps William Blake would understand, and also the German composer Richard Wagner. I can also detect the inspiration from Tolkien. There's a strong feeling that the world of Faerie Kingdom and our own world are involved in some kind of dialogue and there's a hint of the long prehistoric past in which the spiritual universe deteriorated from a higher state into what it is today. For example Oberon and Titania are rather like the subtle beings that some psychically sensitive people report encountering. When Oberon says to the family: "We can see into your world, but apparently you have turned your back on ours." it rings a bell. This is a frequent complaint that is related by witnesses to the presence of the fair folk. These beings from the other worlds see us as having lost our spiritual senses and wish we would regain them. Indeed Oberon goes on to declare his hope that "the Prophesy will reopen the door between your world and ours." As I've often said, it's not merely a case of us losing our spiritual senses; they've been stolen. The amber lens and the way Aisling looks through it to see the truth behind the illusion is the most manifest cipher of this concept; although it is not without precedent, indeed it was probably borrowed from Philip Pullman, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amber_Spyglass. All of this is underlined by the continuous, but very ambiguous, semi-presence of Lily, Aisling's wife and the girls' mother. Some of the things said about the trolls, and to them, really get me thinking. When she is caught by the trolls, Cassie tells Skotos: "You can change. I've read all about trolls (in the Unicorn's library presumably). There was even a time when you weren't evil at all." Skotos recoils at this statement more than anything else in the film! Galdalf says something similar about the Orcs in Lord of the Rings, that they were once Elves, but then they fell from enlightenment, like Satan fell from Heaven. Malachi also says to Aisling at one point: "I've spent little enough time in your world, Professor... Trolls are everywhere; different shapes and sizes, calling themselves different names, but trolls nonetheless! They like to tear things down, make everything the same, the way they like it..." The implication is that trolls are an archetype for man fallen from grace. The last sentence is of course how conformist humans behave in the Illuminati-occupied world. Skotos also mentions his visit to our world on several occasions and explains lavishly to the other trolls how it is ripe for plunder and that he'd like to conquer it too. And Oberon warns: "This evil will spill into your world too." Could this signify the notion Matthew Delooze and others have discussed, of a predatory malevolent interdimensional intelligence that is feeding parasitically off our world, or trying to infect it and change it into a copy of itself, like a virus? I myself have researched the idea of the rise of the Illuminati and how it was either the cause or effect of some kind of malfunction or decay in the spiritual universe. Nothing embodies this concept for me more blatantly than the Roman conquest of Britain two thousand years ago and I've explored the details many times, for instance: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/return-to-edge-of-world.html. For me, Faerie Isle is a representation of the pre-Illuminati world and that the trolls represent our Illuminati-controlled world. This is very like how many people have interpreted James Cameron's movie Avatar, with the humans and the blue creatures being metaphorical for the conflict between the natural spiritual state of being versus the modern materialistic circumstances we find ourselves in. The historian Michael Wood puts it very well: "The end of sacred times, the triumph of profane times." In the scene where the trolls pillage and desecrate Faerie Isle, I can't help thinking that this is what it must have been like when Anglesey fell to the Roman legions in AD 60 and the forces of that Illuminati-controlled empire destroyed the sacred groves of the Druids and slaughtered anybody left alive there.

When Prof. Aisling comes across the Minotaur's labyrinth and realizes how similar it is to the mythology he studies, he says that the Faerie Kingdom is: "a reflection of our reality, or maybe we're a reflection of it." This is very Platonic, the idea that some worlds are reflections of others. This is the surprisingly high level of intelligence that Voyage of the Unicorn is based on; not bad for a free gift in a Sunday tabloid, eh? It is really far more than just a simplistic cheap TV movie to pass time for the kids. It turns out that my daughter was well aware of this when she bought home the DVD; she later confessed that she wanted to show it to me because she had a bet with a friend that I would love it. It was really a dead cert; she knows me too well! But despite the insightful thought that went into making it, Voyage is still essentially an adventure fantasy story and you don't have to interpret it philosophically to enjoy it. It is quite light-hearted in some scenes and it has a lovely warmth to it. The ending is somewhat abrupt after a well-paced and structured climactic segment; I wonder if it was originally scripted to be slightly longer. However that is literally my only criticism of it, and as I said about Gone to Seed, a work of art doesn't require technical perfection to be great. The score of the film is enchanting too, it contains American big screen movie-style piano lines as well as very aetheric lyricless vocals and uplifting pagan flute tunes. The message of the story is that magic exists in the most unlikely places. The gusts of wind filled with sparks of light in the opening scenes illustrate this well. You, dear HPANWO-reader, might think I'm crazy, you might think I've forgotten that I'm a grown man and regressed to childhood. I understand why you think that; but you're wrong, I haven't. Whether or not you judge me this way will depend on the kind of person you are. Have you the ability to immerse yourself in something like Voyage of the Unicorn, to forget all the forces holding you back from just letting yourself fly free in a world where there really are faeries, unicorns and singing mermaids? It will mean taking a brave step if you've never done anything like that before. You might fear the ridicule of others, or of your own conscience. Please don't. CS Lewis once said that the stupidest children were the most childish, and that the stupidest adults were the most grown up.