|Nick Popes Weird World|
|- December '99|
|Posted by Georgina Bruni
Editor in Chief Hot Gossip UK
Check out Bruni's Column
I can't believe that December has come around so quickly. Sometimes time seems to go so
quickly, it's positively · spooky. Anyway, here's the latest news that's caught my eye.
Passport To The Cosmos
Just in time for Christmas, what's probably one of the most important books ever written on the alien abduction phenomenon has been published. Passport To The Cosmos is the latest title from John Mack, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. This is the book on my bedside table at the moment, and I can honestly say it's one of the most interesting and thought-provoking titles I've come across. Dr Mack's previous book, Abduction, caused a sensation when he endorsed the alien abduction phenomenon, and spoke of his belief in the reality of the alien contact experience. Passport To The Cosmos is bound to be an even more controversial book. This is a very spiritual book, and focuses on issues such as the shamanic experience and on other aspects of the wisdom and experience of indigenous peoples. Running through the book is a concern about the possibility of an ecological Armageddon which might yet destroy us all. Dr Mack's academic credentials and scientific approach mean that his views should not be dismissed by the sceptical researchers who frequently complain that ufology lacks any scientific methodology.
Mack's findings can seem to be at odds with the findings of researchers such as David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins, who are convinced that the abduction experience is fundamentally negative, and very much a one way relationship, with the aliens taking what they want from us, without consent (The popular theory being that they're harvesting genetic material and using it in a programme to create human/alien hybrids). To be fair, Mack doesn't dismiss the hybridisation theory, and acknowledges the trauma, although he believes its real cause has more to do with the 'shattering of abductees' worldviewsä. Mack argues that we need to redefine our notion of reality if we are to understand alien encounters - which he believes reveal a consistent environmental message.
Passport To The Cosmos is published by Crown Publishers at $24, and should be available via the usual Internet book sites. For more details of both the book and Dr Mack's work more generally, I suggest you check out www.peer-mack.org.
A book that I haven't yet got around to reading, but which might appeal to readers, is Lucy Pringle's book, Crop Circles. Lucy has been involved in crop circle research for many years, and her book will doubtless be of interest to all those with an interest in this intriguing subject. Her book is published by Thorsons, and costs £16.99.
Another Book About Egypt
Sorry for the slightly sarcastic title of this piece, but you can hardly move these days without coming across another book on 'New Egyptology'(a subject where the leading figures and supporters are dubbed 'Pyramidiots'by more mainstream researchers). Secret Chamber is the latest offering from Robert Bauval, and although I haven't read it yet, it looks a pretty impressive and comprehensive effort. It's published by Century at £16.99.
The Real X-Files
There has been much recent speculation about whether or not the MOD are about to release all their UFO files. I've already written about this elsewhere, so won't repeat myself here. Suffice to say that the next edition of UFO Magazine (published on 9 December) will have a detailed report on this controversy. There should already be something on their website, www.ufomag.co.uk. Alternatively, check out the article I wrote for my London Calling column at www.ufocity.com.
A lot of people are asking about the Phenomena World Tour - designed to showcase some of the best UFO evidence and raise public awareness. Again, the best source of information is UFO Magazine and their website, but e-mail them direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event premiers in Australia on 26 December, although details on the rest of the tour have not yet been finalised. Let's hope it comes to the UK soon.
Newspaper reports quote the FBI as warning that the danger from millennial cults is 'very realä. Israel is very much in the front line, and has already expelled a number of religious extremists who believe that the Second Coming can only take place at the end of the world. Accordingly, there are fears that some of these cults may try to precipitate Armageddon themselves, in an attempt to bring about what they believe is prophesied in the Bible. Thanks a bunch, people.
Finally, I'd just like to wish everybody a wonderful and truly happy Christmas and New Year. I've certainly had my differences with some people in this subject, but this is a time for setting aside differences and focusing instead on how much we all have in common. So whether you're a believer, a sceptic or an agnostic, let's make a resolution to be less confrontational in our approach to ufology. And let's not forget to enjoy our subject, and have some fun! Party on, people!
Nick Pope's three books, Open Skies, Closed Minds, The Uninvited and Operation Thunder Child are available from all good bookshops. His UK publishers are Simon & Schuster. In America, The Overlook Press publish his books in hardback while Dell Publishing produce paperback editions.
Ed's Note: Nick Pope's books, The Uninvited and Open Skies, Closed Minds, are available from all good bookshops, in paperback. His publishers in Britain are Simon & Schuster. The Uninvited is available in the US, published by The Overlook Press, who plan to publish Open Skies, Closed Minds later this year.