Wednesday, 22 October 2008

UK - The Sun Has Best UFO Proof Yet (Again)

A strange image was published by the Sun newspaper (via Gary Heseltine) which they stated was photographed at Dudley castle 'last April'.

To be honest I've purposefully refrained from posting any of the Sun newspapers UFO stories, mainly because they were caught out a couple of months ago and admitted intentionally lying to their readers, this was defended by claiming they were just, “Having a little fun” with their long suffering readership.

But prior to this wholly unsurprising revelation about their lack of ethical integrity their previous track-record in reporting UFO related stories was equally wanting. The stories were always misleading and they consistently contacted several UFO researchers and inevitably quoted the one researcher who agreed there was something anomalistic about the 'exclusive' photograph they'd been sent, usually insinuating (if not stating outright) that any/all objects captured were of obvious extraterrestrial origin.

UFO picture is 'best proof yet'

The Sun UK UFO ImageA “FLYING saucer” is photographed in daylight over a town — in a snap hailed as one of the most important ever pieces of evidence of alien life. The UFO shot across the sky in front of clouds above Dudley in the West Midlands . A startled visitor to Dudley Castle captured the amazing image, and sent it to a police detective who collects UFO sightings. Yesterday DC Gary Heseltine, 48, said:

“It's a very intriguing photograph that was taken purely by chance…..If it's genuine then it could be one of the most convincing pieces of evidence about aliens from the UK ever.”

The photo was taken by a 57-year-old nanny on a day out last April. DC Heseltine, of Wakefield , West Yorks, has now handed it over for study to a former US navy physicist who specialises in photo analysis. The British Transport Police officer will reveal the findings at the UFO Data Magazine annual conference in Pontefract, West Yorks , on October 25.

(Virginia Wheeler - 20 Oct 2008)
The Sun

Gary Heseltine is no stranger to the UFO subject and runs the, “PRUFOS (POLICE REPORTING UFO SIGHTINGS) DATABASE” website which collects and catalogues UFO reports from police officers while both on and off duty.

It's more than likely that the, “Former UFO Navy physicist ” is none other than the inimitable Dr. Bruce Maccabee, the following is a brief excerpt from his Bio page: "Studied physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass (B.S. in physics) and then at The American University, Washington, DC (M.S. and Ph. D. in physics)…..1972 commenced his long career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center…..has worked on optical data processing, generation of underwater sound with lasers and various aspects of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) using high power lasers… in UFO research since late 1960s when he joined the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP)….active in research and investigation for NICAP until its demise in 1980…..became a member of MUFON in 1975…..appointed to the position of state Director for Maryland, a position he still holds…..1979 he was instrumental in establishing the Fund for UFO Research…..chairman for about 13 years…..presently serves on the National Board of the Fund.."

In fact even if it isn't Bruce Maccabee then I still strongly urge you to check out his personal pages as his investigative analysis is consistently methodical in approach and execution and as such is testament to the rigorous protocols employed in his previous investigations. And as well of course as (usually!!) making for fascinating reading.

Of course there's so little information available and the image posted to the Sun website is compressed to such an extent that no manipulation could bring out any more detail than is already evident, but when Bruce Maccabee receives the original then he will certainly be able to (at least) ‘yay or nay' its validity, i.e. whether its actually a genuine image and also whether or not it's a physical object. But whether it's an object in the sky, a camera artefact or even a rogue cloud formation I found it to be one of the more aesthetically pleasing and interesting images that has been posted online for a while.....

Gary Heseltine (PRUFOS) The Sun UK UFO Image

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

MoD Files - North East UK UFO Reports

While the media coverage of the last two days (since the release of the MoD UFO files) is almost at epidemic proportions I always try and post my regional (North-East) UFO related stories, so here's an article regarding the six-years worth of UFO files (and of course which are relevant to North East) from the Evening Chronicle.

Evening Chronicle - UFO Story

Secret files reveal Tyneside UFO sightings

SECRETS of strange happenings on Tyneside have been revealed in unseen UFO files. Glowing lights and amber aircraft are among the night-sky mysteries which spooked people in the region between 1986 and 1992. The classified Ministry of Defence (MoD) reports were released for the first time yesterday, published by the National Archives. And among the hundreds of descriptions are dozens from the North East.

A night security guard in Newcastle was baffled by a white lights hovering over the city in 1987. On June 30 he alerted RAF Boulmer to the flying saucer sighting, which he said lasted 15 to 20 minutes. The former member of the armed forces wrote: “A large, white light was travelling west to east. The other five lights travelled in various directions.” He described the weather conditions as clear, but said it was too high to estimate the distance of the lights.

Meanwhile, three terrified Gosforth residents made separate reports of a green object in the sky above Newcastle in the same year, on March 6. One UFO spotter looked out of his window and was shocked to see what he described as a pale, bright, green object. The report continued: “Nil sound or smell. Steady movement, then it disappeared.” It was reported to Northumbria Police and then to Newcastle Airport . Police were alerted to the green object by a second Gosforth resident, who described the light as green and glowing. It was seen outside his house for a few minutes.

Then a third report came from a Gosforth resident, who made the sighting while outdoors in Longbenton. He saw a green sphere for five minutes and immediately alerted the police. Six months later a customs officer spotted a bizarre sight near Newcastle Airport . He claimed to see an unusual aircraft for one or two minutes, which he described as a cigar-shaped object, gold and orange, with bright lights on descent. The police officer who took the call seemed convinced by the report and said the caller sounded rational and intelligent, although a little breathless.

North East Of England UFO

Another UFO was reported near the airport in November 1987, when someone spent 15 to 20 minutes watching blue and amber lights. The file reads: “One object, approximately the size of helicopter, with blue and amber lights – very bright.” The sky was clear, and the aircraft hardly seemed to move. A neighbour backed up the caller's report and no explanation could be found.

Experts at the MoD created more mystery when they tried to explain UFO sightings near RAF Boulmer in Northumberland in 1987. Responding to a letter about suspected flying saucers, the squadron leader wrote:

“We have checked our records covering the period April 2 to 22, 1987, and are unable to confirm or deny that your reports of unknown targets originated from aircraft taking part in exercises being carried out at the time……I can inform you that our day-to-day practice sorties are carried out over the North Sea and would not normally be visible from the coast…..However, between April 6 and 10, 1987, we were involved in Exercise Mallet Blow and from April 13 to April 15, Exercise Priory took place in a similar area. Both of these events did include a number of low-flying target aircraft which would have flown inland from the North Sea toward firing ranges in the Otterburn area…..Unfortunately I am unable to tie any particular aircraft to any given UFO sighting.”

Alfred Dodds, of the Northumberland UFO Research Centre, says all the reports are vital in helping build up a picture of UFO activity in the region:

I think everybody in the industry is interested in these files…..When we get sightings in, I compare them with sightings that have been registered, so it helps in that way. It gives a better idea of whether to investigate further or not…..A couple of years ago there was a report of two red lights circling each other in a way that airplanes don't do. And when the last files were released, there was a report from down south that was exactly the same…..There have been quite a number of reports from this area in the past five years. These files are very important to shed light.”

(Oct 21, 2008 by Katy Simpson)
Evening Chronicle (Chronicle Live)

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The National Archives Second Release Of MoD UFO Files (20th Oct 2008)

Well it seems as if the second release of previously classified Ministry Of Defence (MoD) UFO files is due for release on the Monday the 20th October 2008.

I personally thought that the previous release and more importantly the incessant and outlandish media coverage of it was almost single-handedly responsible for what became known as, “The 2008 British UFO Wave” and elaborated on why in some detail here.

Indeed, it was almost impossible to have missed the furore regarding the MoD release of their "UFO files" back in May as it was all over the web, the television and the media for several weeks. The event was covered by many different authors at many different venues in many, many different countries. The relentless media coverage (especially in the UK ) was unparalleled for a UFO related story as for at least a few days in May 2008, UFOs certainly went mainstream.

To see and appreciate the extent of the coverage I've correlated it into some loose semblance of order, due to the lists of reports and the amount of media footage it wasn't possible to include them all in one Blog post, so I'll only post a couple of clips here. (Main post here)

Also available is a collection of the recent online UK UFO reports as well as all of the online video & audio related to the earlier MoD UFO file release (and of course liberal sprinklings of conjecture and opinion) then visit, "The MoD UFO files release, the Sun & the 2008 UK UFO Wave."

Lastly regarding the first MoD UFO file release, Joe McGonagle ( organised a team of UK UFO researchers to catalogue the first TNA MoD UFO files release. This is provided in a very user friendly spreadsheet, which is available here.

Spreadsheet available of the first TNA/MoD UFO files release available here.

Right, onto the release scheduled for the 20 th October 2008…..

It seems as if yet again a couple of the nationals have jumped the gun and published details of this hours before (again) the release is publicly announced, and as before the release will be available from the ‘The National Archives' (TNA) website.

It would appear that the ‘Sunday Mirror' was the first to crack and run a story on the imminent release which was as follows:

Passenger jet almost 'collided with UFO'

A passenger jet heading for Heathrow almost collided with a UFO over Kent , according to the latest "X-files" to be released by the Government tomorrow. In other reports US Air Force pilots were ordered to shoot down a UFO over East Anglia (the files don't say what happened next) and RAF Tornado jets were overtaken by another UFO over Germany . The files from 1986-92 include claims from people who say they met or were abducted by aliens. They will be posted on the National Archives website.

Source: (19/10/2008)

US jet 'ordered to fire at UFO over East Anglia '

A US Air Force fighter pilot claims he was ordered to fire all of his 24 rockets at a UFO spotted flying over East Anglia – and then warned never to speak about the incident - the MoD records reveal.

Milton Torres, then aged 25, was on standby at RAF Manston in Kent on May 20 1957 when he received an urgent order to scramble and intercept an unknown craft with " very unusual flight patterns ". He managed to get a radar " lock-on" the target, which he could not see because of thick cloud but which his instruments indicated was the size of a B-52 bomber.

The order then came through to fire his jet's entire arsenal at the UFO, but it darted off his radar before he could act. Dr Torres, now 77 and still convinced it was an alien craft, says he was visited the next day by a man claiming to be from the US National Security Agency, who threatened him with losing his flying status if he told anyone what happened. The former pilot's story entered the MoD's archives after he repeated his claims at a veterans reunion in 1988.

"There are people who are still alive on Earth who know about this," he said.

Source. (Last Updated: 5:21PM BST 19 Oct 2008)

Five of the strangest UFO sightings and encounters

These are some of the most interesting reports contained in the released Ministry of Defence files:

1) January 1991: Man reports seeing two aliens landing their flying saucer next to a railway track near Warminster Army barracks in Wiltshire.

2) March 1990: Woman claims she is an alien from " Amazon, the planet of warrior women " in the Sirius system, whose spacecraft landed on Earth during the Second World War. Encloses drawing of herself with ears similar to Star Trek character Mr Spock.

3) 1989: Two aliens seen emerging from flying saucer in Somerset , apparently in order to check their engine. One was able to speak in perfect English, according to witness.

4) April 1991: Alitalia airliner en route from Milan to Heathrow has near miss with brown missile-shaped object near Lydd in Kent . Case closed after investigation fails to identify object.

5) June 1991: Four passengers on board a Dan Air Boeing 737 saw a "wingless projectile" pass beneath the aircraft as it climbed from Gatwick Airport headed for Hamburg .

Source. (Last Updated: 5:21PM BST 19 Oct 2008)

UFOs, alien abductions and Tina Turner feature in Close Encounters secret files

Passenger jets nearly colliding with UFOs, reports of alien abduction and lasers from a Tina Turner concert all feature in the latest "Close Encounters" released by the MoD.

The 19 files, which date from 1986 and 1992, show the extensive records of strange sightings by members of the public and unexplained radar images from air traffic control. In one instance, an Alitalia flight coming into land at London 's Heathrow Airport reported a near miss with a UFO, which the pilot described as " similar to a missile - light brown or fawn - about three metres in length but without any exhaust flame ". Captain Achille Zaghetti was so concerned about a collision he shouted " Look out! Look out !" to his co-pilot who then spotted the same object. A corresponding image appeared on the Air Traffic Control radar and the MoD was brought in to investigate.

In the files, released by the National Archive, the military admitted the sighting in April 1991 could not be explained, having ruled out a British or American missile. It concluded: " In the absence of any clear evidence which could be used to identify the object, it is our intention to treat this sighting like that of any other Unidentified Flying Object. " Two further near misses were reported in the summer of 1991 when one aircraft flying in to Gatwick airport reported a " wingless projectile " passing the left side of the plane and another flight leaving Gatwick spotted a " small lozenge-shaped object " speeding past the cockpit. The newly released files also go into detail about a US Air Force pilot who claims he was ordered to shoot down a UFO flying above East Anglia in 1957, and was later warned never to speak about the incident.

Also included in the material are several reports of alien abductions and strange sightings. In 1989, one man from Somerset reported seeing a flying saucer land near the Feltham bypass and two aliens, dressed in black, apparently emerged. One alien checked the engines while a second said - in fluent English - " capture that man before tells anybody else ". Another man from Brighton spotted a brightly-lit UFO, shaped like a " squashed rugby ball ", which hovered above his house.

Two men in beige uniforms were seen inside, but when they spotted the man, they turned out the lights and sped out to sea. The RAF official who took the call noted: " Caller sounded genuine enough and his main concern seemed to be that he didn't want to talk too much about the craft if it was 'one of ours that we wanted to keep secret'. " In August 1989, reports of "two to three lights, green, red and orange oscillating" and moving " left and right and around each other " were reported to the MoD. What the concerned callers did not realise was that they were looking at the lasers illuminating Tina Turner's latest concert.

Source (Last Updated: 8:29PM BST 19 Oct 2008)

I predict more of the same as we seen with the earlier release as the all too fickle media pretend to (albeit briefly) take the UFO subject seriously. Still, give it a couple of days as after they’ve had a chance to actually peruse the documents they’ll start publishing the ridiculous accounts, the snide comments and the, ‘Aliens abducted my dog’ accounts before moving on to more 'important' stories.....

UFO Images & Phantom Planes

Paranormal photographs and UFO Images

Seeing as Halloween is almost upon us I thought I'd share some stories that lean more towards ‘paranormal' than 'Ufological' as well of course as the usual UFO related fodder. Anyway, I happened across a classic TV programme recently and one which I remember watching in my youth. It's a UK production called, “Strange But True – Encounters” and was fronted by Michael Aspel. This particular episode looked at the problems that trick photography, misperception and hoax images facing UFO & paranormal researchers face as well as several genuinely unexplained anomalies and photographs which still resist an defy any explanation.

Including a brief look at ghost images, UFO images, Bigfoot video, NASA footage, Manhattan UFO and a remarkable image of a squadron with the ghostly apparition of a their Naval mechanic who had died three days previous to the image being taken. Also shows a 'classic' UFO video taken at Nellis test range footage including an audio snippet of pilots discussing it. Includes Robert Irving, a Fortean Times writer and the landed UFO image he created for an article he'd wrote which was later claimed to be a genuine photograph.

The Phantom Planes Of The Derbyshire Dales

The second half of the episode goes on to discuss, “Phantom Planes” and airs an interview with Tony Ingle. Tony, who when walking his golden retriever saw a (silent) wartime aircraft pass about 50 feet above him, it appeared to be experiencing difficulties and also looked as if it came down in a nearby field, this was in April 1995!!

“It was very eerie...I could see the propellers going round but there was no sound…..It was getting lower and lower and I thought, this thing's going to crash.....It was bizarre...I could see it was banking as if trying to turn, and then it seemed to go down just over a hedge. I ran up the lane to see if I could see anything. I expected a plane to be in the field but there was nothing...just lambs and sheep. Everything was silent, you could hear a pin drop...”

The B-29 Bomber and its distinctive four propellors.

Includes footage of Tony Ingle returning to Aston Lane as he does frequently and his golden retriever (Ben) refusing to go anywhere near the field where they saw the plane and where it appeared to crash.

Phantom Airmen

The show also features rare interview footage with a Mr. Gerald Scarratt, whom originally witnessed the aftermath of the B-29 crash as a Glossop schoolboy in 1948. Gerald returned to the wreck with his son a quarter of a century later and discovered a gold ring engraved with the name of the plane's captain, Langdon P. Tanner. After the discovery was publicised, a group of aircraft enthusiasts asked Scarratt to show them the place where he found the ring, and he agreed to take them up to the crash site on Bleaklow, but when he bent down to show them where he had found the ring and looked up they had ‘scarpered' and were ten or fifteen yards away.

When he caught up with them they were ashen-faced. They said they had seen someone standing behind him, looking down and dressed in full flying uniform. Gerald told them he had seen nothing, but they said: "We've all seen him, thanks for taking us up, but we are going ."

Gerald has never seen or heard from any of them again!!

UK UFO researcher, Dr. David Clarke wrote about these and other incidents for his 1999 book, “Supernatural Peak District” in a chapter titled, “Ghost Fliers”. David has also made this particular chapter available at his website under the, “Supernatural Folklore” section which also includes photographs of the area and of the aeroplane in question.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Possible Explanation For Flintshire UFO?

Firstly, I'll admit that I haven't researched the new(ish) Flintshire UFO story in the slightest and so the following is no more than conjecture and certainly not the 'concrete' evidence that the Flintshire mayor is searching for, but if you'll indulge me.....

After reading several accounts which appeared across the internet I was instantly reminded of an earlier UFO report (with images) that I researched quite a while ago.

Here are some (edited) images of the US UFO report.
images of the US UFO report
3 images cropped and pasted together.

The report originated in the US and was reminiscent of the, “Cigar” like UFOs that are occasionally witnessed and reported, except of course that this particular object although it appeared structured didn't seem to resemble any of the earlier reports which were made regarding the classic cigar UFO.

Here's what I (and others) believed the object to be:
Solar Balloon (UFO?)

Regarding this recent Flintshire UFO report then as I said, I really haven't researched it in any detail whatsoever and subsequently I'm unable to make an informed decision, but…..

If I had to hazard a guess then it would be that the object was a solar balloon which are surprisingly easy to make and also relatively cheap to buy in kits. (Of course it may not have been the XXXXL model!!)

Anyway here are the two main articles from the website of the local newspaper:

Flintshire mayor calls for witnesses after seeing 'pipe-like' UFO.

UFO sightings over North Wales

Flint mayor, Terry Renshaw, is asking if anybody else saw a flying ‘ pipe-like ' object in the sky above Flintshire. Flint 's town mayor is seeking witnesses after spotting a mysterious 'pipe-like' object in the sky. Flint mayor Terry Renshaw was making lunch at his home in Bagillt at about 1.30pm on Saturday, when he noticed a strange pipe-like object flying through the air.

"I thought at first that it was a plane trailing a big streamer behind it, but then I realised it was something else…..It looked like a big, flexible aluminium pipe and it was travelling very fast, with no sound…..I took a picture of it on my camera and carried on watching it for a bit and then it disappeared, behind what I thought was a cloud, but there were no clouds…..I then looked at the picture on my camera but there was nothing there – just a clear blue sky."

However, the sighting is not the first unusual object to be spotted in Flintshire's skies in recent months as during the Christmas and New Year period, dozens of residents reported seeing a series of strange orange lights travelling quickly across the sky. So far, no-one has been able to offer a concrete explanation as to exactly what these objects were and following this latest sighting, Cllr Renshaw is looking for anyone in the area who may have noticed something similar, adding:

"I have contacted the UFO Society to see if it has received any similar reports, but I have not heard anything from them yet…..I would be really interested to know if anyone in Flintshire spotted the same thing."

Did you see the object in the sky? Let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing

Source: Evening Leader Wrexham (Published: 02 Oct 2008)

Flint mayor's UFO sighting verified by other spotters

Flint mayor, Terry Renshaw.

A town mayor's sighting of a mysterious object in the sky has prompted other Flintshire residents to speak out about their own strange experiences. Flint mayor Terry Renshaw claims he spotted a strange 'pipe-like' object travelling silently in the sky above his home, at about 1.30pm on Saturday, September 27.

He contacted the Evening Leader to ask if anyone else in North Wales had seen something similar and as well as attracting interest from an American citizen, who reported seeing the same object near his house in Vermont, Cllr Renshaw's revelations match sightings from two other Flintshire residents.

Gwyneth Davies, of Buckley, said:

"I saw the object Cllr Renshaw saw in the sky at lunchtime that day….."I thought it was an odd shape to be a plane and it was so silent…..It was tubular shaped, and I was going to mention it to my husband, then the phone rang and I came in from the garden…..It was only after reading about his sighting that I remembered about it."

Another reader added:

"Whilst travelling to work Corus on October 5, at about 6.15pm, I looked towards Bagillt and noticed a large, shiny, tube-like object in the clear blue sky, which did not seem to be moving…..As I arrived at work, I mentioned this to other work mates, who looked towards Flint and the object was still visible."

Source: Evening Leader Wrexham (Published: 15 Oct 2008)

If I was looking for explanations then a solar balloon would have to be satisfactorily dismissed before any more ‘exotic’ explanations were considered, especially when reading the above descriptions.

Solar Balloon (UFO?)

Auditory Hallucinations, Psychosis & Subjective Reality

  • Psychosis literally means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality".
  • People suffering from psychosis are said to be psychotic.
  • People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs.

One important and puzzling feature of psychosis is usually an accompanying lack of insight into the unusual, strange, or bizarre nature of the person's experience or behaviour.

(Carpenter, William, Strauss & Bartko - 1973)

Hallucinations are essentially defined as sensory perception in the absence of external stimuli, i.e. perceptions in a conscious and awake state in the absence of external stimuli AND which have qualities of real perception, in that they are vivid, substantial, and located in external objective space.

These definitions distinguish hallucinations from the related phenomena of:

  • Dreaming, which does not involve consciousness;
  • Illusion, which involves distorted or misinterpreted real perception;
  • Imagery, which does not mimic real perception and is under voluntary control;

Hallucinations also differ from "delusional perceptions" in which a correctly sensed and interpreted genuine perception is given some additional and usually bizarre significance. (Hallucinations may occur in any of the five senses and take on almost any form).

Auditory hallucinations

  • Hallucinated voices may talk about, or to the person, and may involve several speakers with distinct personas.
  • Auditory hallucinations tend to be particularly distressing when they are derogatory, commanding or preoccupying.
  • Auditory hallucinations, and in particular the hearing of a voice as well as being a common and often prominent feature of psychosis are additionally thought of as particularly characteristic of people suffering from schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a group of psychotic disorders characterized by disturbances in perception, affect, behaviour and communication lasting longer than 6 months. Symptoms are often described in terms of positive and negative with positive symptoms including delusions, auditory hallucinations, and thought disorder. These are typically regarded as manifestations of psychosis and for obvious reasons it is difficult for a person to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences and even in the case of an acute psychosis people may be completely unaware that their vivid hallucinations and delusions are in any way "unrealistic".

“If you talk to God, you are praying.
If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia…..”

(Psychiatrist & Professor of Psychiatry, Thomas S. Szasz)

Normal subjects also report auditory hallucinations to a surprising extent and many studies have shown that hallucinatory experiences take place worldwide. One study from as early as 1894 in a report on the census of hallucinations (Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research) reported that approximately 10% of the population experienced hallucinations.
  • Bentall and Slade conducted a study in 1985 (Reliability of a scale measuring disposition towards hallucination: a brief report ) and reported that as many as 15.4% of a population of 150 male students were prepared to endorse the statement ‘In the past I have had the experience of hearing a person's voice and then found that no one was there'.

  • Green and McCreery (Apparitions) found that 14% of their 1800 self-selected subjects reported a purely auditory hallucination, and of these nearly half involved the hearing of articulate or inarticulate human speech sounds.

  • Posey and Losch in their 1983 paper, “Imagination, Cognition and Personality” (Auditory hallucinations of hearing voices in 375 normal subjects) estimated that 10% of their population of 375 American college students had had this type of experience and temed it as: “Hearing a comforting or advising voice that is not perceived as being one's own thoughts.”

  • A four year survey of over 13,000 people (Prevalence of hallucinations and their pathological associations in the general population. Psychiatry Research) between 1996-1999 reported a much higher figure, the results which were published in 2000 and revealed that a staggering 39% of people reporting hallucinatory experiences, 27% of which were daytime hallucinations, mostly outside the context of illness or drug use.

Although many people not suffering from a detectable, noticeable or diagnosable mental illness can hear voices as well and there are several support/advocacy organizations and charities geared towards people who hallucinate voices, but do not otherwise show signs of mental illness or impairment. As shown above, research has shown that the majority of people who hear voices are not in need of psychiatric help. There are various explanations for the experience of hearing voices which have been shown to empower voice hearers, enabling them to live with the experience in a positive way and, “The Hearing Voices Movement” was created to support voice hearers, regardless of whether they are considered to have a mental illness or not.

The following was originally posted by Andrea Thompson at 15 September 2006.

Hearing Voices: Some People Like It

For some people, hearing voices in their heads is a positive experience, not a sign of mental illness or cause for distress. Researchers at the University of Manchester are aiming to find out why. Traditionally these auditory hallucinations, as psychologists call them, are associated with mental illness. They can be a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and sometimes depression.

But studies by Dutch researchers that began in the 1990s found that some healthy people also regularly hear voices. The scientists ran a program on Dutch television asking for volunteers who heard voices, and they got a surprising response. Many of the people who contacted them did not find the voices disruptive and had never felt the need to consult mental health services. Some even said they found the experience to be positive or inspirational.

The resulting studies found that more people might hear voices than psychologists had thought, perhaps around 4 percent of the population. Aylish Campbell, a psychologist at the University of Manchester , is hoping to expand on the Dutch study by investigating why peoples' reactions to hearing voices vary so widely. Campbell has just begun looking for study participants in Britain . Campbell and her colleagues suspect the variation could be caused by different life experiences. Childhood traumas, beliefs that other people are untrustworthy or dangerous, and feelings of vulnerability might react with fear to cause people to hear voices.

The experience might be enjoyed by people who have positive outlooks, Campbell thinks anyone can hear voices, particularly when stressed. For example, those who are grieving over the recent loss of a loved one might hear that person's voice.

"We're looking for people who hear voices who have a range of experiences…..It might just be a normal human experience…..People are susceptible to different degrees…..If we can understand a bit more about the factors, we might be able to use that knowledge to help people who do find it distressing," said Campbell.

Campbell hopes that learning what triggers different reactions could help develop new psychological therapies to help people—at least those who don't like the phenomenon—to cope with the voices.

Source: LiveScience – Andrea Thompson (15 September 2006)

Auditory Hallucinations:
A comparison between patients and nonpatients.

Honig A, Romme MA, Ensink BJ, Escher SD, Pennings MH, deVries MW. (Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Academic Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands).

The form and the content of chronic auditory hallucinations were compared in three cohorts, namely patients with schizophrenia, patients with a dissociative disorder, and nonpatient voice-hearers. The form of the hallucinatory experiences was not significantly different between the three groups. The subjects in the nonpatient group, unlike those in the patient groups, perceived their voices as predominantly positive: they were not alarmed or upset by their voices and felt in control of the experience. In most patients, the onset of auditory hallucinations was preceded by either a traumatic event or an event that activated the memory of earlier trauma. The significance of this study is that it presents evidence that the form of the hallucinations experienced by both patient and nonpatient groups is similar, irrespective of diagnosis. Differences between groups were predominantly related to the content, emotional quality, and locus of control of the voices. In this study the disability incurred by hearing voices is associated with (the reactivation of) previous trauma and abuse.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Sources/Further Reading

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Alleged Irish Footage Posted To Internet Is Fake

I was a little surprised to see that Blog posted the following (7th Oct 2008).

The stunning irish triangle ufo video (Tuesday, October 07 2008)

This is the apparent Irish triangle Ufo i recently posted about. The footage was seen at the irish ufo conference and was filmed by senior garda pilot and witnessed by a Fianna Fail (irish) politician. If its a CGi its well done, if anyone knows anymore about the footage please reply to this post.

Unfortunately I can say categorically that this particular video is undoubtedly a fake. I posted the following comment/question that has yet to be answered (as are any comments):

“What information do you have access to that suggests it's the Irish conference footage?

As (unfortunately) if you check the comment posted with the video it says:

“This is a video was on a cheap camera I found when Hiking in the Smokey Mountains . This is all that was on it.”

I assume(d) that the, “Smokey mountains” in question were of the Appalachian variety (rather than Irish)……

Also according to the latest article in the Meath chronicle then there were four triangles visible suggesting it was indeed a collection of point light sources rather than structured objects.

Are you relying solely on the various YouTube comments to establish this is the correct video?”

The above video which was alleged to be the Irish footage and is being perpetuated as such is 100% verifiable man-made competition entry. It was made by someone called Jeff Wilson, the following is an excerpt from the ‘HoaxResearchCenter' website:

Speaking of Strange UFO Experience

Last year's winner, and 3-year champion, Jeff Wilson, created a triangular helium-lifted craft, remote controlled, with multiple stages. He was able to scan the audience with a laser, release smoke to enshroud his creation, and even switch the craft's lighting structure instantly, producing the illusion of a different object.

For more information on the “Speaking of Strange UFO Experience” visit

(1) Recent alleged Irish UFO footage.
(2) Jeff Wilson 2006 man-made UFO in flight.
(3) Jeff Wilson 2006 man-made UFO display.

While the images of the toy UFO created by Jeff Wilson that can be found on their website are certainly similar it's not the exact same one BUT that's because it's the 2006 craft, however if we have a look at some of the footage from the 2007 competition….. (The relevant section is around the 3:30 mark).

As you can see the exact same footage WITH original audio.

For links to video clips of all the other competition footage then please visit L.E.M.U.R. forums here, it also includes 2008 footage in which Jeff only managed 2nd place losing out to what was titled in the subsequent press release as:

" Phoenix Lights" UFO Effect Recreated for $25 at Contest

Second Place went to Jeff Wilson, the 3-year First Place Winner since the events inception, in 2005. Wilson is also the first UFO champion to go on Coast to Coast AM, briefly interviewed along with Joshua P. Warren on August 19, 2008. Jeff's initial plans went awry when there were unexpected problems with his main entry, so he had to compete by entering a secondary craft, far less elaborate than his original. Jeff's unexpected problem was echoed by the new champion, Jim, since Jim's grand finale, a huge balloon with multiple-stage effects, also had to be cancelled at the last minute due to a frame break that could not be easily repaired. This is a great example of the significant technical challenges these talented engineers face, and illustrates the difficulty in faking some of the extreme UFO sightings reported throughout history.

‘It blew everyone away,' said event organizer Joshua P. Warren. ‘This is a valuable piece of data for anyone interested in analyzing UFO imagery. It's a great example of how studying a fake can help us analyze the real thing.'

The above release is available to read at the L.E.M.U.R. forums where it was originally posted on the 6th October (2008).

Irish Conference Footage - Shown Today!! (11-Oct-08)

Video footage of the Triangle UFO will be shown at:
Dublin Paranormal Convention,
(Saturday 11th October 2008 - Clontarf Castle)

The original article posted by the Irish Independent read as follows:

“THE truth is out there -- and if a senior garda, a Fianna Fail politician and a pilot are to be believed, aliens are keeping a close eye on us from above. Dramatic eye-witness testimony was heard at a conference over the weekend which, delegates were told, provided "definitive" proof of recent UFO activity in the skies around north Dublin and Meath. Footage, filmed on a camera phone at 10.35pm on August 3 near Dunboyne was also played and replayed to over 70 delegates who attended the fifth Irish International UFO conference in Carrick-on-Shannon.

The triangular shaped image, with lights at each point, which appeared to send a red laser-type light towards earth, drew gasps of amazement from the 70 or so delegates who attended the world premiere of the footage. A senior garda officer who was driving when he noticed the unusual light formation in the sky stopped to film it.

And some reported quotes by Carl Nally:

"This is what the sceptics are crying out for. What all this footage has in common is that trained observers, honest people, took it. What better could you get than a senior garda, a politician and a pilot…. There is no footage like this in the world. It is the most amazing and spectacular I have ever seen."

As it's not immediately apparent I should point out that:

“THE truth is out there -- and if a senior garda, a Fianna Fail politician and a pilot are to be believed, aliens are keeping a close eye on us from above”

& “What better could you get than a senior garda, a politician and a pilot….”

Is a little misleading as both articles are in fact referencing three individual and otherwise unrelated UFO reports from three entirely different witnesses.

Dunboyne UFOs Solved?

After I first wrote about the Dunboyne UFO -and by quoting from the above article- a message was left on the Blog post by someone named Andrea Mulligan (6 th October 2008). Andrea had held her wedding reception at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel on the 3 rd August 2008, which is the same evening that -also in Dunboyne- the UFO footage was recorded.

Andrea contacted me again and answered several questions I had regarding the lantern release.

Approximately 20 sky lanterns were released; the releases were staggered over 30-45 minutes starting from about 10.30pm. The reason for the varying release times is due to the amount of time taken to light the lanterns and to wait for the hot air to collect in order for them to rise. Andrea also noted that because of this factor then sometimes this was in bunches of three or four and other times it was only possible to release them at five minute intervals. Andrea also said that the movement was consistent and “reasonably smoothly.

I also received confirmation from the events manager at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel

(Melanie Euler) who confirmed that lanterns were indeed released by a wedding party on the 3rd August and that this occurred between 10 & 11pm.

After receiving these swift responses I then emailed Carl Nally, the co-founder of UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland whom had previously been quoted as saying that this particular camera phone footage was:

“The best film of a UFO ever filmed in Ireland and perhaps some of the best footage ever captured worldwide."

I asked if he was aware of this possible identification and had he applied this knowledge when evaluating the footage. Also by now there were two conflicting reports (surprise, surprise) in the media as to what could actually be seen in the footage.

Firstly the Irish Independent said:

“The triangular shaped image, with lights at each point, which appeared to send a red laser-type light towards earth, drew gasps of amazement from the 70 or so delegates who attended the world premiere of the footage.”

And then the Meath Chronicle wrote:

“There were worldwide reports of four triangular UFOs being spotted in the skies over Dunboyne at 10.45pm on 3rd August, the date of Andrea and Lynden's wedding.”

So I asked Carl Nally how many ‘triangles' are visible and did he recall how many lights in total could be seen. I also asked a couple of other simple questions such as do the lights appear the same size, do they move in a discernible direction and could he divulge the approximate locale from where this footage was captured. I realised that the amount of lights had already been posted by Carl in a public rebuttal to Andrea, (see further down for more information on this) and Carl was already quoted as saying: The fourth triangular shaped UFO , turning anti-clockwise before shooting a beam down towards the Earth. It then can be seen flying off following the other UFOs in a northwest direction." But call me old-fashioned if you want but I still like to hear it from the source (as it were).

Unfortunately I've had no reply and so I assume that these are busy times for Carl with the upcoming Paranormal convention at Clontarf Castle, Dublin (where the footage is scheduled for an exclusive public showing) and with, “Interest in the footage from as far afield as Australia with various TV companies in touch looking for the footage to be made available for documentaries ” then I genuinely appreciate that because I've received no reply or acknowledgement it doesn't mean anything other than Carl is a very busy man at the minute.

Anyway, I contacted Carl a couple of days ago now, the following story appeared in the Meath Chronicle just prior to my email:

The Hoax Files: Source of mystery UFOs revealed!

The mystery surrounding the appearance of UFOs in the skies over Dunboyne recently has been solved.

It's all because of a wedding!

'UFOs' spotted over Dunboyne' were among the rather lurid headlines in both national and local papers, while the incident was reported widely on the internet and was the highlight of a recent paranormal convention. The 'UFOs' were filmed by a high-ranking garda (not from Dunboyne) who happened to be in the area and even an excited Carl Nally, co-founder of UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland, described the footage captured on a camera phone as “the best film of a UFO ever filmed in Ireland and perhaps some of the best footage ever captured worldwide.

However, the much publicised and discussed 'UFOs' were actually Chinese sky lanterns released by a local couple as a romantic end to their perfect day! Andrea Mulligan, a daughter of Mabel and Finian Mulligan of Dunderry, Navan, but who now lives in Manchester , married Lyndon James on 3rd August and held their reception in Dunboyne Castle Hotel. However, when planning their special day, they could never have imagined the headlines the romantic finale to the wedding would create. Andrea said:

It is a Chinese tradition to celebrate a special event by making a wish on these lanterns, lighting them and releasing them into the sky…..My husband, our guests and I released them as part of our wedding celebrations. There wasn't an alien in sight! I cannot believe this story is all over the internet!

Andrea, who is a solicitor, and Lynden, who is a detective inspector with the British Police, have never really been interested in UFOs and are both astonished at the reaction to their gesture. There were worldwide reports of four triangular UFOs being spotted in the skies over Dunboyne at 10.45pm on 3rd August, the date of Andrea and Lynden's wedding.

We had a good laugh. It is absolutely gas and I particularly loved reports that alien activity was increasing because of what is happening at Tara,” she added.

Traditionally used in Asian festivals, sky lanterns are said to create an awe-inspiring alternative to a fireworks display and are often used for weddings parties, barbeques and other festivities. Also known as paper or sky lanterns, they are extremely light and can fly in the air for up to 20 minutes and will travel several miles in distance, after which the flame will blow out and they will gently float back down for a safe landing. Sky lanterns can fly to more than 1,000 meters in altitude.

Because of Dunboyne Castle 's proximity to Dublin Airport, Andrea and Lyndon had to get permission from the Irish Aviation Authority and the local Gardai before releasing the sky lanterns.

If all these people were so convinced it was aliens, just a little research with the Irish aviation authorities would have told them what it was,” Andrea said.

(Wednesday, 8th October, 2008/Ann Casey)
The Meath Chronicle

And the wrote:

“Irish UFO tape to be beamed around the world.”

Footage of an alleged UFO, which was filmed in Co Meath by a senior garda two months ago, is to be the main attraction of Ireland 's first Paranormal Convention. The footage, filmed on a camera phone over Dunboyne on 3 August, will be shown to hundreds of UFO enthusiasts expected at the event in Clontarf Castle , Dublin next weekend.

Carl Nally, co-founder of UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland .

"What we have is the best film of a UFO ever filmed in Ireland and perhaps some of the best footage ever captured worldwide….The man involved is a high-ranking garda from Portlaoise. He was on his way back there from Dunboyne on 3 August at about 10.45pm when he spotted four triangular UFOs travelling over his head…..It was such an amazing sight that he jumped out of his car and began filming the objects on his camera phone. What he caught was the fourth triangular shaped UFO , turning anti-clockwise before shooting a beam down towards the Earth. It then can be seen flying off following the other UFOs in a northwest direction."

Two 'stills' of Irish Triangle UFO

But perhaps more interesting were the comments below the article, a couple of which were posted by Andrea herself, one by another guest at the hotel on the 3rd August and one is a reply from Carl Nally:

#4 Andrea Mulligan commented, on October 6, 2008 at 4:42 p.m.:The "UFO footage" is of sky lanterns (Chinese lanterns) released from Dunboyne Castle by my husband and I at our wedding reception there on the evening of 3 August 2008.

#5 Oliver Murray commented, on October 6, 2008 at 5:19 p.m.:
Yes, Ms Mulligan is correct. My wife and I stayed at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel on the nights of 2nd and 3rd August last, and between 10.30pm and 11pm on 3rd August we watched, from the balcony of our room, the wedding party release about a dozen “sky lanterns” from the car park which travelled in a roughly westerly direction. These are Chinese lanterns/hot air balloons, each powered by a candle. While they were neither coloured, nor triangular, I suspect these were the UFOs your correspondent Ken Sweeney is referring to. Sorry if this spoils the fun at the forthcoming UFO convention.

#9 Carl commented, on October 7, 2008 at 9:29 a.m.: I spoke Andrea on the phone who thought her wedding lanterns were the UFO's reported in the article.

Our video footage was taken by a Garda detective (a highly skilled and trained observer) and he is in no doubt about what he saw and videoed on the night of August 3rd at 10:45pm.

1) Twelve bright objects were observed.

2) There is no video footage on The Tribune website, just three small quality stills.

Since she has never viewed the video footage, she could not compare the two experiences.

We at UPRI are not aware of any sky lantern anywhere in the world having the capability to shoot a red laser type beam down to the ground. I personally have a lot of experience with sky lanterns, (we let dozens off every year at our UFO conferences) and the characteristics of the sky lanterns do not resemble the video footage in any shape or form whatsoever.

Carl Nally

#10 Andrea commented, on October 7, 2008 at 9:53 a.m.:
Mmmmm....what are the chances that we let off about 12 sky lanterns over Dunboyne at 10.45pm on 3 August 2008 and, at exactly the same time, on the same date and in the same location, 12 completely separate and unrelated UFOs decided to make an appearance?


A couple of observations……

The time is now established 10:45pm and as Carl actually has the original footage then this should be the most accurate and it also fits with the two timelines suggested by both Andrea and Melanie (Dunboyne Castle Hotel events manager) regarding the release of Chinese lanterns.

12 bright objects were observed” and since the shape is known to be triangular then this would account for the four triangle UFOs that were reported earlier, but still, a little confirmation would be nice.

Instead of stating that Andrea hasn't seen the footage perhaps state why she hasn't viewed (or been shown) the footage?

If Carl is holding ‘definitive proof ' that is not only beyond reproach and the likes of which has never been seen before, but is also the most spectacular and amazing footage that Carl himself has seen then why prolong what must be imminent disclosure (or at least an academic acceptance of the phenomena) any more than necessary? Carl Nally is no stranger to UFOs or paranormal occurrences and has authored books on the subject, so when he waxes lyrical to such an extent as to proclaim what he has done about the footage then it ‘should' carry more weight than that of your average UFO hobbyist.

Additionally, when Carl personally writes statements like:

“We at UPRI are not aware of any sky lantern anywhere in the world having the capability to shoot a red laser type beam down to the ground…..I personally have a lot of experience with sky lanterns, (we let dozens off every year at our UFO conferences) and the characteristics of the sky lanterns do not resemble the video footage in any shape or form whatsoever.”

Then people may be forgiven for not instantly buying into the lantern explanation, and as the old adage goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Hopefully we may be allowed a taste-test before this particular pudding turns stale…..

Monday, 6 October 2008

Irish Conference UFO Footage Claimed To Be Party Balloons

A recent comment left on by someone called Andrea was as follows:

Andrea said...

"The lights seen in the sky above Dunboyne Castle on 3 August 2008 and filmed by a senior Garda were not UFOs. In fact, they were Sky Lanterns released by me, my husband and our wedding guests as part of our wedding celebrations at Dunboyne Castle Hotel that evening. Not an alien in sight!!!

I’ve left word to try and establish contact and at the minute nothing is confirmed ‘per se’ although I am trying to research this further so any help is greatly appreciated.

However, this doesn't account for the ‘light’ that can apparently be witnessed on the video coming towards the earth (according to the Irish Independent).

(Eric Rush of the mailing list recently commented that he had received information indicating that the: “Video footage of the Triangle UFO will be shown at the Dublin Paranormal Convention on Saturday 11th Oct in Clontarf Castle.”)

The comment was left on the original Blog post here (We're not alone - politician and pilot spot UFO)

Further information on UFO Balloons / Chinese Lanterns / Sky Lanterns etc. etc. available here.

Friday, 3 October 2008

IFOs Into UFOs - Chinese Lanterns In Sunderland (Again!!)

UFO Balloons - Chinese LanternsThe Sunderland Echo recently (3rd October 2008) ran a story regarding a UFO report from a few days ago, they reveal the source of the sightings whilst also mentioning that BUFORA (whom I personally thought were practically defunct) have also revealed that Chinese lanterns were the likely cause.

I wrote about these lanterns at the beginning of July foretelling of the misidentifications I believed that they were going to produce over the summer months, now only a couple of months later and the vast majority of UK UFO reports it seems are (eventually) attributed to these Chinese lanterns.

The article I wrote was titled: “IFOs: (LITs) UFO Balloons, Chinese Lanterns & Misidentifications” and can be viewed here.

Regular readers may remember that one of the three UFO reports I referenced to highlight the fact that these Chinese Lanterns/UFO balloons were predominantly reported as UFOs was in fact an earlier 2006 Sunderland report.

Anyway, here's the recent explanation of the September 2008 Sunderland UFO report:

Teen party sparks UFO alert

(Last Updated: 03 October 2008 11:14 AM)

Yasmin and her grandmother Yvonne RenwickAn 18th birthday party sparked a series of apparent UFO sightings across Wearside, it emerged today. Shocked residents told last month how they watched as eerie glowing orbs appeared over Hetton and Easington Lane .

As reported in the Echo, more than a dozen witnesses were left stunned after spotting nine "fireballs" in the night sky. Mum Sharon Johnston captured the orange lights on her mobile phone camera. The 33-year-old, from Hetton, said they appeared to be travelling in formation and were in the air for about 10 minutes before suddenly vanishing from sight. However, the British UFO Research Association later revealed it was likely the lights were Chinese sky lanterns, which are often released into the air at public events and celebrations.

Today it emerged that 30 lanterns were lit at Elemore Golf Club, Hetton, where Yasmin Renwick was marking her 18th birthday.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the article in the paper…..It was a complete shock…..The lanterns were a surprise on the night and it was surprise the next day when I heard how many people had seen them…..It was a great birthday party, though, and I'll never forget it."

Often used as an alternative to fireworks displays, the lanterns – made of paper and bamboo – are known to rise as high as 1,500metres and can travel miles. Yasmin's gran, Yvonne, also from Hetton, helped organise the surprise party with the birthday girl's mum Zoe. She said:

"I was at a wedding about a year ago where I saw about 150 lanterns released into the air. It was so dramatic…..They went down well at the party, but the day after my phone didn't stop ringing. Apparently, people were rushing into their gardens with video cameras…..But we all had a laugh about it afterwards…..It is something to remember Yasmin's birthday by."

Source: Sunderland Echo

When I wrte this Blog post the earlier article by the Sunderland Echo was unavailable online, this has now been rectified so here is the article that preceded the one above.

Light thrown on UFO sightings

(01 October 2008)

UFO researchers today identified the mysterious orange lights spotted floating in the sky over a village.

Shocked residents last week told how they watched in awe as the eerie glowing orbs appeared over Easington Lane . As reported in the Echo, more than a dozen witnesses were left stunned after they saw up to nine "fireballs" on Saturday.

Mum Sharon Johnston captured the orange lights on her mobile phone camera. The 33-year-old, from Hetton, said they appeared to be travelling in formation and were in the air for about 10 minutes before suddenly vanishing from sight. The British UFO Research Association says it was likely the lights were Chinese sky lanterns, which are often released into the air at public events and celebrations. Often used as an alternative to fireworks displays, the lanterns, which are made of paper and bamboo, are known to rise as high as 1,500 metres and can travel miles. They are regularly seen at weekends and mistaken for UFOs.

After viewing the footage, a spokesman for the association said: " I see nothing at all here to suggest anything other than lanterns. The colour, appearance and behaviour of the lights unfortunately fit an all too familiar – and, from our perspective, annoying – pattern."

There have been similar sightings in Bristol, Lincolnshire and Wrexham.

The spokesman added: "It is not the fault of such witnesses that so much time ultimately becomes wasted on these reports as the general public are by and large, and perhaps understandably, unfamiliar with the behavioural traits of these things."

Source: Sunderland Echo