Sunday, June 30, 2013

British UFO Document Release is Really a Coverup, says UFO Abductee Nick Pope

UFO Abductee Nick Pope, formerly of the MoD UFO Desk
On June 20, 2013, news outlets reported that the British Ministry of Defense, which closed down its UFO Sightings desk in 2009, had just released the very last of its UFO files into the public domain.   You can read the files here. One would expect that the well-known UFO proponents, who have been yammering about "UFO disclosure" for years, would be delighted. If so, one would be wrong. Nick Pope is very upset, and so are many others.

Nick Pope is a major UFO celebrity, originally from the U.K. but now living in the U.S. He claims that he was skeptical of UFOs prior to his work at the MoD UFO desk (there never was such a thing as a "UFO Project"), but in fact Pope believes he was abducted by aliens during a trip to Florida in 1991, before he began working for the MoD. The Sunday Times of London reported on February 7, 1999 that
The Ministry of Defence official who once headed investigations into unidentified flying objects believes he was abducted by aliens. Nick Pope, who ran the ministry's top secret Airstaff Secretariat office during the early 1990s, believes that he, his girlfriend and their car were abducted from a deserted toll road in Florida. He has described how he was lifted aboard an alien spacecraft and then wandered around its corridors - without, however, meeting any aliens. 
 The next speaker was Nick Pope, who supposedly ran "the British Government's UFO Project," although in reality he didn't run anything, and worked part-time on the UFO Project from 1991 to 1994. He began his talk on the defensive, emphasizing that he did not actually predict an alien invasion, as many news stories and blogs reported last summer. I was, he said, merely promoting a space war type of video game, and reporters took my comments out of context. I wrote a Blog entry about this last August 22. Comments like, "The government must - and has planned - for the worst-case scenario: alien attack and alien invasion. Space shuttles, lasers and directed-energy weapons are all committed via the Alien Invasion War Plan to defence against any alien ships in orbit." Sorry Nick, that excuse doesn't work, as anyone can tell if they Google "Nick Pope Alien Invasion," which also brings up a story from October 12, 2012, "Britain has alien-war weapons, says former government adviser," and even "Aliens Could Attack at Any Time" from 2006. Stop trying to fool us, Nick, and admit you said these things.
One reason that UFOlogists are upset is that the newly-released UFO files contain nothing whatsoever of any real interest, and are in fact rather embarrassing to the pro-UFO side. As reported by the BBC,
Carl Mantell of the RAF's Air Command, suggested the MoD should try to significantly reduce the UFO work. He said it was "consuming increasing resource, but produces no valuable defence output". He told Mr Ainsworth that in more than 50 years, "no UFO sighting reported to [the MoD] has ever revealed anything to suggest an extra-terrestrial presence or military threat to the UK"... Among the 4,400 pages of documents released are:
  •  A letter from a school child in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to the MoD, dated January 2009, asking if aliens exist after she had seen some strange lights, and including a drawing of an alien in a UFO waving
  • A report received via the UFO hotline by someone who had been "living with an alien" in Carlisle for some time
  • A report from a man from Cardiff who claimed a UFO abducted his dog, and took his car and tent, while he was camping with friends in 2007

Above - one of the UFO documents recently released by the UK MoD. When my name was included on a list prepared by NASA of people who might have information on UFOs (since they did not), I used to receive dozens of letters like this from school children requesting information. I would usually reply with just a page or two of skeptical materials, but I suppose that was not what they wanted to receive.

"Useful idiot" Dr. David Clarke
Dr David Clarke, according to The Telegraph, "has been the National Archives 'UFO consultant' for five year project, during which it has made public more than 52,000 pages of official government files relating to mysterious sightings." Clarke is a former reporter and currently course leader and senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University teaching media law and investigation skills. His Ph.D is in Folklore from the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield.  Since 2008 he has been working with The National Archives (TNA) as their consultant for the ongoing release of the UFO files created by Britain's Ministry of Defence.

Clarke says that 
 from 2000 onwards my FOI campaign made me a thorn in the side of the MoD to the extent that after seven years of constant pressure they relented and decided to transfer all surviving UFO papers to The National Archives. But instead of hailing the disclosure as a breakthrough, conspiracy nuts have portrayed it as a cover-up because the documents do not provide any support for their beliefs.
 A claim by the British Ministry of Defence that UFOs have no defense significance is "designed solely to keep Parliament, the media and the public off our backs," according to former MoD UFO Desk administrator Nick Pope....  Official MoD spokesmen and one self-styled UFO expert, David Clarke, claim that the MoD found no evidence of a UFO threat to the UK and, therefore, closed its UFO Desk....Regarding David Clarke, Pope says, "Some people would probably use the term 'useful idiot' to describe his parroting the MoD 'no defense significance' sound bite."  
Robert Hastings
Robert Hastings, famous for his "UFOs and Nukes" claims, jumped into the fray. Last August I wrote about Hastings' absurd charges about CSI(COP), such as the following:
Highly relevant to this discussion is my research into Sheaffer’s affiliation with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) which was previously named The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). As journalist Terry Hansen has argued in The Missing Times, the historical role of CSICOP (now CSI) strongly suggests it has been performing as an intelligence community “front organization”—pumping anti-UFO propaganda into the media without revealing its true source or motivation.
  Well-known “skeptic” Robert Sheaffer’s performance in Secret History of UFOs, the National Geographic network’s latest debunking-disguised-as-documentary, begs the question: At what point does the systematic presentation of half-truths and outright falsehoods about the UFO phenomenon cross the line from incompetent scholarship to intentional disinformation?

  As I noted in my last article, given the extremely biased and propagandistic treatment of the UFO subject one consistently finds on Nat Geo, it might reasonably be argued that the network has been working behind the scenes with the CIA to debunk the phenomenon. 
Now Hastings is claiming
it appears that what the MoD has been engaging in is the selective declassification of UFO-related files, whereby low-level, generally mundane documents are released with much media fanfare, while very sensitive files continue to be withheld from public view. The practice is commonly called “spin”. The purpose of this propaganda tactic is to alter the actual story of official interest in the UFO phenomenon, so that it appears as if there exists only minimal concern or none at all.
Hastings' primary evidence seems to be tired old, long-refuted claims concerning the UK Rendlesham Forest 'UFO landing' in 1980.

Clarke wrote in 2010 that
Within the next 18 months the Ministry of Defence will complete their disclosure programme of UFO-related documents. But some UFOlogists continue to demand they “come clean on all levels”. They believe there are more secret documents being held back that contain evidence of alien visitations. I can reveal the only documents MoD intends to permanently conceal from the public concern their secret dealings not with aliens, but with a former member of their own staff – Nick Pope.
Clarke had made a Freedom of Information request of the MOD for “copies of MoD papers, records or other information relating to internal discussion, policy and/or briefings in response to public statements made to the media and via the release of Open Skies, Closed Minds by Nick Pope during the period 1995-96.” As Clarke explained to Pope at the time, "my request was specifically for “internal comment on your Press interviews in 1996 and MoD’s discussion of what line to take” and not for access to his private correspondence with his employers over the clearance of his manuscript (with one exception that concerns a specific letter which he had quoted from in the public domain)." Clarke's request was not granted, and it turns out that the reason was that Pope “has written to the MoD and asked for the information not to be released into the public domain.”

So much for "full disclosure!" Probably the reason that Pope opposes the release of such documents is that they undoubtedly would contain more comments like these:
  “…far from accurately representing the Department’s position [on UFOs], he [Nick Pope] has sought to embellish the truth at almost every turn.” (from a document prepared by one of Pope's line managers in 2000-2001, DEFE 24/2019, released into the National Archives in 2011).
"A great pity that a more permanent abduction by aliens cannot be arranged. I'm not surprised that they did not want to keep him." (one of Pope's managers scribbled this comment in a margin of one of the redacted documents released by the MoD and dated  10 October 1995)
End the UFO Coverup, Nick, and release the files!

There is a very interesting 2009 article in Tim Printy's Sun-Lite about Pope by someone calling himself "Col. Arnold Moulder" (but is probably Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick, in the library). It describes Pope's efforts to hide these documents, and gives numerous other examples of Pope playing fast and loose with facts.


  1. Oh dear. I was watching the old British show "UFO" with a secret government cover up (it was pretending to be a film studio), and had to laugh as that seems to be what many UFO believers promote. I once answered a UFO believer in government cover up "Why are you not in prison since you are spreading the truth?". The odd answer was "they leave some of us free, and hope people think we are just crazy". However, there is a good living to be made in promoting a conspiracy theory. Books to be sold, talks to be given. I respect the UFO community that is out there looking for real answers, investigating photographs, videos and interviewing eye witnesses. There is a real difference between those that do respectful work, and those that cling endlessly to conspiracies.

  2. Hi Robert,

    Pope's antics are well-known to many here in the UK, which may be part of the reason he moved to the states. It won't be long before people on your side of the pond realise how shallow and manipulative he is.

    Just a couple of points about your article; you are absolutely correct, there was no UFO project, but you went on to write "although in reality he didn't run anything, and worked part-time on the UFO Project from 1991 to 1994". Also, the way I read the comment in the 10 October 1995 document - I don't think it was strictly discipline related, other than in the sense it was about the contents of his manuscript to ensure that he didn't reveal any sensitive information in it. The remark "I'm not surprised that they did not want to keep him" I read as the aliens didn't want to keep him.

    1. Joe, thanks for your comments. There was a time when somebody like Pope could escape a bad reputation by moving across the pond. But today, with widespread instantaneous communications via the Internet, that trick won't work any more.

      My use of the phrase "UFO Project" is from where I quoted my earlier posting. In the future, I won't be using that phrase. As for the 10 October 1995 document, you are correct - the reference of "they" could be ambiguous. So to give Pope the benefit of the doubt, I took those words out.


  3. Pope's behaviour is somewhat worse, and nastier, than Joe McGonagle suggests by calling it, with best British understatement, "antics". Pope has a history of making unsubstantiated assertions about UK ufologists who have the temerity to question his account of his credentials or to criticize those whom he finds it politically expedient to support. Joe himself has (in so many words) been diagnosed by the infallible Pope as suffering from Asperger's syndrome. According to Pope I was once "furiously" drunk and was [I think I recall this correctly] "laughed out of town" for having claimed (which I didn't) to be an expert on the MoD files of which we speak here. Pope was not in the room when this supposedly occurred, and as I had bought the wine then flowing I can vouch for there being too little of it to have had the alleged effect—and you, Roberto, are a reliable witness to the amount I can consume and yet remain furiously sober. All this for the sin of having dumped on Leslie Kean's worthless book in a review for Fortean Times. Most UK ufologists who are even remotely skeptical have suffered similar treatment. Now Pope sticks his Klebb-like heels into David Clarke, in a response to Robert Hastings' paranoid ravings about the MoD releases that you didn't quote. As follows.

    "To clarify David Clarke's role, he ... got to do a few interviews on
    the subject when each batch of files was released—generally when
    I was unavailable. In relation to the final batch of files he got a few
    more interviews than usual, simply because I now live in America
    and there were limits to what I could do with the UK media."

    Not to put too fine a point on it, this is bullshit, but for Pope perhaps necessary (as in Ex-Lax) bullshit as he has consistently and inaccurately claimed to be the "MoD's 'public face'" during the five-year period over which the files were released. He claims he was the instigator of these releases. He wasn't. Dr Clarke was. And the MoD wasn't remotely interested in seeking Pope's take on the latest release.

    According to the Infallible One, Dr Clarke is:
    "a folklore buff who'sinterested in fairies and goblins and I've been
    told he privately thinks some UFOs and alien abductions may represent
    "some sort of supernatural phenomenon". He keeps this opinion to himself,
    presumably because he's worried people would think he's a nut. So
    he's no sinister debunker—just a slightly odd hobbyist, reading
    out the government press release."

    "Buff" is not quite how you'd usually describe someone with a doctorate in folklore—a subject that encompasses ufology as well as fairies, after all. Pope, I suspect, has been told the stuff about 'abductions' "privately" by none other than himself, gazing fondly into his mirror. No one who knows Dr Clarke (including himself) has previously heard he had this take on 'abductions'. In other words, this is not just bullshit, but barking bullshit, spun by someone who was once rash enough to insinuate he was an abductee and perhaps now fears others make take him for a nut. Finally, in saying Dr Clarke is not "a sinister debunker" (Gosh, phew, thanks Nick), Pope aligns himself with those who think such entities exist. I think this may tell us all we need to know. Not that there isn't more to tell.

    Peter B

    1. My Dear Mendoza,

      I can indeed testify, from first-hand experience, to the copious amount of wine that you can consume. I know it's far more than me. But as to the part about remaining "furiously sober," I cannot say. However, I can testify that you did indeed remain vertical much longer than I would have.

  4. > Regarding David Clarke, Pope says, "Some people would probably use the term 'useful idiot'

    Nick Pope: useless idiot?

  5. Here's the Ministry of Defence response to the child asking if aliens exist:

    Yes, Virginia, UFOs exists. UFOs and aliens exists as certainly as wishful-thinking and delusion and attention-seeking flakes exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life entertainment and mystery. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no UFOs! It would be as dreary as if there were no Stephen Greer's! There would be no UFO conferences, no UFO TV shows, no UFO books to make our existence tolerable. We would have no conspiracy theories, (except from Oliver Stone). The cottage industry of UFOlogy would be extinguished. Not believe in UFOs! You might as well not believe in Santa Clause. You might get your parents to hire the "UFO Hunters" to watch all the Third Phase of the Moon videos to prove alien visitation, but even if Nick Pope's Alien Invasion hasn't happened what would that prove? Nobody really has seen the aliens, (except for that Stan Romo-something guy), but to some that's no sign that there's no aliens. You know what IS real? Money. Cold hard cash. Did you ever see the movie "Sirius"? Of course not, but it probably made a few bucks. Virginia, the truth is out there, but you'll need to buy it.

    1. Hey, I'm in one of those Third Phase of the Moon videos: "UFO Sightings Debunker Claims UFOs Are Not Real! What Do You Think? Watch Now 2013" It's been seen over 11,000 times!

  6. Some questions:

    1. Did Nick Pope have his abduction BEFORE he got the job at the UFO desk of the MOD? If so it ought to have been on his CV (i.e. resume). Was it?

    2. If instead his abduction took place while he was employed at the MOD, presumably he informed his superiors of it so that they could assess his continued suitability for the job. Did he?

    1. Hi Chris
      Both good questions - and you would think there is a public interest argument for the release of this information.
      Unfortunately, Pope himself has gone to extraordinary lengths to ban MoD from the releasing the papers relating to his 'conversion' and abduction experience.
      I requested them under the Freedom of Information Act in 2007 and had to wait 3 years for the request to go to the Information Commissioner.
      The commissioner would have released them with Pope's consent, but Pope wasn't happy and blocked the release, claiming this would be an invasion of his privacy.
      How ironic that an obsessive self-publicist like Pope should use personal privacy to prevent disclosure.
      This is the same Nick Pope who is on record as saying that governments should release all information they hold on UFOs, regardless of whether it is private or public.
      But apparently he is exempt from such disclosure himself.
      What hypocrisy!
      You would have thought the UFO Disclosure brigade, including some of Pope's new-found friends on the North American lecture circuit, would be proclaiming this as yet another example of a government cover-up.
      But not a dicky-bird has been heard from them.
      I wonder why?

    2. According to Pope's 'Tollgate' story (THE UNINVITED p203-216), the event occurred on 3rd January,1991, a few months before he took up his role at Sec(AS). In Autumn, 1995 (about a year after leaving the post), the detail emerged under hypnosis (by Hopkins, I think).

  7. Nick Pope's statements on UFOs and ufologists can be simply explained by the fact that, like a number of other notorious UFO people, he is not a serious, objective researcher, but an entertainer. I have to admit that he is quite good at this, as when lecturing ot debating he can easily cope with both credulous and sceptical audiences.

    John Harney

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. No specific error you can point out, Mr. Smith? Just two minutes of hate and you're done? That satisfies you? Hmm.

  9. Robert, thanks for another interesting read. Do we really know why Pope headed over to the States? Not that it really matters as Pope merely joins an all-too well known line-up of dreamers and schemers.

    So sad that we now have to outsource our own Ufologists as if our own "homegrown" can't seem to cut it anymore. A continuing sign of the times.

    Yet, with that all said, the main premise of your post underscores the fact that regardless of the information released by any government entity, it will NEVER be enough. The JFK document dump some years ago is a good example...there is always an ALPHA, but sorely lacking is the OMEGA concerning the conspiracy crowd.

    Tim H.

    1. @Tim:

      According to Pope, he moved there to live with his (then) new American wife. I feel sorry for her, it would come as no surprise to me at all if she were just a convenient mechanism for Pope to obtain a working visa. As I wrote in comments on Dave Clarke's article:

      "Nick Pope is only out to serve himself, and doesn’t mind whose back he clambers over to do so, or whose efforts he takes and presents as his own. His actual achievements in ufology are so pathetic that he needs to ‘borrow’ other people’s and exaggerate his own. I still don’t understand his current reluctance to discuss his toll-gate experience, he was not so coy in 1995. Maybe he is saving it up for when his ratings slump further, hoping the tale will revitalise his career as an entertainer of the gullible. In the meantime, he seems to be riding on the back of Peniston, Burroughs, et al. I am surprised any of those had time for him, given his track record on veracity, but then again, maybe there is another page in the magic binary, auto-updating notebook which told them to go to him…."

    2. > it would come as no surprise to me at all if she were just a convenient mechanism for Pope to obtain a working visa.

      Please, sir, that is going too far. Just because we don't respect Pope professionally, it does not mean we're allowed to invent unnecessarily hurtful information about his family.

    3. Leaving Pope's wife aside, I think that Joe provides a good point concerning why Pope would come here to the States. If Pope's credibility is indeed damaged (to what extent?), then it is reasonable to assume that there is a greater market clamoring for his point of view.

      That Pope would "hitch his wagon" to Hastings shows poor judgement on his part (desperation?). Yet the same could be said of Hastings poor judgement collaborating with Pope.

      Both individuals thought content/process stand on rickety three legged stools, yet there are enough followers to catch both when they fall.

    4. "Do we really know why Pope headed over to the States? ... Pope merely joins an all-too well known line-up of dreamers and schemers."

      I would have joked, "To be closer to George Noory," but Pope makes no secret of why he's here: entertainment business opportunities.

  10. Nick Pope has just posted this to UFO Digest:

    And he says - just the same confused stuff. There both is, and isn't, a conspiracy to hide documents.

    1. And the irrepressible Billy Cox has just come up with this:

      Those too short of time to run the link may be amused by Cox's attack-chihuahua savaging of David Clarke's heels, yapping that he doesn't address sundry celebrated UFO cases that, er, didn't occur anywhere near where the MoD's remit runs, such as those tired old Belgium triangles of 1990/1-odd, and so on. ["Attack chihuahua" © R. Sheaffer]

      The heart of the lettuce, though, is this, from Pope:

      “The only documents that I requested the MoD withhold are ones relating to my work as a freelance journalist, broadcaster and PR consultant. ... I took the view — and the MoD agreed — that documents relating to my business activities were private and should certainly not be passed to some of the more unpleasant characters who lurk on the fringes of ufology.”

      Neat piece of spin, Nick. Not quite what happened, as I understand it, and I don't think the MoD would care one way or other about the pleasantness of UK ufologists (Pope apart, judging from the marginal notes!), especially when one of them was handling the release of their files via the National Archives. Pope also says:

      "Clarke is one of a small group of UK ufologists who are absolutely obsessed with me, in view of my government work on UFOs. This bizarre groups of oddballs — which includes a deeply unpleasant individual who runs an anti-Semitic blog — have submitted multiple FOI requests to MoD about me and poison the blogosphere with incessant hate-filled rantings about my government work..."

      No, Nick, we're not obsessed. We'd just like you to be straight with the rest of us for a change. Oddballs? Probably. So? The blog in question isn't antisemitic, merely severely mistaken, as I (confirmed Zionist) have pointed out equally severely to the blogster: but that's got nothing to do with said blogster's ufological wherewithal. As for hate-filled rantings—yeah, yeah. Everyone I know (including me) who's met Pope seems to agree he's an amiable, affable and polite fellow; one went so far as to sleep with him for a while, so I have to suppose he can't be all bad, even if he does get a bit wobbly after the second bottle of Bollinger. One more time: We'd just like you to be straight with the rest of us for a change. So let's have some hate-filled quotes? No, thought not.

      Pope also remarks: " I'm the 'public face' of MoD's UFO project, ufologists tend to blame me for just about everything!" More fine spin... No longer the public face of the release of MoD files (guffaw), but of the "Mod's UFO project", which as it happens never did exist except in the febrile imagination of, um, Nick Pope. More guffaw.

      Readers may take this also as a response to John Harney, whose take on Pope as entertainer is not exactly inaccurate. But even satirists stay within the boundaries of the plausible. Pope creates and promotes an alternative universe, some of which is very unfunny indeed, but whose centre remains, immovably, himself. Still, this episode has made it pretty clear where he stands. Or spins.

      Peter B

  11. Robert,

    I am not at all clear on what you are claiming about Nick Pope. Clearly you know my position as you have quoted my own words in a previous posting of yours, but I would appreciate it if you would just say what you mean. Do you disagree with my own view - that he is nothing more than a paid 'face' who will do any UFO pr work for a buck - or not?

  12. As to Robert Hastings; 100% genuine. Is he not doing a public service by revealing to us that our elders from space have stepped in and saved us from nuclear war?

    UFO Prevent Nuclear Shots?
    Read all about it at:

  13. Did I get this write in Cox's missive. Pope denies being abducted or ever seeing a UFO. I thought he claimed this did occur in the book or someplace else? I never read the book since I felt it would be a waste of time/money. Can anybody provide a direct quote where he stated he saw a UFO or was abducted?

    1. February 7, 1999
      Sunday Times of London
      UFO hunter at MoD 'kidnapped by aliens'


      THE Ministry of Defence official who once headed investigations into unidentified flying objects believes he was abducted by aliens. Nick Pope, who ran the ministry's top secret Airstaff Secretariat office during the early 1990s, believes that he, his girlfriend and their car were abducted from a deserted toll road in Florida.

      He has described how he was lifted aboard an alien spacecraft and then wandered around its corridors - without, however, meeting any aliens.

      It was following this incident that he applied for the job heading the defence ministry department which collects all reported sightings of UFOs and related phenomena. He did not, however, enter details of his experience on the files since he was uncertain exactly what had happened to him and because he was worried he would be labelled a crank.

      He has alluded to the incident in his bestselling book The Uninvited, which claimed to expose the phenomenon of alien abductions. But only now has it emerged that one of the detailed descriptions of the several abductions was based on his own experience rather than on that of someone called Peter.

      This weekend, Pope refused to confirm or deny the claim that he was the "Peter" in the book. He said he was unable to speak because he had since broken up with his girlfriend and did not want to involve her.

    2. I should have noted: I think the last paragraph quoted is the clincher. Perhaps Peter is just an ex-boyfriend of Pope's ex-girlfriend and she is the source, but in that case Pope could have just said, "No, I'm not Peter."

      (BTW, this is the same article Robert quoted at the top of the post.)

  14. @Terry:
    Jenny Randles was asked to assess Pope's manuscript when it was sent to a publisher, and in the manuscript, the Peter and Jenny toll-gate story clearly identified Pope as the experiencer. Jane Goldman's book "The X-Files Book of the Unexplained" (Simon & Schuster 1995) includes the following from an interview with Pope: “…while Mulder’s desire is not just the truth, but also a resolution to the mystery of his sister’s disappearance, Nick Pope’s purpose is surely more straightforward. Or is it? ‘You could say that, like Fox Mulder, my interest is not purely an academic one and I’m driven by some personal motivations. My primary motivation is the intellectual belief that there is a genuine unknown phenomenon, and my belief in the people’s right to know, but a part of my motivation is a desire to explain some anomalous events in my own past.’…He is reluctant to go into detail but offers: ‘The very furthest I would want to go is to say that there are some events in my past which some people in the UFO lobby would say are some of the factors that are present in cases of abduction. But I want to stay on the fence until I know what happened to me.”

    At the "Alien Autopsy" premier in London, Pope told a group of ufologists quite openly about his experience.

    There is no doubt or confusion about this other than that that created by Pope himself. He even accused Jenny of a breach of confidentiality, for having mentioned her recollection of the story when the book was published. She hadn't read the published version and knowing of Pope's intention at the time she saw the manuscript to publish the details, saw no cause to conceal it.

  15. "The very furthest I would want to go is to say that there are some events in my past which some people in the UFO lobby would say are some of the factors that are present in cases of abduction. But I want to stay on the fence until I know what happened to me.”

    Marvellous phraseology isn't it?

    Pope cannot, or will not, say what really happened to him, so he does what so many do, clouds it all in obfuscatory language (reminiscent of what politicians do when questioned over certain matters of policy). I predict he will be on that fence for a very, very long time, most likely forever.

    And I presume this event, whatever it was, was not on his CV when he got his MoD job.

  16. I see a lot of "hints" but no real direct statement of "I was abducted" or "A UFO appeared above my car". I agree, he basically states this happen but he appears to left himself an "out" to some extent, where he can change his story as he sees fit to cater to whoever he is speaking to. In a UFO forum, he will state that he had "experiences", while in a more conservative setting, he can say that he never claimed to have seen a UFO. Either he is a coward not to say what he believes or he is a dishonest individual more interested in deceiving people for his own benefit than pursuing the truth (as he claims).

  17. Re: Pope's 'abduction': Here's a first-person account from Chris Fowler, who was present at the premiere of the hoax Alien Autopsy film in London, May 1995, mentioned by Joe. Present during the conversation described were, among others, the late Reg Presley (bass player with The Troggs), John Holman, Kent Jeffery and Colin Andrews:
    "....While we were all talking, Nick [Pope] came out with something that I found pretty weird, at least coming from him that is. He told us all that a few years ago, before he got the job at Air Staff 2a, he was on holiday with his girlfriend at the time in Florida and had what he described as a ‘missing road’ experience. He said that they were on a toll road and all of a sudden realised that they hadn’t passed the toll both they would have definitely gone through. When he told us this he didn’t even say anything like “listen, off the record, something weird happened once whilst I was on holiday in Florida....”. We were pretty amazed, especially when he also told us that he’d written a book on UFOs that was going to be published. Doing this would go on to make him one of the most well known faces of British Ufology."
    To claim - as Pope does - that Jenny, by mentioning the fact that this story appeared in the first draft of Open Skies, was 'in breach of confidentiality' is just another example of the slippery character he is.

  18. I'm assuming that Pope will get more air time on Coast to Coast. Let's hope that he is more "entertaining" than poor John Lash who was on the air last night! It appears that the New Agers that propagated the Mayan BS are attempting to harvest yet another crop for mass consumption.

    Pope should fit in quite nicely...

  19. There's yet another blog post pitching Clarke against Pope at:
    (Huffington Post)

    I tried posting a comment there, but it exceed the word count limit, so it is posted in 3 parts (in the reverse order).

  20. Now, Nick Pope has this email exchange with Andre Skondras (which Pope gave permission to share). Clearly, Pope is taking a great deal of heat over this controversy.


    Op 05 Jul 2013, om 09:24 heeft Nick Pope het volgende geschreven:


    A couple of factual corrections to Billy Cox's article:

    1. Dave Clarke is most certainly not a professor. He's what Americans would call a lecturer at a Community College (UK "polytechnics" like the one where he teaches won the right to call themselves universities many years ago).

    2. Clarke was one of literally hundreds of people making FOI requests to the MoD about UFOs in the run-up to the decision to release the files. Writing in 2006, Under Secretary of State for Defense Tom Watson said:

    “There is a real and enduring interest in Unidentified Flying Objects. By far the most popular topic of FOI requests has been UFOs, followed by recruitment enquiries, enquiries from staff, and historical events such as World War Two, the Falklands conflict and the Balkans. Recent freedom of information releases on UFOs have attracted media interest from as far away as Japan.”

    This is what led the MoD to decide to transfer its UFO files to the National Archives and if Clarke is claiming the credit for this, he's either being dishonest or incredibly naïve.

    Best wishes,

    Nick Pope

    Message Received: Jul 05 2013, 06:02 PM
    From: "André Skondras"
    To: "Nick Pope"
    Subject: Re: Dr. Clarke, I Neither Confirm Nor Deny!

    Hi Nick:

    Thanks for your additional comments. However, I heard from a source that the number one category of FOIA request was actually personnel records requests.

    I suppose the info you provided can't be share with other interested parties?

    Kind regards.



    The quote about the number of FOI requests on UFOs came from the Under Secretary of State for Defence, who is certainly a better source on this issue than any ufologist:

    I'm happy for you to share my comments with interested parties. I don't normally have time to read (let alone respond to) what ufologists write about me in the blogosphere, but given that I worked on MoD's UFO project, wrote many of the files that have recently been released and have been involved in release program, people look to me to correct any dishonest or mistaken claims that are being made on the subject. It's pretty insulting to the hundreds of other members of the public, journalists and ufologists who lobbied MoD on this issue and made FOI requests, if one ufologist tries to take credit for MoD releasing its UFO files!

    Further details about the background to the MoD UFO file release program can be found here:

    Best wishes,

    Nick Pope

    1. "Further details can be found here" (provides URLs directed back to his own website). It doesn't get more informative than that.

  21. Bob,
    Nick Pope's description of Sheffield Hallam University as a 'community college' will be news to the 33,000 students and 4,000 staff who work at what is actually the third largest university in the UK!
    As far as I'm aware I have never described myself as a 'professor'. But I do have a doctorate and 20 years experience as an investigative journalist.
    Pope, in contrast, flunked his law degree and used his family connections in the MoD (his father was senior scientist there_ to get him himself a job.
    Perhaps that might explain his continued attempts to belittle both my experience and qualifications by side-stepping his own shortcomings.
    I think Andre Skondras should check out the content of the UFO files themselves. If he did he might find this summmary, written by a senior Ministry of Defence official in 2006, that pretty much summarises what his own employers thought about him:
    “…Mr Pope left Sec(AS) in 1994 and his knowledge of this issue, other than from publicly available sources, must be regarded as dated. Mr Pope elected to describe his position as the ‘Head of the MoD’s UFO Project’, a term entirely of his own invention, and he has used his experience and information he gathered (frequently by going beyond the official remit of his position) to develop a parallel career as a pundit on the topic, including writing several books, some purportedly non-fiction. Mr Pope constantly puts himself forward in various parts of the media, solicited and unsolicited, as an ‘expert’ (despite his lack of recent knowledge about the work carried on in the branch concerned) and seeks credit amongst other aficionados for having ‘forced’ MoD to reveal its ‘secret’ files on the subject. The latter is far from the truth, as we had begun publishing details of the most ‘popular’ reports in the Publication scheme, prior to the advent of the Freedom of Information Act. Mr Pope’s activities have nevertheless resulted in the generation of considerable workload for the stuff currently employed in responding to questions on this topic.” [DEFE 24/2092/1]

    I think that says it all. Pope is feeling the heat and rightly so. He has constructed a legend about himself that is patently false. Wake up people!

    1. I don't think it was designed to be a parallel career- more like THE career.

      Oh, sorry, I meant to say there are aspects of Pope's employment which could be construed as having certain elements in common with what could be considered a possible interest in a projected future involvement in the UFO field, which Pope may or may not have had designs on, possibly.

  22. Here's another comment from the files (DEFE 24/2019/1) dated 2000 and written by a senior MoD official commenting upon an interview given by Pope about his work on the non-existent 'UFO project':
    “…far from accurately representing the Department’s position [on UFOs], he [Nick Pope] has sought to embellish the truth at almost every turn.”
    Embellish the truth?
    So he was embellishing the truth in 2000 - supposedly working for MoD but running a parallel career as a UFO pundit in his spare time - all payed for by the taxpayer!
    He left in 2006 and continues to embellish the truth today.
    Why else would he write to MoD and demand they with-hold paperwork concerning his 'private business' working up a career in the UFO industry?
    No wonder he wants to distract attention from his attempt to suppress these papers by attacking me personally.
    Bottom line is Nick Pope has absolutely nothing useful to say about the content of the MoD UFO files.
    But desperate to keep himself written into the story, he attacks me and works up a completely manufactured story to ensure people keep talking about him.
    Well this strategy appears to have blown up in his face and even some of his sycophants appear to have recognised the fact that he has harmed what little credibility he had left.

  23. Robert, they've got you, so 'fess up. Your disinformation campaign is the only thing now standing in the way of the truth.

    If not for the CSI, we'd be drinking coffee with aliens at Starbucks instead of forcing them to go incognito. You've seen pictures of these poor unfortunates from other worlds at a site devoted to pictures of people of a major retailer. It's tragic.

    National Geographic and the CIA. I love it. Someone tell me that this guy Hastings (any relation to Poirot's aide-de-camp?) doesn't really believe this stuff. He's like a pro wrestler, participating in a consensual fantasy for entertainment right?

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.


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