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Room 101


Nick Redfern :: A Room 101 Interview

In what we hope will become first in a series of special text interviews with noteworthy esoteric researchers, this fortnight in Richard's Room, I am interviewing none other than esoteric superstar Nick Redfern. Now, of course, he's a big name but there are lots of big names in esoterica, so you may be wondering "Why Nick Redfern first?"

Well, quite simply, the series of events that led to my joining BoA are intrinsically tied to Nick Redfern. It all began two years ago when I sent Tim Binnall an email that asked if he could possibly ask a future BoA:Audio guest about the 1974 Berwyn Mountain incident or "Welsh Roswell."

A few months later, he asked British Ufologist and author Nick Redfern about the Berwyn case while attending the UFO Crash Retrieval Conference IV. Then, about a year later, Tim had another chance to interview Nick and this time, on my behalf, he asked him about the Alien Big Cats phenomenon in the UK and related an ABC sighting my younger sister actually had here in Wales. The episode also saw me being brought further into the BoA fold, with Tim coining me the "BoA UK Correspondent."

So, when Tim suggested the idea of doing a series of text interviews for Room 101, Nick Redfern seemed like the natural first choice. Nick, of course, is a highly successful author from the UK who has written several books on UFOs and other esoteric subjects. In such a US-centric field, his decorated writing career has been a huge source of inspiration to someone, from the same side of "the pond," who hopes to become an esoteric author himself someday. At last a chance to interview the man myself ...

Richard: First things first. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I really really appreciate it and I'm sure the BoA readers will too.

One of the first UFO books I ever read was Cosmic Crashes, a book you wrote detailing cases of alleged UFO crashes in the UK. One of the most interesting crash stories investigated in the book is that of a supposed UFO crash somewhere in the UK during WWII. The possible link to the JFK assassination was interesting. What do you think the truth of the matter could be?

Nick Redfern: There have been rumours for many years of an alleged UFO crash - or Foo Fighter crash - in Britain at some point during the Second World War. Unfortunately, the details are very brief and no-one has really been able to pinpoint with any real accuracy what exactly happened, where and when. However, there are stories of elements of the Brtitish Government and military supposedly examing such a device - and crew - at some point prior to 1955. The weird thing is that details of this story turn up in a controversial "leaked" document that has ties to the JFK assassination. And as bizarre as it may sound, there are many threads that link UFOs and the JFK assassination, which leads some people to suspect there is a direct connection. Needless to say, it's a highly controversial area, but it's one on which every so often a new bit of data will surface.

Richard: Perhaps the most interesting case discussed in the book though is that of the 1974 Berwyn Mountain incident or Welsh Roswell. The bit in the book about the alleged transport of dead alien bodies recovered from the crash site was particularly interesting. What do you think might have happened there? Do you think it was a genuine UFO (whatever they may be), the misinterpretation of natural phenomena, some kind of black project or perhaps something else?

Nick Redfern: The Berwyn Mountains crash-story of 1974 is one of the strangest and most enduring cases I've looked into. It's one of those that never goes away, even when down-to-earth explanations have beenoffered. Back in the mid-90s, I was of the opinion that a UFO had come down, then I changed my mind after reading the research of Andy Roberts. However, I still get accounts now and again from locals and retired military people (all specifically from RAF Valley, interestingly enough) of knowledge of bodies recovered and taken to Porton Down, Wiltshire. So, I'll be the first to admit that, today, it's one that continues to puzzle me. On the one hand, I am convinced that Andy has solved massive parts of the story. But, on the other hand, it's difficult to dismiss the testimony of the military people who have accounts to relate, and nothing to gain by spreading a false story. I think, though, that we have not heard the last of the case by any means!

Richard: In Cosmic Crashes, you also hypothesize about the existence of an MJ-12-like group operating in the UK, what you call MJ-UK. Do you still think there could be such a covert group and what about the alleged UFO ties with RAF Rudloe Manor?

Nick Redfern: The whole Rudloe-UFO saga has been a puzzle in itself. There's no doubt that the RAF's Provost & Security Services (who were based at Rudloe for two decades) have played a role in official UFO investigations. There are even a few declassified files available at the National Archive, Kew. But the big question is the extent, or otherwise, of those investigations. Some researchers have suggested - and particularly Matthew Williams in the mid-to-late 90s - that Rudloe's role went far beyond that officially admitted by the MoD. Others merely see it as a minor aspect of official UFO investigations that got blown up out of proportion by the UFO research community. As with the Berwyn case, I still get accounts now and again from people talking about how, at one point at least, Rudloe was involved at a far deeper level. But I will concede that actually proving this has not happened yet.

Richard: In Body Snatchers in the Desert, you make a fair case that the famous Roswell incident might be explained by classified military experiments carried out after WWII. In light of this, what do you think about the work of Nick Cook (author of The Hunt for Zero Point) who suggests that many UFOs can probably be explained by US military black projects, perhaps even anti-gravity aircraft?

Nick Redfern: There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that the UFO issue has indeed been utilised - and very successfully too - as a cover for classified military activity, such as the test-flying of prototype aircraft, etc. In "Body Snatchers" I reference a number of cases aside from Roswell that might be classic examples of fabricated UFO stories to hide something more down to earth. I definitely think Cook's work is valid and that he has uncovered some genuine material on very radical aircraft and that gravity manipulation and control is linked to that. Around the time of Roswell, however, I think it was more to do with radical designs, rather than super-advanced technology.

Richard: The recent helicopter UFO incident in Wales happened near RAF St Athan, a military base outside Cardiff. Do you think there could be some kind of military explanation for this or any of the other recent sightings we've had in the UK?

Nick Redfern: Well, the Welsh one is interesting, but I think on examination many of the others were simply Chinese Lanterns. That's not me being a sceptic. Rather, while I believe there is indeed a genuine unsolved UFO presence among us, the fact is that most cases can be explained. And I put much of the recent UK wave in the second category.

Richard: Maybe some of the many alleged UFO crashes since WWII can be explained by the Pentagon's billion dollar black budget, but what about pre-war cases, in particular the 1908 Tunguska Event in Russia? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Nick Redfern: As Tunguska is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, it's definitely back in the news with new books, magazine articles etc. There are some odd aspects to the story, such as reports of the "object" changing direction in flight, etc. I keep an open mind on the event, but I suspect that given its age, we'll probably never really know now.

Richard: In the 1977 spoof documentary Alternative 3 it is suggested that there is a secret space program. More recently, "UFO hacker" Gary McKinnon has claimed he saw evidence of what might be part of such a program while hacking into NASA and US military computer networks. In particular, McKinnon said he found a list of officers' names under the mysterious heading "Non-Terrestrial Officers," as well as a list of "fleet-to-fleet transfers" and ship names. What do you think of this? Any thoughts on the possibility of a secret space program?

Nick Redfern: "Non-Terrestrial Officers" is of course a provocative term that conjures up all sorts of imagery. I think, however, that like much of Ufology, we have a few fragments of a story with what McKinnon found. But what the term might mean is very much down to personal interpretation.

Richard: Whats the scariest thing that has ever happened to you during your investigations?

Nick Redfern: I wouldn't say I've ever got scared on an investigation. I think on-site investigations can be very intriguing, sometimes adventurous and sometimes adrenalin-pumping. But I view it from a positive angle and one to be intrigued and excited by rather than a fear-driven, scared angle, which is more negative-driven.

Richard: Have you got any good advice for a young aspiring writer with an interest in UFOs and the paranormal?

Nick Redfern: Be enthusiastic about what you do, whether it's writing books, articles, lecturing, or doing research and investigations. There's nothing worse than seeing someone in the subject who has lost their spark and their zest for what they do. Also, don't worry about people's opinions. Do what you want because you want to do it; and don't be force-fed the opinions of others. And try not to be driven by belief systems. At some point, we're all guilty of that to varying degrees; however, wherever and whenever possible, just go where the facts take you. And if the facts go where you want them to go, that's great. But if they take you down a different path to the one you were expecting, then that's how it goes. And avoiding preconceived belief-systems is the best way to deal with investigations, in my opinion.

Richard: Thanks again and all the best, I look forward to your future books and articles.

Richard Thomas, BoA UK Correspondent and Columnist.

Contact Richard :: boxstacker(at)aol.com

Richard Thomas is also a columnist for Alien Worlds magazine. Check it out !

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