Friday, April 28, 2006


May Magonia Readers' Meeting

For any of you who are visiting or live in the London area (and are over 18 years old), this is a reminder that our informal May Readers' Meeting will be held on Sunday 7th, from about 7.15 p.m. at the Railway, Putney, opposite Putney station and about 10 minutes' walk from East Putney station. Drinks on sale include a selection of real ales, and meals and snacks are available, all at reasonable prices. To find our table just look for The Pelican.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Ufology as Modern Folklore

I am attempting to write an article for the next issue of Magonia Supplement on the general theme that the whole UFOs and ufology business is nothing more than a modern myth, which is best studied by folklorists, psychologists and sociologists, rather than astronomers, physicists (nuclear or otherwise!), and self-styled "Serious Ufologists", most of whom are self-deluded buffoons.

The general idea is to dispel the lies, delusions and paranoid fantasies, by such methods as pointing out that reports of apparent "true UFOs" never stand up to critical examination. Your comments on this theme are welcome (but remember that comments are moderated).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Roger Sandell Memorial Essay Competition

Magonia is marking the 10th anniversary of the death of our friend and colleague Roger Sandell with an essay competition. You have a choice of two topics - Conspiracy Theories, and Make Ufology History.

The winner will receive a prize of £100 (or equivalent) and there is no entrance fee. The closing date for receipt of entries is 1 June 2006. If you are interested you will find further details here.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Alien Autopsy

UFO Updates has stopped discussion of this fake film, which is very unsporting of them.

I remember at the Fortean Times Unconvention in 1997 that most of the people in the audience were very sceptical of the footage. Philip Mantle worked hard to promote the film and to present it to the 'UFO Community' now (in The Sunday Times, April 16)he says he's pleased that it has been revealed to be a hoax.

Meanwhile, Santilli admits the film was faked to reproduce the genuine film that got destroyed.

Both Mantel and Santilli want their cake and eat it. For us cynics can it be more than a coincidence that these 'revelations' are being made as the Ant and Dec, Alien Autopsy movie is put on general release in Britain.

Psst, anyone want to buy my genuine pictures of an honest ufologist.

Friday, April 14, 2006



Like some famous American politicians my entry on the Wikipedia website has been corrupted. It starts off fine then this paragraph has been inserted:

'For many years Nigel Watson lived as an animal roaming the moors of England attempting to recreate in his mind what it must have been like to be one of the "Hounds(s) of the Baskervilles" as set forth by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He felt that if he were to live an experience that Sherlock Holmes was familiar with he would gain greater insight into logical reasoning. For more than three years he lived in the moors and highlands raoming them naked and living off only that which the moors gave him to eat. He caused a minor stir in 2003 when a Catholic Nun saw him and was convinced that she had seen "Bigfoot," which is understandable as Nigel Watson is notable for an excess amount of body hair.'

This is obviously untrue because I don't have much body hair and the Nun knows nothing, honest!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Sci-Fi London Festival

The UK’s only dedicated SF and Fantastic film festival,runs from 26 to 30 April 2006

The festival takes place at the new APOLLO WEST END cinema in Lower Regent Street, central London. Besides having a range of films that cover alternative histories and 'posthuman' androids one film is of specific interest to us. Here's what their enthusiatic press release says about it:

FIRST ON THE MOON (Perviyje na lune) (Russia 2005, Dir: Aleksey Fedorchenko, 75mins Colour & b/w)

A wonderful “alternative history” told with style, this "mockumentary" mixes facts and fantasy, vintage footage, and fake footage to show the successes and failures, the injustices and contradictions in Stalinist Russia, using the space program as the basis.

The film begins in the spring of 1938, in the mountains of northern Chile, where a flying object fell, in flames. Investigation by a film crew uncovers a secret space program developed in the Soviet Union before World War II. Scientists and military authorities, the film would have you believe, had developed a spaceship 23 years before Yuri Gagarin ever went to space.

The perfect timing of each scene, the meticulous attention to detail, the amazing amateur cast (none of the actors have appeared in a film before) the deadpan voice-over, the humour, and even the surprisingly moving tragic scenes - if you know anything at all about Russia, there's everything to guarantee that you'll love this film.


Is it really a piece of fiction, or part of the on-going propoganda programme to get us used to the concept of alien contact and reverse-technology? Que X-Files music and run credits...

Details of the event can be found at:

Sunday, April 09, 2006



Today's Sunday Telegraph carries an interesting report about the sort of people we are all too familiar with in ufology - those who tell lies about their military service. The people mentioned in the reports are not ufologists so it perhaps took a little longer to unmask them, as their stories - unlike those of some of those who claim to know about UFO crashes, etc. - had a certain plausibility.

One of these people was Lisa Jane Phillips, a prize-winning university student at Meredith College who was also a US Air Force pilot, with the rank of captain, who flew over to Afghanistan or Iraq at weekends. Her college was so impressed that it waived tuition fees of $42,178 and invited her into tutorials to talk to other students about "what it's really like over there".

This went on for over three years until Frank Strickland, "Meredith's on-campus police chief", finally became suspicious. As a veteran of Vietnam, he found her stories of weekend sorties to the Middle East "a little far fetched". He finally became really incredulous when he noticed that "one of the many medals on Phillips's chest was awarded to those who had seen action in the Second World War", which was a bit odd for someone aged 34. When interviewed by the FBI, Phillips admitted that she had never served in the American armed forces.

Now Congressman John Salazar of Colorado has introduced a bill to increase the penalties for practising such deceptions.

At least those mentioned in this report admitted their guilt when they were found out, unlike certain ufologists and persons claiming knowledge of UFO secrets who insist that their military records must have been destroyed or tampered with as part of an evil government conspiracy. It is apparently not uncommon for people to lie about their military service and it is even more common for them to lie about their professional and academic qualifications.

Some of these dishonest folk are rather crafty, though. They never lie about anything that can be independently verified, so you can't easily catch them out, even though some of their claims seem just a teeny bit implausible. Does that remind you of certain prominent ufologists?

Friday, April 07, 2006


UFO "Documentaries" and "Serious Ufologists"

The "Serious Ufologists" are at it again on UFO UpDates, complaining about being made to look like fools in TV "documentaries". Of course, it might help if they refrained from their inane speculations about government secrecy and ET spacecraft, and publishing such stuff on websites and in UFO journals, and at those crazy conferences.

Surely they realise that so-called documentaries about UFOs or other "fringe" topics are produced in order to provide popular entertainment, rather than setting out the facts? Anyway, on those few occasions when serious documentaries are produced, they are met with a barrage of protests by ETH believers among ufologists and the general public. This is what happened when a BBC radio programme set out the findings of David Clarke and Andy Roberts concerning Rendlesham and the Berwyn Mountain cases. The Berwyn case was explained to the general satisfaction of most sane people, but few such people are much interested in UFO stories. The reaction of listeners was somewhat unfavourable because they hadn't been told what they wanted to hear.

So, let the "Serious Ufologists" produce their own documentaries, record them on DVDs, or make them available for downloading, at reasonable prices. However, if they can't get together convincing evidence for the reality (i.e. the ETH explanation) of UFOs, then they can't reasonably expect the producers of TV documentaries to do so.

Monday, April 03, 2006


April Readers' Meeting

We had forgotten that the first Sunday in April this year was Boat Race day until it was too late to change the date of our Magonia Readers' Meeting. The Railway in Putney was somewhat overcrowded. In our picture, Magonia editor John Rimmer poses with our mascot, The Pelican.

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