Starting out with a few words from Stephen Bassett
Talks about the upcoming Citizen’s Hearing on Disclosure http://www.citizenhearing.org
News with Michael Lauck
Strange Lights v Morehouse Parish, Louisiana
A Morehouse Parish, LA man spotted a strange light in the sky Monday night and his footage has ended up on the local Fox affiliate. Despite the fact that it has all of the factors that invite ridicule such as shaky footage of a light in the sky, a rural resident making the sighting and goats, the FOx 14 Team treats the report with respect, even attempting to eliminate the weather balloon explanation.
UFO Museum Lacks Funding
Unfortunately an effort to raise money for a London based UFO museum is falling well short of its goals. The group has an Indiegogo crowdfunding effort that is scheduled to end on Monday, April 8.
A Possible Dark Matter Detection
A sensor on the International Space Station appears to have detected a particle that is thought to be connected with dark matter. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer detected a high number of antimatter particles that are believed to indicate dark matter reactions. The science is a bit complicated, but exciting, so if you would like to check it out follow the link to the Scientific American article below.
Maury Island UFO Movie
Seattle TV station KOMO recently ran a story on a new film being produced about the Maury Island Incident, a very early UFO incident that was actually investigated by Kenneth Arnold. Through the links, you can learn more about the movie and the permanent Maury Island Incident display at the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore.
Organci Transistors May Lead To Living Computers
A project detailed in the latest issue of Science has successfully created a transistor out of biological material. This opens up the possiblity of creating organic computers in the near future. This new research may be of interest to UFO researchers investigating alleged alien implants as well.
Peter Robbins Guest Stars in Podcast UFO Forums
Peter Robbins, our first Podcast UFO Forum Guest Star, has now completed his run answering our members’ questions. He was able to make ## posts spread over ## topics and christened this exciting new feature of our forums. Martin has already scheduled three more Guest Stars, included Mack Maloney, Chris Lambright and, next up, Kathleen Marden. Please take a second to sign up for the forums if you have not already so you get your chance to interact with these researchers.
On behalf on PodcastUFO I am taking a brief moment to point out that the Tweets, website articles and Stanton Friedman audio released by Podcast UFO on this past Monday were, of course, April Fool’s Day jokes. We hope everyone enjoyed our attempts at humor and hope we didn’t offend or upset anyone. Most of all, of course, we want to thank Stanton Friedman for making a great recording.
Interview with Simon Sharman
Martin Willis: Okay, I’m with Simon Sharman http://truspiracy.blogspot.com/ in the UK. Where are you located, Simon?
Simon Sharman: Yeah, hi Martin. I’m up in the wet and windy north in Manchester.
Martin: Oh, in Manchester. Welcome to the show. Thanks for agreeing to come on.
Simon: It’s my pleasure.
Martin: First of all, you are a TV producer. How did you get involved in UFOs, to start with?
Simon: Well, that’s a good question. It’s been a long time. I probably have to blame it all on Timothy Good, http://www.timothygood.co.uk/ or, perhaps, Stanton Friedman. http://stantonfriedman.com/ I love that you could take your pick out of those. I first heard Timothy Good back in, I think it was 1989 or 1990 on BBC Radio 2, here, in the UK, and he was discussing, you know, cover–ups, and alien bodies, and the kind of stuff that is, kind of, commonplace, now, for a lot of people in – not just within ufology, but even anybody, really, and this was, of course, before the days of the internet, and The X Files http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106179/ hadn’t even aired, at this point, so, you know, what he was saying was really, you know, really, kind of, revelatory stuff, and it really – I don’t know. It seemed to strike a chord, back then. I was, maybe, I was about 20 at the time, something like that, and I suppose it all started there. A few years later, by chance, I was doing some temporary work for the local government up in the north just after I left university, and I managed to literally, by accident, stumble into a presentation, or lecture, given by your friend of this show Stanton Friedman, and so, I bumped into him, and I managed to have a conversation with him, and yeah – the rest, as they say, is, kind of, history.
Martin: Before we talk about your e–petition, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/37419 I wanted to talk about the correspondence you had with an editor about an article that I read, a few months ago, that was saying, basically, UFOs were dead, and let’s talk about that. http://truspiracy.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-sunday-telegraph-defends-its.html
Simon: Yeah, well it was back in 2012, around November time, and it was, actually, The Sunday Telegraph that first published this article by a chap called Jasper Copping. He, at the time, was, or he may still be, in fact, the night editor of that publication, and, basically, yeah, he set up this whole piece that was entitled: UFO Enthusiasts Admit The Truth May Not Be Out There After All, and a subheading of: Declining Numbers Of Flying Saucer Sightings And Failure To Establish Proof Of Alien Existence Has Led To UFO Enthusiasts Admitting They Might Not Exist, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/9653499/UFO-enthusiasts-admit-the-truth-may-not-be-out-there-after-all.html and it was, basically, a massive debunking piece based upon a really ineffectual organization called The ASSAP http://assap.ac.uk/ that, basically, investigate things like ghosts, vampires, and werewolves, you know, pretty insulting stuff.
Martin: In a pub, by the way, right?
Simon: Yeah, and they have their meetings in a pub. This is it. I mean, look, I’m sure they’re really nice people, and I certainly don’t have anything against them, per se, but my issue with The Telegraph is the fact that they were using this as evidence, and the whole centerpiece, as a way to, basically, say that, you know, UFOs – they’re not really a problem, anymore, and maybe we shouldn’t bother with them. You know, it’s absolute nonsense, so, yeah, it got me pretty wound up, at the time.
Martin: And you had some correspondence with the editor, and I read the correspondence, and it looks like, you know, he seems pleasant in his reply, but he, sort of, just, ignored everything you said.
Simon: Yeah, that’s, pretty much, the gist of it. It was quite interesting, actually, because I’ve worked in the media, now, for, you know, quite a few years. The whole experience is quite telling, I think. My email to him was quite, you know, it was quite comprehensive. I, kind of, picked him up on all the points I’ve had issues with, you know, the organization he was using, the whole tone of the piece, etcetera, and, the same day, and I do mean within, I think, it was around – within 3 hours, maybe 2 and a half hours, I actually had the reply from – now, actually, responding, initially, to the editor of The Telegraph I just thought, you know, I’ll go straight to the top. Who cares? But, actually, it was the subeditor who replied, and it – well, as I say, responded within a couple of hours, and his response, which I, later, published on my blog, basically, was a very clever put–down. You know, it, as you say, it was – rightly say, it was very polite, and he, kind of, he tried to touch on my points, but the bottom line was he just wasn’t really interested, and was very dismissive in his tone and that language that he used in terms of my issues that were basically, you know, you’re using a – an organization that has absolutely no credibility within UFOlogy, whatsoever, you know, meeting in pubs, and I think their last UFO article was published in 2010, and it was a really basic piece, you know, on Roswell, or something, I’m not sure what it was, so, you know, they kind of touched on it, but the bottom line was he said: look, we believe it was justified that, you know, thanks for getting in touch, etcetera, etcetera.
Martin: To find this is truspiracy, T–R–U–S–P–I–R–A–C–Y, .blogspot.com. One thing that comes to mind is I want to ask you your final reply to the editor. Did he respond to that?
Simon: No, he absolutely did not.
Simon: I mean, I must be honest with anyone who reads the blog in my response will see I did really take him to task, and picked him up on every single issue I had with his issues, and, you know, I did it in such a way that, really, had left him nowhere to go, and, of course, I wasn’t expecting a response, and, needless to say, the wall of silence came back at me.
Martin: Right. Now, what inspired you to start this e–petition? Let’s talk about that.
Simon: Yeah. I suppose it’s been coming a long time, really. I mean, obviously, in The States, you have, you know, you have the whole Disclosure Project, http://disclosureproject.org/ and you also have Stephen Bassett, http://www.paradigmresearchgroup.org/stephenbassett.html and whatnot, and it occurred to me that there was nobody, really, here in The UK doing the same thing, and I just thought: why not? Well, I guess I’ve, kind of, found it out why, because, clearly, it’s a thankless task, and not an easy one, but, yeah, I guess that’s what started it. I mean, you know, we have the same thoughts on UFOs, over here, well, some of us do, that it is important, that it should be taken seriously, and I do get exceptionally frustrated at the fact that it still isn’t spoken about in the media in a way that doesn’t ridicule it, so I just got to a stage where I thought: well, no one else is doing it. I’d better do it, myself, and that was it.
Martin: And, now, this can only be signed by people who live in the UK.
Simon: Yeah, that’s right. Unfortunately, it’s got to be either UK citizens or, essentially, UK people from the UK living abroad, potentially, but yeah, unfortunately, US citizens, and other people around the world, can’t sign it, which is a real shame, and, of course, I’m sure that’s, kind of, how they set it up, so that, you know, ultimately it’s quite prohibitive, and, obviously, 100,000 signatures is a huge number.
Martin: Yes, and what is the amount of signatures needed, actually, to have them take this seriously?
Simon: Yeah, I mean, well, officially speaking, it’s 100,000 signatures, which, then, means that there is a, essentially, the necessity for Parliamentary debate in The House Of Commons on the topic. I would argue if I had a few, you know, tens of thousands then I could still go and knock on number 10. I mean, I’ll be honest with you, even if I only have 1,000 signatures by the end of 12 months I’ll still be knocking on number 10. Whatever they want to say to me, I mean, I’m sure, you know, they won’t be too keen on opening the door, but that’s by the by.
Martin: Now, you mentioned, earlier, basically, that some people take UFOlogy serious, more or less, over there. In general, what are the thoughts in your area?
Simon: Yeah, if you’d asked this, maybe, 10 or 15 years ago I think the answer you would have got, or I would be giving, would be entirely different from what I’m giving you, now. I’ve absolutely seen a complete change of opinion, or a changing opinion, should I say, certainly in The UK, of people’s attitudes towards the idea that UFOs may be something more than just natural phenomena. I mean, okay, The X Files, and things like that, back in the 90s, certainly helped a lot, but even up until 5, or up until 10, years ago, I think, speaking about this subject was still, kind of, socially risky. You know, you could, potentially, lose a few friends with brains along the way. They just think: okay, well, you know, if this is your thing then I’ll leave you and get on with it, and I’d say some of the last few years that people have started to be more – less hostile towards the notion, and I think that’s partly due to, I think, people genuinely opening their minds, perhaps, technology, of course, and information in terms of space, you know. We’re finding exoplanets all the time as –
Simon: – you know, and I was just going to say, sorry, just to try and give a more succinct town, so that, you know, a few years ago, you know, the NASAs, and the – all the scientists, the astrophysicists saying: well, life’s a rare thing, and it’s, kind of, probably, hardly anywhere. You know, now, you can’t turn on the news, or your Google, without something popping up saying they found another planet. The chances are life is, kind of, everywhere. In fact, now, on Mars, they found microbes, and it could have supported ancient life. You know, this story’s changing all the time, and I think this slowly does affect people’s thoughts on the possibility that UFOs may be something that they first thought they – that they couldn’t be.
Martin: Now, what are the sightings like in Manchester?
Simon: Pretty bad, because it rains all the time.
Martin: They stay away from there.
Simon: Look, we can’t even see our nearest star from Manchester, here. You know, we don’t, so if we don’t see The Sun there’s not much chance of seeing UFOs, but, you know, having said that we are just underneath, or right next to, what is fancy called UFO Alley, http://www.ourufosociety.com/ufo-news-articles/todmorden-ufo-alley/ over here, which is a section between Lancashire and Yorkshire, the, kind of, Rossendale area where some, you know, famous sightings happened with Timothy Dalton, http://www.hobo-bonobo.co.uk/alookinto/lookhere-34.htm and people like that, over the years, and, you know, we also have a couple of sightings I’ve solved for the last 2 or 3 years, so, you know, there are sightings up here, like anywhere, really. It’s just that the clouds seem to do a good job of hiding most of them.
Martin: Getting back to being a producer, a television producer, are you attempting to do any films, or any documentaries, on UFOs?
Simon: Without a doubt. I’ve been banging my head on this wall for a few years, as well. I mean, I used to make a lot of mainstream television, here, in The UK, including stuff for The BBC, and independent news channels –
Simon: – and so I – it’s something I do have experience of in terms of factual programming, but I don’t think the media like to treat UFOs as factual programming. It’s one of those things, you know. I mean, obviously, I know The Discovery, over there. You guys produce a lot of that more sensational stuff, but it’s interesting. I mean, even just today I tried to get some coverage on an ITV morning show, here – daytime show called This Morning that, last week, just had a week of the paranormal, shall we say, and had, well, some pretty ludicrous items on there, if I’m honest with you, but they did have, also, David Icke, http://www.davidicke.com/ on there, giving an interview, as well –
Martin: Oh, yeah.
Simon: – which, you know, everybody’s got an opinion on, of course, so I had the idea that it would be, you know, only fair for the viewers to see the other side of the coin, and see a well–balanced point of view on the whole UFO topic. I actually spoke with the Ford planning desk, today, about my petition, and, well, the answer I got back – I’m going to give the full answer, ’cause it’s going to take this kind of amount of time to say in my blog, but, essentially, the answer I got was something like: well, we tend to like to go with people who say they’ve been abducted by aliens, or people who have made, like our last guest, people who think she’s been abducted and, basically, had sex on the bus with an alien, this – I mean, it was just, you know, I’ve got to say, it was, really, kind of insulting, so my end was: well, obviously, then, you want to take a lot of ridiculing it like all the other outlets, and, of course, the conversation was pretty quickly ended, so, you know, that’s the kind of thing that you’re faced with. I am taking some more feature–length documentary ideas to different channels, but, Martin, it’s really, really difficult, you know. They just don’t want to listen.
Martin: You said something about thankless, or I believe you did. You know, I hear that from a lot of people that are trying to move ahead with either filming, or something like that. It’s hard to get funding. A lot of shows do not make any money, or very little of them do. There’s not a lot of an incentive for this.
Simon: There’s absolutely no incentive for an individual to take this on, let me tell you, but, commercially speaking, yeah, I mean, obviously, these commercial models that the broadcasters have – you know, I mean, this kind of programming, in essence, actually, would be fairly, relatively inexpensive to make. You’re talking a lot of the talking head interviews, or location shooting, which, you know, we’re not looking at lots of fancy effects or exotic locations, but it’s just the topic, Martin. They just don’t want to touch the topic unless it’s done in a sensationalist way, or a way that, kind of, derises the seriousness. They do not want to look at it in any way that raises the bar, which is the whole point of my petition, really. You know, whether or not I get the signatures that I want, the whole point of what I’m trying to do is raise the level of conversation that people have with this subject, because when I speak to people that I know in the industry, working in the TV industry, producers, or other professionals, you know, they’re very open to having the discussion about it, and people are very open to the idea of, well, you know, what do you know? What could – do you think it could be? And, so, people, in terms of the general population, they are interested, and this is what I find really frustrating, because if a channel, or a show, out there, just took the plunge, and were brave enough to just hit it head on, or take it head on then, you know, they could have a hit film, or a hit show, or a hit series on their hands, because there are people, out there, that care enough, and that are interested enough, to know something more than someone who thinks they’ve been, you know, abducted, and I’m not – I’m, by the way, I’m not belittling that, ’cause I know the abduction phenomenon is a very real thing for very many people, but I’m talking about the more sensationalist and, you know, less serious end. It’s a frustrating task, but, hey, somebody’s got to do it.
Martin: Now, I know Nick Pope, http://www.nickpope.net/ now, lives in The United States, and I’ve tried to reach him, actually, for a podcast, and he did respond to me, but it says he’s very, very busy. How does The UK, in general, people that you know, actually view Nick Pope’s work?
Simon: I think, mostly, they are of the same opinion that, you know, people like Nick Pope – and I’ve got to say I’ve not met Mister Pope, so I don’t know him, personally, but I guess it’s pretty obvious that, you know, there are a certain bunch of characters in this field that are really – they’re probably more interested in self–promotion and notoriety than pushing the debate forward, and that’s certainly something I would like to absolutely distance myself from. You know, I mean, I’m doing a tour around The UK. I’m going to do a few locations with my campaign. I won’t be charging a penny for anybody who comes to see me, not that they may want to pay money to see me, but, you know, the principle, I think, is important. You know, there’s an important discussion, here, to be had, and, okay, everybody’s got to make a living, and I don’t deny anybody that, but there’s ways and means of how you do it, and I – for me, some people, and the way Nick Pope has conducted his own affairs, which is his business, is certainly not the way I would do it, myself.
Martin: Okay, fair enough, so, continuing on, here, let’s talk about your views of the underbelly of UFOlogy.
Simon: Sure, I think this is one really fascinating side of our subject that rarely gets looked at in a way that’s – sheds any light on what’s going on. What I mean by that is there are lots and lots of interesting characters in – within UFOlogy, and a lot of people outside of the topic would say: you know, let’s be honest. There are a lot of head cases involved, to put it bluntly, but the head cases aside, in terms of the serious investigators, researchers, characters, authors, filmmakers, gurus, I mean, there’s a whole world, there, of politics, egos, money, people vying for position that it’s kind of like its own micro–industry that you will see in any other industry, whether it’s in banking, or goodness knows what profession where you’ve got all these characters, kind of, fighting it out trying to outdo each other, out–say each other, out–conference each other, you know, and I’ve got to say this aspect of the whole subject really does leave me cold. You know, for me, I’m doing this tour, Truspiracy, which, you know, I’m hoping people will come and see and hear me speak, but only insofar as it will help them become more aware of the subject, in general, and, hopefully, sign my petition. I’m not interested in taking money from them. I’m not interested in any notoriety from doing it, you know, I wouldn’t get any, anyway. It’s a ridiculous charge to upset myself, but, you know, within UFOlogy you do have all of these various factions of characters, very strong characters, obviously, and rightly so, I guess, to take on this kind of stuff, but with it does come a lot of baggage, I think, which doesn’t help the subject, in general. You know, at the ones end of the scale, you have the conferences that, you know, or the, you know, we call them conferences, I’m told, or we, and, Martin, I’m sure you know what I mean by this, I’m talking about 2 or 3 people speaking to a room of about 5 or 6 people. Up to the other extreme, or maybe in The States it’s different, I don’t know, maybe you don’t have such low numbers, but you’ve got the other extreme, of course, when you’ve got the real big characters, mentioning no particular names, some of which, of course, very reputable, been doing it a long time, they know their stuff, you know, Stanton Friedman, particular hero of my own, and one of the people that really got me interested in the first place, and then you’ve got, like, even more extremes than that, people who just really want to pack their numbers in, and, maybe, more bothered about the dollar than the content, so, you know, it’s a really complicated, interesting, vibrant kind of – I wouldn’t want to call it industry. I mean, what should we call it? I don’t even know what the – you see, we don’t even have words –
Martin: That’s right.
Simon: – to describe what it is that we do. This is the problem. It’s like we don’t have a status in society that I could even describe what we do with. It’s, kind of, ah. It’s frustrating. It’s weird. Publicly speaking, we have no status, or status, which, again, is something, and I know, I’m sure, you know, I’m the last in the line of a whole bunch of much greater individuals than me that have tried to change that before now, but I – that’s, I think, that’s what I’m about. I think it’s, for me, if I could make any difference in helping to change that lack of status, within the public’s eye, then, maybe, I’ve done something worthwhile.
Martin: Let’s say the petition gets a lot of interest, and let’s say that Parliament would take it seriously, pat a disclosure. What do you think would happen?
Simon: I don’t think much would actually change, in all honesty. It’s a strange thing to say, but I’ve thought about this a lot, as you can imagine, as, maybe, you have. I don’t know. Maybe 20 years I’ve thought about this kind of thing. My honest thought is that people wouldn’t really bat much of an eyelid, as we say, here, in The UK. Yeah, okay, it’d be like: wow! You know, really? And people would be glued around their TV for 24, 48 hours, and there’d be some spin–off shows, and some great reality, you know, hanging out with the Greys, and all that, but after it all died down, you know what? People just get on. They carry on with their jobs watching daytime TV, and I honestly think that people are much more capable of adapting than this notion that I know a lot of conspiracy theorists or other people make it out that: oh, you know, the world would collapse, or, you know, society would break down. In fact, I think that is a conspiracy theory put out by the establishment, if I’m really honest. This nonsense that, in fact, people would just fall apart, psychologically, philosophically, religion would collapse – I just think this is nonsense, quite frankly.
Martin: I agree –
Simon: Do you know –
Martin: – 100% with everything you just said, there, and I think what we talked about, earlier, as far as, you know, The Kepler is finding –
Martin: – more and more suitable planets, I think, within a few years, we’re going to learn that there is life out there in some manner of speaking, so I think it’ll all be accepted well, and I think this is the time for it. I think, you know, earlier times it would have been, possibly, a mistake, and everything you just mentioned may have happened, the falling apart of society in certain areas, but, anyway, thank you so much for your insight. I salute you for what you’re doing, and hope it goes well, with you, over in The UK.
Simon: Well, Martin, it’s been a real pleasure, and thanks, so much, for having me on.
Music by: Killawatt – Capa