Almost 75 years after Roswell, the possibility that we are not alone in the universe is once again raising the profile of mainstream politics.
The impending release of a Pentagon report on the activities of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) has sparked a wave of interest and recent statements by former program director Luis Elizondo have raised eyebrows. ufologists from all over the world.
“We’re pretty confident that we’re dealing with multigenerational technology, several generations ahead of what we see as next-generation technology,” Elizondo said. the Washington Post earlier this month.
But a world away from Washington, perhaps the biggest ripples were felt in Todmorden, a quiet market town in the Pennines. About 20 miles north of Manchester, the town of 15,000 has been the scene of a number of unexplained events and reported sightings, earning it a reputation as the Great Britain’s response. Brittany at Roswell.
“I’ve had people stop me on the street and ask me, ‘What do you think of this report then?
Lyall launched the company in the summer of 2016 after completing a triptych titled A Landmark Event, which he describes as an attempt to “visually convey the bizarre events unfolding in the Pennine Valley before, during and after the event. Alan ”.
Alan Godfrey, a former police officer and longtime Todmorden resident, claims he was abducted by aliens in the town in 1980 while investigating the mysterious death of Zigmund Adamski, a 56-year-old miner who was found on top of a coal pile six months earlier.
Godfrey has become something of a local celebrity, especially since the publication of his 2017 book Who or What were They? Which is now in development with Hollywood production company Graisland Entertainment.
Lyall is certainly proud of the association and happy to see Todmorden receiving worldwide attention: “Alan’s event took place 40 years ago, but it has become such an iconic moment in the world of UFOs. The association between Todmorden and UFOs will always be there and it’s great because it makes him unique.
When coronavirus restrictions allow, the company meets on Tuesdays at the Golden Lion Pub. It provides a forum where locals and day trippers can discuss their experiences and learn more about Alan Godfrey and ufology. Meetings usually attract 30 to 50 people and include different types of truth seekers, from those motivated by an interest in space travel and advanced technologies (“nuts and bolts” in UFO parlance) to those with more. a “new -connection with age” with inexplicable phenomena.
“Ultimately, it’s all about enlightenment… not everyone on UFO night thinks of them in terms of flying saucers from other planets,” Lyall says.
Still, he can’t deny that people got “excited at the prospect of [the US government] confess what they know about our relationship with extraterrestrials ”.
That the Pentagon report reveals something of interest has been a source of disagreement in the UFO community in recent weeks.
Gary Heseltine, a researcher (and former police detective) based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, was emboldened enough by the upcoming report to set up the International Coalition for Extraterrestrial Research (ICER) to coordinate the global response and “prepare awareness courses for the public ”.
“Whether in 10 days or in 10 years, [confirmation of the existence of extraterrestrial life] happens and it’s gonna be a big shock, ”says Heseltine.
Heseltine met Luis Elizondo ahead of the ICER launch on May 25 (exactly one month before the report’s release) and said the former AATIP program director was “fully supportive” of the group’s overall approach.
“Luis Elizondo has said on several occasions that he saw high quality videos of unidentified objects recorded by Navy pilots. Where are these? I want to see dominant figures pressuring the government to publish all of this. If there is nothing to hide, what’s the problem? “
Other experts, however, are more cautious. Steve Mera, owner and CEO of Phenomena Magazine, Britain’s largest UFO magazine (1.8 million subscribers online) calls for caution, expecting it to have no more impact that the New York Times Report December 2017, which produced a wave of excitement but no conclusive evidence.
“I don’t think that will bring answers, but [the Pentagon report] reflects the fact that these things are real, that they exist and that it is no longer a question of laughing ”.
Dr David Clarke, senior researcher at the University of Sheffield Hallam and co-founder of the Center for Contemporary Legend, says: “I think it’s going to be a huge wet firecracker. People who expect this report to confirm all of their preconceptions about aliens visiting us in flying saucers and buzzing US Navy pilots are going to be overwhelmingly disappointed.
“UFOs are really just a modern manifestation of this desire for higher power… Places like Todmorden have a long tradition of people seeing strange lights, wasting time, or even being abducted by fairies.”
“In America, people have these experiences in remote desert areas like Area 51. But we live on a very small island. Our closest equivalent is Rendlesham or the hills of the Pennines, “enchanted forests” where you can go and live one of these extraordinary experiences. “
Regardless of what experts might think, speculation is rife on Facebook groups and #ufotwitter about the likely content of the report and the impact, if any, of the findings on the world.
Ash Ellis, a 34-year-old poker dealer, founded the North West UFO Research and Investigation Facebook group in June 2020, which has now had nearly 500 members.
“The report is on everyone’s lips by the minute and we await with some trepidation its release,” says Ellis.
Ellis is focusing on U.K. UFO sightings – he says there have been 165 in 2021 so far – but he says he has been following recent discussions online with interest, does if only because it has brought about a change in the way he is perceived. “I’ve been called a crank, a conspiracy theorist, but it’s much rarer now. The US government that just said the words “UFOs are real” was a big moment and a rationale for many people. “
According to Nick Pope, who investigated UFOs for the Department of Defense in the early 1990s, “the rise of the internet and social media has fundamentally changed ufology. It gave everyone a voice. But in this area, that means quite colorful characters.
“The revelations about AATIP have taken the subject out of the fringes and integrated into the general public. For the UFO community, it is as if all of their Christmases have arrived at the same time.