We have had the pleasure of conducting an interview to one of the people that at present have more influence on the world of ufology, as a former employee of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom for over 21 years and 3 of them dedicated exclusively to officially investigate UFOs for the government. We share the interview with Nick.
Interview to Nick Pope:
– UFOSONEARTH: ¿What do you think that ufology needs (or spare) to reach a definitive evidence?
– Nick Pope: Almost every piece of evidence that people have put forward so far (eyewitness testimony, photos/videos, government documents, etc.) can either be made up, faked, or is open to different interpretations, so it won’t convince everybody. To be regarded as definitive, we’d need something indisputable, such as an artificial, extraterrestrial signal, detected independently (and repeatedly) by two or more radio telescopes; or an artefact that the scientific community can test and prove to have originated beyond the Earth, e.g. by reference to the same sort of isotopic differences that can prove a rock is a meteorite and not just a rock from here on Earth.
– UFOSONEARTH: ¿What are your thoughts about projects like “Breakthrough Listen”, which searches extraterrestrial life out there, somehow dismissing that any form of intelligence could be already visiting us?
– Nick Pope: I am a big supporter of the Breakthrough Initiatives and especially Breakthrough Listen. The more different approaches we try, the better our chances of success when it comes to finding extraterrestrial life. Having said this, if you are going to spend $100M searching for life ‘out there’, maybe some money should also be spent on checking that alien life is not already ‘down here’.
– UFOSONEARTH: In the private area it´s quite common that companies require their employees to sign some kind of “confidentiality” agreement by the degree of information to which will inevitably have access. In your position as former employee of the Ministry of Defence, ¿was it applied to you a condition or a similar approach to the management of information?
– Nick Pope: I worked for the UK’s Ministry of Defence for 21 years (3 years on the UFO project, 18 years in other positions) and signed the Official Secrets Act on my first day of government service. Even though I left the MoD in 2006, the Official Secrets Act binds me for life. I’m not a whistleblower and would never disclose classified information without proper authorisation. But the UK Government is in the process of declassifying and releasing its entire archive of UFO files, so I am free to discuss material that the MoD has already released.
– UFOSONEARTH: ¿There is still any information or evidence that you would like to expose to the world but for some reason you are not able to?
Following on from the above, I am not currently able to discuss the 18 files that the Ministry of Defence has not yet released, the material that the Ministry of Defence claims has been lost or destroyed, or the material that the Ministry of Defence has blacked out in documents that have already been released. This is not to say that this material is a ‘smoking gun’ that would prove the reality of extraterrestrial visitation, but some of it is certainly extremely interesting.
– UFOSONEARTH: From our position as observers, interpreters and researchers, we have the perception that today the phenomenon radically changed it´s manifestation compared with UFOs from 30 or 35 years ago. Hardly we will have an incident like the one that occurred in “Rendlesham Forest” again, for example. ¿What do you attribute this change to?
– Nick Pope: I am not so sure that things have changed that much – at least, not with the UFO phenomenon itself. But human society has changed, and in particular, our interconnectivity. Personal computers, the internet, email, cell phones and social networking sites all mean – in relation to UFOs – that people can share experiences, photos and videos in a way that wasn’t possible before. To give a practical example, most of the Roswell witnesses never saw each other again after they were posted from Roswell to other military establishments. Most of the Rendlesham Forest witnesses are in touch with each other on Facebook, and this changes the way in which such cases are investigated by ufologists, and viewed by the media and the public. It is much easier to share information and to network. The explosion in the number of TV channels is another big change that has affected ufology, because there are many more programmes on the subject on TV than there were a few years ago.
– UFOSONEARTH: In ufology many give “lecturing” or claim to have the absolute truth (almost like religion), ¿what do you think about the battle of egos that exists around UFO research?
– Nick Pope: This sort of behaviour is very unfortunate, and I see it from believers and skeptics alike. People at each end of the belief spectrum are very dogmatic, like religious fanatics, and are absolutely certain that they are correct. They tend to ignore, bully or be rude to people who do not share their opinions. The irony is that true believers and die-hard debunkers are both far more certain about the true nature of the UFO phenomenon than those of us who have investigated UFOs for the government. We tend to be less certain, and we say things like “yes, there is something here, but we do not know what it is”.
– UFOSONEARTH: The “UFO problem” may be inherited to future generations, ¿what are your advises for new ufologists?
– Nick Pope: My advice is to be more scientific in approaching this subject. In other words, do not have a fixed belief and then try to find evidence to support it, but put forward theories and test them. If the data do not support the theories, put the old theories aside and try to come up with new theories that are consistent with the data. Also, try to create databases of material, so that good information can be easily located and so that proven fakes can be quickly dismissed. Finally, speak out more firmly against people who are proven frauds, scammers or cultists, and who are simply using ufology and exploiting people’s interests and beliefs to make money, or to be the centre of attention.
– UFOSONEARTH: The Uruguayan Air Force officially investigates the UFO phenomenon in its offices in the Commission Receiving and Investigating Reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (CRIDOVNI). A case of high non-conventionality is the one military aircraft chased a UFO in Uruguayan territory, this happened in 1986 when a Pucará aircraft training squad, chased a bright spherical object while it made evasive maneuvers leaving them unable to reach it. Minutes after a blackout was registered in the city of Montevideo, the line that fed the city came directly from a dam where the object had been sighted. ¿Did you know about this case?
– Nick Pope: I am not personally familiar with this case, but clearly it incorporates many of the factors that make a UFO sighting particularly interesting and compelling: a military witness, an object displaying speeds and maneuvers indicating it was under intelligent control, a blackout that implies some sort of electromagnetic field, and proximity to water – which is a factor that I have come across several times. This is exactly the sort of case that would have interested us at the Ministry of Defence, but unfortunately, countries seldom share information on this issue, but research and investigate in isolation. Clearly this is a mistake, as UFOs are seen all around the world.
– UFOSONEARTH: There is a case which by its high level of complexity, strangeness and non-conventionality, we find it of great interest. One of the persons that recorded it is Alfredo Carrillo, current researcher of UFOs on Earth. We would like to know your opinion about it. Video 1 – Video 2
– Nick Pope: These are intriguing pieces of footage, but unfortunately, now that I have left the Ministry of Defence, I no longer have access to any of the imagery analysis resources and capabilities that would enable me to undertake a proper, scientific analysis of the films to determine if they are genuine, and if they are genuine, what they show.