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This week on SOTT Talk Radio we interviewed best-selling British author, ufologist and cryptozoologist, Nick Redfern.

From 1984 until 2001 Redfern worked as a freelance feature writer for numerous UK newspapers. In recent years, Redfern has made many TV appearances in the UK and overseas, sharing his research and insights into all things Fortean, and today runs the U.S. branch of the Centre for Fortean Zoology. Redfern posts regularly on his blog.

Our guest is also the author of numerous books about some of the truly weird (but totally real) topics we discussed this week, including Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind, A Covert Agenda, The FBI Files, Three Men Seeking Monsters, Body Snatchers in the Desert, On the Trail of the Saucer Spies, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, Final Events, The NASA Conspiracies, The Real Men in Black, The Pyramids and the Pentagon, The World's Weirdest Places, and many more!

Running Time: 01:48:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript:

Joe: Hi and welcome to SOTT Talk Radio. (theme from X-Files playing in background)

Niall: That tune still gives me the creeps.

Joe: It does. I'm Joe Quinn. With me this week as usual, my co-hosts are: Niall Bradley.

Niall: Hi everyone.

Joe: Pierre Lescaudron.

Pierre: Hello.

Joe: And by special request this week we have Laura Knight-Jadczyk as well. Say hello Laura.

Laura: Oh, hi.

Joe: Say hi Laura.

Laura: Hi Laura.

Joe: Our show this week is entitled Mysterious Planet: Interview with Ufologist and Cryptozoologist Nick Redfern. Nick is a freelance writer for numerous UK newspapers.

Niall: Was.

Joe: Sorry was, from 1984 until 2001, but in recent years Nick has, I suppose, turned his attention more specifically to all things paranormal. He has made many TV appearances in the UK and overseas sharing his research and insights into all things Fortean. Today he runs the U.S. Center for Fortean Zoology and he also has a blog which you can Google. It's: Nick has written an awful lot of books. Maybe I'll just go straight into that. Welcome to the show Nick.

Nick: Hi guys. How's it going?

Joe: Excellent.

Niall: Welcome.

Joe: Nick, I was just going to say you have written a lot of books. I was checking out your Amazon page and it just kept going and going and going.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: There are maybe 15 or more books on this broad topic and then many other books that you co-authored with other big names in the field of the paranormal, ufology and cryptozoology. So I suppose the standard first question is: how or why did you get into this topic and why does it consume so much of your time and life these days?

Nick: Well, I actually balance it out so it doesn't consume all my time.

Joe: Okay.

Nick: I sort of have a life away from it all as well. But when I was about six years old, my mom and dad took me on a week's holiday to Scotland and we spent a day at Loch Ness. My dad told me the story of the Loch Ness Monster. And of course, when you're five, six years old, it's more like a story about monsters in the wardrobe or something. That's how you kind of look at it. It's like an exciting story. But then when I got to 13, 14, I began reading books by people like Brad Steiger, John Keel, and a lot of the people who were popular in the '70s in the paranormal writing field. So that was sort of what got me interested in reading and investigating and actually just having an interest in these subjects.

But how I got involved in writing: when I was at school, I wasn't the best student by any means; I left with barely a qualification - no college, no university - and I got a job on one of the old, what they used to call in England, the "youth opportunity programs", 'YOPS'. And that was actually like a short thing for a local magazine in the area I was living at the time. But after a year, it ended. And this was sort of the height of the Thatcher recession and everything. I just couldn't get anything else in that field, although I'd enjoyed it. And for about the next 10 years I worked variously as a painter, decorator, van driver, forklift driver. I did that for eight, ten years. I used to work as a forklift driver in a paint warehouse.

But I had an interest in writing and reading all through that period and I did a few freelance things here and there but my main job throughout the '80s and early-to-mid '90s was forklift driving. I just did the other magazine and British newspaper stuff on the side. But then when I got to about 1994, something like that, I thought, "Why don't I give it a chance, see if I could write full-time?" And so that's what I did. I took a chance. I actually quit my job that I'd got at the time and thought, "Well, it's going to work or it's not going to work. One way or another I'm going to find out."
And so that's what I did and I started gambling on writing a book. I gambled in the hope that it would sell and it did. And then that sort of opened up doors for other books and magazine work and it kind of went from there then.

Joe: Okay. That certainly sounds like a fairly innocuous background to have for someone who's delving into these topics because it can be a pretty dangerous thing.

Nick: People think I lead some weird, Fox Mulder life. I don't. I write books but I'm not running around underground bases getting shot at by the men in black or whatever.

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Nick: I take a journalistic approach to what I do.

Joe: Yeah.

Nick: But then I have a regular life away from it all.

Joe: Absolutely, because just in your most recent book: Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind; Suspicious Deaths, Mysterious Murders and Bizarre Disappearances in UFO History, there's a lot of very dangerous stuff going on there. Its life and death stuff. My question was, apart from writing, have you engaged in any kind of field work, so to say?

Nick: Oh yeah. Not so much in UFOs. When it comes to the UFO subject I tend to write more about the whole historical aspect of the subject and government files, that sort of thing. I'm not someone who goes out and interviews abductees and contactees and takes soil samples at landing sites. No, I don't do anything like that. But the field work I do is with cryptozoology, that's my main interest; cryptozoology being the study of unknown animals. And so I do a lot of expeditions around the world investigating lake monsters, Big Foot, that kind of thing; that's sort of my main area.

But with UFOs there are so many different angles you can follow. So that's why I tend to focus on the government files angle rather than spreading yourself too far and wide and investigating crop circles or abductions, banging on people's doors and interviewing them, I just kind of focus on the historical government and military side of things.

Joe: In terms of UFOs and cryptozoology investigation or study of strange and mysterious creatures, is there a connection between those two that you have found?

Nick: Yeah, I think there is but a lot of people in the UFO field don't and that's the same with people in cryptozoology. But I don't care if they agree with me or not, that's beside the point. But you often find where people see Big Foot, for example, there are often UFO encounters and people see strange balls of light flitting around where Big Foot is seen. Most mainstream cryptozoologists don't want to touch these cases. They think they're too far out so they just dismiss them as hoaxes or misidentification. And by the same token, people in the UFO field feel that bringing Big Foot into their subjects kind of makes it seem ridiculous, so they ignore these cases.

And that's the problem we have in that I think a lot of these phenomena are all somehow interconnected. But when it comes to investigating them, because so many people just don't want to touch these weirder aspects, many of the cases just get forgotten or lost or people just file them away and don't tell anyone, which I've never really got because that makes it more into like a belief system where people want it to be this or they want it to be that, rather than just looking at all the evidence.

Pierre: Nick, did you ever come to a hypothesis explaining why Big Foots and UFOs are sighted in some places?

Nick: Well, one of the things I've found and this is why it does get controversial. There are a lot of reports where Big Foot-type creatures - this is all around the world, not just in the US - reportedly sort of vanished in a flash of light or faded away, or just literally sort of winked out of existence. This has sort of given rise to the idea that they're almost like an inter-dimensional type creature and that's why we never really catch one because, for the most part, they're not here and so this sort of ties in with, "Well, what if the UFO phenomenon is inter-dimensional?" In other words, perhaps all these phenomena kind of flit in and out of our reality rather than being continuous entities here all the time, that they actually sort of come in and out of our reality.

And things like quantum physics are today allowing for the existence of multi-dimensions. So for that reason, I think that's what Big Foot could be, something that's so elusive because it's not here all the while. These creatures, I think, do have the ability to come in and out of our reality and if the UFO phenomenon was doing the same, they might actually have the same point of origin. But as I said, when you tell that to a lot of mainstream cryptozoologists they just roll their eyes and don't want to know. And that's why not much progress gets done in that area because everybody is saying, "No, it just can't be".

Niall: Yeah, it just remains on the "weird" shelf.

Nick: Yeah exactly. Well even I have to admit it's weird.

Joe: I find that really obtuse actually. Anybody who has looked at the actual literature or the recordings of Big Foot experiences, or encounters, it's so close to the UFO phenomenon in nature, like you just said, that I can't understand why anybody would want to keep them separated. The idea of trying to hunt down Big Foot and find him as the missing link, or something, is just kind of ridiculous when you look at the actual eyewitness or testimony or the experiences that people have had of Big Foot-type creatures.

Nick: Yeah you're right. It's kind of like when you see all these Big Foot shows. They go out in their camouflage clothing and whatever, and night scope equipment and guns as well. Yeah, that's fine if you're going after a gorilla in Africa, or a mountain lion or a bear. I do believe Big Foot, as a phenomenon, exists but if you're dealing with something that is semi-paranormal, semi-flesh and blood, and flits in and out of our reality, going after it with guns and night vision equipment and heat seeking equipment, it's never ever worked. And what amazes me is that the Big Foot community just continue to think it's just down to bad luck, where after a while you've got to realize it's a pattern where something more is going on, or something less, paradoxically, in terms of what these things are and how they can avoid us with a 100 percent success rate, 100 percent of the time. No other animal does that. Most people never see a grizzly bear in the wild, but people do, and occasionally they get hit by cars and they get killed or they get captured and put in a zoo. Big Foot always eludes us. No animal should be capable of that, certainly not like an 8-foot tall ape living in the United States. That's just ridiculous that a country the size of the US and as technologically advanced, we can't find and capture even just one 8-foot ape. It just doesn't make sense unless you look at it from that kind of other perspective.

Laura: I have a little anecdote on that. Just a quick background. I spent many years as a hypnotherapist and it wasn't until the early '90s, when you were driving forklifts, that I actually got sucked into the whole UFO thing with the first of several alleged abduction cases. And one of these cases, interestingly, the woman asserted that she had been abducted and carried onto a space craft by a Big Foot.

Nick: Oh wow.

Laura: So go figure.

Nick: That's interesting Laura, because there are actually a lot of cases like that where people have seen literal UFOs. There's a friend of mine, Stan Gordon who wrote a very good book called Silent Invasion, which is all about a wave of Big Foot, UFO activity, in Pennsylvania in 1973. And that book just makes it very, very clear that the phenomenon is somehow inter-connected in terms of time frames, locations. There are even cases, like with Big Foot, where people have had missing time. They've been in the woods, they've seen the creature and then it had vanished and they've kind of felt confused, almost drunk for a short period. And they think 20 minutes has gone by and then when they kind of come out of this weird state, it's sometimes 3, 4, 5 hours has gone by and they just cannot account for it.

Laura: Well that's what happened to this woman; she had total missing time; she was in a completely frantic state; a lot of stuff going on. And I was just trying to settle her down. We went into it and looked at it and I used some special techniques because alien abductions were not my specialty {laughing}; habit control, stress reduction, past life regression maybe, but not aliens and UFOs. And I was really, really astonished to have this come up and have her make these claims. And then probably a month later, she called me in a panic and something else had happened to her and she came over and she had these bruises on the backs of her arms and the backs of her knees, like she'd been carried. And the thing was that the prints had only three fingers and a wraparound thumb. So it was a weird time in my life; I don't do that anymore.

Nick: Well, that is actually very interesting because there are a lot of reports of 3-toed and 3-fingered Big Foot, and also 4-fingered. That's one of those strange things; it's almost as if there are different types. But that's interesting because that is like a classic case where you have a crossover between UFOs and strange animals. But you get that in all sorts of other aspects of cryptozoology as well. It's not just actually with Big Foot.

Niall: Maybe you could describe some other creatures for us that are of particular interest to you or that keep occurring.

Nick: You mean where there's like this crossover?

Niall: Not necessarily.

Joe: Just on the cryptozoology angle.

Nick: Oh okay. Well, one of the other ones I've spent a lot of time investigating expedition-wise is the Chupacabra of Puerto Rico. I've been there on a lot of occasions, travelling around the island and interviewing people and checking out sites where animals had reported of being killed with these weird puncture wounds on their neck. There's no doubt in my mind that the Chupacabra of Puerto Rico is a very real animal. What it is I don't know. We get a lot of reports from the US but that's a different phenomenon which has been named the Chupacabra, which is a whole story alone. But the Puerto Rican one is described as sort of having a monkey-like body, round about the size of a chimpanzee but hairless, with a row of sort of spikes down its head and neck, kind of like a punk rock Mohawk going from the top of its head down the back of its spine and these sort of sharp fangs and talons and glowing red eyes. Some people claim that it sucks the blood out of farm animals although I've never personally found any evidence that it actually sucks blood, there is evidence that it certainly kills animals and at least laps the blood up, which is a very different thing.

And in some cases people talk about the creature having large, bat-like wings. This has actually given rise to an interesting theory: what if the Chupacabra of Puerto Rico is some sort of huge bat, far bigger than any acknowledged bat? They have kind of a squirrel/monkey-type face which would tie in; they have bat wings. So, it could be.

Joe: The same problem applies though, like you just said about Big Foot; really, if something like that exists, they haven't found one.

Nick: Well the thing is, what makes Puerto Rico a little bit different is that unfortunately Puerto Rico is a very poor country - island - and most of the people on the island really don't have any interest in looking for it because they're too busy trying to make a living and survive. The only people who are really looking for the Chupacabra on Puerto Rico are people like me who go there looking for it. And Puerto Rico is dominated by massive rainforests. Imagine you're wandering around London or Paris, or somewhere, and there's just a few woods. No, the entire island is just heavily rain forested everywhere so most people again aren't walking five, six miles into the rainforest every day looking for it. And most of the attacks occur at night.

But, with that said, there are a lot of reports also, where you've got crossover cases where people have seen UFOs again at the same time and location as UFOs or strange lights. I know of a couple of cases where people in Puerto Rico had seen the Chupacabra and then afterwards received weird, men in black-type visits, where they were warned not to talk about the sighting or the event. So again, you do have that parallel there as well.

Joe: Yeah, absolutely. I haven't read of any major cryptozoological phenomenon like the Chupacabras or Big Foot, where ultimately there hasn't been some kind of a connection. And in particular, even with the Chupacabras, I think I've read some cases where it did have some kind of an other-worldly aspect to it. So it's not like it's just some crazy, large dog or rabbit.

Nick: Well you can also look at Loch Ness, Scotland. Think of the Loch Ness monster. Many people don't know how many other weird things have gone on at Loch Ness. For example, back in the early part of the 20th century, one of the most famous occultists, Aleister Crowley, actually had a house on the shores of Loch Ness called Boleskine House, which is still there. And he tried to summon up demons from within the Loch, not long before we had this modern wave of Loch Ness monster sightings begin. There are reports of people trying to photograph the Loch Ness monster only to have their cameras jam or the pictures come out fogged. That's happened a lot. There have been UFO sightings over the loch itself.

There are a lot of reports around the shores and the roads of Loch Ness, of people seeing large black cats, kind of like the Beast of Bodmin in England, large leopard or puma type cats. And there are a couple of famous ghost stories from Loch Ness as well. So in other words, the entire loch itself is like a magnet for weirdness. It's not just the Loch Ness monster. So you could sort of apply it to there even.

Joe: Just getting back to the UFO topic, your latest book Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind talks a lot about UFOs and fatalities associated with UFO encounters. But it also talks a lot about the evidence for a kind of crossover with the US military or the US government being well aware of the UFO phenomenon, taking a keen interest in it, and even the possibility that the US government, or some faction of the US government or military, has been involved in faking UFO events.

Nick: Yeah, this is a controversial area. When people say, "Who's hiding?" or "Who's sitting on top of the secrets?" I actually don't personally think it is the government. I have a very big differing opinion to a lot of people in the UFO field, where they sort of point the finger at the government or the Air Force or the CIA and call them the bad guys, I actually don't. I truly don't believe the US government is hiding the truth about UFOs.

What I think is that there's like an off-shoot, like a shadow government kind of thing, that operates outside of the conventions of regular governments and law, and that has tentacles and strands all around the world and for all intents and purposes doesn't exist, and that people within government, most people don't know anything about it. It's sort of like I said, like a shadow agency. And I think they're the ones who are hiding the truth. And I think they're the ones that have instigated these murders and deaths. When people ask, "Why are the CIA killing UFO researchers?", I say, "Well I don't think that they are any more than I think the Air Force is, or the Pentagon, or anyone". No.
The best way to describe it is almost like a modern-day Illuminati or something like that where you've got powerful figures with lots of money and rich, powerful ancient families and where it's all linked in with private sector, classified, technological research. Now that's not to say like they're hidden literally underground anywhere. No, they operate out of secure facilities but they are like private corporations. If you look at the UFO subject, it's clear from the official records that government agencies around the world were heavily involved in the UFO subject from the '40s, through the '60s. But if you look at the files, it's like there's a sudden tail-off there. And people have said, "Well that's because the government just lost interest".

What I think is it wasn't that. I think that period was when it was siphoned off from government agencies and was then taken over by very powerful private corporations doing classified work. And, essentially, they were the ones who took control and they're the ones still in control of the situation. And I think that's why we haven't made much advance because everybody keeps knocking on the door of the Pentagon and they keep saying, "Well we've got nothing". It's like with Roswell. The Air Force put out this report saying: "Well we went looking. We checked everywhere. We cannot find anything." You've got a lot of UFO researchers screaming, "Oh the Air Force is just lying". I truly don't think today's Air Force has any more knowledge of what happened at Roswell than we do. They're as baffled as us as to why something weird seems to have happened but they can't find anything on it. And I think the idea of a secret offshoot, a secret government, would make a lot of sense in terms of why we cannot get anything because we're knocking on the wrong doors.

Joe: The reference that I was thinking of specifically was where you mention, I think it's called Horn Island in Mississippi...

Nick: Oh yeah.

Joe: ...where there was a research facility there into - and this is where it kind of blends over into CIA/government research into the kind of MK Ultra program and into mind altering drugs, etc. - and there's some evidence there of an alien encounter that happened near to Horn Island that may have been the result of the two men, who were fishing on the Pascagoula River, being subjected to some kind of experimental drugs that then induced that kind of an experience, even if there was some kind of a charade put on by these elements of the secret government that you're talking about, or the people who were controlling the phenomenon.

Nick: Yeah, this is an interesting story. Horn Island is located in Mississippi and it's an 11, 12 mile long island, not a very big place. But its where over the years a lot of classified research has been undertaken into psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs and things like this. And one of the ones that was tested widely from the '60s onwards was one that's become known as BZ, or buzz, and this is essentially like a compound that can create massively weird hallucinations in a person. It doesn't knock you out, it just really sort of takes over your mind and the hallucinations become reality. And what's interesting is that if the person is primed properly, the nature of the hallucination can be dictated. That's to say if you were exposed to BZ and somebody put before you an 8-foot tall model of a werewolf, then your hallucination could actually begin to develop where that creature would sort of come to life. It wouldn't really, obviously, but it would in the hallucination. In other words, the nature of the hallucination can be dictated. It's not like just a random event.

And this all sort of comes together with an October 1973 UFO encounter in which a man named Charles Hickson and another named Calvin Parker were actually fishing on the Pascagoula River in Mississippi and round about 9:00 o'clock they saw this strange light and sort of felt disoriented. And then suddenly this light moved towards them, sort of out of nowhere, these strange creatures pounced on them and hauled them aboard this craft. Now it sounds like a classic alien UFO encounter. And I'll be the first to admit that may well be exactly what it was. But what I find particularly interesting is that the site of this encounter, on the Pascagoula River, was only 7½ miles from the part of Horn Island where all the BZ experimentation was still going on, at that particular time.

And the guys reported seeing this light in the sky come towards them, then they felt disoriented and then the event occurred. I kind of wonder and speculate a lot, although admittedly it's not like a hard and fast conclusion, but I do speculate on the possibility that imagine a helicopter flying a quarter of a mile away, sees two people, they're going to be the targets. So they apply an aerosol-based dispersal of this hallucinogenic and just wait for it to have its effect on the people. And then what originally began like a helicopter encounter, the people see the lights coming towards them and before they know it, they're so affected by BZ that the lights from the helicopter become a flying saucer. And who's to say they may well have been dragged onboard something, perhaps by guys in gas masks and hazmat suits so they don't get affected and that then becomes, in a hallucinatory state, aliens. As I said, I'm not hard and fast saying that is what happened, but I do think we should explore further the connection between the location of the events and the location of all these experiments that were going on.

Laura: Well, one thing about that case was that the alleged alien was really kind of totally different from any other abduction case. It was kind of like a mechanical being in some kind of a suit.

Nick: Yeah.

Laura: And I think it had some kind of opening in the face mask and strange claws or something. It was just really weird. It was not the usual alien.

Joe: Yeah, and the other interesting thing about it is between the two guys who were supposedly abducted, one of them came to view it as a positive experience and gave lots of interviews, and the other guy had a ...

Laura: Had a nervous breakdown.

Joe: ...nervous breakdown and just went into isolation and became a recluse...

Laura: No kidding!

Joe: ...and didn't want to talk about it.

Laura: Nick, what do you think about Travis Walton?

Nick: Oh, I've actually met Travis Walton and I think he comes across as a very credible guy. I listened to him give a lecture actually, late last year, I think it was September/October. And he came across very credible, lucid and happy to answer questions. And anything he didn't know about he said, "Well, sorry I don't know about that". And I do find it interesting that his story has not changed. People who hoax stories, often the story changes over time as part of it falls apart and they come up with another explanation for this or for that. No, he just tells it as it happened. I think he had a genuine experience. And I think you get that when you sort of hang out with somebody for a weekend and you have dinner with them and you sit opposite them. You can get a good idea of their character and so on. And I think his was a legitimate case.

Laura: Did he ever comment on how accurate the experience was portrayed in the movie version?

Nick: Yeah, he wasn't mad about it but he just said he realized that from the perspective of it's going to be made into a movie, well they've got to make it entertaining for the viewer. It's like any non-fiction book on any subject that becomes a movie. They're going to take liberties and change things purely because they're condensing it down to two hours or whatever. That's sort of inevitable. So yeah, there were some things that were different, but the story itself I think was sort of presented pretty much close. There were just certain aspects that obviously were done for effect because it was a movie.

Laura: Right. Are you familiar with the work of John Keel?

Nick: Oh yeah, I know his work well.

Laura: Well, did you ever think about the Chupacabras in relation to Mothman?

Nick: Yeah, there are some similarities in the sense that these are winged creatures. And you can find reports of strange, winged animals all around the world and throughout history. You can go back to the days of the harpies and gargoyles of centuries ago. But also you have things like for example in England, they have a creature very similar to Mothman in the south of England, in Cornwall, that's known as Owlman. And that's almost identical to Mothman in the sense that it's like a humanoid-type creature with these large red eyes and very ominous as well, just like Mothman. There's actually one here in Texas. Back in the '50s, people were seeing a creature that back then became known as the Houston Batman and it was only ever seen at night and it was like a man-like figure, again with large bat-like wings.

So you can actually find reports like this everywhere. I think Mothman is just the most famous one. I agree with a lot of John Keel's conclusions, how he came to believe that all these phenomena are somehow interlinked, interconnected and that they sort of masquerade as this or that and they have sort of a trickster, manipulative angle to them as well where the more you get into the subject, it's almost like the subject gets into you and people become, like I said, literally manipulated by the phenomenon in some respects.

Laura: God you can say that again! What about Spring Heeled Jack? Have you ever looked into Spring Heeled Jack and do you have any opinion on him?

Nick: Yeah, well Spring Heeled Jack is sort of an interesting story. It has a lot of strands of various other mysteries which kind of makes it even more confusing. Some of the reports have a few men in black aspects to them. Others, for example, have a Jack the Ripper overtones. Other people kind of view it similar to the so-called shadow people that we see today. So there are a lot of different aspects to it, but it's sort of this creepy character running around London. It does have a lot of parallels with things like Jack the Ripper and the men in black and paranormal, parasitic creatures almost, in some respects.

Laura: You just said shadow people. What's that?

Nick: Oh well shadow people, it's not a new phenomenon but it's only the last few years that it's gained a lot of momentum. Shadow people are where people report very often they're asleep at night. If you ever had a sleep paralysis it's like that, where people wake up in the middle of the night and they're unable to move. They're in like a semi-sleep/awake state, so the body is still asleep and the mind is awake and they're unable to move. And they have a sense of a threatening paranormal presence in the room.

Now stories like this go back throughout history, literally to the dawning of man, when you have stories of things like incubus and succubus, which is sort of like male and female predatory creatures that would turn up in people's bedrooms in the middle of the night, and again the person would be unable to move, just barely move their fingers or their eyes. And this creature would come towards them and it would be a very stressful experience. And people all around the world today still get them. But in the last few years there have been more and more reports where instead of seeing a monstrous creature, or a demon or whatever, today people are seeing more of these shadow people. Imagine your shadow on the ground what it looks like, they're sort of like that. In some cases they're literally like a one-dimensional flat shadowy man-sized thing that walks towards the bed and just looms over the person ominously. And these reports are actually becoming more and more. And rather bizarrely, it looks like an outline, as I say, like a silhouette of a man, but more often than not, they're wearing an old-style trilby hat like from the '40s and the '50s. So you have this offshoot of the shadow people that's known as the Hatman. But also that's how some of the men in black dress and they have paranormal aspects to them as well.

So there could be a tie-in with all of this. But whatever these bedroom encounters are caused by, the phenomenon seems to have the ability to change its appearance for different people. Some people see a demon; some see monsters; some see the shadow people. There's a famous one in Canada, in Newfoundland, called the Old Hag, which is like an old lady who comes into the bedroom and screams at you. And again the person is unable to move. So I think the phenomenon is real, but I think it can literally get into the mind of the person and pull out their worst nightmare and it literally then appears in that form. And the theory why they do it is that these entities possibly live on high states of human emotion. Whereas we have food and drink, they thrive on energy and the higher the state of energy, and possibly even negative energy, they sort of bleed it dry from the person like a parasite.

Joe: Well in terms of whether it's real or not I can actually put my hand up and say that I've actually had one of those experiences a long time ago when I was a teenager and it was very similar to what you described. I was in bed at night and my sister was in the bed beside me and she was asleep. The bed was against the wall, the door was to the left of the bed and the light was shining through the door from a hallway and I couldn't see the hallway. And I woke up and I couldn't move at all but I was gripped by an increasing sense of extreme fear that something was coming along the hallway into the room and I did not want to be there when that happened. And I couldn't move. The only thing I could do was kind of blink and breathe.

And I decided that I had to in some way be able to break this paralysis, because my first inclination was to get up and run away or turn the light on or do something, but I was paralyzed. So all I could do was breathe. So I figured that if I breathed as loudly as possible, like through my nose {makes sniffing sounds} kind of like that, that there was a chance that I would wake my sister up or something. So I did that and my sister didn't wake up, but she kind of half woke up and just kind of went, "uuhh", didn't say anything but just nudged me as if to get me to shut up. And when she touched me the paralysis was broken and that was the end of it. It wasn't like at that point, then I could move and now I could get up and she was coming. No, the fear, everything was gone. What you just described just reminded me of that.

Laura: Yeah, I've had similar experiences but what I think is interesting is, Karla Turner, in one of her books I think it's Taken, she described what you just described as the shadow-like people; that somebody in her family was describing a shadow being and it just produced a shadow and that was it. And they couldn't describe it any more clearly than that. So it's curious that that's what you're talking about here. It just triggered that memory of reading that passage about that shadow being in one of her books. Very interesting.

Nick: Well again, I think where the problem comes in for us as investigators, is that if these things can alter their appearance and one person sees this and somebody else see's that and it sort of manifests according to the person's subconscious beliefs or whatever; I think there's often the tendency for researchers to naturally think they're dealing with a lot of different things. But it may actually be just one thing but that can appear in different guises so to speak. And I think the manipulating and using the human race is sort of a common factor that comes into play in a lot of these stories.

Laura: It just finds what's in your head and unpacks it.

Nick: Yeah. And sometimes if you've got the worst nightmares, well that's going to come out even worse for you then.

Pierre: Nick, I have a question about UFOs. In your last book, you mention that the US authorities and the UK authorities as well, initiate and fabricate certain UFO episodes so faking UFOs. And, according to you, what is the reason why the US and UK authorities were planning to do so?

Nick: Well, I don't think this has happened on a lot of occasions because if it had, then I think we clearly would have known. But I think it only needs to be done a few times to gather the information you want. Number one: I think governments know that there's a genuine UFO phenomenon. But I think they're concerned about how the general public might react in the event of a major UFO encounter occurring, or even a major worldwide series of landings. And I think in the early years of ufology when nobody really knew what the UFO phenomenon was going to do, - I mean we know today after 70 years that the UFO phenomenon hasn't shown itself - the phenomenon itself acts in secrecy. There hasn't been that mass landing that I think governments feared was going to happen in the '50s or '60s.

And so I think what happens, because you can't really anticipate where a major UFO event is going to occur and you're not able to determine how the population would react to it. What I think is that some of these events are fabricated and then watched carefully, not so much to see if the witness could be fooled, which they clearly could I think, but to see how the witness reacted to the event. So in other words, if you can sit back and watch how the general public reacts to a UFO event that you stage, that would actually give you a good indicator as to how they might react in the real world when a real UFO landed. As I said, no one can predict where a UFO is going to occur, not even the government. So it's hard for them to know. But if they can be in control of the situation and fabricate an event and watch it and see what happens, then they could have their teams of psychologists, or whoever looking into it, and say, "Well yes, this person reacted like that, the other person reacted like this." And that probably, in my view at least, would result in major papers and studies put together that would allow them to try and figure out the effect it would have in the real world. So I think that's why it was done. But I don't think there's much need to do it today because the answers they were looking for, they got years ago in these earlier experiments.

Joe: If you think about that idea of what governments would be afraid of, in terms of the UFO phenomenon and of people en masse becoming aware or accepting, or being given evidence that it's a reality, I'm not sure just the mere fact of there being life 'out there' or wherever, is their fear. Because when you look at some of the history and the case studies of what these supposed aliens do to people, I think there's a much scarier kind of situation there and something that the government might be even more concerned about in terms of the reality of it. Maybe it's best summed up, and it's in your book as well, a quote from Charles Fort where in his book Wild Talents or Lo! or New Lands, he famously wrote: "I think we are property. I should say we belong to something". Now that's a lot scarier than "Hey, there are space brothers out there" and "No, the space brothers own us".

Nick: Yeah, I think you're right when you say that. I think that if all we had say, in the '40s and '50s were a few encounters, or even a wave of encounters, and one or two UFO crashed, and government agencies got the wreckage and they recovered five or six bodies and stored them in formaldehyde or whatever, I actually think if that's all it was, that we probably would have been told. We might not have been told at the time, but the '70s, '80s, '90s, I think we would have been told: "Okay, yes, we're going to come clean. Something did visit us back in the '40s and '50s and one or two of their craft crashed and we've got the wreckage and we've got a few bodies, but we don't really know much more than that other than somebody came". If that's all it was, I think we'd be told. But I agree with you. I think government agencies or shadow agencies, whatever you want to call them, have learned that there's something more to the subject, something sort of so controversial and profound that they dare not tell us. And so for the fear of the big secret coming out, even the little secrets for the most part, nobody wants it to get out in case it sort of gets the wheels turning and the ball rolling and then it's unstoppable and the whole thing comes out.

Joe: Yeah well, just in terms of the scarier aspect of it, there's another incident that you quote or recount in your book about something that happened in the jungles of Cambodia in 1973.

Laura: I'm getting there.

Joe: Involving US military personnel.

Laura: Do you know the page number?

Joe: Well Nick can tell us about that.

Nick: Yeah, I couldn't tell you from memory the actual page number. But the story itself actually comes from a former US intelligence officer, Leonard Stringfield, who after his retirement began to dig heavily into the UFO subject because he actually had an encounter, in 1946, when he was still with the military and it sort of changed his life. And so after retirement that's what he focused on.

But he actually was given a story by a close colleague and friend, a high ranking military officer. And this fell into the category of what had become known as human mutilations where all around the world, frankly there aren't that many - or, I say from what we know, there aren't many put it that way - the cases we have on record aren't a large number, but that doesn't mean there haven't been a large number because significant numbers of people vanish every year.

But this particular case revolves around an encounter, or an incident, that occurred at the height of the Vietnam War in Cambodia. And it revolved around what you might call, almost like an SAS, black ops, delta force-type unit, that was going into the jungles of Cambodia to take out a North Vietnamese covert ops unit. And they got to the location roughly where this unit was supposed to be housed. And they came across instead a large globe-shaped UFO with these tripod-type legs. And surrounding it are these creatures that clearly weren't human. They weren't described as like the classic little grays of ufology. They were five-to-six feet tall but thin and had a vaguely similar appearance to the grays but, as I said, much taller. And they were reportedly loading human bodies and body parts into these large bins and sealing them and then loading them aboard the UFO.

And for all the training that this group had had, even they weren't prepared for this, I guess, and they kind of all froze for a second or two which actually gave the aliens the chance to unleash some sort of like a heat ray weapon on them. And then the soldiers began firing back. And this fire fight reportedly ended in both sides having to retreat with injuries and deaths on both sides as well.

But the story told to Leonard Stringfield was that all the military personnel involved were debriefed and given like a post-hypnotic suggestion to try and make them forget the event and sort of cover it up with a screen memory. And apparently it worked for a while. This involved the use of hallucinogenics and drugs to sort of subliminally try and make them forget, but over time, over years, their memories and the nightmares came back. And Leonard Stringfield went on record as saying that he knew the guy, knew his name, and he was a highly trustworthy, very credible military source. And I think that kind of thing alone would be enough for agencies all around the world not to sort of open the door on the UFO subject. It's one thing to tell the public that, "Well yeah, Roswell did occur and we have got some strange wreckage and we've got four mangled bodies that are still preserved after 70 years." That's one thing to tell people that. It's a very different thing to tell them that, "We've got stories and accounts where we believe and suspect that people have been kidnapped and dissected and it might have gone on thousands of times and we have no way to stop it". There's just no way they're going to tell people.

Laura: Okay, there's a little twist to this because when I read that passage in this book, I think that's when I told Joe, "We've got to get this guy on the show" because that's the first time I've ever read anything that comes close to something that was very personal for us, in our experience, and I'll give you just a little background. I'll try to make it short.

Nick: Oh, expand on it. I don't mind.

Laura: Well, I think it might raise the hair on your head.

Nick: Well I shave that every day so that might be quite difficult {laughter}.

Laura: I use hairspray. Anyway, when my son was about three years old he would jump up and down when he saw very large planes flying low enough that he could see things about them and he'd jump up and down and say, "I used to fly planes! I used to fly planes!" And we would kind of humor him. And this went on for a while and he would tell us stories about his dog; he gave us the name of his dog; his sister; this whole other life that he would tell us about. Come on, I did past life therapy, so I just said, "Okay, so he's having some past life memory and it'll go away. Nothing to worry about." And then a little further along he started having some physical problems and I took him to several doctors and they said that he had some problem with the growth of his leg.

So it was not until 1992, I started an experiment in channeling because I wasn't happy with what other people were doing and I wanted to see if I could do a better job, but it was really kind of experimental. And it took about two years to get anything worth paying any attention to. And somewhere along the way, I asked one of the test questions, because I kept asking test questions; "Can this source that's responding to me answer things that I know something about or can they give me some information that I don't know", that sort of thing. So I asked what was wrong with my son's leg and they said that he had been a pilot in Vietnam and he'd been shot down and his leg had been torn off when the missile hit.

So I said, "Well obviously the next question is 'what was his name'?" And they gave me a name and I thought "Well, okay, that's pretty cool. That's interesting". But I didn't really think that there was anything I could do about it. Somewhere along the way, after I had begun this experiment and also was doing some alien abduction hypnosis, I gave a little talk on various subjects to a local MUFON meeting in Clearwater, Florida. And at the meeting, there was a journalist who was looking for something interesting to write about. So he decided I was an interesting topic.

So that's what made this whole thing, as it developed, even more fascinating was that he was there as a kind of third-party objective witness as things developed. So one of the members of our experimental group decided to find out if there was any way to confirm this name that had been given for my son in this past life and he went through all of the killed-in-action records and found a name that was damned similar; I mean, the first and middle names were exactly identical but the last name hadn't been given and the individual had lived in Punta Gorda, which is south Florida.

So this was announced and this was one of our sessions where the journalist, Tom French, was also present. And he says, "Well what are you going to do about this?" And I said, "Well I'm not going to do anything about it!" But because of his urging I said, "Well okay, let's try to get some more details." And I wanted to find out if the person who had the same name that was given by the channel source, that was supposed to have been my son in a previous life as a pilot in Vietnam, had died in the way that had been described. I was just looking for a hit, right? I wasn't really trying to do anything more than that.

So I decided to see if I could get an account of the death, like the obituary or from a news article or something from the time. So I called the newspapers in Punta Gorda and didn't really get any results there because it was all archived. And one of the people at the newspaper said, "Well why don't you call the library?" So I called the library and they gave me the name of the funeral home that had handled the arrangements. She said, "Why don't you call the funeral home?" So I called the funeral home and I started talking to the funeral director and he said, "Well why are you asking about this George Ray?" And I had a story but for some reason I decided not to tell the story but just tell him the truth. So I told him the truth. I said, "My son, since he was a little kid, he said he was a pilot", etc. etc. I didn't tell him about the channeling. So I said his name was George Ray and he died this way, etc. etc. and I'm just trying to confirm those details.

And the guy must have been nearly ready to pass out. He says, "Oh my god! My god! You couldn't have known" he says, "but I'm a personal friend of the family. And everything you have just told me is absolutely correct."

So I said, "Okay, fine." So this developed into a whole other story in another direction, but the point I want to get to and it was all done under the eye of a journalist who was there for the meeting, because we did go and meet the family and things kind of went in kind of a wonky way. But then I decided, "Okay, it's time to do a hypnosis session with my son to see if I can help relieve this problem because if he got shot down and killed in Vietnam, he's obviously got some trauma, right? So let me see if we can go in and we can relieve this trauma because he's got this leg problem."

So, we go in and we do what is just going to be a hypnosis session which is going to take him through a past life memory of a traumatic death; go through it, abreact the emotions; it's very basic stuff. And what came out was actually quite different because he began to describe flying along in his plane and saying, "My god, what is that smell? What is that smell?" And I asked him what he's talking about. He says "It's the bins, the bins." And I said, "What do you mean the bins?" He says, "The bins full of body parts." And I asked him, "What are you talking about?" Well, they put bins of body parts on the plane. And I said "Who did?" And he described these creatures that you describe in your book...

Nick: Wow.

Laura: ...putting bins of body parts on his plane. They had kind of like abducted him, the plane, or forced him to land, or whatever, and had loaded these bins of body parts on his plane and then he was flying along and that's when he was shot down. And he was shot down by friendly fire.

Nick: Well that's really interesting. That's sort of very close. And it's interesting also, I think, one of the other reasons why there might be so much secrecy around the UFO subject is because when you talk about past lives, there are a lot of cases, particularly abductions, where the entities that do the abducting seem to know something about the afterlife and souls and things like that. There are a lot of stories about abductees feeling that the whole process, or purpose of the abduction, was something to do with the human soul and the afterlife.
So when you bring up the afterlife as well, and previous lives with the UFO phenomenon, I think that's another good reason we're not being told the truth because I think somebody's realized these aren't clearly just somebody else's equivalent of NASA. They're sort of really beyond strange.

Pierre: Nick, do you have an idea why aliens, UFOs, take away body parts or perform human mutilation? What's the objective?

Nick: Well, there are lots of different theories. One of the theories, of course, is the idea that it's sort of like a gene splicing operation to try and make human/alien hybrids, the sort of thing that Dr. David Jacobs talks about in his book, The Threat. Now some researchers view it as a positive thing, the idea that they're trying to create half-human hybrids to have like a next generation of super humans who can sort of put the planet on the right path. David Jacobs thinks it's more disturbing where they're trying to create human-like crossbreeds to infiltrate us and sort of take over from within. It may just be that it's sort of just biological experimentation to see what makes us tick, so to speak. I think we sort of view it as gruesome and disturbing because the experiments are undertaken on people. But we undertake experiments on rabbits and rats and we don't give it a second thought. But I think it could be like that. It could be to them just a regular day-to-day thing, they don't give it any thought but we do because we assume we're sort of the leading creature on the planet. And so, if we start being experimented on, then it has to be sinister, but if we look at it from their perspective, we might just be somebody's lab rat that's the unfortunate person who gets picked up and probed, prodded and dissected.

Laura: Well, what if what you said a while ago connects to what you just now said, that they feed on the emotions for the energy and what if all of this experimentation is not really because they want or need to know, or need to breed something, because they would certainly, based on their capabilities, be perfectly able to do those things without what amounts to rather primitive genetic experiments? What if David Jacobs is right and what if the other part of it is they do feed on our energy?

Nick: That's a good point. That's a good way of looking at it. I didn't really think of it like that before. But that would sort of explain both sides of it. But there are a lot of cases where it seems like the fear is engineered for a reason. For example, a lot of the men in black reports where people report being visited by the men in black after a UFO encounter. When people think of the men in black they think of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, the movies. But most of the real reports, the men in black are described as looking sort of semi-human/semi-alien. They're like five foot, five-foot-five, very pale, skinny, and acting in a really sort of strange fashion. And one of the things in a lot of these cases is that the men in black seem to go out of their way to frighten people. That seems to be the major thrust of the event. And a lot of researchers assume that's done to silence the person. Well it could be, but it could be also, if you threaten the person and it frightens them badly, then you could potentially feed on that energy as well. So in other words, silencing the person might be the ruse, you know, that's what we think it is, but it could just be that they deliberately create high states of fear in men in black encounters to bleed it dry.

And there are some examples of that, where the witnesses to the men in black have said that when the men in black are in the room with them, they felt like they started to crash, I guess like a diabetic person would if they have missed two meals or something. Their body starts to feel weak and they get the shakes and so on. And that's how people who've seen the men in black, they have that feeling as well.

Laura: Well, you know that happens, I think, with human-to-human encounters sometimes. You can be around a person who can induce that feeling in you, so it's not unlikely that they're absorbing some kind of energy. You referred to physics a while ago; my husband is a physicist and these are the kinds of things that we speculate and talk about a great deal. And one thing we talked about, years and years ago, was when you look at something and you receive the wave form energy, or the light refraction, that gives you the image of an object that hits your retina, that gets sent to your brain and translated into a picture and so forth; the question he asked back then was, "Well when you're looking, you get that in, but what if what you're looking at is giving energy out?" And of course just recently they've done some experiments to show that you do actually emit photons from your eyes. That you affect what you look at as much as you're receiving an image so what if that is extrapolated out to other things? That people can emit or pick up energy from one another and if these alien creatures just do it bigger, better, badder...

Niall: On another scale.

Laura: ...yeah, on a completely other scale and that's something else to think about.

Nick: Yeah, that's a good point.

Pierre: Nick, in your book Final Events, you present a correlation between demonic entities and aliens. So could you elaborate on this point?

Nick: Yeah, Final Events is a book I wrote in 2010. It's probably the most controversial book I've written. It deals with a think tank-type group that existed and may still exist, I'm not too sure on that, sort of within the government but again, outside of it. It acts like its own independent entity. The story I actually got from a guy named Ray Boeche. Ray has an interesting background. He's a former state director for MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, and he lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. But as well as being a former MUFON state director, he's also an Anglican priest. And in the early '90s, he was contacted by several people with the US Department of Defense who wanted to discuss with Ray, a project they were working on to contact what they were calling 'non-human entities' or NHEs. And the first thought was that the NHEs were aliens. The means by which they were contacting them were sort of channeling and sort of mind-to-mind communication rather than literal face-to-face communication.

But they told Ray that the more and more that this project continued and the more sort of contact they had with these entities, it began a weird run of bad luck, just regular bad luck, time and time again, but also ill health and early deaths and disease. Almost like your worst Monday morning rolled into one. And they actually came to believe that these entities that told them they were aliens, the group came to believe that they were actually demonic and when I say demonic, I mean literally demonic. That's what they thought they were and that they were masquerading as aliens to try and get their claws into us, so to speak. And the more the group dug into this, the more they came to believe that the entire UFO phenomenon and in the book I tell the story of the group. It's not me endorsing the story. I always have to get that point across to people. But they came to believe that the entire UFO phenomenon is literally demonic, but masquerades as extraterrestrial. And supposedly it all revolves around the battle for the human soul.

And the idea is that abductions, as they saw it, were done to try and extract the human soul from people. And they didn't view it as like the traditional view of heaven and hell, clouds and angels, and a guy with horns and this fiery pit. They viewed heaven and hell as almost like multi-dimensions where these entities fed on the life source in the human soul, almost like demonic vampires feeding on soul energy. And that's why there's this so-called battle going on for the human soul that's become distorted over time into a heaven and hell, angels and demons angle. But that's what they came to believe, that demons do exist and that that's what's at the heart of the UFO phenomenon.
So it's a very controversial story. And a lot of it, granted as I point out, the people who believe it, its belief driven; that was their conclusion. But it's an interesting theory, but it's sort of a disturbing one as well.

Laura: Well let me tell you another one of my cases. A young woman, who actually happens to be from Texas, and she had multiple alleged alien abductions starting from when she was a small child. And what she told me was that they would land their craft, or hover over the field out behind the house, and that they would then come to the window and they would take her, kind of like through the window. She thought she just kind of passed through the window without any problems even though it was closed, but they would take her onto this craft. Sometimes they would come into her bedroom and they would play with her and then they would take her onto the craft and that they were really sweet to her and everything was all loveliness and light and they were her friends and they were going to come for her again and that this had gone on for quite a while.

So this is pretty much the story I got in the preliminary interviews. And then of course we do the hypnosis session and I'm a real stickler for not asking leading questions. So when things happen in my sessions, it's usually because that's what really happens. And I would take the person through the event, have them describe everything, basically, by saying, "Okay, what happened next? Okay, what happened next?" That's pretty much all I would say. "Okay, what happened next?" because I don't want to ask anything like a leading question.

So when the whole scenario was finished, and here was the problem, because this woman had a lot of physical issues, had a long-term illness, debilitating, etc. And I was wondering if there was any relationship between her illness and these alien abductions and also I wondered if maybe she had been sexually abused and she was covering up the sexual abuse by stories of alien abductions, because that does happen, I think.
So I wanted to know if it was a sexual abuse issue. So I set up kind of a working operation in her head where she's relaxed in a recliner and she's got a television and a remote control in her hand, all in her mind, so that I can take her through the event again. "Okay now you're going to watch it on television, only this time you have the remote control so you can fast-forward, you can rewind, you can pause, you can stop. It's all happening at a distance." Because I figured that if it was a very traumatic event, she needs a little distance from it, which is kind of the reason for doing this.

So I take her through it again. She describes pretty much the same thing, projected on the television in the scenario that she's created in her mind. But I'm still thinking there's something that she's not seeing or she's not telling me, okay? And I want to know. So then I said, "Okay, there's another button on the remote control and it's called split the screen. And what happens when you push this button is that the whole scene stops and the screen splits like a curtain opening, and the curtain opens on either side and you see what is behind the event you have just described. You see the essential nature of the event." And that's pretty much all I say. I don't want to suggest what it is or what she might be thinking. But basically you're going to see the essential nature of the event.

So I started taking her through it again and when she got to the point where she was on the ship and everything was all lovely and the little aliens were so sweet and they were being all nice to her, I said, "Okay, now hit split screen and see what's really going on". And so she hit the split screen and everything kind of stops and then all of a sudden she started having this serious emotional reaction. She was crying and her nose was running and sputtering and gasping for air and just very, very upset. And finally little by little I was able to pick out of her "What are you seeing? What's going on? What's going on?" She says, "Oh my god! It's like that horrible creature in the movie." And I said, "What horrible creature?" And she says, "You know the Star Wars movie." And I said, "Well which creature was that?" She says, "That Jabba creature. This horrible, fat, disgusting creature". And I say, "Well what's he doing?" And she says: "Well he's got all these little children like me and I'm one of them. And he's holding them up close to him and he puts his mouth over their faces and he sucks their energy out of them and he does one at a time and as soon as they're exhausted, he drops them down beside him and picks up another one and puts his mouth over their face and draws their energy out of them and then puts them down. And then, when he's done getting all of this energy, then they take us back to our houses and put us in our beds." And that's what she saw.

Nick: Well that actually ties in with a lot of those stories that I talk about in the book; the idea that the image we have of the alien abduction is kind of like a cover for what's really going on.

Laura: Yeah, I don't do that anymore because I really didn't have the emotional stamina to withstand many stories of that kind. It was just really horrifying; horrifying.

Joe: Nick, with all the research you've done and thinking and writing about this topic, have you yourself ever had any kind of a paranormal experience or anything approximating such?

Nick: Well, I've never had a definitive UFO encounter or anything like that, but one of the things I do get a lot of, I do get a lot of weird synchronicities. And I always tell people you should never ignore synchronicities, which for people who don't know, is sort of like a meaningful coincidence where something happens for a reason or you meet a person for a reason, etc. etc. And I think that there's an intelligence or an energy out there that if we sort of call it, whether consciously or subconsciously, it can respond. And I think synchronicities are tied in with that.
So, I do get a lot of synchronicities but I always try and act on them or understand what the synchronicity means rather than ignore it. I think if something is doing this for a reason, then there's a reason why you should respond or try and figure out what it is.

Niall: Nick, another topic here: what do you think of these stories that people live underground? I'm thinking an either/or scenario, that describes an actual subspecies of humanoids that live under the surface of the planet, and/or some kind of civilizations of people, regular humans.

Nick: Well again, kind of like with the winged humanoids, you can go back throughout human culture, the early years of civilization when there was a belief, not just like an underworld like a hell, but also the idea that on the earth itself there were domains and realms where strange creatures would live. If you look back at say, England in the 1500's with fairy stories. People today, when they think of fairies, they think of Christmas card imagery of little girls in wings flitting around Christmas trees. That's actually a fairly modern scenario of what a fairy would look like. Back 500 or 600 years ago, they were described as sort of potentially malevolent and menacing little dwarfish creatures, sort of one to three feet high that could sometimes be friendly, sometimes manipulative, sometimes downright deadly.

And in a lot of the old English stories, the old Celtic stories, the fairies of that kind would live underground or in mounds, in hills that would have extending tunnels and so on. And sometimes they would help people, as I said, and sometimes they would just sort of get their kicks by destroying people's lives, or just for the most part manipulate them. So they had an uneasy relationship with us. And one of the theories is that this is kind of related to, almost like an inherited memory that we all have of times when possibly ancient man knew more about these under-dwelling creatures than we do.

I've investigated a few of these stories from, for example Death Valley in California, where there are a number of stories of gold prospectors reportedly coming across ancient caves and caverns filled with what looks kind of like their equivalent of something like an ancient Greek building or Egyptian building. The inference being that some sort of ancient civilization that lived in the US long before even the Native Americans, and that possibly lived underground.

A friend of mine who unfortunately passed away a few years ago, Mac Tonnies, wrote a book on all this called The Cryptoterrestrials, which sort of updated for the modern era this old theory of entities that could be related to or an offshoot of the human race, or something else entirely, but similar to the human race, living underground. And Mac actually wondered if aspects of the UFO phenomenon could actually be a terrestrial race living underground but that presents itself as extraterrestrial, so that we don't learn what it really is. He had some interesting theories; the idea that maybe that would explain alien abductions; the idea that if aliens were coming here and they're from some far away star system and so different to us, what would be the chances we would be genetically compatible for use in their experiments? But if we take the view that they're actually some sort of ancient offshoot of the human race living alongside us, albeit very stealthily, then arguably we would be extremely close genetically. And that would make more sense from the genetic angle of abductions if, as Mac suspected, they're like on an evolutionary decline, in the sense that their species is going downhill and so they're trying to inject new blood. Well, if we're related to them, arguably, we were the best thing to use. And you could also make a good case, as Mac did, why did the aliens always ensure that they tell us they're aliens or they're from this star system? It's like they're over-emphasizing it. Or maybe they actually are to just hide the fact that they're from not up there, but down below. So it's an interesting theory.

Laura: What's his name again and the name of the book?

Niall: Mac Tonnies. We have it.

Nick: Mac Tonnies and the book is called The Cryptoterrestrials. It's only a small book because unfortunately...

Laura: Do we have it? How come I never saw it?

Joe: Uhhh, it's up there {laughter}.

Nick: It's underground.

Niall: We have so many books.

Joe: It's underground, yeah.

Pierre: Nick, in the cases you've documented there is a frequent occurrence of suspicious heart attacks. And you show that there are some technologies based on microwaves, or sound waves and even psychokinesis techniques that can induce heart attacks and other fatal diseases. Can you tell us more about this topic?

Nick: Yeah. In the new book I've got, Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind, there are all sorts of different deaths. But there are a number of deaths and significant and also suspiciously timed deaths within the UFO subject where people have had sudden, out-of-the-blue heart attacks and died. And some of them have been in their mid-30s. For example, Captain Edward Ruppelt, who headed the US Air Force's most famous UFO study program, Project Bluebook. He died at 36, after his second heart attack, at a time when he was planning to reveal much more that he knew about the subject. He wrote a book called The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, then he backed away from the subject and said, "Well I think maybe I over-emphasized and there's not really anything strange going on". But then just before his death he was planning on coming out with something new. So he died suddenly at 36.

There are other cases of people dying at young ages, through heart disease, that I talk about in the book. And I also talk about how files have surfaced through the Freedom of Information Act showing how directed microwave technology and also sound technology, acoustic technology, can actually have a very adverse and even fatal effect on the heart. For example, if you've ever been at a concert and you've been near the speakers, you can feel that sort of throb in your chest. Or if you take a wine glass and spin your finger around a wine glass, if you get the frequency right you can shatter it. That's just basically what's called acoustic technology; acoustics are making that happen. And directed acoustic energy weapons actually are a reality. At the very least they can cause nausea, dizziness, sickness, and there are plans where they can actually be used for crowd control. You just aim this weapon and the person doesn't actually hear anything, other than a hum, but they suddenly feel sick and they're just disabled and fall to their knees.

But there are also experiments that have been done, and again this is through Freedom of Information files we know this, that experiments have been undertaken with acoustic technology that can actually disrupt heart rhythms to the point where it can actually stop your heart. And of course if somebody wanted to use a weapon like that and kill someone, well when they were autopsied, it would just show they had like an aberration with their heart. There would be no way to prove it was murder, it was just, "Well they're just one of those people unfortunately who died at 25 or 41 or whatever. They died early but it was just natural." There would be no way to prove otherwise.

Laura: Do you think they practice with this thing, on random targets, just to see how well it works?

Nick: I've never seen evidence of that. I'd be more inclined to think they probably would have tested it to start with on animals.

Laura: Well, there have been an awful lot of young people that have been dying suddenly of heart attacks, under suspicious circumstances, that I've noticed in the news in the past 5 to 10 years.

Joe: Well it's kind of interesting that idea of a technology that can be directed at a human being to cause heart attacks or cancer or different things because you cite examples in your most recent book where people who have had UFO encounters have had these experiences and then have subsequently died and also some evidence that, as you just mentioned, that factions of the US government/military/ intelligence agencies, have been experimenting with these and have developed weapons that may well do this.

And then there's another example where you cite that the Russians, in terms of their experimentation into remote viewing, there was one woman Nina - I can't remember her second name.

Laura: Kulagina.

Joe: Kulagina, yeah, where she, apart from remote viewing, they did a test and she was able to increase a doctor's heart rate to the point where they had to say, "Okay, let's stop now before you kill the guy!" And so it's almost like there's a crossover there, that essentially those three things may ultimately be similar in a sense, that it's a natural human ability, albeit possessed only by very few people with very particular genetic conditions. And then there's a technology that can be developed based on it that's supposedly a human technology but that technology may well have come from, originally, some kind of alien association with our shadow government-type people.

Nick: Yeah, I think when you look at these files this is one of the most disturbing things, that the Russians in the '70s were way ahead of where we were. And there were major concerns that the Russians were using essentially what you would call psychic assassins, or even psychics who could just create a fast-acting disease like a fast-acting cancer that would take the person out in six months and it would just look like, again, one of those unfortunate people that sometimes it happens. They get a diagnosis and they're dead in three months. The one you're talking about, this particular woman Nina Kulagina, this actually talks in the official documents about how she essentially used psychic phenomenon to speed up this doctor's heart to an incredible rate to where he was literally in danger and the operation had to be stopped.
Now of course that was done within controlled circumstances. If it was done in the field, no one would even know, possibly, that the woman was there. When you find that there are so many suspicious deaths under these circumstances in the UFO field and it seems to occur in some cases, where the person was possibly on the verge of revealing something of major significance, I think it's not just the event that you have to look at to see if it's suspicious, it's what the person was doing at that time, the circumstances surrounding their work and research and so on.

Joe: We were just talking about cancer, early onset cancer or cancer that acts very quickly, the person that comes to mind is Jack Ruby.

Laura: And Karla Turner.

Joe: And Karla Turner.

Nick: Yeah.

Joe: But also in terms of induced heart attack, I've always had my suspicions about Robin Cook, former foreign minister. Do you remember him in the UK?

Nick: Yes.

Joe: Just before, he was out walking and they say he had a fall but not really a big fall, but he had a massive heart attack. And that was not long after he had taken a stand against the Iraq War, against Blair, and was going to form a new party and do all sorts of things. And he was a great orator as well. He could have swayed a lot of people. And then he suddenly dies while walking in the Scottish highlands. But anyway, that's just my theorizing.

Nick: Well yeah, I think this kind of ties in with some of the things I think about a shadow government. I know a lot of people do think that was like a very suspicious death. If you ask me do I think Blair authorized it? No I don't.

Joe: Yeah.

Nick: What I think is that what could have happened is that these huge, multi-national groups, again, like shadow-type groups who have a vested interest, who are the real power brokers and the real manipulators of the planet - we think this person or whatever, is the prime minister or president but they're just a figurehead really - so I wouldn't be surprised if some of these deaths and with politicians are more due to a shadow group, or a rogue offshoot of an intelligence agency rather than the official agency itself. And that's why, again, I think it's hard to get the answers. But I wouldn't be surprised if something like that could have happened.

Niall: Speaking about foreign secretaries, have you ever come across anything to do with Secretary of State James Forrestal's brush with ufology? He died under suspicious circumstances.

Nick: Yeah, I've actually got a chapter on him in the book. Forrestal died on May 22, 1949. He plunged to his death from a 16th floor window of the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, and depending on who you ask, he committed suicide or he was shoved out the window. Those are really the only two options. There are a lot of weird aspects to Forrestal's death. He was the first US Secretary of Defense; this was in 1947. Prior to that, there actually wasn't a secretary of defense in the US; he was the very first one.

And there are a lot of stories and rumors within the UFO field that, after he became secretary of defense, that Forrestal was briefed on the UFO subject and what was known about it at the time, which probably wouldn't have been much because Roswell was only July '47, that was the start of it in the modern era at least. And he was elected in September, so it was just eight weeks after. But, by all accounts, it had a very sort of traumatic effect on Forrestal's character. Although he was a very brilliant strategist and somebody who, in that sense, was good for that particular job, he was also a very emotional man and had a lot of emotional highs and lows in his personal life as well, with his wife. For that reason he may not have been the best person to have such a responsible job. But the story is that when he was told whatever the deep and dark secrets are about the UFO subject, over time it plunged him into a state of stress and depression which built up and got worse and worse, to the point where in early 1949, he had a complete psychological collapse, a breakdown. And he was admitted to the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was actually there for a couple of months and by all accounts, after about three or four weeks, he was actually getting a lot better and responding to treatments. He was eating showering, shaving, looking after himself in other words. He wasn't just sort of sitting in a corner, etc.
What happened was that his brother got sick and tired of the fact that every time he tried to visit the hospital and tried to take his brother Forrestal home, somebody would come up with a reason why, "Well he's got to stay longer. He's got to stay longer." And there were fears that when Forrestal got out he was going to blow the whistle on everything he knew about the UFO subject to the media, to the population, to the world. And so the story was that somebody was not going to allow that to happen. So the idea was, 'just keep him in the hospital as long as possible, isolated, and we'll try and figure out what to do'.

Well, his brother Henry eventually just got sick of it and phoned the hospital on May 21, 1949, and said: "Look I'm coming tomorrow morning. I'm taking him home and you can do what you like." So if somebody did want Forrestal gone, that would really be the only time, would be after his brother phoned on the morning of the 21st and between the morning of the 22nd when he was going to come and take him home. And sure enough, that's when Forrestal died. He died in the early hours, like 2:00 am I think it was, of May 22, 1949. The official story is that he took the cord from his dressing gown, tied one end of it around his neck with a double knot and then tied the other end of the cord with a double knot around the radiator and climbed out the window and lowered himself out. And then the idea was he wanted to strangle himself but the weight of his body snapped the cord and he fell onto a 13th floor canopy that was sticking out.

Now, that's not an impossible scenario but if you think about it, he was just an average-built guy. If you take the cord off a dressing gown and loop it around your neck and tie it twice and then you loop the other end around a radiator and knot it twice, would there even be enough cord left to actually climb out of a window and then lower yourself down the other side? It's not like he had a 60 inch waste or something.

Laura: Yeah.

Nick: So there are little weird aspects to his death, the timing, the nature of his death. And what was weird is that throughout the entire time he was there, he had a guard watching him. He actually died on the one night, literally the only night where for something like 10 minutes, one of the guards was relieved and the other one wasn't brought in. And so if somebody wanted to get rid of him, that would have been the ideal time when no one was around and try and make it look like a suicide. So I think it's kind of like the Kennedy assassination that we'll never really know. Forrestal's death was 65 years ago, a long time. And even if somebody wanted him gone, they're not going to be stupid enough to put it in writing and say, "Please send agent so-and-so to the hospital and kill Forrestal". No one's going to write a memo saying that. It's all going to be word of mouth. But the more time that goes by, I think the harder and harder it's going to be to resolve anything, really.

Laura: Well that's just way too many coincidences for me, I can tell you that.

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Laura: You've talked a little bit about people being driven crazy, actually being driven to kill themselves. Do you know anything about the Paul Bennewitz case?

Nick: Yeah, Paul Bennewitz was a tragic story. It almost ended in death for him. But Paul Bennewitz was someone who, in the late 1970s, he developed an interest in the UFO subject. Excuse me, I should say he had an ongoing interest in the UFO subject but he developed an interest in strange goings on in one particular part of New Mexico on the fringes of Albuquerque. And what happened was that at the time Bennewitz, who was a scientist doing contract work for the US Air Force, and the building that housed Bennewitz's company, which was called Thunder Laboratories, actually backed onto the fence line of Kirkland Air Force Base who were contracting him.

And because he worked so close to the base at night, because his home was only five minutes away as well, he started to see these strange objects in the sky which for want of a better term he called UFOs. And he would see these strange lights beaming down to the ground. He began to hear about abduction stories in the area and he did something sort of pretty unique, and maybe this was connected to the fact that he was doing contract work for the Air Force, but he actually approached the Air Force and said words to the effect of, "I think you've got UFOs flying over your base and I'm hearing stories about people being abducted in the area and taken to underground bases and examined and experimented on." And the Air Force didn't ignore it. They actually took his story very seriously. They sent people round to interview him and to see what he was looking into. And some researchers have suggested that this was because there was a fear that Bennewitz had stumbled upon a genuine classified matter affecting national security and so the story is that they sort of approached him on a friendly basis to try and figure out if he was a threat to national security and how much he knew.

Well, the story is that whatever the secret was, he knew quite a lot. And so then, somebody within the intelligence world reportedly came up with an idea, 'Well why don't we just bombard him with the most nightmarish stories we can come up with, that actually sort of vindicates even more what he believes is going on? But we'll just amp it up to the point where he's going to be so stressed out and filled with nightmares and paranoia that he'll just become overwhelmed by it.' And that's exactly what happened; he would have these clandestine meetings with intelligence agents who, he thought, were sort of helping him and passing information on, but they were just feeding him stories that made him psychologically even worse. And he became so paranoid, he felt people were breaking into his home and injecting him with chemicals which, who knows, maybe they were. But he eventually had to be hospitalized for psychological stress and just complete exhaustion. And he walked away from the subject.

But even though there are different theories as to why this was done, everybody agrees that he was targeted and put through the mill so-to-speak, because of the fact that he got too close to something and they decided that mental disintegration was the only way to get him to stop.

Laura: Whatever happened to him? Is he still around?

Nick: No, he died about 2001, 2002. When all this was going on, was about 1979 through about 1987, and after that time he had a total breakdown, but after that he kept a low profile for a couple of years but then just totally dropped out of the subject. He was done with it and so for the last 10 years of his life he wasn't really even involved, unless people contacted him and he would hang out with a few friends in confidence who he was comfortable with, but his days of active investigation were long gone by the time he had this psychological collapse.

Laura: I tell you what Nick, for somebody who didn't do too well in school you're damned encyclopedia! I swear! I have never heard such great stories in my life.

Niall: On his Amazon page he's got 30 books published or something.

Nick: Yeah, I've done about 30 altogether. There are some books actually where my name's listed, where I am actually not an author. There's a book on there, it's called Mind Control Sex Slaves of the CIA and it's got me as a co-author. I'm not a co-author of that book. What it is, the author reproduced a copy of an article I wrote somewhere online and he's inserted it in the book.

Joe: Okay, yeah.

Nick: That's why, technically, I'm presented as a co-author of a book called Mind Control Sex Slaves of the CIA, which I am nothing of the sort really.

Laura: Well I'm just amazed. Your memory for detail is just absolutely astonishing.

Joe: It's a real asset in this kind of field.

Nick: Sometimes it can be a curse when your brain is sort of swarming around with too much. That's why I like to be able to have a normal life away from it as well.

Joe: Yeah, jeez, you need it.

Laura: Yeah well, when do you get time for a normal life?

Nick: Well actually I plan it quite easily. What I do, I get up in the morning like 6:30, blog and whatever for an hour-and-a-half and do Facebook stuff. And then if I'm writing books or magazine articles I do 8:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday, and then unless I'm on a real deadline, that's where I stop. I do 8:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday, then that gives me every evening off, unless like today, I'm doing a radio show, I don't work weekends. I'll just do normal stuff as everybody else does. I'll go watch a football game, go down to the pub, whatever. I like to keep that balance between the two because I think otherwise there is a danger you can just get totally burned out if it becomes a 24/7 thing. It's not a job in the sense I consider a job. It's a passion. You've got to be passionate about it, but I do feel for me it's important to be able to switch off and just do what I consider normal stuff,

Joe: Yeah.

Laura: Well this has been absolutely terrific.

Joe: Yeah.

Laura: I've really, really enjoyed it and I really enjoyed this book: Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind.

Nick: Well thank you.

Laura: Because it just put a lot of pieces together that had been floating around in my head for a long time that I had not put together.

Joe: Nick, we don't want to take up any more of your Sunday.

Nick: No, I didn't mean it like that. I'm happy to do the show. I just meant I'm good at being able to switch off, that's all I meant. No, I'm fine doing the show.

Joe: We're getting close to the end of our slot anyway, but I just want to thank you for being on and for all the work you've done; it's been great.

Nick: I'm happy to do it. I enjoy doing radio and I think not to just enjoy it, but it's good to get information out to people. We all have our own roles, whether somebody's got a radio show, somebody's an author, somebody's a blogger, somebody's got a TV show, or somebody's a witness who comes forward. I look at it that we're all kind of on the same level, but we've all got our own different strands as to how we can contribute one way or the other.

Joe: Absolutely.

Laura: Well I'm going to be doing some reading so thank you for some of the clues and hints.

Joe: And just to our listeners, check out Nick's books on Amazon and his blog. You're on Facebook too, updating people.

Nick: Yeah, there's something like 9 or 10 Nick Redferns on Facebook but scroll down and I'm there somewhere.

Joe: Alright Nick. Thanks again.

Laura: Thanks so much.

Niall: Thank you.

Pierre: Thank you.

Nick: Alright. Thanks guys.

Niall: Bye-bye.

Joe: Have a good one.

Nick: You too. See you later.

Joe: Alright folks, I think we'll call it a day there on that one. Next week we are coming back down to earth and changing to a more political kind of topic, which is in the headlines right now, which is Israel. It's an interview with Lauren Booth. Lauren Booth is an English broadcaster/journalist and pro-Palestinian activist but she's probably more famous for being the sister of Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Blair. So we're going to be talking to her about all things Israel, Palestine and everything that's been going on over the past week. And that topic is maybe not unrelated to this topic that was just discussed today in a strange sort of weird way, but I'm not sure we'll be talking to Lauren about that.

Laura: Don't miss it!

Joe: Tune in any way for the skinny on Israel/Palestine. So thanks to our listeners, thanks to our chatters and anybody else that's doing anything and thanks to Nick again. And thanks to Laura.

Laura: And Niall and Joe and Pierre.

Joe: Thanks to everybody.

Pierre: Have a good one.

Niall: Bye-bye.