The UFO writer, researcher and publisher on exposing hoax videos, and close encounters
I got involved in this subject a long time ago. As a lad I was always interested in the paranormal. It wasn’t until I returned to the UK from working in Germany for a year that my interest really started to grow. My aunt, who lived round the corner from us, brought me the local newspaper one day and it had a little advert in it for the Yorkshire UFO Society who were having meetings, in nearby Leeds.
We got on the bus and found this place, and it had been set up by brothers Mark and Graham Birdsall who of course went on to publish and edit the hugely successful UFO Magazine (UK). In the audience were the likes of Tony Dodd, Trevor Feal, Greg Townsend, all names that probably mean nothing to folks now. But I was hooked. Mark and Graham did a presentation relating some sightings in and around Yorkshire and you know that was it, I was on board and it’s been in my blood since that day.
I then began organising conferences with Mark and Graham after that. We used to have our meetings in a small room we hired upstairs in Centenary House in Leeds. From where we started a magazine called The UFOS Journal. We used to collate it by hand and staple it together and mail it out, and we thought this was fantastic – of course nowadays it’s a totally different process. Graham, Mark and Tony went on to publish UFO Magazine which at it’s height was selling over 35,000 thousand copies per issue. It was a sad day when Graham died (September, 2003) and the magazine closed not long after, but we had lots of happy times you know, and I was very pleased for their success. Graham and the others had put a lot of their time and energy into it, and fortunately it paid off for them.
By the time it launched though I had left the Yorkshire UFO society and had joined BUFORA. I was there nearly ten years and during that time I was their press officer I served as Conference organiser and put on some really large events, and for three years I was their Director of Investigations. I was also part of MUFON for a number of years, as their representative for England, when Walter Andrus was in charge. I started out knowing very little about the subject of UFOs and I still don’t today!
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