Nick Pope

Nick Pope has been in the UK media a lot recently, talking about conspiracy theories. You can almost sense the tired resignation in the printed words as once more he’s asked about the existence of Nibiru or Planet X by an increasingly unimaginative UK tabloid press. And when he’s not replying to journalist after sniggering journalist trying to make sense of tin-foil hat topics, he can be found embroiled in social media battles debating followers of that great medieval fantasy – flat earth theory – when he’s not being mistaken for a Premier League goalkeeper anyway.

Nick Pope 2

Now a resident of the US state of Arizona, Nick Pope left the MOD in 2006 after a distinguished service spanning over two decades. But in 1993, a couple of years into a new post, the advent of a certain UFO and conspiracy-themed tv-show suddenly propelled Nick in to the media spotlight. The unexpected popularity of The X-Files saw the MoD inundated with requests for information regarding whether UFO files existed in their archives. Pope was given the unofficial designated role of press liaison which subsequently earned him the public nickname ‘the real Fox Mulder’. We spoke to Nick about his MoD career, his writing and his contribution to the release of the UK’s UFO files into the public.

SOYM: When did you first join the MoD?

Nick Pope: I joined the Ministry of Defence in 1985 and served there for 21 years, in a number of different postings, at increasingly senior grades as my career progressed. I was assigned to the MoD’s UFO project in 1991 and held this position until 1994, when I was promoted to the next grade up. Before being assigned to this position I had no interest in UFOs and no particular beliefs on the subject. To me, it was just another government job – albeit a bizarre and fascinating one!

To read the full interview read the magazine here…

The Welsh Triangle

David Davies was just your average pupil at Broad Haven Primary School, but on 4th February 1977, while out playing football in the school field, a glint of silver in the nearby trees caught his eye and caused him to stop and watch. He described seeing a cigar shaped craft rising then descending behind some nearby trees. He wasn’t the only one either, other play mates also saw the object but by the time one of them had run in to the school to fetch a teacher, it had gone. The headmaster at the time, Ralph Llewellyn, sat the children down inside and under exam conditions, asked them to draw what they had seen. Each picture showed a variation of a semi-elliptical craft with a red flashing light on top of a small raised dome, while some pictures even had a silver-suited occupant descending from the craft.

Estimates of the size averaged around 45ft long. The story made the national news and even the famous John Craven’s Newsround a popular children’s television programme. Hugh Turnbull of the local Western Telegraph was first on the scene to talk to the pupils along with local vet Randall James Pugh who knew some of the children. They also took a look at the area where the children had said the craft had landed but the ground was extremely muddy and there was no way of distinguishing if anything had landed. They did notice however that a nearby telegraph pole had been damaged near the top, the metal cross-T-piece bent out of shape. Sceptics claimed that the children had just seen a helicopter or a chrome tanker from the local sewage plant not far from the school, however upon checking the plant said no tankers arrived that day. Turnbull then justified that by remarking that “these are children from a farming background, they know what a tanker looks like.” One of the school teachers, Mrs Morgan, disclosed that she too had seen the craft out of the window followed by a little whirlwind of dust that came across the playground as it ascended.

We got in touch with Peter Paget, author of the book The Welsh Triangle, who spent a lot of time in the area following the incident for further information. He spoke to children at the school in the playing field, 200 yards from where the craft had been spotted. David Davies, Michael Webb, Tudor Jones, Paul Williams, David Ward, Philip Rees and Shaun Garrison all recalled seeing a silvery coloured disc with an occupant holding some sort of camera-sized object. Headmaster Llewellyn told Peter that although personally he was sceptical of such craft himself there was no reason to believe that the children had conspired to produce a “sustained, sophisticated hoax”. As it transpired it wasn’t the only sighting in the area as Peter soon found out.

For the rest of the feature read the magazine here…