Friday, 28 March 2008

Probe Conference - Spring 2008

It's that time of year again and in the morning the usual suspects will be off to the biannual Probe Conference at the YMCA, St Annes. The conference will no doubt prove to be very interesting and we'll post a review next week.

The YMCA in St Annes is of course the same venue as the LAPIS 2008 UFO & Paranormal Conference which will take place on 14th June 2008. Well worth a trip!

4th Speaker Announced For LAPIS 2008 UFO Conference

LAPIS is pleased to announce that Mike Hallowell has completed the line up of speakers for the 2008 LAPIS UFO Conference. Mike spoke at our 2006 conference and was so well received that we asked him back!

Mike is a full-time writer and paranormal researcher. He takes care of scary business by investigating ghosts, poltergeists, UFO sightings and anything that scares the bejabbers out of most people. He says that earning a living by visiting haunted pubs and castles is as good as it gets!

He will talk about the incredible South Shields Poltergeist case. This is the true story of one of the world’s most terrifying cases of poltergeist infestation where one invisible entity went on a mission to cause terror.

In December 2005, a South Tyneside family were attacked by a violent poltergeist. Now, for the first time, one of the researchers who confronted it will tell the full shocking story. This may well be the most terrifying account of a supernatural encounter that you will ever hear and definitely one that you will never forget.

Below is a You Tube video detailing some other amazing poltergeist cases.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Turkish UFOs

Interesting report in the Turkish media by Fazile Zahir...

"The sighting of a UFO this week has excited the Turkish media with pictures appearing in both tabloid style and more serious broadsheet papers this week. The flying object was spotted in the Karaköprü area of Şanlıurfa province towards 4am on Wednesday morning. Filmed by an amateur videographer the strangely glowing hexagonal ball of light hovered in the sky emitting red, green and white lights and moved both fast and erratically. After fifteen minutes it disappeared without a trace. As of yet no official explanation has been offered as to what it might be although internet comments vary between lauding a genuine sighting of a ‘Green Fireball’ phenomenon, non believers claiming the object is just a star filmed under magnification and the more cynical believing that these are American spy planes monitoring Turkey’s border with Syria.

This is not the first instance of a UFO sighting in Turkey. They occur regularly with recent ones in Konya in March 2007 in the early evening which lasted on and off for a week and İstanbul on January 4th when people in the Yenibosna area of İstanbul saw a spinning circle with glowing white lights in the sky. The head of the Turkish Sirius UFO Space Sciences Research Centre Haktan Akdoğan claimed in August that in the last few months the number of sightings in Turkey, as in many other countries, has been increasing.

The largest concentration of sightings in Turkey and perhaps the best documented occurred between 2001 and 2002. This spate of sightings seem to have been triggered by the extraordinary events of June 7th 2001. Ten rural guardsmen from the village of Dondurmaz in Adıyaman province were watchmen for the night. All of them claimed to have seen a bright light in the shape of a large circular ‘tray’ the size of a house glowing in the sky. They watched as it flew off in the direction of Ulubaş mountain and then winked out of existence.

When the men reported to their commander their statements were taken seriously and the governor of Adıyaman province, Halil Işık, had them seperated and individually questioned. Not only did their accounts tally up but when asked to draw pictures of what they had seen all the sketches were uncannily similar. Mr. Işık felt the event was serious enough to send a report with the details to the Ministry of İnternal Affairs and also informed Haktan Akdoğan at the Sirius organisation. By the 13th of June in the same year Sabah newspaper was leading with the headline ‘Everyone searching for UFO’s’ in a story that detailed how in Uşak locals had stoned an alien, in Gaziantep the police had videoed a UFO and that people all over the country were phoning in reports of strange occurrences to their local jandarma.

The reports continued in a slightly hysterical atmosphere well into 2002 and included an event in Gebze on the 31st of May 2002 where a UFO was visible and circling with projecting lights for over an hour. This was followed by Akşam newspaper printing the story on 1st June 2002 of Saffet Şap, an electronic technician from Beykoz, who managed to video a flying object like a black bug with seven or eight legs. Later in the year on the 9th of November Hürriyet newspaper ran the account of four commercial pilots from different planes who had all seen UFO’s in the same patch of sky on the same day at the same time.

Haktan Akdoğan of Sirius seems to be a recurring figure in Turkish UFO lore commenting freely on each event and insisting on the importance of Turkey to alien life. His motives however may not just be scientific, he is also the owner of the İstanbul UFO museum that opened in 2002 (riding on the back of these multiple UFO events) and any extra interest in aliens will also encourage punters through the door of his museum. He also runs the museum as a fairly successful franchise, of the six UFO museums in the world three are in Turkey (İstanbul, Denizli and Göreme in Cappadocia) and his website advertises for further partners to open other UFO branch museums. İt is his clearly stated intention to open UFO museums all over Turkey to ‘further the knowledge of the Turkish people and to attract tourists’. His organisation provide all the necessary materials and installations so each museum is a de facto copy of the first. Whether they are lucrative or not is not mentioned but when the Göreme museum opened in 2006 Hürriyet newspaper reported that they had 5000 visitors in one month alone. Apparently it was especially popular with the Japanese.

Whether extra terrestials exist or not is much debated but recent advances in science make the chances seem more likely. Animals known as extremophiles thrive in earth environments previously thought not to have been able to sustain life. From microbes found living without oxygen in volcanic fissures two miles down in deep ocean trenches to water bears (aka tardigrades) that can survive temperatures from nearly absolute zero to 303ºF and even live in a vacuum like that found in space. These minute living things have upended the understanding of what is needed for the survival of life.

Previously scientists has worked on the assumption that both oxygen and liquid water were key factors in sustaining life but now it sems that these are only important to some types of life. The ‘rare earth’ theory is falling out of favour to be replaced with the idea that life is adaptable and that the question that needs to be asked is what kind of environment other than our own might sustain living things. The chances of intelligent life with the technology to communicate is slimmer, it is possible that such worlds have been and gone. İf life of this sort exists now they, like us would have the technology to recognise that earth is an ‘interesting’ planet and worth investigating. So why aren’t they here? Some would say they are and the report of flying objects above Karaköprü on Tuesday was a clear indication of just that."

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

MOD Opened A File On The Archway Lanterns

Original story from
THE Ministry of Defence opened a file on the Archway UFO spottings [seen above from lapisufo's YouTube channel] - but decided against further inquiries as it did not deem the sighting a threat to national security.

Just over a year ago Archway ground to a halt as dozens of glowing lights were seen in the sky, causing widespread panic among residents.

Now the Islington Gazette can reveal that top level government agencies looked into the phenomenon - which many believe was nothing more than floating Chinese lanterns.

The Islington Gazette sent a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry demanding to see every document relating to the Archway incident, as well as a total cost of the investigation.

The MoD did not disclose the cost of its inquiries, but did release what it said was the only document relating to the phenomena they hold on file.

It is from an organisation called Contact International which reports seeing "12 to 15 orange balls of light that moved quickly, stopped, faded away or moved upwards". Names and contact details have been blanked out by the Ministry.

In response to our inquiries, a government official wrote: "The Ministry of Defence examines any reports of 'unidentified flying objects' to establish whether what was seen might have defence significance - namely whether the United Kingdom's airspace might have been compromised. To date no report has revealed such evidence. We believe that rational explanations such as aircraft lights could be found."

James Zafar, 40, a designer from Crouch End, saw the lights when collecting his daughter from Archway. He said: "It was worth them investigating because it was really weird. I know in my gut whatever we saw was not balloons. It just seems crazy they are not looking into it further. It could have been a potential threat from another country or anywhere."

And Paul Southcott, of the Islington-based UFO and Supernatural Studies Group, said: "I am not surprised they looked into it - it is their job to investigate these things.

"They have probably looked into it more deeply but the likes of us will never know. I think it is a load of rubbish that they only have one document on it, there would definitely be more than that."

He added: "We come up against brick walls like this the whole time when investigating UFOs - it is very frustrating."

But not all were so convinced. Writer and UFO sceptic Ian Ridpath said: "It seems to me fairly obvious they were balloons. Last summer I saw some of these balloons drift across the sky and I recognised them immediately from all the Archway videos.

"It is quite remarkable that even though someone admitted they had set them off from a party people who saw it still believe it was something else. They won't accept it because it would make them feel a bit silly.