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International Irish UFO Conference 2009 Review

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

The sixth annual International Irish UFO Conference was held in the town of Boyle on 3rd-4th October 2009. Boyle is well known as an Irish UFO hot spot so was an apt location for the conference to take place. The town is also the home of Betty Meyler, president of the UFO Society of Ireland, who organised the weekend. Betty kindly offered me the chance to speak at the conference, and it was the first time I would talk on the subject outside of the UK.

Our journey from Birmingham on Friday 2nd October was in three parts; first a short flight to Dublin airport, followed by a bus journey to the city centre, and then a two and a half hour train journey to arrive at our destination of Boyle. Unbeknown to us, Grant Cameron, another speaker at the conference who had come all the way from Canada, was also on the same train. We met him for the first time at Boyle station, where we were also greeted by a friend of Betty’s, who drove us to Dunwarren House where we would be staying for the weekend.

The house was very nice indeed, with wooden flooring throughout, and was just along the road from the picturesque ruins of Boyle Abbey (unfortunately undergoing renovation work). After dropping off our bags we were then driven down to King House, the venue for the conference, to meet up with Betty and the other speakers. King House is a fantastic stately home nestled alongside Boyle’s shopping centre. The conference was to be held in one of the upstairs rooms, and to get there we had to walk past various halls of paintings and mannequins in period costume which formed part of the guided tours. The conference room itself was spacious with tall curtained windows and rows of chairs laid out for the attendees.

After meeting Betty for the first time, I then got chatting with many of the other speakers of the weekend, including Grant Cameron, Gary Heseltine, Alan Foster, Haktan Akdoman and Joanne Summerscales. We then had to all test our laptops and equipment to make sure everything was going to work as planned! Needless to say, despite doing this there were still some technical hitches throughout the weekend, luckily ones which were resolved. We were then given free reign to enjoy the rest of the evening. Myself and Kate joined some of the other speakers and conference cameraman Miles for a drink and late dinner at the bar in the Royal Hotel, just down the road from King House.

Saturday morning kicked off at 8.30am after a satisfying Irish cooked breakfast. We actually turned up slightly too early and found that the gates of King House were not yet opened! Soon conference attendees started to turn up and fill up the venue.

Betty then stood up and gave a brief introduction, before the first speaker of the day, Gary Heseltine, began his lecture. Gary’s talk was about the infamous Rendlesham Forest incident. Over recent months he has been in direct contact with Colonel Halt, the base commander at the time of the incident back in 1980. He has interviewed Halt numerous times and received some fascinating information about what took place, including the admission that the UFO was seen shooting down beams of light into the base and inspecting the “ordinance”. Gary then provided a very convincing argument that nuclear weapons were being stored at the base and this is what the UFO was checking out. At one point I helped him unravel a printed timeline of the incident to show how many aspects were involved in it. Gary has also been working with Halt on a screenplay for a documentary film on the incident. Considering the importance of the incident this is long overdue, and I hope that they get the go ahead for this to be produced. Gary will be coming to give a similar lecture for the Birmingham UFO Group on Friday 9th October, and I cannot recommend it enough!