The one day conference “Into The Unknown” took place at Garston Manor, Watford, on Sunday 31st May 2009. Due to the impressive speaker line up, I decided to drive down from Birmingham for the conference along with my girlfriend and another friend. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the drive, it was one of the brightest days of the year and the roads were nice and clear. We arrived at Garston Manor at 9am.
The chosen venue was absolutely fantastic. The conference took place in an open function room inside the manor with large windows looking out to the grounds outside. This room was just the right size for the number of people who turned up, so never felt overcrowded and everyone got a seat. In another side room there were a few UFO book and magazine dealers, and a third room was a makeshift café with drinks, cake and biscuits up for grabs. As we had arrived with half an hour to spare we went outside to relax on the grass in the morning sunlight. We immediately bumped into the first speaker of the day, Kevin Goodman. He recognised me straight away, as last year he gave a talk for the Birmingham UFO Group.
Kevin’s talk kicked off at 9.30pm. He is a fantastic speaker and is always a joy to listen to. His lecture was essentially the same as what we had heard the previous year, but it was great to hear again. Kevin discussed his and his friends experiences at Warminster from earlier in his life. As you will probably already know, Warminster is one of the UK’s most famous UFO hotspots, especially from the 1970s-80s. After getting interested in the subject of UFOs, Kevin and his friends decided to visit the town on numerous occasions for sky watches on Cradle Hill. After discussing some of the mysterious goings on at Warminster, he described several very impressive UFO sightings that he had personally seen. He also explained how him and his friends became unwilling contactees. Using a method of channelling, his friend Colin would enter a trance like state, during which they seemed to make contact with an extraterrestrial entity. They did this on numerous occasions, but Kevin remains very level headed about this aspect of their experiences. He remains open to the possibility that it was genuine, but also wonders whether it was something else entirely such as ESP between his group of friends. This apparent contact was the subject of most of the questions asked at the end of the lecture.
In the short break, we met up with two other Birmingham UFO Group members Zoe and Ian, who had unfortunately missed most of the first lecture. It was then time for renowned ex-Ministry Of Defence researcher Nick Pope to begin his talk. I have seen Nick several times before and he is always a very interesting speaker due to his background. Nick ran the UFO desk for the MOD for a number of years. He started off as a sceptic but after looking into the reports coming in from the public realised that there was a large amount of evidence that some UFOs were physical craft of an unknown origin. His lecture this time was about the recent release of various UFO reports to the National Archives through the Freedom Of Information Act. Nick believes that at least in the UK, there is no cover up, and that now these reports are being released for public viewing neither the government or the MOD are with-holding any further information on UFOs. He went over some of the most impressive cases that have now been released, including a sighting by a pilot of a hovering craft the size of an aircraft carrier which was also confirmed on radar. Nick’s overall message that he was trying to get across was that the MOD are not the bad guys and that they are just as mystified by UFOs as the general public. A viewpoint which he openly admitted may not be shared by some of the audience!