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LAPIS 2010 Conference Review

On Saturday 22nd May I and my friend Chris drove up to St Annes from Birmingham to attend the LAPIS (Lancashire Anomalous Phenomena Investigation Society) UFO Conference for the first time. It was to be an absolutely fantastic day of listening to lectures and meeting up with old friends. The weather was absolutely stunning – one of the hottest days of the year so far. Clear blue skies and streaming sunlight made the journey to St Annes very pleasant indeed.

We arrived at 10.15am, 15 minutes before the first lecture ws due to start. The conference was held at a spacious sports hall in the YMCA (sing it) on St Albans Road. We immediately met up with Martin and John, two regular BUFOG members who had also made it to the conference. I then went to have a catch up with two of my friends from the UFO circuit – Larry Warren and Phil Mantle, who would both be speaking later in the day. For any of you who don’t know, Larry is one of the key witnesses and also whistleblower of the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident. Phil Mantle is one of the Uk’s most well renowned and experienced UFO researchers. Larry showed me a number of his paintings that were on display, including one directly based on what he experienced at Rendlesham. I had a brief look at some of the other merchandise tables around the room, and was surprised to see a number of bigfoot footprint casts on display by Paul Vella.

Soon it was time for the lectures to kick off, with Paul beginning proceedings. Paul is one of the UK’s leading experts on bigfoot. However considering the theme of the day, he had opted to give a talk linked with UFOs rather than elusive hairy creatures! His lecture was all about the portrayal of aliens and UFOs in movies over the last century up to recent times. He proposed that individuals involved with the UFO cover up may have influenced these movies and decided on how they were portrayed at various times. It was brilliant fun seeing the old B-movie posters featurning hideous alien creatures and terrified humans! He also showed a hilarious trailer for a black-and-white film named “The Giant Claw”, which featured what can only be described as a giant killer prehistoric turkey. Oh yes.

I was surprised to see that Paul didn’t feature the most recent UFO-themed movies such as The Fourth Kind or District 9, but other than this it was a great look back through the history of UFO cinema.

After a short break it was then time for Phil Mantle to take to the podium. I always enjoy Phil’s lectures, and this one did not disappoint. It was a general look at lots of very interesting cases. He began by talking about sightings around the Yorkshire area, including those by the late UFO researcher Tony Dodd. He even showed some photographs Tony had taken of unusual glowing aerial objects. The second half of Phil’s talk covered a number of fascinating contactee cases. These included well known cases such as the Alan Godfrey incident, and the Ilkley Moor abduction, which led to the famous photograph of the ET being that the witness had snapped before it ran away. It truly was an informative lecture on some highly convincing cases. Phil ended up speaking a bit about the new UFO publication which he is launching in July – UFO Matrix. This is intended to be a commercially available magazine on the subject, and I wish him and Malcolm Robinson all the best with it. I for one will be subscribing as soon as it hits the shops.

At the half way point of the conference, we stuck with time honoured tradition by finding the nearest pub and getting some lunch and a quick pint. Over lunch I chatted with Sasha Christie (contactee and researcher), Larry, Jason from the LAPIS crew and new friends Nathan and Luke who were experiencing a UFO conference for the first time.