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Filming In Rendelsham Forrest

With the publication of “Encounter in Rendlesham Forest”, the book that John Burroughs, Jim Penniston and I co-wrote about the Rendlesham Forest incident, Britain’s most famous and compelling UFO encounter is once again receiving major mainstream media coverage. “Encounter in Rendlesham Forest” is being put out by Thomas Dunne Books, part of the giant Macmillan publishing house – one of the so-called “Big Six” in the literary world. But in this article, I’m not going to talk about the UFO event that has been dubbed “Britain’s Roswell”, or about the book. To give people an entirely new perspective, I want to come at the subject from an entirely different angle, and detail what happened on some of the various occasions that I’ve filmed TV interviews in Rendlesham Forest. This will be a comparatively lighthearted, anecdote-based article, but relating these stories will hopefully illustrate a few more serious points about the incident, about ufology, and about media coverage of the UFO phenomenon more generally.
 
I’m not going to attempt to give a definitive, chronological list of shows. Nor am I going to list times when I’ve discussed the Rendlesham Forest incident on news bulletins (e.g. in relation to my involvement with the declassification and release of the MoD’s UFO files), chat shows or documentaries where I’m in a TV studio. Frankly, there are far too many (well over a hundred, I suspect) to list, and many of the interviews cover broadly similar ground. So I’m going to focus on the occasions where I’ve actually filmed on location in Rendlesham Forest. Even here, it won’t be a definitive list. Again, I’ve probably filmed in the forest well over a dozen times, and inevitably, there’s been some overlap. Rather, I want to pick out a few anecdotes, so as to give people a flavour of the sort of things that go on in the media world, which won’t necessarily be readily apparent from watching the finished TV shows. Hopefully, readers will appreciate this behind-the-scenes look at how the media works, even if it comes across as a somewhat disjointed series of stories.
 
For outside broadcasts, I’ve been used in a number of different roles. Given that I now work as a journalist and broadcaster myself, I’ve sometimes acted as the presenter, sometimes as the presenter’s friend (a role where you facilitate the discussion by talking with the main host in a particularly chatty way, as if you’re old friends), sometimes as the lead contributor, other times as a standard contributor, and sometimes as the reporter, doing the straight-to-camera live broadcast:
 
“This is Nick Pope, live from Rendlesham Forest, where back in December 1980 …”
 
Bear in mind that if you’ve seen me do that sort of thing on a breakfast TV show, at 7am, the chances are that I was up at 3am or 4am (even if I was staying in a local hotel), rehearsing the piece with the film crew, with all of us being pretty tired, cold and miserable. The TV industry isn’t always quite as glamourous as some people may think!
 
On the theme of TV not being the glamorous industry it’s sometimes portrayed as, I should probably start off by mentioning three factors that have a bearing on just about all outside broadcasts: the weather, noise, and passers by.
 
Few places in the UK are colder than the East coast of England in the wintertime, and if you look at some videos of me at Bentwaters, e.g. the episode of “UFO Hunters” that was devoted to the case, you’ll see that warm weather clothing is essential. One seldom films in the rain at all, as the lens gets wet and the light tends to vary too much if there are showers, but if the only issue is the cold, you just have to get on with it. The secret is to find a really stylish but warm coat – you don’t want to wear too many layers, as you end up looking overly bulky (accepted wisdom is that people already look a little chunkier on TV than in real life, so you don’t want to compound the effect). It sometimes helps to wear a hat, gloves and scarf in between takes, and then remove items such as the scarf just before the cameras roll – though you have to keep an eye on continuity and ensure, for example, that you don’t end up wearing an item of clothing in one shot, but not in the next. Incidentally, on the subject of clothing, there are often strict rules about what you can and can’t wear on TV, e.g. no branded clothes and no ‘busy’ patterns such as stripes that are too close together. I always check with the researcher/production assistant well beforehand, but there have been some surreal moments, e.g. the time when a production company decided they wanted me to go with my ‘Man from the Ministry’ image and wear a suit. That sort of thing is fine if I’m on Newsnight, but it looked decidedly odd walking around a forest dressed for the office!
 
Noise is a problem for most outdoor shoots (and some indoor ones too!) and while people might think a rural area like Rendlesham Forest is better than a city, background noise in the country (e.g. from a passing aircraft) actually stands out far more than background noise in the city, and can often lead to halts in filming.
 
The same is true with passers by walking into the shot. On several occasions I’ve had to walk slowly and purposefully away from the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge, towards the camera (a dramatic shot that directors love), only to hear “cut”, look behind me, and find that a dog-walker has wandered into the shot at the last moment. Getting a simple piece of B-roll footage (supplementary shots filmed to establish a character and/or location, and slotted between material shot in the main interview) can often take a long time to film. Children can present particular challenges, and the fact that there’s a children’s area by the car park/camp site at the beginning of the “UFO Trail” in Rendlesham Forest leads to the inevitable “Hey mister, are you making a film?”, or other such questions. I always respond in a polite and friendly way, of course, and unlike some TV folk I could mention, I never refuse an autograph request.
 
I mentioned dog walkers, but Rendlesham Forest has another wildlife challenge that one doesn’t often encounter on a shoot. I was doing a “walk and talk” along one of the main forest tracks with a film crew one summer’s day, when suddenly there was a loud yell. I looked around and saw one of the crew frozen on the spot, looking fearfully ahead. He’d nearly trodden on a snake that had been basking in the summer sunshine. It was an adder, and could have given him a nasty bite. This is a good example of why TV companies must apply to the Forestry Commission for permission to film, as they’ll need a licence, and issue of the licence is dependent upon the company having adequate insurance in place.
 
Occasionally, there can be some funny moments on a shoot. On one occasion, I went out to shoot a small item and there was only one other person present, so he was director, camera operator, lighting engineer and sound engineer, all in one. He then got a call from the studio, asking us to film a recreation of the UFO sighting, to accompany my interview. We looked at each other in amazement, wondering how we were going to accomplish this. In the end, as the light was fading, we found a small bush, and the inventive TV company man detached the light and fixed it onto the end of a rod. We both then got down on our knees, one of us on each side of the bush. I moved the light slowly from side to side, while he operated the camera and filmed it. I never saw the finished piece (I’m not one of those people who watches my own TV shows!) but I hope it didn’t look too amateurish!
 
On another occasion, I was with a larger crew and time margins were running out on us, despite our still being some distance from the site where the UFO was seen to land, on the first night. The director turned to me:
 
“Is it much further?”
“A fair way, yes”, I replied.
A crafty look appeared on the director’s face.
“One bit of forest looks pretty much the same as another, doesn’t it?”
I caught his drift.
“Absolutely”, I replied, nodding enthusiastically. “It’s all very similar”.
A few moments later we’d set up and I was speaking to camera:
“Here, somewhere very close to this spot – we can’t be certain of the exact location after all these years …”
 
Joking aside, there are strict broadcasting rules about faking things, so we had to be very careful we weren’t falsely implying that we were at the exact spot. Plus, as people who know the case well are aware, large parts of the forest were felled in the Great Storm of 1987, and the replanting changed the layout of the forest to such an extent that it’s not really possible, nowadays, to be sure where John Burroughs and Jim Penniston encountered the landed UFO.
 
While I’ve done hundreds of TV interviews over the years, it’s still easy to occasionally get things wrong. One time I was asked to walk into a clearing and tell the story of what happened to John Burroughs and Jim Penniston when they first saw the landed UFO. I was asked to put myself in their shoes and tell the story in real-time. They wanted a standard commentator interview, but I inadvertently slipped into presenter mode, which is louder and more extrovert. I walked into the clearing, turned around with a shocked expression on my face and launched into a gravel-voiced and dramatic retelling of the story, along the lines of the cliché about the voiceover specialists who begin movie trailers with the phrase “In a world ….” – anyway, that’s when I heard the director’s voice, loud and clear:
 
“Cut. Lose the theatrics!”
 
One amusing incident happened near the forest, not in it. The director concerned wasn’t really sure what to make of the lighthouse theory and thought it was a bit weak. But it’s been featured in one or two previous documentaries, so he thought he’d better get some footage of it. So we drove, and drove, and drove, until finally we arrived at the coast, a few miles away, at Orford. And there was the lighthouse – still looking tiny in the distance.
 
“Oh for **** sake”, the director muttered, under his breath, realising instantly what any ufologists who have actually been to the area have long-since figured out, i.e. that the chances of numerous USAF witnesses mistaking a distant lighthouse for a landed, metallic UFO are about zero. He decided it would be intellectually dishonest to even imply that the lighthouse could have been involved, so we broke for lunch and discussed some of the stronger skeptical theories that we might feature instead. Even on occasions where I’ve filmed with crews at night, when we’ve found one of the few areas of the forest from which the lighthouse is even visible, it appears as a tiny pinprick of light on the distant horizon. Confusion over the lighthouse badly caught out one ufologist (another amateur astronomer trying to position himself as an expert on UFOs) in a recent UFO series that included coverage of the Rendlesham Forest incident. He launched into a monologue about how the blinking of the lighthouse might coincide with points on Colonel Halt’s tape when the UFO came into view. But it was clear that the ufologist concerned had never actually been to the forest himself. As the TV show wrapped up the story it was revealed that the lighthouse wasn’t even visible from most of the locations from which the UFO was seen, resulting in a situation where the skeptical ufologist probably came across to viewers as being either naïve or dishonest – or both. This is one of the big lessons of TV. You might want to be on television, but if you try to bluff it and talk about something you don’t really know about, you will be found out!
 
One of the most memorable shoots I’ve done was associated with an event put on to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Rendlesham Forest incident. In parallel with the event, at which I was one of the speakers, I’d been commissioned by The Sun to write a feature article on the case and the fact that 30 years had elapsed. It was a complicated dynamic, not least because I had to ask John Burroughs and Jim Penniston to break away from what they were doing, so they could meet the photographer from The Sun, and pose for photos in the forest. But all the time, John and Jim – who were still tired and jetlagged after their flight over from America – were preparing for the talk, as well as filming with Prometheus Pictures, the production company that makes “Ancient Aliens”. That was before John, Jim and I decided to collaborate on a book, so it was slightly more tricky to get them away from the film crew than it might otherwise have been. The Sun’s photographer got his photos in the end, and my feature article ran a day or two later, but the expression on John and Jim’s faces in the photos makes it pretty clear that they wanted to be somewhere else – preferably somewhere warm. On more than one occasion I’ve joked with film crews where the running gag has been how we wish this famous UFO encounter had taken place somewhere warmer!
 
I hope this article has given readers an interesting and slightly different perspective on not just the Rendlesham Forest incident, but the media as whole. As someone who now works in the film and TV industry, I find there’s a lot of misunderstanding on the part of the UFO community when it comes to the media, and I’m aware that some ufologists believe the media is part of a cover-up, or at least complicit with one, through a policy of ridicule. That’s not the case, but that’s a whole new topic, which I’ll save for a future article. So for now, I’ll sign off with the three words that everyone being filmed wants to hear the director say:
 
“That’s a wrap!”

Paranormal

My Paranormal Views

The Paranormal.

For me the Paranormal has always been normal. I have seen things since I was two and in fact my very first experience, a memorable one, was of seeing a “ghost”.

This was when I was walking between my parents past manor park cemetery and on being aware of “something” going on I turned round to see a man rising horizontally from the pavement to up end and stand on his feet.

As amazing as that may seem to me that wasn’t what was “wrong” he was wearing what I now know to be Victorian clothes, the whole suit with a top hat. Not seeing anyone dressed like that was odd, nothing else.

So, when my Dad asked what was wrong I simply replied “there is a funny man behind us” that was my first introduction if you like or I prefer to call it “awakening” that remembering  that I had come from somewhere else, that I was borrowing this time though not perhaps entirely sure why at that young. Some of course are far more aware.

I have seen a few since as I grew up but mostly I have felt them and the atmosphere they create.

There are basically two types of ghost phenomena.

There are basically two types of ghost phenomena, one is the “imprint type” where energy is concentrated in an area and reacts in a similar way to a recording, I simply replays the energy stored sometimes at a predestined or preset time on a par with an alarm clock, we have all heard of the “White lady who reputedly appears on such and such a date at midnight.”

This can also be triggered by events and conditions. The second type vastly more interesting is the interactive type which is where much of the current interest in media is concentrated.

This is a spirit, conscious, who interacts with our world. It will react to us in some way and shows intelligence in its responses and those responses will vary enormously. They can be from friendly, timely warnings to poltergeist phenomena, to gross interaction.

A proliferation of programmes, some obviously dubious, are not doing any favours for the serious research and work that real professionals undertake. These programs are only interested in sensationalism and are aimed at feeding a particular market.

One program in particular has a rather angry gentleman who tries to antagonise any particular spirit that is supposed to be around. This is a particularly ignorant and dangerous thing to do especially if the place itself is “haunted” the knowledge of protection is sadly misunderstood and this kind of example only encourages those who are either foolish or sceptics to try their luck.

The Paranormal is not new.

There are one or two genuine paranormal programmes in the world but generally because of the actions of some that have gained notoriety it has given the subject media wise a bad name.

This subject is one that deserves proper scientific investigation. The Paranormal is not new, throughout history people have experienced and noted down,  since man began we have had this instinct that “something exists” some have of course passed into legend and like many urban myths some have passed into folk law and become a “myth of a myth” human nature being what it is and the Chinese whispers syndrome there are many reports which will fail proper investigation but, like all things paranormal there are some that defy any “rational explanation” rational that is to tall except he debunking sceptic.

New inventions.

With the inventions of new sensitive equipment, and ways of measuring for instance there are some wonderful cameras around for example the Go Pro camera which has such a range of accessories and is highly adaptable, waterproof and extreme low light capabilities that can be used are becoming available to many people and new discoveries on of scientific investigation and some great website’s provide information on how to use equipment and where to find suitable places to investigate. Everyone now uses mobile phones, tablets etc all of which are highly portable.

Fakes, Hoaxes and sheer fraud.

This has provided very many opportunities for phenomena to be recorded and uploaded. There are of course so many fakes and there must be a good proportion of fakes propounded by debunkers who not only take great pleasure in fooling a public and underlining the fact that people can be fooled quite easily, giving them (debunkers) more confidence that “they are right” of course some are meant to fool the more serious investigator and a debunker highly prizes a piece of work that gains notoriety as real when they can at a suitable time, say “rubbish this was produced like this, we faked it and so is everything else!”

In that light there have been some notable hoaxes one of the best ever, screened as a live ghost watch was screened on 31 October 1992 with Sarah Greene and best of all Michael Parkinson which gave the show much credibility, Mr Parkinson not especially known for hoaxing being a real positive for the show apparently being real. For a link to that go to: – http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/ghostwatch

There are many great and genuine phenomena captured and so interesting to find. We in the UK are the most watched people in the world apparently… and the fact means that we and the world is videoed and screened more than at any time and with 24/7 surveillance more and more is captured in “normal circumstances”, daylight, and in what previously would have been unexpected places, petrol stations for example.

Science is moving fast

Science is moving incredibly fast in the field of the paranormal and especially in particular with Quantum physics.

I have been told that in 20/30 years time that “this place (Earth) will be very different” and what we do in ASSMPI as much as any real general awakening, will have a large effect on the world. Quantum physics, the awakening and the fact that people will make a different correlation to religions will all tally together to show people that the “Paranormal” is in fact actually the “real normal”.

Light, always, Leo Bonomo

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Orb Phenomenon and Unknown Dimensions

Orbs and Dimensions

Question: “What can this phenomenon be? Why is it occurring and increasing around the world with the advancement of the digital camera?”

Question: “Is it a ‘real’ phenomenon, and if so, is it ‘paranormal’?” (Since ‘paranormal’ refers to objects, events, and phenomena that cannot be explained by our current understanding of science, how then, can we ever know if it is paranormal or not?)

These frequently asked questions have been laughed at, scorned at, ridiculed, and tried to be debunked and put aside as just ‘dust’ by the skeptics. And here I must add, that I do not doubt whatsoever, that dust and airborne anomalies can ‘sometimes’ produce false images in photos, but are not ‘always’ the cause for orb images to appear, because this would be as absurd as suggesting that just because ‘some’ roses are red, hence ‘all’ roses are red, (this method of assumption is not the correct way of science).

With the revolution of the digital camera, the Orb Phenomenon is a relatively recent photographic phenomenon since the mid 1990’s to come to our attention. With this new 21st Century sophisticated camera technology, one would think that surely, it would be less likely for photographic anomalies to crop up so often. But instead, the plethora of orb-like images are increasing all around the world, rather than decreasing. I am confident in saying, this new sophisticated technology, is giving us this new ability to photograph and capture images of an invisible phenomenon that is opening itself to us. An invisible phenomenon that has been around us since the beginning of mankind, but until now, has not previously been so easily photographable. This phenomenon was almost unknown on mages taken previously with the older type ‘film cameras’.

 

The Quest for knowledge in Pioneering Studies:

 

The burden of proof lies on the one who makes a claim: and until this day, no one has come up with solid proof or solid evidence that authentic and genuine orbs are from Parallel Dimensions.

Where does one begin to talk about a topic, such as the Orb Phenomenon, which has no written manuals, no guide-lines, no information, and no universal knowledge about why, where, how or why it is here? All these criteria about the orb phenomenon enigma are unknown. So how does one collect evidence? How does one talk about this unknown mystery, and how does one describe something that has no other forms for comparison, which has baffled skeptics and believers for decades?

If an object cannot be seen with the naked eye, but is believed to exist in a certain state outside of our normal comprehension, then it is a scientific necessity to find a way to photograph it. This is why ‘scientific photography’ has become an essential component for many areas of science, in order to witness things that cannot be seen with the unaided eye. Evidence through ‘vision and observation’ is a very powerful tool… for if we look at some of the advancements that have been made in science using cameras to capture visual evidence, in areas that would be just impossible to be seen without this technology:

  • It is through visual observation that mankind has researched the stars and the universe, through photographic images with the use of ‘telescopes’:
  • It is through visual observation that mankind has researched the microscopic worlds, through visual photographic images with the use of ‘microscopes’:
  • It is through visual observation that mankind has researched our anatomies, through visual photographic images with the use of ‘ultra-sound and x-ray machines’:
  • And, it is through visual observation that I have researched the orb phenomenon, through visual photographic images, with the use of ‘digital cameras’.

 

I have discovered a simple photographic method that can visually capture ‘holographic images’ showing various activities deep within the multi-dimensional authentic orbs. I have named this procedure, the “MFT Method” (Merlina Focus Technique Method). This discovery is a new technique that can ‘focus’ into these unknown multi-dimensional energy fields (we know very little about), as this is what I believe authentic orbs to be. My MFT Method can consistently be replicated over and over again, even under the most effective controlled analysis, and this method cannot be dismissed as fake.

Genuine Orbs:

Every genuine orb that I have studied is unique. Different colours, different faces, different scenes, and the number of the ‘hologram’ sentient images inside vary. These numbers can range from only a few large sentient to literally as many as hundreds. Yes that’s right, I said hundreds of sentient could be visually seen in some orbs.

It is important for me to point out here, that when I use the term ‘sentient’, I am referring to holographic images of evolved spirit beings. And when I use the term ‘orb’, I am only referring to the external surface of these globular or spheroid constructions, and not the sentient activity that is inside it. From my observations, orbs act as chambers or some type of cosmic vessels that surround and enclose the activity inside it.

From my experience, the more we become attuned to them, the more responsive they become to us, and they will often immobilize and stand still for us, to give us a chance to photograph them. They know they are being photographed because I believe they can feel and understand our intentions. This may perhaps explain the reason why many skeptics do not capture them in photos, but in contrast, many people who are ready to accept them, do.

 

Classification of genuine orbs:

 

My study has led me to the conclusion that there are distinct “Hierarchy Levels” involved in these multiple-dimension orb structures. By the simple process of observing and understanding the external-outer appearance of these orb capsules, we are closer to understanding what hologram images are inside these cosmic vehicles. In other words, as strange as it may sound, the hierarchy level of each individual sentient, is directly associated with the type of orb that they use.

I have categorized the orbs into three main groups: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3. Each of these categories has distinct characteristics and specific patterns that can be visually seen. Today, I will talk about Category 1 Orbs:

Category 1 Orbs:

 

This Category of orbs vividly and brightly stands out from all the rest; they have ‘extreme luminosity’ and colours of brilliant whites, yellows, and golden hues. Very characteristic is that they have a thick, to very thick luminous membrane around the outside structure of the orb. This outer membrane can be compared to an external sheath or cell wall and gives them a higher level of protection.

(See photos below):

 

Orbs

 

 

Using the MFT Method, hologram images of the sentient inside Category 1 orbs are large in size and few in numbers, and never seen as overpopulated or overcrowded in comparison to the other categories. Most often, large multi-coloured heads can be seen. While the rest of their bodies cannot easily be distinguished, because the bodies are usually ‘covered’ or ‘camouflaged’ by a thick white-cloudy substance.

(See photos below):

 

Category one orbs

 

Next month I will talk about Category 2 Orbs, and compare them to Category 1 Orbs, so that it will be easier to visualize and comprehend the main differences.

Spirit ORBS

                                                                                 Merlina Marcan

 

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John Zaffis And His Paranormal World

John Zaffis Paranormal Expert

[soundcloud id=’206031590′]

John is considered to be one of the foremost experts in paranormal research in the world today. He follows in the footsteps of noted Paranormalists Ed and Lorraine Warren who mentored John through his formative years. Whether you belive in the Paranormal or not, his experiences often defy science and we are grateful to have benefitted from his knowledge and wisdom, which we hope will not be the last here on TOSP. However, the recording is not the best but does note detract from the quality of the interview.

John Zaffis Bio – From His Website

John Zaffis has over forty years of experience studying and investigating the paranormal. He has had the opportunity to work for and with his aunt and uncle, Ed and Lorraine Warren. This sent John beyond looking for ghosts and hauntings and into studying demonology under the Warrens. This led into John’s involvement with cases of possession and exorcism, which gave him the opportunity to work with prominent exorcists in this field, including Roman Catholic priests, monks, Buddhists, rabbis and ministers. John has assisted and worked with well-known exorcists Bishop Robert McKenna, Father Malachi Martin, and the Reverend Jun.

His research has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, England and Scotland covering several thousands of cases. Through hands on investigating with other investigators and clergy, he has obtained a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the paranormal and is considered one of the foremost authorities in the field today.

John has a lot of first-hand paranormal experience, including experience with ghosts, poltergeists, and demonic and diabolical entities. He has also worked extensively with both spiritualists and psychics concerning how their knowledge is used for channeling, reincarnation (past-life regression), calling of the spirits for information, and how they use meditation to acquire the information which they are seeking. Because of his personal experiences with hauntings, ESP, near death experiences and other paranormal activities, he is firm in his conviction that such phenomena exist.

John has been featured in the Discovery Channel’s documentaries A Haunting in Connecticut and Little Lost Souls. John has also appeared on Unsolved Mysteries, Fox News Live, and many other print and news media events. John also appears in Graveyards and In A Dark Place, both books written by Ed and Lorraine Warren. John’s first book, Shadows of the Dark, co-written with Brian McIntyre, was released in September, 2004. John hosted a show on SyFy, Haunted Collector, and became a producer for the last season of the show. John has also appeared on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. John is working on multiple follow-up books currently, and is lecturing all over the United States at colleges and universities.

Over the years, John has collected many hundreds of possessed items either given to or sent to him by people wishing to be rid of them. The John Zaffis Paranormal Museum opened in 2004 in order to display these items, and continues to be open today. John wrote and starred in the documentary film Museum of the Paranormal, released in 2010, which gives the viewer a tour of his museum and the stories behind some of the objects.

 

http://johnzaffis.com

John’s Books are Fascinating

 

shadows of the dark john zaffis

We will be reviewing this sometime in the future, but suffice to say that all of John’s Books are worth a read and will certainly open your eyes.

http://soundcloud.com/tosp-2/john-zaffis