It's the first time I've been to any of the talks put on by the Anomalystic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths.
Nick Pope was giving a talk on The Real X Files.
I didn't know a lot about UFO sightings, other than the obvious Roswell hype that hits the media, so it was interesting to hear some of the background behind Rendlesham and Cosforth.
I was somehow, expecting a talk promoting belief in UFOs, so it was quite nice to find it was a lot more balanced then that. Nick generally stuck to the facts, giving details of the witness reports, etc and generally coming to the conclusion that it could be aliens, but we just don't know.
He also gave several examples of sightings which turn out to have a much more rational explanation, including one phone call where the person calling was adamant that there was diamond shaped alien craft hovering over Regents park with everyone watching it coming into land until it did land and the owner put his kite back in it's box.
It was also interesting to hear his view on the media coverage of these events, for example, the fact that there was a lot of media coverage earlier this year of the wind turbine incident in Lincolnshire. There was, however, less coverage of the manufacturer's report on the incident which, although it didn't come to a firm conclusion about what happened to the turbine, did rule out any craft crashing into it.
After the talk, a few of us went down to the Hobgoblin to chat further and I ended up in a Thai restaurant with Nick, Chris French and a couple of others, chatting about all sorts of random things from UFOs to mediums.
In general, I think I'm still fairly skeptical about visitations by aliens. There's nothing really convincing to say that they have been, but equally the alternative explanations for events such as Rendlesham sound equally unlikely. I guess these will just remain unexplained, but it's still fun to speculate.