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"Probe Report was a superb publication and needs to be out there."
I remember being fascinated by the UFO subject, and living so close to Warminster, I just had to go down there and see for myself. I immediately got wrapped up in the whole mystique of the subject. There were many fascinating people on the hilltops, and I immediately felt a sort of bonding in that everyone where was looking for the same thing. I met Arthur Shuttlewood and was taken in by his wonderful way of storytelling. I met the Pagets and got interested in their work, although I also remember stepping back slightly once or twice, when Jane Paget told me that UFOs are difficult to photograph due to their forcefields. “You what?” I thought to myself.
I very soon left them and joined UFO INFO with Barry Gooding, and went through the good times and the difficult times, especially when he systematically began removing all the members of the team, including finally me. His beliefs and aims were not the same as mine anyway, and the word ‘democracy’ was alien to him.
Eventually setting up on my own with help from friends who had suffered under UFO INFO, I pursued my dream of publishing a magazine. It started out at first a very naïve publication, not having any particular direction and not having anyone, at that time, submitting articles. It took at least a year to find its direction, and like a good wine, it definitely got better over time. That direction was moving dramatically towards a skeptical standpoint, mainly from the result of seeing what good, diligent investigation (mainly from SCUFORI) can reveal. I also strived to represent what was always maintained – that at least 90% of UFO sightings could be explained – and demonstrate that in the journal.
Of course, many people bought it to read about UFOs, and not camera lens flare or lenticular clouds or whatever. Like buying a ghost magazine, the reader wants to read about ghosts, and not rattling windows or air trapped in the plumbing. So I upset many people and I lost of lot of support. I was also young and arrogant with it to, almost relishing being the villain. But at times it also hurt, that the people out there we were trying to educate were annoyed that their fairy tale was being attached. I think the main problem at the end was my crusade to expose the nonsense that was Warminster. I probably went at that too strongly, like a bull out of a gate. Maybe there HAD been something at the beginning, but by the time I arrived on the scene, it was all nonsense, perpetuated by the very pleasant but misguided and easily deluded Arthur Shuttlewood and his flock of followers. I also exposed the crop circles as a man-made prank, but the press and the masses preferred to listen to Colin Andrews, who was making a fine living from it.
I think that was the final straw. My writings and message just weren’t sexy enough, and certainly not financially viable. It was too costly and too emotionally stressful to carry on. I had great allies with the likes of Jenny Randles, Hillary Evans, Ian Ridpath, John Rimmer to name just a few, but I had far more enemies, many in the stagnant older version of BUFORA. So I bailed.
To this day, I still see references to THE PROBE REPORT out there on the internet, and some of it is flattering. So I guess I made a mark, albeit it brief and small, but I did it.
Will take a look at these in next few days.