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Tommy

UNCONVENTION 2002

35 posts in this topic

(Tommy’s tale)  :D

Right! Where to begin….?

Saturday morning: Awoke at 8.10…chose suitable Uncon outfit (the classic jeans look)  ;) caught train at 9.06…arrived in Kensington High Street at 10.00.  The Commonwealth Institute was little more than a 5 minute walk from the station…

…easily recognisable with the flag poles standing tall outside the building.  After wasting some time trying to find the most suitable angle at which to take a picture of the Institute from, I decided to enter.  It’s an interesting building to say the least.  I entered at 10.10, when there were hardly any people around.   As the lecturers didn’t start until 11.00, I had time to quickly familiarise myself with the Unconvention layout.  :s02  

The first stall you come across is the battle orders stall, for movie weapons.  :s9 Interesting at a quick glance, but more interesting was the sculpture of the wizard standing next to it.  Turning around and down a few steps, you reach the café, at the centre of the building.  The place I knew I should keep an eye out for PS.  :st

Something grabbed my attention…it was the Feetatease stall  :sf, and all of a sudden, I felt an impulsive urge to have my toes read! :sr; but my senses soon came around, and I wondered off to the Fortean Times stall around the back.  On purchasing the book Ancient Earth Mysteries, I was handed my free Unconvention badge  8), and for an extra pound, the lovely ladies at the stall gave me a cheeky T-shirt.  ;D

I found myself wondering off into the Fortean Cryptozoology stall, where I met the editor of the newly published WYRD magazine.  I would have felt bad if I didn’t buy anything from him having spoken to me with such enthusiasm about his publications, so I bought the 3 editions that had been published so far, at £2.50 each.  :sg

Anyways, time was pressing on, and the place was filling quickly, so at 10.50, I decided to take my seat in Auditorium 1, and watch Jon Ronson (award winning writer and documentary film maker) talk about the Secret Rulers of the World.

With a few technical hitches at the start, Ronson proceeded to give a very interesting, humorous insight into what he had found out about this ‘Secret World Order’ known as the Bilderberg group. He showed us clips from his series ‘Secret Rulers of the World’ .

He also spoke of David Icke , and how some people feel that his remarks of powerful influential people being lizards was referring to the Jews in an anti-Semitic tone.  :-/

He mocked Louis Theroux; comparing the 2 of them to conjoined twins...for one of them to get stronger, the other must die.  ;D

All in all, it was a very interesting talk, and surprising had the biggest turnout of the day!  :sq

Next up was Jim Moseley…who was preceded by an announcement… something along the lines of:

“The ASSAP -Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena- (another stall at the Uncon) have had their laminated sheets stolen…etc…could they please be returned”  :s2 …the announcement would become all too familiar with everyone throughout the day… :sf

Jim spent the first 10 minutes trying to sell his book to us. But once he got going, it was another interesting lecture, which focused largely on George Adamski, and how the UFO phenomenon took off post 1952.  :sa

However, he thought that Patrick Moore was dead! >:(

Talking about UFOs, here's a little article that was in The Mail today (the 6th)

“…But flying saucer reports are so rare that Fortean Times, the journal of the unexplained, has declared ‘ufology’ dead.  Editor Bob Rickard said convincing UFO footage would have been obtained by camcorders if earth was being visited. He said: ‘The space around us is dead.’ The world’s oldest UFO society, the British Flying Saucer Bureau, has suspended activities after half a century because of the decline in sightings.”   :sa

After Jim’s talk, I made a quick dash for the café for some much needed chocolate.  :s03

Then off I trekked to Auditorium 2, upstairs, to listen to Steve Jones talk about Hooded Entities. To be honest, the talk was a bit monotonous, but got more interesting with the questions.  :sh He was basically talking about 7 ft hooded shadowy entities, seen around ‘holy’ places, or places associated with magic.   :se It’s his idea that they were created by the people that once practised there, and are made to protect the place.  These figures have also been connected to the sightings of big shadowy black dogs with red eyes.  :s4

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Steve was followed by a Mr Colin Bennett, talking about Scepticism as Mystique.  I was looking forward to this one, but somehow I lost the plot after he made the distinction between local scepticism and cultural scepticism.  :-/  He simply read the whole thing out and he did get a bit boring after a while.  He kept mentioning the objective mechanical?  ??? Beats me??

:sm

I woke up half way to some idiot shouting out something rude to Mr Bennett.  Something else I remember from his talk…Reality and hoax are the 2 most favourable words of a sceptic.  :s04

I didn’t want to hang around for the questions, as my stomach was grumbling again, so I picked up some crisps, and made my way to auditorium 1, where I thought the change in programme would have me watching Tony Shiels, but as it turned out, it was Doug Skinner talking about the life of John Keel.  Although I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this one, it turned out to be very informative and funny.  Skinner, who among many other things is a ventriloquist, portrayed the life of his friend Keel in a very insightful manner.  It might have even tempted me to watch the Mothman Prophecies in the near future.  :sh

He went a bit over time with the compilation video of Keel, and next on was Richard Freeman.  After a slight technical hitch, and a little beer spillage, Richard Freeman entertained us with a very interesting talk of his adventures in Thailand, in search of the legendary Naga in the Mekong river.  :) (something up Malcolm’s alley I would think) Supposedly the Mekong is known to be inhabited by very large species of animals.  They have the largest stingray (the size of a double bed), and the second largest cat fish.  

In fact, after a bit of searching on the net, I found this…

http://www.eclipse.co.uk/cfz/projects/naga00.htm

Which is exactly his whole talk!  The picture of the stingray is at the bottom of the first page. :s4

He showed us many slides of his travels.  There was a famous picture of some US marines who had supposedly caught a Naga, but it turns out it was the rare Oar fish.

In fact, on his trip, he managed to demystify varies myths surrounding the Naga…lights are meant to shoot from the Naga’s mouth, and indeed lights were observed by people on the shore, but Freeman said that these were only flares being set off from the other side of the river…a man said he had bought the bones of a Naga, but at a closer inspection, Freeman was quick to deny the claim, as it was an elephants tooth.  So while he extinguished certain claims, individual eyewitness reports left Freeman convinced that the people had seen a huge snake, black with a green tinge, and a crested head.  The most common description of the snake was that it was the width of an oil drum!  :s01

I thought to round off my trip I would go and hear Tony ‘Salty Doc’ Shiels talk about ‘The sea head case’.  Little did I know I was about to stumble into the worst lecture I’d ever seen…EVER.

The guy must have been drunk out of his mind.  ::) Firstly, the slide projector wouldn’t start working, and when the talk finally got going, the only thing that managed to leave his lips was  “ARR..  A SEA HEAD” in a very Captain Birdseye type of voice. I’m still none the wiser as to what a sea head is!  ??? (mind you, his profile did say among other things that he is a ‘drinker’)

And so I left his talk after 15 minutes or so of his mumbo-jumbo, and headed off to the café.  I had another look for the elusive PS, but to no avail.  :s8 I did another quick circle of the stalls, picking up way too many leaflets! …took a few more pictures, and decided to leave it there.

We never did find out if the ASSAP had their laminated sheets returned…I guess we’ll never know… :s04

All in all, a very enjoyable day trip, well worth the effort of going!  :s03

Pictures are on their way soon I hope.  :sg

I’m sure PS will have a very different story to tell!  :su

Tommy     8)

:su

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                Tommy,

         Great reporting!  You give good detail!   :s1

         Can't wait to see the pics!

         

                  KC  (I bow to your supreme-ness!) ^^

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Nice indepth reporting Tommy. :D  Very informative and I look forward to seeing the pics.

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Tommy,

Very interesting report - sounds like you had a good time.  :)

If you need web space for the photos, let me know.

:su

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:sr Brill report Tommy esp after wondering what u were going to cut out...... did u by any chance?? :s09

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A report well done

looking forward to the pics

:s03

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(PurpleStuart's Tale)

Saturday

Woke up at 12:30pm . As i lay there wondering why i was feeling bad,  the recollection of turning off an alarm and going back to sleep came back to me. Quickly it was followed by the memory of having a very restless sleep just precceded by going to bed at 7:30am after returning from a friends house after a night's clubbing which was bad because *groggy realisation* I'M MEANT TO BE GOING TO THE FORTEAN TIMES UNCONVENTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chose suitable Uncon attire (the classic goth look) and rushed out the house as fast as poss.

Arrived at the Commonwealth Institute at approx 2:30pm my first mission: to find the Bar!

The Institute has quite an odd layout - one that i wish i had explored better - but it obviously was designed by a man after my own heart as i located the bar (such as it was) at the centre of the building. Bar is a bit of an extravagant word for it as it was infact just a caterer's tressel table and i found there wasn't enough thought put into the variety of alcoholic products either. I consold my self with my first glass of red wine (expensive - but luckily of generous glass size  :D ) and wandered about the stalls seeing if i could spot Tommy or Crow or a gift for Pixieassassin (who still is in Bradford at the time of writing - but should be back soon woohoo!). The stalls in general were a bit of a disappointment - not that many  and the ones that sold t-shirts or stones , cards and jewelery where not much different than the ones you'd find at Camden market. The book stalls on the other hand had a great variety of books and i imagine if i was looking for a particular tome i should have imagined i would of found it.  Unluckily there wasn't much time to look through them to see if anything grabbed my interest. There also was (as Tommy previously mentioned) a Battle Orders stall - Although it deals in one of my favourite subjects (swords) the main ones on display were movie replicas, which i find less appealing then replicas of factual medieval & renaissance weapons. I had a look at the Lord of the Rings replica swords (Sting, Narsil, Sword of the Witchking, Glamdring) which actually looked very well made, but most of the rest looked a bit tacky.

Guessing  i would be quite easy to spot i wandered about for the first half an hour until the next set of talks started. The first talk i went to was by Robin Simmons entitled "Latest developments in the search for Noah's Ark" and so with queues forming for both talks i went and joined the appropriate one at the point which it overlooked the other queue (for "John Keel and the Mothman") hoping that if Tommy or Crow were there they would see me.    

End of part 1

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            PS,

          So,  you just gonna leave us hanging?  When are we to see Part 2?  Oh,  did PA get back home?   ;D

           Great report,  by the way!  Very entertaining!

       AND....CONGRATULATIONS ON 600 POSTS!!    :se     :sk      :se       :sk

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Saturday Part II

The Auditorium that the Noah's ark talk took place in wasn't sloped and as i was among the last to enter, my view of the screen wasn't very good but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the talk. Robin Simmons started off his talk describing how his interest in the Ark was sparked off by his grandfather who, in 1906, had been in the region of Mount Ararat. He had told him that whilst he was there the locals oft mentioned the Ark and it's location under the ice between the two peaks.

He found he had an opportunity to find out more about it when he met a man who worked for the US military specialising in finding underground anomalies (i forget this individual's name i'm afraid). Previously he had been employed looking for tunnels in Vietnam and various other things and he told Robin that using the technology that they had he could look at any area on the planet - unfortunately they didn't go into what kind of equipment they used, but from a statement like that it must use satelite imagining of some sort. He was able to tell if there is an object there and also if it was organic or not and whether it was man made or not. Robin asked him to have alook at the area of Mount Ararat, and he did and the results were that there are two maybe three large organic (wooden) objects there. Two of which were exactly where his grandfather had told him they would be and a possibilty of a third piece far below in a gully/canyon. Judging from the ice and the positioning of the two objects it seemed as if it was originally one whole object that over the years has been broken apart by the extremely slow movment of the ice. Robin also asked him to have a look at other mountains that have been associated with the Ark and the only objects found where at Mt Ararat.

The speaker went on to say that although you can visit Mt Ararat you can only do so after going through an extreme amount of red tape from the turkish government and then you must go with a Turkish guide via only one approved trail - you're not allowed anywhere near the area where this object is and you must return via the same trail. The land is owned by the Turkish military. He also produced some photos taken by helicopter which show these objects (but not very clearly) jutting out of the ice. I don't remember him explaining how he came by these. These photos could be described as showing two large parts of the ark with the cross section just jutting out of the ice, allowing you to see the different levels below decks - you couldn't really tell if it was upside down or not, but it didn't seem to be on it's side.

He then showed a short film which was made up of three parts - an interview with an American who was based in Turkey just after the war, who was taken up to see the Ark by some Kurds, an interview with the Military specialist mentioned above who stated that he was certain that 2 possibly 3 man made objects where at Mt Ararat under the ice and that the evidence pointed to them being originally one object broken apart by the ice. He also said that although there is no evidence that they were the Ark, it was astounding enough that such a large wooden man made object could be found at such an altitude.

The third Interview was an ex-employee with the Smithsonians who said that whilst he was working there there was a big fuss made about an expedition that returned from Mt Ararat (in the sixties?) with photos of a boat under ice. It was the only thing people were talking about for a week until the they were told in no uncertain terms not to speak about it any longer.      

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Saturday Part III

Other points made about missing evidence: One well respected spy plane pilot was on a mission to find out about a source of radiation in Russia in 1959/1960.

The source turned out to be the building of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, but the route the pilot took from his base in Turkey was over Mt. Ararat. He noticed some objects there and over the course of hundreds of flights flown on this mission, he also filmed them. He made notes of where in the film these objects were after each mission, but although these are no longer classified those particular shots of Mt Ararat have disappeared mysteriously (convieniantly?).

Also mentioned is the story about the Tsar's expedition to Mt Ararat just before the russian revolution. This story apparently is much derided, but Mr Simmons has come across two bits of information that may prove it took place.

A Canadian contacted him saying that when he was younger his grandfather, at family get togethers, would tell stories about his youth. He was born in Austria but somehow got forced into the Tzar's Army as a horse handler and that he was part of the exploration expedition to Mt Ararat sent out by the Tsar. He claimed that they found the ark and took photos and filmed it with the expedition members in front of it, unarmed.

He has also been contacted by a man who was stationed at Midway in the '40s who recalls seeing a silent film reel  part of which showing old footage of unarmed russian soldiers standing in front of a boat covered in ice, the rest seemed to deal also with other

paranormal Phenomena.

This film reel is yet to be found.

All in all a good talk by a good speaker - but there is convieniantly too much proof missing (smacks a bit too much of conspiracy theory to me) and nothing there that would change the mind of anyone that didn't believe in it.  

Also as would become a common theme through the unconvention the talk ran on too long and there was no time for audience questions.

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Great stuff PS,  :D and thats only the first talk!!  :o :sk

BTW, I too am looking forward to seeing what the photos look like!  :s04

I handed in the film to the trustworthy hands of Woolworths earlier today, and the woman said they'll be done by Wednesday.  However the second film I took is only 10 photos in, and so won't be up for a while.  ::)

Thanks for the offer SaRuMaN, I think I'll take you up on it.  :D I'll send them as soon as I get them.

Celtic, the only bits I left out were chasing down the train in the morning, and a few other minor details throughout the day.  :) (like the lack of food variety in the cafe)   :s5

Tommy

:sg

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Awesome stuff PS,

What really p***es me off is that there are so many governments these days with laws about who gets to go where regardless of the spiritual and scientific needs of the world and humanity....

I mean... this is a large scale find if anything and would affect EVERYONE on this planet....

When will they all come to terms and understand that things of this nature need to be examined with no red tape and no laws..... if done scientifically that is.

Thanks for info both of you :)

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Great reporting PS.  Very indepth reporting by both you and Tommy. Thanks for the information.

Journalism is cool 8)

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Tommy & Stuart,

 It sounded like a very interesting and informative gathering (except for Tony Shiels). Unfortunately, conventions of this caliber are only held on either coast in the states, making them nearly impossible to attend for me, so I'm a little bit jealous.

 I'd love to get to hear Jim Moseley, he's one of the old-timers and earliest UFO advocates from the early '50s. He's become quite a bit more cynical these days over what's occurring in the UFO community. He publishes a delightful little UFO zine called SAUCER SMEAR that can be read over the Internet HERE. Its a no holds barred look at the people who make the packaging and selling of the UFO phenomena their life. Fascinating and revealing, give it a look, it will help enlighten you to what goes on inside the world of UFO's and offers insight into some of the people who report and/or experience them.

Magikman  :sg

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Phew P.S what a lot to read but really good! Thanks for that and well done on 600!! posts :sk

after that better get posting some more :)

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I promise to finish my report on the rest of the Unconvention soon but i may not have much time to do so for a few days so bear with me! I'll try not to forget too much!

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Great reporting PS.

:)

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Photo update:  Just got film 1 back from Woolworths.  :s8

Unfortunately, out of the dozen or so I took, only a few are worth showing.  :-/  

However, I took another 10 or so of the Uncon on the film currently in the camera, which I'm taking to Glastonbury on the weekend (hopefully get a picture of where King Arthur is supposedly buried  :sk) so look out for the pics next week.   :sh

Tommy

:D

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Damn  :'( and hooray  :sk

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sorry for the delay - Pixieassassin was using my PC to update her website click here to see it

Saturday Part IV

After leaving my first lecture, i wasn't too sure which other ones to watch, none of the rest grabbed my attention - and I was also still on the look out for Tommy and Crow.  

I was just about to go and see Andy Roberts and David Clarke talk about "Out of the Shadows: UFOs and the MOD" but instead i bumped into a friend of mine who i hadn't seen in two years. For the next hour many drinks were drunk and we caught up with what we had been up to since we had last met. With one pair of Talks left he persuaded me to go and see Ken Campbell and The Gastromancers "Speaking Parts: Exorcistic Exhibitions and Ghastly Farragos" - this time in the other auditorium, which was far more comfortable and provided a good view from everywhere in the room.

I had just sat down for a second when i bumped into another friend, who was walking past - this time someone who i went to school with and i hadn't seen for close to 10 yrs!

Ken Campbell i recognised straight away ( i hadn't recognised his name) - he appears  a reasonable amount on TV in the UK, sterotypicaly the mad proffessor type. His talk wasn't really about the Paranormal at all and was more a stand up routinue, and very funny it was too - in a very subtle fashion.

Because of the vast area his talk rambled over i can't remember much to repeat, but it started off about a guy who wrote a series of books about how much of an @rsehole he was, went on to explain the curious fact that the most read english language book in Japan is "Ann of Green Gables", the uncanny effect this book has on it's readers.

Apparently after WWII America decided that to prevent a future war with Japan, it would be a good policy to set up English Language schools. On top of this, as they had decided that Japan was a warlike culture, they plumped for "Ann of Green Gables" as a teaching text, because it was so 'nice'. According to Ken the book is such a phenominon over there, a hotel he stayed in only showed the televised version on it's TVs and nothing else.

This went on to a discussion to see if the book had the same effect on different cultures and the experiments he had done to find this out.

Reading back over what i have just written, i've possibly captured  the idea of how zany his talk was but not quite how funny it was - by this point most of us were in tears.

The talk continued covering such subjects as the suprising fact that Jeremy Beadle (if you don't know your lucky) has one of the largest Fortean libraries in the world, Ventriloquism and it's use in religion and ended with a woman squirting water out of her bum. Yes, you read that correctly!

There was so much that he covered that i can't remember it all, but the talk was subtly hysterical and i'm very glad i was persuaded to see it.

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Very comprehensive reporting PS

Well done and thanks

:)

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Okay, I got the second film developed last week... :su

I've got around 7 pics to put up (if thats ok)

The first one is the shot you get if you're one of the first in the building.  8)

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This one is of the display outside the 'Centre For Fortean Zoology'  :s9

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Here's a nice queue of people waiting to go into the smaller Auditorium 2.  :sk

(the big Fortean Banner was directly to my right)

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