You are on page 1of 31


a regular
I0 helpyoucollect
ie}lsagent. The X Factor,weahoofferthe
. Paymentcanbemade bycheque
tanarfange t0 haveyourrssues orpostal ordermade payable
dinctly to yourhome at no I'larshall
(ost!fordetaih phone01424 . 0rden aresubject
:156565, l'londay-Friday9am-5pm B IN DE R S
$u: 01424 7555191. Oeditmrd You canorder binden
to organize
: orders areacrepted. your collection
lf youmiss anyissues ofThe X sprcial
Factor,donlworry - th€lcan
heordered byphoning 01424
756565, llonday-triday 9am-5pm
[ax:01424 755519]. (redicard
orden arraccepted. Alternatively,
writeto lheX lactor Backlsrues,
favendish, P0Boxl,
llastingr,fastSusex T|l354TJ.
. Phase besure to specifr
issuesyourequire andindude
your name andaddress.
. (opies areayailabh arthereglllar
cover pricewhkhinciud* p&p.

lf for anyreason y0uaren0tcomplerely

lilanhallCavendish,P0 Boxl, Hasrings,
28 days of purchase,
endosing andwewillrefund
yourcopy, your
money do let usknowwhyyouweren0tsatisfied
in full.However,

srrlscRrProKTmffi@t|B A CIS
K S U&
991902?2fordetails.0r write Ihese canbeobtained fromSTP
to TheX factor, c/oWeldon-By- D i stri buton { fl )5dnB hd,
t'lailPtyl"td,P0 Box991, f'lagazrnes Division, 59Jalan
l{ona Vale,NSW 2103. l {i l aml/2,5ubang S quare,
BACK ISSUES: Writeto The)( 5uba ng H i -Tec Indus
h triPal ark ,
factor,Gordon & Gotch Ltd, BatuTiga, 40000 Shah Alam,
P0Box290,Burwood,Yictoria S el an gor D aruE hs an.
3125. Pleaseenclose cover pri(e MA LT A
plus95cp&hperisue. BACI{ lSSrlES A SltlDERS, ilrcrc
Bt[DERs: Detaih willappear in areavailable rhrough your
future issues.
Alternatively,write new s agenr. 0r w ri tetofl i l l er
to Gordon &Gotch ltd. D i stri butors Lrd, P 0B ox25,
P H ITIP P IN E S flaltalnternational Airport,
Tdephone (02)5ll 7075-9 for S IN GA P OR E
detaih.0r writeto TheX factor, BAcK ISSUES: Thes€ are
c/oA-I lales& Distribution (orp, avai ablefromSIPDistributors
AJ Building, 723Sgt.Bumatay PteLtd,Pasir Panjang Distripark,
laeelPlainview 1550 B l ock l , #03-01A S i,ngapore
l{andaluyong tity,Philippines. 05|.
ITE W ZE A LA N D B IN D E R DSetai: wl si l lappear
SUBSCRIPTIOilS: Telephone in iutureirsres. Alternatively,
wnrero SIPDisrributon Prcl"td.
0r wite to TheI fartor, do S OU TH A FR IC A
Weldon-8y-l'lailPryl-td, SU BSCR I P TI oTe NSl e: p h o n e
P0BoxlS097.Autkland. l 0l l ) 65 2 1 8 7 8f o r d e t a i l s . 0 r
Elc|(ISSUES: Writefor detaill writeto lhe X factor, c/o
.toTheX tactor, Gordon & Gotch flarshall Cavendish, Private Bag
(N4 trd,P0Box584, Auckland. Xr4, (enturion, 0046.
B|NDERS: Derailswil'appear BACK tssuEs a BtilDERS: These
..infutureissues.Alternatively, canbeobtained at th€shop
writeto Gordon & Gorch rNZtLrd. where youboughr thismagizine.

,lleadof fditorial:
Martin Annable
ldiror:BrendaMarshall SophieMortimer
,ilitarial:GrahamColeman, [ditorialAssistant:
::.,:1t",t Glenday,Felix Lejac,Georgina Stewart
;1;;r8en Way leniorProduction
/endy Kwok, Harkering:
John Balmond
Humphreys-Davies, HeadofCirculation:
rmmrson ChrisJenner

authon:Simon Richmond, Karl Shuke6
nny Randles.
InsrtQuest Publications.
hben lrvrnr.0scarBurnel/ladnltock/lcience
x wuuldliki to thankall rholewhohelped in the

Ilin $searchUnit.lf youan i

lody Hotlineon


7; ,:
,"] i:.+-f+
' f-rJ


t was like looking in a completelv iridependent lives,

mirror. They rvere both 1.8 having been separatedat birth?
metres tall, and had the Tl-relirrks benr'eenidentical
same weight, build and nvins bror,rght up together are
-facial features. It is what you often causefor mild amazement, A Reseorch inlo twins hos implicotions
rr'ould expect of identical twins. b rrt l a l e l v chal l engeour vi ew son for medicol knowledge. The results oJ
But the similaritieswent much life. Orie misht reasonably ask why studies qt 5t Thomos' Hospitol in .,
fr.u-therthan that forJim Lewis and nlo indir-iduals, born at the same London (inset) moy help to prevent

Jim Springer. ti m e . a n d shari ng l he samegeneti c diseqses such os osleoporosis,

Apart from their olvn shared material, should not also have the diobetes ond heort conditions.
name, both of the Jim Twins' had s a n rep e rsonal i tytrai tsi n common.
married women called Linda, only It seemsthat when identical twins over the years. Only 68
to divorce them and both marry are separated soon after birth and are known worldwide.
\\'omen called Betty. Subsequent meet,vears later to find thev have l n B ri tai n i n o other
researchuncorreredcountless led strikingly similar lives, the i denti calrw i nsw ho had been
other remarkable similarities implications are not only separatedat bi rth w ere bei ng
befir,een the nvin brothers. intriguing but also potentially reuni ted after 34 yearsapart.
But one mystery remained. \{rhv revolutionary. \{4ren they met researcherDr Tom
d i d they hav e s o m u c h i n c o mmo n . Such casesof separated twins Bouchard of the Universiw of , ri:.i,
when - since they were born 39 are very rare, especially as Minnesota. USA. Bridget Harrison
years ago - they had lived adoption practices have improved of Leicesterand Dorothy Lowe of


Burnley, Lancashire, both wore
seven rings, had two bracelets on
one wrist and a watch and a similar in behaviour and Attitudes towards trr-ins and
,bracelet on the other. appearance, but also to cast light

their parents have moved on
' They soon found out that they on the forces that shape all human considerably since this time, but
,had both stopped taking piano beings and the powers that we may our understanding of their special
.lessonsat the same age, both had a all be prir,y to. powers remains incomplete.
lcat called Tiger and while one of The most influential study of
itheir sons was named Richard TWI N F E A R .S twins in modern times is being
Andrew, the other was named Down through the ages, and across conducted by Dr Tom Bouchard.
Andrew Richard. cultures, the 'strangeness'of twins Since 1979, Bouchard has
Strangest of all, in 1960, has caused people to fear them. interviewed and tested hundreds
Dorothy and Bridget had both Some native American tribes killed of identical twins in one of the
kept a diary. They had both chosen twins at birth, a course of action largest research programmes of
exactly the same brand and colour also followed by lnuits in its kind.
of diary and had even left the same Greenland and aboriginals in Bouchard's tests usually take a
days blank during the year. Japan and Australia. Sometimes week to complete and involve
Today, scientists around the the mother was also killed, or at personality assessmentsand
world are studying identical twins, least subjected to a purification medical examinations. Blood
not only in an effort to understand ritual, since it was believed she samples are compared, fingerprints
what makes them so must have had sex with two men taken, allergies evaluated, even
for two children to be conceived.
{ Twins Andrew ond Sleven Rofhery
both developedlhe some rqre medicol
comploint. Doctorssoy there is no
genefic reqson why fhe l8-yeor-olds
should hove been offected ond
describeit qs q million to one chonce.
same time, 650 kilometres a\4iay
in California. i:::'.:
Martha Burke of California
as i f she ' had been cut i n tw o',
dayi n 1977,asaburni ng
tore acrossher chest and
abdomen.H ours l ater,she
discovered that her twin sister
died in an aeroplane collision-,
halfiatavacross the world.
Even more horrific is the case
four-month-old iden tical nvins
Samantha and Gabrielle Connolly.
On 8 October 1983, their mother'

Somewhere in the .',li

environmental factors will have a r eg:on of I O to 15 per
role to play in forming personality cent of us qre wolking:',,i:
-z. 9 and shaping what happens to us. oround thinking we cilii:ji
Despite the wealth of singletons when in,fu
: information from this study and we/re only the big
others, the phenomena associated
ChorlesE. Bokloge,Biologist
with identical twins are still not
fully understood. For example, why E\
do such similar things happen to ,}
separated twins at the same time? Linda discovered that both had ' : : ,'':
InJuly 1975,Nita Hurst suffered cot deaths despite being
suddenly felt an agonizing pain in asleepin different beds on
intimate sexual histories compiled. her left leg and witnessed bruises different floors of the house. :,-,,,
,: .11.1,,.i.,:::
At the end of over 50 hours of spreading spontaneously up the These'psychic' connections-.,::
tesqng, Bouchard's team will know left side of her body. The mystery between twins are proof to so*ii€!.
nearly everything there is to know affliction became clear when she people that all human beings shar
about the twins, from their tastes later discovered that her twin the abiliry to develop and use
in food, literature and music to the sister.Nettie Porter, had been extra-sensoryperception (ESP).
way they walk, talk and sleep. involved in a car crash at the very
Bouchard's work may suggest
that a person's character is shaped
more by genetic factors than social
ones, but it seemsthere is another
factor involved.

The work of RichardJ. Rose,
Professor of Psychology and
Medical Genetics at Indiana
University, USA, has shown that Pa
the degree to which identical twins 'condc*
are actually identical is linked to
how early the embryo in the womb
splits into two. Rose found that the
earlier an embryo splits, the less
alike in personality identical twins
will tend to be in the future. This
o! I5
conclusion suggeststhat


to each other, they did no better and wrong responses.But, out of

than ordinary brothers and sisters. 218 parents, 153 matched the
But when the twins chose their descriptions to the right fivir-r-
own images, they scored higher well over the 109 expected to get
th a n n on-rw i nsi bl i ngs. it right. Despite the similarin'of
the charts, parents rvere able to
IN T HE S TA R S match the fine differencesto each
Even more radical is the view that of their nr-ins.
our fates rest with the position of \\het1-rer or lroi astrologv proves
the stars on the day we are are an insight into tl-recharactersand
born. Dr SuzelFuzeau-Braesch, destiniesof nlins is a side issueof
director of the National Centre for researchin t].risarea. Scientists
Scientific Research at Orsa\,',near generallr'remain perplexed by
Paris, has surveyed the astrological even the biological similarities
birth charts of twins. Since thel' are beh\:een hr,ir-rs.For example, it is
usually born within minutes of knor'r'nthat twins are more likely
each otheq twins will have very to have symmetrical teeth and be
.. similar birth charts. left-handed than singletons. But it
A one-yearstudy on rwins and ESP Two short character. is not known why this should be
at Bristol University in the early descriptions, summarizing these or what it means.
however.provided no small astrological differences Every day, though, technological
conclusiveresults beyond between each set of rwins,were advancesare helping the scientists
demonstrating that rwins had a sent to their parents, who had to come closer to an understanding
re m ar k ableabilir y to th i n k a l i k e . choosewhich description best of the complex area of twins.
When the researchersprovided fitted which twin. Chance would A Jready.thanks to rhe i ncre asing
the s).,rnbolsfor twins to 'transmi(' dictate an equal number of right use of ul l rasound l o moni l or
::i. i:.' ::

embrvos, it is knorvn that twinning

is far more commor) than rvas
pr-eviousl,vthotrght. At least one in
cieht L,f a ll na llll:rl p lc qr r ar r c ic s
begin as trvins, even though onlv
about one-tenth of these actr-rally
rnake it tlrrotrgh to birth
Because there is considerable
elidence thirt one fir'in can suffer
intcnsc suilt rr'hen the other twin
dies. this thlorr's a u'hole new light
ol] the sense of loss sorne single
people feel tl-rrougl'ror-rttheir lives,
as if pz,rrtof them is not there.
Plofessor Charles E. Boklage, a
clerelopr.nent biologist at the East School of
\Ieclicine, USA, conservatively

33 .1Rre We qre reolly

Bailey'scircus in the USA in the
1 8 0 0 sT. h el ' l ' ere born i n 1811i n
the Gregor Menclel Institute ttt ...,
Rome, Italr', studied more than .:-*
one PersoJl...we know Thailand, then calleclSiam. 15.000pai rs of tn i rrsbetw een 195:
exoctly whqf eqch other Today, conjoined tu'ins like and 1978 and came to the
is t h i n k i n g . b e co u se w e Chang and Eng. rvho u'ere.joined corrclusiorrthat errcodedwithin us
at the chest bv a thick band of all is a genetic blueprint for our .
o r e i u s t o ne l w i n
/:.^+^ ^-l F , ^ J ^ .L ^ Dlin , T win s
tissne,could be separatedby lives - the so-called 'clock of life'. .:,

!r, surgery. But evelr thor-rghthe twins

spent all of their 63 r'earstogether,
they' both married ar-rclfatherecl 21
Gedda found that this is especially
true for twins, and may account for
the many uncanny similarities
estimatesthat around 10 to 15 per children between them. Thel rvere between them in their lives. l
cent of people may have had a luckr,',since fen' conjoined nvius
trr'in that died in the womb. r b el ond i rtfartcr' .
s rrrv i e A DESIGN FOR IIFE
Irr a smzrllproportion of cases, But, despite the ach'ancesmade,.:
iclenticalnvins do not completelv cto cK oF r r FE urrrarel l i rrgthe secl etsof our
separatein the rvomb. The most ProfessorLuigi Gedda's 'clock of g e n e s . G e c t d a 's t h e o r i e s r e m a i n
d f:unous conjoinecl,or 'Siamese', life' theory is one of the f'err highl,v controlersial. \\hile it mdyi
nr'ins rvere Chang and Eng Bunker, scientific attempts made to explain easilvexplain u'h1'theJim Twins
rrho toured rvith Barnum and the nvin phenomenon. Gedda, of both suffered heart attacks and
haemorrhoids - even why they are
{ Bridger both healy smokers - it is not so
Hqrrison qnd clear why they should marry ' , - ; ;
. :!,
Dorothy Lowe did \ v o m e n w i t h t h e s a m e n a m e or
not know they choose a holidal al the same
were twins unfil beach in Florida.
they met, oged M i g h t t h c r e b e a f o r c e w i t hi n " 1"
34. Bolh gove e a c h o f u s l h a t d i c t a t e s e v e r ryl h i n go
eoch other reddy liom the pc,ple rrhor
beors ot their t o t h emo me rrt h a t ;
reunion ond hqve -: ; ; ' : ilit
C orrl d seemi rrgl lrarrdom choices '
"i'/ ' -' _ --^ ^ : J. , :
since given eoch srrch as (he name given lo a pel or
other identicol a h o l i d a l d c s t i n a t i o n b e p a r t o Ia n
birfhdoy presenls. i rrdi vi dual ' sbl rrepri ntof l i fe? For '
now t'wins remain a conundrum ,l
for rvhich scientistscontinue
to searchfol arr arrsw er.
! '1 ,

concerns the inability of computer

r plane is on patrol. A foreign
programs that work on a six-digit
date system(i.e. 01-01-97)to
recognize the change in century.
craft comes into view and the pilot Unless corrected by the time
of the F-22 needs to verify who it the year 2000 comes around, many
is. As the clock ticks round to computer programs will record the
midnight, the new millennium year as '00' - the start of the 20th
l o o m ing. he ins t r u c tsth e o n -b o a rd century, instead of the 21st. The
:"ir .l
*"'b'- systemto send a warning result could be that over 80 per
rlll l
slgnar, expecting a posltlve
positivereply cent of computers around the
within a couple of seconds. world go ha;nvire or close down, a programm i ng automatically. At worst, the
glitch has remained buried within Mi l l e n i um B ug coul d tri gger an
the F-22'scomputer system.The unintended missilelaunch, as in
foreign plane has responded the scenario above.
immediately, but the computer The strong possibility of
does not recognize this and is s u c h a n i nci dent occurri ns
already arming the weapons was made clear in
systems.The Year 2000 is abour ro December 1995 when a
begin with a bizarre and horrific message,originating from
i n ter nat ional inc i d e n t. the office of the US
Secretary of Defense, was
MIT I . E NNI UM BUG published on the Internet.
Incredible though il may seem. It warned the US Na\y to
this is not a storyJine from a ensure that all relevant
Llollywood disaster movie - it is a personnel knew about the
catastrophewaiting to happen. Year 2000 problem and that
With the millennium fast 'corrective actions, if not
approaching. the world is facing currently under way, should
an enormous - and potentially start now.'
disastrous- technological It is not just the US
p roblem . Dubbed th e ' M i l l e n n i u m military that is worried.
Bu g' ( or ' B om b' ) , th i s p ro b l e m Businessesand governments
- -:s
*, ril.lS


arolrnd the rvorld have set up

project teams to tackle the
probl em. \\' i th computersused in
virtually e\rery aspect of modern
life - in manufacturing, banks, ,
hospi tal sas w el l as l he service
i ndustri es- the overal leffecro[
the Mi l l enni um B ug coul d be
catacl ysmi c.
It has heen esl i mal edthat t o
fix it could cost more than f400
bi l l i on. w hi l e doi ng nol hi ng could.
according to Simon Reeve,
co-aul horol rhe Mi l l enni umBnm b,
'destroy entire economies'.Worse
still, it could put the lives of
millions of people at risk.
The Millennium Bug has
become a programming error
due to the march of time. In the
1950sand 1960s,when few people
foresaw the massiveinfluence that
E computer technologt' r'vould have
on our lives, computers were
; hulking monsters that ran slowly,

= performed few tasks and had


limited memory space. Shortening

.9 the year by two digits freed up

? expensive space, and became

standard practice by rhe on a teaspoonful of petrol.'
1970s.But this is not the At such a rate of development
only area where it is hardly surprising that errors
programming errors have have occurred - and are still
come to lisht. being made. In particularj many
The rapid development experts feel that programming
of technology has shrunk standards for software - the
the size of computers instructions which enable
while at the same time computers to do different tasks-
increasing their have not kept pace with the
computing power by a engineering standards for
phenomenal factor. A hardware - the physical structure
comparison was made by of the computer itself.
Alex Trotman, head of
Ford Motors worldwide LETHAI E R R OR S
in March 1996: 'If car
design had developed as
fast as computers, a
Ford would be an
eighth of an inch
long, and go 3,000
;:,.nt*... miles an hour


difficulties. The ambulance took
two and three quarter hours to
arrive at the Swan's home. Their
daughter died on route to hospital
- something that probably would
not have happened ifa back-up
systemor the old manual means
of dispatching ambulances had
still been in place when they had
made their emergency call.
Where engineers can see there
are potential dan'gersahead in
Ietting computers take over, the
svstemsdeveloped are often
termed 'safety critical'. For
example, transport is one such
area where safetyis a priority. In
the thousands of aeroplanes that
dailv fly around the world,
comDuters have become essential

33 ri, how much various parts of the A The officiol explonolion for the
The problem with plane have to be adjusted to make Eurotunnelfire in November1995 wos
control softwqre is the right manoeuvre. orson. Bul some experls cre concerned
thot people write it Still, despite vears of testing and thot the funnel'scompulerizedsofety
SteveCollins,Sofety-crificol use. there have been at least fir'e syslemmoy hove olso beenot fqult.
major accidents involving planes
,, rvhose fly-by-wire systems have concerned that some planes have
components. All use software with gone wrong. In fact, 1996 was one four engines being controlled by
safety-criticalprogramming, where of the worst years on record for i denti cal sofhvare,'H ennel l p oint s
at least one back up system- and aircrashes,involving the loss of out. ' Thi s i s madness.There need
so met im esas m any a s s i x - a re hundreds of lives. Some of the to be different approaches-
rrse dt o double- c he c ko p e ra ti o n s . disasterswere due to on-board dilferen t computer chips. different
such systemsare vital in aircraft, computer systemsbreaking down. programming languagesand so on
such as the Airbus 4320, 330 and Concern is running high among - so rhat if one systeml-ailsthey
340, and Boeing 777 which are experts. Mike Hennell is technical don' r al l fai l .'
'flr'by wire'. This means that when d i rector oI softr,vare-testing
the pilot moves one of the flight company Liverpool Data Research tOW S TA N D A R D S
controls, the computer calculates Associates.'I'm particularly Hennell's comments underline
w hat S teveC ol l i ns- managing
director of Real Time Associates,
a company inVolved in developing'
safety-criticalsystems- has known ,'
for some ti me: that standard sand
w orki ng practi cesi n thi s cru cial
area of computing can be woet-ully
inadequate.' I ncreasingly.sofftvare
i s the w eak l i nk i n the fi nal
product.' C ol l i ns says.
However,Hennell. who once
w ent to court to try to stop the
Airbus A320 from taking off
because of his concerns about its
computer programmi ng, i s n ow
more w orri ed about the i mpact of

) lnodequote
computer controls
were o moior
foctor in the
{{ l*.
Chernobyl disoster
'We don't reolly on 27 April 1986.
underslond whqt we're Public concern
d o i n g , s o i t ' s i mp o ssi b l e oboul fhe sofety of
for onyone to soy Sizewell B (insef)
whqt is sofe' eventuolly forced
Mike He nnell,
Nucleor ElecfricUK
Directorof SofiworeTestingCompony
to moke chonges
-=---, io lhe sofeiy-
conhol softwore.
goes wrong here, the death toll
lrom the worst air crasheswould some nuclear installations. to technologv failure contrnues to '-
p a l e int o ins ignif ic a n c e- a s rh e A particular focus of concern rise. The onlv ansrver,according U
Iong-term victims of Chernobyl in the UK has been the Sizewell B to Ste\,eCollins is for software -.9
continue to remind us. Yet. many nuclear power plant in Suffolk. In writers to improve the quality of
'-- .
i n the c omrput ing i n d u s try h a v e 1993, the software responsible for their work. 'Until writing software
seriousdoubts about the saferyof shutting down Sizewell B in the for control s)istemsbecomes a
event of an emergency was run proper science,rather than a
through over 50,000 tests.It failed quick way of making money, then o

more than half of them. The we are all at risk,' Collins warns. o
Nuclear Installations Inspectorate
(NII) said this was entirely due to A TA R MIN G IN C R E A SE
faults in the testing equipment, In fact, a number of experts
but compounded general fears by believe that computer bugs are
refusing to release results of earlier virtually ever).rvhere.In 1995,
tests or asking for a re-test. Programming Research,a safety-
That there were problems with crtitical systemscompany, ran
the Sizewell B software is hardly checks on millions of lines of
surprising, considering that it is code for governments and
made up of well over 100,000 lines organizations across the globe.
of code. 'Any piece of software They discovered that even safety-
longer than 20,000 lines is too critical software contained, on
complex to be tested exhaustively,' average,one glitch in every 55
saysBrian Winchmann, an expert l i nes.The company esti mates
on safety-critical software from the that roughly ten per cent of these
UK's National Physical Laboratory. errors will lead to 'catastrophic
AJl the while, though, failures'. With technology
computers and their programmes becoming increasingly complex,
are becoming more complex, and, and ever more dependent on
therefore, less easyto test. At the computers, the margin of E::l
same time, the accident rate due erroris likelyro expand. ffi
nersunr.rymorning in the 1960s,local' Although its description does yrot
hunter.l Nicolas Mondongo .was recall any known living creature. it
standingon the bank of the Likouala- corr,esponds precisely with ttrat of a
w au;-Herbes River, amid the vast rnedium-sized sauropotl dinosaur!
swamplandsof the People's Republic of the
Congo, when he experienced a very close H ID D E N tIFE
Literally translated as 'the study of hidden
encounter o[ the cryptozciological kind. A The swomplqnds of
Suddenly,to his astonishment,a small head Iife', cryptozoology is specifically defined the Congo ore iust the
borne upon a long slender neck broke the as the investigationof unidentified animals sort of ploce thot new
water surface like a living periscope. t hal are apparentl y w el l know n to thei r onimols, unknown lo !

Mondongo stood petrif,ed as.a massive Iocal human nei ghbours, but w hi ch have science, moy be found.
creature emerged, revealingan enormous, yet to be discoveredand formally described For over 2OO yeori o -9

sturdy body with srriooth, reddleh-brown by scientists. hunlers, missionories

skin, four bulky legs, and aivery lengthy, Few people doubt that many species of ond explorers in the
p o wer f ul t ail. T his e x tra o rd i n a ry a n i ma l , tiny insect or other inconspicuousanimals region hove reporled
approximately nine metres long, remained .may still await discovery, but some might seeing o beosl known
in view for at least three minutes before considerit unlikely that, in the 20rh cenlury, locolly os the
submerging out of sight igain. ' , "'there could also be large.spectacularanimals mokele-mbembe.
If science confirmg the existence of this remai ni ng undetected. One notabl e A Joponese film crew
aniriral - known locllly as the mokele- cryptirzOological iceptic was palaeontdlogist even purported to
mbembe - it may well be one of the"great- George Gaylord Simpson, who claimed: hove filmed it (inset,
e st z oologic al dis c o v e ri e s o f a l l ti me . 'The many new'animals being discovered mognified).
nowadays are rarely very novel... it is
si g nif ic ant t hat t h e d a te s fo r i n c re a s i n g l y
novel discoveriestend to recede in time.'
Yet thip,issimply not true. As Karl Shuker
revealedin his book The LostArk: Newand
Rpriisrouered Animals oJ the 20th Ccniurl'. an
impressive list of dramatic creatures hitherto
u n known t o s c ie n c e h a s b e e n s te a d i l y
u n fo lding t hr ough o u t rh e 1 9 0 0 s .
T hes e inc lude th e o k a p i . Z a i re ' s s h o rt-
n e c k ed f or es t gir a ffe , d i s c o v e re di n l 9 0 l :
mountain gorilla (1902); komodo dragon,
the world's laigest lizard (1912); coelacanth,
a large lobe-finned fish believed'to have
b e e n ex t inc t f or mi l l i o n s o f y e a rs t 1 9 3 8 ):
Flecker'ssea-wasp ( 1955): megamouthshark
(1976); giant, tube-dwelling, sea-wormswith
huge,scarlet tentacles (1977); Queen of
Sh eba' sgaz elle( 19 8 5 );V uQu a n g o x ( 1 9 9 2 ):
bondegezou, a tree kangaroo (1994); plus
ma n y ' new' whales.d o l p h i n sa n d p o rp o i s e s .
And these are just a handful of this
century's freshly-found anirlals. Clearly,
therefore, there are plenty ofprecedents for
uncovering major new speciestoday.

Some mystery beastsare evid€ntly imaginary, *,.
fantastic animals - just like fire-breathing
dragons. Certain others are hoaxes,*or
misidentified known species like th.
rnermaid-like ri of New Ireland, near New


:i.e: i-

Guinea, shown in 1985 to be the dugong -, z'

a familiar sea-co\\.But lhere are alsosevera{ o
hundred t1'pesof m1'sterious,unidentified E
beastsrepolred from around the world. that
may indeed be ralid new speciesstill eluding =
sci enti fi cdetecri on.These can be gr oDped
i nto l our categori es.
The first of these are prehistoric survivors.
Karl Shuker's book In Searchof Prehistoric
Suru.iaorsis devoted to this category -
mystery bdasts (including the mokele-
mbembe) that may be undiscovered living
relatives of creatures believed to have died
out in prehistoric times.
Take, for instance, the Loch Ness
monster, reported by eyewitnessesfor many
*t: it:::tliE;ttf]

.$sr$ :5_T-r!;;*:'"'*'*
centuries. Their descriptions,
co u p led wit h s o n a r a n d u n d e rw a te r
p h ot ogr aphicev ide n c e .s u g g e s t"
l h a ti ts s ti l l
unidentified speciesis up to 9 metres long,
w i th a v er y s lender n e c k a n d s m a l l h e a d . a
burly body, two pairs of diamond-sMped
flippers, and a long tail. This description is
re m ar k ablys im ilar to th a t o f a p l e s i o s a u r-
a large aquatic reptile that officially became
extinct around 64 million years ago.
Plesiosaur-likebeastshave been reported
fro m olher f r es hw a te r l a k e s a ro u n d th e
worlcl too. and also from many oceanic
expanses.where they comprise the 'long
n e ck ' c at egor yof s e as e rp e n l . In the early 1990s,explorer Ivan Mackerle
A very different kind of aqu4tic led an expedition to the Gobi iri search of
prehistoric survivor is rypifieclby the migo. o ne such creature- the al l ergorhaihorhai .
a se rpent inewat ermo n s te ri n h a b i ti n g L a k e of Mongolian death worm. Allegedly f There hove been
D a kar auain New B ri ta i n a n d fi l m e d b y a resemblinga fat. dark red wormomeasuring hundreds of
Ja p anes et elev is io nc re w i n J a n u a ry 1 9 9 4 . up ro l .l tong. * i $r poi ,-rr.i sighrings of rhe

'; "s t t r e - p roj ecti ons at both ends of i ts body. the

d eath w orm spends much o[ the vear
creoture known os
Big.Foot. ln 1967,
hidden in the desert sands,but occasionalh' film wos foken of
. There is more sworn :
fests upon the surface. the beost of Bluff
evidence for the seo-serpenl's
Creek, €olifornio.
exisfence thqn q court of low KILTER WORM Sceplicsinsisi thol
. wou'ld,,need to prove ony The N{ongolian death worm is greatly the so-colled
oidinory cose feared by the region's nomads, because it dpemon is reclly o
Dr Berncird Zoologist can squi rt a corrosi vepoi sor{ .and can ki l l mqn dressed in
The film shows a very elongated beast
EP hrrmansand livestockvia a strangeprocess
resembling electrocution. The
recent Gobi expedition failed
onimol skins.

me as ur ing about I I me tre s . u n d u l a ti n g to unearth the death worm.

ve rti c allyas it s wim sa c ro s sth e l a k e .T h i s i s Peruvian zoologist Dr Peter
highll significanl.becadserhe only creatures Hocki ng i s currentl ypursui ng
of compaiable size that could move..likethis two mysdq/ing types of big
rvere a group of specializ& whales known cat, one of them striped and
a s zeuglodont s whi . c h s u p p o s e d l yd i e d o u t the other marked w i rh fi ne
a ro u nd 25 m illion y e a rsa g o . grey speckl es. reputedl y
Severaleminent anthropolbgists, such as lurking in Peru's remote
Professor Grover Krantz from Washington riinforests. Neither the cats
State Universiq', believe that the tall, hairy n or thei r skul l s matches an)
ma n- beas t sr epor t e d l ro m N o rth A m e ri c a recognized species.
(the Big Foot or sasquatch) and the '' The. iatzelworm has been :"x

Himalayas (the yeti) are shy modern-day reported for centuries from
desc'endantsof a giant $sian primate called the AIps of central Europe, but
Gigantopithecus, which rhysteriouslyb€came sci encehas sti l l to exami ne a
W. E
e xti n c t about 300. 0 0 0y e a rsa g o . speci men. E yew i tnesses l i ken retrI t
the creature to a one-metreJong serpentine
lizard with two small front less.
Freakish mystery ir"utt. well be
nothing more than abnormal -oy indiriduals of
known species. The enigmatic.h{orped
jackals of Sri Lanka seem to be normal
jackals that fbr some undefined reason bear
a small horn at the back of their head.
"-',EQuallll Fu-jian's elusive blue tigers are
,probably just an unLrsualgenetically-based
col our vari etvof the-ordi rrary ti ger.
Such mvsterv beasts are known species
erlcountered outside their normal
di stri brrti onl arrsc.rrsrral lcompri
\ si ngexolic
animals that har,e escaped from captivity.

## .u
The vyorld's greof deserfs
q n d n e q r-limit le s s o c e q ns
qre the qreqs where
s p e c t o c u lq r n e w s p e c ie s
could sfill be conceoled
Dr KorlShuker,Cryptozoologist

This wo.uld seem to be the explanation for
I-rke q u e f f i r e p o r f s o l 'b i g c a r s ' r e s e m b l i n g
pumas or black panthers stalkins the
c o u r r t r y s i d e i n B r i t a i r r . c o n t i n e r r t a l E ur o p e .
and Australia.


Even if we assumethat many of the mvsterl'
ani mal s on fi l e real l y are urrdi scor cr ed
species,how can we explain the secr-etof
theirluccess in eluding scientific scmtinv for
so long?
There are still unexplored regions of our
world and it is from these areasthat reports
of unfamiliar beastshave emerged. A prime
example is Vietnam - for so long a war zone
whose rnountain forests rvere off-limits to
sci enti sts. These A reas are now b eing
intenseh' explored and, during the 1990s,
have rei eal ed a reri tabl esl ampedeof lar gi. .
ne\\'rnarr)mal s. i ncl rrdi ngthe V u Quar r gox.
the hoi-vgoat, and severalhighly novel deer.
The dense rainforestsof New Guinea and
the Mato Grosso, the Congo's fbrbidding
swamplands, the battle-torn coul]tries of
Cambodia and Rwanda, the drug-traffickers'
jungle strongholds iu Colombia, as rvell as
the world's largest lakes and vast oceans,are
the areas where explorers mav firrd &- *
lascirrating lle\v crea[ures.

nru Ml6 oR CIA

;" o:i:.txT:#i,:i::.i-li:T;
V ---.
normally serene StJames'sSquare in
ii_1,, x London. The ll-rouncl burst, from a
H":"r--,.,,. Sterline automatic assaultweapon, felled a
'5!;ttt.' nr*b.*. of Libyan demonstrators protest-
*1!il;, tng against their leader, Mu'ammar
'ti!:'i-: Gaddafi, outside the Libl'an embassy'
.i:',:l'-',, Killed outright was \4bman Police
.. , Constable (\ ?C) Yvonne Fletcher.

I shell-casings on the first floor of the

embassy - the Libl'an People's Bureau.
And later, intelligence sources revealed
that they had intercepted a mes-
sage from Gaddafi 24 hours prior
to the shooting, authorizing offi-
cials inside the Bureau to open
fire on the demonstrators. Public
o ut r age ens ur ed th e e x p rrl s i o no f
L i b y an diplom at s fi o m Bri ta i n .
E ight een m on th s l a te r. o n 5
April 1985, the 'La Belle' dis-
cotheque in West Berlin was razed
b1za terrorist bomb. One US ser-
vi c em an and a ) o u n g T u rk i s h
woman were killed outright, and
? 3 0 people inju re d . Pre s i d e n t
Ronald Reagan claimed to have

ITBMO Margaret Thatcher.
R efl ecti ng the continue- ,
publ i c hosti l i ty agai nst

Li byans.Thatcher order ed
l arrnchof F-l l l bombers f r om
a US Air Force base in East
furgl i a. A sl eep i n a B e douin

tent i nsi de Tri pol i ' s Golden
Gate barracks as the bombers
slr llck. Gaddafi e sca p e d
i nj rrrr. H i s nr' osons.however .

rvere badlr r'r'ounded, and
h i s I 5-nronth-ol d adopr ed
daughter rvaski l l ed.
: ;
In 1992.B ri ti sh aurhor and researcher Joe '
V i al l s w as rummagi ng around i n his old
fi l es l ooki ng for materi al for a book he was
rrl i ri us..U rhough he rrasl i ri ng i n A u st r alia
5 at thc ti me, V i al l s had heen resi d enr in
Britain rvhen Fletcher \\iasmurd.ered, work-. , li
; irrg for the Hughes Tool Company - an
organization tnat
orgarlzauon that olten
often lronteo
fronted tor ',,
for LIA
personnel. During his research, Vialls 'r:
, .:

t wer e ' dy n a m i te ' .T h e y
the existence of what
to be an 'ultra low-
Tool Company
at 8 S t J am e s ' s Sq u a re .
t to the Libyan
s,Bureau. ..,?}9 '.;..- l i !
t r ue c ons pi ra c y th e o ri s t, "
began to wonder if there
a link between the secret,
possibly ClA-operated. office
and th e de ath of Flet c her .
. Scrutini zing a BBC film taken
I t-

..'in StJames'sSquareat the time of the mur-

der, Vialls theorized that the fatal shot had
f r om t he H u g h e s b u i l d i n g . H e w a s
he pos s e s s e d a mn i n g e v i d e n c eo f
r B r it is h- US int el l i g e n c ec o n s p i ra c yto k i l l
Fletcher, but, in every respect except
Ifialls' was wrong. However, his belief
B r it is h and U S i n te l l i g e n c e w e re
Fletcher's murder is now borne out


Vialls had sent a letter to Channel Four
! -ir'.,.-'-

:;::r:: Television in London, who considered the

information convincing
i^ f^ --^t i^-
^^- . ; - ^; - - enough
--^,,^h to rrequire
t^ an,,i-a
A The corner of inquest. Knapman refused tl.refilm makers
d e t ailed inv es ti g a ti o n . Ex e c u ti v e s a t 5t Jomes3 Squore accessto the autopsy findings. despite the
F our c o n ta c te d F u l c ru m outside rhe Libyon request being routed through X'onne
tions, a highly regarded documen- embossy (inset, Fletcher's mother. Receirirrg advice from
company, who set about a com- building on left) Professor Bernard Krieht. a leading
s iv e inv es ti g a ri o n . T h e a l a rm i n g oppeored ro ploy British consultant pathologist,Fulcrum re-
of their meticulousresearchwere hosf to o Libyon submi tted thei r reqrrr.l - noti ng it con-
in the Channel Four Television civil wor in 1984. formed to requirements of the Coroner's
programme Dispalrhes in April 1996. New evidence, Act - and the report u'asdtrlr.released.
Fulcrum first attempted to compare though, suggests lhot
Fletcher's original autopsy with the official fhe 'profesterg' were A U TOP S Y C ON FIR MA TION
inquest report, and contacted coroner poid by the ClA. Immediateh'. a nnmber of inconsistencies
ul K napm an, w h o p re s i d e d o v e r th e were evident. Foremost was the original
findings of the pathologist, Dr Ian West,
who rvrote in his autopsy report: 'The
angle of the builet wound track indicates
that [\{?C Fletcher] was shot in the back
by a person situated at a considerably
higher 1er,e1...the track would indicate
that she had been shot from the upper
floors of an adjacent building [to the
Libyan People'sBureaul .'
Dr West noted that the bullet's entry
track was at an angle of 60"-70". During
later evidence given at the inquest, West
changed his mind. Now he agreed rvith
police investigators that the bullet had
come from the first floor of the Libvan

-6 are even more pronounced following the
remor,al of part of the bullet's propellant, V The
! slorving its speed and, equally importantly,
o creating a less audible discharge. The lat- of Fletcher being hit
s ter is a knorvn technique of British SAS oroved rhqt 12
snipers. The damage caused by a bullet shofs hod been
People's Bureau - signifying an entry doctored in this rr'avis horrific. The tum- fired in st Jomes3r':- .
wound of only 15'. This unusual revision bling bullet tears throush the bodr,, rip- Squore, nol I I, ,..
was to prove vital. ping tissueand vital organs bevond repair. os rhe officiol
Fulcrum then had a number of experts \{lhoer,er shot \\'onr-reFletcher rras arvareit
examine the evidence in the nvo reports, was a death shot in everv sense. concluded.
including Hugh Thomas, a former Chief The automatic rveapon used inside the ouiopsy
Consultant to the British Armv in Libvan Bureau - a 9 mm Sterling sub- (inset) olso
Northern Ireland - and an acknol'ledged machine gun - was not silenced. The sharp how the
expert on gunshot wounds. Thomas stated sounds of its 11 rapid-fire rounds being dis- wos fired f-;
that Dr West's testimony at the inqi.restrvas charged were caught on BBC videotape positionhigher rhcn ,
'rubbish', concluding that the updated sce- and analysed by an audio expert for the thot discussed in the
nario West painted for the coroner was Dispatchesdocumentary. An additional officiol inquiry.
'impossible'. Backtracking over the post-
rnortem report, Thomas was conrinced 1-':;;;'... -"*"J,#"'.is
that the bullet that struck \APC Fletcher
must have come from the upper floors of
an adjacent building. Totalling five floors,
the Libyan building simply did not have a
high enough elevation for the fatal shot.
Forensic examination also showed the bul-
let's energy was depleted and the round
was 'tumbling' as it hit the police officer.
The tumbling effect and the 'terminal


velocitv' (the velocity of the bullet as it .s
strikes its target) are consistent with the
use of silencers. Significantly, these effects

"* r*:r"tilij:r".$
was also analvsed. It oroved to be
lmpo rtan l. laKen Dy an am at eur .
t the sound of a'duller' gun-
ds after the Libyan gunman
The evidence was irrefutable
bullet had been fired.
team next learned that
and US I nt e l l i g e n c ew e re ru n n i n g a
rveillanceposl on the upper floors
:James'sSquare.nvo doors awayfrom
Libyan People's Bureau. Tom Peile, a
er security officer at number 3,
:aled that as many as 40 intelligence
were active at lhe surveillance post
week spr ior to th e s h o o ti n g .
illance techniques included read-
ne and telex traffic, the use of A A memoriol stone The XFactor was also told that the archi- j
m ic ro p h o n e sto p i c k u p c o n - E
in 5t Jomes's Squore tects of the plan \{ere concerned that
and, where possible, physically morks the spol ot deaths of Libyan protesters by Gaddafi's U
ibugs' inside the Bureau itself. In =
which Yvonne Fletcher own assassinwould not be enough to out-
MI6, MI5, CIA and the Special fell. As she loy dying, rage the British public. Consequently, an
had huma n ' s o u rc e s w i th i n th e her fionce, Constoble additional target was chosen that rvas cer- 6

who were providing regular Michoel tiddell, tain to inflame public opinion. Yvonne
r . S ignif i c a n tl y . MI5 k n e w th e crodled her in his Fletcher was the sacrificial lamb.
a. cache of guns sealed in a orms. She died 9O By 1984, Reagan-administration insiders
on t he f i rs t fl o o r o f th e B u re a u . minufes loter in believed victory in the forthcoming elec-
wer e all 9 m m c a l i b re w e a p o n s- l h e hospirol. lronicolly, tions relied on the downfall of Gaddafi.
'€alibre bullet that killed Fletcher. the slight 25-yeor-old However, US officials found no appetite on
WPC hqd been foo the part of their NATO allies to sr.rpportUS
TETTIGENCE PRESENCE short to loin the militarv action against Libra. \\-ith the
and knowledgeable source police, but hod been killing of Fletcher. the British attitudes to
The X Factor that the fatal shot given speciol Li bva hardened. and the gover nm ent
:rainly came from 3 St James's dispensotion becouse allorved US bombers to flr' from British
- location of the secret MIS,/CIA of her drive ond bases- an option previouslvunthinkable.
lce post. The operation was engi- enthusiosm.
areate public outrage that would S H OOT TO K ItL P OLIC Y
ned the existing 'soft' view of In a House of Cornmons debate in the sum-
b y the Ltrltr s h gov er nm ent . mer of 1996, the British government dis-
missed the nerr' facts disclosed about the
E Fletcher shooting. \\'hy? It would appear
; that thev do not nish to addressthe unpalat-
able fact that elements within Britain's own
.g securitv serrices are out of control.
Four vears after Fletcher's death,
another atrocity was to occur which again
involved Libya, Britain and the US -
the bombing of Pan Am flight 103
over Lockerbie, Scotland. This case also

In the next isszz, INSIDE STORY ln uesligates the
CIA's role in the Lockerbie disaster, and the real
reason Pan Amflight 103 was bombed.
0r tffi

he concrete campus of the University of Did you olwoys think much of the
Hertfordshire is an unlikely place to find one pqronormql wqs iust trickery?
of the IIK's foremost research centres into the I'd watched the Arthur C. Clarke shows as a kid and
iffi par.rnormal. But it's a location that, since the wondered whether the things I saw were real or more
Perrott-Warrick Research Unit was set up in 1992, the like the tricks I was performing. But I didn't really
media has beat a regular path to, in search of the
thi nk too much about i t.
down-to-earth comments of Richard Wiseman.
The 3O-year-old psychologist became known to TV
When did you consider it more seriously?
viewers in the summer of 1996 with his regular spot on
tlre BBC's Out Of This Wmldprogramme. Wiseman's At university, I studied psychology.At the end of the
role as the debunker of psychic claimants upset many course, I wanted to concentrate more on this area of
people, but the mild mannered academic remains paranormal deception. That's when the University of
unrepentant. fle's all for raiiing the standards of Edinburgh was advertising a Ph.D position in the
testing psychic claims and to this end has published psychology ofdeception and parapsychology.So I did
two books outlining guidelines for such research and that for four years.
sits on the investigation committee of the Society for
Psychical Research (SPR). His latest book, Deception Whqr did your reseqrch involve?
and Sef4eception: Irwestigating Psychia, is a collection of It was looking at the psychology that magicians use to
his ovr'n research fiodirtgr.
fake psychic ability - how they get an audience to look
In his spare time Wisemano an Associate of the Inner
in a certain place at a certain time, make certain
Magic Circle, likes to entertain himself and others with
assumptions or misremember the trick. Civen that
magic tricks. In facto it was his childhood interest in
magic that set him on the trail of fake psychics. that's how you can cheat, how can you test somebody
who claims to be psychic so they can't do those sorts of
W @ I was about sevenwhen I began with those little things, so you can seewhether they're genuine?
boxed magic setsyou can get - I used to bore
everyone at school with it. I think it was those Whqt psychic clqims did you exomine?
experiences, when you have a simple trick and you We tested the SORRAT fSociety for Research on
realize that you can fool people, that made me think, Rapport and Telekinesis] group in America, who are
'I wonder what's going on inside people's heads that best known for the 'Mini-Lab' phenomena. They take
th a t c an happen. ' a fish tank, turn it upside down so it's a sealed, clear
box, put some objects inside, and film it while the whether somebody else has got to it? Well, you can
'spirits' allegedly move the objects around. It's really use sealing wax, envelopes, all this kind of stuff. But
hokey stuff. the fact is that there are manuals out there on how
Their claim was that if we sealed up a deck of ESP to get into envelopes so they don't show any signs
cards, sent them acrossto SORRAT, the spirits would of tampering. The CIA release such a manual called
write down the order of the cards. So we thought: Flaps and Seals.Scientistswho did the other studies, I
how would a magician get into these without showing suspect,just didn't know about that sort of literature.
any signs of tampering, and how would you block
that. In the end, we encapsulated the cards in about Whot hoppened ofter you got your Ph.D?
500 grams of resin with chemical traces in it so that it I moved down to the University of Hertfordshire to
couldn'tr be
couron De melted
mereo clown
down ancl
and # .s set up a research unit, similar to
reconstituted.\,!'esent the cards & 6 the one in Edinburgh, but doing
€F =-
across.They came back a month things differently in that we would
later, the spirits having written If psychicpowersexist at take a slightlv more sceptical
down their guesses.Out of 25 cards all - and it'. a big if -
nd it's stance to the paranormal. We
they had only got eight right, which then it'.'sa small ability ,L?ty rvoul d al so exami ne cl ai m s t o
is what you would expect by chance. which )ou wouldn't psvchic abiliq'.
notice in eaerydryllfe
How did SORRATreqcl to €:: How mqny of these clqims
your conclusion? = F hove you exqmined since?
They were fairly annoyed. They had Well, there are only a few people
done similar testswith scientistswho hadn't gone to who can produce sufficient anecdotal evidence of
such lengths to seal the decks, and SORRAI always their powers to convince me that they are even worth
managed to guessthem correctly. They said maybe the investigating. And there are even fewer of them who
resin stopped the spirits seeing inside the deck. are prepared to be tested properly.

Do you think some pqrqpsychologisfs hove 5o who hqs come forwqrd?

poor stondqrds for their tesfs? We tested Chris Robinson, the psychic detective, and
Sometimes. I think things have changed fairly Carol Everret, the psychic diagnostian, lvho claims to
recently, though. \A4ren I was doing the SORRAT be able to tell what's wrong with you just bv looking at
study, which was in 1991, there wasn't a huge amount you. We went to India and tested a couple of the local
of understanding of deception and magic techniques gurus. We've also looked atJavtee, the psl'chic dog
among most paiapsychologists.For example, how do who knows when his owner is coming home - the
you wrap up a deck of cards so that you can tell biologist Rupert Sheldrake'spet project, as it were.

Hqve ony convinced you thof

they hove psychic qbiliries?
No. The pattern is alwaysthe same.
j- lir"t come along with anecdotal
i er"idence.\Arhenvou rule out self
] deception, other deception and put
! them to the test. their experiences
f look pretty ordinary. That's why I'm
very much convinced that if there
are psychic powers, they are not
large. They are not the sort of
things that people can produce a
demonstration of and you go, 'Oh,
wow, that's absolutely incredible.'

Whof obout the results of

pqst porqnormql fests, by
SPRmembers for exqmple?
The problem is knowing that what's
written down is what actually
happened. You're trusting the
memory of the people who wrote these reports. As a How did the Swomi's tests go?
magician, I know that people easily misremember a Every time the bag was placed over Premananda's
trick you have performed. It's the same with the hand, he didn't produce anything. As soon as the bag
reports into psychics. I did a retrospective study into came off, he started producing things again. We
Eusapia Palladino, who was supposed to be one of the concluded it was probably fraud, because when we
best physical mediums at the turn of the century. She looked back at a video recording we'd made, his hand
was investigated by the SPR in an incredibly detailed always went out of view before objects materialized.
way. The report's about 250 pages. \A/hen looked at
closely,though, it's not as good as people think it is. If On TV, yovtre presenfed qs q sceptic. How
that's the best evidence, I'm not convinced. do you feel qbout being cost in this role?
I personally quite like it. I don't want unbalanced
Whot oflrqcfed you to investigote Swomis? programmes going out. For the most part, the public
It was the fact that these are living claimants who believe what they see on TV and if they're only being
seem to able to do something extraordinary. I met told one side of the story I think that's unfair. I'm not
Professor Erlendur Haraldsson from the University of saying that they should be told these things aren't
Iceland. who's done a lot of work with the Indian paranormal, just that both sides should be presented
mystic Sai Baba, and he told me he'd seen a lot of so that the public can make up their own mind.
stuff that couldn't be explained away as magic tricks.
He asked if I'd like to go with him and test Swami Whor do you recommend if people wqnf fo
Premananda under more rigorous conditions. tesl psychic cloims?
It should be done under conditions that are fair to
Whqf wqs fhis Swomi doing? the claimant and which don't preclude cheating and
Premananda was materializing objects in his hands self-deception. We're pushing people to consult with
during religious services - rings, trinkets, that sort magicians or security experts as the appropriate
of thing. I saw him materialize things informally, source of expertise. We also suggest running
and it was very impressive. informal pilot studies, videotaping them, showing
the tapes to the claimants, asking what they think.
As o mogiciqn, couldn't you tell whether he Simple things like that improve the quality of
wos using sleighr-of-hcnd or not? research in this area.
Magicians don't know the answer to everything.
They'll go to magicians' conventions and be fooled Are more people qpplying fo do reseqrch
because there are new techniques coming out all the with you qt Herffordshire University?
time. It was the same with the Swami. To rule out More people know we're there, so we get a lot more
sleight-of-hand as much as possible, the procedure we applicants, which is fine. I think people should be
came up with was to examine his hand, wash it, place interested in these things. But what we want is good
a clear plastic bag over and seal it round the wrist and evidence and investigations in this area because that's
then ask him to materialize an object inside the bag. the only way to work out if there's anything to it.
tr S



I i ..

t had been a routine nvo-hourjour- ri ght of the ai l cl ri t - possi bl rrr' i thi nj trst A Meleorifes entering
ney. Flight BA 5061 from Milan rvas a metre of them. In r.rnderthree secondsit eorlh's otmosphere
nearing the end of its rr,rn and was had gone. The first offrcer turned ashen con eosily be
e+ffi#s! descending through the darkness faced to his Captain and asked, 'Did vou see misloken os olien o
over the south Pennines on its final that?' Roger Wills had seen the object, croft, ond moy well o
approach to Manchester Airport. although none of the passengersappear to hove been behind
The time rvas6.48 p.m. on 6Januar,v1995 have been r,vitnesses. This is perhaps unsllr- the BA 5O6l
a n d t he B r ir is h Ai rrv a rs B o e i n g 7 3 7 w a s prising given their restricted r,'iervfrom the encounler (insef)over -I
about 4,000 feet, preparing to turn toltards small side windor,r,s. Monchesfer. The foct
runway 24. Captain Roger Wills u'as at the thqt the newspopers
controls, battling a strong north-westerh' .c._Lo==1..t__F_Il=-e_"_!t_ty:!_.1"=-*
got the heighr of the

wind, and first officer Mark Stuart rvasmon- The creu' immediately called Manchester' neor collisionso
itoring the instruments. and asked if there r'ras a radar fix on anr' wildly incorrect is on
Both were unprepared for r,hat hap- other craft in the vicinit)'. Control reported indicotion of the
pened next. 'I sau' something out of my that there w as nothi ng on screen. desire for o good
peripheral vision,' Stuart explains. 'M,v Explaining their close encolrnter, the tr.vo story, rolher lhon
instinct was to grab the controls as it pilots were asked r.vhether ther, rvished to octuol focls.
seemed to be coming towards us. But I was file an 'air miss' report. Thel' decided to
unable to move more than an inch before it wait and think about it.
was upon us and past us.' Upon landing a felv minutes later, the
The object flew past at high speed to the men comDared notes and made sketchesof
\1hat they had seen. These were broadly
:imilar. Stuart drew a silver-wedge shaped
craft u'ith streaks along the side. Captain
\\-ilIs thought it was less concrete and drew
ir more as a series of lights, but agreed that
it rtas still wedge shaped. The similarity
clecided the two men - thev would file an
;rir miss report. The Civil Aviation Authority
C-\\) would then have to find out what
had nearly knocked them out of the sky.

The case gained instant notoriety. \A4rile
both Wills and Stuart declined to give inter-
rierr's at first, the story was leaked to the
press. Even as the CAA struggled to get to
erips with the incident, the tabloids were
har-ing a field day.
The CAA investigated every possible
explanation for the near collision, but
cor-rld find no answers. Eventually, they
began speculating about UFOs - mention-
ing, possibly for the first time in an official
air miss report, 'extraterrestrial activity'. A
cautionary note added:'Fascinating though v Sighrings of fhe fireball meteor, known as a bolide. The illu-
it may be, it is not within the lair miss] UFO involved in fhe sion of an alien craft is created when space
group's remit and must be left to those BA 506l neor-miss debri s enters the earth' s atmosphere and
rihose interest lies in that field.' were olso reported burns up. Invariably these strange lights are
The fact that the CAA was entertaining from lhe ground. A high in the the atmosphere. and therefore
the possibility of UFOs was like a red rag to reconslruclion of the out of radar range, even though they
the media. Many took it as an admission croft ollegedly seen appear to be close by. From what is known
that the plane had encountered aliens. by Monchester from eyew i tnessdescri pti ons of vari ou s
. A 5061 ' sre p u ta ti o n ma y
L'n fo rtu nat elyB studenl Mork Lloyd other fi rebal l events.the accountsgi ven by
riell be unjustified. There are many natu- mqintoined fhe the experi enced B A 5061 pi l ots cl osely
rally occurring phenomena that can be mis- triongulor shope, but matchesthat of a bol i de si ghti ng.
taken as some kind of intelligent alien craft, differed in size.
and this could have been the case in the According ro Lloyd, it MID .A IR MY S TE R IE S
\Ianchester near collision. The pilots wos obouf 'the size of Strange, naturally occurring phenomena
could, for example, have observed a bright Wembley Slodium'. have a l ong hi story i n U FO si ghti ngs.
During World War II there were thousands
of aircraft in flight over Europe and the
Pacific on bombing raids and reconnais-
sance missions, and there were dozens of
sightings of strange lights that appeared to
dog Altied aircraft. The US Air Force gave
them the name 'foo fighters' after a comic
strip cartoon figure. \A4rat they did not
appreciate until later was that the Axis
pilots were seeing them too. These glitter-
ing lights littered the skies as if they were
observing the battles, yet never interfered.
After the war had ended, US military air-
craft continued to report a number of
encounters with UFOs. Indeed objects very
like the foo fighters - small lights only half
a metre or so in diameter - continued to be

seen to this day. It is barely appreciated
even by UFOlogists that these sightings still
continue, and the possibility of naturally
occurring phenomena is also routinely
overlooked by the military.

Not all UFO encounters can be explained
away as atmospheric anomalies, and in
some situationsthe military are prepared to
respond with force. In August 1956, there
were two separateUFO encounters over the
UKwithin a week. Radar systemsacrossEast
Anglia detected a strange object moving
between Bentwaters and Lakenheath. A
USAF transport plane fllng at 5,000 feet
saw the object - a smudgy yellow light -
from above. Two RAF Venom fighters were
scrambled and intercepted the object above 'tr
Ely. To this date, the crew remain adamant =
that they had a clear radar target of a sta- 5
tionary object which, try as they might, they
could not lock on to.
A few days later, Flight Officer Wilbur
Wright was one of twoJavelin pilots over the u
sea between the Isle of Wight and
Bournemouth when they were ordered to pletely disappeared. Was this a genuine
break off their practice mission to intercept sighting, or yet another example of bizarre
a target picked up by a secret radar site atmospheric phenomena?
nearby. They quickly locked on to the There have been other similar casesthat
object and then saw it with their own eyes- deny rational explanation. In September
a bright disc reflecting the sun and sitting 1976, an Iranian Air Force Phantom rr'as
sent lo intercept a UFO on the out- ,--"-
skirts of Tehran after it was -rnn-,.&
seen by many
people on

look for unusual radar targets being
tracked at Wellington Airport. John Cordy,
an air traffic controller. stated that the tar-
gets were unlike any he had ever seen
before. Captain Vern Powell took his Argosy ,:
into the area and saw a strange light which:
paced the aircraft forjust over 19 km along-.:
the coastbefore disappearing.
This sighting, and others in the area,
attracted the attention of an Australian TV,
channel. They contacted one of their
reporters. Quentin Fogarty. who happened
to be on holiday nearby. After the TV com-
pany gave him the details, Fogartyjumped
{ Foofoge shor by at the chance. He began his report by
Quentin Fogorty on interviewing the UFO witnesses, and then
3(F32 December
1978 showed o
formofion of up to
df The first officer... looked
six UFOs. These
brighr lights up in time fo see q dork
oppeored lo hqve o obiecr pqss down rhe side
dom e d 'c o b i n 'o n d of fhe qircroff ot high
on eslimoted length speedi if wqs wedge-
of 3O mefres. More shoped wirh q block stripe
importontly, New BA 506l Pilots'Neor Miss Reoort

the ground. The pilot noticed a small Zeolond rodor (inset)
object eject from the glowing light and olso confirmed lhe
judged that he was under attack. presence of UFOs.
Instinctively, he powered up his computer- persuaded Safe Air on rhe night of 30-31
controlled equipment and prepared to December to let him fly the same route. .
Iaunch an air-to-air missile. As he pressed However, Fogarty and the new Argosy er€w:.i.
the button to fire ilhat might have been the V A Brirish Airwoys headed by Captain Bill Startup did not
first shot in an inter-planetary war, all power promofionol video expect what happened next. l'l
drained from his aircraft. The object then unintenfionolly Once again, radar picked up UFOs and,:,
returned into the UFO and the Phantom's copfured o UFO, strange lights flew alongside the plane..
power returned to normal. opporently 'ploying 'Let's hope they're friendly,' Fogarty wryly
In casessuch as these, there appears little tog'with o Concorde. commented as the uni i enti ded' light s
alternative to suggest that some sort of The behqviour of the danced nearby, filling the TV camera lens.
intelligent craft with superior abilities to UFO - especiolly its The film evidencewasextensivelyinvesti-
our own 'primitive' defences is evident. exfreme occelerqfion gated by optical physicistBruce Maccabee,
Natural phenomena new to science, while - suggesled il wos o who flew out from Washington to New
not ruled out, seem less likely than in cases 'foo fighfer'. Zealand. to study the case. Maccabee was
such as the foo fighter type of sighting.

Despite the rising number of mid-air
encounters, the 'big case' which married
the credibiliq' of public sightings to pilot
testimony and radar trackings was still miss-
ing. The world waswaiting for first classfilm
footage of the UFO phenomena, and this
ideal was finally fulfilled in December 1978
above New Zealand's south island.
In the early hours of 21 December, the
crew of a Safe Air cargo plane were asked to
convinced that something truly inexplica-
ble was recorded. and the case is widely
regarded as one of the most convincinc'
examples ol UFO realiry.
Ilowever, there ale those who disagree.
Sceptics have attempted to prove that the
UFOs were many things, from stars and
planets to moonlight shining off a cabbage

{S rB _9

They've tested our defences o

lo see if we con withsfqnd qn

in v q s i o n . . . d t so me ti me i n th e A Luminous oblecrs craft rvasable to fly on to Schipol, Holland,
fufure we cqn expecf UFOs ro were sighted ond u'here it made an emergency landing. A
become increqsingly hosfile photogrophed in the hole rvas found in the tail fin where some-
CIA lnformont,
os fold to Journolist
WorrenSmith middle of o thing had passedright through. It was not a
t' a\' formqtion of bird strike, as metallic frasments were dis-
,, Tqhikowo Ki 36 covered there.
patch. The air crew, who flew the route on reconnoissonce The C-\\ rr-ereunable to solve this case.
a r egular bas i s . p ro fo u n d l y d i s a g re e . plones in 1942. Thinking that some kind of military tech-
Fogarty also remains completely baffled as Nicknomed'foo nologl might har-ebeen involved the MoD
to what he enc ou n te re do n th a t n i g h t. fighrers' by rhe US, n-asbrought in. and l'as equally mystified.
S o do t he UFOs s i g h te d i n th e s e c l o s e the stronge lights Thev even speculatedthat space debris re-
encounters represent a physical threat? In olormed ond entering the atmosphere from earth orbit
evaluating the Manchester Airport case the confused enemy ond could hale protoked a million-to-one freak
CAA appear to have thought this was possi- Allied forces olike. collision. The truth is that something struck
ble. But they were also aware that this case Alien inrelligence wos the aircraft ar-rdit snrrived. The next time
was far from unique. suggested, but an aircraft might not be so luckv.
modern science now
FR I E ND OR FOE? rhinks ir con exploin GtOB A t S IGH TIN GS
T h e p rospe ct of a c ollis ion is not m er elv these phenomeno os Close encounters have also been recorded
In August 1984, a Kondarr nolurol occurrences. around -\uglst 1984 br aircraft crew over
. . *
Trislanderon a cargoflight from Stanstead Tasmania. Brazil. France and Russia, and
to Amsterdamwasstruck by an object with there are doubtlessmanv more unreported.
such force that it lost an engine.The air- The rise in mid-air encoLlntershas reached
epidemic proportions and mav rvell be con-
sidered alarming bv anvone planning to
travel br-air.
Numerons airlir-res have been involved
and, rvhile most prefer their pilots not to
talk about the episodes for fear of under-
mining passengerconfidence, no airline is
more prone than any other. As such,
despite the commercial interests of airlines,
and despite the ridicule about little green
men that inevitably attaches itself to these
stories, lve simply have to take mid-

In the next issue, UFO FILE inaestigatesthe
strange sightings reported lry l,lASA astronauts
returningfrom manned spau flights.