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BUFORA: The Myths, the Mysteries and the
Rumours. Conference 2nd July 2011
The conference was first thought of by our
Investigation Coordinator, Heather Dixon.
She was aware that there were not many UFO groups in the area but BUFORA
had made a conscious decision to look at regions or locations that do not
always get a local opportunity. We had not presented a conference for a while
and were aware that this was something BUFORA was historically well known for
There were difficulties with some local
media. An advertisement in the local free paper, the Metro seemed to have
hardly any effect on ticket numbers and the local university didn’t even respond,
despite many attempts to their radio and email to various departments,
including the student union. I wonder how many students missed out of many
academic departments, just because they were prevented from gaining knowledge
of the conference.
However, a great thank you is in order for
a lot of publicity by the BUFORA committee and in particular, a great thanks to
John Wickham, back from the U.S. and promoting us in many places.
I have to also give great thanks to Dave
Franklin and Amanda at UFO Matrix magazine, who assisted in every way possible
to promote the conference after the set back of the poster not going in the
magazine as scheduled. He ensured we had a prominent place on the website and
got us good electronic exposure via his diverse media group, incorporating not
just UFO Matrix but the Paranormal and Mindscape magazines. We also wish to
thank Michael at UFO Matrix and Healings of Atlantis group for reporting at the
conference and also a thank you to Phil Mantle, who suggested sponsorship by the
magazine earlier on in the year.
We had a setback for one of our speakers,
Tim Good, who had to put family commitments first and for those who wanted to
see him at Newcastle, he will be back for the London 50th
anniversary next year.
We were delighted when the author of
Haunted Skies, John Hanson, agreed to replace Tim for this conference. John was
accompanied by his partner, Dawn Holloway and many of us we were looking
forward to meeting both of them for the first time. Dave Sankey, one of our
consultants, continues to provide some striking high quality graphic images for
the books and this was a chance for old friends to meet up.
We would like to give a big thanks to the
BBC local radio studio, which covered this event superbly and their enthusiasm
for this conference. There were interviews and reminders for people to attend
and the phone-in parts of some of the shows were very busy. This indicates that
Newcastle is just as interested in the phenomenon as any other part of the U.K.
and we are extremely grateful to everyone at the BBC Newsroom team for the
North East for the interest and promotion of the UFO subject and our
A big thank you is in order for the Sunday
Sun, who produced an article with input from two of our speakers, BUFORA Research
Coordinator Tony Eccles and Andy Roberts, writer for Fortean Times and author
of many books, speaking at Newcastle on the Berwyn Mountain incident. Tony was
able to discuss the shaman lecture and he is preparing to take this on to the
Weird conference in the Swindon area this year.