It was on a warm summer evening in 1975 that an event took place in my
life that was to fundamentally alter it in ways that I could never have imagined. I was to experience something that would change my perception of
the universe and man's place within it. In simple terms I had a UFO encounter that sowed the seeds in an ever widening ripple effect that would
eventually pull me into the field of ufology to the extent that it has become the pervading theme of my life.
I have often tried to be more precise about the actual date of my first UFO
sighting but in the end all I seem to be able to do is narrow it down to a pretty loose framework of time. That is not to say the incident that unfolded is unclear,
no, much of it remains very vivid to this day. It is simply the practical things like the exact month, the actual date etc; that remain beyond my recall.
So having had one genuinely puzzling UFO experience and after doing a bit of
reading, my deep and lasting passion for the subject was born and so over the next year or so I built up my library of UFO related books.
After sixteen years of being away from the subject (during which time I got
married, became a father again, spent six years in the RAF before eventually joining the Police in 1989) something happened to change all that.
As a teenager I had often dallied with writing stories but what always
happened was that after that initial burst of enthusiasm my interest would wane and I ended up never completed the story. It was a bit of fun but
no more. Now as a rule I usually can’t recall my dreams but on one particular night I went to bed and had a really vivid dream that upon waking I
could still clearly remember. So much so that I quickly wrote down the premise of the story.
I found I really could sit down at a keyboard and produce something from
nothing. I wrote every day for a period of eight weeks and the story developed before my very eyes until it was finished. I had finally made the journey from A to B and I
Now there is one thing thinking you have written a good story and
another trying to actually prove it so after completing a second draft of 'Conclusive Proof' I wanted to get a professional ufologist to review it. So one
Sunday I drove over to Ilkley where Quest Publications were then based and nervously posted a large A4 envelope through the letterbox of their business premises.
The script was addressed to Graham Birdsall, the founding editor of UFO Magazine, a magazine widely regarded as the finest publication of its kind in the
I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page and found it difficult to put
down. From beginning to end, I found myself carried along in a plot full of twists and turns and was never really certain how it would all end
until the final page.
The lure of this subject was beginning to slowly take its grip on my
Over three days of that conference I listened to the lectures from the likes of Dr John Mack, the esteemed Harvard Psychiatrist and expert on the 'abduction phenomena', Budd Hopkins, widely regarded as the leading abduction authority in the world and Dr Richard Haines, the world's leading expert on pilot/UFO encounters.
Listening to the various speeches I found myself more and more
convinced of the reality of UFOs as a real phenomena and that there was factual material in the form of real and documentary evidence to
support the ET hypothesis.
The result was I wanted to get involved in serious research. The question was how?
I now found myself at the point of wanting to become an active UFO researcher but the problem for me was doing it in a way that would fit around my full-time role of of being a busy police detective.
I contemplated joining one of the many UK based UFO organizations but concluded that such a move would not suit my particular circumstances and ruled it out. No, I had to find something that would suit my needs.
It would be a further two months before the final piece of the jigsaw would
suddenly fall into place.
Having finally realised that my destiny lay in UFO research I still had to find a solution to making it fit around my daily police life. What could I do that would cater for my set of circumstances?
Well, for perhaps only the second time in my life I went to bed and had
another good idea. I woke up the following morning with an idea that seemed to fit all the necessary criteria to make it work for me. It was November
Whilst reading them I had come across several references to British
police officer UFO sightings, perhaps a dozen or so cases involving around 14 officers. I’d even bookmarked the references as if unwittingly
preparing myself for the task ahead.
The database seemed to offer me the perfect solution for my particular set of
circumstances. After all, I was a police officer and knew how they worked and their mindset.
Having thought of the name I now needed the oxygen of publicity.
I immediately thought of approaching Graham Birdsall at UFO Magazine. I
quickly wrote down some notes about the proposed database and went to visit Graham at the magazine’s new offices at Stourton in Leeds. Once again
I found him to be very accommodating and over a cup of coffee he invited me to outline my idea to him. I asked him if I could write an article
for the magazine and just a few minutes he said ‘OK’ and that was that! So by mid December 2001 I supplied Graham with my first article for the magazine. He agreed to publish it
in the January 2002 issue and it would mark the public launch of the database. I will never forget the thrill of seeing that first article in print.