- THE Ministry of Defence official who
once headed investigations into unidentified flying objects believes he
was abducted by aliens. Nick Pope, who ran the ministry's top secret Airstaff
Secretariat office during the early 1990s, believes that he, his girlfriend
and their car were abducted from a deserted toll road in Florida.
- He has described how he was lifted aboard
an alien spacecraft and then wandered around its corridors - without, however,
meeting any aliens.
- It was following this incident that he
applied for the job heading the defence ministry department which collects
all reported sightings of UFOs and related phenomena. He did not, however,
enter details of his experience on the files since he was uncertain exactly
what had happened to him and because he was worried he would be labelled
- Pope is still employed by the ministry,
but a routine transfer in 1994 means he now works for the finance policy
department as a higher executive officer.
- He has alluded to the incident in his
bestselling book The Uninvited, which claimed to expose the phenomenon
of alien abductions. But only now has it emerged that one of the detailed
descriptions of the several abductions was based on his own experience
rather than on that of someone called Peter.
- This weekend, Pope refused to confirm
or deny the claim that he was the "Peter" in the book. He said
he was unable to speak because he had since broken up with his girlfriend
and did not want to involve her.
- According to the book, the incident happened
while "Peter and Jenny" were travelling along a Florida turnpike.
Suddenly, they realised they were no longer on the same road and had jumped
several miles closer to their destination, even though no time seemed to
- He described the experience as the "strangest"
event in his life. In the book he went on to explain that he only recovered
his memory of what happened when, some time later, he underwent hypnosis.
He then "recalled" how he and his girlfriend had been lifted
from the ground in their car and how he had then walked on air into a metallic
corridor in what seemed to be some sort of spacecraft. Shortly after, the
experience ended with him returning to his car with "no immediate
recollection" of what had happened.
- The book makes it clear that he accepts
that such recollections are not 100% reliable and he cannot say for certain
that he was actually abducted. He says, however, that he believes it is
highly likely. The book adds: "If the event occurred as Peter remembers
then he was taken without consent and subjected to some truly bizarre experience."
- His latest revelation will come as a
further surprise for the ministry, where officials were amazed when he
announced that his time collating their "X files" had convinced
him that Earth was being visited by aliens.
- They were sufficiently relaxed about
his claims, however, to allow him to publish his first book, Open Skies,
Closed Minds in 1995. Its success illustrates the huge interest generated
by the subject of aliens visiting Earth, with hundreds of people claiming
to have been abducted by travellers from space.
- Jenny Randles, the former head of investigations
at the British UFO Research Association, who remains one of Britain's leading
"ufologists", said: "When I discovered that Nick had had
an experience I was mildly surprised given his position as the government
expert on UFOs.
- "What surprised me more, though,
is why he has never admitted to it before and why he chose to describe
the incident as happening to somebody else.
- "Clearly, the truth really is out