This morning’s copy of the Metro freesheet reports that the Royal Albert Hall in London is to be the venue for an event called ‘Close Encounters’. Between 25-31 October, the hall will host a festival focusing on “all things unexplained” – though mostly aliens.

Well, more accurately, the event will deal with the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, both in the form of ‘conventional’ UFO and alien reports, as argued over by believers and sceptics all over the Internet, and from a scientific standpoint, with representatives from various fields of boffinage putting their views on the likelihood of life somewhere Out There. Also some cracking good films, such as Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, um, Barbarella.

Metro’s article today carries comments from Nick Pope, former MOD UFO-report filer and Derek Acorah-style celebrity face of ufology. Nick used to be a sceptic but, according to today’s article, became a firm believer in aliens visiting Earth after reading military reports relating to the Rendlesham Forest incident in 1980.

Approaching things rather differently is Dr Lewis Dartnell of the University College of London, who accepts the possibility of alien life, but says:

“I don’t believe there’s intelligent life in our galaxy right now. I believe in aliens, I believe in life beyond Earth, but I don’t believe in intelligent aliens and there’s an important distinction between the two.”

Which, if you’ll forgive a personal comment here, seems a little bizarre to me, given that Dr Dartnell’s ability to have and express that belief is surely incontrovertible evidence of intelligent life in the galaxy right now. Additionally, some might argue that the recent discovery of a Goldilocks planet in the Gliese 581 system, only 20 light years from Earth, suggests that Earth-like planets might actually be quite common in the universe. While that alone doesn’t make intelligent alien life probable, it means it’s more probable than it was.

That said, he’s a doctor. And I’m not. This is probably relevant.

Still, moving on, and getting back to nice, objective journalistic standards (har), if you’ve an interest in the subject of alien life, you can get more information from the Royal Albert Hall’s website HERE.


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