Close encounters of the Nick kind

Nixk Pope
Nixk Pope

A subject that never fails to divide opinion, UFOs will be flying to the top of the agenda on Thursday, April 3 when former MoD investigator Nick Pope arrives in Berwick.

Nick worked for the Ministry for 21 years but it was his three year stint as a UFO sleuth in the early 1990s which proved to be his most interesting.

He has spent the last two years in America and his show at The Maltings in a few weeks time is one of his only UK engagements of 2014.

The show will be split into two halves with the first dedicated to Nick giving an insight into what it was like working in a real life version of ‘The X Files’.

And judging by our chat earlier this week, Nick has plenty to divulge.

“It was the most bizarre job I think anyone could have,” he joked.

“I didn’t run around with guns and torches like they did in ‘The X Files’ but like them it was my job to look into weird and unexplained happenings.

“Everything from people claiming to have been abducted by aliens to crop circles and seeing ghosts on military bases.

“Granted 90 per cent of what we investigated was people mistaking aircraft lights or Chinese lanterns which were an absolute nightmare.

“The MoD weren’t firm believers in little green men from outer space but at the same time there was a chance that UFOs could have been spy planes.”

Nick admits that when approached in 1991 to have a crack at the very different role he went into it without nailing his colours to any particular school of thought.

“If I’d gone into the job as a true believer or a die-hard, sceptic my judgement would have been coloured.

“As well as members of the public, reports came in from police officers, military personnel and pilots and it was particularly interesting when there was more than just someone’s story to go on.

“I’d say having done the job and seen and heard what I have I’m definitely more open to possibilities.

“People may think it is absolute nonsense to suggest that aliens could one day invade the earth, just like claims of an asteroid hitting us, but it is worth bearing in mind the consequences.”

And having worked with the teams behind a number of UFO-inspired films and computer games, Nick said the fear of the unknown is something that draws many people in.

“As a movie executive once said to me, fear sells, but then I’ve interviewed some witnesses to weird and unexplained activity who told me they wish they hadn’t seen what they’d seen,” he said.

“When war breaks out it is shocking and has a huge impact but people at least know what war is.

“But when it comes to the question of is anything else out there it’s hard to predict how people would react if there was some other being.

“Would there be mass panic or excitement? I’m sure at Government level there’d be a scramble to identify any new alien technology.”

The second half of Nick’s show will open up the floor to anyone in the audience who may want to share their own UFO experiences and Nick said he hoped people would be willing to tell their story.

“There is still a fear of being ridiculed but a believer only needs to be right once.”