Thursday 1 February 2018

Ian Ridpath at Fortean London

When I heard that Dr Ian Ridpath was speaking at the London Fortean Society I did not feel any objection because I'm totally against all censorship, see: However I felt it was necessary for somebody sensible to attend the event just to "show the flag" so to speak. I was accompanied by my good friends Tiberius Kirk and Colin Woolford. Dr Ian Ridpath is an astronomer who spoke out in public after the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident in 1980. He came up with a remarkable explanation for the experiences reported by the witnesses: they had mistaken the Orfordness Lighthouse for an alien spacecraft. The Orfordness Lighthouse is a decommissioned lighthouse situated on the Orfordness peninsula by the North Sea some five miles east of Rendlesham Forest. In the flat landscape of the Suffolk coast it stands out as a major landmark. It is easily recognisable with its conical shape, and red and white striped paintwork. Its lamp, which used to flash every five seconds, was visible for a long distance inland. Ridpath was aided by a forester called Vince Thurkettle and together the two men have been saying essentially the same thing for over thirty years. There is a massive amount of material to deconstruct on their website, see: All of it can be assessed and successfully contradicted; and it has been over the years. It's a bit pointless for me to do it again. Ridpath sticks by his story to this day. He asked at one point: "Put your hands up if you think the RFI can be explained?" I did so and added: "Yes, it was aliens!" He looked at me and scolded: "I meant rationally!"

When I stood up at the question and answer session afterwards to challenge him, I knew I had only limited time because there were about fifty people in the room and others wanted to have their say. Also, as I said, it is all water under the bridge. I decided to focus on his comments about the reliability of the witnesses; I began: "Dr Ridpath, have you heard of an upcoming film called Capel Green?" He replied: "No." I said: "Well, it is a documentary that includes major new evidence, including witness testimony that has never been heard before. I have the assistant director, Tino Megaro, right here in the audience." That is TK's real name and he is indeed the film's assistant director, see: I continued: "I think it calls into question your entire theoretical model. I think your selection of witness statements is selective to say the least. I hope you when you watch the film you will reconsider your hypothesis." I sat down; the chairman chuckled and said: "That was very polite I must say." I responded: "What did you expect?" and the audience all laughed. Of course I was polite. I can't exactly say at such an event: "Ridpath, you're an idiot and you're talking a pile of crap!" To be honest, that is what I was thinking, but it would be highly unprofessional to say it in those terms. I was half-expecting him to echo unquestioningly the lies of the Larry Warren Hate Cult, like so many others have done, but luckily he didn't stoop that low. He may have heard their online smears, but he had the good sense not to voice them. Tino also challenged him and so did several other people. One man asked a particularly good question: "How come you've never reconstructed the incident as an experiment in the forest itself? You could have done it any time before the lighthouse closed down in 2013." Ridpath was stumped by that one. It's true; there never has been a serious attempt to test the astronomer's and the forester's theory via a full and detailed field study. It's too late now because the lighthouse never shines. There's not a lot more I can add except to say I'm glad I went along with Tino and Colin. Somebody who understands the proper evidence needed to be there so that Ridpath didn't have a clear run at any fresh new minds who happened to be there. Also, as luck would have it, we got talking to a group of students doing a project at university on UFO's. We fixed up an interview for them with Gary Heseltine, so their assignment is going to be far more interesting than it otherwise would have been.

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