Probe International Conference 2008

YMCA, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire

October 4th – 5th 2008

I had never attended a Probe conference before and could only make it for Saturday’s speakers this time round, but it was a very pleasant experience. Accompanied by my brother, we set off across the Pennines and arrived at the venue shortly after the doors opened at 9:30am.

The hall was already bustling and we checked out the various stalls selling everything from books to didgeridoos. Ellis C Taylor was there, signing his books and Mike Oram was doing likewise. David Boyle, owner of the Dr Who Exhibition and the Exhibition of the Universe (formerly the Alien & UFO Exhibition) in Blackpool, also had a table and was selling gifts and DVDs. There were many other vendors too.

As we settled in for the first speaker, Brian Halliwell, the lights dimmed. Brian talk was about coincidences and synchronicities. He told various tales from history, such as the three ships that sank on the same date in different years, yet each had a sole survivor called Hugh Williams. Or the balloon released by a girl named Laura Buxton, it was found 140 miles away and given to a young girl called Laura Buxton. It turned that the girls were born within a couple of months of each, both were fair-haired and both owned three-year-old female Labrador dogs and have a rabbit and a guinea pig each.

Brian also talked of personal coincidences, such as finding objects that he needed in unexpected places. He feels that mind and matter are connected, that the universe is a far stranger place than we can ever hope to understand and that thinking about a thing can often make it a reality (using quantum mechanics as a springboard). Brian’s talk was very interesting and he delivered it with great humour.

Now, I have to say that it was quite difficult to hear what the speakers were saying. I don’t know if it was the acoustics in the hall (a high-ceilinged gym/basketball court) or the sound system, but it was a real struggle. You could get the gist of what they were saying anyway.

Before the next speaker took the stage, I noticed UFO DATA forum member, ‘captainlockheed’, just in front of us. I introduced him to my brother and we enjoyed the rest of the conference as a trio.

Next up was Ellis C Taylor. Ellis is a qualified hypnotherapist and numerologist. His book, In These Signs Conquer, was reviewed in issue 16 of UFO DATA Magazine and is well worth reading. His new book, Dogged Days, is reviewed at the end of this article.

Ellis’ topic was ‘A Night with the Andrews Family’. This is also featured in Dogged Days and was an experience shared by our friend, Sacha Christie. Ellis spoke about a missing time event he experienced while travelling to the home of Paul and Anne Andrews in 2004 and the strange events that occurred there on another visit in 2006. He also spoke of the strange marks that appeared on his body in 1996, marks that had definite patterns to them. I will go into more detail about these events in the review of Dogged Days.

Ellis’ lecture was terrific and the emotions conjured by his recollections were plain to see. His website is

Time for lunch! We decided not to order from the menu arranged by Probe and headed for a nearby café. It was quite busy and the poor kids running it had obviously not expected a crowd of hungry delegates that day.

Back at the conference hall, I met up with Ellis Taylor. He recognised me immediately and I can honestly say that he is one of the warmest, most genuine people I have ever met.

A short video was presented before the next speaker, showing, basically, lights in the sky. Interesting, but not earth-shattering stuff.

Brian Allan (who is also speaking at the UFO DATA Magazine conference on 25th & 26th October) gave a talk based around his book, The Hole in the Sky. Brian maintains that portals to other places or other dimensions often open in various locations across the globe, most notably the so-called Skinwalker Ranch in Utah.

Science has also attempted to create portals, he said, most famously with the Philadelphia Experiment in the 1940s, when the USS Eldridge was said to have travelled between dimensions during tests to make the ship invisible to radar. Brian also mentioned portals in relation to black holes, wormholes, their references in fiction, such as Stargate, UFO sightings, alien abductions and legends such as the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Brian’s lecture posed many intriguing questions and opened fascinating possibilities with regard to where future science could take us. Brian’s website is

The final speaker of the day was Mary Rodwell. Mary is a principle founder member of the Australian Close Encounter Research Network (ACERN) and offers support to people who have had abduction or contact experiences. 

Her lecture was in two parts, with the second being on Sunday. Unfortunately, I could not attend that day, so, I fear, I only got half the story! Mary gave a fascinating talk about contact experiences and how those who have had them have coped with the ordeal. Many contactees have turned to art to express their experiences and Mary showed many examples in both slides and videos.

She spoke about the so-called Indigo Children and how they may be a new evolution of humanity. We learned of Boriska, the young Russian lad who appears to know more than he should at such a young age, Tracey Taylor, who creates amazing artworks based around her encounters, and, of course, Jason Andrews, whose life has been publicised in books such as Abducted and Jason: My Indigo Child.

Mary’s presentation was top-notch and gripped the audience from beginning to end, even when the rain hammering down on the roof of the hall attempted to noisily disrupt proceedings. The ACERN website can be found at

All-in-all, we had a great day in Lytham St. Annes and I can heartily recommend the Probe conferences to everybody. Sam and Jean Wright and everybody connected with organising the event have done a sterling job once again.

As promised, here is my brief review of Ellis Taylor’s new book, Dogged Days. The copy I read was a pre-publication version that Ellis had printed especially for the Probe conference. The full edition of the book will be coming out very soon. Anyway, here’s what I thought about both the book and the man:

There are few writers, particularly in the realm of the paranormal, where you feel that you are a part of their journey, as though you are inside their head as they write down the words you are reading. Ellis C Taylor is one of those people. He writes from the heart and that shows on every page of every book he has written. He calls a spade a spade and leaves the reader to decide whether or not to believe him.

Having spent a lifetime dealing with bizarre circumstance, Ellis is supremely qualified to write about the subject. In Dogged Days, he does just that, taking us on a personal voyage from childhood to the present, cataloguing events that range from witnessing UFOs to ghostly manifestations to coming face-to-face with a gnome – yes, a gnome! – and coming to terms with alien abduction. Some of the things of which he writes appear fantastical, but his sincerity shines through and you find yourself saying, “Wow!” as his story unfolds.

Armed with photographs, diary entries and accounts from friends and family, Dogged Days is a fabulous book, written in Ellis’ usual, witty, self-deprecating style and should take pride of place on anybody’s bookshelf.



Since writing the above review, I have received a ‘proper’ copy of Dogged Days, with more accounts and full colour photographs and pictures. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.


Back to Articles Index 


Updated 16th August, 2012