Interview with Gary Heseltine,
editor and publisher of UFOMonthly.com
|Hi Gary, many thanks
for agreeing to this interview.
Mercury Rapids (MR): You are a serving detective with the British Transport Police, a very demanding job. How do you find time to publish a popular webzine, www.ufomonthly.com, as well as maintain your sister site, www.prufos.co.uk, where you have compiled a database of UFO reports by serving police officers?
Gary Heseltine (GH): When Graham Birdsall died, I can't explain it but I felt compelled to carry on his work and get a magazine out there. He had been so supportive to me with the PRUFOS Police Database. He is the person that led me to become an active researcher.
The closure of the magazine was extremely sudden and ill thought. I respected Christine's decision to walk away following her terrible loss but I and many others would have stepped in to secure the magazine with money to continue the printed form. Alas the speed of the closure did not give anyone the opportunity for that to happen.
Sadly I believe that Christine did not want 'UFO Magazine' to continue. I believe that the true legacy of Graham's work was the continuance of that magazine. It was his lifetimes achievement.
In terms of time - I have taken on a great burden in one sense and push myself to create a magazine that I think looks professional and has some of the feel of the old magazine. Fortunately I only need 4 or 5 hours sleep a night and that is very useful!
As far as I can see in the UK there is not a colour e-zine about UFOs that has the look and feel of a real magazine. That is not to say that there are not a number of fine publications done by various individuals and organisations.
MR: What started you on your quest for the truth behind the UFO phenomenon?
GH: My sighting of an unknown object in 1975 when i was 15 years old.
MR: Do you believe that UFOs are extra-terrestrial vehicles or are you of the opinion that there may be a number of explanations for the phenomenon?
GH: I have said on many occasions that a small proportion of UFO sightings represent clear extraterrestrial intelligence. Yes I do believe 100% in nuts and bolts machines however I also believe that the ETI can appear in various forms.
MR: Do any cases of alien abduction ever cross your path and what are your thoughts on the subject?
GH: The only UFO abduction case I've researched is that of former police officer Alan Godfrey. I believe he is telling the truth about his experiences. I have written a feature length screenplay about his experiences, set over a five year period.
MR: What are your views on UFO-related subjects, such as animal mutilations, chupacabra, crop patterns etc?
GH: I believe that some ANIMAL MUTILATION CASES, CROP CIRCLE CASES have a definite ET involvement.
MR: Have you ever seen an unidentified flying object? By that I mean, something that you were sure was not a terrestrial aircraft or natural effect of, say, the weather.
GH: I have had two sightings of my own. My childhood experience in 1975 and an off duty sightings at home in 1999 of a three UFOs flying in tight formation.
MR: There have been many people, notably Bob Lazar, who have claimed that alien technology has been back-engineered by our scientists and military. What are your thoughts on such potentially earth-shattering claims?
GH: I do believe that some ET craft have been recovered and that some of that technology is likely to have been back engineered or at least attempted.
MR: Have you ever encountered anything paranormal in your duties as a police officer? Not specifically UFO related, I mean.
MR: Which do you think will happen first, the official announcement of intelligent life 'out there' (such as the kind searched for by SETI) or the UFO enigma becoming startling fact (i.e. a UFO landing on the White House lawn or governments announcing that UFOs are extra-terrestrial vehicles)?
GH: I do not think that the breakthrough will be as dramatic as landing on the White House lawn. I believe it will not be in the US but in a smaller country where the censorship is less stringent.
MR: You are beginning collaborations with Russel Callaghan and Philip Mantle and their website, www.ufodata.co.uk. How does it feel to be working again with comrades from the greatly-missed UFO Magazine?
GH: I am not in collaboration with Russ and Philip as such. I merely picked up on their conference in Leeds and contacted Russel to say that I would promote it every month in UFO Monthly.com.
I will help any serious attempt to spread the message that a proportion of UFOs are real.
MR: The upcoming Great British UFO Show in Leeds on October 1st will likely be a lively event. Are you planning to attend or even speak at the conference?
GH: I have not been asked to appear at the Leeds conference. I would have done if I had been asked to do so. I hope to be there with a stall promoting the magazine.
MR: It would be great to once again have a major newsstand UFO publication in the UK. Are you confident that this will happen sooner rather than later?
GH: I do ultimately want to see a newstand publication. I hope in time that as more people become aware of UFO Monthly.com that it will generate enough money to warrant the printed version. However I do not see that in the short term.
However if some generous benefactor were to approach me with a view to funding a printed version of UFO Monthly.com I would seriously consider going part-time with the police to devote more time to it. It's all a question of money and security.
I believe that UFO Monthly.com offers the best way forward. Other larger publishers may come in and do a magazine but it will only rehash the past and will not include the input of local researchers. Anyone can contribute to UFO Monthly.com if as editor I believe it merits 'publication'.
I am currently in the process of contacting all the major regional UFO groups asking them if they want to contribute a page each to the magazine. If all the groups did that you could legitimately say that UFO Monthly.com was the national magazine for UFOLOGY. Not even the great UFO Magazine had monthly updates from all around the UK. Time will tell if the groups want to take the opportunity I am offering them.
I will ultimately have editorial control but the idea is sound. Groups should unite behind one 'flag' if they ever hope to see a legitimate newstand publication again. I do not like cliques or internal politics and I passionately believe in sharing UFO news with everyone. The information is already here to convince many people. We - the entire UFO community - SIMPLY has to get its collective efforts together to make a real difference to the way this subject is presented.
MR: Thank you for your time, Gary, and I wish you all the best with UFOMonthly.com. Perhaps I will see you at the Great British UFO Show in October?
GH: Thank you.
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Updated 16th August, 2012