The Fall of Rhodes


Since Spring 2015, students at Oxford University have been campaigning for the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes which proudly stands in front of the entrance to Oriel College.  This anti-colonial protest is becoming common place in an era of anti-colonial debate.  The idea of removing statues of Britain’s historic figures is very much aligned to, and follows on from, the idea of repatriating material culture which was unethically acquired during the colonial period.

But what will the statue’s removal accomplish?  According to BBC Trending, 24 year old South African campaigner Ntokozo Qwabe felt that seeing the statue was a particularly uncomfortable reminder of the past.  Qwabe says “I feel the same way that I would feel if I saw a statue of Hitler in Germany.”

Of course, statues erected in the 19th and early 20th centuries did much to celebrate the work of many high status figures in the British Empire.  In an age of scientific racism these statues did not represent the great work of Black people in this country or within the boundaries of the vast empire.  For example, one missed opportunity was the medical work of Jamaican woman ‘Mother’ Mary Seacole.  Our history chooses instead to remember Florence Nightingale as the heroine nurse of the Crimean War.  Ironically at the time, and because she had proven herself, it took Crimean commanders to organise a benefit for her upon her return to England.  In her autobiography WH Russell wrote “I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead.”   For one who was awarded a Crimean medal, and with a stone bust of her produced by Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, sculptor and nephew of Queen Victoria, she died is obscurity in 1881.  Where, I ask, is her statue in the streets of London?  Only now is this happening, sadly this is done retrospectively.

The statues that were erected in the Victorian period, and that line our main streets of towns and cities, are largely concerned with white wealthy men who contributed to the success of Empire.  Cecil Rhodes is just one example.  These one-time heroes sincerely believed, with the political and scientific-racist thinking of the day, that they were simply illuminating a world that was considered dark and godless.  The British even thought themselves superior to their white colonial counterparts in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

We know today that this belief is unfounded but we have to view their efforts with their belief in mind which was prevalent throughout the Western world.  They were convinced that it was through God’s creation and design that they were meant to go out and make the world a better place.  Well their version of making the world a better place is something very different to how we would view it today.  In fact, many of the world tensions and conflicts are due to their ‘work’.  Their attempts to conquer, civilise and convert indigenous peoples have led to what many consider acts of  genocide simply for land and resource acquisition.  For many other indigenous peoples they have had to survive colonialism and adapt.  The forced change many subjects of Empire experienced has meant that they retained as many traditions and languages as possible, fragments of identity that have almost disappeared.

Empire-building, by means of military force or by economic markets, is not a good thing and there will always be an unequal relationship between those with power and those without.  Cecil Rhodes serves to illustrate this point and this is the reason why his statue, like many others, should remain in situ.  For to remove them will simply be a quick and assured way of allowing modern people to forget, not just our history but also the role they played in it.

We cannot rely on history books and television documentaries to educate future generations in history for even these are flawed with opinion, perspective, agendas and bias.  However, the physical-cold stone statues of historical figures serve as useful reminders of our dim and dark past.  They echo the shared values of the time.  They make comment on the perspective of Imperial greatness.  To take them down is the wrong thing to do.

If looking at a colonial statue makes an observer feel uncomfortable then this can only be a good thing as it serves to remind us of a dark piece of our history.  A history that needs to be forever remembered and perhaps one of the few ways these figures of history can do penance is by allowing us in the modern world to talk about them.  In this way we try to right wrongs.  Don’t forget that many of our museums hold statues from the Classical world, fragments or whole statues that have survived being destroyed by conquerors.  We use them today to not only talk about the development of art but what they tell us about past peoples.  Statues are visually rich cultural symbols, they are educational icons and they must stay because they act as historical talking points.

There’s also one tiny point about Rhodes that protesting students fail to mention and that is the benefit of those students who have received the Rhodes Scholarship based at Oxford University and funded by the money Cecil Rhodes left behind.  A survey of those students (who are now successful professionals) will show that much of their work continues to involve, for example, fighting poverty, commitment to social justice even tackling issues of racism.

So instead of forcibly removing a statue there is an alternative action one should consider, it may not be the ideal solution.  In true British form one can always show one’s protest, distaste and even prick the ego of the pompous and that is with the simple application of a traffic cone, a tutu and a football scarf.


The statue of Sir Redvers Henry Buller on Queen Street, Exeter who served as a commanding officer in the British army in South Africa.  Photograph by Lisa Harris 

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125th Memorial of the Massacre at Wounded Knee

A new organisation that has been founded by both Native American Lakota and Dakota individuals and a wider supporting community of like-minded people who share a vision for healing amongst all those living on the planet.  

Wounded Knee

This group is called ‘Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee’ and was created to honour the memory of those who suffered and died at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, when Chief Spotted Elk or ‘Big Foot’ was massacred with his band of followers on 29th December, 1890.

This was the original event now often referred to simply as ‘Wounded Knee’ or the Wounded Knee Massacre which took place 125 years ago this December.  Since 1986, a dedicated group of Native Americans follow the route of Big Foot’s original band to the massacre site at Wounded Knee in order to promote healing and reconciliation in their community and beyond.  As this group of ‘Big Foot’ Riders have recently lost their main source of funding, Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee is campaigning for donations to help ensure that this  8-day ride on horseback (or walking or running the same route), now in its 25th year, will indeed take place.

Those at Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee have launched a new website and have created an Indie Go Go campaign.  The event video is here.

Because Wounded Knee is infamous not only in the United States, but around the world, this marks the opportunity for a great communication and communion.  All support provided by members of the public is truly appreciated.

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Secret Invasion: tales of eldritch horror from the West Country

Secret Invasion: tales of eldritch horror from the West Country

This new book is now available to the public

Editor: Tony Eccles

Artwork by John Swogger

Artwork by John Swogger

“I ran. Behind me I heard the windows break like gunshots in the heat. I turned my head as I ran, and the last thing I saw was flames licking out of the window, and small burning things attempting to crawl away but stopping and curling up into blackened shapes as they died.” The Dark, Hidden Places by Andrew Lane

What is Secret Invasion?

West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut.

H.P. Lovecraft, “The Color Out of Space”

The cold sea crashes upon the bare rocks below. There’s a lingering evening fog that blocks any view of this hostile water. There’s a wooden bench that faces out onto the ocean. Blind steps ahead would lead to certain doom. With the full moon above trying to break through the mist, the only other thing in view is the regular pulsating bright illumination of Pendeen lighthouse and the deep roar of its horn. Beneath one’s feet is an expanse of abandoned mines. This was my first experience of Cornwall in 2005, I had found the perfect location for a tale I was writing.

The English South West includes Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset; counties with a strong cultural identity. This special world is enjoyed by millions of visitors who flock there each year in part because it is surrounded by the sea. Here exists a long rugged coastline, with its dark coves and countless deadly rocks that jut above the waterline. On the southern Jurassic coast, cliff faces are scoured by hunters hoping to uncover fossils. Coastal sea waves all around the peninsula are adored by surfers.

Those who prefer the land encounter the wild windswept moors that are allegedly haunted by phantoms, wild cats and those hairy hands that force drivers off the road.  The lore of fairies and the legends of King Arthur abound for it is a spiritual realm. Ramblers will know well the ancient oak trees that stand in the valleys or the burial chambers and stone circles that were constructed by people several millennia ago. And of course, how can one forget the historic castles and estates of the old aristocracy who once had the fortune to reside in them?

This humble anthology, however, is concerned with a landscape tourists do not know, and hopefully will never know. For indeed if a traveller was to encounter the horrors lurking within these pages and learn of their terrible plans they would quickly perish.

Influenced by the weird fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Secret Invasion is a tome of horror set in the mystical West Country landscape; Devon being the ancient ancestral home of Lovecraft’s family.

For the storyteller the land can be used to define many things such as boundaries and identity. It contributes to a story’s atmosphere, it creates obstacles and isolates characters and best of all monsters are concealed there. Landscapes vary from the city, the suburbs to the farmlands and beyond; horror can take place anywhere depending upon the nature of the tale.

Horror is a pleasure to read and it’s our pleasure to bring you this volume of 15 tales by professional and amateur writers alike. Without giving anything away, the stories herein take advantage of the rich environment many of the authors live in because it naturally offers a remote wild terrain that is so perfect for monsters. It was important to Dunsany, Machen and Lovecraft’s storytelling, it’s also important to us. It’s amazing to learn then that the South West rarely features in Lovecraft’s tales, especially as he was anglophile, and that’s another reason why this volume was created. Lovecraft was proud of the east coast America he considered home; that’s how we feel about the South West.

This book was made with typical Cygnus Alpha passion and I sincerely hope you have many nightmares afterwards. Okay maybe that’s too much to ask but I’m sure you’ll enjoy these wonderful stories with the hope that one day your curiosity will get the better of you and draw you to this part of England. You now, Exeter does have a rat    herRamsey Campbell’sstory locations of Clotton, Goatswood and Brichester are located in the Severn valley within Gloucestershire, which is considered part of the South West.


Secret Invasion includes 15 new tales by authors professional and amateur alike who have created their own weird tales to help raise money for the mental health charity MIND.

Tales provided by Andrew Lane (Young Sherlock), Jessica Palmer (Dark Lullaby and Shadowdance), Helen Stirling, Jon Arnold, Christopher Glew, Anna Norman, Dan Barratt, Simon Brett, Richard Freeman, Steven Trickey, Mark Norman, Nigel Foster and Tony Eccles.  There is also a chapter for the artists to talk about their work.

An interview with horror maestro Ramsey Campbell will be added in November.

How do I acquire a copy?

  1. Visit:
  2. Make a donation – you can donate any amount
  3. Follow the link given on the JustGiving page and download the book (you have a choice of format)
  4. Enjoy the read

Updates will be provided here and here.  Print on demand version to come.

Enquiries to me:


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Visitors of deception

“That’s not what America wants to hear,…America wants a big UFO that flies down from heaven, as in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, filled with new hopes for mankind; America wants a shiny spacecraft to replace the deflated balloon of its religious values.  If UFOs are connected with unexplained mutilation of cattle and with behavior modification on a grand scale, America doesn’t want to know about it.”

Extract from Jacques Vallee. 2008. Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults. Brisbane: Daily Grail Publishing, pp.21-22  (originally published 1979)

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Terrors Of The Théâtre Diabolique – a new anthology of horror

‘Terrors Of The Théâtre Diabolique’ is a thrilling new collection of original horror fiction from the Cygnus Alpha writers’ collective sold in aid of the mental health charity, MIND.

Facebook-20141018-033443Six seemingly random strangers are drawn by a mysterious figure to a disused, semi-derelict theatre in a sleepy, seemingly innocuous, seaside town. There they begin their journey into the bowels of the building where their innermost darkest thoughts will be revealed in an encounter that will change their lives forever…

By turns horrifying and comedic, this anthology of electrifying stories lovingly pays homage to the fondly remembered portmanteau horror films of the 1960’s and 70’s pioneered by Amicus film studios. The anthology features a series of six macabre and deliciously funny short stories from the imaginations of writers Jon Arnold, Simon A Brett, John Davies, Tony Eccles, Lee Rawlings and J.R. Southall, all beautifully illustrated by Paul Griffin. In true portmanteau horror film fashion the threads are all drawn together into a thrilling conclusion penned by lead writer, Dan Barratt.

This very special book features an exclusive foreword from legendary actor, David Warner. Since 1962, David has been thrilling audiences in an incredible career which includes a vast range of film and television credits including: The Omen, The Company Of Wolves, Straw Dogs, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Time Bandits, Titanic, Tron and The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse. His television work includes Doctor Who, Wild Palms, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twin Peaks and Penny Dreadful. David will also be familiar to listeners of Big Finish having appeared in several Doctor Who audio plays as well as Sapphire & Steel. We are thrilled to have David on board not least because he starred in the 1974 Amicus film, From Beyond The Grave alongside Peter Cushing where he played a man turned murderer in a particularly grisly tale of an evil presence trapped in an ornate mirror.

An illustrated horror anthology sold in aid of the mental health charity, MIND.
Order your copy now by visiting our Just Giving page and follow the link to

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The Twelve Doctors of Christmas


Just in time for Christmas, a new anthology of festive Doctor Who tales; 12 Doctors, 12 Christmas days, 12 stories and all with one thing in common…but I can’t tell you what that is about because that would spoil it. Twelve great authors and twelve incredible artists come together to create a special piece of Who magic.

This anthology will soon be available for sale as a low cost PDF with limited hard copies available to those who are keen. This product is produced by the team behind the amazing Cygnus Alpha fanzine. This is not a profit-making publication for all proceeds go to charity.

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Roles of the British UFO Research Association

The British UFO Research Association has many roles, mainly concerned with the investigation and research into UFO sightings and Close Encounter experiences. This also includes the so-called ‘alien abduction’ phenomena. BUFORA is there to offer people advice.

BUFORA was recently approached by an individual who was concerned about a vulnerable member of the public they came into contact with through work. They requested our advice about this individual who reported not only their recent UFO experiences but also explained that in their past they had been abused and were a witness to a serious crime. We advised the enquirer not to get personally involved but get relevant professional help from a reliable source. They actually referred this person to a good friend of theirs who is a clinical psychologist. In his last email to BUFORA he said;

…you’ll be pleased to know that the individual has accepted professional help through the correct channels to try to understand the experience and accepts that it may be PTSD. So quite pleased with that result, thank you for the advice, it was very much appreciated.

BUFORA and its members are bound by a Code of Practice. This means we honour a person’s confidentiality and respect their right of privacy. Very few UFO organisations are bound by such a code today. This year, the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena have adopted a Code of Ethics for themselves.

If you as a member of the public feel that something very strange has happened to you. That you have plenty of questions and no answers. If you are a UFO witness (percipient) who doesn’t want to be drawn into what has become a ’20th century religion’ about aliens then please do contact us. BUFORA will be happy to talk to you in confidence.

BUFORA can be contacted at:

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Google and Roswell doodle

Congratulations goes to Google for their Roswell anniversary doodle. I enjoyed playing this whilst waiting for a parcel to arrive this morning. It’s only available today so please go to the page and enjoy the moment, help the little ‘grey’ find the pieces of flying saucer that will allow him to go home.



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Child ‘abductees’ in the USA

The ‘alien abduction phenomenon‘ has its roots in the early 1980s USA when Close Encounter of the Third Kind cases (CEIII) took a turn for the worse when alien beings were allegedly taking people from the the comfort of their homes and exposing them to brutal experiments. The myth shifted from close communication to something darker. David Jacobs, the late Budd Hopkins, the late John Mack and author Whitley Strieber were the more prominent members of the USA ‘abduction’ movement.

Typica6(image courtesy of Aliens and Children)

The interest in this phenomena and its link to children also occurs in the USA, in particular with its link to the sale of the thought screen helmet (this is no joke). This website not only informs the viewer that children are also being experimented on by alien beings but that conditions like autism are caused by alien scientists who are creating an autism epidemic in this world!

There’s no conspiracy. The aliens are lousy scientists. The spectrum of autism disorders comes from flawed alien trial and error efforts to create a new race from their genes and human genes. The Peter Principle applies to the alien’s science: “In an organization, individuals tend to reach a level of responsibility at least one level above that at which they can function competently.” In this case, the aliens are above their level of scientific competency and are damaging the human genome in their attempt of creating alien-human hybrids. They demonstrated their scientific incompetency by making themselves sterile.

So American UFOlogists have been proclaiming that they know the reasons why aliens are abducting people. In the 1990s, in the lead up to the Millennium, UFOlogists understood that aliens were taking genetic samples from us to create a hybrid species, possibly to help save the future of their race or ours. After the Millennium it turns out that these aliens are creating hybrids so that they can plant them in our world – humans will not be able to discern human beings from alien hybrids. The giveaway is the number of children who suffer from autism, they believe that this increasing number is down to alien experimentation, not human diet, activity or natural genetic processes.

If the aliens haven’t physically invaded by now (as was anticipated pre-2000) then the ETH’ers have found a new explanation in that alien beings are invading us discreetly.

During an abduction, after aliens take either sperm or eggs from humans, depending on their sex, or in some cases, after showing the abductee an alien/hybrid baby, the human abductees are taken into large rooms in the alien’s spacecraft containing alien/hybrid fetuses in clear tanks at different stages of development as shown in the above drawing made by an abductee.
Abductees wondered why they did this. The answer is now obvious, the aliens are showing humans their replacement. The aliens are in effect telling abductees that the new alien/hybrids will replace them. There will be no more humans on the earth.
There is one catch to this situation which the aliens do not realize: some of the fetuses are autistic. The aliens are incompetent scientists and can’t quite do what they are trying to do, so they continuously make trial and error attempts for their new creations, thus causing the epidemic of autism.

For an alien species that have an incredible technology to travel vast distances, to have the ability to manipulate physical matter so that they can abduct people through stone walls or metal framed cars, they still persist in having fundamental flaws in their biological knowledge. In fact, the velostat thought screen helmet that’s on offer actually protects us mere mortals from telepathic intrusion! The aliens also are either reptilian in nature or insect-like or both…it’s great food for every sci-fi tv show writer.

Such is the contradictory nature of these aliens that are currently invading us. Unfortunately, what is being demonstrated is that these aliens are very much human in nature and also that there’s a deep rooted need in our psyche for change.

Are these abductions any different from the fairies of old who abducted babies and replaced them with changelings? No, it’s exactly the same but this pattern of behaviour isn’t being recognised;  instead a belief has been adopted to explain the physical defects in our young. The activities conducted by the fairies of old have become transformed to the activities of alien beings of today. It’s clearly a rejection of, and fear of, science. However, this fight of irrational faith versus rational science will continue for many years to come…but the point of this article is that children in America and in the UK continue being exposed to this sinister belief system and that concerns me.

Posted in Alien, Alien Abduction, BUFORA, Close Encounter, Flying Saucer, Ghost rockets, Mysteries, UFO, UFO and Close Encounters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Child ‘abductee’ workshop – should we be concerned?

The UFO subject has always been considered ‘out there’ with some of its followers demonstrating the best of British eccentricity or simply having the belief that this world is being visited by extraterrestrials in their numerous spacecraft (a cosmic car industry it seems). It’s a complex subject that speaks volumes about human behaviour.

However, I recently heard something rather chilling, that child ‘abductees‘ were about to be researched! Really? How? In fact, where’s the proof that adults are being abducted by alien beings? As far as I’m aware there isn’t any proof…so where’s the justification in wanting to explore the minds of young children in this way? There isn’t one. Surely this approach at the very least is unethical, perhaps its to serve another agenda that may result in the publication of a book?

Child-and-Grey-touching-hands9_n-300x217AMMACH is the organisation that was recently featured in the Channel 4 documentary Confessions of an Alien Abductee. Its Director, Joanna Summerscales, tries to help counsel people who claim they are being abducted by alien beings. However, her next project it seems focuses on the experiences of young children! Are our children being ‘abducted’ by aliens? And where’s the proof? There clearly isn’t any and if we look at adults who claim to have such experiences there is clearly something else going on in their lives that perhaps is linked to the cause of such experiences. There is no proof for alien visitation let alone ‘abduction’. More importantly although we’re aware that the brain is  a wonderfully complex and creative organ are we educated and honest enough to acknowledge that it is also flawed one?

There is no doubt that people around the world claim to have very intense religious-like experiences but many of these tend to take place when they are often isolated and also in a relaxed/tired state (I’m aware of ‘multiple witness’ cases). There’s something to be said about our complex minds and as adults it’s fine for us to explore that. But not with children, surely? To examine children as ‘alien abductees‘ in my own humble opinion is very dangerous, as any examination through a belief-driven mechanism could seriously damage a child’s mind and their potential for normal healthy development. I’m not a qualified psychologist but I do know a few and I’m aware of their concerns in this particular field.

ammach-chex-logo1CIRCLE-300x298 A forthcoming workshop is being held in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire (details) on the 14th July so that parents who believe their children are being abducted can bring them along to have their experiences recorded/examined/explored. This to me smacks of irresponsibility (parental and of the organisation concerned).

Where is Abduction Watch when you need it?

Now not only does the workshop focus on children it also comes with a fee of £25 and that’s for two adults and their child! This is what AMMACH have to say about the event and the work they’re  doing.

Here at AMMACH, we see the need for the provision of a space/resource where mums and dads, parents in general, can report  the experiences of small children and youngsters unable to report themselves.  Older children who are able to write down their feelings and thoughts about their experiences;  how it has affected them, what they have learnt from such, along with any  depictions they can make, like drawings can be sent in for sharing on the website.

For the moment, reports can be sent in by email – please write CHEX in the subject line, this will be helpful in bringing those reports to our attention sooner.  If parents. and/or children want their reports to go up anonymously,  let us know, and we will assign a number to it, and let you know what that is.

Through these reports, we can see what is happening to the littlees; and as the adults who report with us, also had experiences as children, and there was no one to tell…we think it might be an idea, to start talking about what the children are reporting, and supporting them, bringing it out into the open, for understanding and elucidation. It will also, hopefully, help give parents confidence to share their children’s stories also.


(all images courtesy of AMMACH)

Surely this is about adults adding their own interpretation to the behaviour of a child they don’t understand?

Question: Who informs the public about the tangible nature of the alien abduction phenomenon? It’s a myth created largely by American UFOlogists in the last 40 years! Belief has taken control over sensible evidence.

With children being so fragile, how does one distinguish fact from fiction? Even parents have great difficulties with this one.  We know that children are very imaginative and absorb information from a whole array of media that surround them. But on a more serious note, if something was seriously wrong with a child then how does one tell the difference between a child suffering from human abuse to one experiencing alleged ‘alien abduction’? That’s a stupid question I know because human abuse is very real and ‘alien abduction’ is only real to those who believe it’s real.

How can one tell the difference between the human imagination and mental health? I’ve been investigating UFO sightings and Close Encounter cases for 17 years and I can’t! I’m not medically qualified to make such decisions but it’s surprising how many researchers in this subject are doing exactly that. My advice to any UFO investigator is simply this…get to know a qualified university-based psychologist, someone who is also interested in parapsychology and make them your friend! (To Matt Smith, Mike Daniels, Carl Roberts and Mark Glover, thanks for your help over the years.)

Joanna Summerscales has stated that she is a trained therapist…but what does this mean? Is she a professional psychologist? A clinical psychiatrist? A psychiatric nurse? I don’t know but I’m concerned for any child/young person exposed to UFO related enquiry. This is especially for a subject that has no basis in the physical world, where there’s no proof and where it doesn’t fit into our consensus reality, unlike child abuse and mental health issues which do.

So I ask you, given the nature of the subject and how it can seriously affect someone, is this something we should be concerned with? And if so, what do we do about it?

Posted in Alien, Alien Abduction, Anamnesis, BUFORA, Close Encounter, Flying Saucer, Ghost rockets, Mysteries, UFO, UFO and Close Encounters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment