2006 What a year .... 2007? Bring it on ....
Reflecting on the past year I realise why some things just didn't get done. If I haven't contacted you or followed up please consider the following good reasons (which are only the tip of the 2006 "iceberg"):
1) Interest in my new book "Hair of the Alien", published in the US during 2005, remained strong into 2006, with lots of enquiries and requests for lecturing and information.
2) During March I gave a lecture on the Gold coast in Queensland, which also allowed me to catch up with the AUFORN Qld team.
3) An "Oz files" piece in the magazine Take 5 during March generated a lot of feedback, with many interesting sightings, which I'm still following up. For those I haven't contacted yet, my apologises, but I will get there eventually. In the interim thank you to those great people who reported their UFO experiences, which all helps to enrich our understanding of the UFO experience. In August I scored an entry in Sydney's "City Weekly" magazine in "Sydney's coolest jobs - the most intriguing jobs around" as a humble "UFO researcher".
4) I got involved with the History channel filming their "UFO files - Deep Sea Red Alert" programme, which also allowed me to make contact with a local freelance camera man who had his own UFO connection and interest.
5) I had a great time in Melbourne during April with the Westall UFO "reunion" which brought together a lot of witnesses, interested parties and researchers all focused on the fascinating 1966 Westall school case.
6) During late May and early June I undertook another Outback expedition focusing on the 1969 "UFO crash saga". Further interesting data was gathered.
7) During July I gave another lecture at the Sydney Powerhouse museum to the Sydney Space Association - "UFOs - the great & secret show".
8) Extensive research and investigation preparations for a proposed expedition to Thailand & China was undertaken, but just before leaving in early October I was able to make it up to Brisbane to attend the UFO conference there. This fortunately allowed me to spend some time with British author Tim Good and Brazilian researcher A.J. Gevaerd, as well as many other researchers and interested parties. One of the highlights of the conference for me was to be able to make contact again with Albert Pennisi, the owner of the site of the famous 1966 Tully UFO "nest" event. Albert also gave a lecture which provided a great overview of the extraordinary UFO milieu that developed. It was also great to be able to discuss the Tully events with Albert's sons Adrian & Shane.
9) During the rest of October I was in Thailand and China on a fascinating expedition which focused on what could be called Phase 3 of the "Hair of the Alien" investigation (Phase 1 being the 1999 "Strange Evidence" publication of the hair shaft data; Phase 2 came with the hair root data and the publication of my book on the case "Hair of the Alien" and the focus it engendered, namely the alien DNA paradigm) which focused on some of the strange aspects of the fascinating DNA results that emerged from the investigation - particularly the possible Lahu connection.
(I have included a picture here of myself with researcher & writer Jim Goodman (right) in Chang Mai in northern Thailand. See above. Thanks Noi for taking the photo. Jim has lived in the region for many years and has written a number of good books that have focused on the hill tribes in northern Thailand and southern China. He wasn't phased by the strangeness of my enquiries about the Lahu and help me and my guide out with solid information. Thanks Jim & good luck with your continuing endeavours in documenting the wonderful hill tribe peoples of the region)
10) Since returning to Australia I seem to be in permanent catch-up mode, but I am looking forward to the new year which will again be full of research, investigation and sharing the results.
11) Amongst all this and family life I am still working on a history of the Sydney based UFO Investigation Centre UFOIC (1956-2006), which in itself has been a fascinating journey into the past and present.
12) Meanwhile I'm going to seriously try to catch up with my never-ending reading list, with includes all sorts of intriguing and sometimes bizarre content - all grist for the mind mill: such as "The Discovery of the Hobbit" by Mike Morwood & Penny Van Oosterzee, "Entangled Minds" by Dean Radin, Stanislav Grof's "When the Impossible Happens", "The View from the Center of the Universe" by Joel Primack & Nancy Abrams, "The High Road to China" by Kate Teltscher, "The Jokes Over" by Ralph Steadman, "In the Naga's Wake" by Mick O'Shea (I found this in Sydney just after returning from my own embrace with the Naga's "wake" - in my case the wonderful and often intriguing Naga light festival on the Mekong), "The Shark God" by Charles Montgomery, and a lot of UFO related stuff - "the good, the bad and the ugly" - such as the Fatima trilogy by Joaquim Fernandes & Fina D'Armada ( I've read "Heavenly Lights" and getting into "Celestial Secrets"), "Mysterious Sky" by Philip Mantle & Paul Stonehill, "Hidden Truth, Forbidden Knowledge" by Steven Greer (a glutton for punishment, I decided my brain may have turned to "mush" upon my first reading of this "memoir", so a "retake" was in order) and a number of other books. Lately I find I have to occassionally reread books like Allen Hynek's "The UFO Experience" and Richard Hall's "The UFO Evidence" (the 1964 original and the 2001 followup) to get a "reality check" on what UFOs might really be all about. Mind you my ongoing case investigations anchor me well enough in that fascinating ongoing reality.
Have a great Christmas and New Year.
(Photos: copyright B. Chalker - also included is myself on the Great Wall at Badaling, near Beijing, China and friends in Beijing - Irene, my translator and Harvey, Zhang Jingping's associate, at the tea house UFO researcher gathering in October 2006.)