Nick Redfern is a prolific author and researcher in the field of Fortean phenomena. Derived from the name of Charles Fort, this includes all and sundry peculiar phenomena, mostly neglected, often ignored and sometimes ridiculed by the scientific establishment. From anomalous observances in the skies to hairy beasts gallivanting in the woods, Redfern has tackled much of it. His no-nonsense style has garnered him a small, but dedicated following.
BOOKGASM: It’s been suggested that much of the secretive data compiled on all this oddball phenomena resides within corporations instead of the government, outside the reach of the public. Do you think NASA’s outsourcing its manned space flight fits this scenario, and are there any indications of such in your research?
REDFERN: I have never come across any hard evidence to suggest that the significant data is farmed out to private entities and corporations. And by evidence, I mean evidence. Not the unverified words of some “Mr. X” type. But, this is certainly a theory that a lot of people talk about, particularly in the Disclosure movement; as well as people who buy Col. Philip Corso’s story concerning Roswell.
It could be true, but I think the theory is primarily suggested because researchers have failed to get definitive answers from the government. So, they look elsewhere. My view is that it could just as easily be buried very deeply in government.
For me, if people think the answer lies outside government, because they personally can’t get answers from within the government, then they need to get a grip and intensify their research. No government that might be sitting on highly classified UFO data is going to give it up easily. And, despite what many think, secrets can be kept very well-hidden for years. So, I view it that while some research probably has been shared with private corporations, it’s still the intelligence world that is pulling the strings.
BOOKGASM: Who constructs these secret facilities? Instead of looking for the high level commanders and generals, anybody ever look into Army Corps of Engineers or Halliburton’s truck drivers?
REDFERN: Yes, much of the construction of official facilities — in fact, nearly all of it — is done by the private sector. The idea that CIA personnel built the CIA headquarters at Langley, Va., is a crazy scenario. All these agencies — whether government, military or intel — have companies that build them, and who have long-standing government contracts.
Although, I doubt if many of the construction workers would know much. After all, they would be building the bunkers. If alien bodies and crashed UFOs exist, they certainly might end up in those bunkers. But the guys who built them wouldn’t necessarily play any role in what gets taken there after their construction.
BOOKGASM: You’re careful in your work not to take definitive positions on anything you can’t prove, and it’s difficult to prove anything in this field. But to make it personal, what would you say to those who think it’s all bunk, tinfoil hats and loonies? Why should you care?
The reason I don’t take a definitive stance is because when it comes to UFOs, we specifically can’t prove anything. We have a lot of theories, ideas and data. But we don’t have enough that we can nail to the wall and say UFOs are 100 percent alien or interdimensional, or time travelers or something else. That’s why I hate organized religion. All religions will say there is proof of this or that. No, there actually isn’t.
What these people have is faith and belief, and both are very different to verifiable, provable evidence. I don’t mind if people have faith and belief when it comes to UFOs or religion, providing they admit that’s all it is, rather than hard fact. So, I don’t deal with faith and belief. I deal with facts. And hard facts in Ufology are tough to find. So, that’s why I’m always careful to point out what we know from what we believe or think — which are very different things.
What would I say to those who think it’s all a load of crap? Why would I waste my time in saying anything? And when you say, “Why should you care?” the answer is simple: I don’t! If people are interested in the things I write, that’s great. But I’m not going to lose even a minute of sleep because someone disagrees with me.
So what? Everyone has an opinion on all sorts of things. I could not care less about trying to convince the world I’m right. Rather, I’m interested in sharing my data with those readers, friends and colleagues who are interested in similar things to me. If people don’t like me or what I do, fuck ’em.
BOOKGASM: Finally, if someone wants to follow you down the rabbit hole, where do you start? Do you have a couple of favorite in-print books you’d recommend as starting points?
REDFERN: Yes, there are several that definitely spring to mind: Jacques Vallee’s MESSENGERS OF DECEPTION; John Keel’s OPERATION TROJAN HORSE and THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES; Tim Good’s ABOVE TOP SECRET; and Greg Bishop’s PROJECT BETA. In very different ways — but very good ways — they all shed careful, thought-provoking light on certain aspects of the UFO mystery. —JT Lindroos