Earlier this year, Pope claimed that a UFO photo that was perhaps the best and clearest ever taken 'mysteriously vanished' from the MOD offices.
Pope also warned that "The government must - and has planned - for the worst-case scenario: alien attack and alien invasion. Space shuttles, lasers and directed-energy weapons are all committed via the Alien Invasion War Plan to defence against any alien ships in orbit," he said, apparently unaware that America's Space Shuttle orbiters have been dispersed to various museums, and the rest of the system scrapped.
Since the collective response among "serious" UFOlogists has been astonishment, Pope began to slowly backtrack, in a very clumsy manner. He told Richard Dolan (who says quite a few wild things himself, like about aliens on Mars),
“My comments concerning Alien Invasion etc, arose because I was commissioned to do some tie-in PR for the launch of the alien invasion themed Sony Playstation game, “Resistance: Burning Skies”, out exclusively on the Playstation Vita. I came up with the idea of an alien invasion war plan. There are 2 versions out there, I can email you copies, a serious version and a more pop culture version that got picked up by the Daily Mail. The real issue here, and it applies to lots of subjects, is the increasingly blurred lines between real news reporting and marketing.In an entry titled The End of Nick Pope, blogger "nickpost" on ufodaily.net reveals his own conspiracy theory:
Nick Pope has completely discredited himself in the field of UFOlogy. Ironically he speaks of “the real issue of blurring the lines between news and marketing” whilst perpetuating just that. It also reconfirmed my assumption that he’s not ex Ministry of Defense. The issue of Disinformation and Counter Intelligence Programs, (COINTELPRO ), designed to deliberately spread false Information in order to keep the public away from the truth and muddy the waters by intentionally spreading false stories to de-legitimize the subject. In other words if some of the info is true and some of it is ridiculous, it’s all perceived as ridiculous. [emphasis added]Blogger Simon Sharman writes, "In Pope's own words he 'came up with the idea of an alien invasion war plan' only because he had been commissioned to do some PR for Sony. Secondly, his war plan was carefully thought out because he has no knowledge that any such plans exist." Or in other words, he made up the claim about a government plan for alien invasion, for commercial gain.
UFOlogist Joe McGonagle wrote, "I struggle to understand why anyone thought Nick Pope had any credibility to start with."
The same man who claims to have investigated Alien abductions,McGonagle adds that Pope is "the man who still pushes the "Cosford incident" as unexplained, when in fact there is an obvious explanation for the majority of the reports on 31st March 1993... The same man who discussed an obvious image of a gull as "If I was still there [on the UFO desk] I'd be looking at this very closely. The object looks structured, symmetrical and metallic"... The same man who continues to portray the radiation readings as hard evidence of something unusual at Rendlesham forest when in fact the readings are meaningless."
crop circles, and animal mutilations for the British Government
when he was "in charge of" "the British Government's UFO
Project", when according to the head of his department in 1997;
"Turning specifically to your comments concerning Mr Pope, I
should point out that he was a junior desk officer in the
Secretariat(Air Staff)2a section from 1991-1994 and was not in
charge of, or the head of any part of Secretariat (Air Staff)2.
Mr Pope was an executive officer and shared the support of one
administrative officer"....according to one of his successors, Linda Unwin, "The first point to make is that there is no 'UFO Project'. Handling of UFO sightings is a very small element of our work."
Some have described Pope as a 'very conservative' UFOlogist, but the facts don't bear this out. As skeptic Ian Ridpath noted, Pope "has been banging on about potential alien invasion for years." In a 2006 news interview Pope warns, 'Aliens could attack at any time':
a former MoD chief warns that the country could be attacked by extraterrestrials at any time...There has been no suggestion that Pope was 'promoting a video game' at that time.
During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth and, more specifically, Britain.His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.And he complains that the project he once ran is now "virtually closed" down, leaving the country "wide open" to aliens.