1. I don’t like sweetcorn. Never been especially fond of it, but as I’ve gotten older I actually like it even less. I’ll forego an entire sandwich if I discover sweetcorn in it.

2. I have double-jointed thumbs.

3. My hair might as well be an independent lifeform.

4. I’ve had my photo taken with William Shatner. It was a proud moment!

5. Roast lamb is the pinnacle of roast dinners.

6. I would describe myself as politically centre-left.

7. If I were to say I loathe Manchester United it would be an understatement.

8. Most of my accents sound nothing like what I’m aiming for.

9. I can stuff a lot of marshmellows into my mouth.

10. As much as I dislike sweetcorn, I detest mushrooms. They look bad, smell worse, have a dreadful texture and taste vile.

12. I prefer a real book in my hands rather than an ebook.

13. Wasps are horrible creatures.

14. Ales beat lagers in most circumstances.

15. I like Marmite.

16. Bananas are my favourite fruit.

17. As a kid I had a recurring dream about a giant hand reaching into a tunnel that I was in and taking me away. I usually woke up just as I was being grabbed.

So for Christmas I bought my wife the X-Files series on DVD – I’ve caught a number of episodes with her, enjoyed recalling some classic ones, and I’ve found my interest in all things paranormal reignited.

I can honestly say that the X-Files was never my favourite show when it first ran. Re-watching it, I can say it’s better than I remember it – and of particular interest to me are the episodes that deal with the existence of extraterrestrials and the conspiracy to hide their existence from the world.

The idea that aliens have been visiting earth (for various reasons) has existed in popular fiction for years. We, as a species, are in love with the idea that humanity may not be alone – even as the same idea terrifies us. Alien abduction claims stretch back decades, perhaps even longer, tantalising us with the idea that we are not alone.

image

There are many, many questions that need to be asked about the motivations of hypothetical visitors to us from other worlds. What is so fascinating as to keep them coming back? Do they need humanity in some way? Is life so rare in the universe that we are in fact one of a handful of species out there, watched over for our own good? Are we a resource, being exploited for someone else’s gain?

image

(the Smoking Man was involved in a cover up concerning alien visitors in The X Files)

Often found alongside ideas of abductions and aliens, is the idea that governments all around the world are suppressing the truth about their existence. This popular notion has fuelled stories and TV shows, not to mention many real conspiracy theories. As with the question of alien visitation, the question needs to be asked – why cover it all up?

The first and most obvious answer would be to prevent a mass panic. If the world learned tomorrow of the existence of extraterrestrials (and that they’ve been among us, abducting us and that our governments have been hiding all this from us) there’d be an explosion of anger and fear. People would be asking who might the aliens be, why are they experimenting on us, and why have our leaders kept the truth from us?

Let us rewind for a moment. Whilst considering hypotheticals, we actually need to take a step back. Does any of this seem likely, or even remotely plausible? What evidence – beyond the distorted memories of hypnosis – exists to truly support abduction claims?

There are sites out there that document alleged encounters, but the problem lies in verifying anything. Official investigations have turned up no evidence to support the idea that UFOs are either a threat or extraterrestrial craft – conspiracy theorists naturally dismiss these investigations as part of a cover-up.

image

(Project Blue Book was a famous and lengthy study by the US Air Force into UFO sightings)

Perhaps the chief problem of believers is that they are trying to prove something virtually impossible to prove. In respect of a conspiracy, these are usually by definition very hard to prove, since the conspirators aren’t going to leave any obvious proof lying around! In regards to actual abduction events, many of these can be explained through other means (hoaxes, misinterpreted dreams, etc).

So what is the truth? If we apply the idea the simplest, most obvious answer is the best one to go with, then aliens have not been visiting earth, and there is no conspiracy to deny this. It sucks, in a way – it’s much more entertaining to believe that there really is some vast secret, hidden away from us, and that even now a real-life Mulder and Scully are trying their utmost to bring it to light.

image

My dreams last night came in two parts. Firstly, I had to find a way to rescue my loved ones as our three storey house burned (we don’t have a three storey house).

Interwoven into this dream is something to do with visiting neighbours for a party of some sort (can’t remember why). It was a dream rudely interrupted by one of the cats wanting out. I also don’t recall why our house was on fire – I only recall doing what I could to get everyone to safety.

Quite why I had such a dream is beyond me – as usual, my subconscious mind is a maze of frankly terrifying thoughts!

My second dream was even weirder. I dreamed that Ben Stiller, Jennifer Anniston and Patrick Stewart were in a film together about making contact with aliens, and a government conspiracy surrounding it. I get why Patrick Stewart was involved – the other two aren’t exactly big sci-fi names.

I wish I knew what was going on in my mind.

Oh boy are we back to weird dreams! The night before last my dream punched me in the gut, and I can only describe it was a manifestation of my greatest fear.

I don’t recall much of the dream, but the end was vivid enough to jolt me from my slumber. Amidst a crumbling house, the world was ending, being swallowed up by a black hole. I was able to ‘reset’ this terrifying scenario (and no, this is not my greatest fear), but only once, and then the scene began to repeat.

This time I was powerless to stop it, so I wanted to get to my daughter, to say goodbye to her, to hold her in my arms one last time. As I tried to reach the room where she was, I was struck by the realisation that I wouldn’t make it – that I wouldn’t get to say goodbye to my little girl.

It was that horrible revelation that shocked me out of my sleep.

I can only conclude that this dream is my mind manifesting my worst fears. I couldn’t save my daughter, and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye. In those final, frantic moments before the world ended, nothing mattered more to me than wrapping my arms around her, and I couldn’t reach her in time, and that was heartbreaking.

Needless to say, it took me a little while to shake the dream loose, and I’m not sure I completely have even now.

My dream last night was more in keeping with the surreal nature of my subconscious, and I don’t have a clue as to any message in this one. Myself and a friend (though I don’t recognise him) were running away from some weird hairy blue thing that didn’t necessarily mean us harm, but our instincts told us to run. I wonder if The Walking Dead somehow inspired this one (you know, with the running and chasing and hiding).

There you have it, the latest chapters from my sleeping brain are as unique and strange as ever!

image

I’d love to be able to unravel my subconscious mind and decipher what it’s trying to tell me. Whenever I dream, it’s usually quite unusual.

Case in point, a few nights ago I dreamed I was back at school. This in itself is not unusual (not for me at least). However, my school was never near a beach! Not only was this reimagining of my school now on the seafront, but at lunchtime we went for a swim, which is where the troubles began. When it was time to leave, a friend and I discovered a wall of wet sand was blocking our way. I was able (after a couple of tries) to get up this wall, but my friend couldn’t, and the tide was coming in. I went off to find help, and ended up in a room filled with spiders and their webs. I went through a door to another room and found a crying boy; I tried to keep the spiders away from the pair of us, was failing somewhat… Then woke up.

Last night I dreamed I lived and worked in London, and I don’t think I was me (if that makes sense). Over the course of the dream (which couldn’t decide between modern and medieval London), I met a girl, we fell in love – and then I had to go abroad for work. At that point, I woke up.

Another recent dream involved being stuck on a desert planet, fending off huge worm-like creatures with huge gaping mouths and rows of razor-sharp teeth (no, I hadn’t watched Tremors recently, in fact I’ve never seen it). Eventually these things turned out to be taking over humans, and in the dream, a gun to the head was preferable to being caught by one of these things.

I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

So, if anyone can tell me what my brain is telling me, I would be very grateful!

I had what can only be described as yet another in a series of strange dreams last night. This latest ‘episode’ had me on a plane that was nearly completely dark, trying to get to the cockpit and somehow guide the thing to a successful landing in London. I vaguely remember having to fight someone as well. I managed to actually land the plane, despite the barriers to achieving this, so I am wondering what this means – if of course, it means anything.

I also dreamed I was one of the Guardians of the Galaxy, destroying Thanos via mines planted on a football pitch, not at all sure what that means!

ZOMBIE

So last night I had a dream that I was trying to escape from a holiday that had gone badly wrong. The dead were rising up to consume the living and some people I was with and I were fighting our way through a set of warehouses and apartment blocks. Slowly but surely, we fought our way out of the predicament we found ourselves in and we managed to get on a plane back to England (I think we were in Spain to begin with). Unfortunately a guy who was slowly turning into a zombie bit another passenger and we all had to bundle out of the plane again.

Cue a running battle in the middle of the night in a city with fires raging as we struggle to contain the zombies.

Finally, a few of us managed to get back onto the plane and figure out how to get it working. We flew away, and then I woke up.

I blame The Walking Dead and The Strain for this latest weird dream!

In other news, I find myself tempted (admittedly for all the wrong reasons) to jump back into a particular aspect of the Star Trek vs Star Wars debate (the video I recently saw from a certain individual was full of so many falsehoods and misrepresentations that I nearly tapped up a response straight away).

The trouble is, these things can quickly spiral out of control. It’s probably best not to tempt fate. Which means I might end up doing so anyway.

huh

A blog post that cuts across two subjects… first of all, a look back to my frankly strange dream last night.

My dream last night started out with me being driven around the Monaco F1 circuit by Martin Brundle. I was asking him questions about the sport and I vividly recall asking him a question about Nigel Mansell that, for whatever reason, he declined to entertain. We also took advantage of driving past the shops to stop and window shop – as you do.

He struck me as being very eloquent (which to be honest, is how Brundle comes across when presenting F1), and knowledgeable about the sport. It was a good dream.

A bit weird, but entertaining. After that, it got very weird.

Back in August I had a phone call to tell me that a very nice man I knew via work had passed away. I’ve been meaning to phone his wife and check on her (and today I did indeed call her), and I think this must have been playing upon my mind. I dreamed that I went round to see her and make sure she was alright. Whilst there, we performed some sort of ritual and her husband’s spirit took over my body – but only for a short time.

During this ‘experience’, we listened to some music and danced, and we both got very emotional – in floods of tears. As his spirit left me, his wife was asking me if I knew why ’52’ was important. I couldn’t answer, and felt very upset. In the dream, I felt really upset, virtually in tears, and this was enough to actually wake me up. I haven’t been jolted awake by a dream for a long time, so this was very unusual.

I’m still not really sure what to make of this dream.