People who have befriended aliens, had hybrid alien children, and developed eerie powers of prophecy after taking rides on alien spacecraft are among the star speakers who will take the stage at Britain’s only “support group” for those who claim to have met aliens.
More than 1,000 shy ‘contactees’ will meet at AMMACH in Hastings, on the 31st May, including people whose abductions made headline news, and a man who claims to have predicted 9/11 after a “close encounter” with an alien entity.
The annual AMMACH (Anomalous Mind Management Contactee Helpline) conference provides a meeting place for people whose experiences with aliens have left them fearing they may be treated as insane.
“These are not people suffering from delusions,” says organiser Joanne Summerscales.
“A lot of people feel truly quite isolated. Saying that you have been abducted by aliens is something that is not socially OK. It’s very hard to come forward. Some are traumatised. Some fear they’ll be put on medication.”
“But if even one of these stories is true, then this is the most important news story happening on Earth,” she says. “Why aren’t the military reacting? People quote figures such as 1% to 3% of the population having had such experiences - that’s millions of people.”
“I have met hundreds of these people,” says Summerscale. “All our conference offers is a respectful, dignified ear. What is their story? Why aren’t we interested? Why are we ridiculing these people?”
Alan Godfrey, who claimed he saw a diamond-shaped object from outer space which became headline news in 1980 when Godfrey was a young police officer, said, “In general I find the media very patronising and sceptical when it comes to interviewing people who have had a close encounter like myself or indeed anyone who as seen a UFO...yet they accept without question the existence of the most famous alien of all time...Jesus.”
Godfrey is considereed one of the UK’s first abductees. Colleagues said at the time that they had no “reason to doubt” his story, and it became one of the most famous abductions in Britain - partially because the young Godfrey had sketched the craft that abducted him.
“I thought it was a staff bus that had skidded sideways. Whatever it was I decided to go and investigate. I got it within about 20 yards,” he said.
“There was an object, a diamond shape, the bottom half was rotating. What would you do in that situation? In your case, you’d ring the police, in my case I was already there. I tried both of my radios - my normal one and my ultra high-frequency one - and none of them would work. It was eerily silent. I made a quick sketch, it’s there - it’s black and white.”
Godfrey says that over the years, support groups and groups of “contactees” have helped him to come to terms with his experience. “I think when people have seen a UFO or have had a close encounter and are worried as to what people might think....all they need to do is contact the many UFO groups available where they will be treated with respect and come into contact with other people that have had similar experience In my case I found this very helpful at the time and helped me to come to terms with what had happened,” he says.
The ‘AMMACH’ gathering is one of Britain’s most high-profile meeting-places for abductees and contactees. Godfrey claimed when he looked at his watch after meeting the diamond-shaped ‘bus’ nearly half an hour had vanished.
Summerscale says, “There aren’t very many other means for people who have had this sort of extreme experience to deal with it. Doctors have examined some groups of ‘contactees’ - these are not people sufferring from mental delusion. They are human beings suffereing.”
Like other support groups, AMMACH allows people to stand up and tell their stories to their peers. Many contactees are shy of the media - five that Yahoo News contacted did not respond.
“Society closes its doors on these people,” says Summerscale. “People are so quick to ridicule. When someone stoood up at the first AMMACH and said, “I’ll start the ball rolling,” he was in tears. He said, “I lost my wife. I lost my job. I lost my friends.” People are so quick to ridicule.”
Summerscale says that people thank her for “putting her head above the parapet,” saying, “I bear the brunt of a lot of the ridicule in the mainstream media.”
Speakers at AMMACH have included a family member of an officer at Roswell, who said that not only had a live alien been recovered from the craft, but he had befriended it for 15 years.
“Often people claim that they have been taken aboard spacecraft for examinations - or that aliens have extracted biological material such as sperm. Some have spent months of pregnancy on board alien ships. Others have been given hybrid children to hold or interact with. But nobody talks outside of conferences such as AMMACH, because of their mental health evaluation.”
Summerscale says that she does not believe every story she hears, but that it’s important to allow people to tell their stories. “I know a lot of this is hard to swallow,” she says. “But what AMMACH does is put it in the public arena. I don’t expect everyone to believe it. I believe these people think that they have had tremendous, life-altering experiences. And if there is one true story - why is the military keeping a lid on this? Why aren’t we doing anything? We really need to step up to the mark, and stop being citizens of Earth and become citizens of the galaxy.”
Dan Green, broadcaster, film maker and author of such books as ‘The Murder of Mary Magdalene’ says that he has met two people who genuinely believe they have been abducted by aliens. "I can say most alien abductees are genuinely honest in that they have had some sort of experience they can't explain other than in UFO related terms. However, as with all other things in life, it is likely some individuals do make a story up which does the genuine people no favours,” he says.
“I do think it is beneficial that people who have had an abduction experience contact each other to compare their own incident. Often the similarities are there to see and it is reassuring for them that they do not appear to be on their own amidst such a strange experience.”
“Support groups can do no harm as they are earnestly trying to get to the bottom of such high strangeness, and support one another in what is perhaps the most bizarre experience one can imagine, when possibly nobody else considers them worth a listen.”
Nigel Watson, author of The Haynes UFO Investigations Manual, says, “Abductees and contactees report literally out-of-this-world stories that can be complex, frightening, life-enhancing or downright ridiculous. If they speak about their experiences, they are made fun of by the media, or even by friends and family. So it does make sense for them to have support groups that understand what they are going through.”