sábado, 30 de junho de 2012
Interview with Nick Pope - The Area 51 of Art (2) "A Trained Kafkaesque Witness": The Rendlesham Bentwaters Incident Revisited
José Galisi Filho 30.06.2012
Mr. Pope, your work has often been falsely framed under the category of a skeptic who "switched sides" and taking into account the truly extraordinary character of the Bentwaters incident, we may, of course, understand a change of perception. But one of the key elements on your approach and how you address your speech, unnoticed in the public mind, and also critical and elegant ironic distance from the ongoing evaluations and judgments, is the role itself of bureaucratic inertia and the memory of the great institutions: the simple fact that they forget more easily than individuals.
Nick Pope: Military officers and civil servants often fill a particular post for only 2 or 3 years, before moving on, on level transfer or promotion. The MoD official responsible for investigating the Rendlesham Forest incident was posted elsewhere shortly after the incident. MoD has grappled with the concept of 'corporate memory' and the need to retain information. The requirement to file documents electronically has been part of this, but the irony is that more we rely on technology,
falls between the two bureaucratic stools.
One day, when I was a boy in Sao Paulo in 1976 and went to the elementary school during the military dictatorship, we received a brochure for the discipline of Moral Education for young people, probably edited by the Second Military Regional Command South, which stated this incredible following story.
You truly believe that we can use Ufology to teach young children how to understand, and I'm talking seriously, without irony, that the air space is a matter of national security, the space you share with at hypersonic Speed. By the way, as long as I know, the only serious military incident between Great Britain and Brazil was the emergency landing of the Vulkan at Rio de Janeiro during the Falkland War in 1982.
Nick Pope: Teaching - at any level - is often at its best when it's unusual and fun. I understand that organizations such as the NSA have occasionally incorporated the idea of an extraterrestrial language into a code-breaking exercise.
"Here's the ultimate irony: in a few decades time, Rendlesham will be indistinguishable from Roswell. A few documents and photos will survive, but the witnesses will be gone, leaving researchers to ponder what it all means"
How do you evaluate the changes in the perception of the incident over these past three decades?
Nick Pope: I'll make some less philosophical points about memory and perception: they differ from individual to individual (traffic police will tell you that 5 witnesses to a car accident will give 5 different accounts) and they fade over time.
Both Colonel Charles I. Halt and the Sergeant Jim Penniston could be thought as tragic heroes in a drama without happy end which closes itself as “Kane Citizen” forever in the secret of “Rosebud” in the realms of myth in a forgotten file in Washington. There must be a report out there for sure.
Nick Pope: Here's the ultimate irony: in a few decades time, Rendlesham will be indistinguishable from Roswell. A few documents and photos will survive, but the witnesses will be gone, leaving researchers to ponder what it all means. The event will have passed from history into legend. And at some future conference, a sad-eyed old man will reminisce about his departed father, telling the awe-struck audience about the day the proud military man returned to the family home with a story that started with unexplained lights,
A last and ironical question, if the visitors form Bentwaters came from the future, is there a Britsh humor in these remote Era. Will they bring back the Python in a last and eternal season, perhaps Graham Chapman back.
Nick Pope: Time travel should be about science and discovery but will end up being about next week's lottery numbers. If you want irony, imagine if the Rendlesham Forest incident was caused by a TV crew coming back from the future to document what happened at Bentwaters.