Curiouser and Curiouser: UFO Conference in Cork

In Blather 1.11, ‘Where’s Me Kidney?‘, I mentioned the UFO conference to be held in Cork City on 16th August. Any decision about travelling to Cork for this event was promptly put on the long finger, but lay around in the back of my mind like an unpaid bill. Despite the fact that I had made some preparations, and told people that I was going to Cork for the weekend, by Saturday morning I still really hadn’t made a decision. Was I really about to brave the intricacies of the Irish rail system to attend a conference which might be an utter waste of time? I barely made the 11:25 Intercity to Cork, and spent the journey between reading ‘Irish Eccentrics’ by Peter Sommerville-Large, and questioning my sanity.

The conference started at 3pm, in the Metropole with bumps and starts. Actually no, the conference didn’t start at 3pm, a video tape showing documentaries about UFOs was put on, with not so much as an announcement or a word of explanation from the hosts. The sound was atrocious, and after an hour of fighting a headache, I upped and left, to look for a chemists and some fresh air, leaving about thirty people littered about the large function room, and wandered about Cork City.

I arrived back at 7pm, when the talk by Eamonn Ansbro was due to start. The small crowd had changed, some people had left, some new faces had arrived. Eamonn admitted later that he is an inexperienced public speaker, but he carried off his presentation quite well, inviting questions constantly over an hour and a half or so. I had several private discussions with both Eamonn and Alan Sewell of the Irish Centre for UFO Studies over the rest of evening and night, and came to the conclusion that they are indeed in earnest, and believe that something is happening in Bantry, but don’t know quite what the hell it is. Which, in my opinion, leads me to surmise that, yes, there is indeed something happening in Bantry – possibly on a very strange social level rather that anything as outlandish as Extraterrestrial Intelligence. In fact, I’m still not convinced by the reported UFO sightings, or how they relate to the goings on in the area. I realise that several TV crews have got something on film, but are the Flying Objects only Unidentified because the witnesses preferred to abstain from identification?

My conversations with Eamonn and Alan left my notebook and brain in a dreadful state of disarray, due to the volume of reports and anecdotes which were related to me. I’ll include what I can here, but bear in mind that this is no way a comprehensive representation of the entire situation, and that I harbour a lot of reservations about just about everything I was told.

According to Mr. Ansbro and Mr. Sewell, who were a lot more reasonable than I could ever have expected, there have been 120 UFO cases in West Cork since 1992. Some 35 of these have been in the Coomhola area. These, I was told, have appeared in all shapes and sizes, balls, ‘cigars’ and saucers, often as lightforms. Eamonn is inclined to refer to these as ‘constructs’, rather than ‘craft’, as he reckons these objects may be the ‘beings’ themselves rather than a vehicle, or that the objects may not even be vehicular in any sense. Larger ‘constructs’ (Diameter 50ft) have apparently been releasing smaller ones (Diameter 20ft). I’m not sure if anyone maintains that they have actually seen this happening, but if they have, it would be an argument for the ‘construct’ hypothesis, due to the relative size of the objects. They also told me that there have been three apparent abductions in the area, and numerous paranormal Men in Black style harassments, as well as more, er, conventional encounters with gentlemen purporting to be US Air Force staff. I pointed out that there were US Air Force officers on official business in Ireland, they would have to be accompanied by an Irish Dept. of Defence representative, and that if they were on unofficial business, then they were being just a little bit blatant, and were risking arrest. This doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone.

The investigators are broken into two groups, the Irish Centre for UFO Studies (ICUFOS) Surveillance Team, and the PEIR (Programme for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Research) contact team. The former seem to have been carrying out what is in effect, a pretty ‘normal’ watch for the UFOs. The PEIR contact team are engaging in rather more esoteric endeavours, implementing what is commonly referred to as ‘remote viewing’, and ‘New Cosmology’ – a kind of dictum for universal citizens.

The Farsight Institute explains remote viewing as follows:

‘Scientific Remote Viewing (SRV) is a trainable mental procedure that enables a person to extract accurate and detailed information from distant locations and across time. Simply, SRV is a controlled shifting of awareness that is performed in the normal waking state of consciousness. SRV uses the human nervous system in a way analogous to the way an astronomer uses a radio telescope. Using SRV, the human nervous system acts as a tuning device that connects us to an underlying field of nature through which knowledge of all things is possible.’

During the Cold War, several governments, most notably the US and Soviet, allegedly piled considerable amounts of money into this area of research, and while the US results are still classified, general opinion indicates that that the usefulness of such projects were negligible. Others maintain that the whole thing was a huge disinformation project to scare opposing governments, either started by the US to waste Soviet research resources, or vice versa.

Personally, I’m not convinced by remote viewing. Maybe it’s something to do with the wide-eyed ‘new age’ quasi-religious terminology that most of the material concerning remote viewing seems to be incased in, which tends to make my skin crawl.
Doc Hambone (link defunct: also has some reservations, even when adopting the hypothesis that it may actually work:

‘Remote viewing is often mistaken for astral travel, but the two aren’t the same: the remote-viewer stays in his/her body, conscious and not in an altered state. From all indications, it is supposed to work by accessing the Akashic record (or something similar). The Akashic record is a collective record of all experience and phenomena, through all time and space. This concept has been “teched-up” recently, as is sometimes called something like “Quantum Information Storage”.’

There are also may be elements of telepathy and/or precognition (fortune-telling). According to recent descriptions, the coordinates given to the viewer are unimportant as far as their objective reality. Either the viewer reads the mind of the person who assigned the target, or the viewer sees the future when he/she is told what the target is after a session. The case would seem to be the latter: the process seems to work in double-blind situations, i.e. neither viewer nor monitor know the target: it’s selected randomly from a pool.’

Using a method known as ‘Astronomical Theory’, coupled with remote viewing, Eamonn Ansbro told me that his team have successfully predicted and contacted the ‘constructs’. He doesn’t know who they are, what they are, or what they want, but he’s convinced that sentient beings have been contacted. Astronomical Theory, which I don’t pretend to understand, seems to revolve around the principle that UFOs seem to be ’employing preferential flight corridors’, which led to the computerized plotting of 600 ground tracks around the globe, on which UFOs are supposed to travel. If this is the case, then I see it as being an argument against sentience rather than for the extraterrestrial life.

The account I have given above is merely a sprinkling of the information garnered from my day in Cork, and I don’t expect any of it to help anyone reach any conclusions. I intend digging through the comprehensive documentation which the ICUFOS have provided, and finding out more. I’m indebted to Eamonn Ansbro and Alan Sewell, who were more than helpful, and cheerfully welcomed the onslaught of my interrogations. They are quick to emphasise that they disclaim the label ‘UFO experts’, as they see themselves as just ordinary people investigating extraordinary events.

It has to be said though, I do not share all their beliefs or agree with many their methods.

But sure that’s only my opinion…

Dave (daev) Walsh

21 August 1997

The Irish Centre for UFO Studies can be contacted for further information by email at or by dialling 0044 1762 349104 (International) or 08 01762 349104 from within Ireland.

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.