THERE hasn't been anybody out there for a couple of years but UFO spotters are finally heading back to Leeds.
The city has long been regarded as a mecca for the UFO community because of the Leeds International UFO Conference, which ran for over two decades.But the annual conferences came to an abrupt halt when Leeds-based organiser Graham Birdsall, a worldwide authority on UFOs and editor of UFO Magazine, died suddenly at the age of 49 in September 2003.An internet magazine was co-launched the following year by Kippax enthusiast Russel Callaghan, who previously worked with Mr Birdsall on his publication.HookedAnd such has been the success of the online magazine that Russel has decided to venture back into the unknown and bring a conference back to Leeds in the form of The Great British UFO Show.He said: "Despite public perception there is still a massive amount of interest in this subject. There is definitely something going on out there and we are just attempting to explore that."Russel, 46, says he had his first encounter with a UFO in 1980, while working as a bus conductor, on Odsal Moor Top. Since then he has had just one other encounter but admits to being completely hooked by the subject.The conference takes place on Saturday October 1, and is being staged in the Leeds rugby supporters club at Headingley stadium.Around 200 visitors are expected at the event which will feature five guest speakers and an open floor session where guests can show film or photographs to the audience.Among the speakers will be author and broadcaster Philip Mantle who has written several books about alleged alien abduction.ResearchHe will be joined by Malcolm Robinson, who heads the Strange Phenomena Investigations group, Christopher Martin and John Hanson.Russel added: "The city of Leeds has a long tradition of presenting quality UFO lectures and events, with some of the worlds best known researchers, scientists, PhDs, physicists, authors and presenters having set foot upon a stage in the city."We decided it was time this happened again."
BY PAUL JEEVES