An Interview with noted British UFO researcher and author Philip Mantle
By: Brent Raynes
Philip Mantle: I've always been interested in all things 'paranormal' as far back as I can remember. I used to do talks at school on ghosts and all things weird and wonderful. I'm the type of fella who is not content to sit on the sides. I want to find the answers myself. I am the man who would press the button that said “do not press". My passion for the UFO subject began in the late 1970's when a friend and I saw some strange lights in the night sky in Wiltshire. That passion still burns strong today and while I have found some of the answers I am looking for there are still more on my list to be found.
Brent Raynes: You've recently released a video promo of a screenplay that you've co-written with Nabil Shaban, noted author and actor, best known for his role as Sil in the TV Doctor Who series. The screenplay is entitled "Missing Time" and it is about a family who experiences alien abduction, and it is based on real case histories. You're currently seeking funding for this project. Are these cases that form the basis of this story based on British cases that you have investigated yourself?
Philip Mantle: The screenplay 'MISSING TIME' is a conglomerate of alien abduction cases from the UK which are featured in my first book 'WITHOUT CONSENT' which was originally published in 1994. From that book I wrote a fictional story 'Once Upon a Missing Time' which has still gone unpublished. MISSING TIME is based on that fictional story. The main abduction scenario in our screenplay is loosely based on the Day family encounter which took placer in Aveley, Essex in October 1974, but it is only very loosely based on this. All of the characters, however, are based on people I have met, although I have changed their identities and occupations, etc.
Brent Raynes: What do you hope that this movie might communicate to its audiences?
Philip Mantle: I would like it to show that whatever is behind these experiences the fact is they can happen to anyone anywhere at any time. Most people who have had such an experience have no idea who to turn to. The film is also to illustrate that such things don't just take place in some remote American location either.
Brent Raynes: How did you and Nabil Shaban come to co-write this? What was it like working with Mr. Shaban?
Philip Mantle: Nabil was part of BUFORA some years ago and he has a personal interest in this subject. I wrote the fictional story some years ago and Nabil was one of only a few people that I showed it to. Last year he asked me if I still had this story. I sent it to him, went up to visit him at his home in Scotland and the screenplay 'MISSING TIME' was born. Nabil wrote the majority of the screenplay based on my original story and between us we edited it down. It has been great working with Nabil as he is quite a character but I have also learned a lot from him as I have never worked on anything like this before.
Brent Raynes: What have some of the most interesting cases been that you’ve personally been involved with?
Philip Mantle: That's difficult to say but there are several 'abductees' that have impressed me down through the years. I once investigated a UFO landing with occupants case at Normanton, in West Yorkshire, in the early 1980's, and that particular incident still puzzles me to this very day.
Brent Raynes: Have you ever had a UFO or paranormal experience yourself?
Philip Mantle: I've never had a 'paranormal' experience as such and UFO-wise I have only seen some unusual and unidentified lights in the sky on three occasions. Once in Wiltshire, in the late 1970's, again over Leeds on July 23rd l984, and once on Carleton Moor near Skipton, in North Yorkshire in 1986.
Brent Raynes: What is your own personal take on what the UFO phenomenon represents? Do you lean towards the "nuts and bolts" extraterrestrial visitation theory, or interdimensional "visitors," or something else perhaps?
Philip Mantle: For me the U in UFO still stands for UNIDENTIFIED. The jury is still out. No one theory fits all the data I'm afraid so that's why I'm still involved.
Brent Raynes: What is your biggest peev or gripe with the current state of affairs in ufology, and what would you like to see happen in the near future in this field?
Philip Mantle: I don't really have any gripes as I pretty much get on with what I want to do and let others do the same. I don't suffer fools as easily as I used to and I have no time for 'orbs'. These are just dust and moisture particles in the air reflecting light and nothing more. I've no time for bloody crop formations either. As for what I'd like to see happen, well, get MISSING TIME made of course but in ufology I'd like to see it studied as a legitimate subject at a university. Why not?
Brent Raynes: Do you have any worries or concerns about 2012, all of this business about Mayan prophecy and the end of their ancient calendar?
Philip Mantle: None at all. All bloody nonsense.