Author Archives: Dr David Clarke

100 years of Fake News: The German Corpse Factory

False stories that masquerade as real news are not a product of the modern age. But few realise the modern era of ‘Fake News‘ began one hundred years ago – during the carnage of the First World War. In the … Continue reading

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Michael Swiney (1926-2016)

Retired Royal Air Force officer Michael Swiney, who observed three UFOs while flying a training mission in 1952, has died aged 90. Swiney’s close encounter occurred shortly after a wave of unexplained sightings during the NATO operation Mainbrace. According to Captain Ed … Continue reading

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Where Eagles Dare…and the Sun never sets

Sheffield Star/South Yorkshire Times, 21 May 2016. David Clarke took a cruise along Norway’s rugged coastline to see the Midnight Sun and experienced Arctic wildlife at close quarters. ‘We can never guarantee that you will see them’, one of our … Continue reading

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Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown and the UFO

Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown, the Royal Navy’s most decorated pilot and UFO witness, has died at the age of 97. Captain Brown was the Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated pilot and held the world record for aircraft carrier landings. He … Continue reading

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Farewell to the ‘mystical astronaut’: Edgar Mitchell 1930-2016

Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon who became a celebrity believer in the UFO myth, has died aged 85. The Guardian newspaper once described the retired NASA astronaut as being an unlikely name on the list … Continue reading

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Katharine Briggs award shortlist

My book How UFOs Conquered the World: the history of a modern myth was shortlisted by The Folklore Society for the Katharine Briggs book award for folklore scholarship in 2015. The judges described the book as ‘a lucid account based on 30+ years of … Continue reading

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On the Side of the Angels

Sheffield Hallam University journalism lecturer David Clarke will present his research on the origins of some of the First World War’s best known legends at a public event in Leicester on 11 November. New Perspectives of the First World War … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Crying Boy!

Thirty years ago this month the British tabloids were full of stories about mysterious fires breaking out in houses across the north of England – and the only survivor was a mawkish print of a crying boy. The legend began … Continue reading

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The Warminster Syndrome

It is 50 years since the Wiltshire town of Warminster, 15 miles west of Stonehenge, first became a centre of pilgrimage for British UFO watchers. As flying saucerers gather for a convention and skywatch to mark the anniversary of the … Continue reading

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The Bowmen of Mons and Mars

Originally published in Fortean Times 319 (October 2014) this blogpost ponders the origins of the phantom bowmen imagined by two fantasy authors at the outbreak of the First World War. ‘They were like men who drew the bow, and with another shout, … Continue reading

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