After a childhood experience where he was thrown backwards from a door that opened by itself while exploring an abandoned farmhouse Stephen developed an interest in all things paranormal and by the time he moved to Blackpool 25 years ago he had amassed a good deal of knowledge. For 12 years he worked at the wonderful Grand Theatre in the town and in 2006 ran a ghost tour on Halloween to raise fund for its restoration.
This was so popular that Stephen continued running ghost tours at The Grand and then took them to other locations around the Fylde Coast and further afield including Derby Goal and Lancaster Castle. He now also runs ghost walks and has written for many paranormal based magazines about not only Blackpool and the Fylde Coast but about locations throughout the world and has assisted in bringing a number of television shows to the area. His latest venture is working in partnership with Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours presenting the The Ghost Tram which is the country’s only ghost tram tour! Jason Gleaves
UFO Origins Unknown: My Story into Ufology and my Image Analysis
Born in Liverpool, Jason has spent time in the Royal Air Force and has worked for British Aerospace.
He has expertise in modern civilian and military worldwide aircraft/armaments recognition and visualisation and has contributed over the last 10 years to numerous UFO pages/media and has carried out Photographic/image/video-footage analysis on Unidentified Flying Objects and associated anomalies (UFO/UAP/USO) for many Ufologists within our community worldwide, using the latest updated imagery/computer science technology and software available.
Added to this he is mainly an advanced self taught skilled graphic computer artist/illustrator and he combines his artistic ability techniques with a modern day approach using analytical methods when analysing UFO Cases.
Jason is the author of two books; UFO PHOTO and The Ufology Umbrella, both of which are available on Amazon and Flying Disc Press through Philip Mantle.
The Lancashire Witch Trials
Julie Aspin who works in adult community education has an honours degree in history/philosophy, and post graduate diplomas in historical research and in social history.
With an interest in the Lancashire Witch Trials since childhood Julie has made it her mission to end the perpetration of the myths surrounding this story and believes that the people who lost their lives in witch trials all over the world deserve to have their stories told as accurately as possible.
The talk looks at the role of the authorities and at the accusations levelled at the so called ‘witches’. It tells the story of what happened, and looks at the social, political, economic and religious context before letting the audience make their own minds up by posing the question ‘Were they really witches?’
Julie is aided and abetted in this talk by two friends Ann Siburuth who has had a lifelong interest in history and has researched the Lancashire Witch Trials for many years and Maureen Bridge who grew up in Blacko in the shadow of Pendle Hill. She has lived with the ‘witches’ all her life and has been researching the story of 1612 for many years. Dr Rob Gandy
Memories are made of .....?
Rob Gandy will explore three areas of forteana that relate to memories. The first will be the ‘Mandela Effect’, which is a phenomenon where a large number of people have a false memory about an event or fact. He will then look at how transient global amnesia could account for some ‘missing time’ experiences, which those involved subsequently attribute to UFOs. Finally he will talk about ‘Cellular Memory’ and give examples of some of the strange changes that have happened to people who have received donor organs. Hopefully Rob’s presentation will be unforgettable! Jackie Tonks
Jackie Tonks is a Bigfooter and regularly goes over from the UK to the USA's Pacific Northwest to investigate and also attend the Sasquatch Summit held in Ocean Shores, Washington State. She is lucky enough to have seen two Bigfoot in broad daylight and in 2017 also had rocks thrown at her. She also was one of the expedition members in the 2012 Extreme expedition trip hosted by Adam Davies, Andrew Sanderson and Lori Simmons. She was also a member of the 2017 Centre for Fortean Zoology Expedition to look for the Almasty. Jackie is also an experienced Paranormal Investigator. She had lectured previously at The Weird Weekend and Weird Weekend North (Centre for Fortean Zoology conferences), for ASSAP (Association for the Study of Anomalous Phenomena) Peter Laws
Why Do Humans Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death and Gore?
Peter will be known to Fortean Times readers as the author of the column ”The Reverends’s Review”. An ordained church minister, Peter is also is an author, journalist and YouTube horror host. He hosts the podcast and YouTube show The Flicks That Church Forgot which explores the deeper themes of scary culture. His books include the non fiction book 'The Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & Gore’ that seeks to explain (and defend) the lure of the morbid. He is also the creator of the popular series of horror/ crime fiction novels featuring Matt Hunter, an atheist ex-vicar turned academic who helps the police solve religiously motivated crimes.
Peter Laws presents The Flicks That Church Forgot Podcast Rob Whitehead
What a Weird Year That Was: A Round Up Of The Strangest Stories Of The Last 12 Months
Rob's interest in UFOs and the unexplained was sparked when as a youngster he saw a cigar shaped object while walking along the Durham coast with friends. "I was out with a few friends walking along the cliffs one day with my metal detector and I suddenly noticed a black cigar-shaped object quite low and it seemed to follow the coastline as we watched it. The following day in the local paper there was a headline on the front page 'UFO sightings across the North-East' and that got me into it."
Rob has has lectured on subjects including his own experiences, schoolyard UFO encounters and the enigma of Bogus Social Workers. In 2018 he delivered "Alien's stole my Christmas Tree". Who knows what he may bring to the event this year?! Hayley Stevens
The Trials and Tribulations of a Real-Life Ghostbuster
From scepticism and eye-witness interview techniques to a whistling ghost and a poltergeist in a bakery shop... Hayley will discuss the interesting things that she has learned and experienced during her time as a ghost investigator. She will share cases that she was able to solve, as well as those that she couldn't - including tales of the strange and scary things encountered along the way.
Described by the Times as 'the Scully end of the Mulder-Scully X-Files spectrum', Hayley Stevens has been investigating and researching the paranormal for over a decade (since she was a teenager). Stevens runs the award winning 'Hayley is a Ghost' blog and hosts The Spooktator podcast. She has spoken internationally to audiences about the realities of rational and scientific paranormal research, and is often called upon by media researchers as an expert advisor.