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Warminster UFO Newsletter

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The Warminster UFO Newsletter was first published in August, 1971. It was edited by Ken Rogers, who had been, before moving to Warminster a couple of years earlier, a reporter with the Fleet Street-based Daily Express. Rogers had always been interested in the UFO phenomenon, and was a member of the International Sky Scouts (later Contact (UK)). Rogers spent many hours on the hills around the town as a member of Arthur Shuttlewood’s observation team.

The Warminster UFO Newsletter was, as far as we know, the first magazine set-up with the intention of documenting the sightings and events in the Warminster area. It was to be the template for the Warminster-based magazines that were to follow it in the 1970s. Rogers was assisted by Arthur Shuttlewood and John Cleary-Baker, editor of BUFORA's Journal, both of whom penned articles for the Newsletter. Indeed, Cleary-Baker was obviously fascinated by the Warminster mystery, having also been a contributor to the letters page of The Warminster Journal, where he had defended the Thing from its detractors.

The first issue of the magazine was a pilot, to see if there was interest in such a venture. Rogers began publishing the Newsletter monthly from January 1972, with a cover price of 10p. A year's subscription, costing £1.10, offered a saving of 10p. From issue 5 onwards – perhaps because of the dearth of local sightings – Rogers began a feature on local myths and legends some of which were to make more than one appearance in the pages of the newsletter. Press cuttings appeared frequently, as did a regular column –'One World, One Truth' – that contained excerpts from a book written by Johan Quanjar (who was also an International Sky Scout).

The last issue of the Newsletter in our collection is dated March/April 1973 (Number 14/15). It not known if there were any further issues. If anyone has later copies in their collections, we would love to hear from you. If 14/15 is the last issue, it is interesting to note that the Newsletter seems to have faded away just after a revamp of its editorial board and a redesign of its pages. 14/15 also seemed to be the most fact-packed issue -- the Newsletter seemed to be on the up.

Ken Rogers continued his research into the subject, and published a book through Coates and Parker, Warminster. Titled The Warminster Triangle, the book not only recounts UFO reports from around the town, but discusses other local Fortean phenomena.

It was to another three years before another UFO magazine, the Fountain Journal, was published in Warminster. But that’s another story.

Note: The numbering of issues, the few dated issues, and the contents of issues, leads us to believe that there was no April issue of the Newsletter.

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