The Flying Saucer Poetry Review, Winter 2023 (issue #2)

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12 | SPECIAL FEATURE: An Interview by Jean-Paul L. Garnier, Editor of the Science Fiction Poetry Association Star*Line Magazine & SFPA Elgin Award Nominee

An Interview with Ufologists Leslie and Stephen Shaw, Authors of Who They Are: And What They’re up To

[preface] Leslie: I did almost all the writing of the book and Stephen was my fellow theorist and researcher. He also wrote his story in the Preface of our book. He was so critically important to the research that I wanted him to have co-authorship.

Garnier: What piece of information, or personal experience, made you want to research and write Who They Are?

Leslie: Our personal UFO experiences made me start thinking about it a long time ago, but the recent catalyst, the one that actually started the writing process, was the discovery of the Hiawatha asteroid impact crater in Greenland. Having read the book, you know the importance I attach to this event. I consider it the most important event to happen in all of human history. When its existence was confirmed, I started working out the timeline and sequence of events that we wrote about in this book.

Stephen: For me the motivation for this book was the strange experiences that have plagued me throughout my life. Some of these weird experiences are described in our book’s Preface.

The sightings I describe in the book are almost all mass sightings, where the UFOs are seen by many people.

Garnier: In your research, what criteria did you use to determine the credibility of your sources?

Leslie: I admit that many of our sources are from the account of a single person or from online stories and rumors and sometimes from the testimony of remote viewers. I’ve worked hard to try and find corroborating evidence, but in some cases it just isn’t to be found. While reading our book, it’s best to ask yourself “what if this strange story is true? If it is true, then maybe Leslie and Stephen’s theories may also be true.”

The sightings I describe in the book are almost all mass sightings, where the UFOs are seen by many people.

Stephen: I come from a science background and I consider facts to be of paramount importance. As much as possible we tried to use factual data that could had some kind of corroborating evidence.

Garnier: In all of your research what was the most compelling case you came across, and what case left you most unsettled?

Leslie: My personal favorite UFO incident was the Tic Tac encounter. This is such a well-documented case with so much corroborating data. It’s also a fairly recent event from 2004. We go into a fair amount of detail on this incident in the book.

For me, the most unsettling accounts are those of abductees. Try and imagine the reality of it happening to you. It’s a terrible invasion of one’s person that leaves long-term damage on the psyche of those taken.

Stephen: I find the fact that so many Alaskan residents have disappeared very disturbing. We believe abductees are sometimes not returned and just become another missing person statistic.

I also found the Travis Walton abduction event to be very compelling.

Garnier: The books speaks about how many UFO visitations could be coming from underground, do you believe that this excludes the possibility of some UFO encounters being from various alien species from outer space?

Leslie: Here we are skirting close to a spoiler for those who haven’t read the book. So I will answer by only saying, it’s true, we believe the vast majority of UFOs seen in our skies are launched from underground bases. Huge mother-ship-size UFOs have been seen by witnesses and tracked on radar. UFOs may be launching from these ships as well.

Garnier: You mention in the book that you have astral traveled, have you attempted to visit underground bases or other UFO facilities, and if not, why?

Leslie: Unfortunately, when I was regularly astral projecting, I didn’t know about the underground bases at that time. I don’t have the ability any more. I’ve been considering taking up the practice of meditation and chanting again, and I am hopeful I may regain the ability some day.

It would be hard to find a more credible witness [Admiral Byrd]. He was connected to two UFO incidents from that time period.

Garnier: Who They Are mentions many UFO cases, including Admiral Byrd’s reports of openings into the Earth near the poles, can you talk about this case and why it is important to your theories?

Leslie: Yes. Admiral Byrd was a national hero in 1947. It would be hard to find a more credible witness. He was connected to two UFO incidents from that time period.

One was while the admiral was commanding a carrier group on a mission to Antarctica. The group was attacked by flying saucers that emerged from the ocean, fired some kind of “ray” at the ships and then retreated back under water. They sank a destroyer and downed about half of Byrd’s carrier-based aircraft. The source for this event was a 2006 Russian documentary based on a 1947 Russian intelligence report and also from an interview Byrd gave to the Argentine press following the incident.

The second alien encounter of Admiral Byrd is described in a posthumously-released diary found in his personal effects by his son. It describes a meeting he had with a technologically superior human-looking people living in a huge cavern under the ice sheet. We go into a detailed account of this story in the book.

Garnier: Are you associated with MUFON or any other organizations, or do plan to get involved, and if not, why?

Leslie: I am not a member of MUFON, but I read their news bulletins. We consider ourselves to be “armchair ufologists.” We’ve done very little in outside collaboration with other ufologists, this book is our first large extroversion into the UFO community.

Garnier: Have you experienced any attempt to suppress your research, and if not, how will you handle the situation if it arises?

Leslie: I know it sounds paranoid when I admit to worrying about government suppression. I try not to think about the possibility of “the men in black” visiting our home. In spite of these worries, we went ahead and published. One thing we did to protect our work from suppression, was we went ahead and paid for a book advertising campaign, to release the book as widely as possible, making it much harder to suppress.

Garnier: What’s next for you and what are you currently working on? Do you plan on continuing your UFO research and writing more books?

Leslie: At the moment, I’m writing blogs. We’ve created a website for the book and on this site I’ve posted 5 or 6 blogs. Stephen will be writing some too, and will be posting them on the website. It’s at

As for the future, Stephen’s sister and her husband are ghost hunters in northern England. I was thinking of writing a book on their work. We are planning to visit them next summer. Stephen has just started writing a book and I will be helping him.

Stephen: I am writing a book now about the tiny voice we have inside of us. That little voice, that when we listen to it, guides us through our lives.

Jean-Paul L. Garnier

Jean-Paul L. Garnier lives and writes in Joshua Tree, CA where he is the owner of Space Cowboy Books, a science fiction bookstore, independent publisher, and producer of Simultaneous Times podcast. In 2020 his first novella Garbage In, Gospel Out was released by Space Cowboy Books and in 2018 Traveling Shoes Press released Echo of Creation, a collection of his science fiction short stories. He has also released several collections of poetry: In Iudicio (Cholla Needles Press 2017), Future Anthropology (currently being translated into Portuguese), Odes to Scientists (audiobook – Space Cowboy Books 2019) and Betelgeuse Dimming (2020). He is a four-time Elgin Nominee and also appeared in the 2020 Dwarf Stars anthology. He is a regular contributor to’s blog, and is the current editor of Star*Line Magazine.