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Enigma Issue 6: Obituary - Lord Clancarty

by George Wingfield | 21st May 1995

Lord Clancarty, formerly the Hon. (William Francis) Brinsley le Poer Trench, died in his 84th year on May 18th. Born Sept 18th 1911 in London, England, he succeeded his brother as the 8th Earl of Clancarty in 1975. A memorial service is to be held in London.

Clancarty was a major figure in British ufology and frequently pursued the subject in the House of Lords and among his fellow peers. He was a world renowned UFO author and believed that UFOs came from the twelfth planet Marduk, the Great Bear, the Little Bear and Sirius regions of our galaxy. At one time he espoused the hollow earth theory and speculated that the flying saucers emerged from bases deep within, rising through a hole situated somewhere near the North Pole. He held that the occupants of these craft either seeded us here or caused animal man to be mutated into Homo Sapiens. The ufonauts come back periodically, he stated, to see how their protégés are progressing or to arrest their decline.

From 1956 to 1959, Clancarty was Editor of FLYING SAUCER REVIEW (FSR). In 1967 he founded the world-wide UFO organisation CONTACT INTERNATIONAL, of which he was president. At that time he was also vice-president of the BRITISH UFO RESEARCH ASSOCIATION (BUFORA) and a honorary life member of the ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS SOCIETY. In 1979 he introduced a three-hour debate on UFOs in the House of Lords, as a result of which an intention was expressed to keep the subject permanently in front of Parliament, and to do this a House of Lords All-Party UFO study group was formed at the time.

Clancarty was author of 'The Flying Saucer Review's World Round-up of UFO Sightings' (New York: Citadel Press, 1958); 'Men among Mankind' (London: Neville Spearman, 1962; and also published as 'Temple of the Stars' by Ballantine Books, New York, 1974); 'Forgotten Heritage' (London: Neville Spearman, 1964); 'The Flying Saucer Story (London: Neville Spearman, 1966); Operation Earth (London: Neville Spearman, 1969); 'The External Subject (London: Souvenir Press, 1972; and also published as 'Mysterious Visitors: The UFO Story' by Stein & Day, New York, 1973); and 'Secret of the Ages' (London: Souvenir Press, 1974).

He married firstly, in 1940, Diana Joan (daughter of Sir William Robert Younger), div. 1947; and secondly Mrs Wilma Dorothy Belknap in 1961. In recent years Clancarty suffered from a lengthy illness and lived in a nursing home in Bexhill-on-Sea which is where he died on Thursday. Nevertheless he had remained in close touch with the UFO subject and retained his connection with FSR under the present editorship of Gordon Creighton.

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