So, as many of you know, I was at the MUFON UFO Symposium in Denver recently and have to admit I had a good time. Most of those attending were serious researchers, investigators, writers, and interested parties who wished solid answers based on evidence rather than wild speculations based on imagination. I was disappointed when one retired military officer seemed to be an exception to this rule. He seemed to embrace everything without worrying about evidence, but he was in a very small minority.
The programing was exquisite. The first was Richard Dolan who talked about what would happen after the government disclosed UFOs were extraterrestrial craft. He preached gloom and doom and I tend to be more optimistic about it. Dolan, however, made a good case for the changes faced by society, especially if the disclosure came at a time when the alien craft were landing. I know that no technologically inferior society has ever survived contact with a superior technology. Even the introduction of the horse to the plains radically alter the Indian way of life.
I looked forward to the presentation by Linda Moulton Howe because it dealt with the Bentwaters UFO landing and she had brought John Burroughs (seen here) with her. I had met him years ago while I was in Phoenix at a UFO conference. We traveled together to do a early morning radio talk show and I gained some insight into the case. Howe has spent a great deal of time investigating this case and she presented some very interesting points, including one that seemed to remove a skeptical explanation from the mix... though I suspect few believed that the airman and officers were fooled by the spinning of a lighthouse beam that had always been there.
I also enjoyed the talk by Marc D’Antonio but only because he lets his personality loose while on the stage. His presentation was interesting as well as informative.
Stan Friedman was, well, Stan Friedman. Say what you will about him, he’s very good on the stage and he presents his information in a very entertaining way. He’s been at it for decades and the polish shows. John Greenewald had the hosting duties again and was as brilliant as ever. He takes the job seriously and tries to provide each speaker with a build up that will impress the audience. He’s a fine and entertaining speaker in his own right.
I had a chance, brief though it was, to talk with Nick Redfern (seen here), who is going to review my latest book. I couldn’t help but ask what he thought and was pleased to learn that he had enjoyed it... which, of course, doesn’t mean that he won’t have some criticism about it (and provides me an opportunity to another plug of Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky).
And I sat next to Frank Salisbury (seen here) in the vendor area, who was there with a couple of his books, including an interesting update on his The Utah UFO Display: A Scientist’s Report. I had first run into him many years ago at a UFO convention sponsored by APRO. He had this book with him then. I didn’t know that in the new, updated version, I would actually find my own name, but there it was, in a short discussion on the Roswell UFO case in the introduction.
I didn’t know what a funny guy he was either. We had a couple of nice chats about UFOs, computers, and stealing customers from one another... He would often point them toward me, and if I couldn’t sell something to someone, I’d point them back to Frank.
One thing I did notice was a preponderance of geezers, which, for a moment troubled me but then I had an epiphany. The problem wasn’t that the youngsters weren’t interested in UFOs, or that they didn’t care what we geezers had to say, but that they probably couldn’t afford the time or money to attend the symposium. In this shaky economy, the youngsters, just starting out, might not have had the disposable income for a rather expensive weekend in Denver, not to mention children at home and a work schedule that might intrude.
Which is not to say that there weren’t many younger people there. There certainly were and they were just as excited about the symposium as were we geezers.
If I had a complaint, it was only that the WiFi connections in the common areas, the lobby, the vendor area (seen here), the restaurants, was not as reliable as it could have been. Of course, it seemed that every time I managed to logon, someone would appear to ask a question or two. Before I could get back to the computer, the connection was lost.
Next year they have decided that the symposium will be held in Orange County, California. I’m sure it will be a fine venue and I’m sure they’ll have no trouble transferring the expertise from Denver to Orange County. It might be good to move the symposium around, as they have done in the past, but frankly, I’ll miss Denver. I grew up there and I like the chance to get back into the old stomping grounds again.