MUFON SYMPOSIUM SIDELIGHTS
Titled "Transcending Politics and Comfort Zones in Ufology", this conference was held on July 2-4, 1999 in Crystal City, Washington DC. While comfort zones in ufology were scarce, the speakers were superb. All aspects of the UFO enigma were covered, from history (Richard Hall, Rob Swiatek, Bruce Maccabee) and record analysis (Eddie Bullard) to abduction experiences (Betty Luca, Kelly Cahill, Beverly Trout) and investigations (Eve Lorgen, Budd Hopkins). Conservative Jenny Randles said that her view was "somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, perhaps the Azores or Greenland."
Joe Firmage, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, says he has been told by high ranking government officials that intelligent aliens are visiting us. Although many mainstream scientists have ruled out faster than light travel Joe believes that discoveries in zero point energy and other energies will make such travel a reality within the next century and transform civilization as we know it. Joe says that for him, ET visitation is a "given" and in his book The Truth, he explores the reasons behind millennia of contact with beings from other worlds.
Budd Hopkins related the case of a car levitation and abduction which he left out of Missing Time in 1981 because it was "just too weird." He believes that our own scientific conservatism has severely delayed the acquisition of vital knowledge.
Eve Frances Lorgen who has worked in biotechnology for 7 years and also received a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology spoke of the drama of alien orchestrated bonding in the lives of abductees. The bonding typically takes place between two persons during an abduction, which may be only vaguely recalled. When both partners meet in real life there is instant recognition and the couple falls in love, often with a telepathic connection. Then the inevitable happens and one partner is "switched off" while the other becomes painfully unrequited. Eve surmises that the alien presence is somehow harvesting human emotional energies. Eve, along with Barbara Bartholic, has written The Love Bite, which explains this phenomenon and gives case histories. The book will be available soon from Arkives Press.
The irrepressible Stanton Friedman called upon his scientific knowledge as a nuclear physicist to explain that star travel is feasible within our galaxy which contains 46 stars that are similar to the sun and might have planets that contain life. He personally believes that the alien visitors are using techniques about which we know nothing and concludes that "Progress comes from doing things differently in an unpredictable way."
Kelly Cahill, a young Australian mother of three, spoke about her personal involvement in an independently witnessed UFO encounter. She and her husband were in one of three cars that saw a light formation 50 feet in diameter by the side of the road. Kelly, her husband and the occupants of the second car got out to view the craft and 7 or 8 entities beside it. The group was overcome by a physical energy and experienced missing time. Kelly's book Encounter details the experience complete with similar sketches and physical marks on the bodies of the participants. After the session, Kelly allowed some of us to feel the "scoop" on the back of her calf where flesh had been removed by the aliens.
Throughout the symposium there was a recurring theme of the need for convincing physical evidence, "A commodity in notorious short supply", according to Dr. Eddie Bullard. In the words of Dr. Richard Hall, "We need to get back to basics."
Navarre Beach, FL. March 17,1999. A trained Air Force weather technician was sitting on a reclining chair on the beach enjoying the clear, cool night when at 2:37 A.M. a light brighter than a star shot rapidly across the horizon from east to west at about 10 degrees. This light disappeared but about 2 seconds later a second light larger than the full moon appeared at about 30 degrees and shot eastward, remaining horizontal the whole time. The second light which was much closer than the first was light beige in color and oval in shape. It looked "like the light from a high-powered spotlight as it sweeps across the base of a low stratus cloud." As the observer watched the light (or object) shot out a beam of light 45 degrees up from its path of movement and then 45 degrees down from its path. This alternating beam cycled rapidly, perhaps 5 ups and 5 downs per second. The light which was also light beige extended only as far out as the length of the object itself.
The witness' impression was that both lights were the same object which changed direction and was seen much closer to the coastline. Having experienced missing time previously, he checked his watch at half hour intervals as he waited until 4:00 A.M., but since no more lights appeared, he went to bed. He is convinced at it was neither any aircraft of which he has knowledge nor a searchlight. [Thanks to Mark Petty, Massachusetts MUFON]
Loxahoche [Loxahatchee], FL, June 20, 1999. Endrick Torres, a 19-year old student reported to BUFON that he saw a UFO near Wellington [FL.] on June 20, 1999. " Two relatives and several neighbors spotted something in the sky at 10:30 PM. It was very bright but not moving. At first we thought it was a star or a plane, but I have never seen a star not blinking and a plane not moving. I grabbed a pair of binoculars to get a better view. It was a strange object with three vertical lights close to each other that from afar, looked like one glow. It stayed like this for half an hour, so we started filming. It kept on like this for the remainder of the tape until the video ended. When the camera stopped filming, the object started moving and changing shape. It went from a vertical line to an oval shape then to an ellipse and back. The top light changed from white to red and morphed that way. This went on for 30 minutes until 12:00 A.M. , when we lost sight of it to the west. It was hovering towards the Bell Glade area. We watched the video and everything came out pretty good. There were times when it was difficult to see because my hand was moving but the good shots are unmistakable. The hovering craft made no noise and had many lights that changed shape and color at an estimated 800 feet. " [Thanks to George Filer, Filer's Files #25, June 25, 1999 and to Ben Field at BUFOD]
Vero Beach, FL. resident Susan Cerdan sent this picture on July 7. It was taken by Carlos Diaz near Tepoztlan, Mexico as the UFO came out of a ravine on the road to Cuernavaca. Carlos stopped the car and propped camera on the steering wheel. The light of the UFO is shining on the hood of the car. The guard rail is underneath the UFO and it also looks red, orange, and yellow. The picture was taken on Ecktocrome slide film.