High Strangeness: If I Held a UFO Conference

Friday, February 21, 2014

If I Held a UFO Conference

Remember the great old Dr. Suess book, "If I Ran the Zoo"? I'm kind of in that mode today, but not thinking about running a zoo. At least, not that kind of zoo.
You just might find these two at my UFO Conference!

This question has been on my mind all day -- all week, in fact, but it didn't fully form in my head until today: What if I held a UFO Conference? Who would I book? Where would it take place? How would it contribute to UFO studies? How much booze would I have to buy?

I'll tell you why the question has come up. First of all, a young UFO research group is holding what seems to be its first ever UFO conference this spring, and boy I hope it's a huge success because they are promoting the heck out of it. I can't not think about APICON, because I get about a dozen tweets about it every day, which means their social marketing is smart, and it's working. In fact, they could take a day or two off (hint, hint).

But I kid. Putting on such an event is a monumental undertaking, and I admire the effort and commitment of anyone who can pull it off. Seriously, you should go to APICON, because what else is there to do in Miami in May?

Something else has come up to make me think about organizing a UFO conference. In looking over the stats for my blog today, I saw that one of my many posts concerning The Atacama Humanoid is the #1 viewed post at High Strangeness, not just today but all week! At first I thought it must be a glitch, but I double-checked and it's true. In fact, that particular post is the #2 all-time post on this blog, with a grand total of 1,900 views since I posted it about 10 months ago.

What is it with The Atacama Humanoid? It's weird, it's dumb, it's inauthentic, and it gives people reason to laugh at UFO researchers -- all UFO researchers. So, The Atacama Humanoid got me thinking today that that is exactly the kind of thing I would not want at my UFO conference. No mummified corpses! Unless they pay to get in, like everyone else.

Speaking of mummified corpses, I would also exclude any entity, human or otherwise, who took part in last year's Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. Because, almost a year later, look what they accomplished! Everything's changed!

Next on my exclusion list: anyone who hosts a UFO show on the following cable channels: Discovery, History, TLC, Animal Planet, SyFy, National Geographic, Science, Military, HGTV, Oxygen, HSN, VH1, Fox Business--did I leave anyone out? I know, these hosts are all super hot babes and studs and probably bring in big crowds, but as hosts of TV series about solving the UFO mystery, they all have a vested interest in never solving the UFO mystery, so their shows don't get cancelled. Not welcome. Unless they do a segment on my conference.

Here's who and what I do want there. The UFO Council of Elders -- Michael Swords, Robert Powell, et al -- who wrote the amazing "UFOs and Government," published in 2012 by Anomalist Books. It's an impressive epic, and has a lot to say about why we're not that much closer to understanding UFOs today than we were in 1947. Hardly a day goes by when I'm working on my Hynek book that I don't reach for this essential reference book. These guys would give a kick-ass presentation, and would pretty much rule the cocktail reception.

Among the contributors to "UFOs and Government," I would want the great Richard Thieme to give his talk on UFOS and spirituality, because it's such a unique, unexpected and thought-provoking take on the phenomenon. Also, Bob Powell could also give a very fun talk on how MUFON selects its top UFO sightings each year.

The staff at Dr. Hynek's Center for UFO Studies -- Mark Rodeghier, Mary Castner, Frank Reid and many more I haven't had the chance to meet yet -- would be essential. The sheer brainpower would be astounding.

I would love to get Dr. Jacques Vallee there, not just because he was such a close associate of Dr. Hynek's for so long (and often challenged Hynek's thinking for the better), but because he has made such valuable contributions to UFO research in his own right, including the brilliant concept of the "Messengers of Deception." Oh, and he developed a genius classification system for UFO sightings 30-some years ago that is still in use today! I am a big fan.

Who else? How about Doug Trumbull, the man who revolutionized movie special effects for 2001, Blade Runner and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and is now developing the UFOTOG system for capturing immaculate images of UFOs.

Speaking of Hynek associates, William Powers would have made a wonderful speaker, but he passed away last May. As one of the few people Hynek trusted to send out in his place to investigate UFO sightings for Project Blue Book, Bill could tell stories few people have ever heard. His tales of investigating the 1964 Lonnie Zamora CE3K are worth their weight in gold. It was a tremendous thrill to be able to interview this man for my book, and I wish more people could have met him. (A neat thing about Bill: he always insisted that we do our interviews over Skype, which I found tremendously endearing -- the human connection was everything to him).

What about you? Who -- or what -- would you want to hear speak at a UFO Conference? What would you do if YOU ran the zoo?
Post a Comment