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UFO Conferences Everywhere

May 18, 2017 • Los Angeles

UFOThe most storied of the UFO conferences happens in February every year in Phoenix, and there are always lots of mind-bending and illuminating speakers but little levity. The funniest thing I’ve seen at the event, formally called the International UFO Congress, was researcher Stanton Friedman’s mike check: “Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, she saw a UFO.”

A newer conference, Contact in the Desert, seems to be growing exponentially and quickly, with an equally impressive roster of speakers. It’s happening this weekend in Joshua Tree, California, and includes paranormal-world celebrities like George Noory and Jimmy Church.

Among the smaller conferences is the McMenamins UFO Festival in McMinnville, Oregon, also happening this weekend. I haven’t been, but the event seems to be more about celebrating the phenomenon rather than diving into its esoterica and undertaking analysis. The organizers were canny in using the McMinnville sighting to attract visitors, and it’s all the more remarkable considering the event happened long ago, in 1950, when a local resident photographed a saucer. Other towns that have cashed in on their UFO notoriety with fun events are Roswell, New Mexico, and Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.

Regardless of whether the incidents in these towns have been reported accurately, or whether the McMinnville photos have been explained, debunked, or otherwise, what could be more fun than a UFO festival? See you next May in McMinnville.

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