Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Skeptic at the 2012 International UFO Congress - Part 1

I am here at the 21st Annual International UFO Congress near Scottsdale, Arizona. The sessions begin tomorrow morning. Lots of major UFO personalities will be here. When I wrote up my visit to the MUFON Symposium last summer, I did it after getting home. I suspect I won't have much time to Blog in near-real time these next few days, but I'll do what I can, and try to fill in the rest later.

The UFO Skywatch on Feb. 21
When I picked up my badge tonight, there were only two things going on: a movie, and a Skywatch. The Skywatch is organized by the UFO Skywatch Club of Fountain Hills, Arizona (a.k.a. "right here"). They use very powerful night-vision equipment to look at the night sky for objects that move. The gentleman seated at the computer has a camera pointing straight up, more or less. He moves it around a bit. It shows a lot more stars than can be seen with the naked eye, displayed on the big screen. If you want to lie back in the reclining "zero-gravity chair" and look through the night-vision binoculars for yourself, that will cost $20 (although the price soon fell to $10, that being all the market would bear). They saw several airplanes and satellites. They also saw objects that fluttered about and changed directions. Those are either owls, bats, or even possibly moths. The camera has an extremely wide-field and tremendous depth-of-field - when the operator walked up to dust something off the lens, his finger was almost in focus, as were the stars. So there is no way to tell how far away an object might be, just looking at the display. "We're seeing a lot of UFOs tonight," one of the Skywatchers said. Pretty much whatever they see, it's a UFO.

The evening movie was The Truth is Out There
Directed by: Phil Leirness
Dean Haglund is an actor, artist, improv comic and investigator. Best known as one of the Lone Gunmen from “The X-Files”, Dean continues to be closely identified with the paranormal realm and the conspiracy field. An epic that is equal parts comedy, consciousness and conspiracy, “The Truth is Out There” follows Dean Haglund as he travels the globe hoping to discover what it means to search for the truth in a world where conspiracies, conspiracy theories are everywhere.
This was one of those movies where the director apparently could not afford a camera tripod. Or else he thought that the movie would be more "authentic" if the audience watched the hand-held camera wobble for two hours and twenty minutes. In any case, the wobbly camera was making me seasick, and I didn't see any reason to care about what Dean Haglund said, so I didn't stay more than about a half hour.


  1. Quite the list of speakers. Your patience will be tried I am sure. Some of these speakers are plain gullible or out to make a buck IMO.

  2. I encourage as many posts as you fancy plus one.
    I liked your MUFON writeups. Stan Friedman came off as nicer and less certain than we see in his own encyclicals, and Travis Walton seemed crazier than I ever suspected.
    Nice to be reminded we're all humans, not just personas.

  3. Actually, Stanton is usually a pretty decent fellow. He just puts on his 'asshole persona' when he goes on stage. But Walton is, well.... he's still here now. Steve Pierce seems to be quite country & conservative.


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