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The MUFON UFO Speakers Conference

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The MUFON UFO Speakers Conference


The concert was the highlight of the festival, but there was much more going on throughout the weekend. Friday night’s show was preceded by a festival parade featuring Jefferson Starship as the “Grand Martians.” Roswellians and visitors alike lined downtown’s Main Street in a festive atmosphere, though the overall parade left many scratching their heads. It started a half-hour late and had little in the way of actual floats, with the parade mostly consisting of mere automobiles with a few folks dressed like aliens. It seemed fitting then when posters for the festival included a depiction of special guest Hank Williams Jr. saying: “Where’s the parade?”


But while the parade disappointed many terrestrial observers, the MUFON Conference presented an array of compelling research from top UFOlogists from around the world. Italo-American journalist Paola Harris focused her talk on her work with two legends in the field—J. Allen Hynek (who worked on the Air Force’s Project Blue Book before starting the Center for UFO Studies) and Col. Philip J. Corso. Corso’s 1997 memoirs, The Day After Roswell, made shock waves when he testified that he’d worked in the Pentagon in the early ‘60s dispersing salvaged technology from the Roswell crash to various corporations for further research and development, leading to advances in areas such as lasers, fiber optics, and integrated circuit chips. 


Physicist Dr. Claude Swanson gave an intriguing presentation on “Clues to a Future Physics,” where he speculated about advances in human understanding of physics, such as group consciousness. “Subtle energy is the missing part of our physics… the energy that consciousness adds… the laws of physics change,” said Swanson.


Other speakers included the legendary Jesse Marcel, Jr., who was 12-years-old when his father—the Roswell Army Air Field intelligence officer—woke him up that fateful night in 1947 to show him some of the “memory metal” retrieved from the saucer crash site. Marcel Jr. spoke to “the Roswell legacy” and was also made the first inductee into the Roswell UFO Hall of Fame, with author Peter Robbins serving as master of ceremonies. Robbins is well-known in the UFOlogy community for his book Left at East Gate, with Larry Warren, which chronicles a dramatic 1980 UFO incident in the United Kingdom that came to be regarded as the British Roswell. This made for an appropriate thematic link to the following presentation by Nick Pope, a former British intelligence agent who worked on that country’s equivalent of real-life X-Files.


“We were all budding Fox Mulders,” said Pope of he and his associates during his time in the department from 1991-94. Pope devoted most of his talk to the ongoing declassification of the British government’s UFO files, the release of which began in May of 2008. 


He noted that this led to what many observers considered a “summer of the saucers” last year, with a wave of sightings across the United Kingdom, as well as a ripple effect on other countries such as France, Brazil, and Denmark releasing their files too.


Canadian researcher Grant Cameron spoke about his studies of the relation between American presidents and UFOs, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Cameron indicated some hope for disclosure may be drawn from the fact that John Podesta, known as Bill Clinton’s “X-Files man” when he served as his chief of staff, was in charge of Obama’s transition team and remains a close advisor. Podesta called for UFO disclosure in a 2002 speech to the National Press Club, and would indeed seem to be the man to coordinate any such eventual effort.


But the most compelling talk of the weekend came from historian Richard Dolan, whose first book UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Cover-up 1941-1973 is widely deemed the best and most comprehensive history of UFOs ever written, with publication of his second book covering 1974-1991 being imminent. What’s intriguing about Dolan is that he only developed an interest in UFOs after his graduate studies of Cold War history led him to recognize certain names that seemed to be involved with some monkey business inside the government pertaining to UFOs and “black budgets.”


Dolan ran through a list of significant government documents that reveal the essence of the cover-up and compared the cover-up’s lifespan to that of the Soviet Union, suggesting an imminent fall within the next four to 25 years. He also discussed the paradigm shattering ramifications of disclosure.


“In the short term, it might not be all beer and skittles,” said Dolan regarding the theoretical economic fallout that free energy could wreak on the markets, as well as potential class action lawsuits by citizens against the government for withholding it. He termed the free energy technology our visitors use to get here (theoretically via wormholes or stargates of some kind) as both a potential salvation and a potential problem.


“What if we DO get access to free energy? What if we learn to manipulate time? What if we learn that we all possess certain psychic or spiritual abilities? What if we discover the UFO secret has gone private?” asked Dolan. He also addressed exopolitical problems, such as how to determine if we are being told the truth?


“True disclosure will of necessity confront the illegal structure of our society… Where did the money come from, a subversion of our political system… Is there a global police state coming in to deal with it? Disclosure will almost surely not be done voluntarily by the government, but will have to be forced by the citizens,” said Dolan.


“Impossible. Inevitable,” he said of eventual disclosure. “We are living through revolutionary change… Revolutionary change breeds political instability… and opportunities for disclosure.”


He finished by pointing out that humanity is in need of cultural development to enable us to deal with extra terrestrials. “We are the greatest show in the cosmos right now,” concluded Dolan, hinting that the plethora of UFO activity over the past six decades indicates Earth has drawn the attention of the galactic community.


Saturday’s 4th of July proceedings meanwhile treated visitors to a huge fireworks show, made even more magnificent by a thunderstorm that offered spectacular sheet lightning that lit up the entire sky, as well as massive lightning bolts that perhaps approximated the storm which legend says was a factor in 1947. The festival wrapped up on Sunday with a stage performance back at the Pearson Auditorium of Top Secret: Majic, a two-act play by Marty Martin about the events following the Roswell Incident, dramatizing the implementation of the cover-up.


While some will remain skeptical until ETs land on the White House lawn—an unlikely outcome—most visitors to the Roswell UFO Festival seemed inclined to walk away with the feeling that the truth is indeed out there. The biggest question on the minds of most attendees was not whether there is a cover-up, but when it will end.

Greg M. Schwartz has covered music and pop culture for PopMatters since 2006. He focuses on events coverage with a preference for guitar-driven rock 'n' roll, but has eclectic tastes for the golden age of sound that is the 21st century music scene. He has a soft spot for music with a socially conscious flavor and is also an award-winning investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @gms111, where he's always looking for tips on new bands or under the radar news items.


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