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McMinnville’s 11th Annual UFO Fest

Back from the 11th annual http://www.ufofest.com/index.php”>McMinnville UFO conference. This year’s conference was fun as always; I got to meet Deirdre of http://www.interstellarhousewife.com/”>The Interstellar Housewife, and Erik Stitt of Contact. Both Deirdre and Erik are fun people; very geniune, and we had a great time drinking that great McMennamin's ale at Hotel Oregon, which sponsors the festival every year.

The Speakers

Washington MUFON director http://clarksonufo.com/index.php”>James Clarkson spoke about June Crain’s experience and his book about those experiences: Tell My Story: The Air Force and UFOs. A very interesting presentation. (geeky UFO nerd moment: I bought the book and James signed it.) I was fortunate to speak to James and his wife, Joanne a couple of times; both are very warm people. Joanne in her own right seems extremely interesting; she had some intuitive insights into Jim and his current writing project. I was very glad to have the opportunity to meet them.

http://www.travis-walton.com/”>Travis Walton spoke about his abduction experience, beginning the presentation with clips from the movie Fire in the Sky, which was the film version of his story. Walton contrasted scenes in the film with what really happened; various exaggerations, etc. Two things Walton spoke about were new to me; one was the presence of human (or human looking) beings on board the craft, and the other, a witness to the craft who came forward later. This witness said he was with military intelligence and yet, the veracity of that claim remains murky according to Walton. (On the presence of military intelligence in all three of these talks, see my article for UFO Digest: )

I believe Walton is telling the truth -- I always have, -- something bizarre happened to him. I don’t know him and only very briefly spoke to him, but it seemed clear to me he is obviously a haunted individual. Guarded and quiet. Understandable, given his experiences, not only of the out of this world event of aliens and craft, but the treatment from community, authorities and media. Years of that crap would cause most people to have their guard up.

The surprise of the UFO conference was http://www.colinandrews.net/”>Colin Andrews. I say it was a surprise because I didn’t expect the profound reaction I had to Andrews’ presentation. I was expecting a sort of overview o basic Crop Circle Data 101; not the emotional response not only I had but also Jim, Deirdre and Erik had as well. We all felt deeply moved by what Colin had to say. I’ve been posting about these reactions on my blogs and on UFO Mystic.

More on Crop Circles

In the 2008 McMinnville UFO feast, I attended another crop circle presentation. Robert L. Nichol, creator of the crop circle film Star Dreams, was the presenter. . As with Colin Andrews, I went into the presentation with a jaded attitude; in fact, I almost didn’t go. I thought it was too “new agey” but ended up going anyway. I was startled by my deeply emotional response to that presentation, again, as with Andrews presentation, I wasn’t prepared for the subject of crop circles to affect me so much, and on such a deep level. As I wrote for this column in June of 2008:

So, Star Dreams. I watched the film again for this column, and had the same profound emotional response. I find myself moving towards the opinion that sentient energy is intentionally creating the circles with a very specific focus and intent: concrete, direct communication with us, for us. The circles are mandalas. And what are mandalas, but designs specifically made to shift energy within us. As many of the crop circle researchers and witnesses in Star Dreams have experienced, intense changes in energy take place when in the proximity of circles. Even when not in physical contact, shifts can be felt -- as I and others have experienced just by viewing them via film or looking at images.

As one woman and witness (Polly Larson) in the film said, mirroring Pinchbeck's comment at the beginning of this piece:

"Something so enormous is happening in the world -- and it's treated so badly."

Crop circle researcher Lucy Pringle remarks in the film that "there should be joy" concerning the circles. Instead, as with all things of this nature, be it UFOs, non-mainstream religious experiences such as Marian apparitions, and so on, there is great marginalization, and many are embarrassed by their "joy" experienced in anti-structural phenomena.

With both presentations, while very different from each other, I left feeling turned inside out emotionally. I can’t explain why, or even what, it was that caused these responses. Clearly, as many crop circle researchers have been telling us, there is something either within the symbols themselves, or the energies manifesting these crop circles, that affect us on many levels; emotionally, spiritually, physically.

I realize how dippy this sounds, and many people I have the greatest respect for, like http://paratopia.podbean.com/2010/05/21/paratopia-episode-68-george-hansen-exclusive-expose/”>George P. Hansen for example, consider crop circles to be nothing more than hoaxes, and all the other interpretations are purely psychological, or imaginative creations of the individuals. All I can do is speak about my experience.

Juicy Gossip

Well, this isn’t gossip, exactly, but as much fun as I had as I do every year, there was an embarrassing moment. Tim Hills, the coordinator for the event, announced to the roomful of something like 1,500 people or so that there’d be a debriefing atop the Hotel Oregon rooftop bar afterwards, so stop by. After a quick meal Jim and I went up there and it was clear no one else was around; at a small table just for four, were Hills, Walton and Colin Andrews and his wife Cynthia. It seemed that if there was a “debriefing” open to the public, it was over. Already embarrassed and feeling like geeky UFO nerds, I mumbled something about “Is this still open to the public...” Hills never said a word and Walton looked uncomfortable. Colin Andrews was incredibly gracious and so was his wife, who said something sweet to Jim about him being cold up there. After rambling something lame to Walton and Andrews about thanking them for sharing their experiences with the rest of us, we slunk off to another table.

Here’s me atop the rooftop bar, which has a great view. I may look mean but I’m just cold! Notice I’m wearing the official Binnall of America hoodie!

Next Year

It hasn’t been announced who the speakers will be for next year. As to the UFO package; which we’ve done every year -- two nights at Hotel Oregon, meal vouchers, tickets, and two beer tumblers with the cool UFO fest design -- we’re not sure we’re going to it that way again. In the past, when we checked out, we’d book for the next year. This time they told us the price had been increased to $500.00 because “they’ve added more events,” the desk clerk told us, but no one at the desk could tell us what those events were. I’d hate to see anything change in way of presenters. Many a speaker has said that what they liked about the festival is the relaxed atmosphere and pace of the Oregon conference. We can just barely get in all we want to; the live radio performance, attending all the presentations, etc. I don’t know what they would add; if they mean more speakers, or music, or what. We’ll have to wait and see.

Related posts:

http://www.binnallofamerica.com/tr7.6.9.html”> Crop Circles: “There Should Be Joy”

http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0510/fringes.php”> UFO Digest: Military Intelligence: On the Fringes of Experiences

http://www.ufomystic.com/2010/05/16/mini-report-from-mcminnville-chirpstrills-and-wasps/”> Mini Report From McMinnville: Chirps, Trills and Wasps