We left Minneapolis early Tuesday morning (Feb 17, 2015). It was 3 degrees F when we boarded. Southwest is an awesome airline … the best we have flown nationally. A smooth, quick flight, three and one half hours later we landed at Sky Harbor International in Phoenix, AZ and were welcomed by a beautiful, sunshiny 70 degrees (later in the day it got up around 82 degrees). What a GREAT change from the past 3 months of cold and snow we were putting up with!
My wonderful sister-in-law, Jane, picked us up at the airport and drove us to our rental car location. We used to just grab a car at the airport car rental, but you can save 25% or more by going into town and renting at an offsite car rental location so this makes total sense for the fiscally conservative crowd. This year it was Enterprise … we had a premium car lined up. We walked in, gave our confirmation number, and they said they had a mini-Cooper there for us. A WHAT!?! Excuse me, but I rented and confirmed a premium car, not a toy metal box! I’m 6’2″ and prefer a little leg room! They tried their darnedest to convince me that it was good, but I was having no part of it. They then said they didn’t have anything else but would call around to see what else might be available. A few minutes later they said they had located a brand new Ford Taurus (the new ones are pretty nice actually) but it was 40 minutes away in Scottsdale. I assured them that was OK and we’d go grab a bite to eat while they went and grabbed it for us. SO … we went and ate at Chick-fil-A (man, I LOVE their food and their exceptional service) and the rental people reluctantly went to get us the car that should have been there for us in the first place.
After an hour we went back to Enterprise and grabbed our new Taurus, and headed off to my brother’s home in Mesa. Got settled in and then went and saw “the fam”: Mom, my sister and her boyfriend, one niece and her daughter and, of course, my brother Jimco and his wife, Jane. Ate a Chinese dinner (calories kill us on these trips!) and went back to get some sleep and rest before the show tomorrow.
Wednesday morning we headed to Fountain Hills where the IUFOC takes place. The speakers and presentations today were as follows:
- Clifford Mahooty – The Zuni Pueblo Indian People and the UFO Connection
- Thomas Reed – The Reed Family Abduction
- Cheryl Costa – 200 Years of UFOs Over New York
- Joan Bird – Lifting the Lid In Montana and Beyond
- Linda Zimmerman – Hudson Valley UFOs
Clifford Mahooty‘s presentation was good and thought-provoking. It’s always very fascinating to me to listen to the Indian legends and stories they tell which have been handed down by mouth for millennia (or at least hundreds of years).
Thomas Reed‘s lecture pertained to a very significant case from the 1960s. Another well-done presentation. You can view details of this case here: http://tinyurl.com/lle8uox
Cheryl Costa was a ‘new face’ in the UFO lecture circuit for me. I had not heard of Cheryl before, but found she is an excellent speaker and presenter. She is an author at the Syracuse New Times and does an excellent job. She has 2 new fans 🙂 She’s authentic and captivates your interest well. I believe this was a first UFO speaking event and I must say, “Bravo, Cheryl!”
Joan Bird‘s talk was about UFO sightings in the 1950s and later in Montana and quite interesting.
Linda Zimmerman‘s presentation was also very interesting on the various UFO sightings around the Hudson Valley dating from a century ago and through the present.
In between and after presentations, we spent some time walking around and talking with exhibitors and authors in the exhibit hall where there was everything from T-Shirts to DVDs to alien sculptures to books, crystals, metaphysical objects, and much more. One can get lost in the fascinating items and people there. This is a big part of the attraction of attending this conference.
On day two of the IUFOC, Thursday (and each day thereafter), we started with an ‘Experiencer Session’. These are some of the most fascinating sessions we have ever been to, and we make it a point to hit them all at each conference we attend. The stories you hear that others have experienced range from comical to hair-raising, and there’s never a dull moment. Complete anonymity is required so no names, pictures or recordings are allowed. We also brought Jane, my sister-in-law, along with us for the day. We happened to meet up with friends we had made a few years ago at an earlier IUFOC, Michael and Jenny … two very nice Californian people that attend the IUFOC each year. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with others you have met. Yvonne Smith, hypnotherapist and regression specialist, headed up the experiencer sessions this year. Yvonne does an excellent job and it’s always nice to see her there and sit in on her sessions.
Speaker list for Thursday:
- James Clarkson – Finding June Crain.
- Derrel Sims – Profiling the Alien: His History and Our Evidence Tells the Story
- Christopher O’Brien – Stalking the Herd: Unraveling the Cattle Mutilation Mystery
- Charlie Foltz – The Allagash Abductions
- Panel – Rare Cases of Mass Alien Abductions
I had not heard of June Crain before so James Clarkson‘s presentation was quite informative.
Derrel Sim‘s presentation was somewhat different than what we normally hear, but fascinating. We had a fairly lengthy conversation with Derrel the day before in the exhibit hall and he is a very interesting and knowledgeable person with a background in law enforcement. He also has been on Animal Planet’s “Uncovering Aliens” along with Maureen Elsberry (who puts on the IUFOC), Mike Bara (‘Ancient Aliens’ contributor and author) and Steven Jones (Contactee). Derrel let us know that he is involved in another bigger and better “show” that will be coming out later this year — (can’t wait, Derrel!)
Christopher O’Brien‘s lecture covered a LOT of new information. He seems to be at odds a bit with Linda Moulton-Howe who is very well known for her years of research in cattle mutilations, but was certainly worth listening to and digesting the information he had to present.
‘The Allagash Abductions’, presented by Charlie Foltz, was fantastic. I recall reading about it many years ago. Charlie is just so very believable, and I truly believe the experience he told everyone about. Chilling, yet amazing!
After eating dinner at a small Italian eatery with Jane and our Californian friends, we went back to the convention center for a night of unreleased, brand-new UFO/Alien films that will be coming out this year — that is, until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Excellent films, though. I think Jane really enjoyed the day and may be back with us next year.
Day Three, Friday. The lineup was:
- Ruben Uriarte – Border Crossing of the Third Kind
- James Gilliland – Annunaki Return: End of the Draconian/Archon Network
- Joshua P. Warren – The Brown Mountain Lights
- Mark Pilkinton – The Abuses of Enchantment
- Panel – UFO Jeopardy
Ruben Uriarte‘s lecture brought up some old memories of what I have read in the past as well as a bunch of new information. Essentially it was about alien craft crashes that have happened along the southwest border between the US and Mexico.
I had not had the pleasure of listening to James Gilliland in the past. James is a best-selling author, nationally-known lecturer, minister, counselor and contactee. He has a weekly radio program that is listened to by people around the world, and his website can be found at http://www.eceti.org. He had great information to relay to everyone and was a pleasure to listen to.
Day Four, Saturday.
- Richard Dolan – UFO’s the Real Power Struggle and the End Game
- Jaime Maussan – Breaking News
- Jeremy Corbell – The Invisible College
- George Knapp – Area 51 Whistleblower
- Bob Lazar – Q&A Session with George Knapp
What UFO conference is complete without a lecture from Richard Dolan? He did an excellent and professional job as he always does. I’ve read Richard’s books and he is a great writer as well.
I’ve seen Jaime Maussan many times and he always has a ton of new information on sightings and instances around the world. Jaime is a very well known television personality in Mexico.
Then (WOW!) George Knapp! George is an investigative reporter for KLAS TV where he has earned the highest honors in broadcast journalism, including two Peabody awards, the Dupont Award from Columbia University, and 24 regional Emmy’s. His presentation was a brief history on Bob Lazar. George had a room full of attendees … I don’t think there was an empty chair anywhere, and after just a few minutes, one knows why!
Last, the presentation of the day that so many of us were waiting for: Bob Lazar doing a special Q&A session along with George Knapp. I haven’t heard from Bob Lazar in a long, long time, so this was a real treat. His story is fascinating and, while I admittedly have been a little bit of a skeptic concerning him in the past, I’ve gained more faith after listening to him in that he is telling the truth about what he has experienced and been a part of.
Lastly, day five, Sunday:
- Frank Kimbler – Xenoarchaeology: The Science of Hunting Alien Artifacts
- John Burroughs – The Rendlesham Incident
- Panel – UFO Secrets Leaked: Whistleblowers Tell All
We were not able to attend the 5th day this year as we had to leave for another engagement, but the 4 days we did do were simply spectacular! All in all, it was a wonderful conference, as always … even better than the last. Maureen Elsberry did tell me that next year the IUFO Conference would take place again in Fountain Hills, AZ. and that was refreshing to hear as we love the venue as well as the area (not to mention the warmth and sunshine in February as opposed to here in Wisconsin!). I hope she and ‘Open Minds Production, LLC’ can keep it there indefinitely as the mysticism of the place and the beauty seem to go so well with this conference. I’ll be here in my office patiently (or not) waiting for the sale of tickets to the 25th Annual UFO Congress to be made available!