By Katee McClureI have been involved with the Aztec UFO Symposium on and off since the year 2000. When I moved to Aztec, in September of 1998 I immediately fell in love with the "small town" atmosphere, so you can imagine my amazement when I heard there was going to be a UFO conference in town just 6 months after I moved here. Wow, I thought, I really did move to the right place!
I have been personally interested in the notion that "we are not alone in the universe" since I was a young teen. Back then, in the 60s, information about the subject was not as easily obtainable as it is today, especially with the advent of the Internet.
From the very first symposium I attended here in Aztec I was impressed with the caliber of the speakers who attended. Generally speaking, most of the speakers have been serious researchers with plenty of facts to back up their research.
So, as the event planner for this years 10th anniversary, we followed suit in our pursuit of presenters. When I say "we" I mean Scott Ramsey & Randy Barnes. These two gentlemen did all the legwork involved in procuring and researching our
On a personal note - we had limitations this year in that all the speakers we contacted had to be within driving distance of Aztec, New Mexico. The reason being that our initial funding was cut short by 5,000 dollars this year, that 5,000 had been used, in the past, as preliminary seed money. So, our thinking this year was it would be cheaper for us to pay gas mileage to our speakers than it would be to pay for their airfare. As it turned out it was a blessing in disguise! Who would have known that so many qualified researchers lived in such close proximity to Aztec! The only exception was Farah Yurdozu who was flown out here by UFO Magazine.
All of our presenters, Dennis Balthaser, Roy Forbes, Mike Fortson, David Hatcher Childress, Christopher O'Brien, Wendelle Stevens, Travis Walton and Farah Yurdozu generously donated their time to help with this library fundraiser. Boy did I take advantage of that! I shuffled them around so much at our Meet N' Greet dinner that I'm sure they became dizzy! The dinner was held at the Library with about ten different grouping of people. Each speaker visited with all ten of the groupings in order for our attendees to have the chance to chat with them on a personal level before the lectures began the following morning. That alone would have exhausted most, but the speakers were all troopers and remained good-natured throughout the evening. The audience response to this intimate setting was extremely favorable. Not too many conferences are able provide this level of personal attention.
I really can't say enough wonderful things about our speakers. I shuffled them around at the dinner Friday night, raffled them off for lunch on Saturday, got them up early on Sunday for breakfast and had them all stick around for the final panel discussion on Sunday afternoon which marked the end of the Symposium. (The panel discussion allowed members of the audience to ask questions of the speakers.)
Each and every speaker was professional AND amiable. What are the odds of that with any randomly chosen eight individuals!
This symposium was a great success due to the speakers, the twenty volunteers who pulled it all together and the fantastic group of attendees who numbered about 180.
Next year will mark the the 60th anniversary of the Aztec UFO crash, and plans are already in the works to line up next years speakers thanks to our "Slave Master" Scott Ramsey.