Friday, October 14, 2005

The Seventh Annual Bay Area UFO Expo Starts Tomorrow

Bay Area UFO Expo 05
ET Phone Santa Clara

By Courtney Weaver
Staff Writer
The Stanford Daily

      You think your problem sets are hard?

     Try “Raising a Multidimensional Star Child in a Changing World,” like Ann Andrews. Or “Crossing the Boundary into Cosmic Citizenship,” like her son Jason.

     Ann and Jason, whose family has experienced more than just the typical growing pains, plan to appear as guest speakers at the seventh annual Bay Area UFO Expo in Santa Clara. The Expo will be held at the Westin Hotel on Oct. 15 and 16 from 7:30 a.m. to about 9 p.m. each day.

     According to the event’s Web site — — the Andrews family has experienced paranormal events, government interference and alien abductions for about 12 years, even though the family appears to be normal.

     The site adds that today, the Andrewses have become accustomed to the unusual occurrences and knows “without a shadow of a doubt that Jason is a multiple alien abductee and a star child of Extraterrestrial (ET) origin.”

     The Andrewses, nevertheless, are mere plebeians of the extraterrestrial community when compared with some of the other guests who plan to attend the conference, such as the first man to run for Congress on the UFO ticket and Jordan Maxwell, the “Godfather of Culticism and Secret Societies,” according to Expo Associate Producer Brian Hall.

     Dannion Brinkley will also be one of the crowd. He claims to have traveled to “the other side” while being pronounced dead for half-an-hour in 1975. That was the first of Brinkley’s three deaths to date.

     The Bay Area UFO Expo, a series of lectures and workshops, is the largest exposition of its kind and usually draws a crowd of more than 1,000. The Expo was first held in 1999 as a means for Executive Producer Victoria Jacks to commemorate the life of “her loving father and UFO eyewitness, Roy Fortner,” according to the program’s Web site.

     Fortner’s UFO sightings during his long trips as a truck driver led to his spiritual transformation, but not all extraterrestrial encounters are as positive.

     Hall says that although some “encounters are friendly, benevolent and very spiritual,” others, such as alien abductions, have a “darker side.”

     Many who believe in extraterrestrials tend to blame abductions on “little greys” — the most commonly sighted alien species.

     Described by Hall as “the size of children with grey skin, oversized heads, slits for a mouth and nose and very large black almond shaped eyes,” little greys are also purported by some to be merely “manufactured biological entities” working to fulfill a greater “reptilian hierarchy,” he says.

     Though the conference will address UFO sightings and alien encounters, it will also delve into broader issues such as government conspiracies and the discovery of new dimensions.

     “We can’t think linearly, two-dimensionally, or even three-dimensionally,” Hall explains. “The shortest distance between two points is not a straight line — it’s no line at all.”

     It is mind-boggling concepts like these which make Hall, among others, wonder if we can possibly be alone.

     “We may be part of some kind of experiment and planet Earth may be nothing more than a petri dish,” he surmises.

     Hall also suggests that the government and mass media have much more evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life than they let on.

     “I’m aware of the sinister forces at work in this country,” he says. “My personal opinion is that our news is highly controlled by multi-nationalistic secret societies, many of which are destined to horde esoteric knowledge away from the masses.”

     He proposes, however, that the government may be trying to indoctrinate us with “the truth” through science-fiction documentaries and movies so that “when the government can’t hide [the truth] anymore, it won’t come as a shock to society.”

     Hall also argues that the government has substantial knowledge regarding weather-modification, backing his belief by referring to a 1977 international agreement from the Environmental Modification Convention prohibiting international powers’ hostile use of weather modification.

     While a handful of Stanford professors and affiliates are involved in extraterrestrial research, most remain skeptical about a convention such as the Expo.

     Ron Bracewell, professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering, says that he was “not particularly impressed” with the Expo, judging from its Web site.

     “Many [UFO sightings] are reported every day and for the most part there are some simple explanations,” he adds.

     Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) — a 20-year-old, nonprofit research organization in Mountain View — echoes Bracewell’s doubts, noting the ambiguity of photos and word-of-mouth.

     “If you’re going to say they’re here, give me some good evidence,” Shostak says. “Otherwise it’s like telling me about [the existence of] leprechauns.”

     Hall, however, asks skeptics to examine the corroboration of different sightings across the globe from groups of people who would have had no means of communicating.

     “Children in South Africa are engaging with creatures who look and act exactly the same as the ones the grandmothers in Hoboken are seeing,” he says.

     While Bracewell and Shostak believe that there is a high possibility of extraterrestrial life existing, both note a distinction between the scientific community and the “extremist believers,” as Bracewell calls them.

     “As far as whether aliens exist, I absolutely think they do,” Shostak says. “On the other hand, half of the American public thinks they’re here and abducting people from Queens for unauthorized experiments. The evidence is unfortunately not very good.”

     Shostak also refutes the international or national conspiracy that Hall alleges, claiming that the public could handle the news of extraterrestrial life since “half of the public thinks they’re here and they’re not rioting in the streets.”

     Furthermore, he notes that such conspiracies would require a secret international collaboration between all the major foreign powers.

     “I’m not convinced [U.S. government officials] could keep something secret like this for 55 years,” he says. “They can barely run the post office.”

     Bu Hall admonishes, just the same, “Watch the sky, but also watch your backs.”

     The Westin Hotel is located at 5101 Great America Parkway. The exhibit room, which features the speakers and extraterrestrial-related products, is open to the public for free. All-access passes are available for $40 a day, or $70 for the full two-day weekend. $25 workshops last for approximately an hour and a half, and longer ones are available for $35. For more information visit

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