Saturday, March 25, 2006

"Our UFO Symposium Will Initiate Discussions on The UFO, Alien Phenomenon That Seems to Permeate Our Culture"

Aztec UFO
UFO symposium draws believers

Daily Times

     AZTEC - Jack Berringer said he began going to UFO conventions after his first encounter with aliens. The 69-year-old California resident claimed that on Feb. 8, 1980, spacecrafts hovered directly over his home. The event sparked an interest in the extraterrestrial and caused him to begin reading about the subject.

"I've met some interesting people," Berringer said of the conventions he attends. "But I only go to 'smart' UFO conventions."

Berringer was one of many who gathered Friday afternoon to meet with some of the 9th Annual UFO Symposium speakers in Aztec. He and others discussed ufology - the study of unidentified flying objects - over wine and cheese at Hard Backs Book Store.

"It's basically for speakers and anyone who wants to come in," said event organizer Scott Ramsey. "We try to make it a community event."

According to the event's Web site,, New Mexico is ranked highest in the world for UFO-related sightings.

According to the site, 12 "crashed disks" or alien space crafts were recovered in New Mexico.

"Our UFO Symposium will initiate discussions on the UFO, alien phenomenon that seems to permeate our culture," the site states.

The city of Aztec gained prominence among UFO enthusiasts after a crash reportedly occurred around March 25, 1948, almost 12 miles outside of Aztec in Hart Canyon, according to information provided on the Web site.

Ramsey said he believes this year's speakers will shed some insight into new findings in the field of ufology, noting that two of Saturday's speakers will do so in Aztec for the first time this year.

Ramsey said each year Friends of the Library choose speakers who have done much research and have published literature relating to the study of UFOs and aliens. The group also attempts to bring in at least one scholar with a Ph.D.

"You can learn and have fun at the same time," he said. Dennis Balthaser, one of the event's lecturers, said he has been involved with the Aztec UFO Symposium for nine years.

"I've been fortunate to work here as a speaker and as an emcee," said the Roswell resident. "I think it's one of the better managed symposiums because it doesn't have the carnival aspect."

Balthaser said he believes the event had also served as an important fundraiser for the new library in previous years.

When asked how he responds to skeptics and naysayers, Balthaser said he speaks with them publicly.

"Years ago, I did it privately not to embarrass people," he said. "That didn't work."

Balthaser said he believes answering such questions is an important part of his research, noting that serious researchers spend much of their time "putting out fires" by validating their findings.

"I think skeptics are needed," he said. "But they usually don't present a whole lot of information to counter (our findings)."

More . . .

See Also: PRESS RELEASE: Film and Television Luminaries Added To Aztec UFO Symposium's Speaker Line-up


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