Visitors to the International UFO Museum & Research Center enjoy the exhibits and a break from the 100°+ weather outside, Thursday. Mark Wilson Photo
Day 1 of the UFO Festival beamed bright lights and revealing conversations into the Roswell Museum & Art Center, Thursday, attracting residents and tourists alike to an assortment of lectures and laser shows.
Lu Molberg and her husband Tony Gutierrez attended the lecture series, traveling all the way from Palm Springs, Calif., for the event.
“How could one not be interested in knowing more about the universe?” Molberg said. “I’ve been interested since I was a child. … We came particularly because we were interested in visiting Roswell, and we wanted to hear the program. … I think this area has a fascinating history, and we weren’t aware of all of it.”
Noe Torres and E.J. Wilson got the Conference Lecture Series rolling with a talk titled “Russia’s Roswell Incident,” sharing what is known about an object that crashed in 1986 near the small mining town of Dalnegorsk. Much of the information the two researchers discussed comes from CIA documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, Torres said.
Torres and Wilson pointed out how strange debris was found at the crash site, including several types of metals that reacted strangely when tested in laboratories by Soviet scientists.
“Some of those elements, when subjected to heat, actually transform themselves into different elements,” Torres said. “It’s a fascinating case.
And the scientists noted that some of the materials found there have anti-gravitational properties.”
Torres said some of the crash materials from Russia’s Roswell Incident are exhibited at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nev., which Karen Green will discuss in her Area 51 lecture today at 3:15 p.m.
Local ufologist Dr. Donald Burleson followed Torres and Wilson with a lecture about UFO cases he has worked on throughout his career. He shared his research on the Lubbock Lights, an unusual formation of lights that several witnesses saw flying in a V-formation over the course of several days in August and September 1951. Burleson talked about how official cover stories for these incidents included flying geese, wild explanations that he said hint to the level of anxiety government agencies admit whenever they approach UFO subjects.
Burleson also discussed 1957 sightings that occurred in Levelland, Texas, where many witnesses including the local sheriff reported seeing a large disk-shaped object land on a highway multiple times. He said that was just like what happened in the aftermath of the Lubbock Lights, a coverup was swift and ridiculous.
“Well, this time it wasn’t ducks. They said that it was ball lightning,” Burleson said. “Because, of course, as we all know, ball lightning has that annoying habit of landing on the highway, just before lifting off and going across town!”
Dennis Balthaser lectured on the Roswell Incident, Area 51, deep underground military bases and the Pyramids of Giza. Balthaser, who has participated in nearly every UFO Festival, said the lectures provide a forum for uncensored information that has proven itself relevant to a majority.
“The value of doing these lectures is to share information with the public in a forum that is not edited,” he said. “… They showed a Roper poll where 78 percent of people believe UFOs exist, and 68 percent think it’s covered up by the government. So those are higher percentages than politicians get elected by. And if you look at the credibility of our politicians today, it’s at an all-time low.
“Back in 1947, people respected and trusted the government. I wish we had that today.”
The lecture series continues through Sunday at RMAC, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The laser light shows at the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium offered fun for all ages Thursday, and is also set to continue through Sunday.
“They’re really cool,” Marge Bentley, planetarium director, said. “We have two each day that are laser shows for young children, and the kids love them. We added They Might Be Giants for slightly older kids, which has a lot of educational content. It’s more intense than the (children’s) mythology show, but not as intense as the music lasers done in the evening.”
Thursday’s evening shows included Laser Beatles and Laser Pink Floyd: The Wall, and throughout the festival will feature other bands like Metallica and U2.
A detailed schedule of the lecture series and laser shows can be picked up at RMAC.
For more information, call 624-6744.