Anybody Out There?

When the MUFON convention lands, things look up for UFOs.

Okay, so I was up on the roof the other night with my friend Glen, and we're just laying there -- sharing a case of tallboys, talkin' about tractor pulls and tacos and whatnot -- when all of a sudden, we see this light. Brighter than the headlights on my pickup, brighter than the sign at the Pig-N-Whistle. And this light, it's just hoverin' there up in the sky, shining down on us. So I look over at Glen, and I says, "Glen! What in the hell you figger that is?" And Glen, he's a smart fella. He just looks over at me and says, "Kid, that there's a you-fo."

"So what's a you-fo?" I ask him.

"One of your unidenterfied flying omelettes, is what that is."

Derek Rippe

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Friday, July 16 through Sunday, July 18, Marriott Southeast, 6363 Hampden Avenue, $15 to $135; for a complete schedule, visit ww w.mufon.com

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"Really?"

And Glen just nods, real smart-like, and goes back to drinking.

Course he was wrong. It weren't no flying omelette at all, but just the police in their whirly-bird telling us to get off the dang roof 'fore we fell off again. But what Glen said got me to thinking, what if there really is something out there...?

Well, wonder no more, Scooter, because this weekend we've got the 35th annual MUFON (Mutual Unidentified Flying Object Network) international symposiumcoming right here to Denver. MUFON (which is based in Denver) is, according to its press materials, a "non-profit organization whose mission is the systematic collection and analysis of UFO data with the ultimate goal of learning the origin and nature of UFO phenomena." Also, the members are a bunch of conspiracy theorists, abduction researchers, rogue scientists and sky-watching party animals of the straight freak set, all descending on the Marriott Southeast, 6363 Hampden Avenue, for three days of conferences, debates, symposia and -- one would hope -- nerd brawls, in order to hash out this whole UFO thing once and for all.

The festivities begin on Thursday, July 15, with a pre-symposium kickoff party called "Not of This Earth Day" at Six Flags Elitch Gardens, and if there's one social event of the season not to be missed, this has got to be it. In addition to the limitless fun that can be derived from watching hundreds, possibly thousands, of geeks, dweebs, spazzes, melvins and poindexters chucking their lunches all over the Tilt-A-Whirl and bursting into flame from standing too long in direct sunlight, MUFON will also be hosting a variety of events from noon till 6 p.m. in the Maroon Bells Pavilion at Elitch's.

The symposium itself gets into high gear come Friday, July 16, and runs through Sunday, July 18, all at the Marriott. That's where the curious will be able to find out all they ever wanted to know and more about Ufo- logy, alien abductions, high-tech UFO surveillance, extraordinary technologies, the truth behind the MJ-12 program, why ET was such a junkie for Reese's Pieces, how to spot an alien, what to do when approached by aliens on the street, how to know when it's not really an alien, just a short, fat, bald man like Jason Alexander asking you for directions, and where to find the best lawyer after getting caught chasing Jason Alexander down the street with a stick. Guest speakers include John F. Schuessler, international director of MUFON; Budd Hopkins, author and founder of the Intruders Foundation (a group which, if they don't already have them, really needs to make its own T-shirts); David Sereda who investigates hit-and-runs on the space shuttle by aliens; John Greenewald, who runs The Black Vault online UFO database; and Leslie Kean, who'll be talking about how to combat media ridicule and cheap shots of the sort I've been taking here.

 
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