On the first point, views diverged widely. Michael M. Nelson, an archaeologist and former deputy sheriff, described evidence that had fallen into his hands as a law enforcement officer that concerning an encounter with a bright light that left physical evidence of its presence, but declined to jump to a conclusion about its nature. What he did know was that the government had covered it up, ruining the careers of two men and offering an explanation – “It was Venus” – totally at odds with the evidence and numerous eyewitness accounts.
Others, such as Robert Salas, a retired air force officer who spoke about his encounter with a flying, red orb that took 10 Minuteman missiles offline in 1967, were more willing to offer conclusions. “[It was of] extraterrestrial origin. We had the latest technology for these weapons,” he says, technology that was easily thwarted by the purported aliens. Salas offered the conclusion that his experience was a message that humanity must disarm its nuclear weapons, or face the consequences. Investigative journalist George Knapp, co-author of Hunt for the Skinwalker, says it’s not as simple as ETs visiting from other planets. His twenty years of research in the field has led him to believe “the world is a more mysterious place than we know.”
For most people, the second point of view is easier to accept. Richard Dolan spoke at length on who’s involved in the cover up, how and why they do it, and what the results would be if the truth came out, while Ryan Wood offered a special paid workshop on the MJ12 project, supposedly a government conspiracy at the highest levels to hide the truth about UFOs.
In this era of missing WMDs, secret eavesdropping and high-level government malfeasance, the notion that our leaders will mislead, lie and break the rules to “protect” us is simple common knowledge to many. And every person in attendance seemed sure that whatever is going on, the government is actively engaged in covering it up.
And somehow, despite the huge amount of material presented at the symposium, I didn’t feel any closer to the truth than I did before I made the trek all the way out to the Tech Center. If, as the X-Files tagline goes, the truth is out there, it’s damn near impossible to find. – Cory Casciato Edit note: Fixed misspelled name