Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ozark UFO Conference

The UFO Trail recently wound through the mountains of Arkansas to the 25th Ozark UFO Conference. Eureka Springs hosted the event April 13-15 at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks. The Inn has ample and nice rooms, an adequate on site restaurant and a convention center well equipped to accommodate the hundreds of conference attendees.

Eureka Springs is home to several spots of interest and is a renowned tourist destination. Its long history includes generations of travelers seeking to have their ailments healed in the waters bubbling through the local springs. The resulting current culture includes shades of New Age mentalities represented in the many art galleries and spas which are often housed in historic buildings.

Speaker Tactics

Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I'm cynical.

Okay, I admit it, I am jaded and cynical. How can we be perpetually fed empty promises, year after year, turning into decade after decade, that world-changing, ET-related events are imminent, and not become cynical? Can I get an amen from the choir for those dipped in the rhetoric bath, anointed in the spirit of unquestioning belief, and now hungering ravenously for a taste of the ever-elusive proof the ufology speakers circuit has promised to be forthcoming again and again?

The problem is not limited to overzealous ETH'ers. Far from it. Sure, some of the stuff passed off as research by the pro-alien crowd should make attendees blush at the mention. It can be embarrassing just to hear, like watching someone shamelessly lie while everyone else in the room knows the liar is about to be confronted by the undeniable truth.

The convention center on the grounds of the
Best Western Inn of the Ozarks 
However and as Mick observed, as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints, as heads is tails there are indeed two poles that keep the world turning, and UFO Land is no different. Yes, we have the pseudo-investigators who make a mockery of the scientific process and ignore the actual definitions of certain words such as 'fact,' but we also have the pseudo-skeptics mucking things up too.

Like their counterparts, pseudo-skeptics must rely on the use of terms that solicit favorable emotional responses, due to their failure to present verifiable and accurate information. They employ such tactics as selective omission of circumstances and dismissing relevant details out of hand. The natural habitats of the pseudo-skeptics are the coattails of pseudo-investigators, where plenty of material is readily available for their pontification and poorly conceived dissection.

Nightly parties were held in an executive suite
temporarily dubbed Jean's Joint 
Sincere skepticism is a good thing. A healthily skeptical individual simply wants adequate information provided to support a conclusion prior to forming the conclusion. They generally consider information to fall into one of three basic categories: that which can be confirmed as accurate, that which can be verified as false, or that which requires suspension of judgment pending further investigation. A pseudo-skeptic does not practice such methods and only masquerades as a critical thinker.

The pseudo-skeptics and pseudo-investigators have much in common and find one another mutually useful for such purposes as perpetuating conflict and the subsequent attention. They have little difference, actually, save the specific content of their rants, and very much depend on one another for survival. They employ the very same methods as each other in their efforts to win your attention and approval. What's puzzling you is the nature of their game (ooh, ooh).

Vendor Tactics

Some 35 vendors attended
Vendors at the conference offered a wide variety of goods and services. Back issues of Fate Magazine were available. You could also get a “reading” from a “Native American seer/medium,” or learn about laws of material wealth as “revealed by the masters.”

There was a self-proclaimed “angelic channel,” and Arkansas Mufonians were available if you had a desire to speak with them. Alleged healers were there and concoctions were offered with names like “Egyptian Magic,” along with various other “tools for evolution.”

While browsing the books, magazines and stacks of additional printed materials, I observed many different references to non-human beings, usually seemingly assumed to be alien in some way, shape or form. Such beings were referred to as “custodians,” “father confusers,” “faeries,” “angels,” various types of message carriers and so on.

I try to be tolerant of people. I really do. After all, we each must find our own ways in these lives, adjusting our ideas and beliefs until we are comfortable with them – and then adjusting them some more. Suffice it to say sometimes it is just more difficult than other times for me to accept the paths people choose when those paths oppress the choices of others.

Scenes such as the Ozark UFO Conference represent many different demographics, and the demographics range from people who are sincere and well meaning to those much, much less so. People are led astray and ultimately hurt who attempt nothing more negligent than to learn about themselves and their environments while cultivating relationships with a supreme being of their understandings. I have come to find such circumstances quite disappointing.

Harold Daniel of
A potentially positive aspect of the vendor area included the opportunity to meet an ambitious young man named Harold Daniel of Austin, Texas. He launched a website, UFO Sightings Report (, where he would appreciate you looking around and hopefully returning.

Mr. Daniel's interest in UFOs led him to develop a site where visitors can report sightings and easily access reports. Users can also be alerted in real time to sightings taking place in their geographic areas, hopefully facilitating multiple witness sightings, flying objects filmed by independent witnesses in multiple locations and similar such potentially advantageous circumstances.  


My decades of wandering through UFO Land have now led me to be a bit less angry at the charlatans and deceitful elements, and more conscious of our personal responsibilities in the situations. Buyer beware, so to speak.

Ultimately, if we buy the books and fund the rhetoric, whichever side of the foolishness it falls on, we will get more of same. It's simple capitalism and marketing; supply and demand.

If we are unsatisfied with who is on the stage and what we are being told, we can look to one another for some of the reasons it is taking place. If no one bought the goods, they would stop selling. 'Who killed the Kennedys?,' 'after all, it was you and me' and all that stuff.

Many sincere and apparently honest people attended the 2012 Ozark UFO Conference. They were polite, cordial and sociable.

I am not personally affiliated with the event organizers or staff. My interactions with them were very positive. I found event staff to be very friendly and I believe those I talked to genuinely wanted to be helpful.

It is for such reasons it concerns me to write what could easily be interpreted as a negative review. It is not that I particularly blame any given event and its organizers for the overall challenges within ufology, but that does not change the fact there are indeed severe challenges. 

I think my observations indicate a lot of people are a little interested in ufology and the abduction phenomenon. The vast majority of them, however, do not dig deep enough to develop accurate understandings of the negative dynamics taking place. This manifests as those of us who call attention to such negative dynamics to be labeled as 'trouble makers,' 'debunkers,' 'conspiracy theorists' and the like.

May we seek the truth and have the courage to face it when we find it.


  1. I'm glad you put some blame on the consumers. Fringe-science fandom doesn't want careful investigations with ambiguous facts and tentative conclusions, they want stories about a secret reality. The skeptical fandom also seems intolerant of uncertainty, as if Socrates had never existed.

    I think for a lot of people, this is just entertainment -- hence all the product. But it is most like sports entertainment: though the games are a contrivance, fans takes sides, feel elation and despair...and can't accept that the failure of their team is anything but the result of a conspiracy!

    I live in Toronto. Listening to the post-game call-in shows after Maple Leafs games is like listening to open lines on Coast-to-Coast AM.

  2. Dinner and a movie. Realfology? You must attend the school of real paranormal life experience. That costs extra.