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Friday, March 1, 2013

South Texas UFO Conference Inspired By Recent Wave of UFO Sightings


Headlines about aliens in South Texas are usually referring to illegal river crossings rather than extraterrestrials. Lately, though, the area from Laredo to Corpus Christi and south to the Rio Grande Valley has seen a growing number of significant UFO sightings. "Maybe we're the new Roswell," says Ismael Cuellar, director of the Laredo Paranormal Research Society and one of the speakers at the "Out of This World" UFO Conference to be held on March 15, 2013 in Edinburg, Texas.

The conference, sponsored by the Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library, the Edinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Edinburg Arts, also features Travis Walton, whose UFO encounter in 1975 formed the basis for the Paramount motion picture Fire in the Sky. Another speaker at the conference is prolific author and lecturer Stanton Friedman, viewed by many as the world's leading advocate of the theory that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. "I love speaking in Texas," says Friedman. "They have so much interest in this topic."

That interest has intensified in recent years, as a wave of sightings has swept through South Texas. A recent evening program about UFOs in the Edinburg City Auditorium was expected to draw about 100, ended up attracting more than 700 people, many of whom stayed long after the event ended to discuss their own personal UFO sightings.

"It was unbelievable," said conference organizer Noe Torres, an Edinburg author who has published eight books about UFOs. "I have lectured all over the U.S. on UFOs but didn't realize how much interest there was in the topic right here in South Texas. Almost everyone I talk to has either seen a UFO themselves or knows someone who has."

Two recent sightings in the area have made international headlines. A few months ago, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) released a photo taken by a security camera at a well site in the Eagle Ford Shale Field, not far from Laredo. The picture appears to show a 60-foot-diameter saucer-shaped object, with an array of four lights, hovering over a well site. Media reports about the sighting appeared all over the world.

Also, about a year ago, video footage taken by Ismael Cuellar, shows a large, triangle-shaped craft drifting slowly and silently over the skies of Laredo. "The craft was totally shrouded in infrared light, which is invisible to the naked eye," Cuellar said. "Resembling a triangle and with spheres at each of its vortices, this ufo had no sound of any propulsion and silently cruised at approximate altitude of 1,000 feet and traveling around 80 mph in a southerly direction."

Isolated sightings have also taken place recently in and around Edinburg, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. "Sometimes people say we're seeing border surveillance drone aircraft," Torres said. "But we know what the drones look like, how they move, and what sounds they make when they fly. What many people are reporting as UFOs are definitely not drones. We don't have any aircraft that move like that or look like that."

Last year, an Edinburg resident reported seeing a huge UFO hovering a few feet above the pavement on a lonely stretch of road near a now-inactive U.S. Air Force facility, Moore Air Base, located just northwest of Edinburg. Local UFO expert Stephen Andrasko, who will lecture about "The South Texas X-Files," says, "It was an amazing encounter. She got out of her car and looked right at it. There were two state troopers also at the scene observing this unusual craft."

Andrasko, and several of the other speakers, will take part in a "Town Hall Meeting" to discuss UFOs on the day after the conference (March 16) at the Edinburg City Auditorium, beginning at 5 p.m. Local residents who have had UFO experiences are being asked to attend and tell their stories. The town hall meeting will provide a forum wherein residents can discuss their experiences without fear of ridicule.

In their lectures during the conference, Andrasko and Cuellar will be focusing on recent UFO cases in South Texas, while the other speakers will be covering other aspects of the UFO phenomenon. Travis Walton will talk about being abducted and kept aboard a UFO for five days. Stanton Friedman will present two lectures, "Flying Saucers and Science" in the morning, and "A New View of the Cosmos" in the afternoon.

Torres will speak about his latest book, Aliens in the Forest: The Cisco Grove UFO Encounter, about a group of men who encountered a UFO and its strange occupants during a weekend hunting trip in the Tahoe National Forest. Torres speaks at many UFO conferences and has appeared on a number of nationwide radio and TV shows, including Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the History Channel's "UFO Hunters."

The conference kicks off with a presentation titled "Science and the Paranormal" by veteran researcher, Dr. Robert W. Gross, a retired college professor and longtime UFO believer. In additon to being an expert on the world-famous Kecksburg UFO Incident, Dr. Gross lectures frequently on how scientific methodology can be applied to studying UFOs and other paranormal manifestations.

The "Out of This World" UFO Conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the brand-new, high tech Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo del Prado. Complete information is available at EdinburgUFO.com or http://roswellbooks.com/edinburg. General admission for the entire day starts at $15. Tickets are available for purchase at the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, 602 W University Dr. (Cash, Check, or Credit Card), or by telephone by calling the Chamber at 956-383-4974 or toll-free at 1-800-800-7214. Tickets are also available online for a small service charge at http://www.rgvevents.net/event/edinburgufo/759.