UK UFO Mags' account of Laughlin Conference
- The below may be of interest to readers of this list
Subject: OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER No11 plain text version
Welcome to Newsletter No’11
Due to problems getting ‘Internet Access’ in Laughlin Nevada
Graham W. Birdsall was unable to send his regular intended
updates from the 10th International UFO Congress and Film
Festival. So this issue is dedicated to a brief account of
what is the worlds greatest 7 day UFO event.
From Graham W. Birdsall ‘Editor UFO Magazine’.
Those among the thirty or so people who journeyed from
Britain to attend the 10th International UFO Congress
Convention & Film Festival, held at the River Palms Hotel in
Laughlin, Nevada, 4-11 March 2001, enjoyed what was a
thoroughly entertaining and informative week.
Since returning from America I have composed a detailed
summary of events for our May issue of UFO Magazine (on sale
here in the UK from 26 April), but because I was unable to
dispatch a report on 15 March for our 15 March newsletter
due to a surprising lack of Internet facilities in Laughlin
itself, here is a brief overview.
Unlike UFO conferences seen in Britain and elsewhere, the
International UFO Congress runs over seven days, with up to
5 speakers or more appearing during morning, afternoon and
evening sessions. On either side of the morning and evening
lectures, the near 1,000 audience can view some of the best
UFO-related videos, TV documentaries and movies that have
been entered under various categories for a prestigious EBE
award. (EBE stands for 'extraterrestrial biological
Two of our productions entered - ‘The Mysterious Spheres’
and ‘The Secret NASA Transmissions: ‘The Smoking Gun’ -
picked up awards for best short and best long documentary
respectively. In accepting the award for ‘Secret NASA’, just
as in the end titles of the video itself, I dedicated it to
Martyn Stubbs. It now sits proudly on the mantelpiece of
Martyn’s home on Bowen Island, Vancouver, Canada.
The complete list of award winners and their respective
categories appear in the magazine.
The lectures themselves began on Sunday morning, 4 March
with presentations by renowned American crop circle
researcher, Ron Russell, and Ed and Kris Sherwood. Colin
Andrews, who claimed last summer that the bulk of crop
circles were created by hoaxers and who was due to speak,
failed to appear. Instead, Colin sent along videotape
outlining his thinking, but this was deemed a poor
substitute and doubtless devalued the debate that followed.
The following day, Monday, 5 March, saw Andy Thomas,
founding member of the Southern Circular Research
Organisation and author of several books on crop circles,
gave an entertaining and informative lecture on
conspiracies, secret societies and hidden agendas. He was
followed by best-selling author and UFO researcher, Nick
Redfern, who cited new documents released by the Public
Records Office. These contained details of a fleet of flying
discs - labelled ‘Foo Fighters’ - which were released from
huge cigar-shaped ‘mothercraft’ that sped through a flight
of B-17 bombers during daylight raids over Germany in 1943.
Incredulously, another document detailed how a similar
‘mothercraft’ was seen on the ground by two passing RAF
fighter pilots that same year.
Later, German author and UFO researcher, Michael Hesemann,
explained why he had chosen to write a new book entitled
‘The Fatima Secret’. This, together with alleged ‘insider
knowledge’ of how to explain the Vatican’s recent leanings
towards their apparent embracing of the extraterrestrial
hypothesis, made for a fascinating lecture. The final
speaker of the day, best-selling author Jim Marrs, gave a
detailed and disturbing lecture based on his new book, Rule
By Secrecy. For lovers of conspiracy and the ‘New World
Order’, this is the book for you!
On Tuesday, 6 March, Captain Robert Snow, an Indianapolis
police officer for 32 years, claimed that in a previous
life, he was a woman by the name of Carroll Beckwith. You
would never have guessed it.
Next came Dr. Leo Sprinkle, who has dealt with UFO
experiencers since 1967, and concluded that the soul and
reincarnation are inexorably linked to the UFO subject.
Experiencers, channelling, inter-dimensional or cross world
contact and communication was the chosen subject of Jon
Klimo’s lecture, while Doc and Carol Howard explored their
research findings into parapsychology, psychometry, remote
viewing, metaphysics and something they termed ‘long
Next up was Phillip H. Krapf, who wrote the best-selling The
Challenge of Contact, in which he claimed to have been
hand-picked by an advanced alien race to be their designated
‘star reporter’ for a project involving on-going contact
with world leaders in preparation for open contact with our
world. Krapf is a retired Los Angeles Times sub-editor who
shared a Pulitzer price in 1992 for his reporting of the Los
Angeles riots. In Krapk’s new book, The Contact Has Begun,
he reveals that he has since paid a second visit to the same
alien craft which abducted him the first time.
Media commitments dragged me away for much of Wednesday
morning, 7 March, which resulted in my missing lectures by
Donald Ware, noted ‘experiencer’ Melanie Young and much of a
talk by John Foster, a retired 63-year-old commercial civil
engineer who had begun to recollect his 30-year-old
abduction experiences in 1987.
The final speaker of the day was Dr. Steven Greer, founder
and International Director of CSETI. He said that ‘explosive
testimony’ from many key high-ranking figures will be heard
in Washington with a provisional date fixed for 9 May.
Dr. Greer said that the witness testimony was now so
powerful, so overwhelming, that collectively it could be
A splendid ‘Meet the Speakers Cocktail Party’ that same
evening saw over 800 delegates enjoy drinks, hors d’ouevres,
door prizes and general socializing until the early hours.
The morning session of Thursday, 8 March saw Dr. Leo
Sprinkle host an open microphone session which any delegate
to freely share their ET contact experience or sighting with
those around. Later, Clarisa Bernhardt, a Canadian contactee
of some note, spoke of her unique ‘sixth sense’ ability to
predict earthquakes. After the luncheon interval,
Christopher Martin delivered a first class lecture based on
his book, Intruders in the Night.
Later, Rodrigo Fuenzalida, who is considered Chile’s leading
UFO researcher, presented some extraordinary UFO footage.
Friday, 9 March, saw presentations by UFO researcher and
author, Tom Dongo, who delivered an up-date on ‘high
strangeness’ events reported in Sedona, Arizona; and Albert
Taylor, who spoke of his ‘Out-Of-Body-Experiences’ (OBEs).
After lunch, a big disappointment: Bruce Stephen Holms,
co-author of Incident at Fort Benning, could not be joined
by his fellow co-author, and principal character in the
book, John Vasquez, for ‘family reasons’.
I first met and interviewed John some three years ago and
UFO Magazine became the first publication in the world to
alert people to John’s extraordinary story, as well as
disseminate a video-taped interview with the man. Now,
almost four years on, Bruce Stephen Holms has detailed that
story in book form. Read the book...
With the appearance of Dr. Roger Leir, I wondered what more
we might learn of his research into the surgical removal of
alleged alien implants. Well, Roger said that he has
concluded that the children of today represent a different
race of human being than children born over 50 years ago.
Roger produced a wealth of official statistics gleaned from
medical journals which, on the surface, lent weight to his
But whether these in themselves can be deemed sufficient to
support his claim that such changes have been caused by
‘outside intervention’ - namely UFO abductions - remains to
The last speaker of the day should have been Philip Corso
Jnr., there to talk about his father, the late Colonel
Philip Corso, whose book, The Day After Roswell, provoked a
storm of controversy on its publication back in 1997.
Among Colonel Corso’s allegations, was that he came across
ET corpses recovered from Roswell and that alien technology
retrieved at the crash site(s) had been adapted to create
However, it transpired that Philip Corso Jnr had pulled out
from speaking after agreeing to sell all his late fathers
documents and private papers to an undisclosed buyer.
As a result of his late withdrawal, Bob Brown, Congress
organiser, invited Italian Ufologist, Mauricio Baiata, to
act as his replacement. However, after first indicating that
he would be thrilled to attend - Mauricio had conducted
several video-taped interviews with Colonel Corso during two
visits he made to the San Marino UFO conference - Mauricio
was approached by persons unknown and in a fax to Bob said
that he was unable to attend ‘of my own free will’.
Richard M. Dolan, author of UFOs and the National Security
State took Mauricio’s place and without resorting to use of
either video or slides, spent the best part of 90-minutes
detailing as good and as rich an account of his historical
research and analysis as one is ever likely to hear.
Saturday, 10 March. The final day, and with it came a
series of media engagements and other pressing matters that
forced me to miss morning presentations by Wendelle C.
Stevens, discussing how he managed to corroborate stories
emanating from a ‘deep throat’ source based at Area 51 in
1991, plus revelations by Sean David Morton, who discussed
the connection between human history, UFOs and the future of
the human race. The final session began with Mexico’s Jaime
Maussan, who recounted an interesting story centred on the
world’s most dangerous volcano - the Popocatepetl - which
overlooks Mexico City. After presenting a wealth of UFO
footage, most of which was familiar to seasoned enthusiasts,
Jaime then introduced a video tape of a UFO filmed from a
helicopter over New York. The tape, which Jaime received
anonymously through the post, starts with a group of
sightseers aboard a hovering helicopter overlooking the twin
towers of the World Trade Center.
Suddenly, their attention is attracted to a black, disc-like
object partly hidden by one of the towers. This then races
forward in the blink of an eye to their right, before
stopping in an instant to hover. Then, in a fraction of a
second, the disc races towards the helicopter before veering
away at the last possible moment. The scene ends with the
object, now displaying a vapour trail, hurtling skywards
into cloud before disappearing from view.
It is, without doubt, a fantastic piece of footage - but
possibly too good to be true. Jaime said he had heard a
whisper on the grapevine that the sequence had been put
together by technicians working for the Sci-Fi Channel.
Daniel Munoz, Jaime’s assistant, said that all efforts to
glean a comment or statement from the Sci-Fi Channel had
fallen on deaf ears. If this turns out to be a manufactured
hoax, and the odds are heavily in favour of this being the
case, I take my hat off to those responsible for a brilliant
piece of state-of-the-art movie magic.
If not, then we are left with one of the most eye-popping,
jaw-dropping video sequences ever to land in our lap.
The final speaker of the day, indeed of congress week, was
Robert Dean, whose presentation was as up-beat and
disjointed as ever, but his words, spoken softly with
delicate time and precision, hit home.
Even allowing for some speakers whose claims left a lot to
be desired, or whose so-called ‘evidence’ was found wanting,
the general consensus among those attending the
International UFO Congress was that having taken on board
information at first-hand, they were each better informed as
a result. This, of course, is but a brief overview. A
detailed review of the congress, together with a stack of
images is all set to appear in our May 2001 issue of UFO
I also include numerous ‘gems’ of information gathered
during my time spent ‘networking’ among fellow researchers,
enthusiasts, and visiting journalists. We have some truly
fabulous and exclusive articles to look forward to in that
issue and Russel Callaghan will post details, together with
the May cover, on our website shortly before 26 April.
The only downside to attending the Congress is the 8-hour
time difference between Nevada and the UK. Having spent the
best part of my first week back home in a dream-like state,
the clocks here get shoved forward an extra hour seven days
But it could have been worse. I well recall travelling to
speak in Brisbane, Australia, back in 1997. I calculated
that when I rose to start my lecture, it was precisely
2.30am in England.
The secret of overcoming jet-lag, it seems, is ice-cream.
Instead of tucking into a Chinese dish like the rest of us,
one of my fellow speakers in Brisbane, Budd Hopkins,
selected one of the biggest bowels of ice-cream I have ever
seen. I never saw the guy yawn once throughout my 4-day
Budd is due to speak at our 20th Leeds International UFO
Conference this September, and he can have as much ice-cream
as he likes.
Enjoy the Easter break and keep watching those skies (day,
as well as night time), because there appears to be a lot
happening right now.
Graham W. Birdsall
The next issue newsletter will be posted 15th April and will
feature a sneak preview of our May issue magazine and from
there on in it’s UFO Magazine 11 times per year.
Bye for now.
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