From: Jeff Westover <email@example.com> Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 12:59:18 -0700 (PDT) Fwd Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 18:14:53 -0400 Subject: Tales of Abduction - IF Conference - A Press http://www.wired.com:80/news/news/culture/story/19058.html Tales of Abduction by Theta Pavis 3:00 a.m. 12.Apr.99.PDT NEW YORK -- Attending the 1999 UFO Abduction Conference was a lot likewatching a year's worth of The X-Files, crammed nonstop into one day. There were theories of alien-human hybridization, metallic implants shoved deep into human craniums, plans for world domination, and government cover-ups. The only thing missing was the spooky set. The conference took place in a Chelsea community center where fresh flowers adorned the registration table. A calm collection of people bought a lot of books and a few glow-in-the-dark t-shirts as they chatted about physics, near-death experiences, cancer cures, what aliens might be up to, and the location of the nearest coffee shop. "I've sort of come to Mecca here," said Richard Sitts, a retired electrical engineer who used to work for General Electric. "All the big names are here, and it's nice to rub elbows with them." ---- Cosmic cable access: A two-man crew from New York cable-access television grabbed several UFO luminaries for live interviews in the lobby. On camera, Peter Robbins, a member of the Intruders Foundation staff and the author of a book about a famous UFO case in Britain, was asked why aliens might be interested in human reproduction. "There are no reports of sexual organs on them," he said, speculating that the aliens may have moved into such a highly developed state that they've lost the knack for reproduction. "Maybe it's a thinning of the gene pool," he said. "Their heads are so big and their bodies so small... and that's not healthy." ---- Easy listening: During one break, the soundman filled the auditorium with background music as attendees shuffled out for lunch. His choice of melody? The song "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft Earth," a Carpenters cover of a mid-70s tune. ---- Self-promotion in the Space Age: One thing the speakers at the conference all shared was a sense of humor, poking fun at themselves and their detractors. During a slide show, nuclear physicist and author Stanton Friedman snuck in a shot of himself holding some of his books, pausing to let the audience laugh. Some of his videos, including "Flying Saucers Are Real" were on sale at his table. Friedman said the government's cover-up of aliens amounts to a "cosmic Watergate." ---- Regression on the high seas: Flyers for a Paranormal Cruise hosted by the Carnival cruise line were stacked up on tables at the conference. The cruise features Deloris Cannon, a past life regressionist and hypnotherapist, lectures and seminars with other "spirit communicators," plus "all the food you can eat 24 hours a day." A deluxe interior cabin for the cruise to Cozumel goes for US$899.
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