Reflections on the McMinnville UFO Festival May 15-18, 2014

Posted on: June 10th, 2014
by James Clarkson

Sometimes if you are very fortunate you have a wonderful experience that explodes into your life and overwhelms just about every way possible. That would be my experience at being one of the presenters at the 2014 McMinnville UFO Festival on May 15 – 18 this year. I had the great honor of presenting with Stanton Friedman; he is my hero – at 80 years young he is still the champion of Ufology and every bit as formidable an opponent to the noisy negativists and the evil-minded Secret Keepers as he has ever been. Placed in perspective; Stanton Friedman gave his first UFO lecture when I was a sophomore in high school. That was a mere 47 years ago.

What I also admire about Stanton Friedman is what a true gentleman he is. I watched him kindly pay attention to everyone who approached to have a word with him. He always has time for another photograph, not because he is vain, but because he knows it means something to the person who asked.

Then there was David Marler who has produced a book that every Ufologist must have: Triangular UFOs – An Estimate of the Situation. He has systematized what we all know to be true; the classic “flying saucer” is a misleading myth. It is simply not what most of our best UFO witnesses observe.  Some of the encounters he described would make anyone feel uneasy when you realize that no power on earth is piloting these enormous triangular aircraft, and no one is able with certainty to identify their origin or their agenda as they fly silently through our air defenses across the world.

In my own case I completed a promise I made some time ago, that I would share still another cover-up, the Westport UFO Crash Retrieval Case this time from my own state.  A wonderful time and a great audience. I cannot tell you how honored I felt to share my knowledge with the people who came to McMinnville. What really touched me were the people I met who shared their stories; I am hoping to reconnect with several of them because they were brave enough to share life-altering moments. Even if the events were long ago, you know when you connect with a certain type of witness – you feel what they have carried for many years – a single contact with a UFO or its occupants and how it changed their perception of the world forever. There is no going back and no forgetting.

The Media may deny, and the Government may suppress the Truth about UFOs, but these witnesses know what they know. I bless the people who are brave enough to share their stories. I came away feeling humbled to be in great company.

This year the UFO Festival included a luncheon with each of the speakers. This turned out to be much loved event for the speakers as well as the attendees. I jokingly referred to it as speed-dating for Ufologists, but we loved the chance to share time on a more personal level. I think all of us came away energized by this opportunity.

Never before have I taken part in a parade. I think this year’s wildly successful and grad UFO-themed parade was a bucket list event. It was too much fun. I have now seen several UFO parades in McMinnville. I think this one will only be outdone by the one next year.

Until this event I am a bit ashamed to say, I knew very little about George Noory. I had the honor of meeting him and sitting next to him on the Speaker’s Panel on Saturday night. He is an extraordinary man with a big heart. I understand why is so well loved by so many. We are fortunate he is there providing a platform for those who want to uncover the secrets that should be exposed, for all the strange phenomena in this world that deserve to be considered even if they remain thus far unexplained.

Finally, I have to extend a great debt of gratitude to Tim Hills, Historian for McMenamin’s, the staff of McMenamin’s and the lovely people of McMinnville. I don’t believe you could have done more to make my wife and I feel welcomed and appreciated. This is truly one of the best UFO conferences anywhere because of the hard work of many people who gave such quality service to so many.

Looking at the range of speakers who have presented in McMinnville in 15 years, I really believe this is one of the best values for anyone interested in learning more about Ufology.  It is accessible, affordable and fun. I am already psyched for the 2015 McMinnville UFO Festival.

Thank you again,

James E Clarkson

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