Aztec UFO Symposium brings out hundreds curious about alien sightings

Aztec UFO Symposium brings out hundreds curious about alien sightings
By Steve Lynn
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — "Indiana" Judy Cowan brought Aztec UFO Symposium attendees to an alleged UFO crash site Saturday as she has done the last three years during the event.

Visitors to the site near Aztec often ask her questions about the size of the aircraft in the supposed crash and its survivors.

"I say, To a great extent it's hearsay,'" said Cowan, a volunteer who drives them there.

Whether aliens actually crashed or a secret aircraft test mission by the U.S. government went wrong, "I know something happened out there," she added.

UFO and alien enthusiasts descended on Aztec on Friday night and all day Saturday for the 13th annual symposium.

They heard lectures and visited the crash site on the Alien Run trail north of Aztec.

"I'll be going in my full alien costume," said Samantha Layne-Perkins, 11.

About 200 people attended, said Katee McClure, vice president of the Friends of the Library. Attendees paid $25 and bought alien T-shirts and trinkets, whose proceeds fund the Aztec Public Library.

"It has been a great success," Katee McClure said.

Local businesses sponsored the event.

The symposium is one of two major fundraisers for the library. The next fundraiser, the Alien Run mountain bike race, takes place May 2.

On Saturday, attendees listened to lectures by UFO and alien researchers at the Aztec Masonic Lodge. Talks ran the extraterrestrial gamut: From tales of President Dwight Eisenhower meeting aliens after a supposed UFO crash
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in Roswell to a man who claimed he was abducted by three creatures who were, according to his Web site, "not fully human."

Copies of a 1950 Farmington Daily Times article sold for $1 sensationally claimed in headlines, "Huge saucer armada jolts Farmington" and "Crafts seen by hudreds (sic)."

UFO enthusiast Eugene Duran traveled from Los Lunas for the symposium because of the speakers, some of whose research he has read since he was a child.

"I was very impressed with the lineup, especially for the cost," he said.

Stacy Madson, who works at the library, has never seen a UFO, but she believes there's life on other planets.

"I don't want to be selfish and say we're the only beings living on a planet," she said.

Others claimed to have seen UFOs and encountered aliens.

Randy Barnes acknowledged that people are skeptical about his claims of UFO sightings. Barnes also admitted that he incorrectly has identified UFOs before.

"Other times, it was definitely not a type of aircraft I know of," he said.

Beth McClure and Christine Ragsdale were among many volunteers that helped put on the event.

Beth McClure said the symposium helps the Aztec Public Library remain top notch. The library is popular with children who enjoy using design software on library computers and for homework.

"It's important because they're our future," Ragsdale said.
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