Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My totally late, completely tardy, and inexcuseably delayed review of the Paradigm Symposium, October, 2012, Minneapolis, Minnesota

About the level of exploring I got to do of Minnesota. But a lovely time was had, nonetheless.

This is Micah Hanks: 

And this is Scotty Roberts:

Together you might think that these two fellows would have no place organizing a conference devoted to ancient aliens, the paranormal, the shadow government, and all things cryptozoological as they are clearly miscreants of the highest order. BUT YOU'D BE WRONG.

APPARENTLY, there's a market for this sort of thing and Scotty and Micah did a bang-up job as the hosts with the mosts for the alternative-conspiracy-forbidden archaeology crowd and I want you to go next fall-- Nay, I am ordering you to go.

As I am already the New York correspondent for Micah's prurient podcast (not really, I'm just a fan of alliteration) The Gralien Report, I got in for free, beeotches. 

You're just gonna have to find another way to get in. Like going through the usual routes and buying a ticket and stuff. Life's tough, but what'reya gonna do?

Here's the lineup of only a fraction of the speakers that was so cool I thought my brain actually froze a little bit when I read it:
Erich Von Daniken. Linda Moulton Howe. Philip Coppens. Rick Nedfern. No wait, Nick Redfern. George Noory.

And last but not least, 


No, wait. I meant this guy: 

What? You think I'm actually going to post the original meme with the crazy hair? No.
 Go get your own damned meme and post your own damn hair.
Anyway, here's the breakdown. Little did I know I was becoming very ill with anemia as I was attending this event, so it explains why A) One-half drop of prosecco was enough to make me completely fall-down drunk, B) I felt more than a little light-headed when I actually met most of these people (and called Nick Redfern "Rick Nedfern" to his face. Not mortifying at all), and C) I was unable to stave off the urge to eat lutefisk, the local delicacy. Must have been the iron deprivation or something. 
 Under normal circumstances, I've heard lutefisk smells and tastes not exactly like an old sock, but close. Anemia gives you, as I found out, strange cravings. Usually it's a craving for eating dirt, but barring that, lutefisk. Try as I might, this tasty morsel wasn't on the hotel menu (or any menu in any restaurant I went to for that matter) but that didn't stop me from trying. 
Instead, I had a very lovely 10,000 Lakes trout with bechamel sauce that was outstanding.
Onward, then:

Did you know that Linda Moulton Howe is incredibly jazzy and has loads of hunky young men seated about her at every turn? The lady is nothing if not glamorous. She really knows how to hold court, man. I'm not kidding. She has skills. I was actually kind of star struck when I saw her, and when my lovely roommate Karyn Dolan introduced me to her, I became just a little tongue-tied and murmured something into my shirt collar about "I'mareallybigfanandireallyadmireyourwork". 
Also, my voice chose at that exact moment to crack like a 13 year-old boy's. So that was fun. 
She in turn graciously smiled, thanked me, and kind of looked at me oddly. (As one would). 
Next up, the vendors:
Excellent! My particular faves were meeting some Native American psychic who was the real deal who traveled around the country in a van with her boyfriend and a bunch of dreamcatchers and her name escapes me at the moment, but if anyone who was there can tell me her name, she was fantastic and we really hit it off. 
Also I'm told was a perpetual show favorite, Joe and Marylee Swanson of Krystals fame. Buy all your gems from them at these types of conventions if you can, they go to all of them and offer really great stones at phenomenal prices. Joe was kind enough to give me a great deal on a gigantic clear quartz crystal that was literally singing to me and I wandered over to it and it called out and said "take me!" so I did. And I am happier for it. True story.
Now, the lectures/presentations:
From what I can make of it, they were all good with the exception of one I had to walk out of because the lecturers were kind of speaking to the audience like we were a bunch of kindergarteners, but that's okay if you like to have Basic 101 stuff about UFOs etc spoonfed to you because you are late to the show and don't know what's going on. They shall remain nameless because I am essentially a coward but if it worked for you if you were sitting in the audience, then good.
I missed some of the ones I wanted to go to because I am perpetually late for everything (working on that), but rest assured, the tail ends of some of them were *phenomenal*.

I wanted to see Anthony Sanchez's lecture in its entirety but again, overslept, and only saw the final 25 minutes or so, but what I saw of it was great. Buy his book UFO Highway. It is about Dulce and is well worth the read. (I'm going to be talking about the book more in my upcoming Bases 21 interview with Miles Johnston that covers my experiences with research and development and tech commercialization types at Los Alamos National Laboratories, Sandia Labs, and Dulce, and he also was able to corroborate via his interview subject "Colonel X" some little known facts that James Casbolt had talked about years before.)

A presentation that absolutely freaked me out was David Weatherly's one about black-eyed kids, and it so freaked me out that I was compelled to buy his book because there were some things he said about djinn that have happened in my own life that could not be denied, so there you go, buy David's book as well, The Black-Eyed Children and be prepared to read it only during daylight hours if you dare.

Some of the other lectures, by Philip Coppens, and of course by proxy, Giorgio Tsoukoulos were very well done and actually made me think about certain topics in archaeology differently in a way the History Channel show they were both on, Ancient Aliens, did not get a chance to get too in depth about, so it really was a full set of ideas being presented coherently and with humor and insight that remained fresh despite the fact that this show is probably playing re-runs of episodes 24/7/365 on cable stations all over the globe. 
I did not get to see too many lecturers, interestingly enough. It's funny because I saw about 8 which wasn't even approaching the full lineup. Come to think of it, the late night socializing in the hotel bar the conference was held at was really one of the best ways to get some of the nitty gritty on these lecturers and it was a pleasure to meet most of them (I didn't get to meet them all) and speak with them off the record about any number of things. Micah and Scotty were unbelievably gracious hosts and I always hold a special place in my heart for Chris Heyes and Matt Oakley, the resident booze hounds, ahem, I meant connoisseurs of fine liquor, as well as strong arms for the whole shindig, who were not only hilarious, they know how to keep the party going with nothing more than duct tape, a toothpick, and a set of pliers. I mean in theory they know how to keep the party rolling with all that.
No, no, actually I was genuinely impressed with how professional the whole thing was, way more professional than I am, and that's saying a lot. (Actually, it's not. I don't raise the bar for professionalism. But what I lack in that I make up for in cookies. Here! Have one!)

On a sad note, it may be already well known by now of the tragic death of Philip Coppens not six weeks after this event, and it was truly a shock to all. I hope he has laid the groundwork on his journey here on earth for bigger and better plans in the ether and I salute him for his gracious demeanor and contributions to research in the field.

In all, it was a fantastic experience, not the least of which was not being able to tell the difference between the employees at the airport and the people flying because they were all wearing Minnesota Vikings jerseys. It gave the impression that everyone in the airport was all in it together and fostered an unusually welcoming and warm communal feeling, not something I tend to associate with airports. I guess it was a big game day or something, but it gave further creed to the term "Minnesota Nice" as I was leaving and this, along with all the positive impressions made at the symposium made me happy about coming back again.

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