EUREKA SPRINGS— Aliens wear cowboy hats, or at least some of them do.
“I finished it too soon,” author Don Ray Walton said about his book that he says needs to be rewritten because beings from outer space gave him new information when they picked him up outside of Stephensville, Texas, earlier this year.
“I’ll have to rewrite the 12 th chapter,” he said of The Coming Human Aliens as hundreds of believers and curiosity seekers wandered by him Saturday during the 20 th annual Ozark UFO Conference in Eureka Springs.
Clad in a leather jacket, felt hat and brown cowboy boots, Walton looked like someone from Texas, which he calls home. Originally, he says he is from a little farther out.
“The Orion star system,” he said, adding that it’s pronounced “Our Ion,” as that is where the creator is.
Sitting on the lower floor of the convention center at the Inn of the Ozarks, Walton explained the aliens’ most recent message: Our solar system is heading toward a massive black hole.
In the next four years, humans will be offered salvation from representatives of 143, 999 alien races, Walton said.
The ships will only take those that are willing and ready, Walton said. It is up to each person to decide whether to go with the aliens or to stay and be devoured by the black hole.
At this conference, which continues today, he wasn’t the only one talking about other-world experiences.
The three-day conference had nine speakers on topics ranging from crop circles to preparing to meet aliens.
There were no tin-foil hats or alien costumes. The crowd in the conference center appeared little different from those windowshopping downtown.
Of course, there may have been a heightened sense of questioning authority at the conference, as a sign inside the door read: “All government agents must register at the front desk and must wear name tags at all times NO EXCEPTIONS.” Featured speakers included Ted Phillips, a researcher from the Center for Physical Trace Research in Missouri.
Phillips gave a talk on evidence left by alien visitors, such as skeletons of calves left next to large burned circles on the ground. The traditional flying saucer is less and less common, he said, and aliens now are more likely to travel on powerful light orbs or beams, which would explain the burned circles.
Another of the lectures focused on recent UFO sightings in Texas that gained international attention. Video of scattered lights in the sky above a rural area were shown on CNN and on newscasts before the U. S. Air Force said it had planes conducting drills in the region. At first, the military denied any activity.
The conference attracted people from all of the country, and some who wandered in, such as Skip Lotten from Missouri.
Lotten said that he and his wife, who declined to give her name, were enjoying the event and learning from the speakers, who were helping to fill “the blank spaces in our ideas.” Along with the books and lectures were novelty items handmade by Stacia Noteman, who said she had seen a glowing light in the sky as a youth in Ohio. After seeing the lights, she brought her sister Betsy Hass, a UFO book vendor at the conference, out for a look.
“I don’t remember seeing anything, but the next day I was sick as a dog,” Hass said.
Blocks away in downtown Eureka Springs, many people had heard of the conference.
“In Eureka Springs, anything is pretty much accepted as normal,” said Michael Teague, who was walking downtown with his daughter Marley. He would have been interested in attending, but Teague said that his daughter is “scared to death of the subject matter.” Saturday’s UFO convention was the first for Mike Smith of Springdale. Smith has been interested in UFOs for more than 20 years, he said. Although he doesn’t report them, he said that anyone can see them if they look hard enough. “It’s an escape of your thoughts of the everyday things,” Smith said, of watching for UFOs.