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The Seven Wonders of the Ufological World

The Seven Wonders of the Ufological World

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Published by Paul Kimball

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Published by: Paul Kimball on Mar 09, 2010
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08/07/2013

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ABOVE AND BEYOND
by Paul Kimball 
“The Seven Wonders of the Ufological World”
To many people, the UFO subject is a super-secret, paradigm-altering, world-changing excuseto be Grade A sticks-in-the-mud. Who are they? Well, you’ll know them when you see them, or more likely hear or read them, because they never get out and experience the real world. Therest of us, however, realize that you can study the UFO phenomenon seriously, and have somefun at the same time, and the world will not come to an end.In my opinion, one of the best ways to enjoy oneself is travel. I figure that if the “real world” canhave "Seven Wonders", the world of UFOs and ufology can have its own “Seven Wonders” -places that everyone interested in the subject of UFOs should visit before they shuffle off of thismortal coil. Some are related to actual UFO cases, some are related to the culturalphenomenon that is ufology, but all are worthwhile visits.
#7The Aetherius Society HQLos Angeles, California, USA
You may not have heard of the Aetherius Society, which is a shame, because they’re aninteresting bunch (featured prominently in the classic 1992 documentary
Farewell Good Brothers
). The organization was founded by the late George King in London in 1955 as theresult of what King claimed were contacts with advanced extraterrestrial intelligences. Thegroup's tax exempt status was recognized by the US in 1960, which was decades before therecognition of Scientology, and a decade before Rael hit the scene, which makes the Aetheriansthe first UFO- religion. Through what they callOperation Prayer Power , they claim to be able tostore prayer energy in a Spiritual Power Battery. This spiritual energy, invoked through prayer,can be directed under tremendous concentration and released at a later date to areas of theworld in need… or so they claim. The great thing is that every Thursday night, whether youbelieve or not, you can pop by their headquarters and participate in Operation Prayer Power!Also, since 1955 the Aetherius Society has offered free “Spiritual Healing” treatments to all whorequest it. They claim that this is a natural healing method, based on ancient principles of metaphysical science, to bring relief to those who need it. Who knows? You may even be ableto commune with one of the Space Brothers. If not, their Los Angeles HQ is only a few minutesfrom Hollywood Boulevard, where you can always find some strange creatures!
 
# 6International UFO MuseumRoswell, New Mexico, USA
Personally, I don’t really like Roswell – the UFO case, or the city. As I discussed in my lastcolumn, I think the focus on the Roswell case by UFO researchers has been bad for the seriousstudy of the phenomenon as a whole. As for the city, let’s just say that if aliens did come downin that area, it must have been a crash, because I can’t imagine that they would have pickedRoswell – either then or now - as a tourist destination. It’s harmless enough, mind you, in the“United States has a thousand other cities like this” kind of way, but there’s nothing specialabout it, especially in a state where the much more interesting places to visit, such as Taos andSanta Fe, and even Albuquerque, are father north. Still, it’s
Roswell 
, which has become, muchto my chagrin, the Holy Grail of ETH-centric ufology, so a trip there is probably going to satisfythat group, as well as conspiracy theorists. The best place to start is the International UFOMuseum, which takes UFO kitsch and runs with it, but in a way that doesn’t make you feel dirtywhen you leave. The good news is that the time to visit Roswell is in the traditional summer vacation month of July, when the UFO festival is in full swing – it still attracts a fairly largecrowd, and is a fun event. The bad news is that the worst time to visit Roswell, unless you likeextremely hot and uncomfortable weather, is also in July (and August), so if unremitting heatisn’t your thing, you might want to skip the festivities and pop by in the fall.
# 5International UFO Congress Convention & Film FestivalAquarius Casino & ResortLaughlin, Nevada, USA
Next to the Colorado River on the Nevada / Arizona border, Laughlin, Nevada is a town that Ilike to call “mini-Vegas” – it has casinos and hotels and glitz, but not so much in the way of glamour…. which is why I find it charming. That, and the fact that in late February and earlyMarch you can travel to Laughlin and hang out for a full week at the Aquarius Casino and Hotelwith hundreds of other UFO-buffs, believers, aficionados, and the occasional skeptic, at theannual Convention & Film Festival of the International UFO Congress. This past year, if youwandered down to the hotel bar late at night (or more likely early in the morning), you mighthave been able to have a few drinks with former MoD UFO guru Nick Pope, abduction kingpinBudd Hopkins, Rendlesham investigator and raconteur extraordinaire Peter Robbins, author Richard Dolan, or even yours truly. While the Convention features its fair share of speakers whoare evidentially-challenged (including the obligatory bunch of Billy Meier hoax supporters), it’s a
 
week with good-natured people who share an interest in fantastic stories, and maybe even a bitof truth. The film festival features some pretty good stuff, as well as some laughably badgroaners, and the closing gala is always a good time. Also, if you have a car, pop across thestate border and over the mountains to Kingman, Arizona, which is the starting point for a nicehour-long jaunt along legendary Route 66, and which is where a crashed UFO was supposedlyrecovered by the USAF in the 1953 (the locals love it when you ask about that). Best of all, a tenminute drive will take you up into the mountains, where you can pull off to the side of the road,park the car, sit on the hood, and stare into the clear-as-a-bell night sky looking for UFOs!
# 4UFO Landing PadSt. Paul, Alberta, Canada
In honour of Canada’s 100
th
anniversary as an independent nation, the town of St. Paul, Alberta,decided to do something special in 1967 – indeed, it was something so special that it mighteven be said to be out of this world! The good citizens undertook, as a privately-fundedcentennial project, to build the world’s first UFO landing pad! Dedicated at the time by theDeputy Prime Minister of Canada, and visited since by myriad dignitaries, including QueenElizabeth II and Mother Theresa, the landing pad has endured for over forty years as a symbolof the hopes of St. Paul’s residents for a better tomorrow… and as a pretty unique touristattraction! In 1993 the town added a flying-saucer shaped building which serves as St. Paul’sChamber of Commerce, which should make it a first stop for any extraterrestrials stopping byEarth to check on trade opportunities. In 1996, an addition was built to the existing TouristInformation Center to house a UFO Interpretive Display, which shows photographs of UFOs,crop circles and cattle mutilations. Purchased from the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, iteven shows ingenious methods to hoax the public, and is one of the two such displays in NorthAmerica. What makes all of this even weirder is that St. Paul is also the home of Fern Belzil, aretired cattle rancher who is Canada’s leading cattle mutilation investigator. Pop by theRestaurant Chezlyne for lunch, and you may just catch Belzil there, always ready to chat aboutcattle mutes… although you might want to wait until after you have your hamburger!
# 3Rendlesham ForestWoodbridge, United Kingdom
Not only is Rendlesham Forest the site of one of themost famous UFO cases of the 20th century (it was voted #3 in my film
Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Sightings
), but it's also agenuinely creepy place that has supposedly been home to all sorts of other weird incidents,

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