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UFO Festival in Del Rio, Texas, Celebrates City's Paranormal Past
The city known as the "Area 51 of Texas" is holding its first ever UFO festival. The Del Rio UFO Festival is Jan. 24 & 25, 2014, and features major speakers including Travis Walton and Stanton Friedman.
Beginning in the mid-1950s, Del Rio, home of Laughlin Air Force Base, became associated with the mysterious “Area 51” in Nevada, where top-secret military aircraft are developed. In 1957, Laughlin AFB became the headquarters for America’s highly classified U-2 “Dragon Lady” spy plane, developed by Lockheed Skunk Works at Area 51. U-2 planes from Del Rio are credited with obtaining the first pictures of the Soviet missile build-up in Cuba that led to the “Cuban Missile Crisis.”
Del Rio is also sometimes referred to as “the Texas Roswell,” because of the reported crash of a UFO just north of town in the 1950s. Retired Air Force reservist Robert B. Willingham, 87, says he visited the site of a crashed flying saucer near Del Rio in 1955 and saw three non-human entities through a hole in the ruptured hull of the unearthly ship. The strange beings, two of which were badly mangled, appeared to have died in the crash. “It didn’t look like humans to me,” Willingham said during a 2010 interview on the nationwide Jeff Rense radio program. The retired aviator said the beings had large heads, slit-like mouths, and arms “like broomsticks.”
The Del Rio UFO Festival features two lectures by Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist currently residing in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Friedman is perhaps the world’s leading advocate of the theory that Earth has been visited by extraterrestrials. He has testified about UFOs before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. He was the first UFO researcher to uncover the story of the Roswell UFO crash. As a nuclear physicist, he worked on top secret government rocket projects and believes that interstellar travel is possible. Friedman has personally investigated many of the world’s major UFO cases since the 1950s and has appeared on virtually every important television documentary about UFOs since the 1980s. He has lectured all over the world, including at over 600 colleges and universities. Friedman will present two talks at Del Rio’s Paul Poag Theatre on January 25, “Flying Saucers and Science” at 11 a.m. and “A New View of the Cosmos” at 2:15 p.m. This will be his first-ever appearance in Del Rio.
Travis Walton’s UFO encounter is the world’s best-documented alien abduction story. On November 5, 1975, in plain sight of six other men, Walton was blasted by a beam of blue-green light that emanated from a large UFO that hovered directly overhead. He then disappeared for five days. A lie detector test of Walton’s companions established that they had indeed seen a UFO prior to Walton’s disappearance. Suspecting foul play, police conducted a massive manhunt in the woods where Walton vanished but failed to locate his body. Five days later, Walton suddenly re-appeared, telling an amazing tale of having been taken aboard a UFO, where he saw extraterrestrial beings. His story became the basis for the successful Hollywood movie Fire in the Sky, released by Paramount Studios in 1993. At the Del Rio UFO Festival, the motion picture will be shown in its entirety at 3:30 p.m., followed by Mr. Walton’s keynote lecture at 7 p.m. This will be the first time he tells his amazing story in Del Rio. He will also have autographed copies of his book, Fire in the Sky, available for sale.
The festival also features a lecture by authors Noe Torres and Ruben Uriarte, whose 2008 book The Other Roswell: UFO Crash on the Texas-Mexico Border first disclosed the story of Colonel Robert Willingham’s reported encounter with a crashed UFO near Del Rio in 1955. A native of South Texas, Torres has maintained a life-long interest in UFOs that was inspired, in part, by a strange encounter his mother had in the 1940s. He has written seven books about famous UFO cases, has appeared on the History Channel’s “UFO Hunters” television series, and has spoken at numerous UFO events. He has also appeared multiple times on “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory, the Jeff Rense Program, Jerry Pippin’s “UFO Files,” and many other radio programs.
Ruben Uriarte graduated from Cal State University at Hayward with a B.A. degree in Psychology and Latin American Studies, and has taken M.A. courses in Public Administration. He has been a member of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) as a Field Investigator, State Director for Northern California and Deputy Director of Investigations & International Affairs. Ruben has been interviewed on many local and national radio shows and television documentaries on the subject of the UFO Phenomenon.
Also speaking at the Del Rio UFO Festival is Carlos Guzman of Mexico City, one of Mexico’s leading UFO investigators. Guzman, who has been involved in UFO research since the 1970s, is sometimes referred to as “the Stanton Friedman of Mexico.” Guzman developed a strong interest in UFOs after experiencing one of the largest UFO waves in Mexico in the summer of 1965, during which Mexican newspapers reported multiple sightings on a daily basis. Since then, he has written numerous articles and several books about UFOs. Carlos received his B.A. in Business Administration from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1976 and his MBA at the University of the Americas in 1979.
Also, UFO researcher Stephen Andrasko will speak about the “Pascagoula UFO Incident,” one of the most famous “alien abduction” cases in recent history. A well-known South Texas librarian and public speaker, Andrasko has spoken at a number of UFO conferences, including the Laredo UFO conference, the “Out of This World” Conference in Edinburg, Texas, and the Border Zone UFO Festival in Presidio, Texas.
A complete schedule of the lectures is available at DelRioUFO.com (http://RoswellBooks.com/