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May-30-2013 19:00printcomments Video

Oregon's 14th Annual UFO Festival Wows the Universe

The festival explores and celebrates the possibility of life beyond Earth every May.

McMinnville UFO Festival
The Men in Black meet their match in McMinnville's alien parade. Photo by Bonnie King

(MCMINNVILLE, Ore.) - Thousands came to the Willamette Valley to attend the biggest UFO gathering in the United States. The attraction began because some of the most credible UFO photos in the world were taken outside the farming town of McMinnville, Oregon in 1950. It received a lot of press when it happened, but after some time it became old news. That is, until the historically intrigued found an outlet to honor the magnitude of this event.

Fourteen years ago, McMenamin's Hotel Oregon decided that it should be commemorated. With the help of the McMinnville downtown association, the UFO festival was born. Each year, the festival showcases the famous 1950 Trent sighting, and brings to light many unknowns to the seekers of UFO truths.

Skeptics and believers alike were on hand to take part in events throughout the weekend.

There were many free events including an alien costume parade on Saturday afternoon, an alien pet costume contest, live music on Third Street featuring the Garcia Birthday Band, and there was a specially brewed "Alienator Ale" for the 21+ crowd.

More than 5,000 visitors made it to the 2012 festival and parade, and the numbers handily increased by thousands this year.

Four expert speakers appeared at the Community Center for a paying audience ($25 for a two-day pass). Emcee Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center since 1994, introduced the speakers to an anxious audience. Linda Moulton Howe is an award-winning documentary producer, writer and director, as well as a reporter and editor for Earthfiles.com. She is currently the X-Files investigative reporter for Premiere Radio Networks’ Coast to Coast AM and Dreamland Online.

Howe spoke at a near sold out crowd in 2009, and presented “Gobekli Tepe’s 12,000-Year-Old Stone Circles Enigma – Terraformed by E.T.s?” this year, based on her travels and investigations into an excavation in Turkey.


Jim Sparks, author of The Keepers, is a lecturer and expert in the abduction phenomena.

Sparks' abductions began in 1988. Initially an unwilling abductee, his experiences transformed once he began to understand he was encountering intelligent advanced beings from other worlds. His talk was entitled, “The Greys: Their Nature and Purpose.”

George Knapp is a two-time Peabody Award winner as well as a 19-time Emmy Award-winning journalist.

Knapp's reporting on Nevada’s infamous Area 51 military base was selected by UPI as Best Individual Achievement by a Reporter (1989). George is an anchor and reporter for the CBS affiliate KLAS-TV in Las Vegas and he also writes a weekly column for a Las Vegas newspaper.

Nick Pope is a former employee of the UK Ministry of Defense, and had a 21-year government career. He’s now a journalist and broadcaster, recognized as a leading authority on topics such as space, fringe science, defense and intelligence.

Dubbed “the real Fox Mulder”, Nick Pope spoke about the history of the UK Ministry of Defense’s UFO research program, as well as the ongoing program to declassify and release the entire archive of the UK’s UFO files, and gave an update on recent UFO stories.

The McMinnville UFO Festival has become a solid tradition for people around the world. In addition to all the local news outlets, a German television production crew was even on hand to record the aliens walking the streets of Oregon. Others came from throughout the United States.

It was a memorable event. Any one in attendance would agree that after two days socializing with several hundred extra-terrestrials, there was definitely something to "phone home" about.

WATCH THE UFO FESTIVAL SLIDESHOW BELOW:


Photos by Bonnie King, Crystal Young, & Mike Rogers
Slideshow Produced by Sean King

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Bonnie King has been Publisher of Salem-News.com since August '04. She is a photographer and video producer, writer, editor and mother, which she considers her greatest position. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER).

Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers and readers alike. An lifetime activist for just causes, she continues to strive to present facts that support Truth, Justice and Peace, as we are in the world to change the world for the better. "TJP"

View articles written by Bonnie King
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