by: COURTESY OF LIZ DEVINE/MCMENAMINS - An 'alien' visits the UFO Festival in McMinnville.Believers and skeptics alike will gather in McMinnville this weekend, continuing the discussion of what exists in the universe beyond Earth and what flies in the sky.

And, the government will be powerless to stop or conceal any information sharing at the 15th UFO Festival, May 15 to 18, headquartered at McMenamins Hotel Oregon, 310 N.E. Evans St., McMinnville.

Expert speakers abound at the UFO Festival. A parade goes through downtown McMinnville, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 17. There will be people dressed up as aliens. They are not aliens, that we know of.

People come from far and wide — riding airplanes and driving cars, not beaming up. Maybe the most notable gathering of ufologists — yes, it’s a word — each year happens in Roswell, N.M., site of the purported UFO crash in 1947.

But, the UFO Festival ranks right there, enthusiasts say.

Indeed, the UFO Festival started at the McMenamins Hotel Oregon 15 years ago — a single speaker in the Paragon Room. It has expanded to include several speakers at McMinnville Community Center, 600 N.E. Evans St., including:

• Stanton Friedman, physicist/author (“Tell My Story: June Crain, The Air Force and UFOs”), 7 p.m. May 15

• David Marler, author/expert on triangular UFO phenomenon, 7 p.m. May 16

• Kewaunee Lapseritis, authority on the Sasquatch/E.T. phenomenon, 10 a.m. May 17

• James Clarkson, retired police sergeant/co-author of “June Crain,” 10 a.m. May 17

• George Noory, host of radio show “Coast to Coast AM,” 4 p.m. May 17

• Peter Davenport, director of National UFO Reporting Center, 9:30 a.m. May 18

There’ll also be a screening of “Mirage Men” and clips from “Maury Island Incident,” music, food, a dog costume contest, the Abduction Dash run and several topics covered, including the Trent UFO photos, taken outside of McMinnville in 1950, an inspiration for the festival.

For info:

Jason Vondersmith

Contract Publishing

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