Bits & Pieces: UFO fans unite in McMinnville
Do you believe?
"The Truth Is Still Out There," they used to say about the "The X-Files," and for 20 years the UFO Festival in McMinnville has done its part to educate about and make legitimate the world of extraterrestrials.
The 20th version of the festival takes place Sept. 24-25 in McMinnville, with headquarters at McMenamins' Hotel Oregon. There'll be guest speakers and a panel discussion — tickets still available — as well as the popular costume party and more. The parade won't be held, as a safety precaution with COVID-19 still around.
"We're selling most of our tickets, people seem to want to get out and learn and have a good time with the aliens," said Tim Hills, McMenamins' historian.
Hills has been part of the UFO Festival for years, and he has come around to UFOlogists' way of thinking: something's out there.
Hills tells the story of the area farmer whose photos of a flying saucer made the McMinnville newspaper in 1950. "Up to that point, I had no interest in UFOs, but after hearing all these stories and talking to different folks who come to the event to speak, I don't think it's so crazy anymore," Hills said. "That's what's so important about the event. We have some crazy fun, but it's to get the latest, greatest scientific information about UFOs and what they are. We've drawn the best UFOologists in the world."
This year, one speaker is Michael Masters, a professor of anthology at Montana Tech and theorist of "extratempesterials."
Said Hills: "The thrust of his research is that UFOs are the ancestors of us and they're coming back from the future to see how it turned out."
Another speaker is Katie Griboski, Colorado's state director of the Mutual UFO Network.
Said Hills: "She'll talk about this crazy ranch in Colorado where all things UFO have been going on for years."
Last year would have been the 20th UFO Festival, but it was scrubbed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions.
For more: www.UFOFest.com.
Portland writers are coming out with "Historic Cemeteries of Portland, Oregon," covering 25 cemeteries around the Portland metro area.
Featured cemeteries include Mountain View Oregon City, Lincoln Memorial Park and Milwaukie Pioneer. Each chapter contains cemetery history, headstone information, background on some residents, recreational opportunities (biking, birding, guided tours) and some eerie tales.
There'll be a book launch at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Laurelhurst Park.
An 8-foot-tall Lee Kelly sculpture, "Broken Landscape," sat on the grounds of Marylhurst University for 50 years, from 1969 to 2019. Crews last week moved it to The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Course, which had purchased the sculpture.
"It is exciting that there is a demand for these seminal early sculptures by Lee Kelly," said Elizabeth Leach, who has hosted Kelly exhibits at Elizabeth Leach Gallery.
'Dying for a Fight'
Oregon Public Broadcasting has a new podcast series focused on the unsolved 2019 killing of Portland anti-fascist and activist Sean Kealiher. "Dying for a Fight" features Kealiher's mother and her quest for justice.
The series is a new season of the investigative podcast, "The Fault Line," and it's hosted by political extremist journalist Sergio Olmos.
The first episode is available now on Apple Podcasts and at www.opb.org and other outlets.
'Jesus Christ Superstar'
Broadway Across America has returned, and its first production since spring 2020 in Portland is "Jesus Christ Superstar," which is set to stage at Keller Auditorium, Sept. 28 to Oct. 3. Aaron LaVigne returns to his role as Jesus, and James T. Justis plays Judas and Jenna Rubaii as Mary. For all Broadway In Portland info, see www.broadwayinportland.com.
'Stoke the Fire'
It's almost ski/snowboard season, and Teton Gravity Research's 26th annual film, "Stoke the Fire," comes to the big screen in Portland on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Aladdin Theater. It's titled "Stoke the Fire," and it'll get visitors in the mood to hit the slopes. Doors open for the early show at 5:30 p.m., and the late show at 8:15 p.m.
For tickets: www.aladdin-theater.com.
Here's a fun book for kids: A "Star Wars" book, "I Wish I Had a Wookiee: And Other Poems for our Galaxy," by New York Times bestselling author and Portland native Ian Doescher. It's on sale Sept. 28, published by Quirk Books. It's filled with 75 whimsical, original and kid-friendly poems from the author of "William Shakespeare's Star Wars" series.
The Portland Latin American Film Festival takes place Sept. 22 to Nov. 17 at Hollywood Theatre.
There'll be nine feature films, documentaries and short films from Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay and United States. It kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 22, with Mexican landmark film "Y Tu Mama Tambien (And your Mama too)" by Academy Award-winner Alfonso Cuaron; it's the 20th anniversary of the film.
For more: www.pdxlaff.org.
Phil Knight has received the comic book treatment.
TidalWave Productions' "Orbit: Phil Knight: Co-Founder of Nike" was released Sept. 15. It's written by Michael Frizell with art by Yudhi Suryo. It's available digitally and through Amazon and other print outlets.
TidalWave has done profiles of many prominent people.
Said Frizell, an educator at Missouri State University in Springfield, "When you see the Nike swoosh, you know the brand. It's world-renowned. So, yeah, I felt the heat to get this script right. I spent about a month researching Phil Knight. I read countless articles, watched several interviews, and compiled a timeline that made sense for comic readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did working on it."
Portland singer Jimmie Herrod made the finals of "America's Got Talent," but fan vote eliminated him in last week's finale. He sang a version of "It's a Wonderful World."
Said judge Howie Mandel: "You could take any classic song and make it your own. Because you are a classic. I've never heard a voice more pure."
Said Heidi Klum: "You are my favorite discovery of the season, a class act, a superstar."
Said Sofia Vergara: "You brought this song and again made it your style."
Said Simon Cowell: "You got your fire back. We'd been missing something from Jimmie, which you gave us in the last 10 seconds, you gave us that big power, diva note. You delivered it for us."
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