No, this isn’t the name of some new post-punk Irish-indie group, it’s my travelogue from my 4th of July weekend pilgrimage to the Mecca of UFOlogy; Roswell, New Mexico.
I was asked to speak at the Roswell CE4 conference because Joe Jordan, one of the organizers (and a hell of a nice guy) liked Dark Mission and because they couldn’t get Richard to come. I was happy to do it because I love to talk about Dark Mission, I love meeting new people, and it gave me an excuse to go to New Mexico and have some meetings with Richard on Dark Mission II. After some scheduling conflicts were resolved, my lecture was scheduled for Saturday afternoon the 5th of July.
Because I hate to fly, I decided to leave my day job (I’m a card carrying member of the military\industrial complex) early on Thursday the 3rd and drive to Phoenix for the night, leaving a relatively easy 6-hour run to Albuquerque on Friday. The drive to Phoenix was uneventful, except for the beautiful desert scenery and blue skies. I stayed at the Glendale Renaissance hotel, which is right across the parking lot from the Cardinals new stadium (and was built for last years Super Bowl). It’s a gorgeous hotel, and if you get a chance to stay in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend it. I grabbed dinner at the Yardhouse, right next to the hotel, and had two beers, blowing my diet for the week. Oh well.
As I walked back to the hotel there was an intense lighting storm just a mile or two away (it was like 113 degrees that day). No thunder, just lightening every 5 seconds or so. This seemed not to bother the locals, who blissfully chatted under lampposts and tall trees, apparently not too worried about getting “Dannion Brinklyed” by the electrical storm. I got inside as quickly as I could.
I arrived in Albuquerque only to find Richard hobbled from the venomous bite of some unknown insect or arachnid. The pain was so bad that we couldn’t really even discuss the new data he wanted to show me, so Robin and I watched fireworks from the porch of the hacienda de Hoagy.
The next day, I mounted my trusty steed Beyonce’ (because she’s black, she’s beautiful, and she has a very shapely… um, trunk) and hit the road to Roswell. I elected to take the long route because I wanted to see more of the countryside and I had plenty of time to get there. Along the I-25 I passed by signs pointing to the Very Large Array, and I was sorely tempted to divert there and hang out for the day, but duty called and I didn’t want to disappoint my fans (all three of them). One thing I discovered is that New Mexico has an abundance of suicidal bunnies that set up shop in the middle of the freeway or try to run under your car without getting hit. They are very good at this, and after driving over one of them and not touching a hare on his head, I decided that maybe it wasn’t a great idea to be texting on the freeway at 80 miles per hour. The experience did inspire me however, as I am now committed to starting an all girl goth-punk band called The Suicide Bunnies. Apply within…
When I got to the conference site I immediately saw a familiar face, producer Paul Davids (of “Roswell” fame) and had a nice chat, having not seen him in years. Inside I met Joe and Free Ward and a number of other very nice people who were part of the conference. After setting up my video and slide show with the projection folks, I slide down to the auditorium to catch the tail end of Farah Yurdozu’s lecture, which had a surprising number if parallels to mine. After a short break, Peter Robbins gave me a very nice introduction and I took the stage.
The talk went well, although I went a bit overtime as it’s well-nigh impossible to compress a 550 page book into a 90 minute lecture slot, but apparently I did OK. Most people that saw the lecture told me it was very good, and evidently I’ll be receiving a DVD of it soon so you’ll be able to judge for yourself. Richard Dolan was particularly nice, and it was good to meet a familiar and respected figure from the UFO community.
I would have liked to have stayed, but duty (and Richard) called so I headed back to Albuquerque. Richard was feeling better from his scorpion sting, and Steve Basset was in the driveway when I got there so we all hung out for the evening. Robin made us another great dinner and after that Richard blew my head up (again!) with the new material. I have to admit, I was skeptical of this new direction for Dark Mission II, but after seeing what he has I was gung-ho. The new data is REALLY cool.
The next day it was back to LA and very perturbed cat, who only had the critter care lady to keep her company while I was gallivanting around the country. Fortunately, she’s forgiven me just in time for her birthday, which is Friday. I’m getting her a session with a pet psychic.
All in all, it was fun. I wish I could have hung out in Roswell more, and if they invite me again I certainly will. The town is very nice and the alien motif is everywhere. I highly recommend you go sometime; it’s a really fun little town.
There are some more photos over on my flickr site.