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Mutual UFO Network International UFO Symposium: Transcending Politics & Comfort Zones in Ufology

We’ve all searched the skies for shooting stars and constellations, but why is it that many of us are adamantly opposed to the idea of aliens zooming around up there in cool ships? Fortunately, some groups have the gumption to embrace such far-out possibilities, and the Mutual UFO Network’s International UFO Symposium, “Transcending Politics & Comfort Zones in Ufology,” will blast into orbit this weekend in Arlington. (Perhaps Area 51 was already booked.) The symposium launches Friday, July 2, at 6 p.m. with a buffet dinner and party complete with, as MUFON’s symposium coordinator Susan L. Swiatek proclaims, “glow-in-the-dark alien heads, weird decorations, cool UFO music, and lots of surprises.” Lectures from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 4, delve into the politics surrounding UFOs and examine the comfort zones we build to protect us from challenging ideas. Notables such as UFO researchers Budd Hopkins, Stanton F. Friedman, and Jenny Randles will discuss alien-human interactions, UFO philosophies, UFO sightings, and other topics. Enjoy an omelet Sunday, July 4, at 11 a.m. at a brunch with Encounter author Kelly Cahill and local abductees. Showing for the duration of the symposium is an exhibit of art by UFO witnesses featuring the work of well-known multiple abductee Betty Andreasson Luca. And don’t worry if you didn’t make reservations: There are bound to be a few unplanned—and unexplained—absences. At the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington. Admittance to the opening party or the brunch is $25. (The brunch requires reservations.) Admittance to the lectures is $75 (or $16 per lecture). Admittance to the art exhibit is free. (703) 250-0709. (Liz Eckstein)