The New Mexico chapter of the Mutual UFO Network held its statewide meeting in Alamogordo Sunday. However, there were no discussions of alien plots to take over the world. There were no in depth conversations of the inner workings of space ships or even much talk about government cover up conspiracies.

In fact, the bulk of the lecture, presented by Don Burleson, state director of MUFON, involved the solar system and using knowledge of the stars to debunk false UFO sightings.

"If you know where these low bright stars are, then you'll know if you've seen something different," said Burleson, who lives in Roswell.

He explained that many times, flickering stars seen low in the sky are mistaken for UFO's and in order to weed out these alleged sightings, investigators must have a good knowledge of the night sky during different seasons.

He added that such knowledge also helps identify UFO's because if a sighting occurs in the sky where there are no known stars, then the possibility exists that it is a UFO.

Burleson, who claims a belief in extraterrestrials, said that a UFO doesn't necessarily indicate some alien life presence visiting the earth.

"Basically, all we're saying is that something was seen flying and we don't


know what it is," Burleson said, adding that such is apparent in the acronym UFO. Although the term has come to symbolize a flying saucer, the actual definition is unidentified flying object.

About 14 local residents attended the conference Saturday.

"I just thought it looked like something to do on a Saturday," said Jim Greeley, of Alamogordo. "I wanted to see what it was all about."

MUFON was founded in 1969 and has about 3,000 members worldwide. Burleson said the group is a spinoff of an earlier organization called Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization that was started in the 1950s.