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
"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.