Click photo to enlarge
Hatcher Childress, an author who has studied ancient
civilizations, speaks Saturday at the Aztec UFO 2007
AZTEC — Norio Hayakawa says he has always approached the
question of whether unidentified flying objects (UFOs) exist
with a certain amount of skepticism.
He said he has spent the better part of four decades making
sure not to believe just any old claim.
Hayakawa was one of a couple hundred of people to visit the
Aztec Boys and Girls Club on Saturday during Aztec's 2007 UFO
Symposium. All types of believers with incredible stories
showed up for the 10th year of the annual event.
Hayakawa said many of the so-called UFO sightings are
nothing more than rumors perpetuated by the government to
discredit people's claims of seeing advanced military
technology. Hayakawa alleges that the federal government is
behind these rumors to conceal the fact that they have
military devices way beyond what the public believes exist.
Talk of alien ships are a nice way to make sure that no one
seriously investigates the sightings.
But there is one sighting he feels cannot be refuted.
Hayakawa said the March 1950 sighting of UFOs in
Farmington has too many witnesses who told too
consistent stories to consider it anything but truth.
"I'm still skeptical, except about the Farmington sighting.
... I have doubt in my mind that people saw these objects high
in the sky," he said.
Hayakawa, a writer from Los Angeles, Calif., who works at a
funeral home, has helped write articles and lead Japanese
documentaries about paranormal activities and other
He estimates he has visited and researched countless sites
all across the country.
Some merely believe in UFOs. Others claim to have
first-hand experience. And some were just there to find out
what's going on in the curious world of the paranormal.
Jodi Shand, 68, of Aztec, attended the first two symposiums
but said, for one reason or another, she took a break for a
while. She decided to return again this year to find out more
about what is going on in the community of the believers.
Shand's fascination with UFOs dates back as long as she can
remember. But the turning point in her life came a few years
ago on what began as a normal day.
Shand recalls, with chilling detail, how one day she got
home from work early in the afternoon and turned on the
television to the news. It was a national news program but
when it flipped to the local program, the local anchor in
Colorado looked upset, she said.
"He said, Okay, we have some footage from Phoenix, I don't
know what to make of this ... you have to make up your own
mind,'" she said.
The footage was of a huge spaceship hovering over
residential neighborhoods in the broad daylight, she said.
Hundreds of people stared skywards as a huge metallic ship
Shand never saw that footage again. She believes the
government pulled it and saw to it that no one saw the clips.
Naturally, her belief in UFOs has not altered since.
"I know they're real because I saw it. It wasn't a fake
thing. And all of these regular people, looking at this thing
on a Sunday afternoon. It was fascinating and I thought wow,
it's not a secret anymore,'" she said. "There's just been so
many people who've seen or experienced things that I just
don't think they're all nuts."
On Saturday, Shand wanted to learn more about what else is
out there and being overlooked. She said she does not think
about UFOs and other bizarre goings-on too often, but once in
a while, she likes to learn a little bit more about what other
people have seen and experienced.
At the event, she purchased a book by David Hatcher
Childress, one of the speakers at the symposium. She was eager
to learn more about the lost cities Childress claims can be
found all around the world.
Childress, who grew up in Durango, Colo., spoke at length
about a variety of topics including ancient electricity,
ancient power sources and lost cities. He estimates there are
more than 200 sunken cities in the Mediterranean Sea alone.
His central theory is that very advanced civilizations
existed long before our own, but, as predicted by the Mayans,
they fell victim to natural cycles of pole shifts that cause
destruction and rebirth.
Using a slide-show, he presented his case for the
proposition that these civilizations could not have achieved
what they did using only the primitive resources that
mainstream archaeologists believe they could access.
According to Childress, what they accomplished required
much greater technology.
Blanche Zola, 71, of Gay Mills, Wis., has read one of his
books and is looking forward to learning more about what she
believes is her true heritage.
Childress traces the supposed roots of these former
civilizations. Upon hearing Childress' presentation, Zola
became interested in learning more.
Through studies of ancient, yet undocumented societies,
Zola hopes to piece together more about her own past and where
she comes from. She owns 1,000 books already. But after this
weekend's symposium, the count is sure to increase.
The UFO Symposium continues today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Everyone, including skeptics, are invited.
Cory Frolik: email@example.com