Remember that scene out of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind where hundreds of yellow-clad Saivite yogis pointed skyward in India showing where they heard the melodic message tones of a sun-bright UFO (Unidentified Flying Object)? Close Encounters was enrapturing entertainment. It was also memorable education. According to a huge percentage of the world population (including half the U.S. population), and to a large body of professional scientists, military officers, researchers and psychic sensitives. Close Encounters are fact, not fiction.

To seriously articulate and pursue the evidence of UFO experiences, the International Symposium on Unidentified Aireal Phenomena turned Washington, D.C., into a galactic hub of extraterrestrial research June 26th-28th. The symposium also marked the 40th anniversary of our 20th century's first real awakening to UFOs' when a fleet of space-faring craft silently swept over the northwestern U.S. in the summer of '47.

UFOlogy, as the science of UFOs' is known, was born that day. And it kicked off 40 years of intense UFO activity, a squashed and buried U.S. Air Force inquiry (Project Blue Book, ended 1969) and the subsequent battle between UFOlogists and the U.S. government over physical evidence and UFO-sighting documents the Air Force won't release. The fireworks of the convention centered around a presentation by three researchers on a document known as MJ-13 obtained from the government 2[?] years ago. MJ-13 is a communication to President Eisenhower concerning an Air Force recovery of a crashed UFO and its occupant and a subsequent governmental cover-up.

The UFO camp itself has settled into two distinct groups: the scientist researchers interested in intergalactic technology and the New Age community interested in intergalactic spirituality as communicated by extraterrestial beings. Many of these beings have Sanskrit or Sanskrit-like names and espouse a cosmological outlook identical to the more inner forms of Hinduism. As Sherry Stark, editor of California UFO magazine, who attended the Symposium, said, "It's the material versus the psychic. This symposium was mainly the military-scientist government view. The fringe was the psychic faction, but they came a lot closer together."

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.