LAUGHLIN — Hundreds of people spent three days at the Aquarius Casino Resort learning what results when some people opt to be “Living la Vida Loca,” at least when it comes to interests in things that don’t have an easy explanation.
The entire title of the event was “Time for Truth — UFOs: Living la Vida Loca.”
A photographer working at the event said the theme is simply a strong passion for something and the need to share it with others. UFO researchers seemingly don’t have a lot in common with sellers of New Age products who sat at tables outside the main meeting room. One person involved with the event pointed out that all such pursuits involve looking at everything from a higher level of consciousness.
“It’s working on things you believe will make a difference in the world,” said Jocelyn Buckner, who makes herself available for photography at similar UFO events. She also offers vortex tours of her home town of Sedona, Ariz., and intuitive psychic readings.
Robert Farrell, an author who has written several books about UFOs, including three “UFO Log” fiction titles, spent much of his professional life in engineering. He earned his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, and worked in the plastics industry before helping to start a plastics engineering program at Pennsylvania State University. He also has spent most of his life being interested in UFOs and has written several books on the subject.
“Good science fiction is based on good science,” he said.
Farrell started research for his first fiction book in 2003. He also has written several non-fiction titles that examine the role of science in a variety of topics. Since he retired from the university, he has had more time to be an author.
Paul Davids, who was set to speak on the last day of the three-day convention, first explained that translating the event title from Spanish into English means “living the crazy life.”
Important events in his life seemed to occur in the same fashion as accidents but “were they really accidents?” asked Davids, a writer, producer and director. “How did it come about that I’ve done the kinds of things I’ve done?”
Among things he has done recently include the book “An Atheist in Heaven: The Ultimate Evidence for Life After Death?” and the film “Marilyn Monroe Declassified.”
He said he thinks being open to searching for answers about events that have an aura of mystery surrounding them began when he decided not to attend medical school.
Perhaps even before then.
In a book titled “Blowing America’s Mind: A True Story of Princeton, CIA Mind Control, LSD and Zen,” co-written with John Selby, the two men describe what it was like as Princeton University students participating in the CIA’s LSD-laced hypnotic research during the late 1960s. The New Jersey Neuro-Psychiatric Institute purported to be a place examining the expansion of consciousness, attaining nirvana, and improving sex lives but was actually a secret program researching mind control, Davids said.
“I think it will cause a storm,” he said about the book.
Davids sold his first copy Friday at the event in Laughlin. The opening date for sales on Amazon is listed as Dec. 1.
An example of someone doing something that many people would consider crazy was Edward Martin, who wrote “King of Travelers: Jesus’ Lost Years in India.”
“He sold his house to finance publishing his book,” Davids said. “That’s living la vida loca.”
Davids said some of the perceived passion can arise out of necessity. The recording of many events needs to happen quickly, or at least before witnesses forget, disappear or die.
He provided an example of an event that can be examined with less urgency by saying that it’s unlikely there’s anything else to unearth regarding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. But he then mentioned a story about the event that seems outlandish, yet continues to come up.
“Some people think (John Wilkes) Booth escaped, made his way to England and acted there. But how are we going to know if that story is real?” he asked. “Some people get so swept away by the mystery of something that they’ll abandon a normal lifestyle.”
One of the event’s hosts was Don Schmitt, who has written and co-written numerous books about what might have happened near Roswell, N.M., in July 1947. Some believe a space ship crashed near there and that the government has gone to extraordinary lengths to cover it up.
Documents published in the 1990s by the military say the object that crashed was a nuclear-test surveillance balloon. Not everyone believes that, however. Schmitt has been involved for about 30 years with various books and other projects that look into what might have happened near Roswell.
He told the audience Friday there were originally up to 600 witnesses who could have helped piece together what happened. That number of people now is small and fast approaching zero.
He said the door to possibly figuring out what happened is beginning to close, so there’s an added sense of urgency accompanying efforts to talk to people before it’s no longer possible to record what they might have witnessed.
Such extreme measures taken to cover-up what happened only adds to the need — and desire — to find out more about what happened, Schmitt said.
He also said officials “sure were behaving as if (Roswell) was something extraordinary.”
Another UFO event by StarworksUSA is scheduled for Laughlin in November 2018.