Contact in the Desert – 2105
Contact in the Desert is growing into a premier Ufology event drawing thousands from around the world. When I first arrived on site in 2013 and ran into Paul Andrews, I was surprised. Then I decided to rekindle an association that started back in 1998. Paul had invited me to come work for him in LA, just off Venice Beach.
I had spectacular results in running The Prophets Conference in Phoenix the previous October. The only bummer was Cody and Robyn Johnson split town without paying me or Jim Dilettoso (right), who had recommended me to them. We did get something later, but then I had to pay the local waste management and generator folks. It was a sad situation and no one suspected the Axiom Group of such behaviors.
Paul and I didn’t work out at the time back then, but it was good to see he had teamed up with Victoria to produce Contact in the Desert. It was a spectacular showing although at the worst time of year for most folks, especially the elderly. It took two years to move it to May and even this last weekend was a bit too much for many. I ran into a elderly woman using a walker who was obviously determined to be there, but had a heck of time in the heat. Perhaps moving it to a different meteor shower period – Lyrids Meteor Shower – might do, April 22-23 with a full moon on April 22.
Speaking of Victoria, Paul’s event partner, she even got into the act of sharing her experiences and understanding on one of the panels in the amphitheater. It was really great to see one of the event coordinators reveal their story. I’m sure the DVD is available through the Contact in the Desert website. All the presentations will be available soon. Ask around and get your favorites. I think you can get the whole package for around $100.
I love getting into the thick of things, consistent with my given name, Bruce (means ‘dweller of the thicket), and volunteered as an A/V runner delivering the master copies of DVDs to the duplication station just outside the Sanctuary, the main speaker location. I ran into many folks I’ve known for years and met some new folks as well, like John Anthony West.
Of course there were some challenges with the event. When you have a first-some, first-served entrance into the main events it can be a challenge to get in and/or have a decent seat. There were viewing areas outdoors as well that were packed, too. With folks like Erich Von Daniken, Giorgio Tsoukalos, Jimmy Church and George Noory present there is always a crowd around them. Even at 80 (Erich had a birthday over the weekend) he still stands and delivers with a rapid-fire onset of details and facts from years of experience.
Speaking of experience, Grant Cameron and I had a wonderful, albeit short, chat on Sunday and he requested a copy of Zendor the Contrarian, so I’m waiting with baited breath for the review. Grant is one of the most observant and reflective of the cadre of Ufologists. He’s a bit like Richard Dolan, who thought I must be tagged upon our initial meeting in Phoenix some years ago. The difference is Grant spends much less time on conspiracy as he looks for the threads of commonality in experiencers and evidence of a larger perspective of Communion amongst humanity and our visitors, entering a new state of consciousness.
The Experiencer Gatherings, hosted by Alan Steinfeld and Barbara Jean Lindsey on Friday and Barbara on Sunday were especially dear to my heart. Many folks come to find corroboration and validation in their experiences, even solace in the fact that they are not alone and their concerns are heard. Each has their own interpretation and understanding depending on their level of consciousness and observation capacity. What seemed to be stressed the most through the sharings was to not be afraid and embrace the energy instead of trying to fight it.
Now that doesn’t mean complete surrender to that which you might feel dangerous. It was mentioned that although one may not be prepared, the process of evolution – coming to terms with the cosmic consciousness condensed into form – is tantamount to rising above the fear, guilt and shame game that inhibits the sense of Oneness that more advanced experiencers acknowledge. The sense of open-heartedness in the meetings was obvious in how folks treated one another, too.
The attendance for the event has grown by leaps and bounds, with parking strewn across the 17-acre grounds. I’m not sure of the exact attendance, but it seemed around a couple thousand. We had around five thousand come through at the Prophets Conference in 1997. Event attendance in general is down from years past, but it’s beginning to climb again. The contrast of being in the open-air instead of hotel or resort environments is refreshing, kinda of a Burning Man rendition of Ufology.
Walking around the grounds at night revealed many small groupings of folks enjoy each others company, perhaps for the first time. An observer could easily recognize the exuberance and childlike spontaneity of experiencers all across the event grounds. There were some real serious types that often find it difficult to be happy, but the majority of folks by far enjoyed the weekend of Contact in the Desert.
In view but not a big topic of discussion was the presence of FREE via posters Rey Hernandez left with me from the International UFO Congress in February. I’m already looking forward to next year. Thanks to Paul and Victoria and all the staff and volunteers who made this event a memorable one for thousands. In only its third year it is promising to be one of the largest gatherings in the world now. If you considered going this year, but didn’t, I’d make sure to get your ticket early next year.
We also invite you to find and visit the Rose Cottage in the evenings for some conversation and comaraderie. You’ll meet some of the most interesting folks in a much more intimate environment. Our small group of diverse and unique travelers will welcome you with style and grace. Look forward to seeing you there!
This year’s gathering included Ron James and Steven Bassett. Ron and I had met several years ago when he owned Dream Theater in the Village of Oak Creek, just outside Sedona. An old friend, Swami Beyondananda, was doing a show there. Ron runs a magnificent network called iVolveTV that features material you just have to explore. He also produced the Citizens Hearing DVDs.
Btw, we’re looking for more authors for UfologyPRSS. If you’d like to contribute, please sent us an email with your contact information and reason for wanting to be a contributor, plus a writing sample or link to something of yours online.