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UFO hunters push for truth at Westmoreland convention

It's been a very good year for the UFO community — with 350 Pennsylvania sightings, three times more than last year.

There have been disappointments as well, including what some people see as a continued unwillingness of government officials to break with the past and tell the truth to the American people.

It's about time President Obama, or one of the former living presidents, had a heart-to-heart with the public, said John Ventre, president of the state chapter of the Mutual UFO Network at the group's second annual Westmoreland County convention on Saturday.

About 130 people paid $15 each to attend yesterday's events, which featured speakers such as Patty Wilson, a paranormal researcher and author, Eric Altman of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society and Bill Birnes of the History Channel's "UFO Hunters" program.

"I think no doubt the government knows that UFOs have visited the earth, that UFOs are real," Ventre said during a break at Westmoreland County Community College, where the convention was held.

"But the government believes the public can't handle the truth," Ventre said. "I disagree."

Ventre said the Washington cover-up goes back more than 60 years, to President Harry Truman.

Stan Gordon, a UFO and Big Foot expert from Greensburg, said the government should be more forthcoming, but he is not hopeful.

"My feeling is that presidents find out it's a much higher security level than they thought" while campaigning, Gordon said. "It involves other nations."

The other reason presidents have kept quiet, Gordon said, is that they quickly learn there is little the government can do to prevent objects from other planets penetrating Earth's air space.

"I'm always hopeful any administration would take (UFOs) seriously and speak honestly to people," Gordon said.

Terrie Seech of the Center For Unexplained Events, based in Aliquippa, said it's possible Obama knows some things but not everything about UFO sightings and other extraterrestrial occurrences.

She mentioned a "black government" that acts "clandestinely" out of the reach of not only Obama but of the 10 other presidents who followed Truman.

Ventre of Greensburg said of the 350 UFO sightings statewide from the summer of 2008 to the summer of 2009, about 75 occurred in Westmoreland County.

He said he thought the reason was that he and Gordon are well-known and people weren't embarrassed to call them about unexplained events.

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