Talk show taps local UFO expert
Alongside three witnesses to strange encounters, a local UFO expert will appear on Anderson Cooper's talk show at 11 a.m. today on WPXI-TV.
John Ventre of Hempfield, state director of the Mutual UFO Network, was contacted by producers of the show to spar with a skeptic and discuss the experiences of three women, including one from Bucks County.
Ventre said that during the taping in New York City on April 13, Cooper broached the possibility of life beyond Earth, although the CNN broadcast journalist was unsure of any encounters.
"He said in the opening of the show he believed in life in space, based on the number of planets and stars out there," Ventre said.
The discussion will include Joe Nickell, a senior research fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, during about 20 to 30 minutes of the show, Ventre said.
Ventre said he appeared with the hope that more people will feel comfortable relaying their own stories of unexplained encounters.
"I even tell people, 'You've got to Google before you giggle' because when you talk about UFOs people laugh," Ventre said. "My goal is to make it comfortable for people to come forward and report what they've seen."
Cooper and his audience heard from Denise Murter of Levittown, who recalled her sighting in 2008, when "metallic sprinkles" were left in a tree near her home, Ventre said.
MUFON tested the leaves from the tree as well as others nearby and found high levels of boron, magnesium and anthocyanin only on Murter's tree.
"Her leaves had those three elements, which leads us to believe something strange happened," Ventre said. "She had what we would call 'trace evidence' on the tree."
The other two women talked about an encounter in Kentucky April 2011 when they followed mysterious lights, he said.
"They were out on a country drive in Kentucky and they saw a UFO that they tried to follow" and could not account for more than four hours after the encounter, Ventre said.
MUFON hired a hypnotherapist to use regressive hypnosis to draw their encounter out from their subconscious, he said.
Nickell believes there has to be another explanation for each woman's experience.
"In his mind, it couldn't have taken place, you would look up and see stars or have to be sleepwalking, drinking or on drugs," Ventre said.
About 300 UFO sightings are reported in Pennsylvania each year to MUFON, which has 105 members throughout the state, he said.
For the past four years, MUFON has held a conference at Westmoreland County Community College, which attracted 500 people over the course of two days in October, Ventre said.
Ventre said that during the taping in New York he was able to meet comedienne Fran Drescher.
"She shook our hands. She was very nice," Ventre said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- ‘Shark Tank’ companies have change of heart
- More departments in region eye equipping officers with Narcan to treat overdoses
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Blaze rips through Salem house
- Faithful stand together in Wilkinsburg
- Buffet: Berkshire’s built to last
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Tech sector’s stocks strong