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UFO meeting lands at Westmoreland County Community College

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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Since the dawn of mankind, people have been fascinated with the unknown — unexplained objects or creatures on both land and in the air.

The annual Pittsburgh UFO Conference, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, will be held on Saturday in the Science Building on the Westmoreland County Community College campus near Youngwood.

“In 2008 we had a large increase in the number of UFO sightings and thought that we could host an event about those sightings and other cases,” MUFON Pennsylvania Director John Ventre of Greensburg said.

The conference will feature speakers who will cover an array of topics dealing with the unknown and unexplained. “We have been averaging about a 15 percent increase in attendance every year,” Ventre said.

Speakers will include Linda Moulton Howe, Kathy Marden, Stan Gordon, Michael Lee Hall and Ventre.

Ventre said that a big draw this year will be Moulton Howe, whom he described as a world-famous UFOlogist and radio personality.

“She has a coast-to-coast radio show,” Ventre said. “It's nice to have one big name that will get people interested, and people will also come who are interested in one particular topic. That is one reason that we have speakers that will cover different topics.”

Ventre said that the two other UFO conferences held earlier this year in the state were both well attended, with Philadelphia drawing several hundred people, as did an initial conference held in Erie in May.

“We were a little surprised what a nice turnout we had in Erie this year,” Ventre said.

Gordon of Greensburg, another speaker, invites anyone who has a story on a UFO, Bigfoot or Thunderbird sighting, or any other area of the unknown, to feel free to discuss their experiences with him.

“People are sometimes embarrassed or they are afraid that people will make fun of them,” Gordon said. “We welcome anyone's input or information. We want to hear their stories and we are interested in what they have to say.”

Gordon said many people are now looking more into those things in life that cannot be explained.

“There are so many television shows that are on now that have piqued people's interest,” Gordon said.

Ventre agreed that television has played a big part in attracting more participation.

“People watch these shows and realize that they present alternate ideas,” Ventre said. “They become intrigued and they want to learn more.”

Fifteen vendors at the event that will offer a variety of UFO, Bigfoot and other unexplained phenomenon items and information.

Gordon said that in the past few weeks, several UFO sightings have been reported in this area.

“We have had a lot of sightings just recently and we hope that we attract some of the people who may have seen something,” Gordon said. “We are open to any input people can give us.”

Admittance to the conference costs $29 per person, which includes lunch.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m.

For information, visit the website at

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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