Reality Checking with Brent Raynes


Discover the connection between UFO visitors and shamanic lore! Brent Raynes' stunning book—intro. by Brad Steiger.

Visitors from Hidden Realms: The Origin and Destiny of Humanity As Told by Star Elders, Shamen, and UFO Visitors

The 19th Annual Ozark UFO Conference

My wife Joan and I recently took to the Ozarks to attend the 19th annual Ozark UFO Conference held at the Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on April 13th, 14th, and 15th. Lucius Farish, known to most of us simply as “Lou,” was again the Conference Coordinator. To anyone in ufology, Lou hardly needs an introduction. A well-known and highly respected UFO researcher, Lou has authored hundreds of UFO articles, and for many years has distributed a monthly UFO newsclipping service. I was genuinely looking forward to finally getting to meet this ufological legend. Lou was one of my first correspondents in the UFO field back in the 1960s.

Joan and I had a great time. We set up a vendor’s table and I got to autograph over a dozen copies of my book, Visitors From Hidden Realms. Hundreds of people arrived from all over, and it was obvious that Lou had organized everything well and that everything was under control. It was fun to meet and talk with all of the different people. I heard a lot of very interesting stories and got to interview some of the keynote speakers at this conference (which I’ll be sharing with you, of course).

I thought it would be interesting to ask a number of the attendees and speakers to share their personal thoughts and feelings on Lou’s highly successful and long lasting conference in the Ozarks. Here’s the responses that I got:

“This is my first time here at this conference,” Richard Dolan told me. “I’ve done dozens of conferences around the country over the last five to six years. I had never been to Eureka Springs, and this is really a special place. I think that Lou has got a very professional and very friendly atmosphere that he has organized here. Sharp people, both presenters and attendees, and it has been a real treat for me personally to be here.” Richard was one of the key note speakers at this conference. (See his interview in this issue)

“The Ozark UFO Conference is extremely special,” noted Jean Seifried, a local woman who describes herself as a “retired” ufologist. “It’s unique in that it’s not affiliated with any large organization. As a MUFON state director for many, many years I of course attended a lot of conferences, specifically of course MUFON conferences each year, which are wonderful information-wise, but there’s something about the Ozark Conference. It entertains the same speakers who go to the international conferences but here at the Ozark Conference there is a different type of comradery. You meet people here, you become good friends with them, and you see them again the next year and so on. You have great, very open friendships where anybody is invited to go out to dinner. There’s nothing snooty about anyone here.”

“Every year Lou talks about retirement and every year we say, ‘You can’t! You can’t retire!’ We want to continue having this.”

“My first one was in 1993,” recalled Marc Davenport. “I’ve only missed a couple since then. In fact, Leah (Haley) and I met at this conference. My book Visitors From Time had just been published and I had a book table and she had just given a talk, and in her talk she talked about things that she had been taught during her abduction experiences, and a couple of them had to do with time, the dilation of time, and how there could be different dimensions and everything, and it was so close to what I was trying to convey in my book that I told her that she should really read my book. She thought that I was just another vendor trying to sell her my book, but something made her go ahead later and get my book. She got interested in it, and we started promoting each others books, and that’s kind of how we met, and one or the other of us I think has come to every one of these conferences since then.

Marc Davenport & Leah Haley

Wendelle Stevens

Phyllis Galde

“At one time, we sold books before got involved in it. We were doing the same thing. We were selling every book in print on the Internet and we’d come to this conference and we’d bring like 1500 books. We had 14 tables at one point. We were Greenleaf Publications.

“We were trying to do that because we couldn’t make a living just selling our own books. We really wanted to open people’s minds about this subject and to educate people about what’s going on. We were doing that as a means to make a living because at that point we really didn’t have time to have other jobs and do what we were doing. Publishing, writing, lecturing, and all of that stuff.

“This is the first year that we’ve come here just to hang around with our friends and not sit at a book table or give a lecture or anything like that.

“This is a very good conference. I particularly like the Laughlin conference, the week long International UFO Congress convention out in Nevada. This is probably my second favorite. So many of these people here are my old friends from years and years ago, and we all come back every year. It’s a reunion type of deal, and Lou usually has a pretty good line up of speakers who will let you know all of the latest things that are happening, and he keeps it from being too New Age-y, because when you get into that really woo woo stuff where people are channeling and so on, well that’s not really my cup of tea very much, and he keeps that kind of stuff to a minimum. It’s more of a nuts and bolts conference and I like that.”

“I’ve been coming to this conference since 1992,” Leah Haley herself added. “When I first started coming here I’d go to all of the lectures and sit there and just hang on to every single word that everybody said, and now I’ve heard just about everybody’s lectures and kept up with them over the years. I don’t do that anymore. Now I come just to hang out with friends that I’ve made—life long friends. You might not think about that aspect of a UFO conference, but I’ve made some of the most wonderful, wonderful friends that I’ve ever made in my entire life.”

“This is the 19th conference,” Forest Crawford stated. “I think that I’ve attended 15 of the 19. I’ve spoken at like 12 of them. What I can say about this conference is that it’s absolutely my favorite UFO conference of the year, of the millennium. I love coming down here. It’s probably the only conference that I’ll make sure that I make every year, no matter what. Whether I’m talking or not it doesn’t matter. The atmosphere is always special. It’s like coming to this other reality and hooking up with old friends for the weekend, and hearing new information. It couldn’t be more wonderful. I’ve always liked Lou’s line up. Not because he puts me on occasionally, but he always picks quality speakers that are delivering high quality information, and there’s also a kind of magical quality that happens by accident, if such a thing exists, and it’ll be something like for instance if I’m going to talk (and I usually won’t necessarily know what I’m going to talk about till right before the conference, like maybe a few months). It used to be where Lou would call me up and he’d say, “Okay, what are you going to talk about this year?” And I’d say, “I don’t know.” But something would come to me. There’s not a scientific way of putting it, but it would be like there would be some case or there would be some research that I was working on, and things would just kind of fall into place and it would be like, “Oh, this is what I’m supposed to talk about.” It was a very intuitive kind of process. So I would write whatever it was about and I’ve talked about a lot of different topics down here. I don’t really have a particular research specialty. I’ve worked with abduction experiencers, I’ve worked with anti-gravity, energy repulsion, spiritual stuff. I even had an artist down here one year whose art was influenced by experiences he had and I was working with him to understand that.

“What ends up happening is, no matter what topic, everybody’s speeches kind of end up going together, and it won’t be like I’ll call up Linda and say, “Hey Linda, what are you talking about?”, trying to make my talk match hers. It doesn’t work like that. It’s like we all show up and go “Hey, nice to see you again.” And we give our presentations and we end up one person overlapping the research of the other and by the end the conference everybody is like quoting the other speakers. So there’s this kind of mystical quality how it all kind of comes together and works, and every year it’s like that.”

Nancy Talbott, another keynote speaker whose specialty is investigating crop circles stated, “There are a lot of factors which make the Eureka Springs conference special. First, it’s a great audience, one which is basically well-informed and attentive, making the effort of putting together these presentations feel not just worthwhile, but appreciated. And Lou Farish sees to it that the speakers are comfortably ensconced and well-taken care of, which matters a lot if you’re on the road as much as I’ve been lately. The best ribs and barbeque I’ve ever tasted, as well as five-star dinning at Rogue’s Manor when somebody in the group is feeling flush…the redbud trees and dogwood in bloom everywhere…and a staff at the Inn which still treats people as if they are guests…it’s a lovely package.”

“And, of course, there’s Gary Massey and Izzy Perkin’s fabulous Lone Star Bar—classic Southern-style hospitality, all-night schmoozing and intense debate with others interested in all things anomalous, and heavy-duty, down-and-dirty, live rock ‘n roll until dawn.”

“It’s my kind of place.”

Lou came by our table on the second day. I had put out on display replicas of the Peruvian whistling vessels and had mentioned in an earlier email the possibility of giving a demonstration during the Sunday “mini-sessions.” Lou had said that he was interested in seeing them and joked that, “I just hope we won’t have the entire audience astral projecting!” I blew into one of the vessels so he could experience how they sounded. He pretended to be affected and started to shake all over.

I told Lou that I had heard many positive statements about the conference. How for many the annual conferences have become a special time to renew old friendships and make new ones. He replied: “Yes, a lot of people have made friends (and more!) as a result of our conferences. We’ve had several people (like Jean and Richard Seifried) move to Eureka Springs after attending the conferences. I’ve always said that we try to have a cross between a UFO conference and a family reunion. It looks as though we’ve partially achieved that. I have certainly made a lot of new friends as a result of doing this every year and I’m very thankful to have all of them.”

I asked Lou how it all got started. “In 1988, a Fort Smith businessman, Bill Pitts, held a small UFO conference at the Inn and we came up to attend,” Lou stated. “Since he didn’t want to do it on an annual basis, we (several of us from the central Arkansas area) thought we would give it a try, call it the Ozark UFO Conference, and see what happened. Well, 19 years later, we know what happened! We have always had good crowds, but this year’s was the largest one ever (estimated 600).”

“Since I’ve been in this ‘business’ for so long, I have made a lot of contacts over the years, so that helps immensely in picking speakers. I simply try to pick speakers that I would like to hear if I went to some other conference. I would much rather present someone that no one else ever heard of (if they have good material) than to have ‘names,’ just because they are ‘names.’ As you know, there are so many people out there who do such good work, yet few others ever hear about them.”

I told Lou that some worried that he was going to “retire” from the conference business. “I simply can’t say for sure,” he said. “We’ll get the 20th conference out of the way next year and I’ll then decide what I want to do. I simply hope people will remember that we tried to present good, interesting material at a price that everyone could afford.”

Wendelle Stevens, a retired USAF fighter pilot and long-time noted ufologist and another keynote speaker at this conference, came by our table too. I asked him how long he’d been coming to the Ozark UFO Conference and for his impressions. “Ten years,” he said. “It’s an interesting conference because the same people come back every year. It’s a very constructive and positive atmosphere.”

Wendelle Stevens talks to us about Peru

Then Wendelle spotted the Peruvian whistling vessels on our table, asked what they were, we briefly explained, and he then made a very interesting observation. I quickly switched my tape recorder back on. “We were looking for UFOs and we encountered Indians who lived on the high altiplano where there are no roads, no communications, no cities, no doctor, no medical treatments, and they were being treated by alien visitors who come in and straighten crooked limbs, heal blindness, and all kinds of things like that, directed for the Indians, in some kind of support for a society that has no other way to go.”

I asked if he had spoken with these people himself. “Yeah, a number of them that had been cured,” he said. “In one case, I remember the boy was dying and he was taken aboard an alien craft and then they brought him back out and he was completely well. He said what they did was they took him out of his body and worked on his body shell and then put him back in again. I think that what they were trying to say was that they changed them into an altered dimensional state and then densified him back into a physical body without the defects, because he was perfectly healthy and walking around. ….This was in northern Peru. …It was above a power dam, over in the high mountains of northern Peru.” At the time, Wendelle couldn’t remember the name of the place, but I’ve just followed up with an email and will hopefully soon get more details.

I asked Wendelle if he had seen whistling vessels there. “I saw a lot of them like that, yeah,” he said. “I didn’t know what they were for though.” I asked him if he saw the objects in museums or where. “No, they were being used by the natives. By the shamans.” I then asked if they had blown into them. “No, they weren’t blowing into them while I was there,” he added. “They had them.” I asked when this was, and Wendelle thought that it was around 1973 or 1974.

Blue Spring—Place of Healing Waters and Spirits

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Joan and I skipped the last day of the conference and stopped at the Blue Spring Heritage Center on the outskirts of Eureka Springs. We arrived around 9 o’clock. You enter this site through the Trading Post Gift Shop. It was there that we first met Cindy, a very pleasant, cordial staff member who soon engaged us in an interesting conversation about the clay craft items in the shop, some done locally and others imported in from places like South America. Soon I spotted a photograph on the wall that I had seen featured in a small booklet written by Jean and Richard Seifried, whom I had met at the UFO conference. The book was entitled Strictly Eureka Springs, Book I (Signal Hill Enterprises Publication).

I pointed the picture out to Cindy and asked about it, and she said that when it was taken no one had seen anything unusual. However, I soon learned that it looked just like something that she herself had seen on two occasions there. The first time she was in the gift shop and the windows began to rattle. She had lived in Florida and it reminded her of how the windows shook whenever a rocket was launched from Cape Kennedy. However, soon she and another staff person saw a ball of light flying by outside. It was white, about the size of a basketball, and even had a comet like tail behind it. This would have been to the west and the object was flying toward the south. I asked how high it was from the ground, and Cindy said that it was about where a human head would be. She said that they jokingly called it “the Chief.” On another occasion, by herself, Cindy said she was down the hill close to the spring, and this time saw the same thing flying from west to east.

Cindy said that people have returned from their self-guided tours talking about seeing re-enactments, like an Indian woman down at the Tipi built on the site, presumably seen shaking a blanket. She said that people with Indian blood seem more sensitive to these experiences.

I pointed out that some researchers would call the light that she had seen an “earth light,” similar to something also called an “earthquake light,” caused by seismic activity. She said though that she was familiar with how an earthquake felt and vibrations from rockets or low flying planes, and this to her was more like the vibrations from something airborne.

Below PHOTO: Eureka Springs, AR 9/25/04. Taken at Blue Springs Gardens near memorial placard of Trail of Tears on which many Cherokee died in a forced march from Alabama to a reservation in Oklahoma. The artist was composing a song of that name at that time! (Seiko-Epson 3000z digital camera)

Blue Spring