Well, the second Secret Space Program Conference in Bastrop, TX is now history, and I've been getting some requests for my impressions of it. Personally, I returned exhausted but re-invogorated that all is not lost in the normally zany world of conferences. Indeed, conference organizer Jeroen van Stratten and his team from the Netherlands - Robert, Joost, and others, including American volunteers Margaret and Chuck - organized a very good conference, notwithstanding huge weather problems that prevented some from attending, including our host, Daniel Liszt, who because of flight delays and so on, made it just in time for the final panel discussion. Daniel did a great job with this, as did "temporary" host Jay Dyer.
For me personally, these conferences are a much-needed breath of fresh air, because they manage to avoid the evangelical-revival-tent-meeting-and-carnival atmosphere that are the usual fare at such events, with everyone - including speakers - telling stories of their latest revelations from the Spirit (or ET, or whatever). Mr. Van Straaten has the goal of remaking the conference culture of the alternative community, and for me, this is not only a worthy goal, but a much-needed one. It's the "conference equivalent' to footnoting books properly. Anyone can get in front of a camera, claim to be a whistleblower or to have had a personal experience, and tell a story (usually one reinforcing the ET meme, or spinning other peoples' research into the "approved channels"). Few conferences emphasize the researchers, fewer still are free of the "advocates". Mr. van Straaten manages to avoid it, and the result is a much better conference with much food for thought.
The highlights of the conference, at least for this author, were some excellent presentations by Olav Philips, my personal friend Walter Bosley, Jay Dyer, and Drs. John Brandenburg and Paul LaViolette. Mr. Philips presented a thought-provoking argument, based on evidence and facts, that the Alternative Three scenario might in fact be a real agenda. Mr. Bosley fleshed out his argument from Empire of the Wheel Two that the airship mystery is a crucial part to any adequate academic discussion of the historical origins of "secret space programs," by adding some new - and in my opinion - very thought-provoking information. I encouraged him to write yet another book about it (I hope he's reading this). Mr. Dyer presented an equally throught-provoking look at the theme of secret space programs in film and science fiction literature, concentrating on two of my favorites, Ian Fleming's James Bond, and science fiction genius Isaac Asimov, and his Foundation series (some of my personal favorites in the genre). Finally, Drs. Brandenburg and LaViolette presented challenging information about the evidence of nuclear conflict on Mars in high antiquity, and for technologies and models of physics that could indeed take us to the stars (if they already haven't done so covertly). Rounding out these presentations were former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Catherine Austin Fitt's presentation on what a space economy would look like, in which she introduced a well-considered distinction between the economies of low earth orbit infrastructure, and deep space economies, and Linda Moulton Howe(whom I finally had the chance to meet), who did yet another though-provoking presentation on "self-activating" software. Yours truly spoke twice, about what I call the "Versailles Template" for any "cosmic war" scenario, and how this template might have influenced the development of the national security culture in its policies towards UFOs.
All in all, it was an amazing experience, made even more pleasurable by the opportunity to meet many readers of this website in person for the first time, who joined us from New Jersey, Virgina, Maryland, Ontario, and elsewhere. Thanks to all of you who made this conference such a fun time for me, to the speakers, AV team, Jeroen and Robert and the organizers of the event, and most definitely to the attendees and the good people of Bastrop, Texas, for making this, in spite of the weather, a very thought-provoking and fun event!
See you on the flip side...