Alien-Con at The Pasadena Convention Center March 3-5, 2023
By Valerie Milano
Pasadena, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/6/23 – This weekend the city of Pasadena experienced an alien invasion. Alien-Con landed at the Pasadena Convention Center with a sizable heat signature. Part science convention, part media roll-out, and part costume ball; it did my heart good to know that there is a least one place on earth where neo-con conspiracy nuts and new-age geekazoids can co-mingle happily in common cause.
The event was a splashy showcase for The History Channel and its growing stable of media stars; as well as the twin towers of its cable schedule; the wildly successful documentary series Ancient Aliens and The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch.
All the convention center’s conference rooms and halls of assembly were fully engaged. Most panel discussions and lectures were packed. Additionally, tons of merch were on offer. Some adhered to the ET theme, some were only tangentially associated. Petroglyph baseball hats, chunks of meteorites, pendants, plushes, handmade soap, art, graphic tees were abundant. A masseuse booth sat forlornly in a deserted corner of the hall. Moreover, there were far too many psychic reading booths for an event that (at the end of the day) was all about science and provable fact. People watchers feasted on beautiful youth doing their level best to present as ETs and others who presented as same without trying. A trio of Men-In-Black clones maintained an unofficial patrol of the proceedings. And one lady carried a life-sized ET companion around with her while trolling the merch booths.
Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Carl Sagan both had their moments in the sun as media darlings, but it’s hard to bequeath either with the sobriquet “Rock Star”. This weekend’s event presented several. Most notably, Erich Von Daniken, author of 1968’s Chariots of The Gods. He stands as the pioneer of Ancient Astronaut Theory and the man most responsible for kick starting mass-media fixation on all things Alien. It was a gift to enjoy him while he’s still with us.
The weekend event was a tightly scheduled smorgasbord of panel discussions. The Skinwalker Ranch panel proved the most fun and contained the most F-bombs; and the video trailer for Season Four rocked hard. Eric Van Danikin occupied center square on every panel he participated in; and his passionate (and humorous) diatribes against the myopia of governments and mainstream archeology were consistently rewarded with applause and cheers even though they occasionally required translation from his panel wingman Giorgio.
The loudest cheers were reserved for (Astrophysicist) Travis Taylor – a buffed, handsome, red-haired ball of laser focused intellect who possesses two doctorate degrees, three bachelor’s degrees and an Alabama (aw shucks) appeal that brings the science of electromagnetic spectrometers, radiation signatures and propulsion technology to the corner bar (profanities included). He was also chief scientist on the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force responsible for investigating UFO sightings by military personnel. Taylor is now the team leader of the investigative crew that populates The History Channel’s hugely successful The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch, which will premier its fourth season April 18.
Journalist and non-scientist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is the star and producer of Ancient Aliens and projected a friendly, youngish enthusiasm while sporting his signature Eraserhead coiffure. Ancient Aliens is the long running documentary series that credibly advances the idea that locked within ancient archeological artifacts is the history of alien visitation and the blueprint for human evolution. The series has thrived for a remarkable 19 seasons. Despite its sensationalist appeal, Ancient Aliens advances theories that appeal to our logic as well as well as our imagination.
The event had a deep bench that included Nick Pope (former UFO investigator for The British Government) as well as documentary filmmaker (and Bob Lazar whisperer) Jeremy Corbell. Moderating many of the panel discussions was George Knapp, the investigative journalist who broke Bob Lazar’s incredible story of his S-4 research into the back-engineering of an anti-gravity propulsion system, (allegedly) retrieved from an alien craft. William Henry brought a writerly panache to all the panels he participated in.
The event also made some breaking news as the first public venue of Jay Stratton, former head of the Pentagon’s UAP Task force and Travis Taylor’s former boss in that position. Their two-man panel was an inside baseball perspective on the Pentagon’s involvement in UAP investigations and intelligence gathering techniques. Data is the mantra of that community. While many insights were shared, both Stratton and Taylor were careful to stay on the right side of their NDAs (Non-disclosure Agreements) regarding classified material.
The dialog got dense and technical at times, but all moderators and participants seemed skilled at pivoting away from technospeak when it approached the yawn threshold.
The main takeaway for this writer is how Astrophysics, Archeology and Theology are beginning to merge into a unified field of study. The coincidence that all the Earth’s major religions share the same celestial god trope, same cataclysmic flood narrative, and cosmic vessels (yet all have different start-up dates separated by oceans, continents, and language) is getting harder to accept as coincidence. These inconvenient truths lay at the heart of Ancient Alien Theory; a theory that is gaining currency with an increasing number of theologians, academics, and mainstream scientists.
In summary, Alien-Con was a good-time Woodstock of weird science. With a world population armed to the teeth with cell phone cameras, the evidence of UAP visitation will multiply exponentially. We are not alone in the universe and have never been alone. Ancient Alien Theory is here to stay. Science Fiction is becoming science fact at the speed of light. Alien-Con welcomes all to the mothership.