Crow’s has commissioned Toronto playwright and well-know actor Damien Atkins to create a one-man show about the UFO phenomenon. This week Damien and artistic colleague Christian Barry are attending the International UFO Congress in Arizona for research and development and they will be blogging about their UFO adventures in the desert. Here is Damien’s latest blog entry followed by the previous entries:
February 14, 2014 -
People are unnervingly friendly here. Christian is laughing at me because I am suspicious of this, and because I have indicated some discomfort at the consistency of the good weather. He says I sound like Woody Allen. I went back through the vendors’ room today to take a closer look at some of the tables. We were told by some new friends that one man had some UFO wreckage that we could touch. It wouldn’t be displayed, we were told we’d have to ask for it. We made a beeline for him and requested the wreckage. It is very light and weird looking. There is another plastic-looking piece in a box marked “We Don’t Know What This Is”. Very odd. I am excited to hear the speaker who is going to talk about crop circles and then alarmed at how self-referential her presentation is. She says that some of the designs look like lightships and people around me nod sagely. What are lightships? I feel left out. Then I interview a man about the Sasquatch/ET connection. I love him. He is a gentle soul, very positive. He says that people fret too much about the phenomenon, and don’t pay attention to the message. What is the message, I ask. And he tells me.
February 13, 2014 -
You cannot come here for proof, or confirmation of UFO’s or extraterrestrial visitation. This seems obvious to me now, but I just realized it today. Everyone here believes, and so do I, mostly. I think. Much of the day is spent hearing from experiencers, people who have had contact with extra-terrestrials or inter-dimensionals. The stories are detailed and heart-rending. The rest of the day seems consumed with the discussion of disclosure – how much does the government know and when/how will they tell us. There is a fierce debate in the UFO community about that – passionate people on all sides. I escape to the Target at lunch, in search of some more Ricola candies to shove in my mouth. The smallest bag is humongous – I remember that everything is bigger here. The Target lady is just like on TV, absurdly friendly. She is about 60, Caucasian, chatty. She says her “peeps” in the midwest are having a heck of a time with the snow. (Snow seems like a rumour here.) I cannot believe she said “peeps”. I am making some acquaintances at the convention – people that nod and call me by my name. I am moved by this, until I remember that I am wearing a name tag on a lanyard.
February 12, 2014 -
Arizona is dry. The first breath I took outside the sliding doors of the airport was like drinking sand. I have been shoving candies into my mouth and wildly looking around for places to buy more candies. The UFO convention itself is outside the city, in a casino/conference centre that seems carved into the desert. You go over a bridge that has a sign that says “Open Range”. I imagine horses being herded past the slots. The convention itself is quite large. A big room for presentations, and a big room with vendors, and some smaller rooms for smaller “Experiencer” sessions. This is where you can go and share your experience being a contactee or abductee. I feel out of place immediately, there are no other people my age here. There is much more spiritual vibe than I expected – lots of the vendor tables are full of crystals and healing books. One table asks “Do You Know What Planet You’re From?” and offers handmade cards which describe the planets. I feel protective of this experience already. There is an openness here which is disarming and lovely.