Rob Sheaffer over at the Bad UFO blog offers a whimsical (and in places, disturbing) description of the goings-on at the “alternative knowledge” conference held this past August at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center.

Every UFO conference is a mixture of people (attendees and speakers), ranging from the serious to the sublimely ridiculous. I’ve attended several and by now am familiar with the taxonomic categories. But this one sounds especially cartoonish. Rob describes speakers who were all-white suits (Mommy, is that man God?) and brought human props (i.e., bodyguards) to reinforce the myth of their own self-importance. Some of them were wearing T-Shirts that said “Black-Ops.” Really? Are Black-Ops supposed to be secret? Oh . . . wait . . . I get it – they were hidden in plain sight.

This sort of P.T. Barnum-ish buffoonery (along with the incoherence of the research) is why such people shouldn’t be taken seriously.