For decades, the topic of extraterrestrials has captured the imagination of millions around the world, from the hardcore UFO enthusiasts and researchers to the curious, bringing them together at conventions across the country.
On Aug. 17 and 18, the Knoxville Convention Center will host the first AlienXPO convention to focus on extraterrestrial phenomena. The convention will feature panelists, vendors and a space in which like-minded people can talk about their UFO experiences and theories.
Attendees will also get a chance to learn more about UFO sightings in Tennessee from Angelia Sheer, state director of the Mutual UFO Network.
“Never before has Knoxville hosted an event that will allow attendees to hear real events concerning extraterrestrial phenomena. There will be people from every walk of life together in one place to hear, share and be floored by the research presented,” Katina Kyle, a producer of the Mysterious Radio podcast and one of the event organizers, said in a press release.
Kyle has interviewed some of the foremost UFO researchers in the world. She said she’s always been fascinated with the topic of UFOs and with sci-fi media.
“I just feel like something’s out there, and I’ve always been a skywatcher,” she said. “The curiosity is there in all of us.”
Over the past few years, Kyle said she’s learned a lot about the UFO phenomena through her podcast. She helped organize the event to share some of what she has learned from others.
“Some of these people are authors, former government contractors, whistleblowers, NASA and aerospace engineers — people that have directly come in contact with extraterrestrial phenomena,” she said. “Since I’ve been doing this show, it’s garnered more than 25 million downloads in the United States alone.
“We thought it’d be a natural transition for us to bring our people from a digital setting to an in-person event so they can meet these people and hear them present their research firsthand,” she continued. “We find that, when you hear it in person, it can really be staggering.
“A lot of these people attend these events because they’re trying to get some kind of answer or resolution to what has happened to them.”
Special guests and speakers will include Cheryll Jones, a former national news anchor; Steven Bassett, executive director of Paradigm Research Group, founded in 1996 to end a “government-imposed embargo” on government UFO documents; Ken Johnston Sr., a “NASA whistleblower” and retired aerospace worker who preserved UFO photographs; and Travis Walton, author of “The Walton Experience,” a firsthand account of an alien abduction claim.
After years of strange encounters and even some mass UFO sightings like the one in Phoenix in 1997, Kyle said she believes the topic is being taken more seriously, making this a perfect time for a convention such as the one set for August.
The Pentagon recently admitted to a secret UFO research program, giving UFO researchers some sense of vindication, Kyle pointed out.
“I’ve never witnessed reporting of a UFO incident or sighting unless it was followed up by a chuckle or a joke or something like that,” she continued. “Now it's being reported with dead-seriousness.”
For more information on the convention, or to purchase tickets to the event, visit www.alienxpo.com.