Alien Con came to the Pasadena Convention Center last weekend, attracting thousands of true believers, the curious, and perhaps a skeptic or two.
Thanks to the proliferation of shows like Ancient Aliens, the topic is more mainstream than ever.
The audience reflected that, being indistinguishable from those who were strolling outside for the city's annual Sidewalk Chalk Festival. The only tin-foil hat spotted was worn by an exhibitor. In jest. I think. The convention delivered, with sci-fi related actors past, Billy Mumy, and present, David Duchovny, on hand among others.
Heavyweights in the UFO field included Nick Pope, formerly of the British Ministry of Defense and Linda Moulton Howe, field journalist, were on the the panel. Erich von Daniken, author of Chariots of the Gods?, at 83 years old, is still energetic and engaging along with another comrade Giorgio Tzoukalos.
The exhibit hall was a mixed bag of long lines for purchase of official merchandise or for autographs.
Otherwise, crystals, books, and artwork, all with a paranormal or metaphysical bent, were available for purchase from those at the tables.
Evidence to the tremendous interest, the convention was sold out, with some panels filled to capacity.
For star struck fans there were meetups with celebrities from Battlestar Galactica, Lost In Space, and X-Files.
Panels included a wide range of topics: Debate: Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Comets and Meteor Showers, Theoretical Plasma Physics for Dummies, Learn How to Make Contact, Government UFO Programs, Whistleblower Revelations About A.I. Alien Presence and of course, UFO Abductions and Sightings from around the world.
While nothing new was offered for those in the know, there's nothing like getting it from the horse's mouth, even if you've heard it all before. The audience Q and A provided the unexpected and the convention felt communal. Not unlike San Diego's Comic-Con. It's like "we're all in this together" kind of gig. While not every person's story of a large insectoid ET visitation may be believed by panelists nor audience members alike, this was a ridicule-free setting.
And for those who just want to tell their story, that can be enough.
Alien Con will be traveling --- next stop Baltimore Nov. 9 through 11.