One of the largest annual gatherings of UFO enthusiasts is taking place in the Valley this week, bringing together participants who claim to have had encounters with alien life, those who believe their stories and those who simply are curious.
"These people here, they jump on planes and drive cross-country to be here and they've been coming for 20 years," said Tim Crawford, president and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based UFO-TV, who has been a regular vendor at the annual conference. "Clearly they come to the eye of the storm. This is where the researchers and speakers come."
This year's conference features a long list of experts along with individuals who claim to have had encounters with alien life-forms, among them Travis Walton, whose claim of a firsthand encounter with a UFO while working as a logger in Arizona in 1975 was made into a movie.
"You get to meet people that have similar experiences," said Rita Abrego, of San Antonio. "You get to keep in touch with these people."
Several of those interviewed suggested not all in attendance hold the same views.
Thursday's highlights included the unveiling of an "outer-space security and development treaty of 2011," according to Carol Rosin. The goal, Rosin said, was to ultimately have the treaty ratified by leaders of several countries and presented to the United Nations.
"It all begins here," Rosin said. "I am very excited."
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