The crowds were a lot bigger than anticipated for the first-ever Alien Con at California’s Santa Clara Convention Center. Outside the
venue, the line of truth-seekers waiting to
get in wrapped around the adjacent Hyatt
Regency and spilled out onto the sidewalk.
Inside the convention center, the
demand for the Government Cover-ups
panel with the talking heads from History
Channel’s Ancient Aliens far exceeded the
capacity of the conference room that was
set aside for it. The representatives of A&E
Networks and Famous Monsters magazine
that organized the con were forced to make
a choice between turning people away and
herding them all into the larger venue’s hall
with no seats. The organizers chose access
over comfort. The room lacked chairs, but it
did have a full-scale
model of a wrecked
toward the center
of the room to
promote the literary
works of L. Ron
Hubbard, so there
was that at least.
As a crush of amateur sky watchers
flooded the hall, everyone immediately
in front of the makeshift stage that was still
“Hold your position!” I called out to Jack
Dooley, the cameraman shooting the video
you can find on Meetings Today.com. Jack
had a clear shot of the stage where he was. I
didn’t want him to lose it. Jack is 6' 4". People
around him weren’t happy, but he held firm.
Conspiracy theories started to form
instantaneously as the crowd milled.
“This is a ploy,” a woman with sandy
blond hair said. “There’s not going to be
anyone in those chairs.”
Some men behind me started to cast
aspersions toward the brunches with the
alien experts they had all come to see.
“The brunches are where the money is
made,” one of them groused. “They’re sav-
ing the bigger rooms for the brunches.”
The new spinning of Alien Con-specific
conspiracy theories stopped when the niche
celebrities everyone had come to see finally
took the stage. British UFO investigator Nick
Pope got the biggest applause by far.
“I used to work for the government,” he
joked, “but I’m a nice
Pope held the
crowd in rapt atten-
tion as he outlined
revealed the ties
between the Hillary
and information on
Howe, another UFO
“The Greeks and the Abenaki were never
mythological gods,” Moulton Howe said lat-
er on, referring to a conversation with Tom
DeLonge, the guitarist of Blink 182 who took
a break from his band to focus on UFOs.
“They were actual extraterrestrials on
this planet preceding the existence of homo
sapien sapiens,” Moulton Howe continued.
“Did she say that the Greek gods were real?”
Jack asked, wide-eyed, clutching his camera.
“Yes, I think she did,” I replied.
And with that, we decided to see what
Gary Lockwood from 2001: A Space Odyssey
had to say about Stanley Kubrick faking the
Apollo 11 moon landing.
Mind = Blown.
Bob Calhoun is the author of Shattering
Conventions: Commerce, Cosplay and
Conflict on the Expo Floor. You can follow
him on Twitter at @bob_calhoun.
IN EACH INSTALLMENT
BOB CALHOUN CRASHES
A NEW TRADESHOW,
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO
FIT IN—EVEN WHERE
HE DOESN’T ALWAYS
SHATTERING CON VENT IONS
Big crowds descend to witness the cast of Ancient Aliens
EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS WWW.MEETINGSTODAY.COM/SHATTERING
at ALIEN CON