Utah UFO Festival draws attention throughout the country – Ironcountytoday

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The second annual UFO festival took place last Friday and Saturday at Three Peaks Recreation Area included open mic rallies where people could come up to the mic and share their experiences, presentations, and films.

The festival also included food catered by Pork Bellies and Sportsman’s Warehouse conducted raffles.

Nathan Arizona, a Cedar City resident planned the festival for the second year in a row.

Arizona got into the UFO scene when faced with his own alien encounters.

Arizona said in 2013, he witnessed his first close encounter with orange orbs on extraterrestrial highway in Southern Nevada near Area 51, and experienced two other close encounters between 2014 and 2015 near Dulce, New Mexico and Marfa, Texas.

“I saw something that I can’t explain,” he said. “Whether it’s alien or not, I don’t know. But I would like to think that something like this does occur.”

Arizona said it’s hard because there is a lot of misinformation in the UFO field.

“There’s a lot of fraud and storytelling in UFO folklore,” he said. “I’m okay with people telling their stories but I don’t want lies being told. But what I’m trying to do with this festival is to get the dialogue going.”

Arizona said he wanted to do this in Utah, not only because of the NASA data center, but because it’s a cool thing to have a festival like this in Cedar City.

“I believe in building community,” he said. “I wanted to build something that doesn’t happen everyday here in Southern Utah. I’ve definitely seen the interest grow in this community since the festival last year.”

Arizona said last year they only booked 75 people, but 350 people showed up. This year, there were even more attendees.

Arizona said seeing that many people attend made him believe all of this is worth it.

“Seeing the people out enjoying this has made all of the planning and hard work so worth it,” he said.

Arizona said, seeing the young people getting involved was cool.

“The young people here are interested in the phenomenon and showing up,” he said. “I want to keep this event free every year to encourage the young people to get interested and involved and enjoying the outdoors.”

Arizona said there are things he wants to improve on for next year’s festival.

“As we grow, we’ll figure out how to make this event work to its full capacity,” he said.

Enoch Seegmiller, manager of the El Rey Inn and Suites in town, said he got involved three years ago when Arizona first announced the festival idea three years ago.

Seegmiller said since his job is directly related to tourism, he wanted to get involved and has been involved in helping set up the event for the past two years.

“ We have rich history of UFO crashes and sites here that Nate has told me about,” he said. What better reason to come to Cedar City than a reason as unique as this?”

Stanley Milford, program manager for the Navajo Rangers and one of the presenters for the festival, said he has traveled all over the world, presenting on UFO’s.

“There are things that happen that can’t be explained,” he said. “We are not here to sell any type of idea. All we can do is relate what we’ve done and the cases we’ve worked on.”

Milford said he just wants people to know there is something to the UFO stories.

“We want people to know that they’re not crazy or alone who have had experiences,” he said. Milford said his favorite part of the festival has been hearing other people’s experiences since everybody has different experiences to relate.

“Whether it’s here or in Scotland, everyone has certain experiences in their lifetime,” he said. “A lot of people are afraid of being ridiculed and ostracized so many don’t talk about their experiences. I’ve talked to elderly people on the reservation who are 80 years old who have carried that weight of things that have happened to them and they never told anyone about their experiences.”

Milford said when there are festivals like this, it’s like putting a giant puzzle together since everyone’s stories are similar.

Steve Johnson, a resident of Enoch, said he was interested in attending since he missed it last year and didn’t want to miss it again.

“I’m interested in the paranormal and all aspects whether it be UFO’s or other similar phenomenon,” he said. “I just wanted to see what they had to say.”

Emelie McKenna, a resident from St. George, said the festival was definitely worth the drive. “I’m interested in alien supernatural stuff,” she said. “It’s pretty cool. This has been a lot of fun and the films were great.”

Wes Atkinson a new Cedar City resident, said he was interested to see what events were going on around town, so he got online to decide what to do for the day, and he decided to go to the UFO festival. “I have a soft spot for outside the box thinkers,” he said. “There’s an intelligence here. There has been a few smart people who have had real life experiences with things they can’t explain.”

Adam Phelps, traveled from Morgan, Utah just for the festival. He said the festival was fun.

“I want to be an aerospace engineer, so I’m interested in space and UFOS,” he said. “The view here is amazing and it has been fun to meet a lot of interesting people.”

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