Giorgio A. Tsoukalos with Jeff Krause at Contact in the Desert

This last weekend I attended the “Contact In the Desert” event in Joshua Tree, CA, along with almost 2,000 other people. Braving temperatures exceeding the one hundred degree mark, all ages and walks of life showed up with an amazing sense of community, with just one thing on their minds: What is the truth of the UFO phenomena?

The event kicked off on Saturday in the Amphitheater, with a lecture by the great, world-renowned author and researcher, Eric Von Daniken, titled, “Remnants of the Gods”. Though he was not able to use any of his slides for this outdoor presentation, he held his audience riveted to every detail for an hour and fifteen minutes in the ultra-hot, high desert sun! I’m pretty sure the audience would have rather of suffered heat stroke than leave.


Eric Von Daniken

After Eric Von Daniken’s lecture, I was one of the lucky survivors to make my way to an air-conditioned building where I was treated to my dear friend Dr. Lynne Kitei’s presentation, “Beyond the Phoenix Lights”. Anyone familiar with the Phoenix Lights mass sighting will be glad to know that there is now an updated version of Lynne’s best-selling book, and an updated documentary with some fantastic new bonus material. I urge everyone to go to her website: “


Dr. Lynne Kitei

The most horrible thing about the event was the inability to be everywhere at once. Having to pick and choose whose presentation you want to attend can be the source of frustration, especially when two of your friends are presenting at the same time. I had this dilemma the whole weekend! When tickets originally went on sale, I of course went on line and bought tickets for whatever workshops I wanted to see, even though the schedule wasn’t available at the time. As a result I of course double-booked many events! Thanks to the kindness of the staff there, I was able to get it all straightened out in the best possible fashion, so I could at least try to catch everyone once. I had full days though, from sunup to almost midnight every day! I have to admit; I did miss a couple of lectures due to the effects of the heat and the altitude. I’ve come to the conclusion that us pale, Central Coast Californians don’t do well in the high desert without some acclimation!

At “High Noon” (I love that movie) I attended a lecture by Travis Walton entitled, “Fire In the Sky: Newer Understanding of What Happened and Why”. Travis is always a treat to listen too due to his ability to relate his experience to everyone in a manner that is both easy for one to grasp, and technical in it’s descriptions. That is not an easy combination to master, yet Travis pulls it off every time with seeming ease. I am especially glad to hear from him that he is having an easier time dealing with talking about his abduction experience. After all, many people forget that what happened to him was deeply personal, and can’t have been an easy thing to learn to live with. Yet, time and again Travis has had the courage to go out and talk to people about his experience, and educate people as to the reality of what is going on with UFOs, and the cover up of their existence. I am proud to call Travis Walton my friend, and hope in time he thinks the same of me.

Not that I was playing favorites (or was I?), but after lunch I attended a workshop by my friend Dr. Lynne Kitei, “The Phoenix Lights Documentary”. I am always fascinated by this documentary, and I think it is admirable the number of people that came forward and told what they saw in the skies over Phoenix.

After that I made my way to the “rock show” of the afternoon; Richard Dolan and his lecture, “UFO Encounters with the World Militaries: Implications”. Anyone not familiar with Richard’s work can find him on MUFONs hit show “Hangar 1”, and also check out his newest book: “UFOs For the 21st Century Mind”.


Richard Dolan

I missed the rest of the day due to not being properly acclimated to the altitude and the heat, but other speakers not previously mentioned on Friday were; Michael Tellinger, Robert Perala, Marshall Klarfield, David Wilcock, Nick Redfern, William Brown, Laura Magdelene Eisenhower (Ike’s granddaughter, and a lovely lady!), John Anthony West, Nick Pope, David Serada, James Gilliland, and someone I have the deepest respect for, and can now call my good friend and colleague, Donald Schmitt. As you can see, I’d have needed a clone army to attend everything.

The next day started with me once again soaking up the solar radiation at the Amphitheater for the “Annunaki Panel”, hosted by none other than George Noory. The panel consisted of: Eric Von Daniken, Giorgio Tsoukalos, Marshall Klarfield, Jason Martell, and Mike Bara. I survived this panel by holding a small battery powered fan in front of my face that sprayed a fine mist of distilled water every two seconds. Despite that distraction, I was fascinated by the views of the expert panel, and I was amazed at how well all of their offerings fit together into a nice, seamless theory.

After that I attended a workshop by another friend of mine, Mr. Nick Pope. Nick spent many years with England’s MoD, and his insider knowledge has put him ahead of the game with many issues. Always fascinating to listen to, Nick’s presentation seemed to fly right by, and before I knew it, it was time to have lunch with George Noory.

George, and Tom Danheiser his producer, have this little thing going on some of you may have heard of called, “Coast To Coast AM”, the number one radio talk show on the airwaves. I have to laugh because George and I couldn’t stop talking while our pictures were being taken, so they ended up looking like we were two drunken stragglers from a Bigfoot expedition! I was so enraptured listening to George’s stories that I forgot about my food!

After the luncheon I ran all the way across (the Moon?…Mars?…Hell?) the burning landscape to attend a workshop by Richard Dolan with the engaging title, “Human Encounters with Non-Human Intelligence: What is Going On?” As the name of the workshop would imply, it was about aliens! And not just one type! While Richard has always been a scholarly voice in the investigation of UFOs both throughout season one of MUFONs hit show “Hangar 1”, and his work with “Ancient Aliens”, I have to admit that the coolest thing I took away from this weekend was something Richard told me when we were talking alone. First I have an admission to make. I can be the world’s worst “fanboy”. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known you (as some of you know), if you have a cool book I want, I’ll probably ask you to sign it for me. Although Richard and I have yet to do “burgers and beers”, we’ve talked a few times in San Mateo, and in Joshua Tree, so I thought it was kind of cool that he shared with me the fact that “UFOs & The National Security State: Volume 2 1973-1991” was his favorite book, and in fact he told me; “I cried when I finished writing the last line.” Now that you know that too, you might be intrigued enough to buy his book! In fact, do yourself a favor and buy all of his books, you’ll be glad you did!

How can one go to a presentation immediately after Richard Dolan, and not still be thinking about the lecture they just left? Well…it helps if your next lecture is by the always-engaging Giorgio A. Tsoukalos! His lecture, “Legacy of the Gods” was as good as any episode of “Ancient Aliens”, and his new photos from Puma Punku were pretty cool! Not many people know this, but Giorgio and Eric Von Daniken have known each other since he was a child! Yes, Giorgio is Swiss, although according to him, “by passport only”! Not to give away a spoiler from the last day, but Giorgio was a big help to Eric then too, finding the correct English for Swiss phrases. You can tell the two have a genuine affection for each other.

Just like the “Energizer Bunny”, I kept going…and going…and going, although in truth, I was ready to drop. However, being a sentient creature, I stopped at a market on the way to the event and bought an extra-strength 5 Hour Energy drink. Better than Geritol, I was within seconds of consuming it, awake again and fully functional. And a good thing too, since I was on my way to see a lady who has way more energy than the “Energizer Bunny”, Linda Moulton Howe. I was looking forward to finally meeting Linda in person, ever since she ran a story for three days over New Year’s on my research at the Chualar crop circle. The story is still available on her Earthfiles website, and I encourage everyone to take a look at it. Linda’s workshop was titled, “Taxonomy of Extraterrestrial Biological Entities”. While a mouthful to say, it was a wealth of known information on a range of subjects, from different species visiting us, to cattle mutilations.

After Linda’s stellar workshop, I made my way over to the Skywatch with my friends Ed Grimsley, and Robert Perala. Ed is extremely kind, and allows people to use his very expensive night-vision goggles. These are no toys, and Ed spends the money to buy top-of-the-line equipment. Unfortunately, he has occasionally been victimized by both carelessness, and outright thievery, so please, if you are ever fortunate enough to be present at one of his Skywatches, be respectful of his equipment. All it takes to ruin his goggles is a flash from a camera, lighter, cell phone, or headlights, and he’s out thousands of dollars! Please, help him to be able continue to share his knowledge, by respecting his rules, and also please, don’t steal from Ed!

By Sunday I’m sure I resembled the brown-skinned aliens some people have reported. My most often uttered phrase at this point was; “Where are the misters?” and “Where is the water?” although they were closely followed by “Is the air-conditioning on?” I forgot to mention that at one point on Saturday, the power had gone out, which not only was challenging for the presenters, it was equally challenging for the attendee’s who were not doing well without somewhere to escape the heat! As a result, I was not out there as early from my motel in Twenty-nine Palms. My air-conditioned room was pretty hard to walk out of, but I had a workshop with Laura Magdelene Eisenhower, so soldier on I did. Unfortunately I had to excuse myself at some point until I felt well enough to not be a distraction to others, so I missed the main chunk of her presentation. Please forgive me Laura, it wasn’t you, it was the heat and altitude.

Travis Walton was the next presenter in the same room, and at this point, I wasn’t going anywhere. In fact if you look at pictures of Travis and I together, I look like the one who was abducted. Oh well. His presentation was still most excellent, and I was feeling a little better by the time he was done, so I was able to ask a few good questions that had nothing to do with hydration or temperature.

After lunch, the rejuvenated me went to see a lecture by my friend Steve Bassett. Steve has cajones. He has headed up the “Citizen Hearing For Disclosure” and if your not familiar with him, find out more at his paradigm research group website. Let is suffice to say that Steve has a clear, concise idea of what is going on, and can verbalize his knowledge in a way to where audiences can remember what he is saying. If you missed him here, be sure to check out all his videos on Youtube, and you can order a DVD set of the Citizen Disclosure Hearings on his website as well. Steven’s workshop was titled, “Disclosure and You” and detailed information that is vital for anyone interested in breaking the “Truth Embargo”.

Right around here my day departed into the “Twilight Zone”, and I really don’t know why. I had purchased a ticket in advance for Yvonne Smith’s “Experiencer’s Session” workshop, and was looking forward to it for quite a while. I have some issues I won’t get into here, but let’s just say it probably would have been appropriate for me to be there. However for some reason when the time came, I just couldn’t go. I don’t know why either because I know Yvonne, and I even told her I’d see her there, but instead I found myself in my friend Donald Schmitt’s lecture! It was the strangest feeling because I had planned for so long on attending due to the questions I have about something that happened when I was only three. Very strange.

Donald Schmitt’s lecture, “Where Did the Roswell Wreckage and Bodies Go?” was very compelling, and nobody knows the fact’s surrounding the Roswell case better than Donald does. He’s a very powerful speaker, and I look forward to working with him in the near future. We hit it off like two peas in a pod (same with Jesse Marcel!), and had some engaging conversations over the weekend. He is also a big fan of the SLO UFO now!

After Donald’s lecture, I attended a workshop by Jesse Marcel, son of the late Jesse Marcel Jr., who sadly passed away last year. Jesse is one of the brightest individuals I’ve met in years, and we’d have met anywhere else and not known a thing about each other, we would have still been talking like old buddies. His knowledge of the crash site, and his family’s involvement in the whole affair is priceless. His expertise is in demand in other countries as well, and we were treated to photos of another UFO crash, that seems like undeniable proof that we are dealing with and extraterrestrial technology.

Although after Jesse’s workshop I was supposed to meet with Robert Perala and play some guitars for everyone, at this point I was just too wiped so I turned in for the night so I could survive the last day…hopefully.

Monday dawned, and knowing I was going to see Eric Von Daniken again, I was renewed with a false sense of vigor. That didn’t last long. I hope you all wanted the truth from me, because that is usually what I will deliver.

I could watch Eric Von Daniken forever. Really. But at this point, sitting for a three hour lecture was just out of the question. Sunburned, nauseous, and with a spine that felt like I gave up exercise some time last century, I made my way out of the auditorium, and began my trip back home, where everything is at “sea level”, and temperature is survivable.

All in all, the event was a raging success, and all of the speakers were fantastic. The crowd was wonderful, and I met a lot of wonderful people over the course of five days. But next year, how about we have “Contact at the Beach”?…Okay?








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