Did any disinfonauts go to Contact In The Desert, billed as a “weekend of exploration into ancient astronauts, extraterrestrial life, human origins, crop circles, UFO sightings, contact experiences, and the need to know”?
Thousands swarmed the high desert like locusts, clad in Birkenstocks and bandanas, cut-offs and tank tops. Their skin burnt cherry red, they poured out of trucks and Toyotas, sweating under the oppressive hundred and six-degree heat, scuttling through sand and rock, not in search of a shady refuge or a sip of water — but to find salvation.
Aging boomers, bearded Mad Max types, hippies, burners, little old ladies and medical doctors, ravers — they all shared a common vision. They’ve had an experience that would cause you or I to laugh, maybe label them crazy. But no one’s crazy at Contact In The Desert, the Woodstock of UFO conferences. If anything, people like you and me, the non-believers, we’re the weirdos.
They may have looked intimidating, but people there were friendly. Lost in a never-ending desert of a parking lot, a round, smiling woman driving a golf cart offered me and my girlfriend a ride. We hopped on and our savior gushed about seeing a UFO the night before.
“Y’know, this is Chumash Indian burial ground,” she said, handing us necklaces with silver starship pendants before dropping us in front of the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, an archipelago of chapels and sepulchres. It looked like an occult farmer’s market. Vendors pushed t-shirts, crystals, pizza. It was a music festival without the music, a crypto-Coachella where you couldn’t step two feet without eavesdropping on someone reliving their visitation. And everyone was dead serious…
[continues at The Awl]