UFO Film Fest lands at Gallup DownTown Conference Center


Annual EVENT explores Bigfoot, the paranormal and beyond

The 15th annual Gallup UFO Film Festival took place Oct. 19 - 20 at the Gallup DownTown Conference Center. The two-day event, presented by the Gallup Film Festival, showcased films and speakers, plus Q&A sessions with the audience.

The featured films included Aztec 1948: UFO Crash, Open Minds Investigates and The Naked Truth about the 1947 UFO Crash at Roswell, among others. Chuck Wade, Jonathan Dover, Clifford Mahooty and Dr. Christopher Dyer headlined as the festival’s guest speakers.

The Conference Center provided an intimate setting for up-close Q&A sessions. And according to Chuck Wade, who organized the event, all went well, and the audience brought forward plenty of UFO-related questions.

Wade said each year, the intrigue of UFOs and sightings seems to grow. He insisted UFOs are real.

“The event went great, it was just a wonderful line-up of films, the speakers, just doing great,” he said. “Each year, we try to have different speakers, different films, and this year, it was about seven different UFO crashes in New Mexico, 1945 and 1948. I can’t believe it’s lasted this long, and the reason why we started this was because of a UFO crash we got to visit back in 2005 in Magdalena.”

Wade said while in Magdalena, they found pieces of the UFO from the crash.

“We wondered what do we do with it,” he said. “We decided to show it to the public.”

According to Wade, the event speakers were informative. Former Navajo Nation Ranger Jonathan Dover, for instance, held a talk that lasted more than three hours, and according to Wade, it was simply fascinating.

Dover’s stories and the paranormal phenomenon he allegedly experienced captivated the crowd. Along with the pieces of the UFO, Dover, who said this is his fourth year participating as a speaker at the festival, displayed strange artifacts from his paranormal investigations.

He spoke about paranormal incidents on Navajo lands. Of his 27 years with the Navajo Nation Rangers and Historic Preservation Department, he said he spent 11 years investigating such incidents.

His investigations included Bigfoot, UFOs, hauntings and Navajo skin-walkers. Dover said his department took on assignment after assignment. He said such investigations were a significant portion of his duties.

It all began with a call from an elderly couple who claimed Big Foot entered their corral and took a sheep.

“Our director told us to investigate it, and from there, it took off,” he said. “We had an international mutual UFO network say that we had one of the best UFO cases ever investigated put on paper. We had hauntings in one case that we showed them slide presentations over a period of two days, where 65 coins appear out of thin air. All landed on the ground, all landing heads up which is a statistical impossibility.”

When asked if he was ever a skeptic, Dover said he’d always been interested in paranormal cases, and he never went into them with preconceived ideas.

He said paranormal cases are like accident investigations – you look at the evidence you collect, and you form your own opinion of what happened. Then, he said, you fit those with statements and look at the evidence.

“We’ve seen things that we can’t explain” Dover said.

Dr. Christopher Dyer, former CEO of the University of New Mexico-Gallup, also spoke at the festival. He said information and evidence was brought to him about Bigfoot sightings in the Chuska Mountains and the Four Corners area, along with recent information about Bigfoot in the Sawmill area near Window Rock, Ariz.

“This is fairly recent information and its very eye-opening,” he said.

This new information, according to Dyer, includes Bigfoot hair.

“Hopefully, in six months, we hope to have DNA because there is this new technique that they can strip the DNA from it — this is a new way, which is cool,” Dyer said.

His interest in Bigfoot began when some of his students in a physical anthropology class asked for his help after their family members indicated something was happening to their animals and property.

Dyer said he never would have imagined Big Foot was in New Mexico, but one thing lead to another for him, and he said he hopes people continue to have an open mind about such occurrences.

“The weather patterns are changing, and this disrupts [Bigfoot’s] patterns,” Dyer said. “It will be interesting to see what’s going to happen in the next couple years, because apparently the sightings are going up and not down.”

Dion Thomas of California, who attended the festival, said the interesting topics discussed and the evidence shown can’t be overlooked or dismissed.

“When we watch this stuff on television and then are introduced to it face to face, like here at this festival, you get a different perspective on it and that’s when the questions begin to roll out,” Thomas said. “Are we really, truly alone and is there something that goes bump in the night?”

For more information about UFOs and Bigfoot topics, visit: www.chuckwadeufo.com.

By Dee Velasco

For the Sun