The Gray Line Tour

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2001


Weirdness continues to prevail in Florida

Remember back when a man claimed he saw a flying saucer over LaPlace a few years ago? Seems he had sniffed a bit of glue and fried his brain, then saw lights in the sky. Going on the presumption the man actually DID see something, a little investigation turned up the fact that a mosquito control plane was, indeed, flying over that specific area at the reported time. The lights seen by the “UFO witness” were those of the plane, flying at night, spraying for mosquitoes. Some people never seem to learn, though. Here’s a case in point: The annual Paranormal Conference 2001, set May 11-13 in Tampa, Fla. The theme of the conference is “Journeys Beyond,” and a weird assembly of lecturers, authors, witnesses, mystics and assorted strange people will gather in one spot and hope for enlightenment, confirmation of their beliefs, fears or desires. One workshop will discuss the idea of building a “stargate” to open up a “hole in space,” presumably so that our interstellar crafts can zoom all over the universe in a fraction of the time. I have a good friend who majored in physics in college. He says, “Phooey!” There’s a few problems with interstellar craft of any type, the least of which is what the heck is going to power the thing, who’s going to fly it and who is willing to toss their lives away on the assumption they will cross the universe, stay approximately the same age and return several centuries later. Right. Other workshops will discuss UFO abductions. These are people who for some undefined reason believe they were snatched up by their Alien Brothers, poked and prodded and placed back on Earth. Somehow, I think if any intelligent life exists beyond our planet, they are avoiding us as much as possible. That’s presuming they are intelligent, of course. Another angle of this is the idea that alien abductions could be beings from our own distant future, who have conquered the notion of two-way time travel. There’s dream analysts, auras, ghosts and exhibits. One can pick up on useless books, jewelry, art, T-shirts and sculptures for sale. Every workshop and speaker will be videotaped, so that everyone can buy copies of whatever lunacy they missed in one room while attending another. There’s also more weird videotapes far beyond even the “Weekly World News.” One tape presumes that President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1934, sent an expedition to Mongolia to search for the Holy Grail, able to transmute the elements. As the blurb states: “Eleven years later, American scientists involved in the Manhatten Project exploded the first atomic bomb. Is this a stunning coincidence or did the secrets of atomic weaponry come from the Holy Grail?” Boy, Albert Einstein would’ve enjoyed that notion! Would’ve saved him years of work! LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor of L’Observateur.