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New Mexico UFO Conference in Rio Rancho

Norio Hayakawa listens as a woman tells her UFO story during his visit last week at the Meadowlark Senior Center in Rio Rancho. Hayakawa has been researching UFOs for 50 years. (Gary Herron/Rio Rancho Observer)

Norio Hayakawa listens as a woman tells her UFO story during his visit last week at the Meadowlark Senior Center in Rio Rancho. Hayakawa has been researching UFOs for 50 years. (Gary Herron/Rio Rancho Observer)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Norio Hayakawa has fond memories of the time he heard a story from his father, who said he observed an unidentified flying object above Yokohama Bay in Japan while he was fishing one night in 1947.

Hayakawa also remembers how his mother would ridicule her husband about his sighting – until she observed a UFO one day, also in Yokohama, over the railway station, in 1975.

“She couldn’t believe her eyes,” he said.

Since then, Hayakawa has experienced multiple sightings and told his audience at Meadowlark Senior Center last Thursday that neither he nor any of the experts speaking at the 2015 New Mexico UFO Conference at Cleveland High’s Concert Hall on Oct. 17 can prove or disprove anything about UFOs.

“People see things they can’t explain,” he said. “I cannot debunk anything.”

The real question to be explored on the 17th, though, will be “What does the government really know?”

“The government won’t explain what it can’t explain,” he said, happy that Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull officially proclaimed the day of Oct. 17 as “UFO Research Day in Rio Rancho.”

“They’re an organization that brings an economic development component; they bring a convention here, and just honoring their request of the convention to declare (it as such) … I did it last year as well,” Hull said. “It’s in great spirits and I know they believe in what they’re doing, and, as a city, if they want to bring that convention here, we want to be supportive.”

Hull said he’s never seen a UFO.

“I’m a sci-fi guy, that’s for sure. I love ‘Star Trek,’ love ‘Star Wars,’ but never claimed to have seen a UFO,” Hull said.

“This is the first time an American city mayor has declared a UFO Research Day,” Hayakawa told his audience of about three-dozen. “It takes some real guts to do this endorsement.”

Bottom line for Hayakawa, who said he’s been researching UFOs for 50 years: “There’s no such thing as an expert on UFOs; it’s like saying this guy is an expert on God.”

And, he said, summing it up in two words: “Fascinating subject.”

Still, should we be so egotistical to believe that Earth holds the only life in this vast universe?

“We still don’t know what reality is,” Hayakawa said, referring to the thousands of unaccounted-for UFO sightings through the years, which didn’t just start with the famous Roswell Incident in July 1947.

“In October 1973, there were more UFO sightings than any other time, except in 1947,” he said, giving a short history of more-famous sightings such as the UFO “crash” near Aztec, N.M., in 1948; the 1964 sighting near Socorro by New Mexico State Police Officer Louie Zamora; and sightings in the Phoenix area in 1998.

“Whatever happened in Roswell, I don’t know,” Hayakawa said.

If you’d like to know more about UFOs and the government’s “take,” plus talks by three UFOlogists – John Alexander, Nick Redfern and Nick Pope – visit NewMexicoUFOs.com and take advantage of discounted advance registration.

The conference lasts from 1:30-6:30 p.m.

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