Marie Rhodes traveled more than 50 miles from Live Oak to Sacramento this weekend to help give the world an extraterrestrial wake-up call.
Hers was a common mission at the three-day Awareness Life Expo at the Crowne Plaza hotel, where experts on UFOs and alien abduction gave lectures and alternative healers cleansed chakras and practiced vibration therapy. About 150 people showed up for the event.
Rhodes, 79, was decked out in “Fade to Black” paraphernalia – she’s a big fan of the online radio program hosted by Jimmy Church, which covers all things conspiracy from Bigfoot to lost history such as Atlantis. Church broadcast his show live from the expo Friday night.
He said the popularity of shows such as “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel demonstrates that curiosity about UFOs and aliens is moving into the mainstream. The first Alien Con, hosted by History, A+E Networks and Cosmic-Con, will be held in Santa Clara in October.
The growing interest in those topics also is supported by a 2012 National Geographic Channel study that found 80 million Americans believe UFOs exist and one in 10 think they’ve seen one.
“This thing that used to be crazy conspiracy people with tinfoil hats and newspapers on their windows – now it’s the normal,” Church said. “Look at Hollywood. If you want to have a successful movie, make it an alien invasion.”
To date, no government or major research institution has given credibility to most of the topics discussed during the Awareness Life Expo, but that doesn’t dissuade people such as Rhodes, who said she’s had four alien-contact experiences.
She said those encounters alerted her to beings that exist in a different dimension from humans, who vibrate at a lower frequency. She said she supports anything that helps people “transcend” those frequencies.
“The greatest work we can do is to wake people up,” Rhodes said.
Patty Greer, a speaker and vendor at the Sacramento event, has spent nearly 10 years trying to do just that by making eight movies about the crop circle phenomenon in England. Desperate for a cure for a medical condition, Greer said she lay down in the middle of a crop circle in 2006 and felt transformed.
“I knew in an instant that I was somewhere I’d never been,” Greer said. “My whole body lit up and I knew in the first crop circle, raining and cold, that I wanted more.”
The Colorado resident returned to England the next summer to explore more circles.
“I laid down at the end of probably 30 crop circles .... and I was taken,” she said. “I had an (extraterrestrial) experience ... My systems had been recalibrated.”
She said she had her first alien contact in August 2007 and has been communicating telepathically with the creators of the circles ever since.
The expo participants are hardly alone in believing in the possibility of life on other planets and even in visits here by extraterrestrials. The National Geographic Channel’s 2012 study found that 79 percent of survey respondents thought the government has hidden information on UFOs from the public eye.
For his part, Church is keeping an open mind.
“I am not judge and jury,” the radio show host said. “There are a lot of fantastical things that are said and suggested. It’s my job to extract the information in what someone is saying and I leave it up to the audience to decide and research for themselves.”