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Scientific Coalition for Ufology to host weekend conference in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE — Those interested in outer space, national security or yet-unexplained phenomena will have a rare opportunity to attend a conference in Huntsville next month that will highlight the scientific side of ufology and what it means for us.

The event, hosted by the Scientific Coalition of Ufology, will take place March 15-17 at Rocket City Tavern, located at 2100 Rideout Rd. in Huntsville, near Redstone Arsenal Gate 9.

The focus of the scientific conference will be “anomalous aerospace phenomena” (AAP), according to SCU Board Executive Officer Rich Hoffman. A few of the topics that will be discussed include SETI and unidentified aerospace objects; recent military and homeland security cases; infrared video analysis and interpretation; satellite use in investigations, methods of analysis; and future strategic directions.

Pictures captured from videos that Hoffman said will be discussed at the conference (CONTRIBUTED)

“After the Pentagon announcement in 2017 that a secret program was being conducted and deduced that these objects are real and considered threats, I decided to host an event here and bring PhDs and others together to openly collaborate on this topic,” Hoffman said.

With the conference, Hoffman also said the SCU hopes to bring the scientific aspects of the phenomena to the attention of various scientists, engineers and industry partners connected to Redstone Arsenal.

Several speakers, both from the United States and abroad, are slated for the event. The keynote speaker will be Luis Elizondo, former leader of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program at the Pentagon. Elizondo is now with To The Stars Academy, a nonprofit consisting of professionals who are working to extend the efforts of the AATIP.

Luis Elizondo, To The Stars Academy Board Member, Former Program Manager (AATIP), Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, Pentagon (CONTRIBUTED)

Other presenters include Dr. Travis Taylor, Department of Defense; Philippe Ailleris, Project Controller, European Space Agency, SCU; Morgan Beall, BS Earth Sciences, SCU; Robert Powell, BS, Chemistry, SCU; Peter Reali, BS and MA, Electrical Engineering, SCU; Conley Powell, Senior Engineer/Scientist at 4M Research; Kevin Knuth, Department of Physics, University at Albany; and Hoffman, BA Organizational Communications, SCU. Learn more about the speakers and their presentations at

Rich Hoffman, SCU Board executive officer (CONTRIBUTED)

Hoffman, who in 2017 left his position as Alabama State Director for UFO Investigations in the Mutual UFO Network to help start the SCU, said he has been interested in ufology for about 55 years. As an eighth-grader in 1964, Hoffman was forced to do an assignment on UFOs in his science class after all other subjects had been taken. “I signed up for it and delivered a poorly researched presentation stating that surely if there was anything to this, the Air Force would tell us,” Hoffman said.

After nearly failing the assignment, he went home and heard Walter Cronkite talking about an alleged incident involving a landed UFO and a police officer named Lonnie Zamora in Socorro, New Mexico. “My mouth dropped at what was being stated here,” Hoffman recalled. He would later visit a local bookstore in Dayton, Ohio, and find “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects” by Edward J. Ruppelt, the former head of the Air Force Project Blue Book, which taught him even more about the subject. “I learned that the Air Force Project was just up the road at Wright Patterson AFB. I became ‘hooked’ at age 15. I went on ‘Phil Donahue’ and became the area’s expert on the subject. I have been at it since.”

Graphic of the Zamora incident, the 1964 UFO case that helped propel Hoffman’s interest in ufology (CONTRIBUTED)

Now, Hoffman is an IT systems architecture analyst and works as a Defense contractor for By Light Inc., an IT consultant for the US Army Materiel Command located on Redstone Arsenal. He said he is “thrilled” to make this conference happen in Huntsville.

“We (SCU) are seeking serious dialogue and collaboration between those who study this phenomena scientifically and the people who reside in the Huntsville metro area, many of who are connected to Redstone, Marshall, UAH and the many industries who partner with the DoD, NASA, MDA (and more),” Hoffman added.

The cost to attend is $175, and tickets must be purchased ahead of time at According to the website, the price includes two lunches, two dinners and all non-alcoholic beverages. The costs help pay for the presenters, their transportation, lodging and all food and refreshments.

Ticket sales end March 4, and no tickets will be sold at the door.

To learn more about the SCU, visit

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