We recently had the opportunity to attend a unique, educational and eye-opening meeting with our very own Albuquerque based paranormal group.
Known as the New Mexico UFO and Paranormal Forum, this non-profit organization began with a group of like-minded individuals in their very own homes, eventually expanding to a more prominent position in the community with lectures and presentations given at the Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center monthly on the third Saturday.
With its online presence including the likes of Blogger, Facebook and Duke City Fix, a dedicated Ning service for Albuquerque, what makes this forum stand apart from others of this ilk is its grassroots use of social media that keeps long-term attendees informed and updated while attracting new participants monthly.
Just imagine what the worldwide paranormal communities and venues could have accomplished back in the 1990's had social media been invented then!
The co-founders of the New Mexico UFO and Paranormal Forum understand this better than most as they themselves represent an engaging cross-section of dedicated interests including ufology, metaphysics, the supernatural, spiritualism and cosmology, to name a few.
On top of that, these same founding members are willing to stick their necks out professionally for a worthwhile cause that can no longer be ignored. If experience in the paranormal community has taught us anything, it's that the nature of the risk being taken is often measured by the absence or presence of last names. If you visit the forum's Facebook page, you will see the following:
Albuquerque/Rio Rancho (as well as the entire state of New Mexico) UFO and Paranormal Group. Out of state friends are also welcome!...established by Mike W., Norio Hayakawa, Lesley Gunter, Gloria Hawker, Mary, Abe and Hannah. Monthly meetings are FREE!
We had the pleasure of meeting several of the founders including Norio Hayakawa as well as many of the group's regular attendees, some of which make the monthly trek from as far as Los Lunas without a second thought. That's how important this group is to them.
Let's not forget the context of what is really taking place here in Albuquerque. Not only are the founding members of this forum supplying a much needed community service to one and all but they are also filling a rather large void in the state of New Mexico itself.
Try to find another openly public UFO or paranormal forum such as this in the Duke City sandbox. Good luck. You won't.
The true gem of the forum's meeting centers around the presentation of a featured speaker being hosted that month. As far as knowledge, experience, wisdom and the lessons of life itself, you will not be disappointed. The speakers hosted each month carry a significant and familiar presence within the local communities while sharing their life experiences and journeys, allowing attendees a tangible sense that allows them to relate to the individual speaker.
At the same time, the people presenting their knowledge and experiences can also be found having a presence in the larger spectrum of New Mexico, whether it be county, state or the regional southwest.
As such, the New Mexico UFO and Paranormal Forum achieves yet another goal as a bright beacon in the paranormal community with a very successful reach in both membership and speaker series that deflates - and even buries - the often stereotypical perception of Albuquerque's provinciality.
It is important to remember that even though the term 'a cut above the rest' would be valid and merited, this group and its attendees represent your parents and children, your aunts and uncles, your closest friends and your next door neighbors.
In otherwords, your community.
It doesn't matter if the communal dialogue, steered by the mainstream media, is about gay rights, immigration, terrorism or rotten tomatoes. In the end of it all, it will come down to one thing and one thing only - an open public dialogue on alien contact and the paranormal.
Ultimately, that is the essence of what the New Mexico UFO and Paranormal Forum represents - a remarkable exploration of an inevitable sociological conclusion.