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Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Close Encounters with UFOs

Massive public interest and a deep desire for answers regarding whether UFO sightings (also known as “unidentified aerial phenomenon”, or UAPs) are a risk to our national security has been building. A 2017 New York Times article attempted to reveal what has been kept hidden from the general public. Does the US government and other private organizations have multi-decade UAP crash-retrieval and reverse-engineering programs? Do the testimonies of a former intelligence officer and two Navy pilots stating that the US has “non-human remains” pave the way towards legislation that would mandate reporting of visits from extraterrestrial life?

Please join us for a lively and engaging discussion with two local UFO experts, Dr. Mark Rodeghier, President and Scientific Director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), and Sam Maranto, Director and Investigative Researcher for the Illinois Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). This presentation will cover a historical overview, ufology, local sightings, recent developments, and will be out-of-this-world. Everyone is welcome!

Mark Rodeghier has been President and Scientific Director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies since 1986. He earned a BS in astrophysics from Indiana University in 1975 and then completed master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago in sociology.

He works professionally as a consultant in statistical analysis and data analytics. He has taught numerous workshops on a variety of statistical techniques, authored or coauthored two books on statistics and survey research, and has been principal statistician for more than 80 papers in clinical research, with a recent focus on sickle cell disease.

His work in the UFO field began with CUFOS in 1974, and he has done research and investigation in a variety of areas, including vehicle interference cases, physical trace events, abduction cases, especially the psychology and the sociology of abduction experiencers, and led the CUFOS investigation of the Roswell crash.

His UFO-related publications include numerous articles for International UFO Reporter, the Journal of UFO Studies, and the Journal of Scientific Exploration, as well as the monograph UFO Reports Involving Vehicle Interference: A Catalog and Data Analysis.

or 14 years Sam Maranto has been the State Director for Illinois MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and a certified Field Investigator for over 20 years. Sam has been involved in two major mass sighting investigations (Tinley Park and Rockford) as well as numerous other investigations throughout a period of over 10 years. His research into the UFO phenomenon started in 1964. He is also a UFO witness and had his first sighting in 1959. The latest sighting was in May, 2003 in Orland Park. Sam has been an Independent Insurance Broker for 39 years.

How to Attend
This event is available in person and online. Join in person at the library or register to get the Zoom Link and join remotely.

Attend in person at the Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St., Chicago, Illinois, 60605
Doors to the Auditorium open at 1:30 p.m., and seating is first come, first served (350 capacity). Masks are strongly encouraged in all CPL locations. Questions about visiting the library? Check out our Using the Library FAQ.

Attend online via Zoom
Only one registration per household is needed. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting about 24 hours before the meeting. Questions about attending online events? Check out our Events FAQs.

Need sign language interpretation or other accessibility assistance for this event? Please call (312) 747-8184 or email to request accommodations. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.


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