Midwest Conference on the Unknown provides space for thorough conversation

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – UFOs, Bigfoot, the paranormal: you name it, they discussed it at the Midwest Conference on the Unknown on Sunday. 

Ryan Sprague, a researcher from New York City, said that diversity of topics sets this conference apart.

“It’s unlike many conferences around the country where it’s just about UFOs or just about ghosts,” he said. “At this event, you had people talking about all of these things, and if you sort of zoom that camera out on these topics, it is possible that they could somehow be linked, whether it’s Bigfoot, a ghost, or an alien.” 

A highlight of the weekend was Sunday’s panel discussion. A team of panelists, including researcher Micah Hanks from North Carolina, discussed all things unknown. 

“The best thing about these conferences for me personally is not getting up there and talking, it’s having conversations with the people who are attending, hearing their stories, getting their perspectives,” Hanks said. “You always learn something.” 

Hanks said those conversations can help people, especially a researcher like himself, critically think about the topics at hand and maybe change the way they view such things. 

“You may come away with an entirely different perspective, a new perspective,” he said. “You may even initiate a new research effort. So for me, coming to these events, somebody’s always going to tell you a story that might offer you the next little stepping stone in the direction your research has yet to take.” 

Researcher Michael Huntington, who has made his home in Cape Girardeau since the early 90s, said it is a never-ending learning process when it comes to the paranormal and unexplained.  

“There’s definitely things to be learned, and there’s definitely stories to be told,” he said. “At least on that level, there’s a folklore component. These stories are not going to go away. They’re always going to be a part of us. If a town has a legend, it’s always going to be there, and people are always going to wonder and question.” 

There are plans for another Midwest Conference on the Unknown, although no date has officially been set.

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