The UFO business has been a boon to the Little A`Le'Inn, which assumed its current name in 1990 to cash in on the sightings along Highway 375. Alien bumper stickers, doormats, cigarette lighters, hats, T-shirts, earrings, paper-towel holders and other trinkets are all on sale. Menu items include Alien Burgers (not made from mutilated cattle) and a potion called the Beam Me Up, Scotty (Jim Beam, 7-Up and a splash of Scotch).
One of the most surprising skeptics, however, turns out to be the conference's keynote speaker, the reclusive Bob Lazar. According to UFO lore, Lazar is a physicist who worked at the Nellis range in 1988, where he saw nine alien saucers in secret hangars and worked on duplicating their engine systems. He also was granted clearance to read documents about extraterrestrial activity in the United States and was allowed to watch one spacecraft fly.
[Robert Knight], for instance, is fascinated by the psychology of the UFO phenomenon. He notes that claims of aliens mutilating cattle-removing the animals' sexual organs with "surgical precision"-are curiously similar to 1890s reports of cattle abductions by "hot-air balloons with searchlights and ladders." Likewise, ancient Egyptians blamed stolen livestock on "sky gods." The abduction phenomenon seems to be some sort of Jungian archetype, Knight says.