PHOENIX — The Schroeppel Historical Society is indulging the mysteries of alien encounters to raise money for “vital repairs” and the preservation of its 108-year-old building.
Presentations about unidentified flying object (UFO) investigations will take place at 7 p.m. tonight and on Aug. 8 at the historical society’s headquarters at 486 Main St., Phoenix.
UFO investigator Keith Conroy will lead tonight’s discussion on “Crop Formations: Past and Present,” delving into the enigmatic field patterns that for decades have been the subject of speculation by fringe theorists and extra-terrestrial enthusiasts.
“It’s a mysterious artwork,” Conroy said.
Next week’s presentation will focus on the 1975 alleged abduction of Travis Walton, who Conroy said personally gave him footage of the circumstances surrounding his alleged five-day encounter with extra-terrestrial life forms. Walton’s story was the subject of the esoteric 1993 film “Fire in the Sky.”
The Schroeppel Historical Society’s Sue Lynch told The Palladium-Times on Tuesday the organization is more than halfway to its $25,000 capital fundraising campaign goal, with a plan of putting the money towards new exterior supports, windows and paint job.
Built in 1910, the Schroeppel Historical Society building formerly housed St. John’s Episcopal Church and is a “perfect example of the English country gothic architecture,” Lynch said, pointing to stained glass windows, exterior fixtures and hand-carved chestnut alter pieces as rare architectural features worth preserving. The building is also listed on National Register of Historic Places.
“Our capital fund is for vital repairs to the Schroeppel Historical Society building,” she said. “The building is 108 years old, and it has some of the most beautiful stained glass windows.”
Conroy, who formerly worked at the U.S. Department of Defense and is currently a Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) field investigator, began speaking at Schroeppel Historical Society fundraisers earlier this year with a presentation on the infamous ocean liner RMS Titanic.
That event, despite society members’ praise for the “riveting” material, was sparsely attended and didn’t produce the hard cash that hard repairs require.
“Not too many people came to the Titanic presentation, but the people who did come said it was one of the best presentations they’d ever been to,” Lynch said.
When the subject turned from undersea depths to travel among the stars, however, audiences grew by lightyears.
A July 18 roundtable discussion about UFO investigations packed the Schroeppel Historical Society and now members decided to “go strictly with the UFO presentations” and see through to the end of his four-part speaker series, Lynch said.
On July 25, the public was similarly engaged for part two, focused on “investigative methods and how to be a good witness.” Conroy shared investigative methods, including his own, and the tools used for UFO investigations.
Tickets are sold the door for both Aug. 1 and Aug. 8 sessions, which Conroy said are approximately two hours each. The society is located at 486 Main St. in Phoenix. Proceeds will go to the historical society’s capital campaign for building preservation.