Since the age of 10, George Fawcett has been devoted to unidentified flying objects.
The Lincolnton man has had one sighting of his own, been visited by the Men in Black and researched the phenomenon all over the world.
At the age of 86, however, itâ€™s finally time to slow down. The noted UFO expert will be giving his farewell address at the Mutual UFO Network of North Carolina, a group he has been involved in since 1973.
â€œI probably should have done it a year ago, but I was having so much fun,â€ Fawcett said.
The 58th meeting will be held at the Charlotte campus of Pheiffer University on Saturday. While it will mark Fawcettâ€™s official retirement, he plans to continue doing a limited amount of lectures and workshops.
â€œI intend to keep more than just a passionate interest in UFOs for the rest of my life,â€ said Fawcett.
Retirement comes on the heels of a difficult year. Two knee surgeries and the resulting medication have taken their toll on Fawcett, but his schedule has stayed packed.
â€œBetween (UFO work) and children visiting and singing in the choir and YMCA activities and family activities, Iâ€™ve never really known a time I wasnâ€™t busy,â€ he said.
Heâ€™s read a total of 1,768 books on UFOs, written two of his own and donated 148,000 items to a UFO museum in Roswell, N.M. where he is on the board of directors.
Over the years, he has received numerous letters and phone calls from those wanting to share their stories. He has discovered that people of all walks of life believe in UFOs â€” including astronauts, pilots and radar men.
As a young man, Fawcett made sure to â€œkeep feet on the ground and tell it like it was.â€ Even so, there were many skeptics who had no interest in his work.
â€œYou were out on a limb basically by yourself,â€ he said.
Times have changed, however, and Fawcett, who can spout facts on command, says 80 percent of people on a global scale now believe in UFOs.
â€œSo if youâ€™re a skeptic, you belong to a minority group,â€ he said.
At his lecture on Saturday, Fawcett plans to state the conclusions he has come to after a lifetime of research:
Â· UFOs are a real, material, physical phenomenon, unidentifiable in conventional terms.
Â· There is a clear intelligence behind the phenomenon.
Â· The origin of UFOs is unknown, but the extraterrestrial hypothesis must rank high on the list of possibilities.
Â· The government has information on UFOs, which confirms their reality, but it has consistently tried to keep this fact hidden from the public.
Â· The government regards UFOs as a threat to national security, a point made very clear in recently declassified documents.
And though heâ€™s officially taking it easy, he has many plans ahead â€” spending time with his wife (â€œSheâ€™s been my backboneâ€), family and church as well as organizing his UFO research and catching up on the six UFO books he has yet to read.
He plans to stay up to date on the most recent UFO information â€” what was sighted where, what that means.
And whether heâ€™s alive or not when astronauts make contact with life on other planets, there is one thing he can say for sure: â€œWeâ€™re going to find out when we get there that theyâ€™ve been waiting for us to arrive.â€
Want to go?
The 58th meeting of the Mutual UFO Network of North Carolina will be Saturday at noon at the Charlotte campus of Pheiffer University on Mockingbird Lane. Club dues are $10 per year for individuals and will be collected at the meeting.
by Sarah Grano