Forget little green men from Mars, the Weird ’09 conference in Warminster attempted to sort the facts from the folklore for both sceptics and paranormal enthusiasts.

The first day of the first UFO event in Warminster of its kind, left visitors to the town – albeit only the Earthling kind – with plenty to think about.

A sky watch at Cradle Hill in Warminster on Saturday, August 29 followed an impressive schedule of speakers, featuring some of the best-loved and most admired experts in the paranormal field.

Among those speaking at the Athenaeum Centre in High Street was Nick Pope, a former UFO investigator employed by the MoD to research sightings across the country – earning him the title of Britain’s real-life Fox Mulder.

His audience included Robert Moore, from Somerset, who has been investigating UFOs across the country since 1980. He became interested in the subject after reading about former Wiltshire Times reporter Arthur Shuttlewood, who first highlighted the mystery of the Warminster Thing.

It captured the public imagination in the 1960s after reports of noises and unexplained objects in the skies brought thousands of enthusiasts flocking to the town.

Mr Moore said: “I liked Kevin Goodman as a speaker. I thought it was a very informative speech in the way he presented the background of the Warminster Thing and his perspective on his own experiences.

“This conference is about connecting with people and seeing what they think on the subject.”

Speaker Kevin Goodman shared his knowledge and research on Mr Shuttlewood.

He said Warminster is reticent about its UFO past. “We are really proud of what we have achieved for the first event and we hope to make it a regular thing,” he said.

“If there is someone who leaves here and thinks ‘maybe there is something out there’, then we have done our job, although we are not trying to convert people, we are just trying to present all of the arguments.”

While some speakers argued UFO sightings are caused by extra-terrestrial life, others said whatever the cause, the unidentified flying objects are, at their most simplest and concerning level, a potential terrorist opportunity.

“Airline pilots, police officers and radar operators are among the many witnesses, according to recent Government reports discussed at the two-day conference.

Claire Williams, 26, travelled from Swansea with friend Sarah Heaton, 26. Both have a lifelong interest in the paranormal.

Miss Williams said: “I’m a bit geeky really. I like Star Trek and things like that and I guess everybody has a feeling that we are not the only ones here. There must be something out there in space.

“We know about a lot of the things being discussed here but to hear other people’s experiences is amazing.”

*An alien contactee, three apparent hoaxes at the skywatch on Cradle Hill and a seance added to the excitement of the final day of the Weird 09 conference.

Organiser Chris Williams said: “The weekend was a fantastic success. I have had many emails over the last couple of days asking when the next one is going to be but I’m still recovering from this one.”

Around 70 people turned out for the skywatch on Cradle Hill on Saturday night where three hoaxes, including a couple of lanterns and a search beam from the military base, were spotted.

Mr Williams said: “It was quite nice really for people to have something to watch.

“People think we are gullible but serious researchers are not really taken in by hoaxes that people put up nowadays.”

Another of Sunday’s highlights was Mike Oram, who spoke about his contact with beings from outer space, as well as his living in Warminster and sky watching with Arthur Shuttlewood, who raised the profile of UFO sightings in the town in the 1960s and 1970s.

“I first came down in 1969 and used to come down almost every weekend. It was a brilliant time to be in Warminster,” he said. “I used to go up on Cradle Hill in the winter time, nothing would stop me. I would be up there in the wind and rain and you could almost guarantee that Arthur would be up there.”

A key part of Mr Oram’s speech covered two hours of ‘missing time’ he experienced in notorious UFO hotspot Area 51 in Nevada in 2004. He also revealed his personal contact with ‘Tellos’ his ‘space brother’ who, he says, travels from somewhere in the far regions of the galaxy to make contact.