For years, governments and world leaders have hid the truth about the existence of UFOs or flying saucers, says Victor Viggiani.

'This is a hearing, an inquiry into the evidence.' - Victor Viggiani, UFO panel organizer

The former elementary school principal hopes this truth will be exposed this weekend at an event in Brantford called the Alien Cosmic Expo – what he calls a "cosmic Watergate."

Held at the Best Western Hotel, the gathering is described as a national inquiry into the existence of flying saucers.

Viggiani, 68, said his role was to put together a panel of UFO experts that could answer any questions that might come up about extraterrestrials and possible cover-ups.

Throughout Saturday, a panel of seven experts will each take 10 minutes to acknowledge the existence of UFOs and an alleged worldwide government cover-up. The panel includes Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian defence minister. 

"This is a hearing, an inquiry into the evidence," Viggiani said in a phone interview Friday. 

Over the years, he said, there have been many conferences touching on the existence of beings from another world. But never before has there been a national inquiry about it. 

An open discussion about UFOs

To contrast the panel of experts, Viggiani has invited several journalists from local media outlets – skeptics willing to keep an open mind – to conduct the hearing. They will present their evidence, and the media will ask their questions, he said. The exchange will be similar to what one might see in courtroom.

'We want the government to understand that we know what's going on.' - Victor Viggiani

"We want to have an open discussion on this," he said, adding this is why it was important for the media attending to be skeptical and ask real questions.

"At conferences, you're just speaking to the choir," he said. At this event, experts will be asked real questions and demand real answers.

"These guys will be able to answer any question (the media) may have."  

So far, around 230 people are registered to attend, he said. There are still seats available for Saturday. A ticket costs $99. 

Besides Hellyer, the UFO experts making up the panel include the follows:

  • Richard Dolan, UFO author and researcher.
  • Steve Bassett of Paradigm Research Group.
  • Nick Pope, UFO author and investigator.
  • Grant Cameron, UFO researcher.
  • Stanton Friedman, retired nuclear physicist.
  • Travis Walton, alleged abductee. 

This inquiry is "a cosmic Watergate," Viggiani said. "We want the government to understand that we know what's going on."

More information on Viggiani's research is available on his blog.

chris.seto@cbc.ca | @TopherSeto