Concerns raised over a ‘prepare for aliens' event in Limoges

Up to 3,000 people are expected but a local official fears it could be a ‘breeding ground for extremism’

A graphic showing a stereotypical idea of a spaceship hovering over fields
The organising NGO states that the event will ‘prepare humanity for encounters with our benevolent celestial friends’, but a one local president has not welcomed the news
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Authorities in south-west France have raised concerns over the planned gathering of 3,000 people to discuss - in the organisers’ words - “a serious strategy” for relations between humans and aliens.

The event, called Symposium Exovision, is set to take place from March 16-18 at the Zénith of Limoges (Haute-Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine). A three-day ticket costs between €150-190.

Organiser Alliances Célestes, which describes itself as an NGO, states that the aim of the event is to "prepare humanity for encounters with our benevolent celestial friends" (meaning ‘extraterrestrials’ or aliens).

It added that the event will promote “a serious strategy for predictable relations between terrestrial human beings and members of civilisations of an extraterrestrial exobiological nature, so that both parties can benefit from humanitarian, philosophical, medical, energy and technological collaboration under the aegis of fair and effective mediation”.

‘Conspiracy theorists and flat-earthists’

However, Thierry Miguel, vice-president of the Conseil départemental in Limoges, has not welcomed the news.

He wrote in local newspaper Populaire du Centre: “I was flabbergasted to hear that such an event was taking place in Limoges. Wacky people will be arriving from all over France and Europe to give Limoges a strange image. These movements will include conspiracy theorists and flat-earthists. It's a breeding ground for extremism.”

He wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “I do not want Limoges to be the laughing stock of the world. We need science and reason, not conspiracy theories.”

‘A duty of neutrality’

In response to the news and controversy, Didier Pachoud, president of Gemppi - a secular association for the prevention of and aid against sectarianism - told BFMTV that it is good to be aware of the possible risks, but that "you can't lump everyone together” as extremists and conspiracists.

However, he did admit that the event could attract a certain number of manipulators and people looking to profit or scam vulnerable people.

Similarly, the director of the Zénith has said that it will not ban the event, and that it has "a duty of neutrality”. This is especially true due to the group’s classification as an NGO, not a sect.

"Not agreeing to hire the hall for such an event could be assimilated to a refusal to sell,” the director told Le Populaire du Centre.

Security and intelligence services will patrol the event, however, with a view to diffusing any tension.

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