Omnec Onec, who landed here from Chicago, says life on her native planet, Venus, isn't all that different from life on Earth.

"It's like the desert areas here. It's amazing how adaptable the human species is," said Onec, one of 30 speakers at The World UFO Congress that landed here this month.The conference drew about 400 people to a Tucson hotel and included speakers from 14 countries - and, uh, elsewhere - plus exhibits and copious amounts of literature for sale.

"Elvis: The UFO Connection" and "Why They Need Us, We Don't Need Them" were among available books, along with "Beamship Trainee" bumper stickers, "UFOs are Real" baseball caps and UFO yo-yos.

The mastermind of the extravaganza held May 3-7 was Wendelle C. Stevens, a 68-year-old retiree from Tucson who plunked down much of the $61,000 conference budget.

"We tried to introduce an exotic phenomena at an acceptable level," Stevens said, defending the credibility of all the speakers.

Many of those who showed up swapped UFO experiences. On the conference's second day, a woman burst into the hall claiming to have videotaped a mysterious object in the sky outside the hotel.

For some, the conference was a way to satisfy a growing curiosity.

Tim Petro of San Francisco said he had attended several UFO lectures in the Bay area and had concluded "this is too far out for me." Some of the events at the Tucson gathering "raised sufficient doubt in my mind," he said.

Exhibits included samples of Moldavite - billed as a "gem that fell to Earth" - pyramid power and a demonstration intended to show how gravity is a push, not a pull.

Mother-daughter team Dorothy Braatelien and Maxine Moffett displayed photos taken above Mount Graham, south of Safford, showing what they said were regular visits by UFOs.

"This one here some say is a bird," Ms. Braatelien said, pointing to a photo, "but when you blow (the photo) up, it looks like `Star Trek."'

Lecture subjects included the appearance of mysterious crop circles in England, underground UFO bases in the United States, cow abductions in Missouri and the kidnapping of witness Paula Watson of Mount Vernon, Mo.

Watson described how she was canning in her basement about seven years ago when she noticed a silvery alien with large eyes staring at her through a window after she witnessed a cow abduction by aliens earlier in the day.

Watson said she called out to the alien, who backed off, but she went to sleep and awoke on a spaceship.

"I was standing up on a white table and the alien was running his hands down my body, scanning my body," she said.

The speakers were a "Who's Who" in extraterrestrial phenomena, coming from Japan, the Soviet Union, Italy, Canada, Latin America and other countries, Stevens said.

Enrique Castillo-Rincon of Venezuela told the conference how he was abducted by German-looking aliens from the planet Shi-el-lho in the Pleiades star cluster.

"I'm thinking Hollywood," Castillo-Rincon said in broken English before his lecture. "I'm going to meet with two to three producers and maybe Shirley MacLaine."

Tired by exhibits and lectures, participants could relax at a bar with a Martian martini or mingle with participants claiming unearthly ties.

Onec - who in her Earth life lives in Chicago and is known as Sheila Gipson - said she is from Teutonia, Venus, where her kind live in the astral-plane, as opposed to the physical.

"I lowered my vibrations to be able to come to Earth and pay off a debt I owed to a girl in a previous lifetime - a karmic debt," she said.