Tag Archives: UFOs

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – February 1st, 2019

We’re finally out of the Polar Vortex today and I’m putting my shorts on to enjoy the 18 degree weather we’re finally warming up to in Wisconsin. 

But even though we’ve been kept inside like a bunch of hibernating were-bears, we still have our eyes on the weirdest news that we can find!

https://newatlas.com/brain-signals-into-speech-algorithm/58253/

Advanced AI system converts brain signals into speech

In a landmark breakthrough, scientists have demonstrated a computer system effectively translating brain signals into intelligible speech. The extraordinary experiment presents a proof-of-concept that could pave the way for a large variety of brain-controlled communication devices in the future.

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/uri-geller-to-use-telepathic-powers-to-stop-jeremy-corbyn-becoming-prime-minister-1.479364

Uri Geller says he will use ‘telepathic powers’ to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM

Uri also told the audience he once told Theresa May that she would become Britain’s leader. Was Uri also behind Brexit?!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tony-romo-play-predictions-super-bowl-11548805802

Tony Romo Calls Plays Before They Happen. How Often Is He Actually Right?

The voice of the Super Bowl has become known for his eerily accurate predictions. The Wall Street Journal watched nearly 50 hours of game tape to calculate Romo’s hit rate. Read this article. This is the kind of scrutiny we should put to paranormal claims!

https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/nation-world/national/article225284585.html

How did 3-year-old NC boy survive days alone in woods? | Idaho Statesman

This is the kid that said a bear took care of him in the woods. Did Baloo really save this little guy’s life? Or could it have been my man, Bigfoot?

https://nypost.com/2019/01/30/jose-canseco-says-that-aliens-can-teach-us-how-to-time-travel/

Jose Canseco says that aliens can teach us how to time travel

Former Oakland A Jose Canseco claimed on Twitter that aliens want to share the secrets of time travel, but they’re having trouble getting in touch… what?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng6LdHmFmdA

Jeff Mills – UFO (Axis — AX-024)

Techno whiz and cosmos enthusiast Jeff Mills has announced the debut of The Edgar Mitchell Affair – a new party created by that honors NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s six-day mission to space on the Apollo 14.

The party will be held at the music venue Ampere in Antwerp, Belgium on February 9 which marks the 49-year-anniversary of Mitchell’s return to earth. On his return almost half a century ago, astronaut Edgar Mitchell became a recognized and outspoken personage on the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. That sounds like the coolest part around and we wish we could be there, but instead here’s one of Jeff’s old school techno tracks, “UFO”.

Are you not a podcast person? We understand. Some people love listening to things on YouTube. You can always find our latest episodes on our podcast YouTube channel! Click here to take a look and subscribe.

New podcast episodes come out Monday nights, we’ll see YOU on the other side of the weekend!
Mike

http://www.othersidepodcast.com/donate

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – January 25th, 2019


Whew! January is unbelievably almost over. Sometimes it seems like the most paranormal thing is how fast time flies out here. We just released a new podcast about last week’s most interesting paranormal stories (including the Smiley Face Killers, Oumuamua, Glenn Miller’s disappearance solved, and the conspiracy behind Martin Luther King’s assassination) and here we are with more weirdness from this week!

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/oumuamua-interstellar-harvard-astrophysicist/580948

When a Harvard Professor Talks About Aliens

Abraham “Avi” Loeb has been the subject of a number of high-profile stories lately and last week he was just in The New Yorker. This week he’s in The Atlantic. It’s time to learn why this Harvard Professor becoming the new face of UFOlogy and this time it’s less about Little Green Men and more about radio telescopes…

https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/ufos-warp-drives-stargates-freedom-of-information-query-reveals-secret-list-of-pentagon-research-projects/news-story/0c1fcffd8aa60239744648eb5c56dded#.h1y0j

Secret Pentagon projects exposed

The United States Defense Intelligence Agency has one great fear: that someone, somewhere, has an unknown advantage … a secret weapon that could topple the world’s sole superpower from its perch. So when it hears talk of UFOs, stargates and warp drives — it takes it seriously. We’ve interviewed members of the DIA before, and they’ve seen some WEIRD stuff!

https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/witchcraft-demons-child-abuse-religion-15709791

Witchcraft and demonic possession link to Cov child abuse

Government statistics have shown that social services identified 34 potential abuse cases in Coventry linked to faith or belief in 2018. Parents that think their child is a witch or bad luck or possessed by demons. What the Hell is going on in Coventry?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/long-fuse-big-bang/201901/the-paranormal-can-new-science-explain-old-phenomena

The Paranormal: Can New Science Explain Old Phenomena?

The new field of Epigenetics transforms the impossible into the possible. It’s always nice to see a Fortean story in a respected publication!

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/9k4exv/china-starts-hunt-for-aliens-in-2019

China to Seriously Start Hunting for Aliens in 2019

Astronomers think extraterrestrials could be trying to communicate with us so Chinese scientists built a huge telescope to find out. But with a government as tight-lipped as the Chinese are they going to be any more free with the alien goods than the U.S.?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jo3F29JSfs

Pixies – Motorway to Roswell

In the mood for some classic Alternative Rock that talks about aliens? We thought you were, here’s the Pixies with one of their most fun tracks. 

Have you subscribed to See You On The Other Side on iTunes yet?We’ll help you make it easy to get the latest episodes as soon as they come out. Just click here!

See you on the other side of the weekend!

http://www.othersidepodcast.com/donate

232 – Shiny Space Pancakes: Big Bands, Assassination Conspiracies, Smiley Face Killers, and Oumuamua

When The New Yorker runs an article called “Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua'”, people are going to listen. It’s one of America’s most prestigious magazines, which is probably why they were a little combative in their discussion with Avi Loeb (who’s been popping up all the time lately) about the possibility that the interstellar Oumuamua object is artificial, perhaps created by an alien race to probe the universe, much like our Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft. My sister Allison was so excited about the article, she couldn’t wait to talk about it in this episode.

Of course, Avi Loeb is no slouch, he’s the chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department stranger to aliens, he is also involved with the Breakthrough Initiative, the $100 million search for alien intelligence founded by a Russian billionaire which we discussed in episode 50. In the past year, he’s become the poster child for real scientists talking about the possibility of alien life in the universe. He’s tenured, so they can’t fire him for having these ideas. And he’s well-respected, so he’s not coming out of left field.

Painting of Oumuamua as a pancake-shaped object. Copyright 2018 William K. Hartmann

Since we discovered it after it was already out of range to get an actual picture of it, all the details have to come through what we can observe and mathematically derive from the data coming through the radio telescopes. So, why do they think that it might be artificial and what’s interesting about it?

  • As it spends every eight hours, it’s brightness changes by a factor of ten, that means it’s probably ten times longer than it is wide
  • That means it might be cigar shaped OR pancake shaped!
  • It deviates from an orbit that physics would dictate for a normal object around the sun
  • There are no gases coming off it like a comet, so it’s not being propelled by anything

Here’s one of the best quotes from the article:

I do not view the possibility of a technological civilization as speculative, for two reasons. The first is that we exist. And the second is that at least a quarter of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy have a planet like Earth, with surface conditions that are very similar to Earth, and the chemistry of life as we know it could develop. If you roll the dice so many times, and there are tens of billions of stars in the Milky Way, it is quite likely we are not alone.

Professor Abraham “Avi” Loeb

Avi, you’re my man! He’s the guy who’s saying that it’s unscientific to completely rule out the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence. He even brings up the old Sherlock Holmes chestnut “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” I like him and if he ends up being a disinformation agent, I’ll be super sad,

The real Dr. Hynek and his TV counterpart J. Allen Littlefinger

Something I found really interesting this week was all the talk about the new Project Blue Book TV show on the History Channel starring Littlefinger from Game of Thrones (and Tommy Carcetti, I haven’t forgotten about you, The Wire fans!) Everyone on my Facebook feed is talking about it because it uses the real-life character of Dr. J. Allen Hynek (who we talk about extensively with author Mark O’Connell who wrote a book about him called The Close Encounters Man) who investigated UFO reports for the real Project Blue Book and turns it into X-Files style fiction.

Okay, so that is a lot of fun, but The New York Times this week also wrote an article about the real life Project Blue Book and how it was nothing like it’s described in the TV show. Those are the same authors who wrote the 2017 article that blew the lid open on modern military research into unexplained aerial phenomena. Okay, we know Hollywood is gonna Hollywood, but why are we so predisposed to believe that the government is okay lying to us?

David Crosby is one of The Truth and Reconciliation Committee members looking for new answers to the political assassinations of the 60s.

Well, I think we can thank the government of America’s Golden Age, the Happy Days of yore, because they were super good at lying to the American people. From the Tuskegee experiments to the Gulf of Tonkin, the Mid-20th Century US government wasn’t afraid to deceive its own citizens to accomplish a goal. And it’s one of the reason that on Martin Luther King Day this year, a group of 60 activists who are calling themselves the Truth and Reconciliation Council are demanding a new investigation into the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X.

Celebrities include Alec Baldwin, Oliver Stone, Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner, famous walrus-man and musician David Crosby, as well as relatives of both Robert Kennedy and Dr. King. King’s family has long believed that James Earl Ray did not act alone and RFK Jr. himself has said that Sirhan Sirhan’s trial was a “mockery”.

There was just an invincibility and an impunity about that era of government that’s almost terrifying. From J. Edgar Hoover’s personal fiefdom of the FBI to the CIA’s mind control experiments, how many unelected officials wreaked havoc on American citizens “for our own good”? Might these assassinations be another example and we can’t learn the truth until the Boomers finally pass on?

Glenn Miller says “I gotta trombone for ya, baby.”

Wendy this week thought that it was fascinating that they think they might have found the wreckage of Glenn Miller’s airplane. One of the most popular musicians in America during Word War II, Miller’s plane disappeared over the English Channel on December 15th, 1944. There have been several theories to the disappearance:

  • Because of the freezing conditions, his plane’s engine iced over and they crashed on the way to Paris
  • British bombers returning from an air raid were told they needed to jettison their unexploded bombs over the Channel and Miller’s plane was accidentally in the way and killed by friendly fire
  • Miller made it to Paris, but had a heart attack while in a brothel, and they “disappeared” him to save the famous musician’s family embarrassment

Well, a fisherman now claims that he pulled up the remains of Miller’s plane in 1987. He says that he was advised to let it back into the deep, but he recorded the coordinates of the exact spot. What I wanna know is WHO TOLD HIM TO PUT IT BACK?!? That seems to be the missing piece in this journalism for me.

The good news is that he’s given a team of researchers the coordinates, so that if they can get the money, they can send divers down there to investigate. Because Miller’s plane is the last of its manufacture in the world that’s unaccounted for, if they find it, they’ll know it’s his and maybe the mystery can be solved.

Why so serious?

The first time we had Scott Markus on the show, we were featuring his documentary, The Hidden Truth?, which was about a series of mysterious drownings that happened in La Crosse along the Mississippi River from the 90s to the Aughts. Police claim it’s probably just drunken misadventure, but La Crosse’s Deputy Chief Medical Examiner had some other ideas and he wanted to see if their might be a paranormal explanation.

Which leads us to Scott’s topic for the week, the premiere of Smiley Face Killers: The Hunt for Justice on the Oxygen Network. In 2008, retired New York City police detectives Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte proposed that these drownings were the work of a “Murder Club” that they nicknamed “The Smiley Face Killers” because they seemed to find smiley face graffiti near where each of these poor victims went into the river. They postulated that these murders were planned and organized by a dark web of thrill killers throughout the country.

Their ideas made some news for a little while, but it was a popular theory to debunk because of the sheer audacity of it. The FBI even made an official statement about it. However, do you think that’s going to stop the producers of reality TV?! Hell no. Oxygen has developed a series about the detectives’ continuing investigation into more mysterious drownings. What did they find and do you find their evidence convincing? Well, you can be the judge by watching the first episode online right now.

Hush now baby baby don’t you cry…

Finally, this week’s Sunspot song inspired by the conversation is just a straight up punk tune about how easily we’re manipulated. From Vladimir Lenin’s “useful idiots” to the latest stories like the Covington High School video fracas, interest groups and factions vying for power and wealth have worked over the narrative so that the “common people” will come to their way of thinking. We fully expect propaganda in advertising, but we hope that our news sources at least attempt objectivity and our elected officials are at least telling us the truth sometimes… but we know that’s not true. Sometimes, you just get sick of people in authority saying they know what’s good for you and “Father Knows Best” is just a load of bollocks.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=251398409 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=1056086231]

It’s a little story that story that they wrote for you and me,
keeping out the best parts for our own good, don’t you see?

The program is designed so that the masses will obey.
We’re all the same, it’s just a game, and we don’t get to play.
Worse than Illuminati or lizard conspiracy
for who controls the narrative, controls all the money.

Father Knows Best and our trust becomes a weapon.
Mommy’s bedtime story is mind control and thought suppression.
You can’t fight the power while you’re busy getting screwed
Hey Rube, sometimes the truth ain’t good enough for you.

I guess we’re just not smart enough to grasp at the big picture,
we just get the Cliffs Notes and they tell us that it’s scripture.

They’ve got the dials all set to outrage no matter what side that you choose
When it comes to facts, no one retracts, they just play fast and loose
It’s pissed-off vegan communists or truck driver redneck hicks
It’s about the bottom line, and everything is fine, as long as they get the clicks.

Father Knows Best and our trust becomes a weapon.
Mommy’s bedtime story is mind control and thought suppression.
You can’t fight the power while you’re busy getting screwed
Hey Rube, sometimes the truth ain’t good enough for you.

231 – The Man Who Knew Too Much: UFOs, Conspiracies, and Murder

This week, there was a plethora of exciting UFO news (well, probably as exciting as we’re going to get until they finally land in our backyard) so we wanted to bring back one of our favorite guests, [Robbie Graham]. Robbie authored the fascinating and insightful book, Silver Screen Saucers as well as editing UFOs: Reframing The Debate, which is one of the most comprehensive looks at the subject of the last decade. Wendy and I talked with Robbie and Scott Markus from WhatsYourGhostStory.com joins us again for the discussion.

Starting out, we had to talk to Robbie about what it was like being on the History Channel juggernaut, Ancient Aliens! He was on the latest episode and he told us what it was like being brought into the study of a millionaire’s home (to make it look a little more intellectual) as well as being remotely directed in London over the Internet from Los Angeles.

Robbie on Ancient Aliens

But just in the news this week, we had to discuss the new article about former Nevada senator Harry Reid coming out of retirement to lobby for more investigation into military reports of UFOs. Roll Call is not your normal UFO publication, it’s a political blog, so it’s always nice to see something weird in there. But why does Harry Reid care so much and why now? The best quote of the entire article is when he talks about Area 51.

“Oh sure, I’ve been to Area 51. I know Area 51. I don’t know if I should say many times, but lots and lots of times. I know Area 51 quite well, I know what they’ve done there,” said Reid. “I don’t know in recent years, of course, but I know what went on there.”

What went on there, Harry, for God’s sakes, what went on there?

But that brings up a bigger point, the existence of extraterrestrials is in the news more than ever. Since the New York Times article in 2017, aliens have snuck more and more in the news, from the latest fast radio bursts from space to the strange Rama-like space objet Oumuamua. And the go-to guy for astronomer credibility seems to be Harvard Professor, Avi Loeb. Now this guy is no slouch when it comes to academic credentials, but he sure is talking about aliens a lot. Is that because they’re getting us ready for disclosure?!

Party On Wayne

More likely, they’re just in it for the clicks. Those stories get shared more than any other and in a quickly shrinking media landscape, views mean money.

But another story that came out this week that I was particularly interested in was the official pronouncement this last week that conspiracy theorist Max Spiers who passed away in Poland mysteriously in 2016, actually died of a drug overdose.

Max Spiers
Max Spiers

It was a tragic end for a young guy (well, kinda young, I would be less than a month older than him, so it hits home for me) and the salacious news stories were filled with tales of cryptic messages sent to his mother and girlfriend in the UK as well as descriptions of him vomiting black bile before expiring. It didn’t help that his friends were telling people that extraterrestrials were mind controlling his behavior. I’m all for a good conspiracy theory and I fully understand that our government isn’t afraid to assassinate people but was a guy who talked about Nazi bases on the moon really getting too close to the truth?

Fascinatingly, that leads to a story from Robbie about how he once was paranoid about his phones being bugged and that he might have been being watched by the CIA while he was investigating another mysterious death, that of Hollywood screenwriter, Gary Devore. First of all, Devore wrote Timecop, the greatest of all Jean-Claude Van Damme films, so we all owe him at least a tiny bit of gratitude for that.

But in the mid-90s, Devore was working on a screenplay about the 1989 U.S. Invasion of Panama. That’s the one that was ordered by former CIA director, George H.W. Bush to capture former CIA operative Manuel Noriega.  My favorite part of the whole invasion (if one can have a favorite part of something that killed 23 US soldiers, 150 Panamanian soldiers, and over 500 Panamanian civilians) is that the U.S. military famously played “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister at an earsplitting volume outside the Vatican Embassy, where Noriega had holed up after being driven from the Capitol.

Could Dee Snider have been in the CIA as well?

While Devore disappeared in 1997, he was on his way to deliver a copy of his latest script, the one about the “real reason” for the  Panama invasion. He never made it and a year later they found his Ford Explorer at the bottom of a California aqueduct. His body was there, but strangely his hands and the script were both missing.

Robbie became obsessed with the case and along with his colleague, Dr. Matthew Alford, they authored an article in The Guardian newspaper talking about Hollywood and the CIA and specifically talking about Gary Devore. Was Robbie getting too close to the truth? Well, in 2012, CIA operative Chase Brandon, who knew Devore well  because he was the CIA liaison to Hollywood, wrote a book called The Cryptos Conundrum. It’s supposedly fiction, but he makes a lot of claims (particularly about Roswell) and in one of the  “fictional scenarios” makes up an investigative journalist who starts exposing too many of the CIA’s plans and then mysteriously suffers a fatal heart attack. The name of this fictional journalist? Robert Graham.

THAT’S $%^ING NUTS. You can read the passages right here in the Google Book version of The Cryptos Conundrum. It’s not really very subtle.

Alford went on to make a documentary about the case in 2014 called The Writer With No Hands.

And speaking of Hollywood, Scott’s favorite story this week is the upcoming 61st anniversary of the Black Dahlia murder, where poor Elizabeth Short was found naked, mutilated and cut in half. It became one of Tinseltown’s most famous and shocking unsolved cases. Los Angeles homicide detective Steve Hodel believes that the killer was his own father(!), Dr. George Hodel, and the new TNT series I Am The Night, will be based on Hodel’s theories. Steve Hodel has also implied that his father was the Zodiac Killer. Happy Father’s Day, yikes!

For this week’s song, we were thinking about the tragedy of Max Spiers’ death and also Robbie’s own story of possibly being surveilled by an intelligence agency while investigating a cover-up. Whether or not you believe in conspiracy theories, from Q Anon to secret supersoldiers, our intelligence agencies wield a scary amount of unchecked power. While a majority of their actions might be in the service of protecting us, is the truth worth getting in their crosshairs?

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=251398409 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=0f91ff tracklist=false artwork=small track=570812378]

You wear the truth like a tattoo
You look over your shoulder is there someone right behind you?

Walking too close to the Left Hand Path
Living with a target on your back.

Whispers in the night are beckoning,
to a black magic reckoning,
hidden hands are pulling strings,
and watching everything.
Steer clear of the dangerous kind
a death warrant has been signed.
Don’t fall in love with
The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Just like in Catch-22
Just cuz you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not out for you.

Just what will you give up for the truth?
Even if it ends up killing you.

Whispers in the night are beckoning,
to a black magic reckoning,
hidden hands are pulling strings,
and watching everything.
Steer clear of the dangerous kind
a death warrant has been signed.
Don’t fall in love with
The Man Who Knew Too Much.

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – January 4th, 2019

Hey!

It’s 2019 and we hope your New Year is starting off most excellently (party on Wayne!) If you wanna say goodbye to the old year, we’ve got a podcast about 2018’s most exciting paranormal stories that you can listen to right here.

But moving forward, we’ve got plenty of paranormal news to kick off a brand new annum!

A UFO was filmed over Kiawah Island

A mysterious glowing orange sphere evidently appeared above Kiawah Island over the Christmas holiday, a phenomenon that turns up in this area every so often.

https://observer.com/2019/01/pope-francis-exorcism-demonic-possession-culture-wars/

Exorcism and Demonic Possession Are Now Tools in the Culture Wars

This article takes the tack that exorcism is all BS, but this goes to something we’ve been talking about for awhile, the paranormal vs. hardcore atheism is part of the new culture wars and it’s in a completely different way than the hippies vs. squares generational conflict of the 60s.

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/12/27/youtuber-shot-dead-in-lahore-after-social-media-prank-goes-wrong/

YouTuber shot dead after social media prank goes wrong

This is what I’m always afraid is going to happen when people see those Zombie Pub Crawls. One of these days, someone’s gonna freak out and start shooting the participants. That’s what happened in Pakistan.

https://www.nationalenquirer.com/photos/psychic-predictions-hollywood-2019/

Psychic Predictions: What’s In The Stars For 2019

Psychic predictions from The National Enquirer’s team of mystics for 2018 included accurately foreseeing Clint Eastwood’s retirement from acting and Khloé Kardashian’s humiliating relationship woes. What will they predict for our favorite (and not so favorite) celebrities in 2019?

https://www.wkrg.com/entertainment/mt-hood-meadows-cryptozoologist-spots-sasquatch/1678332481

Mt Hood Meadows: Cryptozoologist ‘spots’ Sasquatch

Sasquatch was spotted near Mount Hood Meadows — or so say the people connected with Mount Hood Meadows. Take a look at the pictures and you decide if that looks like Bigfoot to you. 😉

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6539849/Has-mystery-Britains-Roswell-finally-solved.html

Has the mystery of ‘Britain’s Roswell’ finally been solved?

Dubbed ‘Britain’s Roswell’, the Rendlesham Forest incident in Suffolk, has intrigued UFO enthusiasts since taking place in December 1980. You’re not gonna like what this article says…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2WqYidC_0Yh

Tenacious D – Sasquatch and Trippy Mushrooms

Since we’re talking about Bigfoot again this week, let’s go back to one of the best scenes in Tenacious D’s much-maligned flick, Tenacious D In The Pick of Destiny. Is it a great movie? Well, it didn’t win any Academy Awards, but if you like Jack Black, then you get a whole heaping helping!

New podcast and paranormal song are coming up early next week, so subscribe in iTunes and we’ll see you on the other side!

207 – More Punk Rock and UFOs: True Believers with Mike Damante

We first met Mike Damante from the Punk Rock and UFOs blog last year when he released his book Cryptozoology Meets Anarchy. Since then he’s been regularly interviewing paranormal and UFO experiencers, reviewing the latest alien-adjacent films and TV shows, and exploring a lot of the pop culture side of anomalous phenomena from pro wrestling to 90s pop-punk bands. It’s a blog after our own media-saturated hearts!

mike damante punk rock and ufos
Mike Damante with the completely non-controversial Tom DeLonge from Blink-182 and To The Stars Academy

Mike’s new book, Punk Rock and UFOs: True Believers takes it’s title from a classic Bouncing Souls track. While that song isn’t about ghosts or UFOs or anything, it is about the comraderie and the solidarity of the friends you made in youth and how that never really goes away, even when you get old. To some extent, I’ve seen that in the UFO and paranormal experiencer community. Once you’ve seen something literally out of this world, there isn’t any going back. You’ve had a personal glimpse into what lies beyond, something unexplainable. It’s like trying on the glasses from They Live for a few minutes. Empirical evidence is the most convincing kind, but it’s only convincing to you because it’s so individual to you. You’ve been touched or blessed or just in the right place at the right time, and other people might think you’re crazy. Once you’re in that group, there’s a kinship to it, a Fellowship of the Weird.

There’s of course, a real kinship to the punk rock culture as well. Whether or not you think it all sprang from the mind of Malcolm McLaren as manufactured rebellion, at least rebellion is built into it. It’s a feature, not a bug. It’s a social movement built on the the outcasts of the current young generation offending the sensibilities of the previous generation. Grizzled old punks with greying mohawks arguing that new punk music and fashion isn’t the real deal (“Punk is dead”, “Hot Topic killed Punk Rock”, “[Your favorite band here] isn’t real punk rock”, etc…) has been going on since at least 1978, so the rebellion is meant to happen inside the movement as well.

It’s like in Star Wars where Sith apprentices are supposed to eventually kill their master and take over. It’s DIY creative destruction. I don’t fit in with your thing, so I’m going to make my own thing. It’s generational conflict at a microcosmic level and while it often for silly internecine conflicts and self-destruction, it also makes for great music and art.

rollins band henry rollins

Questioning anything and everything, to me, is punk rock. – Henry Rollins

Well, that’s something that happens in the parnormal community as well. There are plenty of similarities between these two groups that exist on the fringe of the mainstream. As a musician who’s played punk rock and in punk rock dives for twenty years as well as a paranormal enthusiast and ghost hunter, I can certainly attest to that! So that’s where we go in this conversation with Mike Damante about his new book. We discuss:

  • Some of Mike Damante’s favorite UFO stories and interviews
  • What’s Tom DeLonge been up to and what’s To The Stars Academy about?
  • How Mike has changed since diving in headfirst into the paranormal community
  • Why taking UFO and Bigfoot sightings seriously is important
  • How research into strange phenemona can get more of the respect it deserves

Punk Rock and UFOs: True Believers by Mike Damante is available now and you can get it right here.

In the spirit of Henry Rollins’ quote about “questioning everything” and listening to the Bouncing Souls song that inspired the title of Punk Rock and UFOs:True Believers, we went for a late 90’s-style punk song with this week’s paranormal tracks. Here’s our anthem for not just regurgitating accepted dogma and thinking for yourself: “God Bless The Heretics”.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=251398409 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false artwork=small track=1955506656]

I did my best to get along
and I was so scared of being wrong

Well my head needed a swift kick
agnostics and skeptics

don’t let the power pull your strings
you need to question everything

I don’t need to be redeemed
We have the right to choose what we believe
And all you need is in yourself
Blow up the past and make it quick
God Bless The Heretics

We’re so afraid to rock the boat
you might pick wrong and they’ll cut your throat

Would you dare be a polemicist
Empiricist or materialist

don’t let the power pull your strings
you need to question everything

I don’t need to be redeemed
We have the right to choose what we believe
And all you need is in yourself
Blow up the past and make it quick
God Bless The Heretics

206 – Inside The Lightning Ball: A Lifetime of UFO Experiences with Dr. Irena Scott

Dr. Irena Scott has been seeing UFOs since she was a little girl. She was only five when she had her first strange encounter with a lightning ball outside a window. Growing up on a tiny farm in rural Ohio in the mid-Twntietch Century, little Irena didn’t know what flying saucers were or who the little green men that flew them wanted but she continued to experience weird things all throughout her childhood and well into the rest of her life.

inside the lightning ball
Dr. Scott goes inside the lightning ball

Dr. Irena Scott went on to work for the Defense Intelligence Agency (a United States government agency focused on providing foreign intelligence to support combat missions), get her PhD in physiology from the University of Missouri, and serve  in various academic capacities at universities across the country. She’s been on MUFON’s board of directors as well as publishing several books on UFO phenomena.

While she’s researched sightings and cases with everyone from Jenny Randles (the woman who gave us some of the alien/human hybrid theories) to Budd Hopkins (one of the researchers responsible for our modern ideas of alien abduction), we mostly stick to the experiences that Dr. Irena Scott has seen for herself and in this episode, you will hear:

  • The strange light in her bedroom that both Irena Scott and her sister saw in their farmhouse as a child
  • Her mother’s later confirmation of unusual activity at the farmhouse as well
  • Her work for the DIA with spy satellite photography and what she learned about how UFOs got swept under the rug
  • Irena Scott and her sister’s UFO sightings in the 1960s on the same highway Betty and Barney Hill were on
  • The Men In Black-style experience (with a random trucker) that they both were confronted with directly after the sighting

You can find her book, Inside The Lightning Ball: Scientific Study of Lifelong UFO Experiencers on Amazon or her website, IrenaScott.com.

One of the things I liked about Dr. Scott, was that she wasn’t trying to explain anything away. There’s no theories about what aliens want or if they’re even aliens at all, we just talked about the things that she’s seen since she’s been a little girl. UFOs are real to her as planes in the sky are to you and me.

That’s the idea behind this week’s song. It must be a devil of a struggle to see things that most other people wouldn’t believe, that she herself would have a hard time believing if her sister wasn’t there with her to share the experience. When you see something that other people don’t, either they’re blind to it or you’re crazy. That’s gotta drive you mad and what can you do about it? You can tell other people right away, but what if they don’t believe you?

That’s scary for a little girl but even scarier for an academic, where UFOs are often treated as a joke. You might have to wait until you’re older and established to reveal yourself. When you’re faced with something like that, all you can do is just soldier on and “Keep Looking Up”.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=251398409 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=94861052]

And how do you explain all the things you see?
From why the sky is blue to the flight of a bumblebee
well I don’t think you can, but I don’t doubt you believe
that you can trust your senses, that you’re not crazy.

Sometimes it’s more than I can handle
sometimes it’s more than I can take
sometimes I am a bad example
of what I need when I’m gonna break

Keep looking up
When you’re stuck
outta luck
and dumbstruck
Keep looking up

Now just imagine there’s something that you know is real
something that you’ve seen your whole life, but something no one else can feel
would you hold it as your secret and always keep your truth concealed
or would you let yourself be ridiculed with a big reveal

Sometimes it’s more than you can handle
sometimes it’s more than you can take
sometimes you are a bad example
of what you need when you’re gonna break

Keep looking up
When you’re stuck
outta luck
and dumbstruck
Keep looking up

Keep looking up
When you’re stuck,
when you’re outta luck
and dumbstruck
Keep looking up

182 – Saucer State: A Unified UFO Theory with Paul Cornell

Working in TV, comics, and novels, writer Paul Cornell has created stories for some of the greatest fictional characters of all time. Doctor Who to Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes to Batman. He’s a Hugo award winner, has a podcast about Hammer Horror Films, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of UFO lore and mythology. Paul and artist Ryan Kelly have used that knowledge in an original creation that brings the most UFO lore I’ve ever seen in one place, the critically acclaimed comics, Saucer Country and Saucer State. 

Focusing on Arcadia Alvarez, the Mexican-American governor of New Mexico and Democratic presidential candidate, Saucer Country is all about her possible alien abduction experience and the strange events that occur around her candidacy. All along, they recount stories from real UFO lore like George Adamski’s visits with Venusians, mystery airships from the 19th Century, Betty and Barney Hill, and much more.

The sequel, Saucer State, is all about what happens once Governor Alvarez becomes President Alvarez, and the collected edition has just been released.  From Jefferson Airplane to the Pioneer plaque, the references come fast and furious and besides Taken, the Steven Spielberg-produced SciFi channel mini-series from 2002, this is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a “unified theory” of UFO mythology, a fictional story that ties everything together.

In this interview, you’ll learn all about the real UFO lore that inspired Paul Cornell to write Saucer State and Saucer Country. We even cover a little bit of ghosts and fairies as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about Paul, including links to his works, please check out his website right here.

And we thoroughly recommend Saucer State, this is the fictional work that’s putting Tom Delonge’s Sekret Machines to shame! He even promises that unlike another fictional property that uses real life UFO mythology as an influence in 2018 (ahem, Mr. Carter), there is an ending in mind and the story will be completed in the next volume.

pioneer 10
The Message on the Pioneer 10

One of the groups vying for power that we talk about in Saucer State are the Bluebirds, who take an extremely materialist view toward the UFO phenomenon, an approach that they call “Nuts and Bolts”.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=251398409 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=0f91ff tracklist=false artwork=small track=3211372592]

see the light, don’t close your eyes
go to sleep, you’re paralyzed
somewhere the dreams and memories mix
and our little friends are playing tricks

a violation of our sentience
Like the old hag sits on your chest
when they put you into program mode,
don’t think that you’re a guest.

Nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and

Wet machines with lucid dreams
Are we just hardware under the seams?
When you feed your head with magic beans
Will we find out who’s behind the scenes?

a violation of our sentience
Like the old hag sits on your chest
when they put you into program mode,
don’t think that you’re a guest.

Nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and

Wet machines with lucid dreams
Are we just hardware under the seams?
When you feed your head with magic beans
Will we find out who’s behind the scenes?

150 – The Close Encounters Man: A conversation with Mark O’Connell about UFOs and Dr. J. Allen Hynek

It’s always a pleasure when we can bring Mark O’Connell to talk on the show. Not only did he grow up in the same town as Allison Jornlin and I, so it’s always fun to reminisce about growing up a little different in our tiny hometown of Big Bend, Wisconsin, but he’s a science fiction screenwriter who’s got the same interest in the paranormal as we do here on the show. He’s written for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he blogs on UFO subjects at High Strangeness UFO, and he has just released a biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomy professor who became the main investigator for the United States’ Air Force’s Project: Blue Book.

mark
Mark O’Connell at the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

The Close Encounters Man: How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs is the fruit of Mark’s research and interest in Hynek that we talked about all the way two and a half years ago in our 23rd episode. 

While  Dr. Hynek famously started off skeptical, even his New York Times obituary mentions that he was proud to be associated with advancing the field of UFO research into something more scientifically respectable. And he wasn’t afraid to criticize the Air Force’s UFO study methods when he found them less than scientific.

j allen hyena close encounters
Dr. J. Allen Hynek cameoing in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind

He developed a classification system for UFO encounters in his book, The UFO Experience, that Steven Spielberg famously used as inspiration for the sci-fi mashed potatoes classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The movie poster even used the scale itself:

Close Encounter of the First Kind
Sighting of a UFO
Close Encounter of the Second Kind
Physical Evidence
Close Encounter of the Third Kind
Contact

Since the book was written, others have tried to add more levels to the scale to include everything from abduction cases (the fourth kind) to alien/human hybrid fertilization schemes (the seventh?), but those are more controversial because they involve some research that cannot be quantified. UFO researcher and Hynek’s friend Jacques Vallee has said a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind could involve “high strangeness” (a term that Hynek coined) where reality itself seems to be altered during the encounter(and that’s something we’ve been talking more and more about lately!)

In this rollicking conversation, we talk about Hynek’s scale, his gigantic influence on how we investigate UFO phenomena today, his infamous “swamp gas” denial that set off a decade of tension between him and the UFO enthusiasts of the 60s and 70s, and also how Mark O’Connell himself has been branded a “skeptic” and what that means in today’s UFO community.

the close encounters man mark o'connell j allen hyena
Click on the book to pick up your copy!

One of the most important aspects of Hynek’s impact on UFOlogy was how his  beliefs evolved over time. He followed the evidence where it led without pre-conceived notions which is one of the reasons we’re still talking about him today. Evolution isn’t easy and adjusting your beliefs, whether it be about yourself or the universe,  when you discover new truths, isn’t easy. And some people can never change.

That’s what this week’s Sunspot song, “Archaeopteryx” is about. The dinosaur with feathers, we think of the archaeopteryx as the link between those cold-blooded monsters and our modern birds, and how it sucks to be stuck in the middle, belonging to neither generation. The key line is “Evolve or die”. That’s how natural selection works and that’s how science works. If you aren’t willing to change, then you are willing to go extinct.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1576046700 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=502035637]

I’m lost in time,
a relic of some forgotten past.
Where is my kind? I guess they just couldn’t last.
A reproductive dead end,
just more carbon left to waste.
Another life form couldn’t keep up in the race.

I missed out on the Golden Age,
too young to fit in and too old for this decade,
anyway.

A live oxymoron,
like an unexploded bomb.
An unwelcome guest who never,
knew where he belonged.

In this God-forsaken pit,
it’s just survival of the fit.
There is no why, evolve or die,
Archaeopteryx.

Adapt or be selected against,
but don’t get left behind.
The march of progress has a very tight deadline.

I missed out on the Golden Age,
too young to fit in and too old for this decade,
anyway.

A live oxymoron,
like an unexploded bomb.
An unwelcome guest who never,
knew where he belonged.

In this God-forsaken pit,
it’s just survival of the fit.
There is no why, evolve or die,
Archaeopteryx.

To all you boomers and the world that you screwed up,
I want to eat you like a Titan,
Beat you like I’m Tyson.
And you millennials who never can shut up,
Make me wish that Y2K,
Flushed you all away,
And my kind goes extinct.

A live oxymoron,
like an unexploded bomb.
An unwelcome guest who never,
knew where he belonged.

In this God-forsaken pit,
it’s just survival of the fit.
There is no why, evolve or die,
Archaeopteryx.

149 – UFOs: Reframing The Debate Part 2 with Robbie Graham and Mike Clelland

Last week, we covered the concept of “high strangeness” with Robbie Graham and Mike Clelland as we talked about the book, UFOs: Reframing The Debate, a collection of essays on modern UFOlogy conceived and edited by Robbie.

UFOS Reframing The Debate
Try checking this image out with 3-D glasses!

This week is the second half of that conversation between myself, Robbie Graham, Mike Clelland, and  Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts and we talk about healthy skepticism. I think that skepticism is just as important as belief when it comes to handling therse phenomena.

If you’ve seen a UFO, it’s always going to be a “your word” vs. “someone else’s beliefs and experiences” kind of thing. If that person hasn’t had a UFO encounter, they’re going to have a more difficult time believing yours. So, what are we trying to do? Make it more believable to convince skeptics that this stuff isn’t just hoaxes and hallucinations? Or help people who have had these experiences come to terms with them and be able to handle when they believe something has happened to them that they cannot understand.

It was in April of 2015 where we interviewed UFO researcher, Don Schmitt, about the “smoking gun” that was supposed to be the Roswell Slides released on May 5th of that year at a special pay per view event in Mexico City. If you didn’t see it, the slides were supposed to be a 1950s photograph showing a dead alien body, but really is just a mummified human. A small group formed on social media to take the investigation into their own hands and debunked the slides in a matter of a few days. Cliff Collins writes about it in UFOs: Reframing The Debate.

It’s an awesome example of why skepticism is so important. This small group ended the debate on the Roswell Slides. We’re not subjected to endless TV specials or internet sites dedicated to discussing the “controversy”, people won’t be writing books about the slides in 50 years and talking about “the unsolved mystery”. It’s debunked and now we can move on to the next thing.

But even if we could make UFO experiences more “believable”, does it matter? While Internet discourse has created an atheist skeptic vs. religious believer debate where you either fall on one side or the other, the skeptics have already lost.

A 2015 poll shows that 56% of Americans believe in UFOs and 45% of them believe that extraterrestrials have visited earth. That’s a majority of Americans who think that there is something real to that UFO phenomenon and just a little less than half believe in the “Extraterrestrial Hypothesis” (that it’s aliens coming to visit).

Carl Sagan popularized the saying “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Healthy skepticism and scientific rigor is important, not just to debunk and rain on everyone’s parade, but to find out the cases where things that are happening are truly unexplainable and are truly weird. It’s been seventy years since Roswell and are we any closer to the truth? It’s been over fifty years since Betty and Barney Hill were abducted, over forty for Travis Walton, almost thirty since Communion

Nothing has changed. We’re not any closer to the truth. Maybe we’ll never be – in this discussion, we talk long and hard about the futility of disclosure and at length about Tom Delonge’s Sekret Machines project that’s supposed to blow the cover of the whole UFO thing.  

We have a good laugh about disclosure as well, talking about how Donald Trump would never pass up the opportunity to be the one to let the world know about extraterrestrial and giggle about an alien wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

But how we deal with the aftermath of experiencers can improve. That is something we can change. I don’t think everyone is lying or hoaxing and if we can help people come to terms with the experiences, to process it in a healthy way, then we’re doing something tremendously important.

That’s where modern skeptics can really improve. Sympathy, understanding, a psychological perspective. That’s something that the Church has a superior handle on as compared to psychiatrists. The Catholics have been trying to figure out whether miracles have actually happened for two millennia and even have a system for it, it’s certainly not completely applicable here, but it’s much more sympathetic than the Phillip Klass or James Randi approach, that just suggests experiences are deceiving or delusional.

UFOs: Reframing The Debate challenges the core notions that I had about UFOs, ETs, and even faeries and owls that I’ve had all my life. It’s the kind of book that this field needs to break out of The X-Files mindset we’ve been living in (at least until Tom Delonge proves us all wrong!) It doesn’t take sides or come in with an agenda. And if your ideas about UFO phenomena are the same when you’re done reading the book as when you started, then you’re just as closed minded as any skeptic.

One of the themes of this week’s conversation is disappointment. Whether it’s the blowup with the Roswell Slides or the fact that so many have waited with baited breath for full government disclosure to no avail, disappointment is as much a part of UFOlogy as little green men. This week’s Sunspot song is called “The Breach”, when something important to you, and breaks and it hurts, but you keep going back.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=4286494586 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=0f91ff tracklist=false artwork=small track=506196355]

I can still taste you on the tip of my tongue,
I’m trying to hold your breath inside my lungs,
Draw me away.
Draw me amazed.
We stand outside ourselves,
so please don’t move
When I scream fire inside a crowded room.Mediocrity surrounds me,
To the point of tragedy.
And we can walk along the breach,
walk along the breach.Consumed by a devouring,
Convinced by an overwhelming.
Draw me afraid,
I watched you draw me flayed.We stood outside ourselves,
and then you moved.
When I screamed fire inside a crowded room, a crowded room.

Mediocrity escapes me,
when I hear your voice.
Barely avoiding tragedy,
We made that choice.
I closed my eyes so hard,
I didn’t know the water from the sea,
As we walked along the breach.

The crack was deeper than it seemed,
I could not cross the yawning,
that opened in my chest cavity,
The frailty that tore,
Still led us once more unto the breach.

Mediocrity escaped me,
When I heard your voice,
To the point of tragedy,
When you made your choice.
I closed my eyes so hard,
I didn’t know the water from the sea,
As we walked along the breach.

Mediocrity escaped me,
When I heard your voice,
To the point of tragedy,
When you made your choice.
I closed my eyes so hard,
To shut out the uncertainty,
Against the husk of a dream,
As we stand astride, stand astride the breach.