Tag Archives: UFO

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – April 5th, 2019

Yallow!

It’s Mike from See You On The Othe Side! Hope your week was weird and if it wan’t weird enough, we’re blogging the paranormal from A to Z 6 days a week during April. From Demons to Curses to Bigfoot, we’re covering a whole spectrum of strange stuff. Make sure to check out the See You On The Other Side Blog daily for all the fun!

Now here are the five most interesting paranormal stories that caught our eye this week. 

Is ‘The 37th Parallel’ really the UFO Super Highway?
Syracuse New Times

This story is always a fascinating one and if you haven’t read Ben Mezrich’s book on all of the strange cases surrounding this stretch of the United States, this article will make you want to pick it up right away!

Florida college student believed he was ‘half-dog, half-man’ when he ate victim’s face
WOFL

Classic lycanthropy!

Lawsuit Alleges Hampton Inn Employee Punished For Refusing An Exorcism
LEX18.com

A lawsuit filed in Perry County Circuit Court makes an unusual allegation. A former employee of the Hampton Inn claims that he was discriminated against for refusing a spiritual cleansing. 

Irishman spots Loch Ness Monster for second time in just one month
The Irish Sun

Ahem… the fourth sighting of the Loch Ness Monster this year has been recorded – by an Irishman who has now seen Nessie twice in a month. 

Olivia Newton-John claims she’s haunted by two dead celebrities who boost career
mirror

The Grease star says two of her late famous pals hover around her while she’s performing and act as her spirit guides

Olivia Newton-John – Xanadu
YouTube

For all the kids who saw this movie in the theater (like me!), did we have any idea of what the Hell was going on? But those songs were catchy! From Samuel Tyler-Coleridge’s Kublai Khan to the epitome of cocaine disco excess, Xanadu, my friends was the perfect distillation of the 1970s and the fact that it was a collossal flop spelled the death of disco.

If you haven’t listened to the podcast this week you missed our conversation with The Last Drive-In‘s Joe Bob Briggs and next week we’re bringing Brian Cano on from Haunted Collector and Paranormal Caught on Camera, so make sure to subscribe to not miss any of the good stuff.

Have a haunted weekend!
Mike, Wendy, and the SYOTOS misifts

238 – Swamp Gaslighting: Project Blue Book Smackdown with Mark O’Connell

You might say that Mark O’Connell knows a little bit about Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer who was in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book. There, Hynek was charged by the military to investigate UFO reports across America and then summarily disprove them. In fact, Mark O’Connell literally wrote the book on Dr. Hynek called The Close Encounters Man.

We’ve had Mark on the show several times before and it’s always a treat. He’s written for Star Trek, has a UFO blog, and he even joined us for a remembrance of Bill Paxton, because Mark had written a script that Bill wanted to direct in the late 90s but unfortunately it never came to fruition.

So you think when the “History” Channel decided to create a show called Project Blue Book where J. Allen Hynek is the lead character, they might contact Mark because they were look for true life stories for their show. Well, the answer to that one is a big fat no. They decided to go on a little more fantastical route.

Aiden Gillen as J. Allen Hynek talking to an alien in a water tank. Hynek biographer Mark O’Connell is not amused.

We kicked off the episode by discussing the trip Allison just got back from in Woodstock, Illinois before we started the recording. She was following the trail of a Mothman sighting she read about on The Singular Fortean because it sounded somewhat like the Flatwoods Monster story that actually forms the basis of the second episode of the new show. Allison also attended the Chicago premiere where the producers and Hynek’s son were in attendance.

But Hollywood history be damned, we talk about the real stories behind the man. J. Allen Hynek basically invented how we study UFOs, how you scientifically look at each report and take a look at each piece of evidence from the weather to the planets to the phase of the moon to the position of the stars, and you eliminate all the terrestrial explanations before you move into the extra-terrestrial. We also get into:

  • The real story of how Dr. Hynek first moved from the desk to the field investigating UFO cases for the Air Force
  • The cases that converted J. Allen Hynek from a skeptic into much more open minded about the reality of strange lights in the sky
  • How Hynek became UFOlogy’s Enemy #1 by suggesting some Michigan sightings might be just “swamp gas”
  • Mark’s favorite case from his own UFO investigations as a MUFON investigator (and what’s going wrong with some of the MUFON politics and investigative methods lately.)
The real guy and Littlefinger…

Hollywood loves to say things are “based on a true story” and then proceed to make them wildly inaccurate. Here, we understand that fiction is fun, but that often the best parts of even fantastical stories (like haunted houses, UFO sightings, etc…) are the parts that keep us grounded to the Earth. By fictionalizing the story to an X-Files extent, you’re doing disrespect to the actual man.

Hynek’s investigative techniques and open mind are what made him a legend in UFOlogy. He was dealing with a lot of things that couldn’t be proven and his mission to discredit UFO sightings is what made it all the more impactiful when he found cases where he could not find an answer. It was his rigorous scientific method of investigation that made the difference, not secret government informants or Werner von Braun.

For the song this week, we were taken by the fact that sometimes the media thinks we’re too dumb to think for ourselves. There is a language and shorthand to cinema that is meant to trigger our emotions quickly and too often producers think that they can exploit our beliefs with special effects and “dramatizations”, sacrificing quality for spectacle. Well, we’d rather hear the truth about Hynek and here is Sunspot with “Disinformation Nation”.

Don’t trust your eyes
and question what you see
They’ll tell you lies
the don’t care about history
A story to bewitch
that is designed to find your switch
you’ll never see it coming
when they activate your programming

Believe
Disinformation nation
Deceive
Disinformation nation
How loud can you shout with a
a mouth inside a mouth
we’re just hardwired for manipulation
Disinformation nation.

You’ll see all things new
with a mind that’s clean
A brain tattoo
imprints and memes
A tale to push your trigger point
Finding the weakness at the joints
Looking for a crowd to whip
and you’ll jump when your sequence is tripped

Believe
Disinformation nation
Deceive
Disinformation nation
How loud can you shout with a
a mouth inside a mouth
we’re just hardwired for manipulation
Disinformation nation.

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – January 18th, 2019

‘Allo!

It’s Mike from See You On The Other Side, coming through your electricity to keep you para-informed!This week started off with a barnburner of a podcast discussing all last week’s best stories. We welcome Robbie Graham (who you might have seen on the last episode of Ancient Aliens!) to the conversation about UFOs, conspiracy theories, Hollywood, and murder. Listen right here!

UFOs in the The New York Times and The New Yorker this week? What?! Well come on along…

https://catholicherald.co.uk/magazine/driving-out-the-devil-whats-behind-the-exorcism-boom/

Driving out the Devil: what’s behind the exorcism boom? | Catholic Herald

An astonishing number of people undergo deliverance from demonic forces every week, but this article gives an excellent overview of how the latest surge in exorcisms might also be because of religious competition in traditionally Catholic South America.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/arts/television/project-blue-book-history-true-story.html

‘Project Blue Book’ Is Based on a True U.F.O. Story. Here It Is.

If you wanna know the truth about J. Allen Hynek, you have to read Mark O’Connell’s book. (His parents and mine were friends, so of course we’re going to plug him!) This New York Times article used him as a fact-checker for their story about the real Project Blue Book.

https://people.com/music/glenn-miller-plane-believed-found-wwii-mystery/

Glenn Miller’s Airplane Believed Found 74 Years After Famed Bandleader Vanished During WWII

The disappearance of beloved Big Band leader Glenn Miller has been a mystery since before the end of World War Two. His plane was last seen over the English Channel in 1944 and was never found. People have speculated everything from friendly fire to him being a target of assassination by the Germans because he might have been a spy. But as of today, they think they’ve found the plane.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/have-aliens-found-us-a-harvard-astronomer-on-the-mysterious-interstellar-object-oumuamua

Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua

Avi Loeb is everywhere lately. Fast radio bursts and discussions why we need to consider the possibility that the object was sent by aliens, the dangers of unscientific speculation, and what belief in an advanced extraterrestrial civilization has in common with faith in God.

https://pilotonline.com/news/nation-world/north-carolina/article_ae39d1d0-1908-11e9-8454-53ea635585b8.html

“Please be advised that the eyes appear to glow”: Bigfoot-like sculpture alarms N.C. drivers

This Bigfoot statue is scaring rural North Carolinians because it’s eyes glow red in the glare of oncoming car lights. They’re calling the cops regularly that they’ve seen Bigfoot. This is what I mean, when people actually think they’ve seen something real, they call the cops. Because if there’s an 8-foot tall apeman on the loose, the authorities might need to be involved. They don’t save their story and put the community in danger just so they can email a frickin’ website a week after they get home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laHjiAvqL2Q

Glenn Miller and His Orchestra: “That Old Black Magic”

Speaking of Glenn Miller, here’s his version of the most paranormal song we could find of his,  “That Old Black Magic”, which was his last Number One hit in 1943

New podcast episodes come out late Monday nights, make sure you subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss them!

See ya Monday!
Mike

176 – New York Times UFO Bombshell: Debriefing With John E. L. Tenney

 When the New York Times UFO story came out online on December 16th, it was the very definition of a bombshell in the paranormal community. When the “Paper of Record” decides to write about heretofore unknown government program out of the blue on a Saturday in December, several questions immediately spring to mind…

  • Are they finally coming clean on what they really know?
  • Who saw this coming?
  • Why is the story coming out now, 5 years later?
  • Is that the guy from Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy?
  • Wait, is the guy from Blink-182 right about this?

If you missed it, the New York Times UFO  story is about a now partly-declassified government program initiated in 2007 by Nevada senator Harry Reid. Much of the money went to the aerospace company of Robert Bigelow, a billionaire and friend of Reid who has been interested in UFOs for a long time. The funding was called “Black money” because it wasn’t debated the floor of the Senate, but with a meager budget appropriation of 22 million dollars and its security-sensitive nature, it was able to slip under the radar.

new york times ufo luis elizondo
Here’s Luis Elzondo. You trust a guy with a beard like that?

Featured in the article is Luis Elizondo, who worked for the Pentagon investigating these cases until he resigned in October of this year and joined Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy. The story basically states that yes, pilots have seen craft flying that they cannot explain, some elements of the government believe that they are extraterrestrials, and there has been research into “mysterious alloys” that might be related to the UFO sightings.

new york times ufo john tenet
John Tenney

Our guest this week, John E.L. Tenney is a supernatural shamus who has been studying paranormal phenomena for over thirty years. He is the host of the excellent Realm of the Weird podcast as well as a noted lecturer. We first met John in person at this year’s Michigan Paranormal Conference after being a fan of his podcast and writing.

John wrote an excellent blogpost with a very sober analysis of the New York Times UFO story and we knew we had to feature him on the show for an in-depth exploration of that same topic, so this episode Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts and I had a long and fun discussion with John focused on this story but also touching on ghosts, UFOs, and the cyclical nature of paranormal investigation.

For more on John Tenney, please visit his site at http://www.weirdlectures.com

Since our conversation with John, there’s been some more discussion of the story, with scientists chiming in on these “mysterious alloys” hinted at in the article. Scientific American has a decent clarification that any strange metal wouldn’t remain strange for long using modern but basic scientific methods and that we have a lot of experience with objects that have crashed to earth from space. The article states that the real research was into the physiological effects that people claimed happened to them after coming into contact with the objects. So the jury is still out on that one.

Well, since we’re talking about Blink-182 and Tom DeLonge, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to write a Blink-style 90s pop-punk track. We laughed about their music being mostly “Power Chords and Poop Jokes”, but that we enjoyed it anyway, and really we just couldn’t resist naming a song that!

They came in a dream
when I was thirteen
They said I was the chosen one.
To lead the human race
out of this lonely place
to meet spacemen beyond the sun

Only a Top Ten Hit
can expose the government.

You just need guitars
To go to the stars
with power chords and poop jokes
if you’ve got power chords and poop jokes
Even a poser,
can get disclosure
with power chords and poop jokes
you need power chords and poop jokes
and when the aliens finally come they’ll know our band is number one.

Just because you’re famous,
You’re not an ignoramus
even if you are a bit uncouth
Have an X-Files fiesta
Hangout with John Podesta
and you can finally learn the truth

I heard that UFO buffs
just love to buy more stuffs

You just need guitars
To go to the stars
with power chords and poop jokes
if you’ve got power chords and poop jokes
Even a poser,
can get disclosure
with power chords and poop jokes
you need power chords and poop jokes
and when the aliens finally come they’ll know my band is number one.

143 – Punk Rock and UFOs: An Interview with Mike Damante

Journalist and author Mike Damante took a left turn from covering mainstream entertainment and sports news in Houston to chronicling the weird world of the paranormal in his blog, Punk Rock and UFOs

mike damante punk rock and ufos
Mike Damante throwing up the horns!

With a lifelong passion for the music of punk rock and an interest in the weird, Mike Damante decided to take the attitude of punk music and apply it to the investigation of the unknown. While punk music can often have paranormal themes (just look at any song by the Misfits or a multitude of classic Vandals tracks), it’s the approach that punk music took to the status quo of the 1970s that Mike Damante is looking to emulate.

In the 70s, the music industry was all cocaine and big money, exemplified by the slick  sounds of Disco and the costumed denizens of Studio 54. Punk Rock was the antithesis of the laid-back California Pop-Rock sound of the Eagles. It was loud angry music created by dirty musicians in dingy clubs. It was piercings instead of glitter, mohawks instead of long flowing manes. It was the sound of a people left behind by a bloated hedonist beauty-worshipping culture and punk was their rallying cry of smashing that system.

That’s the attitude of Mike’s book and writing, Punk Rock and UFOs: Cryptozoology Meets Anarchy, is about questioning everything that you think you know when it comes to the world, especially the paranormal one.

Of course we talk about the most famous former punk rocker turned  UFO evangelist, Blink-182’s Tom Delonge who was featured in the news during the 2016 presidential election when his emails to fellow alien enthusiast John Podesta were leaked to the world, but we also go into other punk rock legends from Milo Aukerman from Descendents to Bad Religion’s Greg Gaffin. It’s a good mix of rock stories with paranormal tales and conversation.

If you’re interested in Mike’s book, you can grab it on Amazon right here. And make sure to follow Mike Damante on Twitter by clicking this link.

The song this week started off as a punk idea and ended up sounding like an adult contemporary song, ha! But sometimes when we’re writing, we just have to go where the Muse takes us. It’s an earnest track about looking back on a youth filled with paranormal adventure and all the memories and mistakes that come along with it. The track is called “Stories In The Dark”.

When we walked among the headstones,
On that August New Moon night,
That marble might have been cold,
But we raised the Fahrenheit.
And a summer is forever with,
not many on your belt,
But you know when the hurtin’ hits,
Yeah, the hurtin’ hits like Hell.
And you know when the hurtin’ hits,
Yeah, The hurtin’ hits like Hell.

There’s no point in saying sorry
For these twenty years gone past
No statute of limitations for
Acting like a jackass.
Time is always the best healer
Distance makes things much more clear
Even picking at a scab feels good,
Just in the rearview mirror.

These ghost stories in the dark
Oh my dear you were always game
Stronger than I gave you credit for
But crazy just the same
Tall tales that we tell ourselves
Do their damnedest to dull the pain
And you know every broken heart
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark

Mystery by every corner,
Didn’t matter what we saw,
It wasn’t what we got that made you hot,
It was the quest that burned us raw.

Being on a pedestal just
ain’t easy as it would seem.
Well the young should never handle
Something fragile as a dream
I said the young should never handle
Something fragile as a dream

There’s no point in saying sorry
For these twenty years gone past
No statute of limitations for
Acting like a jackass.

Time is always the best healer
Distance makes things much more clear
Even picking at the scab feels good,
Just in the rearview mirror.

These ghost stories in the dark
Oh my dear you were always game
Stronger than I gave you credit for
But crazy just the same
Tall tales that we tell ourselves
Do their damnedest to dull the pain
And you know every broken heart
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark
Comes with a story
Best told in the dark

140 – The Phoenix Lights: Revisiting The Most Famous UFO Sighting In The World

With the new film, The Phoenix Forgotten coming out this weekend, we thought it was the right time to reconsider The Phoenix Lights. On March 13th, 1997, an estimated ten thousand people saw a UFO over the Phoenix skyline.

The new movie is a found-footage Blair Witch-style film produced by sci-fi movie favorite, Ridley Scott, that takes the plot of three teenagers who were witnesses to the phenomenon, go out in the mountains to investigate it, and then disappear. The idea is that they bring along a video camera (no camera phones or YouTube in 1997!) and the videotape is later discovered.

So, cool premise for a film, but what did people actually see on that Thursday night in 1997? Well, the original sighting began in Henderson, Nevada, a town right outside Las Vegas. That report was of a V-shaped object that had six lights at the leading edge and it was traveling southeast. It was then reported in several towns between Henderson and Phoenix, with Phoenix being the place where it was reported the most.

Also, people were reporting two different kinds of events as well. One was the boomerang type spacecraft that would eventually be what the Phoenix Lights is most known for. They said that it blocked out the stars as it passed overhead, with some people claiming that it was nearly a mile across (while the original Henderson, Nevada sighting claimed to only be the size of 747.) These were primarily reported in Prescott, Arizona but no known footage was taken of it there. Later in June of that year, *USA Today *would run a photo on its front page reporting the story, and that computer-generated recreation of the sighting would become the most famous image associated with the phenomenon.

phoenix lights

The second event was a set of nine lights that appeared to hover over the city at 10pm and that’s what’s been covered the most because of the famous video footage that was taken that night. The lights seemed to disappear behind a mountain range and no explanation was given.

The governor of Arizona, Fife Symington III, even talked about the lights in a press conference not too long after. He said that they “found the culprit” and brought out a cabinet member in an alien costume as a joke. The authorities didn’t treat it seriously, even while thousands of people reported the sighting and the story ended up being picked up by the national news networks in July, after the USA Today story ran.

phoenix lights

The lack of immediate response from the government allowed for people to start speculating themselves and Dr. Lynne Katei has become the most famous investigator into the phenomenon. She connects it to earlier UFO sightings in the area as well as a missing time experience that she had with her husband and wrote a book and released a documentary on the Phoenix Lights.

Since the initial sightings, debunkers have claimed that the first event was merely the Maryland Air National Guard in the are running winter exercises, and the second was the flares that they dropped as part of those exercises. Who knows why they decided not to tell everyone at the time? Since air traffic control records are usually cleared every two weeks if there’s no incident, there’s no hard copy to verify the claim. Only the word of government sources. But the lights were on the news that night, why did they wait?

Governor Fife Symington III, who originally made fun of the event in 1997, has an explanation. He didn’t want to panic the fine people of Arizona and he was afraid if they took the event too seriously, that’s what would have happened. In fact, he now claims that he saw the boomerang shaped UFO over Phoenix that night as well and that the investigation should be re-opened. He even called it “otherworldly”, so why did he change his tune ten years later?

There hasn’t been an explanation yet that satisfied all the people who witnessed The Phoenix Lights, so the mystery endures twenty years later.

On a related entertainment note, a different found footage movie about the Phoenix Lights called The Phoenix Incident came out in 2015 and they tried a different kind of marketing campaign than The Phoenix Forgotten. While I think the marketing at SXSW this year where they recreated The Phoenix Lights with drones over Austin was awesome, The Phoenix Incident tried using viral marketing in a more nefarious way.

Number one, they did an anonymous report to MUFON of a 60-year old man who claims to have seen an alien the night of the lights. This was later picked up by Cryptozoology News and reported on as a news story as well as someone reading the report into YouTube over footage from the real Phoenix Lights. Then, the director of the film does interviews claiming that his film is telling the truth with tying into a “missing persons” case from that night. They try to tie the false missing persons case to the Heaven’s Gate cult as well to further exploit the “real-life connections”.

It’s a pretty clever way to get attention for your film, but at the same time it’s damaging to the field of UFOlogy (just take this forum post from Above Top Secret for proof of people missing the fictional aspect of it) and it’s another case where they’re capitalizing on innocent people’s beliefs and natural curiosity in an event witnessed by thousands, just so that they can try to sell more tickets (I have this same issue with Tom DeLonge’s book, Sekret Machines saying that it’s fact masquerading as fiction.)

When you’re dealing with the paranormal, the lines between reality and fantasy are already blurred and mixing them further to make a little money might be good marketing but it’s bad humanity. Whether you believe in extraterrestrials or not, any time you mess with the truth for personal gain fouls it up for the rest of us.

This week’s Sunspot track takes a different tack on what the UFO was doing flying over Phoenix. Unlike The Phoenix Forgotten or The Phoenix Incident, maybe these aliens just came to Las Vegas to have a good time on a little St. Patrick’s getaway, partied too hard (because that can happen to anyone in that town), and got lost on the way home. Just saying that maybe they didn’t mean any harm, they just don’t get the same kind of fun on their homeworld. Anyway, take a listen to “The Ballad of The Phoenix Lights”.

They came down to Sin City,
For a St. Patty’s Day party
But things were far from pretty,
they started drinking too early.

They hailed from a world that was dry,
a real cosmic bore.
These boys just wanted to get high,
and maybe even score.

So they hid their ship and hit the strip,
didn’t miss a casino,
And they left a trail of wreckage
from the Luxor to the Flamingo.

When the aliens finally showed up,
they did not come to destroy,
No hellfire blaze or cosmic rays,
they came to here to enjoy
the good life that they couldn’t get
on a world beyond the black,
These spacemen just like to party,
are we gonna send them back?

Their foreign livers couldn’t process,
All the booze they did consume,
and the MIBs said they had to leave,
before they trashed their hotel room.

They stumbled back to their ship
grabbed the wheel with one eye closed,
But they took off way too fast,
and then got lost on the way home.

They thought they set the course for their world
and went southeast instead,
the driver said that he was fine,
but he was messed out of his head.

When the aliens finally showed up,
they did not come to destroy,
No hellfire blaze or cosmic rays,
they came to here to enjoy
the good life that they couldn’t get
on a world beyond the black,
These spacemen just like to party,
are we gonna send them back?

When they finally got to Phoenix,
well, it made quite a scene,
Ten thousand people saw their lights,
they knew it couldn’t be a dream.

Mericopa County had a Sheriff Joe
he saw the craft with his own eyes,
he knew he had to pull them down
Intergalactic DUI.

He tracked them down by the mountain range,
And they didn’t try to run,
‘License and registration’ he said
’You boys have had your fun.

You see this rock ain’t for aliens,
specially trouble like y’all,
This planet’s for humans only
I’m gonna kick you off our ball.’

When the aliens finally showed up,
they did not come to destroy,
No hellfire blaze or cosmic rays,
they came to here to enjoy
the good life that they couldn’t get
on a world beyond the black,
These spacemen just like to party,
are we gonna send them back?

The driver cried almond eye tears,
and Joe felt a touch of mercy,
Maybe I shouldn’t be so tough,
Maybe these things are just like me.

So he didn’t blast them back to space,
So they didn’t have to run.
And now they’re being poked and prodded,
in Area 51!

When the aliens finally showed up,
they did not come to destroy,
No hellfire blaze or cosmic rays,
they came to here to enjoy
the good life that they couldn’t get
on a world beyond the black,
These spacemen just like to party,
Now they’re never going back
These spacemen just wanted better,
now they’re never going back.
They just wanted a better life,
and they’re never going back!

138 – Heaven’s Gate: 20 Years After The Science Fiction Cult Suicide

On March 26th, 1997, thirty-nine members of the Heaven’s Gate religious group were found dead in a mansion near San Diego, California. They were all wearing Nike Decade sneakers and identical black sweatsuits with patches on them that said “Heaven’s Gate Away Team”. They had happily taped Farewell Videos to say goodbye before they transitioned out of their physical bodies to “The Evolutionary Level Above Human”. At the dawn of Internet journalism and the ramping up of cable news competition, it was a mesmerizing tragedy and it dominated the airwaves that Spring.

heavens gate
C’mon, the Packers should get some kind of royalty for using the logo

In the late 90s, there was apocalypse in the air. And it wasn’t just the Doomsday Preppers who felt it or the über-religious, they’re always predicting the end of the world. Humans love round numbers (ten fingers and ten toes sure did a number on our evolutionary psychology) and the rounding of the 1999 to 2000 was freaking everyone out a little.

I was a huge Art Bell fan that would listen every night when I went to bed. Y2K was on Coast To Coast AM several times a month. Pop culture about the end of the world was at a fever pitch from Bruce Willis fighting a Texas-sized asteroid (a global killer) in Armageddon to Arnold fighting Satan in End of Days. The X-Files (the most 1990s of TV shows) had a spin-off called Millennium, for Christ’s sake. Even Doctor Who got in the act with the TV movie being about how he needs to stop The Master from destroying Earth on December 31st, 1999.

Marshall Applewhite was a Presbyterian preacher’s son that was originally a music teacher. While he got married in 1952 and had two children, he ended up getting divorced in 1968 and a short time later suffered a nervous breakdown, which was rumored to be because of an inappropriate relationship with a student. Being this was Texas in the 1960s and the student was the same sex and Marshall was a religious man, it led to some serious internal conflict.

Bonnie Nettles was a registered nurse with an interest in astrology. They met when her son was a drama student at the school that Applewhite taught at. She did an astrological forecast with him that said they were destined to work together. On New Year’s 1973, she left her family and Applewhite left his life behind and they took their spiritual mission on the road to figure out what their destiny was.

Applewhite was arrested for rental car theft and ended up in prison for six months and that’s where they refined the beliefs of Heaven’s Gate. That Applewhite and Nettles (who called themselves “Ti” and “Do”) were reincarnations of Jesus and God and that they could help people cast away their earthly (read: sexual) urges and ascend to a level without gender or race, to the “Level Above Human”.

heavens gate
I would so go to this and you know you would too!

[http://offbeatoregon.com/assets-2016/1606a.heavens-gate-ufo-cult-394/heavens-gate-ufo-poster-1780.jpg](If I saw this poster, I would be there in a second)

Their idea was that the Earth was a garden developed by extraterrestrials designed to grow souls and the aliens were coming back to harvest the souls who were ready and then the rest would be plowed under to make room for a new garden. So, it was the usual apocalyptic “we’re the only ones who are going to be saved”.

They first made national news in 1975 when they hosted an event in Waldman, Oregon and twenty people ended up going with them. 3% of the town just took off with the group without even saying goodbye.

At the group’s prime, they had almost 200 followers and lived at campsites, often performing rituals in order to rid themselves of their human impulses (8 members eventually even castrated themselves, including Applewhite. )In the beginning, the aliens were only supposed to pick everyone up, but then Nettles got cancer and died in 1985. And that changed things. How could Nettles have died? Didn’t they predict that she would be alive when the aliens came by to pick the true believers up?

Nope. Applewhite had to think fast. All of a sudden, you had to get rid of your “earthly vehicle” in order to ascend to the Level Above Human. Bonnie Nettles just went early so that she could prepare the way.

heavens gate
Look at these two, what could go wrong?!

In this episode, we talk a lot about how the beliefs of Heaven’s Gate aren’t that different than any other mainstream religion. It’s perfectly normal in our society when someone joins the priesthood and lives a celibate life. While the life of a monk or a nun might not be the most traditional American path, it’s not that weird when someones decides to do it. The idea that we are spiritual creatures living in physical shells who need to control our base sexual impulses is written into every religion there is! I’ve even done similar things to the Master Cleanse (juice fasting, and it actually feels pretty great, so I’m not going to say anything bad about it, ha!) and I bet a lot of you have too.

The pantheon of Christian Saints is full of martyrs who died for their beliefs. In Catholicism, when you’re confirmed, you take a confirmation name. I took the name of Saint Cyprian who was beheaded by the Romans for his beliefs. Is it strange that people can be led to believe that they too can become martyrs for their beliefs and ascend to a better, happier afterlife?

heavens gate
Hey, it’s St. Syprian being beheaded, how nice!

In fact, Heaven’s Gate used that in their recruitment efforts. Christianity was the original cult, they said. The normal church that every single American president has claimed to believe in started off as a persecuted cult in the Mediterranean. So, who wouldn’t like to get in on the ground floor of the next Christianity?

Marshall Applewhite felt so conflicted over his own sexual urges and how they were considered evil by his own religion, that he decided to make up his own. And Applewhite was someone who knew how to take advantage of the times. His original followers were hippies from the communes who were disillusioned with their former lives. When fascination with UFOs was at its peak, he and Bonnie used the plausibility of extraterrestrial life to talk to a generation raised on science fiction. They watched Star Wars, Close Encounters of The Third Kind, and Star Trek frequently. Applewhite used sci-fi concepts that people could understand and presented a spiritual belief that already had a basis. 77% of Americans believe that aliens have visited Earth and 63% of American adults say they are absolutely certain there is a God . Applewhite put it together like chocolate and peanut butter.

heavens gate
Wouldn’t you believe this man? Seems reasonable to me!

It’s not what Heaven’s Gate believed that made them dangerous. That belief system could have been anything. It was the Millennial Fever that the feeling that the end of the world was coming, it was the slavish dedication to their leader, Marshall Applewhite, and the belief that he was the reincarnation of Jesus. He was infallible, but he knew that wouldn’t last forever.

That’s the real danger. It’s the person who understands how to manipulate those beliefs in order to get what they want. And Marshall Applewhite wanted to die.

“Do” knew that he had to put up or shut up. Whether it was some kind of final power he wanted to feel over others, whether he believed he and Bonnie Nettles were the “UFO Two” and decades of living his own dogma had convinced him of its veracity, or whether he was just tired of being alive. He thought that it was time for him to go and he was taking his followers with him.

When it came to the end, Applewhite was no different in understanding the zeitgeist in how to manipulate people to their end.

  • He used the Hale-Bopp comet as the sign that the time had come.
  • He used the “companion” UFO to the comet that people had talked about on Coast to Coast AM as proof.
  • He took advantage of the end of the world Millennialism
  • He used modern technology to solidify their beliefs in permanent format by videotaping the goodbyes

And here’s something that’s even weirder. It’s been twenty years and we know that there was no “companion” riding with Hale-Bopp, we know that there wasn’t any spaceship that picked everyone up. But one of the former followers, who left in the early 1990s has had dreams where he believes that Do (Applewhite) still speaks to him, that he needs to spread the message. And the Heaven’s Gate website is still up! Two decades after the mass suicide, the word is still getting out.

We wrote this week’s song, “Arthuriana” by Sunspot, about how our little obsessions and interests can keep us going. How even our smallest beliefs keep us motivated, but sometimes we need to bend the truths of those beliefs to keep them close.

You are the sword,
I am the stone.
You are the lighthouse
In the storm.

Little obsession to pass the time,
Arthuriana.

You are the lady,
of the lake,
You are the comet,
of Heavens Gate.

Little obsession to keep even,
Arthuriana.

You are Gawain,
Versus Green Knight.
You are St. George and you always win the fight.

A fantasy where you’ll come back to me,
Arthuriana.

You are the grail,
From that I drink,
You’re the saddest of the angels,
I won’t blink.

Little obsession to keep us sane,
Arthuriana.

You are the knight who says nee,
You don’t capitulate or bend the knee,
All these thoughts that stalk around my mind,
Arthuriana.

Reality,
is something queer.
You were always more Morgaine than Guinevere.
The long dead still alive in my head,
Arthuriana.

You are the sword,
I am the stone.
You are the lighthouse
In the storm.

Reality,
is something queer.
You were always more Morgaine than Guinevere.
The long dead still alive in my head,
Arthuriana.

123 – Jesus Is An Alien: Life At A Higher Density With Reverend John Polk

When we met Reverend John Polk and heard the title of his first book, Yahweh, The Biblical God Is An Alien, we knew that a conversation with him would be the perfect Christmas special. After all, this is the time of year when Americans think about religion the most. To quote a million bumper stickers, Jesus is the reason for the season.

reverend john polk jesus is an alien
Wait, that’s not the right bumper sticker

We’ve covered Christmas ghost stories, Christmas monsters, and even Krampus, the Christmas demon. We’ve also talked about how the original translations of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Book of Revelation sound an awful lot like extraterrestrial encounters.

But Reverend John Polk is a metaphysical minister who can communicate to angels, extraterrestrials, and even the alien-creator-God itself, Yahweh, who he refers to as Enlil (the Sumerian god of the air) and they form a pantheon of aliens, Annunaki, hybrids, and extradimensional entities than inhabit his multiverse. And according to the good Reverend, Jesus was an alien-human hybrid engineered by Yahweh.

It sounds wild, but it’s very like the work of Zecharia Sitchin, the man who gave us Nibiru, the mysterious Planet X. I listened to Sitchin on Coast to Coast AM for years and thought he just sounded like an old Russian looney tunes. But this year, astronomers found credible evidence of a Planet X in our solar system, beyond Pluto. Now is it Sitchin’s Nibiru with the Annunaki hanging out just waiting to swing by in orbit to come for a visit and meddle with our evolution again? Well, the jury’s out on that. But just the fact that they found a Planet X, means that Sitchin’s ideas might be worth revisiting.

And Reverend John Polk might be saying some unusual things, but if we’re going to take religious stories on faith – with burning bushes, water into wine, Joseph Smith’s golden plates, Mohammed and his flying horse, etc… well, then let’s listen to Polk’s message and see what he’s trying to communicate.

Arthur C. Clarke’s most famous line is arguably “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And to me, the idea that Biblical stories and religious legends come from primitive human encounters with ultra-advanced alien technologies make a lot more sense than supernatural power.

But faith, even in the face of technology, means something. Erich von Däniken, the man who gave us a modern framework for Ancient Aliens in his seminal Chariots of the Gods?, always talks about his Christian faith in interviews.


Chariots of the Gods Lyrics – Sunspot – Ancient… by sunspot_mike

And Reverend John Polk is a man who believes. He started seeing angels when he was 5 and not long after he started communicating with them about the nature of the universe. Through what he calls “downloads” to his consciousness, he began to discover that he could perceive beings who were all around us, but existed in different “densities” or dimensions to what we humans normally can identify.

It’s these beings that led him to understand that the gods that we worship are actually aliens who feed on our prayer energy and are harvesting it to raise themselves to a higher plane of existence. They interfered with the [biology of early man to predispose us towards religious experiences in order to create more of that spiritual energy.

And Yahweh, the alien-creator-god was willing to adapt to collect more energy. The God of the Old Testament was a jealous and angry deity who turned people into pillars of salt, asked his prophets to sacrifice their children, and drowned the entire planet save for one family. When human culture was understanding more about the planet, changing from the cruel Bronze Age to the kinder Iron Age, Yahweh decided to soften his tone by introducing his son, a mixture of his alien DNA with the Virgin Mary’s human genes, creating a hybrid who could bridge the gap, Jesus.

reverend john polk jesus is an alien
Really think that the Star of Bethlehem was a naturally occurring astronomical event?

This softer version of Yahweh is represented in the Gospels and the New Covenant that Jesus delivers at the Last Supper. While the Hebrew God had a ton of rules including the kosher laws and circumcision, Jesus says that all you have to do is partake in Communion. It’s like a slackening of restrictions in order to make it easier for people to believe. And it works, throughout the first two Millennia, the Abrahamic religions make up over 3 billion people on the planet. That’s a sizable chunk of the entire human race, all delivering their prayer energy to the same original God.

reverend john polk jesus is an alien
Yahweh has been working out, baby!

And Polk is convinced that Enlil/Yahweh has to change again, because he needs to move the human race on from worshipping Him so that he can jump up to the next plane of existence. That’s why Reverend Polk is convinced we’ll get full UFO/alien disclosure in our lifetime. When humanity understands that all religions are basically the same because we’ve been praying to frickin’ aliens for all of time, it will help tear down the walls that countries and cultures have created and help us realize that we’re all the same.

Whether or not you believe Reverend Polk, that Jesus is an alien or that life on Earth was altered by extraterrestrials who wanted to farm our belief for their own spiritual needs, his message is one of inclusion. It doesn’t matter who you pray to or what particular deity you choose to (or not to) believe in, we’re all part of the same family and finding a way to care about others, especially ones that you don’t agree with, is an important part of being a human. And that’s about as nice of a Christmas message that I can think of.

In the interview we talk about Polk’s latest book as well, Blue Beings: Visitation At The UFO Conference, which is a strange scenario of unusual creatures being seen at a Maine UFO Experiencers conference during a viewing of Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton. Wendy and I saw the documentary in May, and while we didn’t see any blue beings, it’s definitely worth a watch!

For more information on Reverend John Polk and to check out his books, please visit his official website.

For this week’s Sunspot song, we couldn’t resist creating a new Christmas track. Since Jesus was a hybrid, our song is a mixture of a few Yuletide favorites with some revised words to represent his unique extraterrestrial heritage, here’s “Jesus Is An Alien”.

Two thousand years ago they came down from beyond
they found an innocent girl to plant an inhuman spawn
Pretending they were angels, with authority from above
created a superbeing, but at least he preached some love.

Jesus is an alien, with DNA from space.
a human/ET hybrid born on Christmas Day.
Jesus is an alien, from otherworldly seed,
an extraterrestrial plot to harvest our belief.

UFOs all over the globe,
Jesus is an alien.
Tis the season for anal probes,
Jesus is an alien,
He came to earth to sermonize
Jesus is an alien,
Mary was in vitro fertilized,
Jesus is an alien.

Over our rooftops watching us
pretending to be St. Nickolas
pacify our species is their ploy
controlling our children with some toys
Abduction, grab us while we sleep
Missing time, people think we’re crazy,
Over our rooftops, zap zap zap
Wiping our minds with just a snap.

Jesus is an alien, bred with human genes,
to fight the the Prince of Darkness, His interdimensional enemy,
a king of kings to rule us, but we nailed him to a tree.
He’s half-earthling and half a spaceman, Half a spaceman,
He is half an earthling, half a spaceman.

97 – The Christian Whistleblower: An Interview With Jeffrey Daugherty

Jeffrey Daugherty spent twenty years of his life as a Christian preacher and over a hundred thousand hours studying the New Testament in its original language. By looking at the native text, he started seeing a stark difference in the books written by the apostle Paul versus the apostle John.

These differences led to a crisis of faith for Daugherty, who was conflicted between his discoveries and the Church that he had given his whole life to. He had a family to provide for and his entire existence revolved around his affiliation with his church, from where he lived to what he ate to who he spent his time with. As he talked to his elders and asked them about the contradictions, his concerns were swept under the carpet with the “God works in mysterious ways” response or being told that his interpretation was mistaken or his faith just wasn’t strong enough.

But that wasn’t enough for Jeffrey Daugherty. He saw an agenda in the writings of Paul, an agenda of control and manipulation that seemed contradictory to the teachings of Jesus. Using the modern standard of the Bible, the King James Version, Daugherty saw changes in the text over time, once by being vetted and translated by the Roman Empire early in Christianity’s history and again by the English king in the Seventeenth Century.

He re-edited the New Testament so that the books are in chronological order and with Paul’s writings removed and this Diamond New Testament is the place he believes you should start if you really want to understand what Jesus (who Daugherty refers to as Yeshua to separate him from the character created in Paul’s testament) was trying to say.

Moving on from there, with his Final Message From The Last Apostle book, The Christian Whistleblower finds an extraterrestrial alien agenda in the original language of the writings of the Apostle John. And then his book, Apostle Paul Anti-Christ, is about the fear and guilt used to control humanity by studying the original text of  Paul’s writings.  His books are absolutely fascinating and to say his writing and research is provocative is a massive understatement.

This is more than your standard “organized religion is a scam to control humanity by unscrupulous bishops and priests”, Daugherty is flat out saying that a dark being is using Christianity itself to set the stage to take over our planet.

And if that is the kind of idea that you find fascinating like we do, then you’re going to want to learn more about The Christian Whistleblower and check out more of his books and videos. His combination of scholarship, earnestness, and dynamic presentation might even make you a believer.

This week’s song is an unreleased Sunspot track that we arranged for acoustic guitar and violin, “Flesh and Blood”.

Why did you let them take control.
of your mind?
Why couldn’t you see the could burst,
in your eye?
And I won’t believe
in a love that deceives
and I won’t waste my faith foolishly
on cosmic rays
and mysterious ways
that never gave a damn for us anyway
And heaven and earth can fade away
and the mountains might fall
and all the power to which we pray
might never answer our call
Flesh and blood is all we’ve got to survive
and I know
There but for grace or lack of, go I
You dreamed of Hell but you forgot
to look inside
The gravity of your hate weighs you down,
so why don’t you fight?
And the tragedy of humanity
is to know our shells might be empty
and do you feel no shame
for all these lives in vain?
Who would kill themselves just to honor his Name?
And heaven and earth can fade away
and the mountains might fall
and all the power to which we pray
might never answer our call
Eloi Eloi
Lama sabachthani
Eloi Eloi
Lama sabachtahni
And heaven and earth can fade away
and the mountains might fall
and all the power to which we pray
might never answer our call
Flesh and blood is all we’ve got to survive
and I know
There but for grace or lack of, go I.

96 – An Atheist In Heaven: Paul Davids and the Ghost of Forrest J. Ackerman

Forrest J. Ackerman was the editor of the Famous Monsters of Filmlanda magazine that he founded in 1958 to discuss his favorite thing – fantasy, science fiction, and horror movies. The magazine would go behind the scenes with special effects and stories on the people involved with the production.

famous monsters #1
The first issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland

The modern definition of a geek is someone in a circus sideshow who would run after chickens and bite their heads off. They would eat anything and this is where the modern idea comes from. We geeks love to learn anything and everything about their favorite pop culture. I used to devour books about Doctor Who when I was a kid, reading production diaries and stories about the set in addition to the actual shows and novels. The Internet makes it easy today to keep up on your favorites, but back in the 50s when Famous Monsters of Filmland came out to cash in on the first wave of classic Hollywood monster films finally hitting the TV airwaves, it was the only place to hear more about your favorite films.

x-files humbug geek
Jim Rose and The Enigma from the classic X-Files’ “Humbug” episode, featuring the original circus sideshow definition of a geek

As a young Paul Davids grew up in the Washington D.C. area in the 50s, he fell in love with the fantasy and science fiction films of that era. He made home movies and sent stills in to Famous Monsters magazine which would publish them and encourage building a community of aspiring imaginative filmmakers. After he grew up, he joined the Hollywood Circus during the American New Wave of auteurs (a movement that spawned legends like Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg.)

Paul Davids Forrest J Ackerman
Paul Davids and Forrest J. Ackerman at a Comic Con signing

Davids became a personal friend of Ackerman (who everyone called ‘Uncle Forry’) and spent a lot of time at the “Ackermansion”, the editor’s Hollywood home with massive amounts of movie memorabilia that he would open to visitors on weekends.

forrest j ackerman ackermansion
Forrest J. Ackerman surrounded by a little of his movie memorabilia

Paul Davids would go on to become production coordinator on the original Transformers cartoon (one of my personal favorites!) A few years later, a personal UFO encounter in Los Angeles (which he describes in the episode) would lead him to produce the Showtime movie, Roswell (which we talked about in-depth with Don Schmitt about in an earlier podcast.) His close friendship with Ackerman would lead to the production of a documentary called The Sci-Fi Boys as well in 2006, detailing the influence that Famous Monsters had on a generation of filmmakers from John Landis to Peter Jackson who would end up taking over the blockbuster film industry.

Roswell Movie
The 1994 Roswell movie that introduced the most famous UFO crash to the modern generation

While both Paul Davids and Forrest Ackerman loved their fantasy and science fiction films, neither of them were religious and Forry himself was an atheist who didn’t have any belief in the afterlife. Which is why when he jokingly told his close friends that if there was some kind of life after death, he would try to communicate with them, they all had a good laugh.

Forrest J. Ackerman passed away in December of 2008 at the ripe old age of 92, but he had the last laugh. Within two weeks of a special tribute to Ackerman at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre (a place we also talk about in our Ghosts of Hollywood Boulevard episode), strange things started occurring to his friends. Davids himself started getting weird messages and synchronicities and after too many of them occurred, he started taking his evidence to any scientist that would listen. By 2010, he’d already written an article for FATE magazine detailing his experiences.

an atheist in heaven
Cover of An Atheist In Heaven

The result of his research and all the strange occurrences are his documentaries,  The Life After Death Project Volumes 1 and 2 where he gives all of his proof of what he’s experiences since his friend’s death.  Davids also recently completed a book with Dr. Gary Schwartz (a scientist who doesn’t shy away from researching the afterlife) called An Atheist In Heaven: The Ulimate Evidence of Life After Death

For this week, we thought it would be fun to try a Nerdcore song as part of our tribute to one of the world’s greatest geeks, who continues to influence, even from beyond the grave! This Sunspot track is called “Behind The Curtain”.

For a whole generation
he was the inspiration
stoked the imagination
of the Monster nation

Didn’t buy predestination
or a soul relocation,
No belief in Heaven,
or any reincarnation

But at his end of aspiration
his human cancellation
they think he’s playing tricks
afterdeath communication

So they put this complication
under examination
and now they give the Afterlife
reconsideration

Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain,
Because he’s somewhere in between,
Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain who,
you’ll hear from the dark side of the screen.

So this famous monster
is now an Atheist in Heaven.
And he’s still having fun
and he’s still making puns

He said he would come back someday
that he would communicate
but no one could anticipate
his paranormal wordplay

And if you think they’re cracking,
they lost their comprehension,
That there ain’t no action,
no final destination.

These guys have a conviction,
that his spirit is still living,
It’s really their Uncle Forry,
Scientists believe the story.

Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain,
Because he’s somewhere in between,
Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain who,
you’ll hear from the dark side of the screen.