Tag Archives: UFOs

Getting In On The Act: The CIA X-Files

Hey now, speaking of disinformation, the CIA has gotten in on the whole new X-Files act by releasing their own CIA X-Files this week. They’re providing some links to documents about UFO sightings declassified in 1978, mostly about sightings that occurred in the 1950s.

Honestly, I can’t blame them for joining in the fun, considering that a lot of present-day CIA agents probably grew up watching the show and then joined the organization to find out what the U.S. Government really knew. Then they were probably disappointed when they got there and just went to work having to comb through selfies, sexts, and our phone conversations looking for terrorist plots.

Of all of the government agencies, none is more reviled and revered in the public eye. We all know the CIA has been up to some nasty stuff in it’s lifetime, while at the same time, characters like Jack Ryan from The Hunt for Red October and Sydney Bristow from Alias are portrayed as heroes that are always trying to save United States’ citizens. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it, right?

Plus, the CIA is demonized pretty heavily in The X-Files as well as UFO conspiracy lore, so they’re playing some public relations here. I’m sure they already have read the scripts and vetted the show before it went on (so I don’t think that Agent Mulder’s going to be revealing anything important!) but it’s fun to read some of the old documents from the beginning of the UFO age.

You see that the Central Intelligence Agency did take these reports seriously from the beginning and that like any government agency they have a boring bureaucracy to sift through in order to get anything done. Reading the minutes of a CIA meeting from the 1950s isn’t quite the page turner that Stephen Spielberg’s multi-decade epic Taken was (a valiant attempt to unify all of modern UFO mythology into one pretty cool miniseries) but who knows, you might find something in there that everyone else missed!

For some extra weirdness, did you know there’s a special CIA website just for kids? I guess assassination of foreign leaders  and experimenting on innocent people with mind control drugs isn’t just for adults anymore!

Disinformation: The Return of The X-Files

(WARNING: This blogpost contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Season 10, the majestic return of The X-Files, so watch  the new episodes, eh? They’re streaming for FREE on Fox.com right now)

They’re back!

So, how about it? They had me at the original opening credits. It’s been almost twenty-two years since we first heard Mark Snow’s spooky opening theme and saw “The Truth Is Out There”. Man, it really brought back all the memories. I was a MONSTER fan of the show (as if you didn’t already know.) In college, we used to all watch it in our dorm room common area and we wouldn’t go out on Friday nights until the show was over. It was the show that brought everyone together.

I even kept watching during the so-so Season 7 (the one that had an episode with Kathy Griffin and a pro wrestler), Season 8 (which was Duchovny-lite because he was working on his movie career)  and Season 9, which was on an upswing, but it had to end because September 11th kind of took the fun out of government conspiracies for most people.

With X-FIles: I Want To Believe (the second movie) flopping at the box office and then 2012 passing us by without new material (the alien invasion was supposed to take place that year), I thought that was the end for one of my favorite shows. But no!

So, it’s been months of anticipation. What are they going to concentrate on in these six episodes, who are going to be the new bad guys? How are they going to bring Cancer Man back to life after he was blown up in the desert in the final episode? We had a special podcast about some of our favorite episodes based on real-life cases (Episode 33 – The Truth Is Back) and wrote a song about the new series called “Don’t Mess This Up”.

So, did they mess it up? I know a lot of critics seemed underwhelmed by the first episode and while the dialogue was a bit clunky during Mulder and Scully’s argument on the porch (show don’t tell, Chris Carter!), but I like where they’re going with everything. The conspiracies fit perfectly into the second decade of the Twenty-First Century. Joel McHale’s character is basically an ultra-wealthy Alex Jones and it looks like they took the new conspiracy right off of InfoWars.com.

So, they speculate that the UFO crash at Roswell was real and that the government reverse engineered the alien spacefaring and stealth technology and has been carrying out secret experiments on women (including Scully) by impregnating them with fetuses laced with alien DNA and have been masquerading as aliens the whole time in order to throw investigators off the scent of the real perpetrators and they’re setting the planet up for a one-world government (a little John Birch Society anti-Communist conspiracy in there for ya!)

David Duchovny doing his best rugged Harrison Ford impersonation here…

Does this mesh with the old mythology? A little, but not a lot. Considering the old conspiracies of the show got real messy after Season 5, I’m okay with it, and it fits with a more modern take. I’ve said this before, but prior to our interview with Robbie Graham in our “Silver Screen Saucers” episode, I had legitimately never thought that the government would want people to believe that they were colluding with aliens. I mean, why would they want their own people to think that they’re secretly hiding one of the biggest stories of all time, that we’re not alone in the universe?

Disinformation, baby. When you’re not fighting any actual physical battles like in the Cold War, then the rumors of your power are just as important as your power. It’s kind of like why new inmates will fight the baddest meanest guy they can when right when they get sent to prison. You create an aura around yourself of toughness, and nothing’s tougher than your enemy thinking that you have secret alien technology in your war machine. And in the show, the conspiracy is all about covering their tracks until they invade the United States.

The second episode (“Founder’s Mutation”) was just like going home again. It didn’t have to do any narrative lifting, the team was back together and it was just like the wonderful old days of Mulder and Scully hitting the pavement and looking for the paranormal. Now the conspiracy is using those alien DNA babies to make psychic-powered superheroes. I can’t be the only one that got a Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch vibe from Kyle and Molly shattering glass and throwing people across the room with their Force alien mind powers.

In the age of The “Patriot” Act, Edward Snowden, and the Carnivore e-mail spy program, we’ve got brand new reasons to be paranoid and question Authority. Thank God we’ve got Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully back to investigate.

75 – Starman: David Bowie’s Legacy of UFOs and The Occult

When you were born in the 1970s, David Bowie was a very different character than if you were born in the 1960s. The slick, well-dressed English gentleman that I remember in the videos for “Modern Love” and “Let’s Dance” is a far cry from the androgynous alien shapeshifter Ziggy Stardust. And most in my generation remember him for his performance in Labyrinth as Jareth the Goblin King even before his regular albums. His relevance changed from decade to decade, the Rock Star of the 70s became the Pop Icon in the 80s to the fading influencer in the 90s and then a revered Godfather in the new Millennium. Fluctuating public attention is the way of commercial art and artists, but what never changed was his hunger to constantly try something new and interesting. David Bowie was an engine of artistic innovation. Weirdly and wonderfully for us, much of his inspiration came from UFOs, spirituality, and the Occult.

david bowie ziggy stardust
Man, how awesome were the 70s?

In the episode, Wendy, Allison, and I discuss our first memories of Bowie and our favorite of his songs. Allison’s favorite David Bowie track is actually from an Adrian Belew solo album and the song is called “Gunman”, a hidden gem co-written by Bowie and Belew (Bowie’s musical director and one of his longtime guitarists) in the late 80s.

My personal favorite is from Ziggy Stardust (of course) and it’s the first song of his that I learned how to play (because I bought a guitar magazine with it in it the day I bought a bass guitar in 1990) and it’s “Suffragette City”!  While the “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am!” might enrage my sister, Allison, (her first memory of Bowie is wanting to punch him in the face for saying “shut your mouth” in “China Girl” – even though it’s the girl who’s saying it to the man, ha!) Wendy agrees by loving the entire Ziggy album and talks about listening to it over and over again in college with her roommate Erika (who now is on a lovely Doctor Who podcast called Verity! that you should check out if you’re a fan!)

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars had an alien angle from its very inception.  Ziggy Stardust was a rockstar who also was the human manifestation  of a messenger for extraterrestrial beings bringing a message of hope to an Earth doomed in five years. And on this tour, he would often go to the windows and look out at the skies to check for flying saucers while doing interviews with reporters. But David Bowie was into UFOs long before he recorded this album.

Spiders from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson even said (as quoted in Michael Luckman’s book, Alien Rock: The Rock N’ Roll Extraterrestrial Connection) that “David became convinced that he was being stalked by men from Mars in 1969 or 1970.” He’s also been quoted as seeing UFOs when he was a kid. “They came over so regularly we could time them.”, he said. “Sometimes they stood still, other times they moved so fast it was hard to keep a steady eye on them.”

And then in the year on the Aladdin Sane  tour (Bowie’s follow-up to Ziggy Stardust), his wife Angie Bowie tells the story of driving through Detroit and hearing about a UFO crash on the local news. Although the story goes that the news crew did the whole thing as a hoax and they were fired from the TV station, Angie swears the broadcasts exist (a documentarian with them recorded them on videotape) and that Bowie was keeping his eyes on the sky on their drive through the upper Midwest USA on the way to Minneapolis from Detroit, convinced that the aliens might want to make contact with him in particular.

david bowie alladin sane constellation
The Aladdin Sane makeup was such a good look for him, they’re making it his constellation…

But David Bowie didn’t just love aliens and UFOs, he also had a taste for sorcery! Bowie admitted that he dabbled in old-fashioned magic in the 1970s and he talks about about Aleister Crowley (an old friend to this podcast!) on one of his first albums, Hunky Dory (from 1971, it’s the one that has “Life On Mars?” on it) in the song “Quicksand” with the lyrics:

I’m closer to the Golden Dawn
Immersed in Crowley’s uniform
Of imagery
I’m living in a silent film

And when he moved to Los Angeles to record his album, Station to StationBowie went full Crowley.

david bowie cocaine
I’m never going to bed… EVER…

Fueled by mountains of Star-Spangled Powder, rockstar confidence, David Bowie and his wife Angie rented a house in LA while he spent ten months recording the album at Cherokee Studios, a place that even George Martin called “the best studio in America”. The persona that he was creating wasn’t an alien rock star anymore, but an ultra-Aryan Fascist known as The Thin White Duke. During this period (that he claims he remembers very little of because he was doing drugs constantly) he became interested in the Nazis use of sacred symbols (like the Swastika) and their quest for religious artifacts (think Raiders of the Lost Ark.) He talks about how he was fascinated that the Germans might have been looking for the Holy Grail in England in the 1930s. Okay, it’s the 70s, it’s LA, being weird is par for the course, so it’s magick time, baby!

david bowie sieg heil
Seig Hei…hiiiiiiiii guys, just ya know, trying some fascism on for size. Anybody else have a nosebleed?

Here’s Cameron Crowe (who was a rock journalist before he was a director, see Almost Famous for more info on that) interviewing Bowie during that time (and read the whole thing sometime, it covers the recording of Iggy Pop’s demo, hanging out with Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, and what kind of celebrity life that Bowie was living at the time):

Suddenly – always suddenly – David is on his feet and rushing to a nearby picture window. He thinks he’s seen a body fall from the sky. “I’ve got to do this,” he says, pulling a shade down on the window. A ballpoint-penned star has been crudely drawn on the inside. Below it is the word “Aum.” Bowie lights a black candle on his dresser and immediately blows it out to leave a thin trail of smoke floating upward. “Don’t let me scare the pants off you. It’s only protective. I’ve been getting a little trouble from … the neighbors.”

But who exactly were the “neighbours” that Bowie was talking about? Well, his ex-wife Angie, believes that her husband was talking about the Devil himself.  She talks about him saying that he saw the Beast rising out of the indoor pool and that they had to perform an exorcism.

So they did and she claims that the water started bubbling that in no way could have been caused by the air filters of the indoor pool and then she saw a large shadow at the bottom of the pool that she said looked “in the shape of a beast of the underworld; it reminded me of those twisted, tormented gargoyles screaming silently from the spires of medieval cathedrals. It was ugly, shocking, malevolent; it frightened me.

He started getting into the Kaballah and there’s even a picture of him drawing its central mystical symbol, the Tree of Life. He mentions more Kaballah in the first verse of “Station to Station” as well (and since the Kaballah is Hebrew mysticism, it’s a pretty good sign that even though he might have been into Nazi occultism, he didn’t partake in their anti-Semitism.)

I hope that’s not permanent marker…

Even before his death on January 10th, people were already claiming that his last album, Blackstar, was more than just a musical statement. Some are claiming the album is a message from Bowie that the Illuminati are preparing for Planet X to come back into the solar system and we’re all going to be enslaved.

What’s Planet X? Why it’s Nibiru, the tenth planet in the solar system where the Annunaki live who control the Earth and it orbits around the sun every 3600 years (which is why most astronomers haven’t noticed it.) The leading proponent of this theory was Zecharia Sitchin and his evidence is slim, but it does make for some fun sci-fi tinged conspiracy reading.

david bowie blackstar
Hey, have you heard the Good News?

That doesn’t mean that Blackstar isn’t chock full of occult-y sci-fi goodness, though, and blog Vigilant Citizen has an excellent piece on all the symbols of Blackstar (even connecting it to Bowie’s outfit on Station To Station.)  And the director of the ten-minute video that accompanies the title track had something to say about the video’s occult inspiration:

“Well, I’m a huge Crowley fan, I’ve always been. I tried to make a movie on his life a few years ago but we didn’t manage to put it together. I love Crowley for being an audacious man at certain point in time. I think he’s greatly misunderstood. He was a good guy, but he was portrayed as an evil man and he wasn’t.”
– Vice News, 
Behind “Blackstar”: An Interview with Johan Renck, the Director of David Bowie’s Ten-Minute Short Film

And you just gotta hand it to Bowie, he stayed true to his weird sensibilities right to the end. While we’ve discussed his inspired music, his film roles were inspired by the paranormal as well. His first big role was the lead character of The Man Who Fell To Earth as an alien who was trying to bring water back to his dying planet.

He also shows up in The Hunger, an erotic Vampire thriller from 1983 based on a book written by Whitley Strieber (the man who brought us modern alien abduction with his book Communion, however, The Hunger, is decidedly fiction.) Some people have made this connection with Strieber and the video for Bowie’s song “Loving The Alien” where he suffers a nosebleed (something that happens to many abductees), to infer that Bowie was making a statement about alien abduction, but I bet he had a lot different inspirations for nosebleeds in his time that had nothing to do with extraterrestrials.

But the biggest of his roles was the Goblin King in Labyrinth, and made a new generation of little ladies fall in love with him.  However you feel today, this video of David Bowie dancing and singing with goblin muppets and a baby will put you in a good mood:

Some of his other roles that merit paranormal attention are Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (a controversial film in 1989, but almost tame now) and the strange ghost of an FBI agent in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

He was in a mediocre video game that had excellent music called Omikron: The Nomad Soul. I bought it for my Sega Dreamcast and Wendy bought it for her PC, but you can get it free right here until the end of the week. A science fiction-y 1984 or Brave New World, Bowie was helping your character escape mechanical oppression.

His last really memorable role was that of the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla (himself deserving of his own episode!) in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.

But that’s a great way to remember David Bowie, just like in The Prestige. When he shows up in the film, you’re like “Aw yeah, it’s David Bowie doing something weird and cool!” That’s the kind of reaction that he got out of me whenever I saw him because he was always doing something weird and cool (except for the “Dancing in the Street” video with Mick Jagger, but hey, nobody’s perfect.) He was even able to do the impossible was even able to turn what should be a lame Pepsi commercial into a totally sweet Frankenstein homage where he creates, and then sings and dances, with Tina Turner.

Making anything he touched into something cool, now that’s a talent that we can remember and appreciate.

For this episode’s song, we decided to forego an original track and the week that David Bowie passed on, we sang a tribute to him at our Sunspot concert at Shank Hall in Milwaukee. We did an acoustic version of the Ziggy Stardust song, “Starman”, and we had someone in the audience record it “bootleg-style” and play it in the podcast.

“Starman” – music and lyrics by David Bowie

Didn’t know what time it was and the lights were low
I leaned back on my radio
Some cat was layin’ down some rock ‘n’ roll ‘lotta soul, he said
Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren’t no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey, that’s far out so you heard him too!
Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two
Look out your window I can see his light
If we can sparkle he may land tonight
Don’t tell your poppa or he’ll get us locked up in fright

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Paranormal Stories You Might Have Missed While Watching Making A Murderer

Well, you were probably watching Making A Murderer over Christmas and New Year’s and I can’t blame you, it was riveting television of murder, law enforcement corruption, and class-based oppression that unfortunately happened in our home state of Wisconsin. But while you were signing that petition to free Steven Avery, the world of the strange didn’t just roll over and play (un)dead. Here’s some paranormal stories you might have missed over the Holiday Break:

Hillary Clinton UFOs
Look at that smile… does she know something?

The big story is that in her quest for the presidency, Hillary Clinton seems to be courting the UFO conspiracists now by claiming that “Aliens may have already visited Earth” and that she’s “going to get to the bottom of it”. Her campaign chairman, John Pedesta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton is a UFO fan and in the past has said his biggest regret is not getting the disclosure that we’re all hoping for. So we know at least there’s someone on her team who cares (but who knows how much of that could be just disinformation…)

President Bill Clinton has spoken publicly about Roswell on a number of occasions because the 50th anniversary of the “crash” was under his watch. He’s claimed that they did look at all the documents from the time and it was just a weather balloon, that there was no alien crash there.

Well, at least they’re talking about it, but my personal favorite presidential UFO tale is still the noble Jimmy Carter, who sticks by his story of seeing something, even if he isn’t convinced about extraterrestrials…

The next big story has been making the Facebook rounds, that of an “800-year old cell phone” with numbers in cuneiform discovered in Austria. You might have seen it on Twitter or in your feeds over the weekend.

800 year old alien cell phone
Mork calling Orson… come in Orson…

Ah, but the truth is much more boring. Looks like it was a creation of German artists in 2012 and the photos of it, dissociated from the original art project started making the Internet rounds. It’s a heartbreaker if you love Ancient Aliens and time travel stories like I do, but don’t buy it!

This next story is more in the science fiction realm and it’s exciting! Japanese scientists have developed a device that can predict what words you’re about to say before you say them. They’ve traced words to the specific brain waves and it “reads” the brain waves and predicts the words.  While some sites have been talking about the potential for drones to be operated “telepathically”, I think it’s a lot more exciting for paralyzed patients, wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to help them talk?

In Doctor Who, their time machine, the TARDIS can telepathically read the minds of what the travelers are hearing and translate the language for them so that they understand. Now THAT is a sweet use for a telepathic machine. The Doctor explains that to Sarah Jane Smith in a great story called “The Masque of Mandragora” (and whaddaya know, you can watch the whole thing on Daily Motion!)

sarah jane and the telepathic tardis machine
Helluva mask there, pal…

Last but not least, here’s a my favorite conspiracy theory of the week. The Oregon wildlife refuge that was occupied over the weekend by a “militia” looking to protest the federal government’s treatment of private land rights. The protest was led by a guy named Ammon Bundy, whose father Cliven Bundy has been doing this kind of thing for years in Nevada. Now, whether you’re sympathetic to the protestors or not, doesn’t matter, because the theory that they’re actually government agents and his statements are designed to lure other extremist groups out of hiding to be captured by a government-led sting operation is so wonderfully bonkers that it’s a joy to behold.

We’re looking for links to weird news and any interesting paranormal stories that you might find (or write!) Just send them over to mike@sunspotmusic.com and we’ll check them out, analyze, and link to them here on the See You On The Other Side blog!

 

 

73 – Monster Hunters: Tea Krulos’ Search For The Unknown

When we last caught up with author and blogger, Tea Krulos, he’d been directing the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, which was the first conference of its kind that Wendy and I had attended. We had a blast and it was our second most downloaded episode of 2015 (so you guys must have liked hearing about it too!) So, we’ve talked to him about his conference and about his experiences working with Real-Life Super Heroes (yes, that’s a thing, and it’s awesome. Listen to our episode on it!) But we haven’t talked yet about his book, Monster Hunters, which was named by cryptozoology Godfather Loren Coleman as the top cryptozoology book of 2015. In that book, he meets with ghost investigators, UFO researchers, Bigfoot trackers, cryptozoologists, and more in search of what brings these people together to try and discover the truth behind weird creatures and haunted legends. With that exciting news of Tea’s book being named top read by one of the best in the field, Wendy, Allison, and I dragged Tea back into the conversation to learn more.

UFOs, Bigfoot, and the paranormal are exciting to think about it in pop culture. Everyone loves Star Wars right now with The Force Awakens on its way to become the biggest movie of all time and Star Wars has basically all of the paranormal categories in one movie. You’ve got aliens, Bigfoot (Chewbacca), psychic powers (The Force), and ghosts (Obi-Wan is always showing up post-mortem!)

While most people love this stuff in their movies and their religion (praying is basically asking God to do magic for us, isn’t it?), they often scoff at others who want to take it a step further. Our lives are lived almost exclusively in the physical world. You might know people that have a ghost story or have seen a UFO, and you might think they believe them… but UFOs and ghosts don’t do much to help you shovel snow or fill out the paperwork at your job. So, why do people care so much?

When Tea Krulos talks about why he’s interested in subcultures outside of the mainstream he talks about his purple mohawk and spiked leather jacket in high school. Or he mentions his Goth and Metalhead friends. Music and the fashion associated with its different genres are the first things that we often bond over in modern society. It’s one of the first ways we differentiate ourselves. The more extreme the fashion, the more of an outlier you usually are.

sarah jessica parker mohawk
Even Sarah Jessica Parker “rocks” a mohawk now…

But mass media and the products that are constantly pitched to us isn’t about outliers, it’s about conformity and commonality. It’s meant to find the biggest audience to sell to. Think Coca-Cola, Pop-Country music, or even Disney’s Star Wars (TM). It’s great that these things exist, Pop songs are catchy, Star Wars is awesome, Coca-Cola is delicious. But they’re ubiquitous. You can find them in the most backwoods store of the most backwoods place in the United States.

Tea Krulos finds the people that you won’t hear about in the mainstream. Punk fashion went into mass culture over a decade ago (chances are there’s a Hot Topic in your town) and tattoos and piercings are hardly the taboo they used to be. And while the Ghost Hunters show certainly popularized the genre of investigating the paranormal on reality TV, there is still a little bit of a stigma surrounding local paranormal groups, Bigfoot hunters, and UFO enthusiasts, precisely the people that Tea set out to document in his book.

Because of that stigma, there’s a natural distrust of reporters and authors in the community and that means that most paranormal groups aren’t as inclusive as you’d expect them to be. I always thought that was unusual, wouldn’t you think that a subgroup would be interested in bringing more people in! Not when you could be the object of ridicule or derision. In the past, you might have to worry about a newspaper having an unflattering article or a book maybe making your group look foolish in a chapter, but now with social media, everyone is a publisher and everyone has an opinion and isn’t afraid to broadcast it (just look at your Facebook feed for reinforcement.)

Since Tea wasn’t interested in ridiculing these groups, but rather understanding them (and to some extent, celebrating them), he was welcomed into the circles of groups like the Paranormal investigators of Milwaukee and places like Loren Coleman’s Cryptozoology Museum or the International UFO Arizona (where a meeting with George Noory at a casino led to a successful appearance on Coast to Coast AM!)

Tea on the hunt for Bigfoot!

While researching the book, Tea had his own “weird experience” while he was out with Bigfoot Hunter, Jim Sherman, in the forests of Central Michigan. It’s late in the middle of the night and he’s in his tent, while his Sasquatch tracking partner was in his truck finishing up the watch for the night. As he’s about to drift off to sleep, Tea hears a terrifying scream outside his tent. He opens the front zipper carefully and looks around and dashes to his Jim’s truck, where he finds Jim texting him about the same scream. As they sit and try to analyze what they heard, they see a strange light in the sky, a white object with a green and red light orbiting it, something neither of them had seen before or could identify. While they seem like they’re not in the same realm, there’s been a strange Bigfoot-UFO connection for a long time where sightings of the beast are often followed by visions of something strange in the sky… that sounds like something we should do an episode on in the future.

So, it was a lot of fun to talk about Monster Hunters  and Tea’s new book, which is going to be about doomsday prophecies and people who are prepping for the end of the world (we have a related episode on apocalypses that never happened), he also gave us some exciting news about the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Convention.

The 2016 convention will take place October 14th through 16th at the Zelazo Center on the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee campus and will feature cryptozoology founding father Loren Coleman, fellow See You On The Other Side podcast guest Chad Lewisour co-contributor Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts, Wendy and I will be broadcasting from the convention as well as I’ll be hosting a panel called Paranormal Road Trip!

It was fun to have Tea on as we celebrate going into 2016 because we love to surround ourselves with cool people doing interesting paranormal projects just like us. We hope everyone out there has their best year yet and let’s use the time we have to the best all of our abilities!

As Delmore Schwarz wrote in “Calmly We Walk Through This April’s Day”

What will become of you and me 
(This is the school in which we learn …)   
Besides the photo and the memory? 
(… that time is the fire in which we burn.)

Memory in soft focus,
dreams of the past,
a little crutch we can hold on to.
Some things weren’t made to last.

Don’t look back,
it will only make you slower,
Don’t question,
the things you cannot change.
This moment,
the only thing you can hold onto,
don’t spend it in a cage.

You are free,
choose to be.
The Fire in Which We Burn.
You are free,
choose to be.
The Fire in Which We Burn.

A hazy wave of rumination,
days gone by,
An unreliable narration,
A well that ran dry.

Don’t look back,
it will only make you slower,
Don’t question,
the things you cannot change.
This moment,
the only thing you can hold onto,
don’t spend it in a cage.

You are free,
choose to be.
The Fire in Which We Burn.
You are free,
choose to be.
The Fire in Which We Burn.

It’s later than you think,
it’s later than you planned,
It’s over in a blink,
it’s over in a flash.

And the hourglass runs out of sand.

You are free,
choose to be.
The Fire in Which We Burn.
You are free,
choose to be.
The Fire in Which We Burn.

60 – Silver Screen Saucers: An Interview with Robbie Graham

UFO movies have been with us for just a little bit less time than movies themselves.  From Kenneth Arnold’s original sighting of a flying saucer in 1947 to the Roswell incident less than a month later, it only took a couple of years for Hollywood to catch up. In 1950 they’d released The Flying Saucer and UFOs landed for the first time on the big screen, beginning the long relationship between film and UFO phenomena. Author Robbie Graham has just released a new book, Silver Screen Saucers, that focuses on that relationship. I interviewed Robbie from his home in Surrey in the United Kingdom and we talk about how the book started as  a doctoral thesis, the power of cinema on belief, and how the CIA might have been using these films as disinformation.

When I think about flying saucers and alien visitation movies, one of my favorites is The Day The Earth Stood Still reference (the original, not the Keanu Reeves version…)

Keanu Reeves as Klaatu
I know Kung Fu…

To me, what The Day The Earth Stood Still really gets right is the sense that aliens have superior technology and that we’ve caught their attention in the universe .  Now that’s something that has really influenced our UFO folklore for a long time now, that they’re coming here for a reason and could take us out at any minute.  If they’ve got the power to travel among the stars, what must their weaponry look like, right?

Oh, and just because I love it, here’s a little Bruce Campbell with my personal favorite reference from The Day The Earth Stood Still.

What was particularly interesting to me, though, was something I hadn’t heard before. And that was that the movie was made with full cooperation of the US government, and that they might have been behind some of the content of the film. But why would that be? What would they have to gain? The legend in UFO circles is that they wanted to prepare the American public for UFO disclosure (which to me seems ridiculous, because it’s been over sixty years and no disclosure yet…) Robbie even has an excellent article on Scribd about it which you should check out because it’s the most well-researched article you’re going to see on UFOs today!

Okay, well maybe it wasnt about disclosure, but maybe it was about getting the American people to believe in aliens. But why would the government want that? Well, in the Cold War, it was completely advantageous for Americans to believe in the idea that we had contact with aliens and that we were working on new technology with them. Now that’s something that would be scary to the Russians, we might both have nukes, but what kinda of extraterrestrial technology are we hiding up our sleeves? It’s classic psychological warfare.

Robbie goes on to give some more examples of this and we start talking about the first mention of the famous “Area 51” in the mass media, which was a television special that I remember watching as a kid. 1988’s UFO Cover Up Live was one of those syndicated specials like Geraldo checking out Al Capone’s vaults. This was nearing the end of the Cold War, when things were tense again in the 1980s. All of a sudden, the Air Force’s secret base has alien weaponry,

So, it’s probably not a coincidence that Area 51’s most famous employee, Bob Lazar, came out just a few months later to reveal all he had seen while working at the Top Secret facility. Robbie believes that Lazar was shown these things on purpose by the Air Force because they wanted him to “blow the whistle”. After all, what’s a Soviet nuke compared to an alien death ray?

Okay, that’s just a short part of Silver Screen Saucers and that’s where I steered the conversation because I truly hadn’t thought about it like that before, but I could have talked to him for hours on end on any one of the topics that he broaches in his new fascinating book, which you can buy right here and check it out yourself! 

Well, the main thesis of Silver Screen Saucers is that we’ve made UFOs real to because visuals have such a real effect on our beliefs system even more than books, because our visual sense is so tied to our interpretation of reality. It’s like in a horror movie when your subconscious mind doesn’t know you’re seeing fiction, so that’s why you have a physical reaction. So the song this week is a little riff on that idea called “Seeing Is Believing”.

Featured Song: Seeing Is Believing By Sunspot

Disinformation,
we’re lied to every day,
Our imagination used
to fool our lizard brain.
The point of distraction,
just a little bait and switch,
Find the ball under the shell,
Who knows? You might get rich

A mothership o’er the Empire State,
A saucer on the White House lawn,
Keep your eyes upon the skies,
and forget you’re being conned.

If seeing is believing,
Then I’ll get down on my knees,
my head gets cracked,
‘tween fiction and fact
We see what we want to see.
Your eyes play tricks,
and your mind transfixed,
on what the screen reveals.
Seeing is believing,
but that doesn’t make it real.

Check your programming,
you could use a little doubt.
Keep on looking, keep on looking,
further than your eyes allow.

A mothership over the Empire State,
and a saucer on the White House lawn,
Keep your eyes upon the skies,
and forget you’re being conned.

If seeing is believing,
Then I’ll get down on my knees,
my head gets cracked,
‘tween fiction and fact
We see what we want to see.
Your eyes play tricks,
and your mind transfixed,
to what the screen reveals.
Seeing may be believing,
but that doesn’t make it real.

37 – The Roswell Slides: Donald Schmitt and America’s Most Infamous UFO Crash

The Roswell Slides are on all paranormal lovers’ tongues this week as they get ready for a huge unveiling in Mexico City on May 5th. Well, to get ready for it, we’re going in on the grandaddy of all US UFO cases, the famous crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. It’s the story that’s been made famous by countless television recreations on shows like Unsolved Mysteries or Sightings as well as several books about the event.

Mike and Wendy Lynn go deep into the history of the case for those of you who might not know all the theories and the stories, starting with the “flying saucer mania” of 1947 that started it all, to the debris found by Mac Brazel, to the press release sent by the Roswell Air Field saying they found a flying saucer and later denial, saying it was just a weather balloon.

The history of the mythos surrounding Roswell as we know it really starts in 1980 with the publication of a book, The Roswell Incident, and that’s where it starts to get interesting, rumors of alien bodies taken back and dissected, pop culture mentions in Independence Day, Alien Autopsy specials on FOX in the 1990s, controversy with the investigators (including today’s interviewee, Donald Schmitt), stories about mutant children, hey look, it’s even former President Bill Clinton chiming in!

Once we get through the history, we do an in-depth exclusive interview with Donald Schmitt who has investigated and will be part of the team presenting the Roswell Slides on May 5th at an event in Mexico City hosted by Jaime Maussan, sometimes known as the “Mexican Art Bell”.

Schmitt’s first book, UFO Crash at Roswell, was the basis for the Golden Globe-nominated Showtime film, Roswell, (starring Kyle MacLachlan and Martin Sheen) and we talk about how he went from UFO investigator to UFO author to a consultant on a major film.

Then we get into what everyone’s been waiting for, the Roswell Slides, which are Kodachromes that might show non-human bodies being worked on in the 1940s and the pictures were originally taken by someone with a connection to President Eisenhower. We go in deep on the slides, how they were found, how they were investigated, and a preview of what the big presentation is going to be on May 5th.

Roswell Slides Links:

Roswell Investigator, Thomas Carey and Donald Schmitt’s website

BeWitness May 5th Live Streaming from Mexico City Pay-Per-View

This Week’s Song: “Don’t Shoot First” by Sunspot

don’t believe everything you read
don’t believe everything you see
you don’t have to understand
you don’t have to be my friend
you might not like what I have to say to you
but that don’t mean it’s not the truth

don’t shoot first
this messenger has traveled
so far from home
don’t shoot first
I only came to tell you
you’re not alone.

when you just can’t see past your nose
you think that all your doors are closed

you don’t have to understand
but one day you’ll have to comprehend
You might not like what I have to say to you
But that don’t mean it’s not the truth

don’t shoot first
this messenger has traveled
so far from home
don’t shoot first
I only came to tell you
you’re not alone.