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Your Paracast Newsletter — August 28, 2016

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
August 28, 2016

Greg Bishop Talks Shop with Gene and Chris on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: When it comes to cutting-edge speculation about the paranormal, nobody does it better than Greg Bishop, of "Radio Misterioso," so we've asked him to return to The Paracast for an open "shop talk" agenda. His latest book, "It Defies Language," illustrated by Red Pill Junkie, is collection of essays about the UFO subject and related phenomena. During this session, Greg will talk about newly discovered exoplanets, and what form an intelligent race from outer space might take. The discussion moves to different species on Earth and their surprising displays of possibly advanced intelligence. Chris delivers an update on the San Luis Valley Camera Project, the paranormal event detection network.

Chris O’Brien’s Site: Our Strange Planet

Radio Misterioso: Radio Misterioso | In-depth conversations on the paranormal alternating with weird music. Live on Sundays (usually) 8-10 PM Pacific.

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively to Paracast+ subscribers on August 28: [PG-13]:Gene and Chris are joined by Greg Bishop, who is in rare form. His latest book is entitled, “It Defies Language,” so this episode defies description. It starts with music and Gene and Greg’s lack of expertise at playing their guitars. Focusing on punk, Greg mentions Nick Redfern’s “snarl,” that “he’s a snarly dude when he wants to be.” Greg explains how Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo influenced his decision in buying his first and only guitar. There’s even a discussion about novelty music artists, such as Napoleon IV (Jerry Samuels), the fellow behind “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” Greg speaks about the portions of his book that made the Kindle eBook version, but have not as not been included in the print version. As Chris reviews his future travel plans, he mentions that Greg just happens to be a drone pilot. We also talk about future shows, including the September 4th episode, featuring James Carrion, author of “The Rosetta Deception” and the forthcoming book, “The Roswell Deception.”

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: The Paracast Community Forums.

UFO Disclosure — Repeating the Same Mistakes

By Gene Steinberg

The other day I had a glance at the online version of the first UFO book I ever read, “Flying Saucers From Outer Space,” by Major Donald E. Keyhoe. First released in 1953 by a major publisher, it presented a compelling case that the flying saucers were, as the title implied, visitors from other planets.

I’ve told the story before. I first discovered the book on a coffee table in my brother’s apartment in Brooklyn, New York. He was at work, but his wife said it was all right to borrow it, so long as I returned it to the library before the due date.

Now I wasn’t always so good about returning those books, but I heeded that request. Still, I cannot imagine why Wally was reading it. He was interested in science fiction to some degree, but he never expressed any direct awareness to me in UFOs. But I always felt he wanted me to discover the book and take it home to read. It wasn’t logical; just a feeling.

Besides, I never saw a similar book at his home ever again.

Now there is a curious anecdote about this book. You see, Major Keyhoe sold it to Hollywood. In a later book, he explained how he naively assumed the filmmakers were going to turn out a documentary about flying saucers. Typical of most authors who sell book rights, however, he had no say in what form the film would take or its screenplay. They could do what they wanted, for better or worse.

To Keyhoe’s embarrassment, the film was strictly sci-fi, a B movie classic, “Earth Versus the Flying Saucers,” which featured spectacular special effects from stop motion guru Ray Harryhausen. The credits said it was “suggested by” Major Keyhoe’s book, and the opening scenes did present a brief summary of the flying saucer saga in a semi-documentary style before getting to the meat of the story.

Sometimes I think the filmmakers simply wanted the rights to the title, “Flying Saucers,” although that wasn’t Keyhoe’s — or anyone’s — right to grant.

As an “aliens on the loose” picture, it was actually quite enjoyable, although the outcome was fairly pedestrian. So the invaders are brought down by a brilliant scientist and his beautiful assistant. Clearly the producers had a budget to meet, and so the payoff, where the alien craft are forced to crash by equipment that generates high-frequency sound waves, seemed a little abrupt.

In any case, Keyhoe was clearly non-plussed over not being taken seriously, being considered as mere fodder for yet another Hollywood project.

But he persevered as a loyal soldier who believed in America and the government. So when he pitched for an end to UFO secrecy, he expected Congress to do its deed and make sure the truth was revealed. Indeed, he swore that he’d shut down NICAP once the hearings were granted, since the organization was evidently intended less to investigate UFOs than to lobby the government for disclosure.

He got his hearings all right, but not as the result of anything NICAP did. Instead, Congress was heavily influenced by the 1966 UFO wave in Michigan, where Dr. J. Allen Hynek, then an Air Force consultant, explained away some of the UFOs as the result of “swamp gas.” He did live it down, but it took a while.

So the future President, Gerald Ford, then a member of Congress from Michigan, helped spearhead the demand for hearings. His statement says it all:

“At week’s end, the Air Force explained away the UFO’s as a product of college-student pranks, swamp gas, the rising crescent moon, and the planet Venus. But the Air Force has been explaining away UFO’s for years, and I don’t believe the American people generally are satisfied with its statements.

“For that reason, I have proposed that there be a congressional investigation of UFO’s.

“Let’s try to get to the bottom of this thing. I know some people are alarmed by it.”

The 1968 hearings on UFOs resulted in the notorious Condon Report which, as the result of its predictable whitewash of the UFO mystery, gave the Air Force the excuse to shutter Project Blue Book the following year, thus ending its public involvement in the subject.

As you know, President Ford, typical of all Presidents, did absolutely nothing to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery during his relatively brief time in office.

After leaving NICAP, Keyhoe kept on writing books and lecturing. In the mid-1970s, I met him at a UFO convention, and he sat down for an interview. Pushing 80 years of age, he was spry and friendly, and an entertaining conversationalist. The interview was published in a supermarket tabloid that folded shortly thereafter, before I ever got paid. But if I ever find the manuscript, I’ll reprint it in this newsletter.

In any case, this is as close as it ever came to getting genuine Congressional action on UFOs. While there have been constant efforts at disclosure since then, they haven’t brought much in the way of results. The Air Force continues to tell us that the Roswell crash involved a Project Mogul balloon, that they are otherwise no longer investigating sightings.

Efforts by one disclosure lobbyist, Stephen Bassett, resulted in a petition to President Obama that received little more than a brush off from a low-level White House science bureaucrat. The attempt at a second petition failed to generate any traction.

In July of 2013, several former members of Congress gathered together in Washington, D.C. to hold a mock session, the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. It was yet another event spearheaded by Bassett, but critics pointed out that the former legislators received $20,000, each, to participate, and that might explain why some of them expressed enthusiasm for the event.

Most of the eyewitnesses who “testified” were pretty credible, including 10 retired members of the Air Force who had UFO experiences, including John Burroughs and James Penniston, both of whom witnessed the Rendlesham Forest UFO in the UK.

Unfortunately, one of Bassett’s biggest faults is his failure to properly vet his participants. So we had Linda Moulton Howe, who is known to take extreme positions not validated by the evidence, and former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer, whose presentations reportedly went way off the rails.

For the most part, the Citizens Hearing received fairly favorable coverage, though it was usually spun in an “ET believer” light. In the end, as expected, the Citizens Hearing did nothing to advance the quest for disclosure.

So we still don’t know what the U.S. government has to disclose, and whether it’s possible to convince them to do anything but deny and deny again. It remains up to civilian researchers to figure out what’s going on, and not depend on someone in authority to do the work for them. If past is prologue, disclosure is not going to happen anytime soon — or ever.

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