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Your Paracast Newsletter — February 11, 2018

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
February 11 2018

Waves of Paranormal Phenomena in Pennsylvania Discussed on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Chris present long-time paranormal investigator Stan Gordon. Every year mysterious incidents occur in Pennsylvania and 2017 was a very active year for strange phenomena of various kinds. Observations of mysterious objects in the sky were reported in daylight as well as at night. People reported very close range encounters with mini-UFOs. There were numerous reports of strange creatures being seen as well. Stan has been researching UFO sightings, Bigfoot encounters, and other mysterious events in Pennsylvania since 1959. Since then, he has been involved with the investigation of thousands of unusual incidents. He is the primary investigator of the 1965 UFO crash incident that occurred near Kecksburg, PA.

Chris O’Brien’s Blog: Our Strange Planet

Stan Gordon's Blog: Stan Gordon's UFO Anomalies Zone

Curt Collins' Blog: Blue Blurry Lines

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on February 11: Gene and very special guest Curtis Collins talk about a fascinating pop culture phenomenon, based on an article he wrote, “Life imitates art? — The reciprocal relationship between UFO reports and Hollywood.” You’ll notice, for example, that Curt’s avatar is the alien creature from the sci-fi classic, “Earth Versus the Flying Saucers.” Gene and Curt discuss how the use of flying saucer imagery in films and TV shows is based in various ways on the presence of UFOs, and, in turn, how Hollywood has, in turn, influenced our cultural images of UFOs. There are loads of pop culture references, including how the comic book concepts of alien super heroes in our midst has become a metaphor for real-life conflicts over the presence of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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. Check out our new YouTube channel at: The Official Paracast Channel

UFOs as Cultural Icons
By Gene Steinberg

Some listeners rag on me for being so fascinated with pop culture, particularly when it comes to sci-fi and comic book super heroes. But stick with me, because there’s lots to talk about.

In the mid-1940s, the one-and-only Ray Palmer was editor of the original sci-fi pulp magazine, Amazing Stories. One of his associate editors one day remarked about tossing a really crazy manuscript from a would-be author into the trash, but Palmer retrieved it. If he only knew.

Well, the poorly-written manuscript wasn’t a sci-fi story after all, but a factual manuscript meant as a “warning” to mankind. Palmer had an eye for its commercial possibilities and took that story, from one Richard S. Shaver, and rewrote it extensively under the title, “I Remember Lemuria.”

The short story, about a dying advanced civilization on Earth thousands of years ago, sparked a series of stories that focused on the alleged presence of beings residing in caverns beneath the Earth. One of those races, dubbed “teros,” were the good buys, whereas the bad ones were referred to as “deros.”

But such ideas weren’t unique to Shaver. The concept of evil creatures living beneath the surface of our planet has influenced both novels and films about encountering evil subsurface beings.

Along the way, the Shaver and Palmer stories mentioned the presence of flying objects in our skies. When he co-founded Fate magazine in 1948, Palmer provided extensive coverage of the real-life version of those objects, flying saucers. When he hired Kenneth Arnold, whose June 24, 1947 sighting is credited with sparking the modern flying saucer legend, as a freelance writer to look into the report of a possible UFO episode at Maury Island in the state of Washington, it sort of came full circle.

Those fictional flying ships were real, and Palmer is sometimes referred to as the father of the UFO mystery, largely because of his early influence in establishing the legend. Arnold’s portion of the book he cowrote with Palmer, “The Coming of the Saucers,” read almost like a spy novel. It may have also helped to jumpstart the legend of what soon became the Men In Black.

In movie land, a sci-fi flick about an alien visitor wearing a silvery uniform, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” reputedly influenced some of the early flying saucer contact claims. So there’s what appears to be a direct connection with the similarly-garbed being George Adamski allegedly met in 1952 in the California desert, named Orthon, with the protagonist in that movie, Klaatu, as played by Michael Rennie.

Yet another contactee, Howard Menger, sometimes referred to as the “Jersey Adamski,” produced paintings of what he claimed to have seen. One of those paintings mirrored the image of Klaatu’s glowing saucer-shaped spaceship during the closing scenes of the film.

In turn, its director, Robert Wise, also famous for such films as “The Sound of Music,” “West Side Story,” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” had a genuine interest and belief in UFOs.

The blockbuster popcorn movie from the 1990s, “Independence Day,” was filled with cultural references from UFO lore. The alien locusts’ spaceships were saucer-shaped. In the latter portion of the film, our heroes visit a secret underground laboratory at Area 51 in Nevada, where they see the crashed spaceship recovered at Roswell, NM. Though mistakenly identified by one of the characters as having been recovered in the 1950s, the scientists examining the craft admit something we can well understand, that they had serious difficulties trying to understand advanced alien technology.

The cult TV classic, “The X-Files,” currently in its 11th season with much of the original cast, continues to focus on the consequences of the Roswell crash, and the conspiratorial acts of evil government agents and other rogue characters.

Docudramas have been filmed about Roswell, the Betty and Barney Hill abduction, and other UFO phenomena. A sci-fi B-movie from 1956, “Earth Versus the Flying Saucers,” was very roughly “suggested” by a factual book, “The Flying Saucers Are Real,” from Major Donald Keyhoe. In passing, Keyhoe was clearly mortified when he wrote in a subsequent book how he mistakenly believed that Hollywood was filming a documentary rather than yet another an “aliens on the loose” flick.

Most interesting, however, was the look of the aliens themselves. For much of the film, they are seen wearing robotic uniforms. But when one of them is killed and taken to a laboratory for an alien autopsy, the metallic helmet is removed. Within you see the thin-skinned “ancient being” that bears more than a passing resemblance to our image of a gray alien.

While the alien being depicted on the cover of Whitley Strieber’s best-seller, “Communion,” differs from that creature with its huge eyes and other features, is it possible that its influences included the alien from a cult sci-fi film?

Back and forth it goes, with sci-fi films and TV shows being influenced by our pop culture and, sometimes, the reverse effect, with witnesses of paranormal phenomena using cultural influences to detail their experiences.

It certainly makes sense that moviemakers will employ factual influences to afford verisimilitude to their projects. Confronted with something unknown to their experience, it also makes sense for the reverse to happen. What people have seen, heard or read about is very likely going to provide common references when attempting to make sense of unknown encounters.

I’ve long been fascinated by these direct cultural connections. Indeed I sometimes wonder to what degree pop culture has influenced those who have paranormal experiences.

So when UFO researcher Curtis Collins mentioned an article he wrote, "Life imitates art? — The reciprocal relationship between UFO reports and Hollywood” (www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2018/02/03/life-imitates-art-the-reciprocal-relationship-between-ufo-reports-and-hollywood/), I jumped at the chance to interview him on After The Paracast this weekend.

You may find such talk to be a little extreme, that Hollywood was surely paying heed to paranormal phenomena, it didn’t necessary work the other way around. But if you look at such connections a little more closely, you may be surprised how it all comes together.

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