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Your Paracast Newsletter — January 19, 2020

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
January 19, 2020


Ghost Hunter Jeff Belanger Returns With More Amazing Tales on The Paracast

The Paracast
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This Week's Episode: With more incredible ghost stories, Gene and Randall present paranormal author/adventurer Jeff Belanger. On this episode, he shoots a thick arrow through the conventional wisdom that the legend of Robin Hood describes someone from England. You'll also hear about America's Stonehenge, the man-eating apple tree (yes, we're serious!), psychic sleuths, who are reputed to solve crimes that remain unsolved, and even Glastonbury's Glawackus (and say that five times fast!). And that's just the beginning, since Jeff also brings more tales to the January 19, 2020 episode of After The Paracast, available for Paracast+ members. Jeff is the Emmy-nominated host, writer, and producer of the New England Legends series that debuted on PBS in October of 2013, and the weekly New England Legends Podcast.

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

William Puckett's Blog: UFO Reporting Center, Latest UFO Sightings & News.

Jeff Belanger's Site: Jeff Belanger - Author, Lecturer, and Legend Tripper

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on January 19: Gene and Randall present a UFO sighting update from Special Correspondent William Puckett. This week, William covers several sightings, which include a report of missing time, a strange presence, and a car crash from St. Claire, MI in October of 2018. He also covers sightings from Hampstead, NC on January 2, 2020, South San Francisco, CA on January 14, 2020, Newton, Abbot, Devon, UK on January 3, 2020 and Gainesville, FL on March 11, 2018. You’ll also hear Part II of an interview with Jeff Belanger, paranormal author and adventurer, who tells more fascinating ghost stories. They include so-called “ghost pianos,” including one that allegedly occurred in a lighthouse. He also talks about ghostly phenomena at the Green Mountain Inn, in Stowe, VT. And why, indeed, do ghosts tend to wear clothing? Do their garments somehow survive a transition to the afterlife?

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

Memories of the Ancient Astronauts Theory and Other Stuff
By Gene Steinberg

The 1994 sci-fi film, “Stargate,” invoked fascinating images and ideas about what might have happened to ancient humans. The film tells the story about the an evil alien race that travels across the universe via stargates to rule over primitive peoples.

One would surely expect such invaders to be regarded as Gods or messengers from God. Sound familiar?

Well, the theory of ancient astronauts — that extraterrestrials visited us in biblical times — clearly influenced that movie and its TV spin-offs. But the myth is more about flying chariots and spinning wheels and such; basically flying contraptions of some sort. And one wonder just how humans might have reacted to the arrival of advanced beings from elsewhere.

Many of you know about Erich von Däniken, the former hotel manager who achieved fame and fortune when he recycled those old legends and delivered “Chariots of the Gods” and later books. I suppose many people believe that he originated the theory, but he was far from the first author to write about ancient astronauts.

(Note: von Däniken was featured on the February 4, 2018 episode of The Paracast.)

I first read about the ancient astronaut legends in a 1953 book, “Flying Saucers Have Landed,” by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski. But the stories about strange phenomena in days gone by was largely ignored due to Adamski’s part of the book, where he made sensational and unbelievable claims of meeting up with an extraterrestrial in the California desert.

Now I’m not about to resurrect the Adamski tale. While there are some people out there who continue to believe his experiences were genuine, he was thoroughly debunked decades ago.

In passing, Leslie was considered an early pioneer in producing electronic music. Some of his productions were reportedly used in early “Dr. Who” episodes. He also developed one of the first multitrack recording machines and is reportedly revered by Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger.

In any case, I didn’t think much about the theory until I ran across a curious collection of articles in some old issues of Jim Moseley’s Saucer News magazine, about the doctrine of “Extraterrestrialism.” According to the author of those pieces, one Y.N. ibn A’haron, the God of the Old Testament was, in fact, a visitor from outer space.

I later met the man behind those articles, better known as Yonah Fortner. When I had nothing better to do, I would visit him at his apartment in Brooklyn, New York, where he talked endlessly about his research. He also boasted of the ability to converse in multiple languages, including Hebrew and Sanskrit.

On more than one occasion, he demonstrated his alleged skills. While I was able to recognize Hebrew, the words he claimed to utter in Sanskrit came across as just gibberish to me.

I later learned that my impression that he might have been putting me on might very well have been true.

Yonah was one of the eccentrics who hung around Jim in those days. After the 1970s, when he attended and lectured at a UFO convention that I sponsored in Valley Forge, PA, I lost touch with him.

Until the 1990s, when he called me one day out of the blue. I assume Jim gave him my number.

So Yonah said he was donating his huge book and magazine library to his friends, and he offered me several boxes of mint sci-fi pulp magazines from the 1950. When I asked what he was up to, he said that he had relocated to Hollywood, and was, among other things, a movie scriptwriter.

Except that I couldn’t find his name listed in the IMDB, though I grant he might have used a pseudonym, unless he was making it all up.

And I was sure of the latter when he told the biggest whopper of all, that he was the person who influenced none other than George Lucas to create his Yoda character.

In passing, I might have thought it would be Jabba the Hut since Yonah was a pretty big guy.

But what about his “pioneering research” into ancient astronauts?

It sure seemed impressive, but I later learned that much of his research was as accurate as his claims of influencing an iconic movie character. His references were mostly fake.

I recalled the time when he told me how to “cheat” on doing research, or conveying the illusion of doing research, by choosing random selected passages from various books.

He was also the practical joker. On one occasion, as a guest of a talk show hosted by magician and skeptic James Randi, Yonah actually uttered one of those seven deadly words on the air, except that he did it in Spanish. Randi and his producer didn’t notice, nor were there any complaints from the standards and practices department at the radio station.

But Jim, who was also a guest on that episode, was fluent in Spanish, and he knew exactly what Yonah was up to. From what he told me some days later, Jim had to work hard to stifle his laughter.

In any case, a number of others have written about the ancient astronauts theory.

One of the more interesting books was “The Sky People,” by Brinsley Le Poer Trench, published in 1960. He was, by the way, a minor figure in British royalty, as the “8th Earl of Clancarty.”

Now Trench wasn’t all that credible with some of his theories. “The Sky People,” for example, placed the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve on Mars.

And that wasn’t his first wild theory. Consider his 1974 book “Secret of the Ages: UFOs from Inside the Earth.”

Now I have long enjoyed tales of a possible hollow Earth. An early pioneer sci-fi/UFO/paranormal writer/editor, Ray Palmer, espoused that theory for several years. As his readers continued to ask for more evidence, Palmer finally transported his inner Earth civilization to another astral plane.

I supposed we’d refer to it today as the multiverse.

This isn’t to say that Palmer wasn’t sincere about what he wrote. Maybe. But one of his friends, sci-fi and science author Otto Binder, told me once that Palmer wrote sensational commentaries mainly to encourage readers to write letters to the editor in his various magazines.

As to Binder, some of you might know him for his work for the comic book business. He was an early writer of stories about the character now known as Shazam. And he was the creator of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes.

For those of us in the paranormal universe, Binder wrote some UFO books.

In any case, the idea of ancient aliens is truly thought-provoking, and if UFOs come from other planets, perfectly reasonable. But it’s one of those theories that is probably impossible to ever prove unless we find the remnants of a spaceship or a stargate.

Or ET lands and lets us in on the secret.

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