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Your Paracast Newsletter — July 1, 2018

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
July 1, 2018

A Fictional Work About the Aurora, TX Episode of 1897 Featured on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and guest cohost J. Randall Murphy present author Kerry Trent Haggard, a long time enthusiast of classic horror and UFOs who first learned of the Aurora UFO crash from his friend John Cochran in the summer of 2015. Kerry, who had witnessed a flying saucer during his childhood, became fascinated with the story, and he and John spent the next several months working day and night to form an outline for a screenplay based on the fictional hunt for the buried extraterrestrial. From there it grew into the novel, “Traveler,” the main topic of discussion for this episode. Haggard will also talk about his interest in antique cars, and the legal problems he confronted due to going too far in selling rare movie posters.

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on July 1: Gene and guest cohost J. Randall Murphy talk about the episode featuring author Kerry Trent Haggard from the end to the beginning, focusing first on his background as a convicted forger of movie posters. Is there life after serving time for a felony, as there was for G. Gordon Liddy, of Watergate fame, and actor Robert Downey Jr.? The controversial Aurora, TX legend of a crashed alien, as featured in Haggard’s fictional work, “Traveler,” is touched upon and Gene segues to the apparent inability to confirm some of the alleged Roswell evidence. Gene and Randall also talk about the ongoing debate about the extraterrestrial hypothesis and The Paracast Community Forums.

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The Dracula Syndrome
By Gene Steinberg

During the 1930s and 1940s, Universal Pictures released a number of films featuring Bram Stoker’s infamous vampire, Count Dracula. Even though he died at the end of a film, usually by hammering a stake into his heart, he somehow managed to return in some sort of illogical fashion by the next film.

It got to a point in the 1940s where, in an effort to boost flagging box office receipts, Universal decided to take a team approach and feature two or more monsters. One of the better sequels was “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man,” where the originator of the Dracula role, Bela Lugosi, was reduced to playing Frankenstein’s monster. He had rejected the role for the original movie because there was little if any dialog.

In one of the last serious films of the series, House of Frankenstein (1944), Dracula came on board, this time portrayed by John Carradine. Early on in the film, the evil Dr. Niemann, as played by Boris Karloff, takes control of a traveling show rolling through the small communities in East Europe. One of his exhibits is the alleged skeleton of Count Dracula, with a stake lodged in what was formerly his heart.

In one of the better scenes of this otherwise cliched film, Dr. Niemann, in a fit of anger, removes the stake from Dracula’s heart.

You can guess what happens next. In the course of half a minute or so, Dracula’s body is regenerated and he is brought back to life, or whatever passes for life with the undead.

This is the telltale scene that likely inspired Paul Kimball and others to rate the controversial Aztec flying saucer crash as resembling Dracula. You drive a stake through the heart of the claim, but it keeps coming back to life.

I suppose you can say the same about the legend of the Aurora, TX airship crash of 1897. It involves an alleged buried alien body and the wreckage of a spaceship.

While the story has its adherents, the buried alien hoax was supposedly the result of an effort by the people of Aurora to attract tourists to the flagging city, which was in danger of dying out due to a series of catastrophes, made worse by the decision not to lay tracks for a planned railroad at or near the town. So a local newspaper story was about the alleged crash was concocted.

It doesn’t seem to have helped Aurora all that much, although the town still exists. Regardless, its estimated population of 3,000 residents was reported to be down to 1,200 as of the 2010 census. Sure, the Aurora case has come into prominence, more or less, several times over the years, but the town hasn’t really benefited.

It’s not that some researchers weren’t trying.

Back in 1972, one researcher and promoter, the late Hayden C. Hewes, tried to make hay of the Aurora incident, and even garnered national publicity when he attempted to convince the local townspeople to excavate the grave of the alleged alien. He had his 15 minutes of fame all right, but the grave was not exhumed.

More recently, the late conspiracy promoter, Jim Marrs, claimed to have actually interviewed an eyewitness to the crash. A very old eyewitness clearly. In turn, Marrs heavily influenced would-be author Kerry Trent Haggard when the latter co-wrote “Traveler,” a fictional treatment of the legend.

Now I’ve enjoyed the times when Marrs appeared on The Paracast, and he presented his evidence, so to speak, in a cogent and entertaining fashion. As an early skeptic of the lone gunman theory for the JFK assassination, I find that particular conspiracy theory to be compelling, and Marrs provided one of the better variations on the theme.

Aurora? I’m not buying it.

But Haggard clearly does, and his book is a fun read whether or not you take it seriously. He claims to have strived to make his presentation of the Aurora incident as accurate as possible. Well, except for the fact that no compelling evidence has ever been presented to demonstrate that the incident ever occurred.

Remember, too, that newspaper publishers in the 19th and early 20th centuries were prone to publish fake news to boost circulations and sell advertising. While the formats were very different, it reminds me of today’s supermarket tabloids.

And, no, I do not believe that the mainstream media deliberately fakes stories for ratings. Sure, mistakes are made, but they usually own up to them. Referring to these news outlets as the “fake news media” is nothing more than a political gimmick.

Now the Aurora case is, in its own way, similar to the Aztec case. After being summarily dispatched, it inevitably returns.

This is a fairly common phenomenon in the UFO field. But it’s not just a sighting. In some cases, a researcher exposed as a hoaxer may disappear for a while until the furore dies down, only to return a few years later as if nothing ever happened. Or with a changed spiel so as not to draw attention to the original expose that did them in.

A couple of years back, someone wrote me asking if I wanted to do an episode featuring a follower of classic contactee George Adamski.

Now Adamski died in 1965, and he was exposed as a faker early on. One of the most comprehensive explorations of his contact claims, and the silly fake photos he presented as evidence, appeared in Jim Moseley’s “Saucer News” in 1957. The text, from the Jim Moseley Memorial site that researcher Curtis Collins curates, is easily searched.

In response to the query about putting that Adamski follower on The Paracast, I informed the PR rep about that long-ago expose, and even offered to provide a link to the article.

I never heard from them again.

In 2013, The Paracast featured UK UFO researcher Timothy Good, someone who has quite a respectable background in the field. But in presenting his “meta” viewpoint on the extent and scope of the mystery, he surprised us by expressing his full and evidently enthusiastic support for Adamski’s contact claims.

Yes, even more evidence of the Dracula Effect in the UFO field.

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