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Your Paracast Newsletter — March 28, 2021

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
March 28, 2021

Paranormal Author/Adventurer Jeff Belanger Talks About His Journey of Enlightenment to Mount Kilimanjaro on The Paracast!

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall present paranormal author/adventurer Jeff Belanger to discuss his memoir: The Call of Kilimanjaro: Finding Hope Above the Clouds, which describes a journey of enlightenment that began with the terminal illness of a close relative. Jeff is the Emmy-nominated host, writer, and producer of the New England Legends series which debuted on PBS in October of 2013, and the weekly New England Legends Podcast. Since 1997, he has interviewed thousands of eyewitnesses to paranormal occurrences. He is also the author of over a dozen books on the paranormal,) including the best sellers: The World's Most Haunted Places, Weird Massachusetts, Our Haunted Lives, and Who's Haunting the White House? (for children). He's the founder of Ghostvillage.com, the web's most popular paranormal destination according to Google.

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

Jeff Belanger's Blog: Jeff Belanger - Exploring the Unexplained

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on March 28: Expanding upon his appearance on the March 28, 2021 episode of The Paracast, author/adventurer Jeff Belanger talks about efforts to unify the collection and reporting of paranormal occurrences. Topics include: The new ways streaming services allow us to consume media and a politically incorrect talk about how polarized content might be used as a gimmick to make money. In addition to The Paracast, Jeff has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs including: The History Channel, The Travel Channel, Biography Channel, Reelz, PBS, NECN, Living TV (UK), Sunrise 7 (Australia), The Maury Show, The CBS News Early Show, CBS Sunday Morning, FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates, National Public Radio, The BBC, Darkness Radio, Australian Radio Network, and Coast to Coast AM.

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Better Late Than Never — Or Maybe Never

By Gene Steinberg

The road to disclosure is pockmarked with failed promises and false hopes. From the very earliest days of the so-called modern UFO era, beginning in the late 1940s, researchers promised that a solution is at hand. The world will soon know that ET is amongst us.

UFO author and lobbyist Major Donald Keyhoe wrote books assuring us that the truth was out there, and we’d soon know it. He was naive enough to believe — or at least state — that hearings conducted by the U.S. Congress would reveal the truth, and it seemed by 1966 that his wishes would come true.

Those hearings led to the Condon Report, regarded as a whitewash on the subject, although it contained a number of compelling, mystifying sighting reports. The sessions were led by Congressman Gerald R. Ford, the House Minority Leader. But when he became President in the wake of Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974, the subject of UFOs seemed long ago and far away. Hopes that his successor, President Jimmy Carter, would reveal facts kept secret were not realized.

Perhaps the biggest hope for some form of UFO disclosure arrived in 2017 with articles in The New York Times, Politico and elsewhere revealing the existence of a heretofore secret UFO — make that UAP — study by the Pentagon. UAP sightings by the Navy, accompanied by blurry gun camera photos, provided a degree of hope.

The existence of a Pentagon UAP Task Force as revealed in 2020 only added to a growing feeling of optimism. As part of the final budget approved by President Trump before he left office, the group had six months to deliver a report on the status of its investigation.

Now that deadline still appears hopeful as I write this column, about three months before the deadline. But there are already cracks in the wall, strong hints that a report may not be ready and that, at the very least, there will be a request for more time, perhaps a promise that the work is ongoing.

They appear in a series of news reports that, unfortunately, include comments from a political figure with questionable credibility.

So we have some relatively positive UAP comments from former U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Lee Ratcliffe. In a widely quoted interview on Fox News, Ratcliff asserted:

“There have been sightings all over the world. And when we talk about sightings, the other thing I will tell you, it’s not just a pilot or just a satellite or some intelligence collection. Usually, we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things.”

The report, he said, would include sightings that have not previously been made public and that “some of those have been declassified.”

It’s not that he gave any specifics of course.

This is promising, that a former key U.S. Intelligence official is giving a positive spin to a forthcoming UAP report. But the real question is whether Ratcliffe is credible, whether you can believe what he said.

And that, my friends, is the problem. You see, during the 2020 campaign for President, Ratcliffe made a series of comments about possible election interference that have not only turned out to be less-than-credible, but completely false.

So he claimed that, “I can’t get into a whole lot of details, other than to say that China is using a massive and sophisticated influence campaign that dwarfs anything that any other country is doing,”

Later statements from Ratcliffe also mentioned Russia and Iran. But a recently unclassified report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council revealed that China didn’t interfere in the election as Ratcliffe claimed, but that it was Russia, and to some degree Iran, that were the real culprits.

Says the report, “We assess that China did not deploy interference efforts and considered but did not deploy influence efforts intended to change the outcome of the US presidential election.”

As a political operative, Ratcliffe should be expected to color reports to favor the candidate for which he worked, but should that in any way take away from what he says about the work of the UAP Task Force?

That’s a good question, though it would be helpful if he came clean about his previous unproven claims about foreign interference in the election.

Unfortunately, the status of the report has been brought into question in an interview with Senator Marco Rubio, who headed the Senate Intelligence Committee during the Trump administration. Speaking on the Fox Business channel, he said that he is “not sure they’re gonna come in on time.”

That would appear to give the Task Force an escape hatch if they do not submit their report to Congress on schedule.

Still, Senator Rubio asserted, during that interview, that “I can tell you it’s being taken more seriously now than it ever has been. And look, there’s a stigma associated with this. All right, when at when a Navy pilot would report that they saw something, they were told, you need to go see the flight surgeon, you know, so to check out your head, you know, make sure you’re not seeing things. So there’s a stigma associated with reporting it, even talking to you about it now, right? I mean, people are going to go and say, Look what these people are focused on when the world is falling apart. So there’s a there’s a stigma associated with it. And that’s, I think, needs to go away.”

I will not discuss the supposed political leanings of the various cable TV news channels. Still, one might feel the urge to attribute a partisan spin to his statements. But he doesn’t have to say anything at all about UAPs. When he devotes several minutes of serious conversation to the status of the report and the need to take it seriously, it would seem he is speaking as honestly as you might expect from a seasoned politician.

After all, there’s no evidence of a significant UAP lobby to which he must kowtow in order to be reelected in 2022. He could have just as easily brushed off the subject when he was questioned.

As to Ratcliffe, I just don’t know. It’s not as if he appears to have much of a political future as a former DNI, so maybe he was speaking from his heart. There are, after all, other ways to stay relevant without touching upon the UAP quagmire.

In any case, the excuses have been made. Yes, that UAP Task Force report may be released as scheduled in June 2021, though it may very well be little more than a brief work in progress. Besides, it’s not as if the law that established this deadline has an enforcement mechanism if the UAPTF fails to deliver the goods.

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