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Your Paracast Newsletter — May 31, 2020

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
May 31, 2020

Explore Amazing Legends of Monsters and Ghosts with Chad Lewis and Kevin Lee Nelson on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall take a virtual trip through the backroads of the U.S. with ghost and monster hunters Chad Lewis and Kevin Lee Nelson, two of the creators of Back Roads Lore, a site with a mission to chronicle anomalous events, historical mysteries, urban legends, and the darker side of folklore. Chad has spent the last 25 years traveling the world researching human perception, human belief systems, superstitions, and folklore. Kevin has investigated hauntings on ABC’s Scariest Places on Earth, searched for werewolves on Discovery Channel’s Mystery Hunters, and tracked vampirism on Discovery Channel’s Travelers. A main focus of this discussion is one of their books: “Wendigo Lore: Monsters, Myths, and Madness.”

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

Back Roads Lore: ABOUT | backroadslore

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on May 31: In a follow-up to the May 31, 2020 episode of The Paracast, Gene and Randal present ghost and monster hunters Chad Lewis and Kevin Lee Nelson , whose book’s include “Wendigo Lore: Monsters, Myths, and Madness.” During this extended visit, Chad and Kevin continue the discussion about the mysterious and frightening Wendigo legends, the hidden symbols that may exists within events of high strangeness. plus other incredible age-old mysteries. Both investigators have spent years traveling the U.S. in search of America’s hidden legends and vanishing folklore.

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: https://www.theparacast.com/forum/. Check out our new YouTube channel at: The Official Paracast Channel

We Don’t Need a Secret Space Program
By Gene Steinberg

Before I get too heavy into this, I’m not necessarily arguing against what I regard as the wacky theories that we have a secret space program decades ahead of our real or public space program. Such theories have us on the Moon, Mars, and maybe we’ve already invented warp drive and we have a crew of spacefarers hot on the way to Proxima Centauri to hook up with ET’s home world.

Or to make “first contact” with the Vulcans.

I’m very much more interested in the abject failure of our space program — in the United States and elsewhere — to make a whole lot of progress since manned explorations of the Moon ended in the 1970s.

If you believe any of those sci-fi films that projected humankind’s advancements into space exploration from the 1960s, such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” or even the “Space: 1999” TV show, we’d be sending our fellow beings far out into space by now. It wouldn’t be confined to routine shuttle missions to an orbiting satellite.

But as I write this column, the first NASA astronauts to leave U.S. soil on a space mission in nearly a decade have successfully launched. In recent years, we’ve been leasing access to Russian Soyuz craft, at a cost of up to $86 million per seat, to get to the International Space Station!

Space stations were supposed to be the gateways to sending humans in spaceships to the planets in our solar system and beyond, but instead they conduct scientific tests. Crew members hang out and do their stuff, and after a few weeks or months, return to Earth to be replaced by other astronauts.

Well, maybe we’ll get it all together and travel to the moon in, oh, five or ten years. In other words, we’ll reclaim the territory we first occupied and ceded more than five decades ago.

Now if you want someone to blame, you can start with President Richard Nixon, since he was in charge during our last voyage in 1972. You can also blame every President that came after him, since none of them have moved beyond baby steps. Other than those unmanned probes, the Moon has been essentially off limits, and forget about Mars and beyond.

Now some might suggest it’s all due to the fact that ET came down and told us to stay away until the time was right. Or perhaps the space program went underground, as some of those far-out speculators suggest, with the real action taking place out of the eyes of the public.

But if this was going on for nearly five decades after the last Moon lander did its thing, you’d think that there’d be real evidence of some of it by now. It wouldn’t be confined to unproven speculation from a small band of lecturers and book writers that have made a career making fanciful claims about spacefaring humans.

Or maybe they are using that “Stargate” installed in a secret warehouse somewhere in Colorado.

Now I won’t dispute that there are space activities that warrant a secret label. Consider spy satellites for example, and some developed countries are no doubt using them to watch over us, or an enemy foreign power, or both.

But it’s not as if this genuine secret space program, from whatever country, is necessarily using technology all that more advanced than that with which we are familiar.

Indeed, the NASA isn’t even relying much on its own prowess to get a crew out there in its latest launch. It was accomplished by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and their Crew Dragon spaceship.

Now it’s not as if it’s a bad idea for private industry to essentially occupy territory that the U.S. government has mostly abandoned except for research projects that are always delayed. Even though it’s not as if SpaceX doesn’t want to make a profit, it may well be that development will be free of the massive cost overruns expected of any government project.

Besides, Musk wants to journey to the Moon and Mars, and his schedule is far more aggressive than anything the government is planning.

Now I will avoid the politics of the current flight schedule. I do not wish to engage in any debate over what President Trump has accomplished, other than to say it’s about time. But remember, he does not direct the activities of SpaceX, although they had to make a deal with NASA to get a contract for the current flight and the ones that, assuming success, will follow. It may not matter who occupied the White House.

What I’m more concerned with is why it took so long for it to happen, and whether there any hope to jumpstart the space program and catch up with some of what was lost since the 1970s.

Unless a really advanced propulsion system is perfected, probably not. We’ll still be using technology loosely based on the rocket ships that originated before World War II.

Sure, today’s spaceships are faster, more powerful, and no doubt more reliable. SpaceX has finally been been able to do something depicted in sci-fi films of the late 1940s, and that’s recovering the launchers.

So call me jaded. I’ve watched humans fritter away the space program decade after decade, wondering when things might change. As it stands, it’s highly unlikely I’ll be around to see humans make it beyond Mars — or even to Mars — unless lifespans are extended.

Or maybe a time traveler will pick me up and give me a joyride so I can see what’s coming. Well, I suppose I can dream.

So, yes, I am happy that space exploration appears to be finally moving off dead center, but why did it take so long? Was it all about politics, the decision to use taxpayer money for other purposes, or the belief of many politicians that government needs to get out of the way and let private industry lead the way.

Of course sci-fi stories often depict lone wolf inventors as perfecting technologies way ahead of governments and private corporations.

Maybe there’s a real-life counterpart to Dr. Hans Zarkov, the eccentric inventor from Flash Gordon, or a Zefram Cochrane, the creator of warp drive the Star Trek universe. Maybe someone out there is getting it together in a garage or warehouse somewhere, and we’ll learn about it soon enough.

But don’t forget the environment in which Cochrane was depicted in “Star Trek: First Contact.” When he achieved success in the mid-21st century, humanity was in a pretty bad way. I’d suggest he hurry on up, but Trek canon lists his birthday as 2030. Oh well.

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