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Your Paracast Newsletter — November 4, 2018

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
November 4, 2018

Discover Compelling Paranormal Encounters with "Paranormal Historian" J. Adam Smith on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall take a virtual tour of Haunted Knoxville with “Paranormal Historian” J. Adam Smith, who holds such titles as Holistic Energy Therapist / Medical Intuitive, Certified Paranormal Investigator, and Certified Reiki II Practitioner. He is also a member of the American Association of Psychics and the Edgar Cayce Institute (A.R.E.). In his “other life,” J. is a professional electric violinist and teacher. He also leads workshops on developing intuition, connecting to your Angels, and lecturing on the evolution of the Spirit and having discussions with other contemplatives about life’s mysteries, and more. Indeed this episode may be the closest thing to a “real” magical mystery tour.

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

J. Adam Smith's Site: https://www.jadamsmith.net/

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on November 4: Gene and Randall welcome “Paranormal Historian” J. Adam Smith for the follow-up to the November 4th, 2018 episode of The Paracast. The discussion focuses on personal experiences, such as the time that J. felt he was being followed by ET or an interdimensional being on his tour bus, and when he discovered a strange footprint in the shower of his RV. So is it true that those who are musically inclined may be more sensitive to the presence of paranormal phenomena? The discussion also covers energy and the paranormal and science and the paranormal.

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Show Business and the Paranormal
By Gene Steinberg

When I chose that title, I expected a mixed reaction. To many, stories of ghosts, Bigfoot and, of course, UFOs, may reflect reality. But they’re still mostly about having a good old time.

Sure, horror movies are also entertainment, but the scripts often contain at least some elements of reality. Dracula, for example, was based to some degree on the legend of a mass murderer in the Middle Ages. Yet there are also reports that Bram Stoker’s famous novel about everyone’s favorite vampire may also have had some basis in fact.

But that doesn’t mean that I expect that someone who discovers a skeleton of a reputed vampire, with a stake in what used to be its heart, could make it come back to life when the stake is removed. But, of course, that’s precisely what happened in the 1944 Universal picture, “The House of Frankenstein,” where the mad scientist, Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff), inadvertently reanimates Count Dracula (John Carradine).

To me, it reminds me of what Paul Kimball used to say about the alleged Aztec, NM flying saucer crash and other UFO legends. You may put a stake into the heart of such stories, but it’s almost inevitable that the stake will be removed, and the tale will return in all its glory. Well, maybe not with Aztec. I haven’t heard much about it for several years.

But maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it.

So you can expect that people in search of a good time are only too happy to, say, join a ghost hunting tour, such as Haunted Knoxville, which our November 4th, 2018 guest on The Paracast, J. Adam Smith, conducts.

Now I assume that most people who partake of such journeys aren’t really expecting to see a real ghost or related phenomena. It’s all about good clean fun and such.

True, J. is fully conversant in the entertainment value of this pursuit, and he clearly takes advantage of it. But he also appears to have a genuine interest in the subject and claims to have had a number of strange encounters, some of which we talk about on the show.

Now my biggest concern about having show business people put their often greedy hands into paranormal studies is that they may also be inclined to “goose” a story in order to make it more sensational so as to maximize ratings potential. When you watch a ghost hunting show on the family TV, and it appears that something strange is really going on, do you take it as genuine? Or perhaps it’s just the producers inserting a little CGI into the mix to make sure something weird from “out of this world” occurs, whether it really happens or not.

Take MUFON’s controversial “Hangar 1” show, allegedly based on the location where the UFO study group houses some 70,000 sighting reports. It lasted two seasons on the History channel, and maybe it didn’t capture enough of an audience to earn a third season.

While the reports documented on the show were allegedly genuine, it is also true that they received a typical Hollywood treatment. Events were condensed to fit within a time slot of some 43 minutes plus commercials, and all too often the facts themselves were manipulated in the interests of entertainment.

Now I suppose MUFON got involved in this misbegotten venture with the best of intentions. Having a network TV show would surely boost the paid membership roster, and attract more people to local and national conferences. It didn’t matter so much if what was presented as a series of documentaries turned out to be a series of docudramas.

I would think that some UFO cases are sensational enough by themselves and hardly need tampering by a band of screenwriters.

But consider the fate of the final scenes of “Fire in the Sky,” the 1993 adaptation of Travis Walton’s UFO abduction incident. So as not to duplicate events from other films, some key elements of Walton’s experiences were altered to make them not just different, but more sensational. Again, this film was not presented as anything more than docudrama, so changes are to be expected.

Indeed, this is all-too-common with films supposedly based on real people. You didn’t expect the award-winning film from 2005, “Walk the Line,” to accurately portray all relevant events in the lives of Johnny Cash and June Carter.

The same can be said of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the 2018 biography of rock star Freddie Mercury and Queen. The film’s biggest criticisms are that the story is heavily sanitized to downplay the sensational events of their real lives. It was done perhaps to attract a larger audience, as such things are, at the expense of making the non-musical scenes somewhat boring, according to many critics. But it still appears slated for a successful run at the box office.

Now while “Fire in the Sky” grossed less than $20 million in 1993 dollars, some UFO-themed films have done well enough over the years. While “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is often mentioned as the most successful, with a worldwide gross of over $306 million in 1970’s dollars, “Independence Day’s” gross in 1996 was over $806 million. When you compare the box office figures in 2018 dollars, “Close Encounters” earns $1.274 billon, whereas “Independence Day” ends up with $1.296 billion. So it’s still slightly more successful overall.

Then again, I think most people would classify the former as a more compelling drama. “Independence Day” was little more than a high-budget popcorn disaster film. Fun, with enough pop culture tropes, such as Area 51 and Roswell, to generate a few smiles.

Now could a truly accurate documentary about UFOs garner blockbuster status at the box office? Hardly. While there have indeed been a few successful projects of that sort over the years, most hardly earn general distribution. In 2018, two musicals, including the Freddy Mercury film and “A Star is Born,” appear slated for decent box office success. But sci-fi thrillers and super hero films still generated the lion’s share of the earnings yet again.

Would a “Close Encounters 2” fare near as well as the original? Maybe a few decades back, but sequels can be hit or miss. Well, except for some flicks based on comic book heroes it appears.

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