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Your Paracast Newsletter — October 11, 2015

Discussion in 'The Paracast Newsletter' started by Gene Steinberg, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. Gene Steinberg

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    October 11, 2015

    Explore Amazing Lunar and Martian Mysteries with Don Ecker on The Paracast

    The Paracast is heard Sundays from 3:00 AM until 6:00 AM Central Time on the GCN Radio Network and affiliates around the USA, the Boost Radio Network, the IRN Internet Radio Network, and online across the globe via download and on-demand streaming.

    Announcing The Paracast+: We have another radio show, and for a low subscription fee, you will receive access to After The Paracast, plus a higher-quality version of The Paracast without the network ads, and chat rooms. NEW! We’ve added an RSS feed for fast updates of the latest episodes and we give free ebooks for long-term subscriptions. A Paracast+ video channel is coming soon. Check out our new “Lifetime” membership! For more information about our premium package, please visit: Introducing The Paracast+ | The Paracast — The Gold Standard of Paranormal Radio.

    This Week's Episode: Gene and Chris present a return appearance by Don Ecker, host of the real “Dark Matters” radio show (accept no substitutes!) to discuss the mysteries of Mars in light of the recent announcement of the discovery of flowing water on the red planet. The discussion includes the legend of the Martian canals, the face on Mars, and the possibilities of an ancient civilization, or even a present-day civilization perhaps hidden below the surface. There will also be talk of lunar mysteries and the possible existence of a secret space program . You’ll hear Don’s answers to questions from our listeners.

    Chris O’Brien’s Site: Our Strange Planet

    Dark Matter Radio: Dark Matters Radio - Downloads | CyberStationUSA On Demand Programming

    After The Paracast -- Available exclusively to Paracast+ subscribers on October 11: Gene and Chris discuss the search for a hidden underground city in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon. Chris and his crew, including Zuni elder Clifford Mahooty, Ron Regehr, and explorer Gary Holloway, dispatched a drone to take a high resolution 4K video in an effort to locate the presumed entrance. The shoot was plagued by inexplicable battery issues. According to Chris, nobody has been able to map its location since the original discovery that was reported in a Phoenix newspaper in 1909. The footage will be edited and posted in our new Paracast+ video channel. Gene and Chris also speculated about the logistics of building a city in such an isolated and difficult-to-reach location. There have also been controversial plans to build an Indian casino above the presumed city. The legend of this hidden city was originally disclosed on the June 10, 2012 episode of The Paracast.

    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.

    Life on Mars
    By Gene Steinberg

    Until reality more or less set in, the prospects for life on Mars had become fodder for sci-fi novels, TV shows, and movies. In the early part of the 20th century, author Edgar Rice Burroughs, best known as the creator of Tarzan, was influenced by astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli’s discovery of possible canals on Mars when he wrote his first John Carter novel, “A Princess of Mars.”

    So when Civil War hero John Carter is mysteriously transported to the red planet in a sort of out-of-body experience, he finds himself on a dying world, natural resources fading. Told in the first person, the protagonist recounts his voyages across the “dead sea bottoms” of Mars, where he encounters amazing adventures with humans and fearsome creatures.

    Because of the lighter gravity on Mars, Carter becomes one of the first super heroes, using his Earth-trained muscles to leap into the air and to fight beings far larger than he. These novels were tailor-made for film treatment, but it took until 2012 for a full realization to be realized.

    Unfortunately, Disney’s “John Carter” was a dud at the box office. The marketing team couldn’t figure out what they had, although they tried to make hay of the fact that the character heavily influenced space opera sci-fi through the years, including Flash Gordon and, eventually, Star Wars.

    During the early days of the UFO field, it was widely speculated that we were actually being visited by Martians, but our own astronomers soon realized that there were no canals, and no evidence of a life-supporting atmosphere.

    So the best films about Mars portray something more realistic. Even Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 blockbuster, “Total Recall,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, depicted a red planet that was essentially terraformed by Earth industrialists. The transplanted residents lived in sealed cities breathing air generated by vast machines. At the end of the film, Schwarzenegger’s character succeeds in activating an alien contrivance that spews forth air via gigantic volcanic eruptions, thus restoring the atmosphere to a breathable level.

    But you wonder how long such an atmosphere would sustain itself in that hostile environment. Still it was fun, and far better than Len Wiseman’s pathetic 2012 remake with Colin Farrell in the lead role.

    Now almost in concert with the release of “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon as a stranded astronaut attempting to survive in a hostile environment, NASA announced that Mars did indeed have flowing water. Well, more like flowing salt water, and certainly not suitable to make a cup of tea, although scientists could probably treat it and recycle it for use by colonists.

    With polar ice caps and the possibility of larger water reserves beneath the surface, the likelihood that some sort of life might still exist on Mars has increased as a result of these discoveries. But not intelligent beings who might be capable of space travel. It’s more about microbes.

    Or maybe it’s a case of one step at a time. Let the public become accustomed to the reality of flowing water, and the logical consequence, life, and then reveal just how advanced that life might be. But that assumes something of that sort has been discovered, which is a stretch.

    The best theories suggest that Mars might have had more Earth-like conditions millions or billions of years ago, before the atmosphere thinned. If the climate was conducive to intelligent life forms, one wonders what might have happened to them when surface conditions gradually became hostile.

    Would they have retreated beneath the surface, creating artificial structures to provide air and nourishment? Would they have staged a planet-wide migration to a world with a more hospitable environment, perhaps on Earth?

    Speculation about what’s going on there has been ripe, even when the possibility of intelligent life was essentially eliminated. Some have looked at photos and interpreted images of mountains and other surface features as possible artificial structures. Consider the theories about a face on Mars. Based on photos taken by the Viking 1 and Viking 2 orbiters of the Cydonia region, one of the cratered features does appear, at first glance, to resemble a face. Or maybe not.

    Over the years, NASA has dispatched robotic probes to get a better handle on what’s going on there. There have been a few curious glitches here and there in the photos transmitted back to us, but nothing that solidly demonstrates any sort of artificial structure or object.


    Well, we already knew about the ice formations, and dried areas that may once have been lakes, so the discovery of flowing water may simply follow from what we already understood about a dying planet. None of it demonstrates the existence of any life beyond possibly the very basics.

    Unfortunately, NASA hasn’t done much to ensure a pristine research project. Before it’s launched, a Mars rover is not treated to be free of germs, which means, in effect, that we are infecting Mars with our own microbes, thus contaminating what might already be there. If there was intelligent life on Mars, even if it consisted of space colonists using it as a base, can you imagine them approaching the rover in their own version of hazmat suits and treating the craft so that it is disinfected?

    Regardless, we should show respect for the conditions on another world, and not do things that would cause harm out of the belief that it is free of life. Why take such foolish chances?

    Unfortunately, our attempts to discover the secrets of the red planet have been relatively primitive in the scheme of things. What about sending humans there? One project speaks of setting up a colony consisting of people who are destined to spend the rest of their lives there. Thousands of have volunteered for this one-way trip.

    Conservative estimates have it that sending humans to Mars might not happen until 2030 or later. The promise of space exploration that resulted in the 1969 lunar landing has not been realized. Space research has been cut back severely, and if we are looking towards a voyage 15 or more years from now, the usual delays and cost overruns might move the project off until much later.

    Unless there was some imperative that forced us to consider a crash project to get to Mars and other planets as soon as possible. Some suggest that we already have a secret space program, and we are already there, although there’s no actual evidence.

    As for me, I’m sad that I probably won’t live to see the realization of the possibilities of space exploration. Humans might not be condemned to be Earthbound forever, but it’s not as if we are making a huge effort to go where no one has gone before.

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