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Your Paracast Newsletter — October 14, 2018

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
October 14, 2018

Alejandro Rojas of Open Minds and Researcher Curtis Collins Talk Shop 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.

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall present a double header, first featuring Alejandro Rojas of OpenMinds.tv for a UFO update. He presents an update on the status of the James Fox UFO documentary formerly known as "701: The Movie," plus the latest developments in UFO research that has garnered more attention by the mainstream media, along with plans for the 2019 International UFO Congress to be held near Scottsdale, AZ. You'll also hear about the fascinating UFO culture from researcher Curtis Collins, who also covers the recently-formed Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU) of which Alejandro is a board member. Curt also expands the discussion about the participation of scientists in UFO research, which leads into this weekend's episode of After The Paracast, an exclusive feature of The Paracast+.

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

OpenMinds.tv: http://www.openminds.tv//

Curtis Collins' Blog: Blue Blurry Lines

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on October 14: Gene, Randall and very special guest Curtis Collins focus on UFOs and pop culture, from decades ago to the present day. Using his special blog, “The Saucers That Time Forgot” as an inspiration, Curt focuses on some fascinating characters from early UFO history, such as contactee Reinhold O. Schmidt, who garnered some notoriety beginning in the late 1950s. Gene and Curt discuss how such cases as the Pascagoula, MS abduction helped fuel the UFO wave of 1973 and 1974, as Gene describes how he covered those events for the magazine he co-edited, Caveat Emptor, while working at the same time as a broadcast journalist.

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. Check out our new YouTube channel at: The Official Paracast Channel

UFOs and Science?
By Gene Steinberg

It’s a sure thing that researchers into the strange and unknown perhaps feel put upon by the general public. Quite often, they are regarded as little more than a cult of true believers. So someone who follows the UFO saga is regarded as a spaceship believer. After all, aren’t UFOs supposed to be visitors from other planets?

If you follow ghost lore, I suppose you must be a believer in life after death. Otherwise, why bother?

At the same time, dedicated researchers often regard themselves as following the scientific method. This is true even if they aren’t actually scientists in the normal sense of the word, such as undergoing training or at least reading lots books on such topics.

Back in the 1960s, I became part of a group calling itself the Congress of Scientific Ufologists. It was just another flying saucer convention, but it focused on the more serious rather than fanciful aspects of the field. So while most of the popular conventions were sponsored by contactees or other fringe elements, the title meant to convey the proper air of seriousness.

On the other hand, none of the people who first became involved with this group could be regarded as scientists in any traditional sense. I had pursued writing and broadcast journalism. My old friend Allen Greenfield is a cutting-edge thinker on the paranormal and other topics, but he is surely not as a scientist.

It didn’t take long before the convention was renamed in a way that eliminated such pretenses. Thus it became the National UFO Conference or NUFOC.

The major UFO groups have usually had at least some people with scientific backgrounds as members, advisors or as part of the governing board. Such an organizational structure surely conveys the impression that the group is engaged in some form of scientific research.

That, of course, may no doubt be true. Certainly UFOs appear to exhibit characteristics that represent solid objects and thus the traditional means of observing and recording such events falls within the realm of science.

On the other hand, it often seems that the word “science” doesn’t necessarily represent an individual or group engaged in serious research. Instead it is little more than a sales pitch, to encourage people to join and/or buy a product, such as a book, or attend a lecture. Or perhaps simply to garner an added measure of prestige.

But it may well be that the UFO phenomenon is a whole lot more complicated, bringing in a number of disciplines. In recent weeks, The Paracast has brought on guests that explore the entire realm of strange events from the standpoint of the the people who are involved in such fields. What attracts them to explore topics that are usually not taken seriously?

Even when you read polls that show a large portion of the public believes in UFOs and usually regards them as extraterrestrial visitors, that doesn’t appear to cover the entire picture. Do they really take them seriously, or is it strictly a matter of entertainment? Sure, UFOs are spaceships! Why not?

After all, we live in a culture steeped in “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” and other sci-fi memes. Scientists are even engaged in taking the technology depicted in the former and turning it into reality. You can certainly see where cell phones, tablets and even smartwatches were inspired by fiction.

The newest Apple Watch has software that can allow you to use them as walkie-talkies, shades of Dick Tracy.

When you look at the science or “Star Trek,” you also learn about research into the possibilities of faster-than-light travel through space courtesy of a warp drive. What about a transporter, a way to broadcast your physical form to a far-off location? Well, at least from space to the planet below and back again.

Personally, I’d prefer a Stargate, a way to instantaneously transport yourself from one location across the universe to another. As depicted in a movie and several TV series, the Stargate is in a sense a transceiver that harnesses the power of wormholes to take you somewhere and back again. There just has to be one of those contraptions at either end.

Depicting ways to speed up space travel makes sense from a practical point of view. If we can’t even approach the speed of light, humans might have to spend years, decades and even longer just to reach nearby stars. With a vast universe out there to explore, the human race may exist for tens of thousands of years and never see very much of it. Unless one of those alternate methods of travel were perfected.

The fact that scientists are seriously exploring such methods can give one hope.

Of course, with “Star Trek,” warp drive was used as a gimmick to get the starship Enterprise from one planet to another quickly. Speedy travel was generally a matter of secondary importance, and it gave the script writers a wider range of possibilities in inventing alien races to visit or fight with.

Wouldn’t it be boring to require two or three episodes to travel to any single planet?

Indeed, the transporter was done to save money on special effects. Instead of having to waste the small shooting budget on shuttle craft landing and taking off, it was far cheaper to just put there crew there after having their molecules disassembled, pushed to another location, and reassembled.

I always enjoyed Dr. McCoy’s sarcastic objections to the entire process. Of course, matter transportation didn’t always work so well. Don’t forget “The Fly,” in which a house fly ends up in the same transportation chamber as the film’s protagonist. Unfortunately, the computer that operates this machine isn’t sophisticated enough to keep the creatures separate, and thus they are crossed when they arrive in the receiving mechanism. “Star Trek” graciously avoided such grotesque happenstances, although there were transporter glitches from time to time.

Consider how often a scientist’s mistake becomes fodder for the events in a sci-fi action film. They get no respect, no respect at all.

On the other hand, I often wonder whether the UFOs themselves are also serving the purpose of the sci-fi story in demonstrating to us the amazing possibilities for the future.

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