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Your Paracast Newsletter — September 23, 2018

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
September 23, 2018

More News About Paranormal Investigations with Clarissa Vazquez 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 paranormal investigator Clarissa Vazquez, founder of the Colorado Coalition of Paranormal Investigators (CCPI). Its purpose is to provide genuine help to those frightened by a potential paranormal experience. Since its inception, the CCPI has grown to include dedicated members that conduct thorough and professional investigations. Known simply as “Fearless Leader” to the CCPI team, Clarissa takes a scientific and refreshingly skeptical approach to her research and created the popular “Phantom Hitchhiker Project." She is also the author of six books covering a wide range of paranormal subjects that include "Debunking Common Paranormal Myths: Exploring Psychosomatic Pareidolia."

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

Colorado Coalition of Paranormal Investigators: Colorado Coalition of Paranormal Investigators

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on September 23: Gene and Randall continue the wide-ranging discussion, which began on The Paracast, with paranormal investigator Clarissa Vazquez, founder of The Colorado Coalition of Paranormal Investigators (CCPI). You will hear more camp fire tales of ghost hitchhikers and ghost trains, along with Randall’s personal experiences. Clarissa discusses her group’s investigative process, and the trio talk about the possibility of reincarnation, as Gene expresses his concerns over the entire process, and the use of hypnotic regression to allegedly recover memories of past lives.

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Reality in 43 Minutes
By Gene Steinberg

In the era of fake news — or at least what some people regard as fake news — one wonders whether anything you see on TV is true, or even close.

Depending on which cable TV news network you prefer, you may believe you are watching stories that accurately reflect the news and views of the day. But it’s also true that these networks are owned by multinational corporations that are generally more interested in ratings and ad revenues than operating in the public interest. Do they even have respect for the truth when billions of dollars are at stake?

Even where a network appears to approach the news with fairness, you wonder what stories are deliberately slanted or omitted because of network policies. I can cite chapter and verse, but this isn’t a political column. Well at least insofar as politics don’t intrude on our paranormal corner of the universe.

Certainly not taking UFOs seriously may appear to be the result of government secrecy, exhorting networks to avoid serious coverage. Or maybe the TV news executives came upon that decision themselves. But with that Pentagon UFO Study, it does seem that coverage has taken on a more serious tone of late.

How long will that last?

But what about all those reality shows featuring ghost hunters, UFO hunters, and even followers of so-called ancient astronaut lore? Do any of them stand the chance of being accurate, or is it all presented as entertainment, in the interests of the ratings and advertising gods?

Certainly there are constraints. A one-hour show, minus ads, runs around 43 minutes give or take a few seconds. They appear to be presented in the form of the traditional three-act play, with a beginning, a middle and an end.

The end for a ghost show must inevitably mean an encounter with the unknown, for otherwise why bother? Sure, it may take weeks to film a show, and there’s plenty of editing to only focus on the most provocative footage?

But what if an investigation of, say, a haunted house fails to deliver the goods — some ghostly apparition or a similar paranormal phenomenon? Are the producers tempted to, shall we say, place undue emphasis on minor events, or fabricate the presence of an otherworldly apparition? Will audiences tolerate failure from their favorite ghost or UFO hunting crew?

Why believe any of it?

Sure, some or all of the cases presented may be familiar to you, since they are based on genuine reports of paranormal phenomena. But how much of what you see is special effects? How much of a report is altered or omitted to fit within time constraints or adhere to network standards and practices?

Consider that “Hangar 1” show supposedly based on UFO sightings allegedly investigated by MUFON. From the very first episode, savvy viewers complained about altered or faked information? Did MUFON have the ethics to condemn the show or at least disassociate themselves from the worst offenses?

Or did they accept the lapses in integrity in the interests of boosting sagging memberships? Even if viewers were being spoon-fed false or misleading information, would that matter when the greater good was considered?

Greater good?

Well, driving more interest towards the UFO mystery, not to mention more paying members. Remember what this is all about.

But has it really made a difference?

So maybe that’s the best we can do in a media world dominated by greedy executives, sometimes playing second fiddle to social networks where the members are the product that’s being sold to advertisers.

With all the hard work on the part of paranormal investigators around the world to unearth the truth, I’d like to think they deserve a little more respect from the media. Sometimes they earn a little, but not nearly as often as they should.

And one thing is sure about reality TV programming, when the ratings sink, there will be changes, and not always for the better. When a show has outlived its usefulness — in other words the audience has gone elsewhere — it will be canceled.

That’s show business!

Indeed, I don’t wonder where broadcast and cable news went wrong. I saw it happen beginning in the 1970s. Until then, the news on American TV and radio was mostly delivered in the public interest. That doesn’t mean it was necessarily perfect, but at least there appeared to be a mostly honest effort to adhere to the facts. Well, except for those “happy news” local TV newscasts hosted by bright and cheery people who tried to mostly put a positive spin on everything that came their way.

But I remember when a broadcast station had to promise to operate in the public interest in order to renew an FCC license. They not only had to adhere to the regulations, but make their applications available to the public on request.

But I really wonder how many bothered to check them out.

During the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, I covered the news beat for several radio stations. I never actually heard of anyone actually wanting to see a station’s application for license renewal. Maybe it didn’t matter.

In those days, I also held an FCC license, one granted by passing a short written exam, which afforded me the authority to take basic readings from a broadcast transmitter and enter them on a system log. I was also empowered to shut the things down or turn them on.

Ah the power!

When I added coverage of UFO sightings to my news reports at the last station at which I worked, located in the Philadelphia suburbs, management didn’t pay attention. They mostly concerned themselves with local events, such as town meetings, and don’t forget fatal accidents and fires.

Over the years, the news morphed into an entertainment medium. One of the major events that sealed the deal was ABC’s decision to put Roone Arledge, head of the sports division, in charge of network news. His presence and his approach helped boost the network’s ratings to make it a credible competitor to the other networks.

And so it went.

This is not to say I don’t watch cable TV news. Some of it is quite good, and there are skilled journalists who win awards for their coverage. But it’s not what they broadcast, but what they omit or spin because of the edicts of the corporate masters. What about important stories that may receive little or no coverage?

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