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Your Paracast Newsletter -- September 5, 2009

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Your Paracast Newsletter

September 5, 2009

So Just Where Are the New Ideas in UFO Research?

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Flash Notice: Sunday, September 6, 2009: The Paracast, with Gene Steinberg and David Biedny, covers a world beyond science, where UFOs, poltergeists and strange phenomena of all kinds have been reported by millions across the planet.

Set Up: The Paracast hosts interview long-time researchers in the field, to shed light on the mysteries and complexities of our Universe and the secrets that surround us in our everyday lives.

Join Gene and David as they explore the realms of the known and unknown, and hear great stories of the history of the paranormal field in the 20th and 21st centuries.

This Week's Episode: We bring onboard veteran paranormal researcher Curt Sutherly, author of ?UFO Mysteries: A Reporter Seeks the Truth,? discusses the progression of UFO evidence and belief systems. He?ll also tell a few anecdotes about his longtime friendship with our co-host, Gene Steinberg.

Coming September 13: Paranormal researcher Jason Offutt, author of ?Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us,? and ?Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to the Show-Me-State?s Most Spirited Spots.?

Jason Offutt's Blog: From the Shadows

Note: </b>Archives of previous episodes are available for free download direct from the site or via a Podcast directory, such as Apple iTunes.

Reminder: Don't forget to visit our active Discussion Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal (and note our new Internet address): https://www.theparacast.com/forum/</p> They Hear But Do Not See

Last week, The Paracast featured skeptic Karl Mamer and it was an interesting encounter for many reasons. You see, David and I have always been in search of a credible skeptic to discuss the hard questions about the strange and unknown.

If you watch those "house skeptics" that are trotted out to make TV shows about UFOs seem "fair and balanced," you would come away with the distinct impression that they are universally uninformed. Indeed, it's a whole lot easier to just dismiss unpleasant matters out of hand and deny the existence of compelling evidence than to actually investigate something.

We had hopes in Karl, however. He was even generous enough to give us a favorable writeup on his blog, so we figured we'd get a credible presentation of the "other side" of UFOs, and why he cannot accept the reality of such things.

Well, I for one was highly disappointed and I expect David would agree. You see, it doesn't appear as if Karl has studied a single sighting ever. To every reasonable question we asked -- and we approached the subject from different vantage points -- the answers all fell within a very narrow range.

The witness may have simply mistaken a conventional object for something from out there, or perhaps had come to embellish the story over time to add lots of juicy details. This particular claim arose when David brought up a particularly fascinating UFO encounter reported by a former astronaut, the late Gordon Cooper.

In each and every case, without actually being aware of any details about these cases, Karl simply dismissed the prospects of anything unusual happening. There had to be a conventional answer, and nothing seemed about to change his mind.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't people like Karl hold off with their conclusions until they have actually investigated something? Sure, a whole lot of such cases can be easily attributed to the conventional, and those reports can be set aside after a very brief fact check, or perhaps details are simply too scant to provide any real answer one or the other.

At the end of the day, year after year, there are always a small percentage of cases to be found that you simply can't subject to pat answers. These are the sightings reported by observers that most people -- except professional skeptics -- regard as highly credible, such as aircraft pilots, police officers, scientists and engineers. The reports may involve multiple witnesses, close proximity to the strange craft or crafts, accompanying radar observations and similar compelling evidence.

To the Karl Mamers of the world, such evidence doesn't matter. It can't possibly be true, so they'd rather ignore the facts and go the knee-jerk route. To them, the scientific method is just a buzzword used as a convenient excuse when they know the answers in advance and that's highly unfortunate.

In the aftermath of that episode, one of Mamer's colleagues took a hit and run swipe at our forums, where he put forth a set of bullet point objections to the reality of UFOs. But when our bright and enthusiastic forum members made an honest effort to engage that person in an actual discussion of the issues at hand, he simply walked away. He made his point, all right, but not the point that he expected.

I actually tried to bring this up in a couple of emails with the individual in question, but again he decided that he'd rather not answer the hard questions. These are not skeptics, but confirmed debunkers who find it more convenient to just place their heads in the sand when the going gets tough.

Gene Steinberg
Co-Host, "The Paracast"

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