THE PARACAST NEWSLETTER
May 13, 2018
We Remember Author Brad Steiger on The Paracast
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This Week's Episode: Gene and very special cohost Don Ecker observe the May 6, 2018 passing of prolific author Brad Steiger, at the age of 82. They are joined by two author/researchers who knew Steiger well: Jerome Clark and Kevin D. Randle. The discussion begins by remembering their first meetings and ongoing association with Steiger, and segue into the seldom-revealed limitations of writing books covering the UFO genre and similar subjects. You’ll also hear forthright discussions about the value of Steiger’s research, pop culture, the world of sci-fi and other topics.
Chris O’Brien’s Blog: https://www.ourstrangeplanet.com/
Dark Matters Radio: https://www.facebook.com/Don-Eckers-Dark-Matters-Radio-523808697643237/
Kevin D. Randle's Blog: https://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/
After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on May 13: [Caution: Explicit Language!] Gene, very special guest host Don Ecker and paranormal book publisher Tim Beckley offer more remembrances of Brad Steiger, as Gene mentions two times where he made the late author, one of which was for a magazine interview. A brief discussion of the fate of UFO Magazine, which folded some years back, leads to a spirited (make that “very” spirited) debate between Don and Tim on its ownership, which moves on to the fate of UFO magazines over the years, and the ongoing impact of the decline of print media.
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About Brad Steiger
By Gene Steinberg
During the recording session for the May 13, 2018 episode of After The Paracast, I was joined by Don Ecker, of Dark Matters Radio, and publisher/editor Tim Beckley.
As many of you know, I’ve known Tim for over 50 years; I became acquainted with Don more recently, probably the time he and his wife Vicki advertised UFO Magazine in my own publication, Caveat Emptor.
This was the second show we recorded to honor the memory of Brad Steiger, who died on May 6th at the age of 82. Although he had been ill in recent years, he lived a long and productive life, as author of some 182 books and thousands of articles, mostly on paranormal topics.
Now some thought of Brad as just another hack writer, someone who could churn out title after title in a short time on any topic assigned to him. But he was also a skilled writer who could tell a story in a compelling fashion, and there were plenty of them to tell.
The concern some had was whether he paid more attention to the story than to its factual support. While he didn’t chase footnotes in as dedicated a fashion as fellow author Kevin D. Randle, he did care about facts. If he learned that a story he was researching was a hoax, he’d be quick to admit that fact.
As with Kevin, my first awareness of Brad Steiger came from one of his early books, “Strangers From the Skies,” originally published in 1966. It wasn’t an especially original work, but it covered some of the more important sightings of the day, and took a pretty straightforward approach to presenting different theories to explain what the UFOs are.
Although I had corresponded with Brad on occasion, I didn’t meet him until October, 1988, when he came to New York City to give a lecture for sponsor Tim Beckley. I decided to interview him before the lecture was to start, and thus met up with Tim and Brad on the way to the lecture hall. The introduction to the interview mentioned that we had to walk because “the limousine Beckley had reserved never showed up,” but that was an exaggeration that Tim thought up. Typical of life in New York City, we just couldn’t find a cab.
During the course of the interview, Brad mentioned that, in his early days as a writer on the strange and unknown, he had also written mystery fiction for such publications as Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and The Saint Mystery Magazine.
One of his early mainstream books, “Valentino, an Intimate Exposé of The Sheik,” garnered enough attention to be optioned for a major motion picture. The movie was finally released in 1977, but, despite topping the British box office for two weeks, failed to catch on in the U.S.
My interview largely focused on Brad’s pursuits in paranormal research and book writing.
I met Brad again not long thereafter, in the Phoenix, AZ area, where Tim Beckley was sponsoring a UFO-related convention. I was tapped for part-time duty as the master of ceremonies, and thus spent a moment at casual chit-chat before introducing a guest. I left the stage, joining the audience in applauding the guest, and vanished from the scene until I was summoned back to fill a few moments before talking up the next lecturer.
But after my family and I moved in Arizona in 1993, for some reason I never had occasion to look up Brad. I had temporarily given up on active participation in the UFO field, and focused on becoming an author of consumer electronics and personal technology books and magazine articles.
I got back in touch with Brad after the turn of century, as plans for The Paracast were being developed. The show premiered on February 28, 2006, and Brad and Jim Moseley were our first guests.
While discussing plans for the show with Brad, I mentioned the proposed title, Paracast World. Brad interrupted and suggested we just call it The Paracast. The title stuck.
Over years, Brad appeared on The Paracast on nine occasions. I had hoped to book him for another show, but it never seemed to happen. Brad became ill in his final years, making it more difficult to settle on a date.
In January, I was part of a small group that received an email from Brad and his wife Sherry explaining that both were under treatment for various illnesses. I did not at the time realize just how seriously ill he was, and I suspect they wanted to spare us.
Not long thereafter I received an announcement about the forthcoming publication of a new book:
“Brad Steiger’s final book, ‘Haunted: Malevolent Ghosts, Night Terrors, and Threatening Phantoms,’ with Sherry Hansen Steiger, is coming to enlighten you, stretch your present reality and scare you big time.”
The book is set for publication on September 1st, and this portion of the blurb makes it quite clear this is going to be vintage Steiger: “Building on his decades of research into the paranormal, mystical, and supernatural, Brad Steiger brings the history, theories, and influences of these mysterious visitors to life. Tracing the perplexing and lasting effects of these ghostly beings, he looks at the scars left and the fallout on the people who’ve lived through a host of alarming, horrifying―and horrifyingly real―encounters.”
Now Brad Steiger will probably never be considered among the most admired UFO researchers. Those with a long-time interest in the strange and unknown might not be attracted to yet another compendium of case histories, which was typical fare for the prolific author.
Those who are relatively new to these subjects, however, can just dive in and be rewarded with page turners that will transport them to fascinating and sometimes frightening worlds where our own concepts of reality disappear before our eyes and we are confronted with events that may shatter our beliefs.
I do regret that I never had much of a chance to just sit back with Brad and Sherry and talk shop. Our few meetings always occurred in relatively noisy and busy surroundings where relaxing wasn’t possible.
Maybe we’ll have our chance in another lifetime.
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