THE PARACAST NEWSLETTER
September 29, 2019
Explore UFOs, Area 51, Military Sightings and More with Mack Maloney on The Paracast
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This Week's Episode (September 29): Gene and Randall present Mack Maloney, a prolific author of military fiction with a long-time interest in UFOs and the paranormal. He has, so far, written three fact books on these subjects, including "UFOs in Wartime" and "Beyond Area 51." In addition to his books, Mack was also a columnist for Turner Broadcasting’s TruTV.com Conspiratorium website, 2012-2015, worked as a consultant to the U.S. government on anti-terrorist programs and is a member of the rock band, Sky Club. Mack is a native of Dorchester, Mass. and a graduate of Emerson College.
J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: http://www.ufopages.com/
William Puckett's Blog: https://www.ufosnw.com/newsite/
Mack Maloney's Site: https://www.mackmaloney.com/about-mack.html
After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on September 29: In this episode, Special Correspondent William Puckett delivers news of three UFO sightings, including a sighting involving three orange lights in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2019, giant orange orbs seen in Mebane, North Carolina on September 19, 2019, and a report about a bright blinking light seen on that date in Livonia, Michigan. Fact and military fiction author Mack Maloney continues the discussion that began on the September 29, 2019 episode of The Paracast, as he joins Gene and Randall to talk about time travel, the multiverse, and the frontiers of reality.
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Whatever Happened to Investigative Journalism?
By Gene Steinberg
It’s true that some of the larger news outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, continue to publish long-form investigative articles, mostly about those never-ending political scandals. But traditional newspapers are a dying breed, and reduced ad revenue means fewer pages, and smaller staffs.
Among the first to go are reporters that do not generally cover the daily beat of local, national, and international events. While it may temporarily boost circulation and hits, investigative journalism is usually a losing proposition. The teams that deliver these stories generally work in the tradition of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who brought down President Nixon with their ongoing stories of corruption. But it may take months or years to produce a finished story.
At least Woodward and Bernstein had the benefit of being able to deliver regular reports about the shenanigans in and around the White House. But it wasn’t an everyday thing.
The long and short is that investigative journalism is largely a dying breed. There’s just not enough money to cover the costs.
With heavier workloads, and the rush of events, reporters can barely keep up. Doing proper research and providing the necessary background information plays second fiddle to quoting well-worn talking points without much comment or perspective. So even outlandish statements are taken at face value in the interests of time, resources and the desire to balance coverage so readers don’t complain about bias in the mainstream media.
Over the years, coverage of the paranormal largely consisted of features or filler. A UFO sighting, however compelling, might earn a few brief paragraphs with the appropriate snarky comments about ET believers and little green men.
I recall a story about the International UFO Congress a few years back, where a reporter assumed it was all about abductees attending to commiserate with one another. No matter that most of the speakers focused on sightings and not possible meetups with beings from out there; that wasn’t sensational enough.
Or maybe the reporter didn’t really have the time, or inclination, to get a proper sense of such an event, so the most sensational aspects were seized upon.
This is one reason why we at The Paracast are concerned about UFO conference sponsors that try too hard to balance serious presentations with speakers telling wacky tales about being a time traveler, offering the teachings of higher beings, or touting the latest in a long run of unproven conspiracy theories.
Running these conferences is an expensive proposition as you might imagine, an investment that doesn’t always pay off. If presenting sensational claims fills seats, so be it. A greater variety of speakers means that more people might find a reason to attend, even if it amounts to traveling a long way.
Or at least that’s the theory.
So it came as a big surprise to me when, in late 2017, The New York Times, Politico, and later The Washington Post and other media outlets, began to publish serious stories about UFOs.
The existence of a government UFO study was revealed, known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP. We were introduced to Luis Elizondo, a long-time Department of Defense employee who allegedly headed that study. Or at least that’s what the stories claimed.
Then there was that company headed up by a former Blink-182 guitarist and singer, Tom DeLonge, the To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science. Its true purpose is not obvious by its name.
It’s supposed to be a “public benefit corporation that was established in 2017 as a revolutionary collaboration between academia, industry and pop culture to advance society’s understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications.”
Other than putting UFOs, or UAPs, in the category of scientific phenomena, the presentation is murky. Its goal, worthy as it is, won’t grab the attention of a busy, distracted public. I imagine any savvy marketer would suggest a more direct approach. The company name doesn’t fall trippingly on the tongue.
So you have to look carefully to discover what appears to be its main focus, to explore “… the first official evidence released by the US government that can be rightfully designated as credible, authentic confirmation that unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) are real.”
I would have thought that some of the unknowns investigated by Project Blue Book, which occurred decades ago, already served that purpose.
No matter. My real concern is that these glowing reports of the activities of DeLonge and Elizondo largely accept their claims at face value. All right, DeLonge isn’t the first rocker to believe in UFOs, and let’s not forget Beatle John Lennon’s 1974 sighting in New York City.
Perhaps a little more background work would have delivered news that Elizondo’s claimed government connections were not quite as presented. Consider the report that he worked on that Pentagon UFO study, but wasn’t its head.
Quoting the efforts of John Greenewald, Jr., proprietor of the Black Vault, a story in the Intercept paints a very different picture of Elizondo’s real background. You’l find the particulars at: https://theintercept.com/2019/06/01/ufo-unidentified-history-channel-luis-elizondo-pentagon/
All well and good. That Elizondo’s alleged bona fides were accepted by major media outlets without question doesn’t make them look so good. Maybe that’s because the investigative teams were otherwise occupied at rooting out political corruption.
More recently, The New York Times published an interview with DeLonge and Elizondo that would have been perfectly at home in such publications as “Entertainment Weekly.” Their statements, proven or not, were breathlessly accepted at face value.
If considered as a story about a rock star finding a new purpose in life, I suppose it was worth a quick read. But for those who want solid information about UFOs and UFO investigators, it doesn’t hold up.
Yes, it’s refreshing that UFOs are now getting serious attention in the news media. But that doesn’t mean reporters shouldn’t make proper efforts to vet their information before publication. If it all comes back to haunt them, what about the credibility of people chasing UFOs? Will such reports be treated once again as filler?
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