"Alien Autopsy" Producer Sues UFO "Contactee," Former CIA Scientist, and Ex-Congressman Over Stalled UFO Documentary
Last year, I was contacted by Robert Kiviat, who introduced himself as the producer behind the infamous Alien Autopsy Fox-TV special from the 1990s and Unsolved Mysteries. He also produced infamous specials like Aliens on the Moon and UFOs: The Best Evidence Ever Caught on Tape. He had read my blog posts concerning To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and inquired whether I would be willing to appear in a documentary he was planning to produce for an unnamed broadcast television network that would attempt to undercut many of the claims made by To the Stars and its team, particularly ESP-researcher turn interdimensional UFO investigator Hal Puthoff, while still endorsing the reality of the UFO phenomenon that To the Stars investigated
When D. W. Pasulka published American Cosmic earlier this year, not much came of it. Her book provided a portrait of UFO belief among a small group of scientists and government contractors, and it received the most publicity for a passage in which Pasulka reported on the results of tests a supposed alien artifact that believers said had unearthly properties. In a review of the book published on The Outline this week, writer Clare Coffey picks up on the book’s most important theme, that UFO belief has become a secular religion, and Coffey analyzes what it means that this quasi-religious belief has invaded the halls of American power where a small but influential minority of officials profess to believe in extraterrestrial creatures that act with basically demonic power.
Wednesday Roundup: Tom DeLonge to Talk UFOs on History Channel, Harry Reid Spills the Beans on Skinwalker Ranch, and Scott Wolter Says Wrong Things
In a new interview with Las Vegas TV journalist and UFO culture-warrior George Knapp, former U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made claims that Russia and China are in a race with the United States to investigate and exploit UFO technology. Knapp frames this as a revelation in an article posted to his TV station’s website, but on closer inspection, it appears that Reid was (a) remarkably incurious about what he now professes to want to see exposed and (b) not really saying anything that hasn’t already been broadcast on Ancient Aliens for everyone in the world to see.
It was exactly as I predicted when I broke the news of the show’s return last week: The 25% spike in the network’s average Monday ratings for the reruns of the show currently airing on Travel are indicative of the expectations for higher ratings for new episodes. The only saving grace is that almost no one watches the Travel Channel, whose viewership rarely surpasses 500,000 viewers. In its H2 run, America Unearthed drew around 1.2 million viewers. If even half show up for a new season, Travel will see a huge ratings spike—by their standards.
Avi Loeb Doubles Down on New Status as Ancient Spaceship Guru; Plus: Joe Rogan Says Tom DeLonge Can't Recognize UFO Hoaxes
Last week, I wrote about the way that Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb, who suggested that the interstellar object Oumuamua might be an alien probe, seems to be using his speculative hypothesis to engage in pseudo-religious philosophizing about morality and ethics. In a profile published on Monday in the Washington Post, he basically confirmed everything I gleaned from his recent Scientific American blog post, and he added an extra dollop of a cult of personality. It seems as though he wants to use the possibility of ancient astronauts to make himself the astronomical version of Jordan Peterson or Steven Pinker. The key passage of the article features Loeb discussing how he can parlay the publicity over his ersatz kumbaya cosmology into greater fame and fewer work responsibilities:
I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad one that it’s been such a slow month in the world of fringe history, but it leaves me with rather little to write about from time to time. Today is one of those days when I seem to have run out of material to discuss. (But be sure to check out the recent post from Carl Feagans explaining why a claim that Atlantis had been found in Spain was really the discovery of experimental ponds dug in 2004!) I suppose I could comment on the fact that only 415,000 viewers tuned in to Monday’s Travel Channel rebroadcast of H2’s America Unearthed, or that this number is roughly on par with the rerun of Family Feud airing opposite it on GSN. But all there is to say about it is that the numbers are so small—just 0.13% of the U.S. population—that we might just as well ignore the whole debacle unless and until Travel commissions new episodes.
Latest Infighting at MUFON Accidentally Reveals Web of Connections Between MUFON, Robert Bigelow, the Pentagon, To the Stars, and A+E Networks
Last week, MUFON official Phil Leech posted a letter criticizing many aspects of MUFON’s management, including claims that MUFON officials were corruptly using the organization as a piggy bank for themselves and their relatives, infighting among cliques of officials, and continued support for racist MUFON official John Ventre. But there were a few claims in the letter that were insightful and rather astonishing. These surround Leech’s description of how some MUFON members are profiting handsomely from selling MUFON case studies to the cable TV sausage factory:
New York Times Still Soft on UFOs, Lets Blumenthal and Kean Deliver Pro-UFO Propaganda in Feature on the "Truth" About History's "Project Blue Book"
Since the New York Times turned over prime real estate in the nation’s most prestigious paper to UFO believer Leslie Kean and credulous former Times reporter Richard Blumenthal to reveal the existence of the Pentagon’s UFO investigation program, the paper of record has taken a noticeably soft stance on UFOs and ancient astronauts. The paper has delivered a series of articles casting ancient astronaut theorists and ufologists in a positive light, and this week they did it again, giving Kean and Blumenthal space to spin opinionated pro-UFO propaganda in the guise of telling the “true” story behind the History Channel’s Project Blue Book TV series, based on the 1960s-era U.S. Air Force investigation of flying saucers and centered on its lead investigator, J. Allen Hynek.
Since this week I had an extra blog post reviewing Project Blue Book and sat through two hours of Ancient Aliens, and my son has an ear infection, I will make only a brief blog post today to report the results of the Nielsen ratings for this week’s premiere of Project Blue Book. The program had a disappointing debut, fumbling 1 million viewers from its Curse of Oak Island lead-in. The show had 2.2 million viewers, with a 0.43 rating in the 18-49 demo. This compares unfavorably to Curse of Oak Island in the preceding hour, which attracted 3.2 million viewers and scored a 0.8 in the demo—all while airing against Pres. Trump’s prime time address in the Eastern Time Zone. Blue Book, which did not have presidential competition, returned remarkably low numbers given its extensive promotion across television, extending even to a fake newspaper wraparound on last Sunday’s New York Times.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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