The long-awaited UFO report from the Pentagon and the Director of National Intelligence required by Congress dropped on Friday. Most of us anticipated that it would have little concrete to say, but it was especially surprising that it seemed to represent very little effort on the part of the UAP Task Force, which seems to have conducted no original research and engaged no outside experts to evaluate the 143 unexplained sightings (mostly by sensor) it listed. Instead, the report served largely as a call for a permanent UFO investigation within the Pentagon, with the requisite need for funding, contractors, and consultants. How fortuitous that the new think tank Skyfort, on whose advisory board UFO advocate Lue Elizondo sits, is ready to answer the call. The Pentagon began the process of formalizing UFO research, and budgeting for it, in an order on Friday.
I sat down with science writer and skeptical investigator Mick West on his podcast to discuss UFOs, the small group of believers driving the UFO flap, and the paranormal-UFO connection. You can watch our conversation below.
This week, the New York Times published a piece exposing the close connection between Tucker Carlson and the media elite, for whom he often serves a source, in an unspoken exchange that results in soft-pedaling coverage of Carlson’s conspiracy theories and extremist rhetoric. I spoke with Chauncey DeVega of Salon.com about Carlson’s fascination with UFOs and the close connection between radical UFO conspiracy theories and right-wing extremism. You can read my interview here.
Apparently, the only thing that onetime America Unearthed host Scott Wolter hates more than me criticizing his work is me ignoring him. I’ve been too busy working on serious, important things to care about the former TV star’s frequent radio rants, so Wolter went on The Family with Tom Barnard to spend 15 minutes badmouthing me. Lest anyone be confused, at one point he slipped and said my name instead of “the blogger.” Odd, though, that he calls me “the blogger” since my publication history, in national magazines, university press books, academic journals, etc., far outstrips his self-published books and freebie Blogspot blog.
Last month, when I wrote about the current UFO flap for The New Republic, I discussed the paranormal themes that occasionally crop up in Lue Elizondo’s discussions of UFOs. It was, to my mind, fairly obvious that he had become heavily influenced by the space poltergeist investigations from which his Pentagon UFO program originated. But hundreds—literally, hundreds—of UFO believers pushed back, often vociferously, arguing that Elizondo was not pushing a paranormal or extraterrestrial narrative but was strictly interested in the national security concerns surrounding unidentified craft.
I have been on deadline this week writing a book review for the New Mexico Historical Review and another piece under consideration elsewhere, so I have not had as much time to write blog posts as usual. However, I did want to make note of this rather extraordinary exchange from a recent interview with Lue Elizondo, the former reality TV UFO hunter turned co-founder of UFO think tank Skyfort LLC. Here, the ex-Pentagon UFO investigator uses a series of strategic on-denials to imply that fictitious organizations like Majestic-12 and the Collins Elite are real.
Atheist philosopher Sam Harris told Ricky Gervais on Absolutely Mental that an unnamed person contacted him to inform him that he will be participating in a Zoom call with top U.S. intelligence officials to plan messaging around the disclosure of the existence of space aliens. Here is what he said:
Note: This article first appeared earlier this week in my Substack newsletter.
Not long ago, I wrote an essay about the supposed “curse” of James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder, inspired by the recent announcement of the rediscovery of one of the few original parts of the car to have survived since the crash that killed Dean and totaled the car in 1955. The transaxle assembly went up for auction at the end of May, and the auction ended in the most predictable and disappointing way possible—with all of my various intellectual interests colliding into a flaming mass of stupidity. Paranormal cable TV star Zak Bagans purchased the part for $382,000 in order to install it in his Las Vegas museum dedicated to horror and the paranormal, where he will present the “cursed” car part in an exhibit room dedicated to James Dean and the occult.
Today was to have been the premiere date for Hunting Atlantis, a new series from Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment in which volcanologist Jess Phoenix and genre novelist Stel Pavlou were to have explored various hypotheses for the location of Atlantis before deciding that Pavlou was right to tie Plato’s allegory to the alleged flooding of the Black Sea around 5000 BCE, despite matching none of the details of Plato’s fictitious story. The Discovery channel, fresh off purchasing Warner Media, pulled the show without explanation and replaced it with an extended episode of Expedition Unknown.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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