Avi Loeb made quite the splash when he claimed to have scientific evidence that an interstellar object was actually a piece of alien technology, and he got a free pass from the mainstream media as he steadily pushed into the fringe of ufology. He headlined this year's ancient astronaut conference Contact in the Desert alongside lunatics and racists like Erich von Däniken, and he started a project at Harvard to hunt UFOs with the explicit aim of trying to prove some of them were craft from other worlds. As a reward, he is speaking at the National Cathedral next week on a panel with the Director of National Intelligence and the administrator of NASA on the future of humanity in space and how UFOs will impact our religious ideas--you know, science. Surely, we want an astronomer with a fetish for existentialism and high government officials (seriously: the DNI?!?) speculating about aliens and religion. Now Loeb is thumbing his nose at science and reason yet again.
Fresh off his cameo appearance this week as a newscaster on CSI: Vegas, paranormal journalist George Knapp published an interview with paranormal investigator Jacques Vallée in which the two discussed the topic of their mutual interest—self-publishing badly written, bonkers books about investigating supernatural UFO mysteries. Both Knapp and Vallée recently put out their own books, Skinwalkers at the Pentagon and Trinity: The Best Kept Secret, respectively, both alleging to reveal secrets about UFOs and their connection to government investigations of the paranormal. Oddly enough, Knapp chose not to disclose in the interview or the accompanying article that Vallée served on the board of the organization that investigated Skinwalker Ranch, or that Knapp wrote a book about said ranch at the behest of, and with the support of, their mutual friend, Robert Bigelow.
I feel like I should say something about the press conference held at the National Press Club yesterday in which several very old men shared familiar stories alleging that UFOs deactivated American nuclear missiles in the 1960s. But what, really, is there to say about it? The press conference, similar to one that UFO researcher Robert Hastings held at the same venue in 2010 to promote his 2008 book about UFOs and nukes, included some of the same people who gave the same accounts in 2010, including Robert Salas, who has spent decades alleging that he witnessed a UFO deactivate missiles in Montana in 1967. Salas arranged this week’s news conference but offered nothing new beyond attempting to link events from 1967 to the more recent Navy videos of blurry blobs alleged to represent superior technology.
This week, three of the members of Robert Bigelow’s circle of hacks, flacks, and crackpots self-published a book intended to set the record straight about the Pentagon’s involvement in the investigation into the alleged paranormal mysteries of Skinwalker Ranch. Skinwalkers in the Pentagon: An Insiders’ Account of the Secret Government UFO Program arrived on Amazon Sunday with little fanfare but carrying an endorsement from former senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.). James T. Lacatski is credited first, but co-authors Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp have names familiar to anyone following the governments bizarre involvement with supposed supernatural shenanigans, and now these three Bigelow-adjacent advocates of the occult secrets of UFOs want to set the record straight about just what the Pentagon funded. Knapp published an article about it this week.
Over the summer, Paolo Chiesa published an article in Terrae Incognitae describing a passage in a medieval Italian chronicle briefly mentioning the land west of Greenland which the Norse had named Markland, and it made the rounds of online news sources a couple of weeks ago. Chiesa said that this passage, from around 1340 CE, is the oldest mention of North America known from the Mediterranean region. On its own, this is not earth-shattering news since the northern European peoples had been speaking of these lands since Adam of Bremen described Vinland around 1035 CE. But it does have interesting implications for the notorious Zeno Narrative and its role in fringe history’s elaborate narrative about Henry Sinclair learning of and visiting North America.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.