What is a University professor doing investigating UFOs?  Professor Avi Loeb of Harvard University heads the Galileo Project, which seeks (in part) to identify the nature of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena by establishing a network of telescopes and instruments with the goal of obtaining the first unambiguous clear photos of UFOs.

We talk about the demarcation between science and pseudoscience, the rationale for the project, the challenges it will face, and how it all fits into Professor Loeb’s personal philosophy.

The Galileo Project: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/galileo

Transcript https://otter.ai/u/abtJtNRU8RbBdUeUu50j9pb7m7Q

 

Jason Colavito is an author and journalist with a focus on “alternative archeology” and, more recently, the UFO cultural phenomenon. In May 2021, he wrote the article: “How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers” in the New Republic, describing how “a collection of well-funded UFO obsessives are using their Capitol Hill connections to launder some outré, and potentially dangerous, ideas.”

Jason’s historical research into the underpinnings of the current UFO/UAP flap is a vital component in understanding what is going on, and how we find ourselves in this situation. Going back to the 1960s and 70s, he traces a path from Jacque Vallée’s extradimensional hypothesis and Hal Puthoff’s paranormal research, through Robert Bigelow’s wide-ranging involvement via Harry Reid, to the current efforts of Luis Elizondo and Chris Mellon.

 

How Washington Got Hooked on Flying Saucers – https://newrepublic.com/article/162457/government-embrace-ufos-bad-science

 

Luis Elizondo is a former senior intelligence official, a disclosure advocate,  a national security expert, and the former director of the Pentagon’s UFO/UAP Program (AATIP). We talk about his work in those capacities and also discuss the history and analysis of the three US Navy “UAP” videos.

 

Interview conducted on March 11, 2021

Brandon Fugal is a prominent business leader based in Utah and is the current owner of the mysterious Skinwalker Ranch, which is the focus of a wide variety of reported strange phenomena, from supernatural visitors to cattle mutilations and UFOs. The ranch is now the subject of a History channel show: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch.  I’ve been doing a little debunking of a few of the claims in the show. We talk about how he discovered the ranch, why he bought it, what he’s been doing with it. We also discuss some of the issues with the show – is it science or showmanship? Maybe a little of both.

 

 

 

Investigating UFOs presents a number of challenges, many of which are not immediately obvious, but swiftly rear up to impede progress. There are straightforward issues, like military secrecy and people being afraid to talk because of ridicule. But there’s also the issue of “UFOs” being things that are so far outside our common experiences that it’s difficult to establish a shared baseline for conversations, leading often contentious and frustrating outcomes. Especially on Twitter.

I talk to investigative Journalist TIm McMillan about these challenges, and in particular how they apply to the recent Navy UFO cases: FLIR, GIMBAL and GOFAST.

 

 

Michael posts on Twitter as “UFO Today”. For most of his life, he’s had experiences that seem to him to be some kind of alien visitors. We talk about these, starting with his first experience of lost time when he fell off a slide. I compare them to some experiences I’ve had myself, which I don’t think are due to aliens.

This is the first part of a two-part video, with the next episode focussing on Michael’s experiences with the QAnon topic.

Gary Voorhis was a computer technician on the USS Princeton during the 2004 “Tic-Tac” UFO incident (commonly referred to as the “Nimitz Incident” after the aircraft carrier heading the strike group.) Gary first saw “UFOs” as slow-moving radar targets on the ship’s SPY-1B radar, which he helped maintain. He also saw lights in the direction of those targets. Initially, the radar targets were thought to be radar clutter (false targets) but after a couple of days, planes were sent out to take a look. Gary saw some video from that “interrogation” and remembers a longer and more impressive video than the one that was later leaked to the public. He thinks what he saw was some kind of advanced technology, possibly alien technology.

I think a more likely explanation is some kind of series of radar glitch and unrelated visual observations of some sort – all possibly confused in memory by the passage of time.  We discuss our different interpretations and try to figure out how to resolve them.

Gary is also the Vice President of UAP Expeditions, a non-profit organization set up by a group of former servicemen from the Nimitz Incident, along with other interested parties.  The mission of UAP Expeditions is to provide a free public service field-testing UAP (UFO) related technologies. We chat briefly about that mission, and how they plan to return to the region of the original 2004 sighting to see if they can observe something again.

UFO Jesus is a popular advocate of UFO “disclosure”, the belief that the US Government is close to revealing that it knows that some UFOs actually are the result of alien visitors. We talk about this and our different interpretation of the evidence used to support this case. In particular, we focus on the 2004 case of the USS Nimitz, where, over several days, unexplained sightings and radar returns culminated in two fighter planes observing what one pilot, Commander David Fravor, described as a “white Tic-Tac shaped craft” performing impossible maneuvers. A later video was also taken, which I think shows a distant plane, and UFO fans think is this Tic-Tac. There are rumors of a higher-resolution longer video that shows more.

UFO Jesus closes with six prophecies, and I’m a bit skeptical. But he gives a nice short timeframe of six years, so we’ll see.

Nick Pope is a journalist and media commentator who writes and talks a lot about the UFO phenomenon. He is perhaps best known for a role he undertook for the British Government from 1991 to 1994 which involved investigating reports of UFO sightings. We talk about his recent trip to view the storming of Area 51, his history of investigating UFO sighting, the current state of UFOlogy research and culture, and interaction with people on the internet

 

 

Ian goes by the name TheoryQED on Metabunk and his YouTube Channel, where he posts about UFOs. Unlike me, and definitely unlike my last guest (Seth Shostak), Ian thinks there’s something highly significant to the UFO phenomenon, maybe even alien visitors. Like most Americans, he also suspects the government is not telling us everything it knows.

Some of our disagreements have been about three videos that have been in the news recently: “Go Fast”, “Gimbal,” and “Flir1”. The latter is particularly interesting as there are a large number of eyewitnesses from the Nimitz Carrier strike group who report a variety of odd events and sightings surrounding that videos  – like Commander Fravor’s “Tic-Tac” incident.

We also have a nice chat about UFOs in general and the possibility (or probability) of visiting aliens.

Seth Shostak is the Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute and former Director of Center for SETI Research. A popular science communicator, Seth has hosted SETI’s weekly radio show (and now podcast) Big Picture Science since 2002. We discuss the work of SETI, and some of the more interesting developments. We also talk about the UFO “Disclosure” conspiracy theory, which suggests the US government is covering up evidence of extraterrestrial encounters and is (perhaps) on the verge of disclosing this information. We also discuss the related cultural phenomenon,  Storm Area 51.

  • SETI Institute: https://www.seti.org/
  • Big Picture Science: http://radio.seti.org/

In this second part of my extended conversation with Stian Arnesen (first part here) we delve deeper into 9/11. Firstly we discuss the Alaska report on World Trade Center Building 7. This is a report by Prof. Leroy Hulsey ,paid for by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a group that promotes the conspiracy theory that the World Trade Center was destroyed with pre-planted explosives. The report is intended to prove that fire alone could not be responsible for the collapse. Stian has been corresponding with various members of AE911Truth for a while, and has something of an inside perspective on what to expect.

Following on from this we discuss why it’s so hard to get serious scientists to look into the science behind conspiracy theory claims. I relate my experience with doing a study of scientist’s beliefs about Chemtrails.

In the second half of this episode Stian brings up a number of questions he still has about how the World Trade center collapsed the way it did. I try to explain.

Stian Arensen has been involved in the 9/11 Truth community for a number of years, and in the last year or so has been questioning some of the underpinnings of that community. Stian has also been very interested in topics such as crop circles and UFOs.

We discuss how Stian’s thinking has evolved over time, and examine the parallels between the various communities – in particular we look at the effects of questioning the group consensus, and how it can lead to exclusion from a group unwilling to move forward.

Stian also questions me about my debunking, and some things I’ve said in the past, and I try to explain.