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Where Did the Road Go?

David Paulides - Steph Young Drama: Clearing the Air - July 14, 2017

WDTRGThis show was not done with the involvement of either Steph Young or David Paulides. This is not meant to cast blame or besmirch either party, only to clear the air, using the facts and points of view of those involved. Seriah was involved in trying to smooth things over at various points, and having read all of both authors' books, had a very significant angle to view this all from.

If you are expecting this to be controversial or to attack either author, you will be disappointed.

You can find the blog entry referenced with links and more exposition at http://wheredidtheroadgo.com/blog/item/355-david-steph-7-14-17

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David Paulides and Steph Young: Clearing the Air - The Verifiable Facts - July 14, 2017

"The Forest of Vanishing Children... On Sunday Morning, August 6, 1956, 13-Year Old Donald Lee Baker of Azusa, California, set off on a bicycle ride with his 11 year old friend, Brenda Howell. When the children had not returned by that evening the police were notified.Their bicycles were found in heavy brush near the Reservoir at the edge of the Angeles National Forest. Navy divers were commissioned to search the deep body of water, while police sheriff's deputies and hundreds of volunteers scoured the area. No trace of the children was ever found. During the next four years, three more children were to vanish in the same forest area - vanish forever! There was no evidence of foul play, no sign of their bodies or belongings. One of the children walked around the bend in the trail, just ahead of six members of his family, and was never seen again!"

 

Modern readers could be forgiven to think that this quote was from David Paulides, or Steph Young. Truth is, this is from Brad Steiger, from his 1972 book, Strange Disappearances. Brad goes into detail about this forest, and how it has had so many weird disappearances. Many such books exist, strange disappearances have always been a popular subject. Come 2012, David Paulides publishes Missing 411, both the Eastern and Western additions. He goes on Coast to Coast and is interviewed by his friend, George Knapp. This is the first time I had heard of David Paulides. His work prior had primarily been in Bigfoot circles. I have never had a big interest in Bigfoot. I listened to the interview with reservation. David was claiming strange disappearances in National Parks. I felt such disappearances were to be expected. The more I listened, though, the more I saw the picture he was painting. It was intriguing. When I started Where Did the Road Go?, I contacted David, and he agreed to come on. I believe by the time he did, he had his third book out on the subject, and I had read them all. I had David on in September of 2013. I was honestly fascinated and disturbed by these cases. He painted a strange picture. What David brought that was new to the subject, though, was the patterns. Although many of the factors were present in previous works, David was the first one to analyse the data in a way that showed commonalities. He identified certain characteristics to these disappearances, and what he called Cluster areas. As the quote above shows, people like Brad had also noted that certain areas had large numbers of strange disappearances. For those that have not read them, David's books are laid out with each state or area getting it's own section, followed by a list of cases. They are very dry, with little if any speculation, aside from noting the common similarities. David's work became very popular. The subject has always been popular, but with a new layout and the online paranormal community, podcasts, etc, his work exploded in popularity. 

 

One day, someone left this link on one of my YouTube versions of my interview with David, claiming David to be a fraud. It linked to an Amazon review, titled, "Cherry picked reports cobbled together by Paulides". As it goes on, and on it does go, it attacks David on numerous levels, both his work and personally. At times, it uses some of the very methods that it accusses David of using to discount the stories he relays, but at other times makes very good points and shows some degree of research has been done. The poster is anonymous, although, by tracking a very unusual phrase, I was able to find a single Bigfoot blog using the same phrase, also attacking Paulides. I passed this on to David, who felt this was likely connected to, if not the source of the amazon review thread. It becomes clear in the Amazon thread that the person writing is not just critical of David's work, but has personal issues with him as well. He attacks his character numerous time, claiming he was not a police officer for 20 years (From what I can find, he served from 1977 to 1997, first at the Freemont Police Department, and then at the San Jose Police Department, facts which Paulides told me were accurate), but records indicate that he was. Attackers also like to point out that Paulides had arrest warrant charging him with a misdemeanor count of falsely soliciting for charity while he was a police officer. This was in 1996, again, privately I asked David about this and he acknowledged that it was true. He said, however, that it was a misunderstanding, and that the charges were dropped. The question to ask is, how does this reflect the missing persons work he is doing? Well, he was not conviced, and the changes were dropped, so, as per the way this country views such things, he is innocent until proven guilty. He was not proven guilty. Thus he is innocent and it is a non-point. Detractors will say that he was guilty and cut a deal, retiring early, and that is why he didn't serve 20 years. They leave out the first 4 years at Freemont. It's all about how you orient the data. Not only that, but even if he had been found guilty, how does this affect the data he is presenting? It doesn't. Poeple looking for dirt on him found one thing, which was a non-point, but they got it out there. People make mistakes. They are falible. We all see things through our own biases, this is normal. 

Now enter Steph Young. Steph writes under a pen name, not an usual thing to do in the world of books, many authors write under a different name besides their legal one for a variety of reasons. She started out wirting as Tessy Rawlins in 2012 or 2013, focusing more on NDE's and such. In 2014 she decided to write about creepy things happening in the woods, and published, Mysterious Things in the Wood. She also published some books on Demonic encounters and such around the same time. She chose to publish these under the name Stephen Young, feeling, probably accurately, that people would react better to such dark material coming from a male author. She never planned on doing interviews about her work, or doing anything more than just writing books. With the explosion of populatity in missing peoples cases, Coast to Coast contacted her about coming on to talk about her books. She accepted, and thus was her first radio interview, and first time that she had to explain that she had written under a pen name. She has told me since, that if she could do it over, she would not have written as a man, but since she never expected to talk to anyone about the books, she didn't think it mattered. One could be forgiven for looking at the title of Steph's first book on strange disappearances and thinking it was related to Paulides work. Having read all of both authors books, I can say with absolute confidence that they couldn't be more different. I have described above how Paulides writes, and the way he approaches this material. Steph's books are more like a collection of stories, both historical, current, and anecdotal. They encompass bizarre encounters, missing people, high strangeness, strange deaths, paranormal themes, cults, conspiracies, and much more. Her writing bears more in common with the above mentioned Brad Steiger, or even David Weatherly, than it does David Paulides. Steph does not look for patterns, or groupings of things, and presents plenty of speculation as to what may be happening from a variety of views. Paulides reports data, Steph tells stories.

Steph first came on Where Did the Road Go? in early 2015. Numerous fans of the show had heard her on Coast to Coast and wanted to hear more from her. I read her book, and brought her on. This is when it seems she came onto David's radar, seemingly from nowhere. People started to tell him that she was copying his work. When I next talked to him, he asked me why I would have her on when she was clearly copying him. I went over with him all the stuff Steph and I talked about from her book. His response was... Oh, well, I don't write about any of that stuff. Steph does have some missing people's cases in her books, however, she makes a conscious effort to avoid any cases that she knows David has worked on. At at this point something needs to be made very clear. Both Steph and David are at times reviewing other people's work and then re-writing it into their own. This is how research works. If it did not, nothing would ever get written. After the first UFO book, that would mean no one else could write about UFO's. The idea that two authors can not wite about the same topic is ridiculous. Many of the cases David has written about can be found on the Missing Persons of America website (founded in 2011) and The Charley Project website (which dates back to 2004). After I spoke with him, David seemed to drop the idea that he was being copied by Steph for the time being, however, people continued to post that she was copying him on various sites. I really don't know how they came to that conclusion. I had someone recently post on one of Steph's interviews that she literally copied David word for word. I then asked her to show me where David wrote about ANYTHING that Steph talked about in the interview. Of course, silence in response. By now, we all know how stupidity on the internet works. 

In July of 2015, David Paulides published Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence. This looks at Urban Disappearances, or some of what were called The Smiley Face Killers by previous authors. These are cases where college aged students disappear under strange cirmunstances, often to be found later in bodies of water, often not drowned, with no easy explanation on how they got there. David connects whatever is happening to whatever is causing people to go missing in National Parks. He tried to connect the various criteria and show the cluster points. In March of 2016 Steph Young publishes Dead in the Water; Forever Awake Investigating the Smiley Face Killers. David contacted me, upset. To him this was proof positive that she was simply copying him, or at very least, riding his coat-tailes. This was more than understandable. What David did not realize, since he had never read any of Steph's work, is that she had already written about most of these cases before his book came out, this was more a compilation of them with some new theories and such added in. In an excerpt from an email I sent to David...

"So she covered Elisa Lam and some of the college drowning cases in her book Something in the Woods, which came out in early 2014. Some of the college cases were also in her first book, Mysterious Things. She covered the Manchester cases in Taken in the Woods, which was early 2015. Also the first time I had her on, back in 2015 I think, she said that she was working on a book on all the drowning cases."

To anyone out there that doubts this, go read the books. Look at the publication dates. Listen to the interview. More of a case could be made that David copied Steph than vice versa. That being said, I am quite sure neither copied the other, and as a matter of fact, they both draw data from a book called Case Studies in Drowning Forensics. These are the cases that both Steph and David cover. The rest are independent. Steph has a bunch David does not, and David has a bunch that Steph does not. Steph does not connect these to wilderness disappearances, but leans far more towards a human agency. It is, however, upon a casual glance, easy to see how one would think this was the smoking gun that plagurism was happening. David had posted a timeline, which showed that he had published first, which was not in doubt, but again, once you realize that she had written at least a chapter in most of her books about these cases, prior to David publishing A Sobering Coincidence, added to the fact that she flat out said that she was going to eventually be compiling them into a book to have them in one place, also before David published his book on the subject, AND add in that no one knew David would go anywhere near these cases, since he said he wasn't going to deal with Urban disappearances beacuse it would be too hard to sort out what may be anomalous, and you can see how it may have looked, versus what it really was. This was two people doing work that ended up overlaying a small bit. 

What drove David over the edge in this situation though, was another misunderstanding, where a Facebook group, which was called the Missing 411 Forum, or something similar, which had David's blessing in using the name, had removed David as an Admin. There were some issues with some of the people in the group, and it was decided to remove him and change the name of the group. They then asked Steph if she would come in as an Admin. Steph is not a Facebook person. She does not like social media much, and didn't want to add to her already busy workload. She was assured she could be as active or inactive as she wanted. Months later, they actually made her Admin, and welcomed her to the group. They had not yet changed the name. David believed she was now trying to usurp his fanbase using the group. In the end, Steph asked to be removed as Admin, and the group changed it name (which it should have done when it removed David). At that point David also removed all his posts about her, as they worked it out privately via email. 

People often ask why Steph and David don't work together. Now you can see. What you should also be able to see, is that their approach is very different, as is their material. This post is not meant to bismirch either David or Steph in any way, just to lay out the facts of what has happened. I stand in a unique position where I have read all the books they both have written on said subjects, and have talked at length with both of them, and tried very hard to prevent the type of situations that ended up occuring. 

I have heard absolutely ignorant people claim that Steph makes all her stuff up, often followed by how she plagerizes David. Well, both can't be true, now can they? I feel that David's work is important. He has found potential patterns, and areas, often with the Devil names (although this, too, was not a new discovery, many have written about the connection of Devil named places and weird encounter prior to Pauldes), that may lead us to a greater understanding of this mystery. Many of the cases in his books likely have prosaic explanations. The more I learn, the more I find this to be likely. However, there are definitely those that defy easy explanation. In time, with more research, by Paulides and others, we will see if those patterns hold true. Steph follows a very different path, telling stories more like folk tales as well as investigating some of the disturbing cases that abound. The drama that surrounds this is silly, as most drama is. I told David, if there ever came a point where Steph had actually copied him, I would never have her back on. I meant it. Look at the facts, look at the most grounded data, in this case, publication dates, and actually read the books before making ignorant comments about the authors. Recently, when Steph was about record one of her podcasts, she expressed some reservations about talking about the 'Predator' case because David has it at the end of his book on Hunters, which was released in mid-2016. Why? Well, despite the fact that Steph wrote about it in her 2014 book, Predators in the Woods, she was afraid people would accuse her of again copying David. Again, the facts are there, you can buy her book and right in Chapter 1, is the same case David didn't write about till 2 years later. Does that mean David copied her? Of course not, it just happens that sometimes people hit upon the same stories and sources. 

You can find more from Steph at her website; https://www.stephyoungauthor.com/

And you can find more from David at his website, which is the ONLY place you should be buying his books from, he does not put them on Amazon: http://www.canammissing.com

You can hear the podcast about this here. And the YouTube version is below. 

 

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Into Nowhere with Thomas Spriggs - November 12, 2016

Into Nowhere

Thomas Spriggs has written a book, "Into Nowhere", that looks for patterns in people missing in the wilderness, starting with the data that David Paulides accumulated, and then branching off from there. There may very well be a piece of the puzzle here...

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Outro music is by Don O'Malley "The Bus Going Home".

The piece I read from in the beginning follows... Warning Graphic Image below the fold...

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Interview with David Paulides on Missing 411: Hunters - Part 2 of 2

Hunter-_Cover.jpg

David Paulides returns to the show to talk about his latest Missing 411 volume on Hunters. In this part we get into some of the stranger cases in the book...

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Author David Paulides has released the sixth installment in his best selling series, Missing 411. The books have revealed the names and facts behind people who have disappeared in the national parks and forests of the world. The identification of over 59 geographical clusters of missing people in North America is one of the mysterious, unsettling and unexplained elements in the Missing 411 series. Missing 411- Hunters explains a subset of the research and documents 148 cases of hunters who have vanished in four countries. The incidents parallel other disappearances documented in prior Missing 411 books. The vast majority of the cases in this edition are new and they don’t appear in other books in the series. The mystery and stories of the victims will baffle and confound the avid outdoorsman and seasoned hunter.

Website: www.canammissing.com

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Interview with David Paulides on Missing 411: Hunters - Part 1 of 2

Hunter-_Cover.jpg

David Paulides returns to the show to talk about his latest Missing 411 volume on Hunters. We also talk a bit about his trip to Australia, breaking his leg, the Missing 411 Documentary and much more. 

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Author David Paulides has released the sixth installment in his best selling series, Missing 411. The books have revealed the names and facts behind people who have disappeared in the national parks and forests of the world. The identification of over 59 geographical clusters of missing people in North America is one of the mysterious, unsettling and unexplained elements in the Missing 411 series. Missing 411- Hunters explains a subset of the research and documents 148 cases of hunters who have vanished in four countries. The incidents parallel other disappearances documented in prior Missing 411 books. The vast majority of the cases in this edition are new and they don’t appear in other books in the series. The mystery and stories of the victims will baffle and confound the avid outdoorsman and seasoned hunter.

Website: www.canammissing.com

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David Paulides on Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence - Part 1 - September 5, 2015

411Sober CoverDavid Paulides joins us again to talk about his latest work, Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence. In this volume, David continues with his profile points involving the disappearances and applies them to a series of incidents involving young men and women, mostly college age. Many of the victims vanished within the confines of their college or university town. These individuals were brilliant scholars, athletes and stellar people in their community. They disappear under unusual circumstances and are often found in areas that were previously searched. Medical examiners in these cases often cannot determine the cause of death. Many times the victim was recovered in water, yet autopsies show the body was not in the water the entire time the victim was missing. The majority of the families in these cases believe their loved ones were abducted and held, then later dumped in the water. These allegations are generally ignored by authorities until pressured by facts presented through secondary autopsies that families requested and paid for. 

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Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence by David Paulides (2015)

In this volume of Missing 411, David takes things in a very different direction. He is looking into the patterns of disappearances, mainly on or around college campuses, which end with the victims found dead in the nearby water. These people are often young, late teens and early 20's, often disappear very suddenly, and are found in places that do not make sense, which have usually been searched before, and often without any clear cut cause of death. Almost all of these cases end with the victim being found in the water. These cases are systematically dismissed by law enforcement, and that may be because they have no good answers for the facts of them. The more you read through these, the more you see the pattern. The official response is that you have college students getting drunk and falling into the river / pond / lake, what have you, and there are some cases where perhaps that did happen. Most of these, though, you find the person could not have been in the water as long as they were missing, so they were somewhere else for days, sometimes weeks, and then ended up in the water. Victims will disappear from bars, or just outside bars, and are never see again. There are variations. Searches reveal nothing. Then, someone finds the body, in a location that was thoroughly searched, weeks or months later. As you read through these cases, you can plainly see the facts don't add up. He also deals with some other strange water related deaths, that are slightly different in pattern at first glance, but have some of the same elements present. It's disturbing. David also ties it into the previous Missing 411 work. Again, the overall archetype is there, even if the details look different at first. Something is happening to these people. Something that we do not have all the pieces to. As David collects these cases, we can see bits here and there, the reactions on the phone just before someone disappears, the comments of coroners, the lack of memory from the occasional survivor, the way people get places they shouldn't be able to, to name a few. I don't know what is happening to these people, and honestly it's a little mind boggling. Now, however, we know it's not just in National Parks. Whatever it is, it has never been caught. Whatever it is, it is still out there.

The Book sells for $24.95 on David's website. Do not pay more at Amazon or any other re-seller. David only sells them through his site.

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David Paulides on Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence - Part 2 - September 12, 2015

411Sober CoverDavid Paulides joins us again to talk about his latest work, Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence. In this volume, David continues with his profile points involving the disappearances and applies them to a series of incidents involving young men and women, mostly college age. Many of the victims vanished within the confines of their college or university town. These individuals were brilliant scholars, athletes and stellar people in their community. They disappear under unusual circumstances and are often found in areas that were previously searched. Medical examiners in these cases often cannot determine the cause of death. Many times the victim was recovered in water, yet autopsies show the body was not in the water the entire time the victim was missing. The majority of the families in these cases believe their loved ones were abducted and held, then later dumped in the water. These allegations are generally ignored by authorities until pressured by facts presented through secondary autopsies that families requested and paid for. 

This part contains some of the stranger stories in the new book, as well as some discussion of what could be doing this, or more accurate, what does not explain it...

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David and Ben Paulides on Missing 411 - The Movie (Mid-Week Podcast)

Missing 411 the movie

David Paulides and his son Ben join me to talk about their new Documentary, Missing 411 - The Movie. The Kickstarter for it ends on August 16th, 2015 at 9:30AM. Please Donate, or at least spread the word. This needs to be made. David and Ben talk about the progress they have made so far, as well as some strange things that have happened during early filming. I also throw in some folkloric connections at the end to get David's take on it. 

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Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1032329905/missing-411-the-movie

www.missing-411.com

We also talk about an article Patrick Harpur wrote called Landscape of Panic (I mispoke in the audio of the show and called it Panic in the Woods). If you would like to read a copy, send Patrick a polite email and ask for a copy. You can find his email address at his website; www.harpur.org/patrick.htm.

End music by Sax Myle. 

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We discuss the mystery of the Clovis people, and the strange fact that there has only been one set of human remains discovered that are linked to the tens of...

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Episode #112: Anomalies - Part 2

03-09-2019 %HITS anomalies %AUTHOR

We continue our exploration of the anomalous phenomena detailed in the book "Unexplained!" by Jerome Clark. More strange rains of weird stuff, anomalous ice falls, animals being discovered encased or...

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Episode #111: Anomalies - Part 1

27-08-2019 %HITS anomalies %AUTHOR

This is the first of a series of podcasts where we look at strange anomalies of all sorts - ufo sightings, stange clouds, poltergeist-like phenomena, rains of stones, rains of...

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Episode #110: Scottie Baldwin

20-08-2019 %HITS Ancient History %AUTHOR

This week we have Scottie Baldwin join us to talk about his career as a FOH Engineer for world-class music acts, traveling the world, the philosophy of science, ancient mysteries...

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Liminal Room

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Red Pill Junkie - Absurd by Design

Talking Drugs: Conversations About Psych…

09-10-2019 %HITS Books %AUTHOR

Tangentially Speaking is without a doubt one of my favorite podcasts out there. I found it thanks to Duncan Trussell –curiously enough, it was Duncan who suggested Chris to start...

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Influential Books with Seriah, Josh and …

09-10-2019 %HITS Uncategorized %AUTHOR

Ask me if I like to read and I find that to be an odd question; it’s like asking me if I like drinking water or breathing oxygen. Like those...

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Latest Commission: Allison Meets the Gre…

26-09-2019 %HITS Uncategorized %AUTHOR

Hey! I know it’s been a while since I posted something (but then again I highly doubt ANYONE visits this blog anyway) so here is a commission my friend Allison...

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Latest Commission: Binnall the Night Sta…

26-07-2019 %HITS Art %AUTHOR

Behold! The one and only Tim Binnall, characterized as a modern version of Kolchak the Night Stalker. If you’ve never heard that name before, it was a short-lived tv series...

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Ranting Against the ETH at WDTRG?

02-07-2019 %HITS Podcasting %AUTHOR

(One of my earliest doodles. Lotsa technical SNAFUS but still a solid gag IMO)It had been a while since I joined Seriah and Josh for a recording of a Where...

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Hidden Experience: New Book by Mike Clel…

01-07-2019 %HITS Abductions %AUTHOR

Last month my good friend Mike Clelland released an ebook meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his excellent blog Hidden Experience. The book has the dubious honor of including...

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Latest Commission: The Ultimate Dogfight…

29-06-2019 %HITS Commissions %AUTHOR

Yang: 1 / Snoopy: 0My most faithful and generous patron, Mark Brady, asked me for a new commission that would be used as an avatar in social media. Once again...

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The Ingarzable Hulk: A Smashing(!) Commi…

28-06-2019 %HITS Commissions %AUTHOR

It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded something here –sometimes I feel it’s just a waste of time– but anyway here it is one of the latest commissions I made...

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Recent Podcast Appearance at Conspirinor…

16-04-2019 %HITS Disclosure %AUTHOR

I don’t usually link to the podcasts I’m invited to, but I’m going to make an exception with this one: Adam Sayne invited me to his Conspirinormal podcast a couple...

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Radio Misterioso

Whitley Strieber – A Life of Contact

10-10-2019 %HITS abductions %AUTHOR

Anyone who listens to this show knows the work of Whitley Strieber. His 1987 book Communion was a watershed document that made millions aware of the phenomenon of UFO abductions...

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Jeff Kripal – Meaning vs. Mechanism

13-09-2019 %HITS academics %AUTHOR

Dr. Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and...

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Stanton Friedman – Recollections

15-05-2019 %HITS Authors %AUTHOR

Lifetime researcher Stanton T. Friedman passed away on May 13, 2019 after over 50 years of writing and lecturing. He was the public face of UFO study for those who...

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Dr. Kevin Knuth – Relativistic Space Tra…

22-04-2019 %HITS academics %AUTHOR

Dr. Kevin Knuth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University at Albany. He is a former NASA research scientist having worked for four years at...

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Rich Hoffman – The Scientific Coalition …

30-03-2019 %HITS academics %AUTHOR

Two weeks ago, I attended the very first Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU) conference in Huntsville, AL, just outside the gates of the historic Redstone Arsenal, one of the birthplaces...

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Paul and Jim Kimball – Ghost Investigati…

16-02-2019 %HITS Ghosts %AUTHOR

Jim (seated) and Paul Kimball on the set of Haunted I have known Paul Kimball and his brother for over a decade. In that time, I have worked with both of...

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Eric Wargo – Time Loops and Retrocausali…

16-01-2019 %HITS Uncategorized %AUTHOR

Eric Wargo has written perhaps one of the most important popular science books in the last year. Time Loops proposes that future events can affect the past, and provides detailed...

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2018 Paranormal Year In Review with Tim …

08-01-2019 %HITS all around general weirdness %AUTHOR

Binnall of America lives! This past Sunday, Tim and I continued the tradition and did a simulcast of our shows to examine and chew on all that has happened in...

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2018 Weird Christmas Music Special with …

23-12-2018 %HITS Music %AUTHOR

The tradition continues! Courtney and I have scoured the history of Holiday music yet again to bring you the best of the strangest. Here’s the lineup for our 2018 extravaganza...

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