High Strangeness: If I Had a UFO Podcast

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

If I Had a UFO Podcast

That is the question...

I've been thinking about my goals and ambitions for 2015, as many of us do this time of year, and it's occurred to be that this may be the perfect time for me to clutter up the airways with a High Strangeness podcast. In the words of the great philosopher Clarksonius, "How hard can it be?"

I say this as I'm listening to what seems to be a pretty popular UFO podcast on what seems to be a pretty popular internet radio network, and I am amazed by its simplicity and appeal. Also by its completely predictable silliness. From this short listen alone, about a decades-old UFO case that has over the years become a cesspool of hate, betrayal, paranoia, and cosmically tiresome he-said/she-said arguments, I feel I've been able to distill the successful UFO podcast formula to its basic elements. I am happy to say that I already possess almost all these qualities, and those I don't possess I feel certain I can nurture and develop:
Loud, semi-knowledgeable host who loves the sound of his own voice? -- CHECK!
Willingness to endlessly rehash old UFO cases? -- CHECK!
Propensity to prolong and inflame old UFO feuds? -- CHECK!
Fondness for talking in terms of "solving," "settling" and "getting to the bottom of" cases that we all pretty much know can never be "solved," "settled" or "gotten to the bottom of"? -- CHECK!
Inescapable conclusion: I CAN DO THIS!

Here's what holds me back: If I step into this milieu, I immediately open myself up to the pure, unadulterated craziness and hatey-ness of UFOlogy, even more that I have done in this blog. It simply can't be avoided. As I have learned over and over again over the years, you can't say something new about a UFO case without seriously pissing off all the people who cling to the old version of the story. I have to decide whether I want to let that poison infiltrate my life, and whether I can take the time from working on my book to do it justice...
Did a UFO smash into this squad car? Wouldn't you like to find out?

As I've pondered these questions, I've also started to listen to the amazing podcast "Serial," a real-life investigation of a 15 year-old murder case that is truly stunning and gripping. In every episode, the host/investigator delves into a particular aspect of the murder investigation, and completely shakes your faith in the dependability, consistency and reliability of human beings. It is not reassuring storytelling.

It occurred to me that the "Serial" format might lend itself very well to a UFO podcast... Instead of trying to talk about anything and everything in UFOland, what if I were to delve into one particular UFO case and devote a series of podcasts to going over the case, its investigation, and its meaning? Yes, it's rehashing, but, I would hope, rehashing with a difference. I can say with some confidence that my research for my J. Allen Hynek biography has given me a unique perspective on a lot of significant UFO cases, and so my take on each case would be unique as well. Furthermore, I wouldn't try to "solve" anything, but instead would hope to build greater understanding of the case and its moment in history. And maybe, like "Serial," it would leave you on uncomfortably shaky ground...

So, if I go down this route, and at this point it's still a pretty big "if," the first question I have to answer is: Which case do I examine?

My top choices would be:

  • The Chiles-Whitted Case
  • The Tremonton Movie Case
  • The Blackhawk/Bismarck Sightings
  • The Kelly-Hopkinsville Invasion
  • The Father Gill Case
  • The Barney & Betty Hill Abduction
  • The Lonnie Zamora Case
  • The Michigan Swamp Gas Case
  • The Pascagoula Abduction
  • The Coyne Helicopter Case
  • The Travis Walton Abduction
  • The Warren, Minnesota Head-On Collision With a UFO Case

or perhaps...

  • One of my most interesting MUFON cases of the past 3 1/2 years

What do you think? What did I miss? Which case hasn't been done to death? Cash-Landrum? Rendlesham Woods? The Phoenix Lights? The Incidents at Skinwalker Ranch? Which case do you think I should start with?


purrlgurrl said...

Other possibles (well, anyway I think they're interesting . . . ):

JAL Flight 1628
1965 Exeter UFO Case
1966 Portage County Ohio UFO Chase
Phoenix Lights (a dispassionate examination from almost 18 years on now would be most welcome)

From your list I would vote for Cash-Landum or the Minnesota car v. UFO. From mine, JAL 1628 or the Ohio UFO chase.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Excellent suggestions, purrlgurrl! The Portage County case is definitely appealing.

Sunspot Mike said...

Hey Mark,
I think a UFO podcast with the same format as serial would be pretty awesome and I'd listen to the hell out of it. Anyway, we haven't met but I've been reading your blog for awhile, our parents used to be friends at St. Joe's in Big Bend.

My band puts on a paranormal podcast of my own called "See You On The Other Side" (http://www.othersidepodcast.com )and it's about weird stuff and pop culture (and we put an original song in every week!)

Anyway, I love this stuff. I run the Madison ghost tour and my sister runs the Milwaukee one so it runs in the family and I think you'd be an awesome guest on the show, we'd love to talk about your J. Allen Hynek book, your experiences writing sci-fi, and just general unearthly activity.

I couldn't find an email address, but you can get me at Mike@sunspotmusic.com or through G+/twitter/

Thanks and we hope to have you on in 2015!
Mike Huberty

Saucerspud said...

Any love for the Tinley Park Lights?

Lorin Cutts said...

Best of luck though if you decide to enter into it. We have a show called High Strangeness so please call it something else if you do end up doing it! Yes, you are leaving yourself wide open to full on abuse from the UFO circus. But don't let that stop you. That's what they want. (Tin foil hat fully in place). We badly need some better shows on the UFO subject as you are well aware. Best regards, Lorin

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Lorin, I promise that if I do this I will come up with a completely new name ;)

Lorin Cutts said...

Thanks Mark! - but please do a podcast! Any news or decision yet? Lorin