Season Five

66 - The Mirage Men Behind America's UFO Conspiracies

When Paul Bennewitz believed he had proof that alien spacecraft were buzzing
military bases in New Mexico, he went straight to the air force. Unfortunately, they sent him an agent of disinformation, officer Rick Doty. Bennewitz’ life and career would be derailed as he became obsessed with a fake alien invasion, invented by Doty and the intelligence community to conceal their research programs and ferret out Soviet agents. This story from the 1980s raises questions about who we can trust in our search for answers about UFOs. At the end of the episode, Dane reports that mirage man, Rick Doty, is still active in the American UFO community. From working as a consultant for the X-files, to appearing in a recent Showtime documentary, Doty continues to sing variations on the same incredible theme of crashed saucers and UFO retrieval programs. Trust no one!

65 - Fed Internet Theory

Has internet 2.0 been silently seized by the U.S. security services? Elon Musk thinks so. He and some independent journalists believe Twitter was once the iceberg tip of a massive conspiracy run by the American three-letter agencies – FBI and CIA as well as the Pentagon. According to Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ these government organizations co-opted and paramilitarized Twitter, transforming it from the town square of a virtual global village, into an unofficial wing of the U.S. national security establishment. The FBI calls the story a “conspiracy theory” whose sole purpose is to discredit ‘the agency’ but doesn’t challenge the stated facts, only their interpretation. National Public Radio frames the Twitter Files as part of a debunked right-wing narrative about censorship, while Missouri Senator Eric Schmidt, describes the situation as an attack on the first amendment rights of his constituents. In contrast to these very partisan interpretations, Dane argues that the issues here go far beyond political bias and threaten the integrity of the United States as an open, democratic society, as well as the future of the American-owned internet as a meeting and marketplace for an interconnected and open global society. 

64 - Mandela Effect with DJ Dooley

Large numbers of people around the world share memories of events that never happened and things that never existed. Dane discusses this so-called “Mandela Effect” with an alleged CIA remote viewer, DJ Dooley. The interview focuses on Dooley’s work unearthing shocking discrepancies surrounding whether the Fruit of the Loom logo ever featured a cornucopia. The company denies its logo ever had a cornucopia. Many Mandela Effect experiencers insist it once did. Dooley relates the discovery of bonafide records going back as far as 1973 that support the Mandela experiencers’ position. This challenging session ends by exploring one of the more far-out theories about the Mandela Effect, including whether it was anticipated by the late Philip K. Dick. 

63 - Unidentified Submerged Objects With Debbie Ziegelmeyer

Are UFOs passing through America’s lakes and rivers on their way to hidden underwater bases? Dane interviews the author of “The Alien Colonization of Earth’s Waterways A Reference Guide to UFO/USO Water-Related Activity” and founder of the Missouri MUFON Dive team, Debbie Ziegelmeyer. The conversation starts with what the MUFON Missouri Dive team is doing to advance civilian investigation of UFO activity. It branches out to some of the most intriguing water-related UFO sightings of modern times, from Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia, to Lake Baikal, Russia, to Clearwater and Piedmont, Missouri. Along the way, the interview touches on a little-known bible passage that seems to mention flying bread rolls, whether UFOs are actively camouflaging themselves as human aircraft, and how water sportsmen around the world can best prepare themselves for a water-related UFO sighting. At the end, Dane is thrilled to learn that a little-known river he personally frequents is believed to be an active UFO hotspot. 

62 - Examining The Case for an 'Ancient Apocalypse'

Professor of Anthropology at Kansas Univesity, John Hoopes, joins the show to critique the scientific credibility of Graham Hancock’s claims to have found evidence that a pre-historic human civilization was destroyed at the end of the ice age. Hancock’s work has exploded in familiarity recently after his multiple appearances on the Joe Rogan podcast and the debut of a Netflix docuseries showcasing his work, “Ancient Apocalypse,” that aired November 11th. But was there really an ancient apocalypse that reset humanity back to the stone age 12,000 years ago? Dr. Hoopes argues that the evidence is slim. In his view, the very idea of humanity passing through cycles of birth, death, and rebirth belongs to an occult tradition that makes use of tools and methods that are inconsistent with good scientific practice. The conversation also touches on recent claims that the native Americans of ancient Ohio were struck by a cometary impact 2,000 years ago.

61 - UFOs Over Missouri

An interview with Missouri State Assistant director of MUFON, Margie Kay, about MUFON and the dramatic upswing in UFOs over the state of Missouri. Margie tells us that there has been a UFO flap taking place all over the state of Missouri since August 2022. The conversation ranges from best practices for filming UFOs to some of the weirder aspects of recent Missouri UFO sightings, including encounters with ‘birds’ that reveal themselves to have machine-like properties. The interview ranges from the problem of figuring out what qualifies as investigation-worthy for MUFON to the prospect of aliens disguising themselves as drones. Why does Missouri have more UFO sightings and rank in the top ten states in the nation for UFOs? Margie suggests it may be that Missouri has more extraordinary activity.

60 - Global Paranoia Crisis

Distrust and conspiratorial thinking has gone mainstream around the world. In Russia, prominent people are ranting about satanic conspiracies inside Ukraine. In the U.S., they can’t even agree on what we should be afraid of. From Kanye West’s dirty mouth to Putin’s dirty bombs, the world’s so-called elites are increasingly convinced that nefarious forces are plotting their demise. Dane counsels everyone to please take it down a notch before someone gets nuked!

59 - Skinwalkers at The Pentagon

The Pentagon spent millions investigating Skinwalker Ranch and other paranormal hotspots from 2008 to 2010, but almost no one knew until some of the people involved published “Skinwalkers At The Pentagon” in 2021. This book purports to be the true story of a complex military intelligence inquiry into the paranormal, as recounted by the program manager himself and two co-investigators (including the reputable journalist, George Knapp). Dane reviews this book and its novel framing of certain UFO-related phenomena through a scientific and epidemiological lens. Although the authors are focused on the technical details in their book, the general picture of the phenomena they describe is more sinister than anything described in the works of celebrated UFOlogists, John Keel and Jacques Vallee. This book describes investigators haunted by cancer-causing and immune-system-destroying balls of light. The phenomenon shook up the Pentagon brass so severely that they allegedly labeled it ‘demonic’ and shut the research program down. While striving to be scientific and open-minded, the authors raise questions about whether their enthusiasm for creating a new science of the paranormal led them to throw caution to the wind at the expense of the health of nearly a half dozen government agents. Dane identifies the strengths and weaknesses of this redacted report by government insiders about their quest to understand the ultimate unknown.