Extreme Thinkers/ UFO History & Sightings

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Extreme Thinkers/ UFO History & Sightings

About the show

Journalist Jamie Bartlett joined George Knapp in the first half to discuss the strange worlds of the innovators, disrupters, idealists, and extremists who think the human race can do better, and believe they know how. Bartlett believes that the world is changing faster than we can keep up, and that within a few years, we will be living in a society that is unrecognizable from today, and thinks we are "entering a time of real turbulence and change." Some of the radical movements and groups he has studied are attempting to get the world prepared and used to the coming radical changes before its too late, and before the very rich have exclusive access to technologies such as life extension drugs and treatments.

Bartlett has noticed that one of the fastest growing movements in the last few years has been people who are becoming involved with psychedelic drugs, in part as a response to a decline in organized religion. Comparing it to the 1960s, Bartlett says "It is as big as it was then," this time though, most are trying to be systematic and organized to gain any benefits. Bartlett also says that globalization "sort of chips away at everyone’s identity" and this has caused many to join radical movements to reassert their national identities. He thinks that many also join these movements because it often injects some excitement into their lives. He spoke of the nascent country of "Liberland" which is trying to gain a foothold on a piece of disputed land in Europe to begin a country founded on Libertarian principles. Of all these coming changes, he says that he wrote his newest book because he wants "society to be ready and not be taken by surprise when this starts happening."


On June 24, 1947, Kenneth Arnold, an experienced private pilot, saw nine unusual objects flying at an extraordinary speed near Mt. Rainier in Washington. The incident became the origin for the phrase "flying saucers," and started a worldwide fascination with UFOs. In the third hour, world-renowned UFO researcher Bruce Maccabee described Arnold’s sighting in detail and emphasized that the difference between this incident and other, less famous sightings that came before it was that Arnold was a pilot and performed precise measurements of speed and distance of the objects. When he landed his aircraft, he told other pilots (and eventually the press) that the UFOs had reached speeds well over 1000 MPH, which was impossible for any known aircraft at the time. Maccabee said that this singular event "made it OK to talk about weird stuff in the sky."

Researcher Cheryl Costa presents data and analysis for 100,000+ sightings of unidentified flying objects reported by individuals during the first 15 years of the 21st century in a new desk reference book. In the last hour, she discussed how the government has claimed no interest in the subject and the press either ignores or ridicules any mention of UFOs, while citizen scientists and non-governmental organizations have continued the research. The book of sightings was completed over a 16 month period by Costa and her partner Linda Miller Costa. After looking at the data, she is convinced that a significant number of the 121,036 cases listed in her book are true unidentifieds which defy conventional explanation. In defiance of pundits who claim that UFO sightings have decreased, Costa said that according to her research, they have actually tripled in last decade. At the end of this immense project, Costa said that the "data spoke for itself."

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