The Micah Hanks Program

By Micah Hanks

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Description

The Micah Hanks Program is a weekly podcast that covers science and the mysteries of our universe. Taking a critically-minded approach to the study of our world, each week Micah presents commentary and discussions with guests on subjects that include mysteries of physics and astronomy, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), UFOs, myths and folklore, archaeology and ancient mysteries, artificial intelligence, futurism, cryptozoology, science fiction, and entertainment. Each week we journey to the boundaries of human knowledge, in search of the most unusual things our world has to offer.

Episode Date
The Debrief: A Year of Rebellious Curiosity | MHP 12.06.21.
01:27:22

This week, as members of Congress continue to weigh in on the Department of Defense's decision to launch its new effort to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena, Micah is joined by his cofounders and team at The Debrief, which has brought in-depth coverage to the ongoing UAP investigations by the U.S. government, and a range of other issues in science and technology. 

Along with guests Tim McMillan, MJ Banias, Chrissy Newton, Cristina Gomez, and Christopher Plain, Micah and the team celebrates its anniversary as it looks back on the last year in UAP news and other topics covered by The Debrief on this week's installment of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

Below are links to stories and other content featured in this episode:

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Dec 07, 2021
UFOs at the United Nations | MHP 11.29.21.
01:57:33

In recent days, we have learned of the establishment of a new UAP investigative group within the United States Department of Defense, called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG). While the DoD move has been met with some controversy, it does signal that for the first time since the end of the USAF Project Blue Book in the 1960s, UFOs are being taken seriously enough to establish a government entity to investigate them. 

However, in 1978 one man felt that the UFO issue deserved international attention, which led him to bring the issue before the United Nations. This week, we revisit the presentation of the UFO issue before the United Nations in 1978 with writer, reporter and broadcaster Lee Speigel, who played an integral role in the only UFO presentation brought before the UN to date... but will it be the last? We explore this and other questions this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

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Nov 30, 2021
The Roswell Paradox | MHP 11.23.21.
01:48:12

Rancher Mac Brazel had no idea what a “flying saucer” was, nor had he heard any of the numerous reports of strange objects that were allegedly being seen in the skies over America when he rode into Corona, New Mexico on the night of Saturday, July 5th, 1947.

The events that transpired over the next several days, while largely forgotten until the late 1970s, would eventually become known as the Roswell UFO incident. It was a case that stoked the fires of controversy within the UFO community, and eventually gave rise to one of the most widely discussed—and hotly contested—UFO conspiracy stories of all time. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we look at the many variations of the Roswell story, the official USAF explanations, and the legacy of the most controversial story in the history of UFO studies.

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Show Notes

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Nov 25, 2021
The Observers: Surveillance and Interactions by UAP | MHP 11.15.21.
01:37:51

A pilot has a harrowing near midair collision with an unidentified flying object... a group of fishermen encounters a strange object producing a beam of light under their boats near Pascagoula, Mississippi... and a former fighter pilot is pursued by a massive object over Alaska. What do all of these cases have in common?

They all involve instances where unidentified aerial or submerged phenomena have had bizarre interactions with witnesses, and even displayed possible surveillance or pursuit of them. This week, in addition to news we explore odd and unsettling cases where UAP has had noticeable interactions with human observers on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

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Nov 17, 2021
The Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office: A Modest Proposal | MHP 11.08.21.
01:18:42

Since Project Blue Book ended in the 1960s, there has been no official office of UAP investigations within the U.S. government... but events of recent days indicate that this could soon change. A proposed amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act recently called for the establishment of an "Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office" within the Department of Defense, in what is the most elaborately-worded proposed legislation regarding UAP ever written. 

Joining us to discuss this is the man who broke the story, Douglas Dean Johnson, a volunteer researcher with the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, who gives us a breakdown on "The Gillibrand Amendment." Then, we are also joined by foreign policy and national security reporter Tom Rogan, who has argued in recent days that the amendment deserves bipartisan support... we discuss all of this, and what it means for the future of UAP research on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

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Nov 09, 2021
Vanishing Act: The Disappearance of Gerry Irwin | MHP 11.01.21.
01:38:38

A strange light moving through the sky... the word "STOP" scribbled across the side of a parked vehicle... and a young man discovered lying face down in the mud, unconscious. Having all the workings of a true-crime mystery, these were among the actual events which gave rise to the bizarre story of the disappearance of Gerry Irwin. A USAF volunteer, Irwin was on his way back to report for duties in Texas in February 1959 when he observed a UFO passing above him. Concerned, he parked and trudged off into the snowy mountains of Utah to determine whether the object he saw had been a plane crash... and the story only gets stranger from there.

This week, we examine Irwin's strange sighting, the ensuing memory loss, and other effects that led some to consider his case a possible "abduction" incident, or even somehow involved with the CIA's MK ULTRA program prior to his own desertion from the military and eventual disappearance. The fact that Irwin resurfaced again decades later only makes his story all the more strange, as we explore this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

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Nov 02, 2021
The Foo Fighters: UFOs During World War II | MHP 10.27.21.
01:21:08

During the Second World War, Allied pilots began to log reports of encounters they had with unusual aerial phenomena during their flights over Europe. According to a once-secret memo from 1945, officials from XII Tactical Air Command intelligence staff wrote that “We have encountered a phenomenon which we cannot explain.” 

Later dubbed "Foo Fighters," the reports of odd aerial encounters over Europe appear to represent predecessors to modern reports of unidentified flying objects that would appear in the years after the war. Joining us to discuss the Foo Fighter enigmas is researcher and historian Graeme Rendall, author of the book UFOs Before Roswell: European Foo-Fighters 1940-1945, whose work traces Foo Fighter sightings all the way back to the early days of the war. 

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Show Notes

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Oct 28, 2021
Unidentified in Earth's Airspace: UFOs, Sci-Fi, and Future Tech | MHP 10.19.21.
01:33:10

Do UFOs represent exotic technology from another world? Will advances in the coming decades produce "warp drives" and other UFO-like technologies that will close the gap between the observed behavior of unidentified aerial phenomena and Earthly technologies? And what do aviation professionals worry about the most when it comes to reports of unidentified aircraft in our skies? 

Joining us to discuss all of these issues is Christopher Plain, one of the main contributors to The Debrief, Micah's science and technology endeavor with colleagues Tim McMillan and MJ Banias, whose reporting at the site has covered everything from "Star Trek" technologies of tomorrow, to one of America's leading groups of Aviation professionals and their recent assessments of unidentified flying objects.

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Show Notes

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Oct 19, 2021
Faded Giant: UFO Incident at Malmstrom AFB | MHP 10.12.21.
01:22:58

On March 24, 1967, ten ICBMs at an underground launch control facility at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana became inoperable, while the security personnel aboveground observed a UFO hovering near the facility's gate. 

Joining us to discuss the Malmstrom UFO incidents and similar events involving UFOs at nuclear sites is Robert Salas, who was the on-duty commander of the launch control facility that evening. For decades, Salas has campaigned for greater government transparency about "Faded Giant" incidents involving UFOs seen at nuclear facilities and joins us to discuss his latest efforts in Washington to raise awareness about the issue. 

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Show Notes

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Oct 13, 2021
Phenomenon: The Brazilian UFO Mystery | MHP 10.04.21.
01:19:40

In the heart of Brazil's Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park exists one of the most biologically diverse regions anywhere in the world. However, along with the unique plants and animals found here are a prevalent interest in unidentified aerial phenomena, along with countless reports of Brazilian UFO sightings by local residents.

During his recent travels to Brazil, Micah visited Alto Pariaso de Goias, a village whose many shops, restaurants, and hotels are decorated with imagery of aliens, flying saucers, and references to America's most famous secret installation: Area 51. In this edition of the podcast, Micah goes in search of answers to the Brazilian UFO mystery as he recounts his own investigations in the Chapada dos Veadeiros. 

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Show Notes

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Oct 05, 2021
The Experiencers: UFOs, Government, and Claims of Alien Contact | MHP 09.27.21.
01:30:16

For decades, many people who have claimed to observe UFOs have also said they saw the occupants of these crafts. Even more incredibly, some of these purported "experiencers"  have made extraordinary claims about their interactions with such beings, and even abductions where they were taken aboard UFO craft. 

How reliable are these claims, the likes of which the late Harvard psychiatrist John Mack attempted to explore and understand until his untimely death? Joining us to discuss the cultural rise of the experiencers is Ralph Blumenthal, a former New York Times reporter and co-author of a 2017 article with Leslie Kean and Helene Cooper that reshaped the modern UFO narrative. Ralph discusses his new book about John Mack, The Believer, and his recent contributions to The Debrief this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

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Sep 28, 2021
Mysteries of the Sphinx: Search for the Forgotten Civilization | MHP 09.21.21.
01:40:23

The Great Sphinx of Giza is among the most widely recognized monuments in the world, and arguably one of the most astounding testaments left to us by past cultures. Archaeology has revealed many details about the way of life in Egypt at the time of its construction, although a number of questions remain.

Robert Schoch, Ph.D., is a Boston University geologist who has studied the Sphinx for decades. His work there beginning in the 1990s led him to believe that the age of the monument may be greater than historians generally believe, an idea that has fueled his search for further evidence of a "forgotten civilization" which may have existed earlier than is generally thought. We discuss all of this with Schoch, and his rationale for extending the age of Giza's Sphinx, on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Show Notes

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Sep 21, 2021
On the Trail of the Tic Tac | MHP 09.13.21.
01:31:41

In 2004, the U.S. Navy's Carrier Strike Group 11 was conducting training off the California coast when radar operators began to detect unusual aerial objects nearby. Over the next several days, the objects would be repeatedly observed, culminating in a close encounter between one of the objects and a pair of fighter pilots. 

Known today as the "tic tac," the object described by the pilots during the 2004 USS Nimitz incident has become one of the most widely-recognized descriptions of a purported UFO in recent days. However, its appearance in 2004 was not the first time such an object has been described in UFO literature. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we go on the trail of the tic tac in a search through history for similar descriptions of aerial objects since the end of World War II. 

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Sep 14, 2021
The Hunt For Alien Intelligence: UAP, Probes, and Alien Signals | MHP 09.06.21.
01:21:12

Many astronomers believe we are closing in on the hunt for proof of life on other worlds... but where will it be found, and how will we find it? Among the methods being used are searches for technosignatures, biosignatures, and even interstellar probes that might have been "delivered" to various parts of the galaxy by an alien intelligence. 

In the search for alien life, how does UAP fit into the equation, and what are the perspectives of scientists on how it should be studied? Joining us this week is Jacob Haqq Misra, Ph.D., a senior research investigator at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science. His areas of focus include planetary habitability, extraterrestrial life, environmental ethics, and space settlement, and he joins us to discuss all of his research interests, and how science can be applied to the study of UFOs this week on The Micah Hanks Program.

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Sep 07, 2021
The Extraterrestrial Controversy: UFOs and the Debate Over Earth Visitation | MHP 08.30.21.
01:22:52

It is among the greatest questions humans have ever asked about life and our place in the cosmos: are we alone in the universe? While scientists believe they are closing in on answers to this long-standing question, many UFO proponents throughout the years have argued that the evidence for alien life can be found right here on Earth.

On this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program, we wade into the debate over UFOs and the "extraterrestrial hypothesis," and why some scientists think that the idea could present challenges for the study of unidentified aerial phenomena going forward. 

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Sep 01, 2021
UFOs Over Canada: Aviation Incidents and the Military | MHP 08.23.21.
01:27:55

With all the attention put toward the U.S. government's recent interest in UFOs, the fact that similar incidents involving unidentified craft frequently occur in Canadian airspace is often left out of the equation. 

Joining us to discuss the Canadian UFO situation is investigative reporter Daniel Otis, who in recent months has been chronicling aviation incidents and military responses from the Canadian government regarding UFOs. Otis joins us to explain why the bulk of UFO data remains inaccessible to Canadian citizens, and the striking encounters he has uncovered from Canada's aviation incident reporting database on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Aug 24, 2021
UFOs: Truth, Lies, and Conspiracies | MHP 08.16.21.
01:29:54

Since 2017, the UFO debate has undergone an unprecedented renewal in interest. Following the publication of a landmark article in The New York Times, questions--and controversies--have surrounded the topic, as the debate over the origins of UFOs, and what level of involvement the U.S. government has had in collecting data about them, has continued. 

With the recent release of a new Showtime series, UFO, which examines the debate and its controversies, more questions than answers arise with regard to what the modern UFO debate actually represents. This week, we examine the recent history of the phenomena, and the controversies surrounding the topic as discussed by some of the key individuals featured in the new series... all this, and more on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Aug 17, 2021
The Galileo Project: The Astronomers Who Hunt For UAP | MHP 08.09.21.
01:27:39

Following the release of a June 2021 report by the Navy's UAP Task Force, many scientists have now felt compelled to pursue ways science can now be applied to the subject of UAP. Among them is Harvard Astronomer Avi Loeb, who returns to The Micah Hanks Program to discuss The Galileo Project, an effort by Loeb and a team of astronomers to attempt to obtain high resolution imagery and other data about UAP. 

According to the project's website, "the scientific community now needs the determination to systematically, scientifically and transparently look for potential evidence of extraterrestrial technological equipment. The impact of any discovery of extraterrestrial technology on science and on our entire worldview would be enormous." We discuss this with Dr. Loeb, and much more on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Aug 11, 2021
The Men Who Stare at UFOs: John Alexander on the Record | MHP 08.02.21.
01:30:32

Much of the modern discussion about UFOs revolves around the Pentagon’s AATIP program, which looked at aerospace threats and culminated in the Navy’s current UAP Task Force. But before any of this came along, several years ago the existence of a group called the Advanced Theoretical Physics Project was disclosed with far less fanfare.

John Alexander, Ph.D., the group’s founder, has been a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons since he created renewed interest in the field starting in 1989. After retiring from the Army, Dr. Alexander joined Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was instrumental in developing the concept of Non-Lethal Defense. He has briefed White House Staff, National Security Council, Members of Congress, former Directors of Central Intelligence, and senior Defense officials on nonlethal weaponry, and also on unidentified aerial phenomena, as he recounts in his book UFOs: Myths Conspiracies, and Realities, and his new book, Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen – But Did. Dr. Alexander joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about UFOs on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Aug 03, 2021
UAP Analysis: Studying Anomalous Aerial Vehicles | MHP 07.26.21.
01:41:07

With the recent release of a government report on UAP detailing the U.S. Navy's efforts in studying unidentified objects in U.S. airspace, questions remain about the nature and possible origins of the technologies being observed. What are they, where are they from, and how might science be applied toward resolving the questions that remain about them?

One organization has continued to apply science toward answering these questions, and that is the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU). Among its founding members is Robert Powell, a longtime researcher of the historical and scientific aspects of UFO phenomena. Drawing from his background in UFO research, we have an in-depth discussion with Robert about UAP analysis and the mission of the SCU on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jul 27, 2021
UFOs and Science: An Astronomer's Perspective | 07.19.21.
01:39:57

Why don't astronomers see UFOs? If there are indeed unidentified aerial phenomena in our skies, shouldn't the scientists tasked with watching the stars see them more often? In truth, some astronomers actually have seen UFOs... although many, if not most, are fairly dismissive of the idea that intelligently controlled objects of unknown origin are coasting around in our skies. 

That's not the case with Chris Impey, a University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Associate Dean of the College of Science at the University of Arizona. Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society and is also the author of the book Talking About Life, which explores what is arguably the greatest question of all: are we alone in the universe? However, this week Professor Impey joins us to talk about another topic: unidentified aerial phenomena, and why he believes more scientists should be studying this mystery, on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jul 21, 2021
Ayahuasca: Alien Intelligence & Inner Paths to Other Realms | MHP 07.12.21.
01:31:57

Answers to the question of whether we are alone in the universe are one of humankind's oldest pursuits. Many astronomers think that the discovery of intelligent life from other worlds may happen in the decades ahead, while UFO proponents believe the evidence of their existence could already be found closer to home.

However, for centuries South American shamanic rituals have told of the unique properties of a ceremonial brew called ayahuasca, and how its potent effects appear to render effects that are strikingly similar to science fiction portrayals of alien contact. This week we explore the curiosities of ayahuasca, and what clinical studies in recent years tell us about it. We also look at the descriptions many experiencers offer about their perceived interactions with intelligent beings while using it... all on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jul 14, 2021
The Future of UAP Studies: An Assessment | MHP 07.05.21.
01:26:56

With the recent release of a U.S. government report on unidentified aerial phenomena, we are left with more questions than answers about the enduring mystery of UFOs. Where do we go from here, and how will the U.S. military proceed with its studies in the years ahead?

This week, in addition to reviewing the United Kingdom's response to the UAP Task Force report, we look at what the future of UFO studies may entail, and what government agencies can--and should--do in the years ahead, in terms of managing its studies in ways that promote transparency, and a number of other considerations outlined on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jul 06, 2021
The Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena: A Complete Analysis | MHP 06.28.21.
01:44:00

A widely anticipated U.S. government report on unidentified aerial phenomena has been delivered to Congress, representing one of the most significant assessments on unusual encounters logged by the American military in recent decades. Although the public version of the report, titled "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena," comprises only nine pages, it offers a summary of the findings of the Navy's UAP Task Force after it analyzed 144 incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2021. 

This week, Micah provides an extensive analysis of the report, its findings, the significant takeaways, and also the possible long-term implications of the study and responses to it. What does the UAP Task Force report tell us about the government's awareness of this phenomenon, and how future studies will be undertaken? 

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Jun 29, 2021
UFOs on Capitol Hill: Classified Briefings & Congressional Hearings | MHP 06.21.21.
01:34:17

Last Wednesday, lawmakers on Capitol Hill received a classified briefing by the Navy and the FBI, which detailed some of the findings of a report on UFOs expected to be delivered this month. Some members of the House have even said that future Congressional hearings on UFOs might result from the report and the details it provides on unusual aerial encounters our military has reported. 

However, this would not be the first time efforts to get Congress to look seriously at UFOs have been undertaken. On this week's podcast, we analyze the events of 1966 which almost led to public Congressional hearings on the UFO issue, how this period in history relates to the current climate regarding unusual aerial phenomena, and whether hearings on Capitol Hill could result in the days ahead.

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Jun 22, 2021
Life Before: Children Who Remember Past Lives | MHP 06.14.21.
01:33:40

Do some children possess the ability to recall memories that fall beyond their own living experience? If so, where do these memories come from, and could they be related to phenomena recognized by various cultures throughout history such as reincarnation, which involves the idea of the rebirth of a soul into a new body? 

Joining us to discuss scientific efforts to evaluate such claims and understand their possible relationship to the enduring mysteries of the human mind and consciousness is Jim B. Tucker, Ph.D., a child psychologist with the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies, and author of the book Before: Children's Memories of Previous Lives. We examine the controversial notion that some children may have recollections about life events lived by others on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Jun 15, 2021
The UAP Report: Leaked Details and Analysis | MHP 06.07.21.
01:33:25

According to a recent bombshell New York Times article, the United States military has found "no evidence that aerial phenomena witnessed by Navy pilots in recent years are alien spacecraft," but adds that the Department of Defense "still cannot explain the unusual movements that have mystified scientists and the military," nor can it rule out the possibility that some unidentified aerial phenomena witnessed by members of the military might even be "alien spacecraft."

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we provide a complete breakdown of the NYT's surprise report on the efforts of the Navy's UAP Task Force, which gave us the clearest picture yet of what the forthcoming report will entail. We examine what details have been leaked, what they mean, and the variety of reactions to the new information from members of the military, as well as scientists who appear to remain skeptical about the Pentagon's UFO studies. 

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Jun 08, 2021
Sasquatch: Science and the Apes Among Us | MHP 06.01.21.
01:52:48

For many decades, stories about large apelike creatures in the remote forested regions of America have persisted. Commonly known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot, many would rule out the possibility that a creature so large and similar to humans could have evaded detection by humans, let alone exist in the modern world at all.

Is this prospect really so unlikely? While many are very accepting of the notion that UFOs exist and represent a credible pursuit for science, Sasquatch is far more often relegated to myth and folklore by academics. Joining us to discuss the necessity for the pursuit of Sasquatch and the application of science to the mystery is researcher Matt Pruitt, a member of the North American Wood Ape Conservancy. Matt joins us to present the case for the serious study of Sasquatch on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jun 02, 2021
UAP in the USA: Presidents on Record and UFO Culture | MHP 05.24.21.
01:37:12

"What is true, and I'm actually being serious here, is that there are, there's footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don't know exactly what they are." These were the words of former U.S. President Barack Obama recently, when asked about UAP during an appearance on The Late Late Show. "We can't explain how they moved, their trajectory," he added. "They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so, you know, I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is."

Joining us to discuss this, and much more in the broader culture of UFOs this week is podcaster Ryan Sprague, host of Somewhere in the Skies, who joins us to weigh in on UFO culture and much more on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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May 25, 2021
UAP: 60 Minutes, Leaked Footage and Media Analysis | MHP 05.15.21.
01:30:43

Since its first airing in 1968, 60 Minutes has been a television news magazine broadcast that looks at many of the most pertinent issues happening in the world. However, on Sunday it made history with the airing of a special segment that looked at one of the most perplexing mysteries of modern time: unidentified aerial phenomena. 

“I'm not telling you that it doesn't sound wacky. What I'm telling you, it's real,” said former Special Agent Luis Elizondo during the broadcast, when asked about UAP, more commonly known as UFOs. “What is it? What are its intentions? What are its capabilities?” This week, we analyze the recent media coverage of the UAP topic, as well as the leak of new footage involving a US Navy incident and the Pentagon's confirmation of the video's authenticity. We are also joined by blogger Jazz Shaw, who joins us to discuss the UFO-related events of recent days, and much more on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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May 18, 2021
Evaluation: The Pentagon's UAP Problem | MHP 05.10.21.
01:26:22

In recent days, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General has announced the launch of a formal evaluation into The Pentagon and its actions regarding “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” or UAP. “We may revise the objective as the evaluation proceeds, and we will consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives," the memorandum states.

Joining us to discuss this is Tim McMillan, who along with MJ Banias broke the story at The Debrief, a news site co-founded by Micah with this pair of UFO reporters. We discuss the Pentagon's UAP Problem, the significance of its forthcoming evaluation, and much more in the ongoing saga of the U.S. government's studies of UFOs this week on The Micah Hanks Program.

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May 11, 2021
Stalking the Herd: Cattle Mutilation and UFOs in the San Luis Valley | MHP 05.03.21.
01:27:26

In September 1967, a 3-year-old Appaloosa named Snippy was found dead in the San Luis Valley. Although the incident involved a horse, it would mark the beginning of the cattle mutilation mystery that has endured for almost 50 years; but are all such incidents easily explained as natural deaths and the result of animal predation? 

Joining us is Christopher O'Brien, author of books that include The Mysterious Valley and Stalking the Herd, who discusses cattle mutilations, his San Luis Valley UFO Project, and much more this week on The Micah Hanks Program.

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May 04, 2021
UFOs and the Deep State | MHP 04.26.21.
01:30:09

What is the "Deep State," and does an unelected, bureaucratic element exist in government that has actively worked to suppress information collected about UFOs? 

Joining us this week to discuss this is Kevin Randle, author of more than 120 books, including his latest offering, UFOs and the Deep State: A History of the Military and Shadow Government's War Against the Truth. Randle, one of the most prolific authors alive to have examined the famous purported UFO incident at Roswell, New Mexico, joins us to discuss the history of the government's collection of UFO data, and why he thinks there is evidence that a Deep State element has been controlling the management of the UFO issue since World War II. Randle discusses this, and much more this week on The Micah Hanks Program.

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Apr 27, 2021
UFOs: The National Intelligence Problem | MHP 04.19.21.
01:45:47

In the early 1950s, the Office of Scientific Intelligence at the CIA almost recommended that the UFO issue be elevated to the National Security Council and be tasked as an Intelligence Priority. However, the effort was aborted with the convening of the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel in 1952… but why?

Joining us to discuss this is Larry Hancock, a graduate of the University of New Mexico who earned his BA with honors, majoring in history, cultural anthropology, and education. Following service in the United States Air Force, his career in computer/communications and technology marketing allowed him the opportunity to become involved in and consult on strategic analysis and planning studies. Larry is now a member of the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU), and author of the book Unidentified: The National Intelligence Problem of UFOs.

“Following the collection of tens of thousands of sightings, investigation, and vetting of a core of truly anomalous unknown object reports, extensive statistical analysis, and physical science analysis,” Hancock says, “we are left with the simple likelihood that in a number of instances experienced and credible observers have indeed observed something very real. Real aerial devices which demonstrate capabilities (especially in the areas of propulsion, acceleration, and maneuvering) that are totally beyond existing technology.” We discuss the implications of Hancock’s extensive review of UFO data and documents on this week’s edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Apr 20, 2021
Drones and Destroyers: Military UAP Encounters | MHP 04.12.21.
01:15:40

In the summer of 2019, several incidents occurred off the southern California coast involving Navy destroyers that were approached repeatedly by unusual, triangular-shaped drones which hovered over the ships. Recent investigations by a number of researchers have revealed new details about the incidents, and what the government response to them had been at the time.

This week, in addition to the unfolding story of the ongoing U.S. Navy incidents involving UAP, we examine other stories in the news this week that include newly leaked UFO photos and much more. 

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Apr 13, 2021
Satellite Anomalies: UFOs and Space Archaeology | MHP 04.06.21.
01:25:45

In 1965, astronauts with the Gemini IV mission orbiting Earth spotted something unusual in one of the planet's hottest and most arid regions. The mysterious "Eye of the Sahara" is but one of many anomalies that have been spotted on Earth from space, and in recent decades, satellites have brought the general public into the search for such curiosities. 

However, if archaeological mysteries and other anomalous features on Earth can be detected with satellites, can these technologies also aid in the search for UFOs? In our discussion of satellite anomalies on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program, we look at how space probes in orbit around the Moon and Mars may also help us in the search for evidence of life on other worlds, and possibly even novel forms of life here on Earth. 

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Apr 07, 2021
UFOs on Radar: Echoes, Angels, and UAP | MHP 03.29.21.
01:26:10

In 1956, one of the most widely-regarded UFO incidents in history occurred over airbases in the eastern UK, where unusual objects were both tracked on radar and also pursued by pilots. Even the famous Condon Committee's investigators appeared to be perplexed by the incident, which depicted one of the most widely-discussed cases involving UFOs on radar... but is there cause for reconsidering the case, and the facts about it that are commonly reported? 

Joining us is Dr. David Clarke, Associate Professor in the Department of Media Arts and Communication at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Dr. Clarke's new article in the Fortean Times, "Angels and Echoes: UFOs on Radar" casts a skeptical eye at some of the more popular radar visual incidents from over the years, and asks some necessary hard questions about the broader UAP topic. We discuss this with him, as well as more modern radar visual encounters, on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Mar 30, 2021
Pilot UFO Encounters: UAP and Aviation Safety | MHP 03.22.21.
01:27:15

On a Sunday afternoon over Greene County, New York in 2015, a pilot encountered something unlike anything he had ever seen before in the sky, or anywhere else. The object, which appeared to be a bright, shimmering dome under which protruded a pair of antennae, sped toward his aircraft at incredible speed, nearly colliding with his plane before ascending toward a cloud bank and joining a pair of similar objects. 

Such pilot encounters have been logged for years by NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System, although little is done with incidents involving pilot UFO encounters. The same cannot be said of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Aerial Phenomena (NARCAP), whose director of research Ted Roe had collected and analyzed reports of pilot encounters with unidentified aerial phenomena for decades. Roe joins us to discuss these investigations, what trends the data may show us about pilot UFO encounters, and whether they represent a hazard to aviation... all on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Mar 23, 2021
Lost Records of the Ancients | MHP 03.15.21.
01:19:50

It was once the nexus of culture and knowledge in the ancient world… a center of the arts and intellectual development unlike any seen before the Hellenistic age. Though arguably, there is nothing that the ancient city ever boasted that quite rivals the mystique of one of its most famous destinations, and one of history’s greatest lost treasures: the fabled Library of Alexandria.

While the stories of the library's destruction and the lost records it contained have taken on near-mythical status, history and archaeology show that other ancient collections have existed over time... but have all of them been recovered? This week, go in search of the lost records of the ancient world, and whether secret archives containing knowledge about ancient history might still exist in locations like Egypt's Giza Plateau.

Some proponents of the idea point to one of Egypt's most famous monuments - the enigmatic Sphinx - as being the source of speculations about a lost "Hall of Records"... but what does archaeology have to say about this possibility? We look at the science, as well as the speculation, as we go in search of the lost records of the ancient world on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Mar 16, 2021
The Ghost Rockets: Sweden's UFO Files | MHP 03.08.21.
01:25:07

During the summer of 1946, one year before "flying saucers" began making headlines in America, a wave of sightings of strange "ghost rockets" were reported over Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. The reports resulted in an official inquiry by the Swedish military, and the cause behind the sightings remains unsolved to this day. 

Joining us to discuss the ghost rockets mystery and UFO research in Sweden is Clas Svahn, a journalist and contributor to numerous publications around the world related to the history of UFOs. Svahn shares some of the most unusual ghost rockets incidents, which included their strange appearances - and disappearances - as multiple witnesses observed the objects crashing into lakes. 

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Mar 09, 2021
UAP in the UK: The MoD's UFO Files
01:34:48

In the summer of 1947, "flying saucers" became all the rage in the United States... but unexplained encounters with strange, unidentified aerial phenomena were nothing new in other parts of the world; especially in the United Kingdom. Years before his wartime service as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill had taken interest in reports of unusual "Scareships" appearing in British skies, representing what might have been the British government's earliest involvement with UFO investigations. 

Joining us this week for a deep-dive into the history of the British government's involvement with UFOs is Nick Pope, who worked the UFO desk at the Ministry of Defence for several years. He has since continued to advocate for the study of mysterious aerial phenomena, and efforts toward determining their possible origins and any risks they might present to National Security. Nick Pope shares his own historical research into Britain's involvement with the UFO question, which includes Foo Fighter investigations, Britain's "Flying Saucer Working Party," and his own investigations during his time at the MoD. 

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Mar 03, 2021
The Brown Mountain Lights: A Historical Inquiry | MHP 02.22.21.
01:30:25

North Carolina legends tell that for decades - and perhaps centuries - residents around the vicinity of Morganton and nearby Appalachian mountain communities have observed strange lights hovering over the mountains. Known as the Brown Mountain Lights and named after the long, flat ridgeline made famous by their appearances, many have sought answers to their strange, almost ghostly appearance. 

This week, we go in search of what answers history can tell us about these long-mysterious mountain lights, as we commemorate the life of one researcher who spent countless answers in pursuit of spotting and photographing them. Could an explanation for the famous Brown Mountain Lights be on the horizon? We explore answers to the mystery this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

This episode of the podcast is dedicated to the memory of Robert Ashmore, who put in many hours over the years in search of these mysterious atmospheric lights; he will be greatly missed. 

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Feb 23, 2021
UFO Physical Evidence: Angel Hair and Mystery Metals | MHP 02.15.21.
01:32:59

It is the long-sought prize of every serious UFO investigator: physical evidence left behind by a UFO. For decades, reports involving physical substances produced by various kinds of aerial phenomena have existed, and yet no verifiable traces of UFO physical evidence have ever been recovered from observations or alleged landing sites that might offer conclusive proof of their existence. 

With recent headlines claiming that the U.S. government "admits" it has tested UFO crash materials, we cast a skeptical eye toward the claims, and examine other instances where UFO physical evidence and other materials might have been produced in association with incidents from over the years. 

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Feb 17, 2021
Cowboys and Monsters: The Lost Thunderbird Photo Mystery | MHP 02.08.21.
01:30:28

On April 26, 1890, an Arizona newspaper called the Tombstone Epitaph carried a very unusual headline. "Found in the Desert: A Strange Winged Monster Found and Killed on the Huachuca Desert" had been the sensational headline, which introduced the story of a group of cowboys who shot and killed something monstrous in rural Arizona. 

Or so the legend goes, at least. For years, researchers have looked in vain for the newspaper article, as well as an alleged photograph which was said to have accompanied it that actually depicted the monster nailed to a barn. While some skeptics concluded that the alleged story had never appeared in the Epitaph, this week we explore the work of one late chronicler of the unusual, Mark Chorvinski, who decided to determine the story's origins once and for all... and attempt to track down the fabled "lost Thunderbird photo." 

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Feb 10, 2021
The UFO Data: Marler and Rodeghier on the Record | MHP 02.01.21.
01:55:50

For decades, many scientists and laymen alike have sought answers to the longstanding mystery of UFOs. While much headway has been made, scientific investigation of this phenomenon has yet to gain mainstream acceptance; but what does the data from collected reports say about the legitimacy of UFOs, and whether there is merit to their study?

Joining us to discuss this are Mark Rodeghier, Ph.D. and David Marler. Rodeghier is President and Scientific Director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies. He has a B.S. in astrophysics from Indiana University, which he obtained in 1975, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in sociology. David Marler is an independent UFO researcher best known for his investigations regarding large triangle aircraft seen over the years. Marler and Rodeghier join us to discuss a new UFO data digitization project they are undertaking, in addition to their many investigations from over the years.

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Feb 03, 2021
Extraterrestrial: Avi Loeb on Oumuamua and Alien Life | MHP 01.26.21.
01:28:25

If alien life were ever to visit our planet, or even just our solar system, what might it look like? What form would it take, and what would be their reasons for coming here? More importantly, would we even recognize them, or realize they had been here at all?

According to NASA, “The first known interstellar object to visit our solar system, 1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua, was discovered Oct. 19, 2017 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope." Although the mysterious object was originally thought to be a comet, "observations revealed no signs of cometary activity after it slingshotted past the Sun on Sept. 9, 2017 at a blistering speed of 196,000 miles per hour." 

Most astronomers still believe that Oumuamua was either an asteroid, a comet, or some similar space object… albeit a strange one. However, a few scientists have been willing to come forward with more exotic ideas. Joining us to discuss this possibility is Avi Loeb, a Harvard University astronomer and author of the new book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

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Jan 26, 2021
Cosmic Ancestry: Panspermia and the Origins of Life | MHP 01.18.21.
01:33:29

What are the origins of life on Earth? Did the building blocks for life originate here, or did they travel to our planet in the distant past from someplace further out in the cosmos? 

On this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program, we explore the idea of panspermia or "cosmic ancestry," which supposes that for life to exist on a planet like ours may rely on extraterrestrial factors. We also look at ideas about whether aliens might already recognize that we exist but choose not to communicate with us, or even whether alien life may already exist right here on Earth.

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Jan 19, 2021
Forgotten Lands: The Lost Continent Mythos | MHP 01.11.21.
01:23:38

For centuries, stories have persisted about lost civilizations, mysterious islands, and ancient peoples whose innovations have been forgotten by time. Arguably, the most famous example involves the fabled Atlantis, which has remained a curious footnote in history since the philosopher Plato first discussed it in a pair of incomplete manuscripts, Timaeus and Critias. 

While these legends persist, what do history and modern science tell us about such legends of forgotten lands, and why the myth of the lost continent persists? We explore these questions on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jan 13, 2021
Alien: Life From Another World | MHP 01.05.21.
01:37:39

It is a question that has long haunted humankind: are we alone in the universe? Since early times, humans have wondered about "others," and mythology from around the world has passed down tales of strange, alien visitors and their wonderful - and at times frightening - technologies, which are often seen as being more akin to magic.

Today, scientists continue the search that ancient cave artists and philosophers once embarked upon: the quest to understand whether alien life from another world might exist, whether humans can locate it, and perhaps the greatest question of all: whether Earth has already been visited. We explore all of these questions about the search for alien life on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jan 06, 2021
2020 Year in Review: UFOs and Ancient Mysteries | MHP 12.29.20.
01:13:23

2020 was a significant year, and in more ways than one. As the world fought the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, there were nonetheless many advances in science, as well as notable historical events that included the Pentagon's authorized release of Navy videos purporting to show unidentified aerial phenomena or UFOs. 

As we look back on the last twelve months in this final 2020 edition of the program, Micah is joined by Lauran Ellis, who helps produce this program as well as the Fist Full of Dirt podcast, and his fellow Seven Ages co-hosts Jason Pentrail and James Waldo for a roundtable discussion looking at some of the biggest stories of the year.

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Dec 30, 2020
The CIA and UFOs: History Declassified | MHP 12.22.20
01:27:19

By January 1953, dramatic events had brought the CIA and UFOs - a topic the agency had little desire to commit to having involvement with - to a gridlock. Following widespread sightings around the country, and even over Washington, D.C., the intelligence community was beginning to look seriously at what UFOs might represent and whether they might present a threat, directly or indirectly. What followed was a CIA-sponsored scientific committee known as The Robertson Panel, in response to sightings of UFOs that peaked in the summer of 1952, setting the tone for how the agency would deal with the subject for decades to come.

In more recent days, former CIA Director John Brennan was asked about the UFO subject, where he raised some interesting points on what the phenomena might represent. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, in addition to analyzing Brennan's statements on UFOs, we take a look at declassified documents that detail the history of the CIA's involvement with the subject, and how that has helped foster belief in a cover-up by the intelligence community over the years.

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Dec 22, 2020
UFOs in the Atomic Age | MHP 12.14.20.
01:30:52

On the morning of July 16, 1945, the world changed forever. On a remote test site in the New Mexico desert, a group of scientists gathered and watched the first atomic explosion, and humankind's entry into the Atomic Age. 

It has long been argued that the beginning of the UFO phenomenon coincides with the arrival of nuclear weapons at the end of the Second World War. But despite the fact that many--if not most--historical books on the UFO subject begin in or around 1947, shortly after the first nuclear tests of the Atomic Age, do the mysterious flying objects in our skies have deeper roots than this? This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we look back at pre-1947 reports that present a strong case for the idea that UFOs have been with us far longer than most historians recognize, and certainly well in advance of the arrival of the Atomic Age.

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Dec 15, 2020
Strategic Doubt: UAP Theory with Dr. Adam Kehoe | MHP 12.07.20
01:40:02
Dec 08, 2020
Disclosure: An Estimate of the Situation | MHP 12.01.20
01:37:31

In 1948, a TOP SECRET document was produced by the U.S. Air Force which made surprising conclusions about the possible origins of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. Because of this, all copies were ordered to be declassified and destroyed, leaving none in existence today. It is but one among many long-sought documents produced by the United States government which chronicle the history of its involvement with the UFO subject, and which advocates of official disclosure of UFO information have pursued. 

On the subject of "disclosure," on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program we lead off with news, and a big announcement about a brand new media endeavor, The Debrief, which Micah and his colleagues Tim McMillan and MJ Banias have just launched, which looks at science and technology, as well as the UFO issue, and how the government is handling it. Tim also shares a few details with us on his widely anticipated forthcoming article we'll be publishing, which deals with the UAP Task Force.

We then turn our attention toward the controversial idea of UFO disclosure, its history and origins, and what the involvement of intelligence agencies over the decades really says about what the government may have in its possession related to UFOs. Is disclosure imminent, or is it even a realistic possibility? We look at all of this, and more in this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Dec 01, 2020
Event Horizon: UAP, AI and the Unidentified | MHP 11.25.20.
01:40:33

Many futurists believe that we will go on to create technologies far more the likes of science fiction than what we recognize today as science fact... perhaps even resembling what we call UAP or UFOs. Within the next century, possible innovations in artificial intelligence may reshape the world as we know it, and eventually, humans could even develop spacecraft that can carry us to the stars. But if other intelligent civilizations exist in our universe, would they have followed the same path of technological progress? 

This week, Micah's brother Caleb joins us in-studio to discuss these ideas, and how they relate to the study of UAP. We look at the controversy surrounding the "Tictac" shaped object observed during the 2004 USS Nimitz incident, and also where claims of encounters with occupants of UAP craft are suggestive of technologies that blur the lines between man and machine. 

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Nov 25, 2020
Origin: Language, Consciousness, and Alien Life | MHP 11.16.20.
01:44:15

For centuries, humans have wondered whether alien life exists on other worlds. Today, astronomers agree that in the coming decades--perhaps within some of our lifetimes--we will discover alien life in some form. But if it ends up being intelligent, will humankind be capable of communicating with them? To know the answer to this begs further questions about the origins of language, and how that relates to the development of consciousness. 

Joining us for a deep discussion about this is Samuel Zinner Ph.D., a multidisciplinary scholar of languages and history who has lectured in the recent past on the origins of language. Zinner, also a lover of science fiction, muses about how understanding language and its relationship to consciousness might also aid us in understanding how alien life--and even intelligent extraterrestrials--might develop, and if discovered, how we might be able to successfully interact with them. We discuss everything from how communication with aliens might occur, to how language and myth are related to the subject of unidentified aerial phenomena on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Nov 17, 2020
Star Gate: Remote Viewing the UFO Phenomenon | MHP 11.09.20.
01:35:59

During the Cold War, U.S. Intelligence agencies learned that the Soviet Union was funneling large amounts of funding toward unlocking mysteries of the human mind. This prompted similar efforts on part of the United States, eventually culminating in the CIA's Star Gate remote viewing program. 

Could psychic phenomena really be used to gain intelligence about the enemy, and if so, what else could be learned with the help of techniques like remote viewing? Could knowledge even be obtained about phenomena like UFOs in this way, and if so, how reliable would it be? Our guest this week is Paul H. Smith, Ph.D. (Major, U.S. Army, Ret.), who not only wrote the handbook used in the Star Gate remote viewing program, but who continues to teach the art of seeking targets with the mind to this day. He is the author of The Essential Guide to Remote Viewing, and he joins us for an in-depth discussion about the government's remote viewing program, unidentified aerial phenomena, and much more on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Nov 11, 2020
The UFO Hackers: In Search of Suppressed Technology | MHP 11.02.20.
01:31:29

It was the most high-profile case involving a hacker in the history of Britain, and at the time the story broke, one of the biggest stories in the UK, if not the world. Gary McKinnon, a Glasgow-born computer programmer, was arrested at his apartment flat in Wood Green, north London. The charge: hacking United States military computer systems within just weeks of the September 2001 terror attacks.

McKinnon was dubbed “the 911 hacker,” although his reasons for hacking really had nothing to do with the terror attacks. But the most incredible part of McKinnon’s story hadn’t been the fact that he, a UK hacker with a dial-up modem, had accessed numerous U.S. government computer networks. It had been what he was looking for... and claimed to have eventually succeeded in finding: evidence of Unidentified Flying Objects, and efforts by the government to cover them up.

This week, we dive into McKinnon's story, as well as other claims from over the years about alleged suppression of secret advanced technologies on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Nov 04, 2020
A Magician Among the Spirits: Houdini, Doyle, and the Occult | MHP 10.26.20.
01:33:30

Some of the most famous minds of the 19th century became swept up in the allure of Spiritualism and mediumship. No less among these had been Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who became one of the staunchest defenders of Spiritualism, even authoring a two-volume history of the religion. However, his friend Harry Houdini, while initially open to the possibility of mediumship as an avenue toward making contact with those who had crossed over, soon became convinced that it was a sham. In addition to placing strains on his friendship with Doyle, the experience pushed Houdini toward the pursuit of exposing all mediumship and paranormal claims as nonsense. 

However, following Houdini's death on Halloween in 1926, even the world's greatest magician would become the target of attempts with reaching the dead through seances and mediumship. On this special Halloween edition of the program, we explore Houdini and Doyles relationship with the occult, and how even in death they each remained highly influential on the world of the occult.

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Oct 27, 2020
The Disappearance of Joan Risch | MHP 10.19.20.
01:33:47

It was an Autumn afternoon like any other. The date was October 24, 1961, and Joan Carolyn Risch had just returned with her daughter from shopping after a dentist's appointment earlier that day. Her husband Martin had traveled to New York on business, leaving at home Joan alone while her infant son slept upstairs, and her daughter Lillian played across the street at the home of their neighbors, the Barkers. 

At around 2:15, Barbara Barker said she saw Joan across the street wearing what appeared to be a long trench coat, and perhaps carrying something red. The children playing nearby said they thought Joan had probably been chasing little David, who might have run out into the driveway. Mrs. Barker would have never guessed that this would be the last time she ever saw Joan Risch… a woman whose disappearance would remain one of the strangest and most disturbing events in Massachusetts history. 

This week we are joined by Michael C. Bouchard, an author with decades in law enforcement whose book Masquerade examines the strange events leading up to the unsolved disappearance of Joan Risch. 

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Oct 20, 2020
The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis: A Brief History | MHP 10.12.20.
01:39:14

The Second World War had barely ended by the time reports of "flying saucers" began to make headlines in 1947. What were these mysterious objects, and were they friends, or foes? Soon, speculation about what world superpower might possess such technology shifted to a novel proposition: what if they could be evidence of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth?

Although the flying saucers were a new development, ideas about life from other worlds was hardly anything new. This week, we go in search of the history behind the concept of extraterrestrial life, and how our ideas about it have evolved over time to include speculations about life on Mars, and whether the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis is indeed the best solution to the UFO mystery.

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Oct 13, 2020
The Mind Hackers: MK Ultra Secrets | MHP 10.05.20.
01:31:58

At the height of the Cold War, the entire world was on edge. Desperate times often lead to desperate measures, and during this tense period, the Central Intelligence Agency began a program aimed at testing to see if the human mind could be controlled. They aspired to become "mind hackers," and the program that resulted was Project MK Ultra, one of the most notorious endeavors ever undertaken by an agency within the U.S. government. 

This week, we go in-depth into the history of the program, its operations, and the personalities behind the CIA's illegal quest to hack the human mind... all this, and more on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Oct 06, 2020
Lost in Space: Secrets of the Soviet Space Program | MHP 09.28.20.
01:31:53

Some have called it the “ultimate” Cold War-era urban legend. It is a story of two space programs: but rather than those of Soviet Russia and the United States, this tale involves the theory that apart from Russia’s “public” program, there was much that it also kept hidden away in the world of black projects.

During the early years of the Space Race, a pair of Italian brothers began to intercept strange transmissions from within a makeshift command center outside Turin, Italy, where they claimed to have recorded evidence of Soviet space missions that went horribly wrong. If true, such claims could shed new light on the hidden history of space exploration, and the grim lengths that some were willing to go to, which might have included Russian cosmonauts who went into space... and never came back.

Were secret space missions carried out by the USSR that led to cosmonauts being lost in space? This week, we go in search of answers to the secrets of the Soviet space program.

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Sep 29, 2020
Cult of the Saucer: Contactees and Visitors from Venus | MHP 09.21.20.
01:43:07

Last week, the search for extraterrestrial life got quite a boost after a team of researchers announced that they may have discovered signs of life on one of Earth’s nearest and least hospitable neighboring planets, Venus. 

It would be ironic if we were to discover the likely presence of life on such an otherwise inhospitable world, especially since this had been the planet which figured heavily into the early claims of many of the so-called “contactees.” These individuals began coming forward in the middle 1950s with (often absurd) stories of having met benevolent space brothers, who frequently hailed from planets like Venus.

This week, we revisit the tales of the contactee era, along with the bizarre story "Valiant Thor," a purported Venusian visitor that came to Earth and even spent several years in the Nation's Capital.

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Sep 22, 2020
The Coyne Encounter: Near-Collision with a UFO | MHP 09.14.20.
01:41:33

On Monday, Oct 22, 1973, the Ohio Lancaster Eagle-Gazette carried a most unusual headline. “Helicopter Nearly Tangles With UFO” the story read, which recounted a harrowing tale of an Army Captain, Lawrence Coyne, and three other servicemen who had the fright of their lives a few days earlier, while flying back to Cleveland after a routine medical examination.

1973 was one of the most significant years in the history of UFO sightings, and what has become known as "The Coyne Encounter" was one of the many that occurred that year which caused it to be so memorable. This week, we explore this notable incident in-depth, as we look at the primary narrative, what additional witnesses say they saw, and how skeptics attempted to solve this lasting UFO mystery.

Chapters in This Episode

  • Intro     0:00
  • News     3:29
  • Life on Venus?     16:56
  • Forbidden Knowledge     24:07
  • I: The Coyne UFO Encounter     35:16
  • II: Background     49:22
  • Shades of Valentich     59:12
  • III: Comparisons: Craft Analysis     1:03:45
  • IV: Dubious Skepticism     1:24:37
  • V: Additional Witnesses     1:31:29

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Sep 15, 2020
Bigfoot: Origins of the Beast | MHP 09.07.20.
01:43:53

In 1958, a series of large, human-like footprints were discovered by employees at a California logging site. A casting of one of the prints was made by the man who discovered them, Jerry Crew, who took his unusual find to a local newspaper... and an American legend was born. 

However, decades later it was revealed that one of the men overseeing the logging operation, Ray Wallace, had been involved in a hoax using large wooden carvings to create the huge footprints. Many skeptics argue, on account of this, that the origins of what came to be known as "Bigfoot" can be traced back to the 1950s, but is this entirely true? 

This week we look at the history behind the famous Ray Wallace Bigfoot hoax of 1958, and the earlier American origins of the Sasquatch. 

Chapters in This Episode

  • Intro   0:00
  • News   5:52
  • Rocket Man   23:51
  • I. Why Do People Believe in Bigfoot?   36:07
  • Interlude   47:39
  • II. The Case for Relict Hominoids 48:55
  • III. Bigfoot Beginnings: 1958   53:39
  • IV. The Hoax Unravels   1:05:25
  • V. Misunderstanding Sasquatch   1:20:37
  • Conclusion   1:40:05

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Sep 08, 2020
The USO Enigma: Maritime UAP Encounters | MHP 083120
01:33:35

In 1970, zoologist and popular author Ivan T. Sanderson wrote, "it may come as somewhat of a shock... to learn that, by actual count, over 50 percent of all so-called 'sightings' of UFOs have occurred over, coming from, going away over, or plunging into or coming out of water. That this fact is known to officialdom is manifest from their official publications, but they seem to have left this aquatic factor out of their statistical analyses." 

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we examine maritime incidents from over the years involving unidentified objects observed at sea, and the implications for such sightings in terms of broader studies of the UAP issue. 

Chapters in This Episode

  • Intro       0:00
  • News       8:34
  • O'Hare Incident Addendum       14:28
  • Segment: A.I. and Aliens       25:22
  • UFO Encounters at Sea       32:15
  • Part I: History       33:41
  • Part II: Wheels of Light       39:34
  • Interlude       47:04
  • Part III: Blue Book Reports of USOs       51:23       
  • Part IV: NUFORC Calls About USOs       1:05:09
  • Part V: Russia's USO Files       1:20:15
  • Conclusion       1:30:32

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Sep 01, 2020
Incident at O'Hare: The Case File Reopened | MHP 082420
01:36:52

In November 2006, something odd appeared in the late afternoon skies above one of the world’s busiest airports.

More than a decade later, no simple explanation exists for what had been observed by a crew staff at O’Hare International Airport, which was described by those who saw it as a circular or disc-shaped object hovering over Gate C17. The story has become one of the most widely-discussed and often cited cases in modern times involving a multiple-witness observation of unidentified aerial phenomena and has been cited in countless books and articles on the UFO subject. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we reopen the case files on the Chicago O'Hare UFO Incident and look at its implications for aviation safety.

Chapters in This Episode

  • Intro   0:00
  • News   4:17
  • Incident at O'Hare Part I: Introduction   20:57
  • Part II: Hilkevitch Reports   39:30
  • Second Hour   46:27
  • Part III: The Witnesses   49:52
  • Part iV: The Investigation   1:05
  • Conclusion   1:32

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Aug 25, 2020
The Unidentified: Science and the Study of UAP | MHP 08.16.20
01:49:57

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, after news and a segment that takes a deep look at what is currently known about the DoD's recent announcement about its UAP Task Force, we turn our attention to the efforts of the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, an organization comprised of scientists, former military, and others from various disciplines who are working to advance efforts toward the academic study of unidentified aerospace phenomena.

Joining us to discuss the SCU is board member Rich Hoffman, who holds a BA in Organizational Communications from Wright State University. He is an Information Technology consultant and strategist. He has been a defense contractor for over 20 years working primarily for the Army Materiel Command HQ with a variety of companies. Rich has over 54 years of experience in Investigations and research into the UFO subject and has served as Director of Investigations, Star Team Manager, and Director of Strategic Projects as well as State Director in MUFON and other organizations. In our discussion, we explore the SCU's analysis of the Navy's UAP videos, as well as other prior existing videos of purported UAP.

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Aug 18, 2020
Pentacle: Anatomy of a Coverup | MHP 08.10.20.
01:35:39

It was the summer of 1967, and Jacques Vallee was feeling troubled. A young French computer scientist living in America, Vallee had been tasked with one of the most unusual jobs anyone could imagine: assisting astronomer J. Allen Hynek with the review of reports collected by the United States Air Force about unidentified flying objects.

It was also the summer of 1967 that Vallee first uncovered a document that both fascinated, and greatly concerned him "because of the new light it throws on the key period of the Robertson Panel and of the classic Report#14," he would later write. "It is stamped in red ink ‘SECRET – Security Information.’ It is dated 9 January 1953. It is signed by a man I will call Pentacle.

What this secret memorandum appeared to detail was “the fact that prior to the top-level 1953 Robertson Panel meeting somebody had not only listed but analyzed thousands of UFO cases on behalf of the United States Government.” This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we look at the strange history of this elusive and concerning the document, its eventual release, and the controversy that has surrounded it in the decades since it became publicly available. 

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Aug 11, 2020
John Keel and the Men in Black | MHP 08.03.20.
01:45:41

During the 1960s, American author and UFO researcher John Keel had a problem: it involved reports of Men in Black, the mysterious strangers in dark suits said to appear after UFO sightings and intimidate witnesses.

So who were these ominous observers of the UFO phenomenon? Could some of them have been government agents—possibly investigators with the U.S. Air Force during the years of Project Blue Book? Or are stories of “Men in Black” really just folklore that managed to build up around some of the unusual characters that ran in UFO circles throughout the 1960s? We explore these questions, along with recent news on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Aug 05, 2020
Signs of the Times: The UFO Controversy in the Media | MHP 07.27.20.
01:41:02

"For more than a decade," reads the latest in a series of New York Times articles on UFOs that have appeared since late 2017, a shadowy Pentagon UFO program "has been conducting classified briefings for congressional committees, aerospace company executives and other government officials," according to officials and documents associated with the program. 

That isn’t all the recent New York Times piece reported on, however; of far greater interest had been the mention of Senate briefings related to crashes of purported “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth.”

The response to the piece wasn’t quite what it had been to previous New York Times articles covering UFOs over the last few years, and if anything, controversy ensued almost immediately. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we break down the story, and observe the public reaction that resulted in so many divided opinions. Then later in the program, we are joined with additional perspectives from writer, podcaster and UFO commentator Jason McClelland of Rogue Planet, who shares his take on what went wrong, and how reporting on the UFO subject can be managed better in the future. 

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Jul 28, 2020
Strange Effects of UFO Encounters | MHP 07.20.20.
01:39:29

In December 1967, Maryellen Kelley felt an electric shock go through her body as she stood outside her home in Mohomet, Illinois, watching an orange UFO pass overhead. She was later stricken with a headache, and the skin on her hands, face, and legs reddened as if burned. In October 1973, trucker Eddie Webb was blinded for several days after a bright light struck him while driving along a stretch of highway in eastern Missouri late one night. In May 1967, prospector Stephan Michalak was blasted by hot air or gas as he approached a strange, landed aircraft, which suddenly shot into the sky. 

In each of the UFO cases described here, witnesses claimed to have suffered strange physical effects in the aftermath of their encounters. However, there is perhaps no incident in the history of UFO research that involves physical effects suffered by witnesses more well known than the famous Cash Landrum affair, involving two Texas women who developed a number of odd symptoms following a nighttime encounter with a bright, hovering object outside of Dayton, Texas. But what to odd incidents like these help us learn about the unidentified aircraft described by such witnesses, and do they offer any clues about the technologies behind them? We explore these questions this week on The Micah Hanks Program

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Jul 21, 2020
Incident at Stephenville | MHP 07.13.20.
01:40:18

It was shortly after 6 PM on January 8, 2008, when witnesses Mike Odom, Lance Jones, and Steve Allen first noticed a series of bright, flashing lights passing through the sky. The lights appeared to be at an estimated 3500 feet, spanning a distance of close to half a mile across the portion of the sky they covered.

The “ship,” as the trio later referred to the spectacle, passed silently through the sky overhead, moving quickly in the direction of nearby Stephenville, Texas. At one point, the lights appeared to shift from two horizontal lines into an odd, vertical orientation. Shortly afterward, the men also saw a pair of F-16 fighter jets pursuing the object as it moved in the direction of then-president George W. Bush's texas residence. Days later, however, the U.S. Air Force would claim the unidentified lights had been their own jets conducting a routine training exercise. 

However, there is compelling evidence that there might have been more going on over the town of Stephenville in January of that year. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we go in search of answers behind this odd incident, which remains one of the strangest and most compelling UFO events of the modern era. 

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Jul 14, 2020
Crash-Retrieval Syndrome: Legend of the Crashed Saucers| MHP 07.06.20.
01:38:32

In July 1947, something crashed on a sprawling ranch outside the town of Roswell, New Mexico. The wreckage was discovered by the property owner, Mac Brazel, who reported it to the U.S. Army Air Force: shortly thereafter, newspapers ran the sensational headline "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region." The rest, as they say, is history. 

However, the real history of alleged UFO crashes, and their later recovery by the military, goes much deeper than the famous Roswell UFO Incident. This week, we look at claims that a forthcoming New York Times article will explore the idea of UFO crash/retrievals, and whether the idea is purely legendary or has some basis in fact. We then revisit famous FBI memos that discuss alleged flying saucer wreckage, and how one UFO researcher traveled the country speaking with witnesses who claimed to have firsthand knowledge of military recovery of these alleged crashes. 

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Jul 08, 2020
The UAP Task Force and the Hunt for Zero Point | MHP 06.29.20.
01:46:38

“The [Senate Intelligence] Committee supports the efforts of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force at the Office of Naval Intelligence to standardize collection and reporting on unidentified aerial phenomenon, any links they have to adversarial foreign governments, and the threat they pose to U.S. military assets and installations.”

This passage appeared in a recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on an appropriations bill initiated by Florida Senator and former Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. Although it isn't the first we have heard about a “multi-agency task force” in government that deals with UFOs, it is certainly the first time Senators have referred to it while calling for an unclassified report on unidentified aerial phenomena, drawing from multiple different branches of government to assess their possible implications and even threat potential. Joining us to discuss this is MJ Banias and Tim McMillan, who reported on the development for Motherboard, who will give us key details about the proposed bill, and whether the public will actually see an unclassified report on UAP in the coming months. 

Then for the remainder of the program we are joined by veteran aviation journalist Nick Cook, author of The Hunt for Zero Point. Cook is a Former Senior Aviation Editor of Jane's Defence Weekly. He is the recipient of four Journalism Awards from the Royal Aeronautical Society in the Defence, Business, Technology, and Propulsion categories, and he shares with us his stories about strange meetings, odd disappearances, and his pursuit for futuristic aerospace technologies over the years. 

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Jun 30, 2020
The UFO Problem | MHP 06.22.20.
01:39:03

What are UFOs, and what constitutes actual UFO study? While the term "UFOlogy" is commonly used for modern UFO research, there is very little science involved in the majority of the study of this once-taboo subject. Is there a path toward a more unified effort in studying and, perhaps, solving this mystery? 

After Summer Solstice news and other headlines, we turn our attention to controversies surrounding a pair of "bombshell" leaked memos, one claiming to shed light on deep black special access UFO programs, and the other alleging that government crash retrievals might have occurred. Can these documents be believed? Not if one high-ranking military official mentioned in one of the documents is to be believed. 

This brings us to some of the problems inherent to UFOs, and whether it is a subject that science can be applied to in a unified, constructive way. What is really at the heart of the mystery of UFOs? We explore these questions, and much more on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Jun 23, 2020
Space Signals: Decoding the Mystery of FRBs | MHP 06.15.20.
01:24:11

Recently, astronomers have begun to notice something odd about a long-standing space mystery: the curious fast radio bursts (or FRBs) that were first discovered back in 2007. In recent weeks, the FRBs appear to be firing off light pulses on a schedule... but what could that mean?

This week, after news and the long-awaited announcement about an all-new supplemental podcast we have just launched, we turn our attention to what scientists have to say about the enduring mystery of fast radio bursts, and why some of them pulse strange signals on a clockwork-like schedule. Joining us to discuss this is science writer Becky Ferreira, a contributor to VICE/Motherboard, Wired, Popular Science, New Scientist, Bike Radar, and Sparknotes, among other publications. She gives us the latest on the FRB mystery, what their strange pulsations might mean, and a range of other questions this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Jun 17, 2020
Mystery Booms: Tracking the Phenomenon | MHP 060820
01:40:40

Mysterious sounds of unexplained origin have been documented in places all around the world. Such noises are often likened to thunder-like “booms” or explosions, and although a number of suggestions have been made as to what their causes may be, no conclusive determinations have been made. What are the "mystery booms," and what kinds of phenomena--natural or otherwise--might account for their occurrence? 

On this edition of The Micah Hanks Program, we after news and updates on the discovery of the famous Forrest Fenn treasure (as well as several similar instances of "lost" treasures from over the years), we go in pursuit of answers to the mystery boom phenomenon. While many of the booms have conventional explanations, there may also be instances where natural phenomena can result in loud booms late in the evening or early morning hours. More tantalizing, however, is the idea that some of the booms might be related to unidentified hypersonic aircraft, for which there is a surprising amount of evidence. We look at that, and much more on this week's episode of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Jun 10, 2020
The Myth and Mystery of UFOs | MHP 06.01.20.
01:40:46

What are UFOs? Is there more than one answer to this question, and does new information forthcoming on the subject in recent years, which includes videos of unidentified objects or aircraft obtained by the Navy, change the fact that the UFO subject bears qualities of "mythic" proportions? 

After news about the exciting achievements of SpaceX and their successful launch of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on Saturday, we turn our attention to the "Myth and Mystery of UFOs," which became the title of a book by our guest, Thomas E. Bullard, Ph.D. Bullard's doctoral research included searching numerous newspapers for accounts of the 1896-97 airships and other pre-1947 sightings. In 1987, Bullard completed a study titled, "UFO Abductions-The Measure of a Mystery," a comparative study on UFO abduction claims.

Bullard followed this study with articles published in the Journal of American Folklore, Journal of UFO Studies, IUR, the MUFON UFO Journal, and the 1999 MUFON UFO Symposium. He contributed several articles to the Abduction Study Conference held at MIT in 1992m and in 2010 authored the book, The Myth and Mystery of UFOs, published by the University Press of Kansas. We dig into this weighty topic with Dr. Bullard, and get his perspectives as a folklorist on the enduring mystery of UFOs on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Jun 03, 2020
Paleo-SETI: UFOs and Space Explorers in Antiquity | MHP 05.25.20.
01:42:53

Most historians of the UFO subject would recognize its beginning in 1947 with Kenneth Arnold's sighting of mysterious flying "saucers" over Mount Ranier, Washington. However, similar descriptions of unusual aerial phenomena have persisted throughout history. Many--if not most--of these incidents represent natural phenomena observed by people in prescientific times, although their study today may be helpful in understanding the broader idea of UFOs and human attitudes toward them. 

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, after a look at the news we turn our attention toward what scientists over the years have had to say about aerial phenomena from classical antiquity that some compare to modern UFO reports, as well as extraterrestrial life, and even whether space explorers might have ever visited Earth in the ancient past. "What may surprise the serious student of the subject," wrote the late NASA scholar Richard B. Stothers in 2007, "is that, despite the numerous articles and books published by scientists on UFOs over the past six decades, almost no scholarly studies of the very early history of the phenomenon have appeared."

While some classical reports of aerial phenomena are indeed worthy of further study, even the famed astronomer Carl Sagan had once argued the statistical likelihood that Earth might have been visited in the ancient past by interstellar explorers... an idea he became increasingly wary of with the popularization of more dubious "ancient astronaut" theories. We look at how scientists have studied the question of Earth visitation and aerial phenomena in ancient times on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

May 26, 2020
Navy Encounters With Rogue Aircraft | MHP 05.18.20.
01:36:49

Between 2013 and 2019, several incidents involving unidentified "rogue" aircraft encountered by Navy pilots occurred in military airspace off the East Coast of the United States. The incidents, detailed in newly released "hazard reports" obtained via Freedom of Information Act request by The Warzone and other outlets, are shedding new light on the ongoing saga of the Navy's UFO encounters... but what do the new reports really tell us? 

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, after giving a breakdown of the media's coverage of these new developments, we are joined in studio by writer Brett Tingley, a reporter for The Warzone--the publication that broke this story--and US Air Force veteran Jeff Smith, a retired C-130 navigator with close to 3000 hours in flight, who help us wade through the details of these hazard reports and what they mean. Are "unidentified" objects really the main concern, or should be more worried about technologies that are much closer to home? We'll ask these, and other questions about mysterious "rogue aircraft" on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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May 19, 2020
NASA's "Secret" UFO Files | MHP 05.11.20.
01:46:30

What does the government really know about UFOs? Does our military possess information about unexplained aerial phenomena that remains unknown to the general public, and what are their attitudes toward it?

For several years now, we have slowly been getting a clearer picture of what the U.S. government does—and does not—know about UFOs. As shown by the recent “official” release by the Department of Defense of three UFO videos previously made available online in 2017, the government certainly has been keeping some information about the subject. However, they also admit that they still can’t identify the objects in the videos.

Yet with all of the attention the Navy, Air Force, and other branches are getting these days with relation to UFOs, when it comes to asking what the “government” really knows, there is one agency that seems to attract a lot less attention: NASA. This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we delve into what the U.S. space agency has to say about unexplained aerial phenomena, as we go in search of NASA's "secret" UFO files, tucked away within a little-known aviation safety reporting database. 

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May 13, 2020
UFOs, the Military and the Media | MHP 05.04.20.
02:05:27

In 2017, the New York Times featured the article "Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program," which initiated a system reset for public perception of the UFO phenomenon. However, UFOs weren't always considered among the ranks of "all the news that's fit to print" as far as topics covered by "The Gray Lady," which has remained for decades an American "newspaper of record." What has caused the shifting attitudes toward UFOs over the years, and what role has the New York Times played in influencing that? 

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off in celebration of May the 4th, a favorite of Star Wars fans everywhere, before turning our attention to space news. Micah also recaps his recent appearance on Coast to Coast AM with researcher John Greenwald of The Black Vault to discuss the DoD's recent "official" release of UFO videos, before turning our attention to the history of media coverage of this subject, and the role newspapers like The New York Times have played in steering public perception of the UFO phenomenon. 

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May 06, 2020
04.27.20. Big Footprints: Sasquatch and Science
01:45:20

For many, the idea of any large, unrecognized mammals still existing in North America would seem impossible; add to that that the words bipedal primate, and the subject goes from "impossible" to just plain crazy. That wasn't the case for Jeffrey Meldrum though, when he came upon the trackway of an animal that left an "enigmatic track of 15-inch footprints in Washington." 

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with news about the 30th anniversary of the Hubbel Space Telescope and other space discoveries, before turning our attention to a release posted at the Department of Defense website which gives their rationale for "officially" releasing a trio of UFO videos that have been in the public domain for years already. Then in the latter half of the program, we turn our attention to the subject of Sasquatch, and one scientist's search for proof that the creature is more than just a legend. 

Dr. Jeff Meldrum holds a doctorate in anatomical sciences with an emphasis in physical anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and is currently a Full Professor of Anatomy & Anthropology in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at Idaho State University. In addition to being the leading scientific authority on the possible existence of "relict hominoids," his book Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science examines the case for a large, bipedal primate existing in North America. We discuss this with Dr. Meldrum on this special edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Apr 28, 2020
04.20.20. Death, Abduction and the UFO: A Modern Mythology
01:53:41

In 1958, psychologist Carl Jung authored one of the most unusual essays of his entire lifetime. Titled Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, he both acknowledged the mytho-psychological components of the UFO mystery, while acknowledging that myths and symbols alone cannot be tracked on radar. But what does the study of the mythological element in UFO sightings tell us about the phenomenon, and maybe more importantly, ourselves?

This week on the Micah Hanks Program, after news about the search for habitable planets and the newest discovery vindicating Einstein's theory of general relativity, we turn our attention to the work of one man who, after a lifetime of interest in the UFO subject, believes that the answer to this mystery may exist within ourselves. 

"Back in the 1960s, David Halperin was a teenage UFO investigator," his website states. "From 1976 through 2000, David taught Jewish history in the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Now retired from teaching, he lives in North Carolina with his wife Rose." The author of five non-fiction books on Jewish mysticism and messianism, and "the coming-of-age novel" Journal of a UFO Investigator, David joins us to discuss his latest offering, Intimate Alien: The Hidden Story of the UFO this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Apr 22, 2020
04.13.20. Interstellar: Visitors From Beyond
01:43:22

In October 2017, a mysterious visitor was spotted by astronomers as it passed through our solar system. First believed to be a comet, the strange object was named 'Oumuamua, meaning 'scout' or 'first distant messenger.' Since its discovery, 'Oumuamua has continued to baffle scientists, displaying unusual acceleration and other capabilities that leave its identity and origins in question.

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, after news and analysis of a recent string of UFO sightings around the Great Lakes (along with some pretty lazy reporting in that regard), we take a look back at the strange "Dancing Plague of 1518," and what modern science has to say about it. Finally, the heart of our discussion deals with the search for interstellar objects in our solar system, and whether evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence might be found in this way.

Some have even proposed that 'Oumuamua might be an interstellar probe sent into space by some intelligent alien civilization, notably Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb, who drew some criticism for his proposal. We look at the scientific search for alien life, and the history of astronomers who spotted UFOs over the last several centuries in our exploration this week on The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Apr 14, 2020
04.06.20. Black Triangles Over Belgium
01:49:32

On the night of March 30, 1990, a Belgian gendarmerie placed a call to the Control Reporting Station at Glons to report a sighting of an unidentified flying object. The craft had three lights that could be seen changing colors from red to yellow to green, and within the hour a pair of F-16s had been dispatched to attempt to intercept the object, in what would become one of the most widely-discussed black triangle UFO incidents of all time.

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with news about a stellar alignment that has recently had some stargazers wondering about the planet Venus, as well as how the current pandemic is preventing some astronomers from keeping tabs on the most perplexing object to pass through our planetary neighborhood since the enigmatic 'Oumuamua. Also, why is the coronavirus being blamed for UFO sightings around the world, especially in Belgium?

The end of March saw the 30th anniversary of one of the highest-profile UFO incidents of the last century, which occurred during a wave of similar black triangle UFO sightings over parts of Belgium. The intercept attempt that unfolded was just one of many such incidents involving large, often triangular-shaped objects that were observed by reputable members of law enforcement and government over Belgium. To this day, the origin of the unusual black triangle UFO craft remains in question, which leaves the events that occurred in Belgium’s airspace among the most unusual—and convincing—in the larger inventory of modern UFO sighting reports. We look back on this unusual series of events and their lasting implications for UFO research, all on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Apr 07, 2020
03.30.20: Strange Survivors and Credible Cryptids
01:48:13

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, as we celebrate National Doctor's Day, we send a special thank you to doctors everywhere for their work in the midst of the current pandemic, along with hearing what advice a certain time-traveling Doctor had to pass along in light of current events. We then shift our attention to the news, and a quick check-in from Ryan Sprague of the Somewhere in the Skies podcast, who updates us on the current situation in New York.

Then we are joined for the rest of the program by Oné R. Pagan Ph.D., a biologist at West Chester University, Pennsylvania and author of books that include Strange Survivors: How Organisms Attack and Defend in the Game of Life, which looks at the unusual ways that organisms adapt to their environments in order to survive. In addition to survival mechanisms, we also get into the discussion of living fossils like the coelacanth, as well as animals like the Tasmanian tiger which many believe could still exist. We also look at what Pagan calls "credible cryptids" such as the Orang Pendek, a variety of small, hairy hominin alleged to exist in the remote jungles of Sumatra, all on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Mar 31, 2020
03.23.20. Outbreak: The Disease Detectives
01:55:13

On this edition of The Micah Hanks Program, after news and listener emails pertaining to strange things in our skies, we have an odd question about pandemics in mind: how are outbreaks like UFO flaps, and why do some similarities exist between the two?

To look at these questions, and how science applies to both scenarios, we are joined by retired epidemiologist Thomas Glass, Ph.D., an expert on outbreaks whose Ph.D. in medical sociology was obtained at Duke University. Over the last three decades, Glass has held faculty positions in epidemiology at Yale, Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Dr. Glass joins us both to share his interest in the building current interest in the UFO topic, as well as to lend his expertise with regard to the current coronavirus pandemic situation. With so much news building on public concerns about the coronavirus, Dr. Glass brings an informed message of hope--not hype--that presents both an engaging and interesting discussion of the current global pandemic situation. 

When an outbreak occurs, how do viruses spread, and what kinds of factors do epidemiologists watch for as the situation unfolds? And why are there similarities between how an epidemiologist investigates and outbreak, and how UFO researchers investigate some sightings reports? We look at all of these questions, and more on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Mar 24, 2020
03.16.20. Bodies of Evidence: Death of the Sasquatch
01:46:43

For centuries, there have been stories about large, manlike animals in the Pacific Northwest and other remote parts of America. The creature known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot has long been searched for, but meager physical evidence has left its existence in question. Hence, many skeptics and advocates alike have proposed that only one thing will ever settle the debate: a body.

After catching up on news, we feature an update on the coronavirus this week, looking at its origins, and what scientists know about it as concerns about the virus spread. Then after getting caught up on listener emails, we turn our attention to the controversial question of killing Sasquatch. Many would dismiss the idea entirely based on the presumption that the creature is only a myth, but concerns over would-be Sasquatch hunters have resulted in legislation being passed in places like Skamania County, Washington, as a public safety measure. Even those who don't believe in Sasquatch can see how laws "protecting" the creature may be a good idea... but in the unlikely event that a body was ever discovered, what would that mean for science, and how would state and local government respond?

Even more unusual is the question over whether bodies of unidentified, manlike creatures actually have been recovered in the past, and lost. Claims of Sasquatch killings have been made for years, and yet no physical remains have been recovered. Is it time to close the book on hopes for the creature's existence, or is the merit to the idea of continuing the search... and even killing one, if it's necessary to prove they're out there? We weigh all of these questions on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Mar 18, 2020
03.09.20. Operation Saucer: Incident at Colares
01:52:00

In 1977, panic had struck the northern coast of Brazil. Many residents on the island of Colares and nearby locales like Belém were reporting nighttime observations of strange lights in the sky, which often cast bright beams of light toward individuals that left burns, unusual markings, and other physical effects. 

The reports became so concerning that local officials requested aid from the Brazilian Air Force, who spent four months between 1977 and 1978 investigating the unidentified flying objects appearing over the island. The program, dubbed Operação Prato or "Operation Saucer", resulted in four pieces of film footage depicting one of the objects, along with hundreds of photographs representing unusual illuminations and aerial objects in the skies above Northern Brazil. The files were later released by the Brazilian National Archives, and comprise what some feel to be one of the most comprehensive government UFO studies in all history. 

We examine this unusual period in Brazilian history, the "attacks" by UFOs that were allegedly occurring at that time, and what the government response to the affair had been on this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Mar 11, 2020
03.02.20. Ghosts in the Sky: Mystery Aircraft of Area 51
01:44:43

This week, biologists are excited about what might be a unique protein found inside an ancient meteorite, which could have tremendous implications not just for alien life, but also raises questions about the origins of life here on Earth. Astronomers have also located what is believed to be evidence for the biggest explosion ever found in the cosmos, and an unusual, anaerobic life form that lives in the living tissue of another aquatic creature. 

We then turn our attention toward the topic of mystery aircraft and secretive black budget programs that the U.S. military has allegedly been involved with for decades. The history of spy planes and secret aircraft since the end of WWII begins at Area 51, the secret test facility at Groom Lake, Nevada, which has attained near-mythical status over the years for the rumors about UFO-like aircraft developed there. However, among the known kinds of aircraft that were built and flown out of the facility were the U-2 spy plane and its successor, the SR-71 Blackbird.

Since the SR-71 was decommissioned in 1990, many aerospace experts and UFO buffs alike have wondered what other kinds of top-secret, experimental aircraft might have been developed there over the years. Further questions surround reports of eerie, massive flying wings and "black triangles" seen in the skies over parts of the American southwestern deserts and various other locales. The Pentagon has maintained that no such aircraft exist... but if so, how can we account for the hundreds of sighting reports, which have led to investigations by organizations ranging from the Federation of American Scientists, to Robert Bigelow's National Institute for Discovery Science? Our deep-dive this week takes us beyond "Deep Black" as we go in search of answers behind the enduring mystery aircraft of Area 51. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. Please note that some links to books and other items on this page may feature Amazon Associate links.

Mar 03, 2020
02.24.20. The Hynek Report: UFOs, Radar & Close Encounters
01:53:07

This week, we lead off with news about artificial intelligence, and the passing of an influential NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, before turning our attention to Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force study of UFOs, and its scientific consultant J. Allen Hynek. 

During the early years of the Air Force’s UFO investigations, Hynek, a professor of astronomy at Ohio State University, was tasked with lending his scientific knowledge as the astronomical consultant to programs like Project Blue Book. 

As noted at the website of the Center for UFO Studies (which Hynek founded in 1973), “At first, Dr. Hynek was skeptical of the whole UFO business, but after examining hundreds of UFO reports by credible witnesses, he became convinced UFOs were worthy of serious study.” Even for years after the close of Project Blue Book, Hynek would continue to pursue answers to the UFO mystery, instituting a system of classification comprising Nocturnal Lights, Daylight Discs, Radar Cases, and three different levels of “Close Encounter,” the most rare and controversial of all the UFO sighting types. We explore all of these, as well as what Hynek had to say about Project Blue Book and his participation with it, on this edition of the podcast.

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. 

Feb 26, 2020
02.17.20. The Real X-Files: Inside the Government's UFO Program
01:47:25

On this special edition of The Micah Hanks Program, after opening news pertaining to astronomy and the search by scientists for extraterrestrial life, we are joined by freelance investigative reporter Lt. Tim McMillan, who recently published an article in Popular Mechanics which gives us the most complete perspective to-date of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a mysterious Pentagon program that studied unexplained aerial phenomenon. McMillan gives us new details about the program's former director, Luis Elizondo, and his involvement with the Pentagon effort to study UAP, as well as the role of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), which had been subcontracted for the study. More importantly, McMillan explains why much of what the program entailed has been kept off-the-books and had been intended to remain that way.

Then in hour two, we are joined by a pioneer in the field of UFO research, Bruce Maccabee Ph.D., a physicist and researcher whose investigations into UFOs began in the 1960s. Over the ensuing decades, he worked not only to apply science to UFO investigations, but also in appealing to the government for information it has on the topic of unidentified flying objects. This led to Maccabee's acquisition of FBI files, popularly known as the Bureau's "Flying Saucer File", which Maccabee calls "The Real X-Files."

The name is more than just a play on the popular 1990s television program The X-Files, however. As Maccabee notes, several of the files in the trove of documents he obtained from the FBI decades ago contained the label "Security Matter-X", which Maccabee notes had indicated there was information contained therein which might be deemed "unreliable"... in this case, pertaining to UFOs. We discuss Maccabee's history of research into the phenomenon, and what they mean more broadly for UFO studies, and the U.S. government's involvement in them over the decades.

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. 

Feb 18, 2020
02.10.20. Strange Times at Skinwalker Ranch
01:41:48

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we launch into this week's news with a look at the European Space Agency's ambitions to study our Sun. Meanwhile, something odd is sending messages to Earth... are we getting any closer to solving the mystery of fast radio bursts? 

Then later in the program, there is perhaps no place in paranormal lore that has attracted more attention than Skinwalker Ranch, a property in Utah that is renowned for being a "hotspot" for UFO and other unexplained activity. Joining us to discuss the ranch and its odd history is journalist MJ Banias, an author whose work regularly appears in Popular Mechanics and VICE, and whose latest feature piece for the latter publication chronicles his trip to the fabled Utah ranch location. Banias is the author of The UFO People: A Curious Culture, and was a contributor to the anthology UFOs: Reframing the Debate. MJ's work has also been featured in Fortean Times, Mysterious Universe, and FATE Magazine.

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. 

Feb 12, 2020
02.03.20. UFOs, Dreams & the Modern Shamanic Experience
01:44:39

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we celebrate a belated Groundhog Day, and the peculiar annual tradition about an immortal groundhog who can predict the future, along with what scientists have revealed about a 3000-year-old mummy that has people talking (including the mummy). We then shift our attention over to the topic of magnetic pole reversals, and the "dark side" of Wikipedia, one of the most popular websites on the Internet. The site's editors have a bias... but what does that mean for the study of topics like UFOs? 

Then later in the program we are joined by Red Pill Junkie, a Mexico City-based blogger and commentator on topics like UFOs, as well as traditional indigenous spiritual practices. Few would consider (particularly in the Western world) that there might be some continuity between topics like UFOs and shamanism, but many scholars--psychologists in particular--that have studied both experiences have noted many remarkable parallels. We discuss this with Red Pill Junkie, along with his interactions with the director of the film Witness of Another World, which examines these in the context of one of Latin America's most controversial UFO cases. 

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. 

Feb 05, 2020
01.27.20. The Tehran UFO Incident of 1976
01:56:16

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, after news updates related to the current coronavirus scare, as well as a House Resolution aimed at getting NASA to prioritize Mars over our return trips to the Moon, we take a deep-dive into the events surrounding a 1976 UFO incident over Tehran, Iran, which remains one of the most significant military UFO encounters of all time.

Shortly after midnight on September 19, 1976, residents from various parts of Tehran had begun placing calls to the local Mehrabad airport with reports of a brightly lit object passing through the sky. Soon afterward, a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom from Shahrokhi Air Force Base to attempt to engage the object. What began to transpire as the pilot and his weapons officer approached Tehran was more like something one would expect to have seen in an episode of Star Trek than to have read of among noteworthy events in military aviation history.

We explore government documents, historical parallels, and a range of speculations from researchers, skeptics, and members of government pertaining to this tantalizing case, as well as similar events occurring elsewhere around that time, and the event’s broader reaching implications over the decades.

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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators. 

Jan 29, 2020
01.20.20. Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: The Language of Myth
01:43:41

This week on the Micah Hanks Program, our discussion ensues with a look at a true sea monster, the giant squid, and what the sequencing of its genome has revealed about how strange the creatures really are. We also look at ancient scorpion ancestors, supercomputers in search of ancient extinctions, and then turning our attention to the future, Elon Musk's recent claim that he'll have one million people on the Moon by 2050... is that a practical goal? 

Later, the concept of lost ancient technologies has long intrigued scholars and researchers. While some precocious instances of technology like the famous Antikythera Mechanism have been recovered, little evidence in support of advanced ancient civilization from "worlds before our own" has been recovered. But are there references to unique discoveries and "lost knowledge" that might have once existed that can be found in mythologies from around the world? Although we maintain some of these ancient secrets may not have been highly advanced, per se, early experiments with flight, architecture, ancient surgical practices, astronomy, and a host of other things may very well have occurred;  could references to these forms of "lost knowledge" be encoded in mythology from around the world? 

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Jan 22, 2020
01.13.20. Chasing Disclosure: UFOs, Sci-Fi and Alien Life
01:48:49

This week on the Micah Hanks Program, we have science fiction on our minds, and questions about what fictional stories about aliens actually tell us about ourselves. We also touch on news including the myth of “Blue Monday,” and a mysterious orb in one of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings, the Salvator Mundi, which some physicists believe had been a real object… despite baffling scientists and art historians for decades. Also, why is one popular online genealogy company catching heat for what it’s doing with the DNA it gathers from its customers?

We are then joined by Eric Wojciechowski, a novelist and writer for Skeptic magazine and other publications. Eric has penned essays and critical commentary since the 1990s on issues ranging from ancient astronaut theory to atheism, politics, and UFOs. We talk with a UFO skeptic about what led him to write a novel, Chasing Disclosure, where UFOs, ancient alien theory, and other paranormal themes are par for the course. Wojciechowski talks with us about all of these ideas, and shares his unique story of personal correspondence he once shared with Zechariah Sitchin, the controversial ancient astronaut theorist who gave rise to popular ideas of a hidden “Planet Nibiru” inhabited by an alien race called the Annunaki.

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Jan 15, 2020
01.06.20. Space Force: The Military and the Final Frontier
01:45:22

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, it appears that Earth had a close encounter over the weekend... with the Sun. In addition to astronomy news, we look at historical mysteries involving the ancient Amazon warrior women, how DNA is helping us understand the enigma of early American "vampires," and whether time machines will ever be a part of our reality. 

We also touch on one astronaut's belief that alien life exists... and why it might even be here on Earth today. However, in light of the recent troubling news out of the Middle East, we turn our attention to the future of warfare on this episode, with a deep look at the US Space Force, which became a reality after being signed into law as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Far from being a new idea, the notion of an exclusive space division of the US military has been around for a long time, with proposals dating back to 2001. However, we note some of the historical parallels that exist between our military, aviation and aerospace innovations, and the UFO phenomenon... could some Pentagon officials even have UFOs in mind with relation to the establishment of the Space Force? If astronauts accounts of unidentified "bogeys" are any indication, then maybe it's not such a far-out idea. 

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Jan 08, 2020