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
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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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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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Show Notes

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Sign up today and get access to the entire back catalog of The Micah Hanks Program, as well as “classic” episodes of The Gralien Report Podcast, weekly “additional editions” of the subscriber-only X Podcast, the monthly Enigmas specials, and much more.

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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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Show Notes

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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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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 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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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 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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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 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
12.30.19. The Eve of Tomorrow: 2019 Wrap-Up and 2020 Forecast
01:42:54

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, as we look back on another year we cover stories in the news of mysterious archaeological discoveries, interspecies communication, and breakthroughs in space and astronomy. Then getting to listener emails, Micah gives his take on one pilot's story of a strange group of lights observed in early November, and what they might be; we also touch on the developing story of unusual drones that Colorado residents have recently seen flying by night, which have many residents and others concerned about who may be operating them. 

We then turn our attention toward some of the biggest stories not just of the last year, but of the last decade as we head into the 2020s. Landmark breakthroughs in physics, genetics, and other areas of science are paving the way toward a world of tomorrow unlike many would have dreamed just decades ago... but are we necessarily better for it? Chief among many forecasts for the 2020s are continuing developments in the field of artificial intelligence, which are certain to make the world of tomorrow a "brave new world" indeed. 

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Jan 01, 2020
12.23.19. Christmas in the Cosmos: The Power of Myth
01:43:37

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, 'tis the season, and we lead off with NASA news, a last-minute shopping list for the adventurous among us, and the history behind Christmas traditions involving evergreens that date back as far as ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. We also check in on odd tales of synchronicities and plant consciousness from this year's annual "Holiday Fandango", shared with our friends from the Grimerica Show and the Cruisin' with Steak podcast.

Then in the second hour, we acknowledge a holiday tradition that has been more than four decades in the making: the famous Star Wars film franchise, which has long driven holiday sales with its films, books, toys and other media. With the appearance in theaters this year of The Rise of Skywalker, the much-anticipated conclusion to the film series, we turn our attention toward the mythological themes present in the Star Wars story. Key to this was George Lucas's influence by mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose books like The Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth helped inspire themes in the Star Wars films that borrow from world traditions, religious beliefs, and other themes that often transcend cultural barriers. We will explore this in-depth, and other themes on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Dec 25, 2019
12.16.19. UFOs: Theories of Origin
01:49:50

This week on The Micah Hanks Podcast, we remember the words of the late astronomer J. Allen Hynek, who said of the study of UFOs, “the ‘U’ in UFO, of course, simply means unidentified, it does not necessarily mean visitors from outer space.” While the idea of extraterrestrial visitors remains among the most popular interpretations of the UFO phenomenon in modern times, a number of alternatives do exist.

To understand the UFOs mystery, and why there are so many opinions about what they might be, we turn our attention back to the early days of science fiction and its influence on the idea that alien life may exist, and even be able to visit our planet. We then look at early assessments made by the US Air Force, and how those controversial early studies might have influenced ideas about extraterrestrial visitation.

Such events in history helped shape the idea of an “Extraterrestrial Hypothesis”, or ETH behind the UFO mystery. However, with time, many researchers would begin to become increasingly dissatisfied with an extraterrestrial interpretation of the issue. Namely, computer scientist and physicist Jacques Vallee became noteworthy after the publication of his book, Passport to Magonia, which began to compare modern UFO reports to fairy lore of the British Isles and other folklore from around the world, noting the parallels, while moving in a more ambiguous area with relation to the interpretation of what UFOs might actually be. What are the alternatives, how many unique possibilities might there be, and what best can account for the origin of unidentified flying objects? We will explore all this, and more, on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Dec 17, 2019
11.09.19. Coffee With Forteans: David Weatherly Drops In
01:53:29

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with stories that include the discovery of a new an enigmatic ancient archaeological site in Turkey, as well as a lost Taiwanese hiker who describes an experience very similar to alleged "Third Man Factor" cases where a felt presence aids lost hikers and others in life-or-death situations. 

We are then joined by David Weatherly, an author, traveler, researcher and Fortean with a wide variety of interests. David began studying indigenous ceremonial traditions many decades ago, before he began publishing books on the unexplained, which include his widely acclaimed series Wood Knocks, a periodic journal of Sasquatch which features contributions from a number of writers and researchers with long-time involvement in the field. David and Micah recently caught up for coffee during a visit to the Bunker, and the conversation goes in a number of unique directions over the course of this lengthy discourse on Forteana. 

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Dec 10, 2019
12.02.19. Mad Scientists and Metamaterials
01:35:33

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with a recap of the debate over alleged samples of “alien” meta-materials, which are currently in the hands of Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences. The samples were sold to TTSA by UFO researcher Linda Moulton Howe, who obtained them from the late radio host Art Bell. There are a number of odd stories of near-mythic proportions associated with them, and now even the U.S. Army is interested in studying the samples and any unusual properties they may possess.

To address this, we are then joined Chris Cogswell, who received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering focusing on the study of nanomaterials for use as catalysts and adsorbents from Northeastern University. He has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and philosophy from the University of New Hampshire. He is the former MUFON Director of Research and is also is one of the hosts of the Mad Scientist podcast, which covers the history and philosophy of science, as well as fringe science claims throughout time. He often discusses UFOs on this program as well, which we are eager to delve into a bit with him here.

“One possibility we cannot ignore here,” Cogswell says, “is that our current science may not be able to understand or determine the properties or applications for which a given material has been engineered.” More broadly speaking, we wonder whether the same might not apply to any attempt at observing a significantly more advanced technology. We get Cogswell’s opinions on this, in relation to the controversy surrounding the “alien metal” in the possession of the To the Stars Academy, and much more on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

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Dec 03, 2019
11.25.19. The Nimitz Witnesses
01:44:58

On this week's edition of The Micah Hanks Program, we continue our discussion of what is widely known as The USS Nimitz UFO Incident, involving events that transpired in 2004 as the U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group 11 began detecting unusual radar returns during training operations off the Southern California coast. 

Joining us in the first hour to discuss this is Emmy-Award winning producer and cinematographer David C. Beaty. Dave is a UFO researcher, journalist, and filmmaker, whose career in non-fiction television and documentary spans more than 25 years, with productions having aired on the Travel Channel, History Channel and PBS. Beaty's film, The Nimitz Encounters, features a culmination of his craft, including extensive use of 3D computer animation and graphics as well as electronic music and sound design all crafted by the filmmaker.

Then in the second hour, we are joined by Gary Voorhis and Ryan Weigelt, both of whom served with the Navy’s Strike Carrier Group-11, which became involved in this unusual incident while sailing 100 miles off the coast of Southern California in 2004. Voorhis, a former Petty Officer 3rd Class Fire Controlman aboard the USS Princeton, was at the time of this incident one of the only system technicians for the Cooperative Engagement Capability and AEGIS Combat systems, which included the AN/SPY-1 Bravo radar system. Weigelt is former Leading Petty Officer and had been the power plant specialist of the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter.

Both men share facts and details with us about the systems they operated during their time in service with the US Navy Strike Carrier Group 11, and some of the possibilities they have considered about the famous USS Nimitz UFO incident of 2004.

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Nov 27, 2019
11.18.19. Interception: UFO Data and the Military
01:48:35

On this edition of the program, after opening with news in the world of zoology that includes the rediscovery of a species that had been unseen for decades, as well as what science says about the closest living modern relatives to a gigantic "Sasquatch" that lived during the Ice Age, we shift our attention to the anniversary of one of the most important UFO incidents in modern history: the strange case of the Japanese Airlines 1628 incident, where a former fighter pilot and his crew were pursued by a massive unidentified flying object while passing over Alaska. We also touch on incidents involving strange aerial objects observed over U.S. missile launch sites and nuclear facilities, with the recurring theme of government secrecy pertaining to such cases. 

Then later in the program we are joined by Tim McMillan, a retired law enforcement officer who presently works as an investigative journalist and freelance writer, whose recent Popular Mechanics piece discussed testimony given my numerous servicemen who were present during the widely discussed USS Nimitz UFO incident of 2004. Here again, some of those witnesses have discussed how information pertaining to the incident was later retrieved by individuals appearing to represent some government agency. We look at the facts surrounding this case, and ask the fundamental question, "what branch of government is collecting data about UFO incidents?" 

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Nov 19, 2019
11.11.19. Charles Fort: Prophet of the Damned
01:44:23

On this episode of The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with the latest update in the ongoing search for Amelia Earhart, as well as an unusual planetary appearance as one of Earth's neighbors makes a rare transit across the sun. We also discuss moon rocks, mystery objects falling from the sky, and our study of deep space with probes like Voyager 1 and 2, which might eventually be discovered one day by other civilizations far beyond our solar system. 

Then later in the program, we turn our attention to one of the most influential minds of the 20th century, Charles Fort. It was Fort's The Book of the Damned--published one century ago this year--that ushered in a new era of thought in relation to anomalous phenomena in nature, sparking renewed interest and a wave of like-minded "heretics" that would follow in his footsteps. However, while Fort has been called "the man who invented the supernatural," arguably his most prescient contributions of all had to do with his collection of data pertaining to aerial anomalies, which seemingly anticipated our coming to awareness of UFOs.

We examine Fort's writings that dealt with these cultural predecessors to modern UFO reports, comparing the similarities and differences, and studying the way that the discussion has changed in relation to the topic since the "pre-UFO" era when Fort wrote his magnum opus on "Forteana."  

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Nov 12, 2019
11.04.19. The Airships: UFOs in the 1890s
01:42:49

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with a story of odd magic and the strange disappearance of the famous "Wizard Rock" bolder in Arizona, and the even more unusual reappearance of the massive stone several days later. We also touch on the "secret" society known as Freemasonry, and why they aren't actually as mysterious (anymore) as many would think. 

Then getting to the heart of our conversation, we turn our attention back to a familiar topic, but with new questions: a flap of sightings in the skies over America between 1896 and 1897 of odd "airships" of unexplained origin. What was the source of lights that were being reported in various parts of the country, first in Sacramento, California, and later further East and in other locales? Many alleged inventors were appearing in the popular press of that era, some of whom had actually published designs for flying vehicles with the U.S. Patent Office.

Is it possible that some of the strange reports of lights, and even large cigar-shaped aircraft resembling dirigibles, could have been the result of intrepid inventors who were ahead of the aviation innovation game over America by a few years? If so, what can we learn about the broader UFO phenomenon from taking a historic approach to the study of odd things seen in the skies over time? 

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Nov 06, 2019
10.28.19. The Man in Black
01:55:09

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, as Halloween is just around the corner, we bring in the season with tales of haunted houses, mysterious monstrous eggs found deep in the ocean, and a whistleblower's story of searching for extraterrestrials. 

Then for our "Unidentified October" segment, we look at eerie stories of "ghost lights", and how geophysics might hold the key to understanding strange lights seen in the night in various places around the world for centuries. James Waldo, a professional geologist with the Army Corps of Engineers, has seen them on many occasions in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, and gives us a few ideas on what their causes might be. 

Then in the conclusion to our Halloween series for 2019, we look to one of the most frightening and ubiquitous terrors of all time: that of the "Man in Black." Since ancient times, our fear of darkness has led us to view mysterious, black-clad strangers as omens or harbingers of misfortune. This universal theme of a mysterious evil force embodied in an odd, and at times a mischievous stranger, has become a staple of the horror novels written by "The Master Storyteller" Stephen King over the years. What are the origins of this ultimate evil, and why does it so often take the form of a mysterious "Man in Black," whether in fiction, folk traditions from around the world, or even modern literature pertaining to UFO encounters? 

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Oct 29, 2019
10.21.19. Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster
01:48:51

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with a Halloween-themed news segment that looks at a pair of real "monsters" of nature, as well as a strange (and scary-looking) creature from Madagascar that locals call "cursed," and which has been keeping a remarkable secret. Also, we have the fright-inducing news about what constant exposure to blue light might actually be doing to us. 

Then for our "Unidentified October" segment, we begin with a look at the news about Tom Delonge's To The Stars Academy's recent contract agreement with the U.S. Army, and what that means. We're also joined for a segment by author M.J. Banias, a writer for VICE and author of the book The UFO People. M.J. is a history teacher who offers both a historical and philosophical perspective on the UFO subject, as well as people's belief systems pertaining to it. You can learn more about M.J. at his blog Terra Obscura

Then in the final half of the show, we continue our study of famous monsters of the horror genre with a look at one of the most famous horror novels of all time, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which has frightened readers and inspired countless versions and spinoffs in film and other media. However, the message behind the story and its misguided protagonist, Victor Frankenstein--a man who attempted to "play God" with terrible consequences--remains as strong today. Especially as we look at news like that of scientists who may be growing sentient brain matter in the laboratory... at one point should we say that such experiments have gone too far? 

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Oct 22, 2019
10.14.19. Wolf Man: Origins of the Werewolf
01:40:02

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, as the passing weeks bring us closer to the Halloween season, we lead off with the discussion of cricket swarms in Texas that some have compared to Biblical plagues; we also touch on a set of mysterious footprints found by a North Carolina man. Elsewhere, one scientist thinks we found life on Mars... all the way back in 1976. 

On the subject of alien life, a former government insider recently had a lot to say on the subject of UFOs in an op-ed for The Hill; we discuss the significance of the article, and the broader need for serious discussion of the National Security implications of the UFO subject. Then joining us by phone for an update is Brett Tingley, a writer for The Warzone who has been covering the curious case of a series of U.S. Navy patents that boast remarkably UFO-like technologies

Then in the final portion of the program, we turn our attention to the myth and superstition involving lycanthropy and werewolves. In addition to being one of our favorite monsters from the Silver Screen, the "wolf man" is a cultural motif found all over the world, which comes in many shapes and forms. We also look at famous historical cases involving alleged "real life" werewolves, such as Peter Stubb, the infamous Wolf Man of Bedburg, and perhaps most curious of all, France's Beast of Le Gevaudan, which for some time was believed to have haunted the French countryside. What was this animal; was it merely a wolf, or something more? 

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Oct 15, 2019
10.07.19. UFOs and All That Jazz
01:30:50

On this edition of The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with news of an exciting physics experiment where physicists caused a massive particle two appear in more than one place at the same time. Then we hear about China's success with growing plants on the far side of the moon, and why some researchers think pigs are displaying evidence of intelligence that was once reserved solely for humans. Meanwhile, mystery lights were filmed over the North Carolina coast... Micah gives us his thoughts about what their source might be, along with an update on the ongoing series of cattle mutilations being reported in Oregon. 

Then we are joined by blogger Jazz Shaw, who shares his views on UFOs, the media, and what the shifting attitudes about the UFO subject mean in modern society. Although Shaw's background is in news, politics, and energy policy, he has more recently become one of the many commentators who has been introducing his audience to reporting on the UFO subject. He gives us a variety of perspectives on the topic, including discussion about the controversial claims made by Tom Delonge's To The Stars Academy, which says it may have samples of a substance that allegedly have exotic origins. 

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Oct 08, 2019
09.30.19. Sasquatch: An Unnatural History
01:50:19

This week on the program, after recapping an excellent visit Micah had with Scott Philbrook of the Astonishing Legends podcast, we turn our attention to Elon Musk, the innovative (and at times erratic) inventor who is attempting to put humans on the Red Planet in the coming decades... and that may be precisely what one of his latest projects is aiming for. 

Then getting to the heart of the discussion, the subject of Sasquatch is a perplexing enigma in American culture. Most would contend that the alleged creature is purely a staple of folklore, variants of which are found all around the world, in fact. It is true, after all, that there have been many high-profile hoaxes over the years, offered by some as "solutions" behind what little physical evidence for the Sasquatch does seem to exist. But are there some instances where the media may have leapt to conclusions prematurely about these hoaxes, rushing to judgment about their ability to explain the entire mystery? 

In contrast to the hoax theories, we look at what archaeology, history, and some of the more reliable eyewitness encounters from over the years have to say on the matter. We also get the perspectives of former big game hunter and conservationist Peter Byrne, who spent several decades in search of Sasquatch in Oregon, California, and other Northwestern states. After presenting the "natural history" of what many would deem an unnatural subject, is there any case to be made for the existence of Sasquatch, despite its dismissal by modern science?

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Oct 01, 2019
09.23.19. Dyatlov Pass: Latest Evidence
01:54:59

This week, we lead off with reports from the Storm Area 51 Event outside of Rachel, Nevada which, fortunately, resulted in no actual attempts at infiltrating the high-security installation in the Nevada desert. We also report on how genetics is helping construct the clearest picture ever of a mysterious group of ancient human ancestors; also, Google has reportedly achieved "quantum superiority," but what does this actually mean, and what could it indicate for the future of computation?

Then later in the program, we turn our attention to one of the most chilling cold cases of all time: In the first days of February 1959, an experienced group of hikers from the Ural Polytechnical Institute were trekking along the slopes of Kholat Syakhl in Russia's Ural mountains. While the ultimate cause of their deaths remains unknown, investigators arriving on the scene days later found evidence that something had caused the group to cut their way out of their tent, rushing into heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures despite many being underdressed and even barefoot.

Known today as the Dyatlov Pass Incident, the case remains unsolved after sixty years. In February of 2019, Russian authorities announced that they planned to reinvestigate several possible solutions to the mystery, all of which were weather-related. But could there be more to this long-standing unsolved mystery, and what can be made of the many bizarre claims that have surfaced over the years about strange lights in the skies, and other haunting stories about the area known today as Dyatlov Pass?

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Sep 25, 2019
09.16.19. Life Beyond: SETI and Animal Anomalies
01:50:51

On this edition of the program, news of a mysterious rash of earthquakes in a small Southern town has many locales wondering what might be rumbling below. However, it has Micah asking whether anybody in the affected area has been looking up... we also touch on a recent confirmation provided by the U.S. Navy to researcher John Greenewald about unusual objects depicted in three pieces of footage its fighter pilots obtained... and which apparently were never meant to be released to the public. 

Then Micah recaps his recent trip to the Marion, North Carolina Sasquatch festival, where a variety of local art, crafts, and colorful characters were all on display, in tribute to America's most famous (and reclusive) hairy biped. We cover some of the events, as well as the claims by the research community present at the event, before shifting our attention over to the subject of "alien big cats", involving sightings of large, black cats in various parts of the Americas. In fact, Micah was recently treated to a remarkable story by a man who shared not only one, but two sightings of large black cats resembling melanistic jaguars or cougars in parts of rural Western North Carolina. Could there really be exotic looking large cats that range further north into parts of the United States? 

Then in hour two, after touching on the exciting discovery of a new interstellar object that may have entered our solar system, Dr. Brian Keating of the Simons Observatory joins us to discuss his passion for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), which he explains as being not merely the search for aliens, but the quest to find evidence of their techno-signatures, which may help astronomers finally prove that sophisticated alien technologies may exist in our universe. In addition to his views on the SETI program, Dr. Keating also gives us his views on the so-called "Sagan Effect", many problems with science and the peer review process, and an update on the forthcoming Nobel Prize season, a topic covered in his book Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor.

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Sep 18, 2019
09.09.19. Mysteries of the Maori: Myths, Language and Cosmology
01:44:34

This week, we lead off with the appetizing subject of cannibalism, and why a Swedish professor and climate researcher recently argued that it might be in humanity's future... an idea that even the most environmentally-minded among us just can't get behind. Although looking back to the ancient past, news from earlier this year certainly showed that it happened with Neanderthals. Also in news of ancient discoveries, we find an unusual artifact from a site in Russia named after fabled Atlantis which bears a striking resemblance to modern technology. 

Then later in the program, we are joined by author and researcher Laird Scranton, whose recent work in comparative cosmologies of world cultures has led him to some interesting conclusions about the Maori culture, New Zealand's indigenous people. Are there links that can be found in the Maori language, and parts of the ancient world, specifically ancient Egypt, India, and Eurasia?

Scranton is the author of Decoding Maori Cosmology: The Ancient Origins of New Zealand's Indigenous Culture, which examines all of these themes. Scranton's previous work has traced many world cosmologies far enough back that links to the enigmatic Gobekli Tepe are strongly implied, as well as connections to North Atlantic archaeological sites that remain curious to us today. But what do all of these have to do with the Maori of New Zealand? We look at these questions and many more on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program. 

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Episode art via Wikimedia Commons/Flickr CC 2.0.

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Sep 10, 2019
09.02.19. The Descent: Mysteries and Folklore of the Linville Gorge
01:58:40

This week on the program, as we begin to engage for hurricane season here in the Carolinas, we lead off with news that includes a 3.8-million-year-old early human ancestor, as well as a few items from the "crypto-corner" and the world of nature and physics. Then getting to the heart of the discussion, Micah brings the listeners along for an adventure into the heart of one America's most scenic--and mysterious--wilderness locations: The Linville Gorge. 

Outlining the curious history of this protected wilderness, we begin with the history of the Brown Mountain Lights, a unique earthlight phenomenon that is purported to occur in the Gorge, and which Micah has studied now for a number of years. We also discuss some of the Cherokee legends and folklore about the area, in addition to stories of unusual animal sightings as Micah sends "dispatches from the road" in true Maverick Podcasting style. 

Parts of the Linville Gorge were also featured in the documentary series Hellier, in which stars Greg and Dana Newkirk accompanied Micah to some of his famous locations along the rugged cliffs and caves of the Gorge. We cover the history of some of the local folklore that has caused so much intrigue about the location, beginning with the story of Ralph Lael, an early "contactee" who claimed not only to have met alien beings, but even possessed what some called an "alien mummy." Micah's extensive research into this topic leads us to a very different conclusion about this unusual item of esoterica... we also discuss odd rumors about an "underground base" in the region, and how they stemmed from an obscure book published in the late 1970s. 

Finally, as our story reaches its climax, Micah returns--alone--to an eerie cave location for the first time in years, documenting the experience in podcast form and rounding out an adventure story sure to entertain both intrepid mountain climbers and armchair scholars alike.  

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Sep 04, 2019
08.26.19. In the Wake of the Ancient Mariners
01:52:05

On this edition of The Micah Hanks Program, after a re-cap of Micah's recent visit to a Bigfoot conference, we touch on the fires that have been devastating the Amazon jungles for the last several weeks, as well as NASA's investigation of what could be the first crime committed in space. Also, we report on RNA that was recently sequenced from a wolf-hybrid puppy that lived more than 14,000 years ago, and why it has become the latest landmark achievement in genetic science. 

Then getting into the discussion of anomalies in archaeology, we begin with a look at a peculiar story about a Wisconsin lake, which involves many local divers who, for decades now, have said they have observed a series of pyramid-like stone structures at the bottom of Rock Lake. The archaeological community has dismissed the stories, noting the likelihood that these are merely stones piles that were deposited at the end of the last ice age; but has the potential for actual structures of unknown provenance been completely ruled out? 

This leads us to the Rock Lake enigma's connection with a nearby archaeological site called Azatlan, which shares its name with the fabled original homeland of the Aztecs. Some look at this aspect of the Aztec mythology as being similar to the fabled Atlantis, which philosopher Plato wrote about centuries ago; but whether or not Atlantis really existed, there are some remarkable archaeological discoveries being made today which suggest that people in the ancient world were far more well-traveled than we once thought.

Curious legends like those of the pre-Inca tradition of "Viracocha" have perplexed scholars with their hinting at possible interactions between different cultures in the ancient world. Such stories were also what fueled Thor Heyerdahl to sail across the Pacific Ocean, to prove that ancient people might have done the same. Could early migrations into the Americas have occurred much earlier than once thought, and perhaps with the help of ancient sailing vessels? And if so, where did some of those early arrivals come from originally? 

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Aug 27, 2019
08.20.19. The Monolith
01:41:38

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we lead off with news of law enforcement in New York City collecting DNA from a number of individuals without their knowledge or permission, and the controversy that has ensued since news reports about the operation came to light. While on the subject of genetics, we also look at the controversial studies conducted by Spanish scientists in China where the successful initial stages of hybridizing a human-monkey chimera were achieved. What are the ethical considerations here, and why does the news have some members of the scientific community concerned? 

Then for the latter portion of the program, we shift our attention over to the landmark film 2001: A Space Odyssey as we seek answers to how science fiction influences engineering, scientific discoveries, and the future of space travel. At the center of the conversation is the eerie "monolith" depicted in the film, the appearance of which marks changes in human evolution over millennia by a mysterious, "alien" force. Arguably, many of the greatest discoveries in the history of science drew initial inspiration from creativity; much like the monolith itself, we explore questions like whether the mere interest humans have in the possible existence of extraterrestrial life is enough to drive our innovation and discoveries in the direction of profound new technologies... perhaps such advancements could one day even reshape our idea of what it means to be "human." 

Below are links to stories discussed on this week's program:

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Aug 22, 2019
08.13.19. The Navy's Secret UFO Patents
01:18:20

This week, leading off with news we take a look at the incredible “Goliath” frogs in Cameroon that recently revealed a surprising secret... we also look at a “sorcerer’s treasure trove” recovered from the famous and ill-fated archaeological site of Pompeii. We then examine how the latest A.I. is able to predict the success of certain films; and based on the results, it’s a good thing they aren’t predicting who will commit future crimes… yet. We then shift our attention over to a Buddhist temple in Japan that is reaching an all-new and younger audience with the help of a “robot priest." This seems fitting since most people appear to already worship the technology around them here in the West.

Then getting to the heart of the discussion this week, we are joined by Brett Tingley, an investigative writer for sites that include The Warzone, whose recent articles on a series of mysterious U.S. Navy patents have been raising questions… and eyebrows. At the center of this unfolding story is the mysterious inventor behind the patents, Salvatore Pais, whose work Tingley has been chronicling now in articles that feature his probing for answers about the novel technologies Dr. Pais is said to have developed.

The fact that they are nearly identical to alleged technologies long discussed in UFO reports is probably no coincidence: we take a deep look at this developing story, and what it could have to do with technologies in development by foreign superpowers like China on this edition of The Micah Hanks Program.

Below are links to stories discussed on this week's program:

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Aug 15, 2019
08.05.19. UFOs and Espionage: The Russian Connection
01:46:45

This week on The Micah Hanks Program, we bring news of an exciting discovery: a new species of dinosaur was recently unearthed from the depths... of a museum's archives. This reminds us of the strange affair of the "Pangboche Yeti Hand," a portion of which was smuggled out of Tibet decades ago by legendary tracker Peter Byrne, along with the help of actor Jimmy Stewart. The relic met a similar fate, where it languished in a museum archive for decades before its rediscovery.

We then turn our attention to disturbing reports of cattle deaths out of Oregon, which bear all the markings of such "classic" mutilations... apart from the initial reports that indicated the animals had apparently been shot in the head. This was later amended, when further reporting on the strange animal deaths featured supposition by law enforcement that the creatures might have been poisoned, but not by any conventional or unintended means. It's time that we get to the bottom of the mutilations, the senseless killing of livestock, and the destruction of property that their deaths entail. 

Then later in the program, "Russian meddling” is a common term we hear in the news today, many are unaware that for decades, the Russians secretly used the UFO phenomenon as a means to try and destabilize the West. But why did the Soviet Union fabricate tales of aliens and feed them to the Pentagon, and does the UFO meddling still continue to this day?

Joining us to discuss this is Nick Redfern, author of more than forty books that include Area 51: The Revealing Truth of UFOs, Secret Aircraft, Cover-Ups & Conspiracies and his latest book, Flying Saucers from the Kremlin: UFOs, Russian Meddling, Soviet Spies & Cold War Secrets. Nick has appeared on many TV shows, including the BBC’s Out of This World; the SyFy Channel’s Proof Positive; the History Channel’s Monster Quest, America’s Book of Secrets and UFO Hunters; the National Geographic Channel’s Paranatural; and MSNBC’s Countdown.

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Aug 07, 2019
07.31.19. The Enigma of Our Ancestry
02:12:40

It’s been a long time in the making… and we’re excited to finally make the big announcement: introducing The Micah Hanks Program, the new weekly podcast and official audio offering from Micah Hanks and The Gralien Report.

Although the name has changed, the newly rechristened podcast will continue to offer even more news and insight into the realms of space, science, ancient mysteries, and the unexplained, along with articles, videos, and other content provided by The Gralien Report, the official website of our long-running enterprise.

And to help break in the new and improved podcast, we kick things off with a journey back in time, as Micah takes us to the mysterious “Cradle of Humanity” in Eastern Africa, where millions of years ago our earliest human ancestors first appeared. Over the course of the next several hundreds of thousands of years, these mysterious early humans spread across the globe, eventually making their way to every continent. But just how early did humans set foot in the Americas, and were anatomically modern humans even the first to do so?

To answer these questions, we look at some of the most controversial archaeological sites in the world, which are also alleged to be the oldest in North America. Disputed by most scholars today, these sites—if confirmed—would dramatically shift our understanding of ancient human migrations. They may also cause us to have to rethink the mobility of ancient early human groups like the Neanderthals, as well as the mysterious Denisovans, each of which is believed to have disappeared nearly 40,000 years ago. But what if these hominid groups, or perhaps even unknown varieties similar to them, existed far more recently? What would this mean in terms of the broader human story… and even claims of sightings of primitive, bipedal primates that persist in modern times?

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Jul 31, 2019
07.22.19. One Small Step: Apollo 11 Turns 50
01:47:51

This week on the program, as a deadly heatwave has been sweeping across the country we look at what’s been happening in the news, including a brief tribute to the life and work of Rosemary Ellen Guiley, who suddenly passed away late last week at the age of 69. Our heart goes out to the many friends and family members who thought fondly of her; she will certainly be missed.

Then we shift our attention to the remarkable achievements of the crew of Apollo 11. 50 years ago this week, NASA put men on the moon in one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century; joining us to discuss the Apollo 11 anniversary is Rod Pyle, the editor-in-chief of Ad Astra, the official publication of the National Space Society, and author of a number of books that include Heroes of the Space AgeSpace 2.0, Interplanetary Robots,and several others. 

Rod has a Master’s Degree from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Center College of Design. He studied astronomy and geology at UCLA, and worked in public outreach at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Rod also designed and wrote the Apollo Leadership Development Experience in association with The Conference Board and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Rod has written at length about the Apollo missions, and his latest book, First on the Moon: The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Experience,  can be found at his website.

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Jul 31, 2019
07.15.19. Welcome to Watertown: Area 51 Secrets
01:33:11

On this edition of the program, the debate over the use of straws continues, as we learn of a bizarre case of “death by metal straw” that occurred in the United Kingdom, while environmentally-minded bans of plastic straws are still in the works. Then, after other news that includes the science behind Hollywood’s latest sci-fi “reboot,” we shift our attention over to one of the be best-kept secrets in American Government: the secretive installation known as Area 51.

The famous facility at Groom Lake has long been the subject of rumors and speculation, particularly after it became a household name in the 1990s, following Bob Lazar’s peculiar rise to fame for having allegedly worked there. During the Cold War, the CIA’s top-secret spy planes were tested at the Nevada site, for use in reconnaissance missions over the U.S.S.R. “Much of the testing took place at the facility at Groom Lake,” a CIA history of the operation reads, “a dry lakebed near Las Vegas, Nevada, in an isolated area that came to be known as Area 51 and Watertown. The area was chosen by top officials of the U-2’s Development Projects Staff who flew to Nevada in search of a site where the U-2 could be tested safely and secretly.”

However, how big a secret was Area 51, also known as “Watertown” and a variety of other things over the years? We look at recently declassified information about the highly-secretive site, and why some historians and aviation enthusiasts would argue that America’s biggest secret was never all that secret, after all.

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Jul 31, 2019
07.18.19. Frame 352: Incident at Bluff Creek
02:01:17

After an unusual series of earthquakes shook the west coast over the last few days, we lead off this week with a look at why some scientists think they’re a bit out of the ordinary (even for an area like Southern California). Also in recent news, President Donald Trump recently addressed the ongoing reports of UFOs by Navy pilots, which one former MI5 employee, Nick Pope, called “refreshing.” However, has anything of substance actually been said on the issue, either by this administration, or those in years past? Then later in the program, we devote a lengthy discussion to one of the most famous–and controversial–home movies ever to be made: the famous Patterson-Gimlin film of 1967, which purportedly depicts a female sasquatch walking near Bluff Creek, California.

While debate has raged over the authenticity of the film and its alleged subject for more than half a century, a recent 4K enhancement was uploaded by YouTube user “Bigfoot AI”, which provides some striking new clarity and details. It is only the latest in a long series of digital enhancements that have occurred over the years, but is there truly anything new we can glean about the film, and its controversial subject, after all this time? Whether or not the Patterson-Gimlin film will offer final “proof” of the existence of Sasquatch, perhaps the most compelling thing about it has been the fact that it has never been conclusively proven to be a hoax… although that’s not to say that there are no problems with the story. We take a deep look at the controversy, and the story behind the film, on this edition of the program.

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Jul 31, 2019
07.01.19. Rock 'n' Roll Secrets and Synchronicities
01:40:39

This week we lead off in advance of Fourth of July with a discussion about one of Micah’s favorite films from childhood: Independence Day, starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman. The discussion of Area 51 and claims of alien crash retrievals can’t be had these days without mention of the most famous alleged employee at S4, Bob Lazar, whose strange life experiences were the recent subject of a documentary.

We also touch on how an asteroid early warning system detected a near-miss over the weekend, which happens to coincide with the anniversary of the famous Tunguska Event of 1908… but is this purely a coincidence? There are reasons to suspect that it’s not… finally, we are joined by guest Susan Masino, a rock ‘n’ roll journalist who has chronicled the history of the famous Australian rockers AC/DC since their early days, as well as the Hank Williams family and other institutions in the history of popular music. Susan is also the author of the book The Secrets of the Universe, and she joins us to discuss her many stories of unusual experiences and strange coincidences.

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Jul 31, 2019
06.24.19. What Kenneth Arnold Saw
01:43:25

This week, we lead off with big news from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, who is launching a new atomic clock into space on a Falcon Heavy rocket… how can a clock in space make future travel to other planets more effective? We also look at several stories of odd and out-of-place animals, as well as the most recent footage obtained of a giant squid in U.S. coastal waters, and a new study where grey seals were taught to sing… and even learned the Star Wars theme song.

Then in hour two, we celebrate the anniversary of the sighting that put “flying saucers” on the map… even though the sighting didn’t really involve objects of this description. Kenneth Arnold became the first high-profile UFO witness on June 24, 1947, after he claimed that he observed a fleet of objects moving at incredible speed over Mount Rainier, Washington. But what did Arnold really see during that fateful solo-flight over the northwest, and more importantly, how have the variety of descriptions of it that appeared over the years shaped attitudes about the modern UFO enigma?

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Jul 31, 2019
06.18.19 UFOs in the Oval Office
01:35:57

This week on the podcast, a mystery surrounds the famous tree that inspired one of the beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss’s most famous titles… elsewhere, a swarm of earthquakes has been occurring around the United States, rattling residents from California to Ohio; but do tremblors also portend trouble in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park? Maybe not… and we look at all the reasons why.

Then later in the program, after an update on Florida’s alleged “Skunk Ape,” the legendary Irish conservationist and former big game hunter Peter Byrne joins us, who devoted decades of his life to the search for Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest. Byrne chimes in about the “story behind the story” of the FBI recently releasing their files on Bigfoot.

Then in the second hour, after offering a resolution to a missing person incident, we shift our attention to recent statements by Donald Trump that he had had a “short meeting” about UFOs in the Oval Office. While there has been much speculation about the nature of this “briefing,” former senator Harry Reid recently spoke in defense of Luis Elizondo, a former DoD employee who says he was the head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which studied UFOs for several years. We look at these, and other updates this week on the podcast.

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Jul 31, 2019
06.10.19. The Search for Dennis Lloyd Martin
01:45:21

On this special edition of the program, after touching on news stories that include a significant report that was leaked by news services in Canada recently on missing Indigenous women and children, we then turn our attention to a case that has long held our fascination, involving the disappearance of a small boy in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1969.

Dennis Lloyd Martin was six-years-old at the time of his disappearance, and vanished while camping with his family at the Spence Field Shelter in near Cades Cove. Despite a search effort that would prove to be the largest in National Park Service history, searchers were unable to find Dennis Martin, nor any clear indication of what might have happened to him.

During a recent visit to the rugged mountains where Martin vanished 50 years ago, Micah and his colleague Jason visited the location where Dennis was last seen and noted several key elements about the location with relevance to the case, and how it has been reported over the years. Are there still things we can learn about a “cold case” like this even half a century later?

Then in the second hour, we are joined by Michael Bouchard, author of the book Forever Searching: Lost in the Smoky Mountains (1969 Cold Case File Dennis Lloyd Martin). Bouchard has more than three decades of experience in law enforcement and has been involved in numerous investigations of missing person cases. He brings his knowledge and experience to the discussion, as we discuss one of the most perplexing disappearances ever to have occurred in our National Parks.

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Jul 31, 2019
06.04.19. Unidentified: The Elizondo Controversy
01:47:18

This week, a mysterious object was recently filmed in the skies over China, prompting discussion of unidentified flying objects from its state-sponsored media… meanwhile here in the United States, the ongoing debate over UAP, what they could be, and how best to study them continues.

However, the big story in the news this week arrives courtesy of The Intercept, in a piece by journalist Keith Kloor that raises a number of questions about former AATIP chief Luis Elizondo, the star of the new History Channel series Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation. Was Elizondo indeed the chief of the Pentagon’s unidentified aerial phenomenon study group, as he says he was? Joining us to discuss this is our friend and correspondent Lt. Tim McMillan, who was quoted in the recent piece at The Intercept, and who offers his own insights on the state of affairs pertaining to the ongoing saga of the Pentagon’s study of UFOs.

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Jul 31, 2019
05.27.19. UAP: An Estimate of the Situation
01:47:30

This week Micah is going viral after Tweeting about the New York Times, who recently offered a special report on the ongoing UAP enigma in an article co-written by journalist Leslie Kean. We spend the duration of the program delving into the story and looking at a variety of contrasting views in the American media pertaining to it.

Stories covered on this week’s podcast include the following:

The UAP enigma remains among the most baffling mysteries of modern times… are we any closer to unraveling this mystery? We delve into this, and other questions on this week’s edition of the program.  

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Jul 31, 2019