Image: Lia Kantrowitz
While everyone is either officially quarantined or simply self-isolating, countless people are stuck at home with plenty of time on their hands. For a paranormal UFOnaut junky like myself, keeping my mind honed towards ‘high strangeness’ is tough. UFO and paranormal conferences are being shuttered and my travel plans have been derailed, I am unable to visit long abandoned bunkers searching for Mothman or chase a UFO in Utah. This lover of Forteana and the peculiar is left to sit on his couch and stare longingly into the black void of the TV screen or listen to my headphones. If you are like me, here some things to keep you tuned into the bizarre.
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Wading through the vast array of content can be tough, so here are a few places to get started. For an easy and leisurely dip into new and old UFO cases and events, rationally delivered in short 20-40 minute episodes, check out Unknown, a project put together by Jason McClellan and Mauren Elsberry. If you are looking for longer episodes that dive deep into various historical cases or guest interviews with Ufological royalty, Ryan Sprague’s Somewhere in the Skies podcast and Greg Bishop’s Radio Misterioso will help you cope with the new normal of social distancing. For those into an array of general weirdness, The Micah Hanks Program , The Last Podcast on the Left, Where Did the Road Go?, Hysteria 51, and Euphomet all have plenty of episodes to make your face melt, enjoy a belly laugh and help you ponder some of life’s greatest mysteries.
Best UFO Podcasts
“On the Trail Of…”From filmmaker Seth Breedlove and his indie film company, Small Town Monsters, the “On the Trail Of…” series covers the infamous sea monster Champ, everyone’s favourite cryptid Bigfoot and, most recently, the UFO phenomenon. Each series is six episodes long and cut into 20 minute segments. While Champ and Bigfoot can be viewed for free on YouTube, Breedlove’s newest series, On the Trail of UFOs is on Amazon Prime. Check out Breedlove’s other documentary films, most of which exist on Amazon Prime Video, where he explores various interesting paranormal topics such as the infamous Mothman case, stories of werewolves, alien visitation and other incidents of high strangeness.
Best UFO Documentaries
HellierNow into its second season, Dana and Greg Newkirk’s strange descent into Fortean madness has immediately become a hit in the paranormal subculture. Completely independent and fiercely and unapologetically bizarre, it recounts the tale of an unknown doctor in Hellier Kentucky who’s home was being plagued by strange diminutive creatures. The case takes the Newkirks and their associates into a mind bending journey involving mysterious cults, ancient witchcraft, interdimensional beings and, of course, goblins. It is maddening and will leave you asking, “WTF just happened?” Both seasons are on their website.Witness of Another World (2018)One of the best documentaries I’ve seen about an alleged UFO encounter, Witness of Another World, takes the viewer on a journey into the mind of a man who experienced something incredibly bizarre. With an overabundance of terrible UFO documentaries out there, all inevitably fall victim to the same issue. They don’t deal with the complex mythologies that surround the UFO historical narrative and discourse. While we can question the objective reality of the UFO encounter the subject in the documentary experiences, the film isn’t really about UFOs and extraterrestrials. It is about people and the legends and lore we build around ourselves. Psychologically compelling and beautifully shot, the documentary dredges up the very human experience of loneliness, mental health and how we cope with trauma. It is available on various streaming platforms, and a must watch for any fan of the UFO and paranormal genres.
Also check out Dave Beaty’s short documentary, The Nimitz Encounters, and subsequent research and interviews into one of the most interesting UFO cases of the 21st century.
While podcasts and movies are great, venturing deep into the bowels of the world wide web to explore UFO lore is probably my favorite thing to do. Here are a few websites that are essential reading and you can easily fall into for hours. First, make sure you get lost in John Greenewald’s massive stash of declassified government documents that range from UFOs to CIA mind control projects. His site, The Black Vault, is an essential source of legitimate government paperwork that makes you truly question everything.For meticulously researched UFO themed information, timelines, and sourced data with citations, Australian researchers Paul Dean and Keith Basterfield run UFOs - Documenting the Evidence and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena respectively. For those who dig a really weird experience, check out the interactive map Liminal.Earth, and read through some of the most peculiar and often hilarious encounters with the supernatural. John Tenney’s Weird Lectures provides a good philosophical and often intellectual foray into various oddities.And you should definitely check out Motherboard's UFWhoa archives, which has scoops and recommendations from me and other reporters.These are, of course, just a starter’s guide, but most of these sites and podcasts are well-sourced and skeptical.