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A Skeptic's Perspective/ Open Lines

Date: 03-02-12
Host: George Noory
Guests: Guy Harrison, Open Lines

In the first half, George Noory welcomed author and skeptic Guy Harrison, who shared his take on a wide variety of paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories. "I've probably got the heart of a believer, but the mind of a skeptic," he said about his stance on the unexplained. To that end, Harrison expressed hope that things like extraterrestrials and life after death turn out to be true, but stressed that, until proof emerges, he remains unconvinced of their reality. While advocating an open mind rather than hardened disbelief, Harrison explained why he is doubtful about the veracity of phenomena such as alien abductions, reincarnation, and ESP.

Regarding Bigfoot, for example, Harrison contended that it is "very unlikely" the creature exists, since it would require a sizable population to perpetuate the species and, in turn, the large number of hunters and hikers in America should have stumbled upon one of them by now. On conspiracy theories, he suggested that they are a cognitive version of pareidolia, where one sees patterns that don't exist, often in the hopes of making sense of inconceivable events. "Just because something may not have a rock solid explanation that satisfies you," he mused, "that, in itself, is not proof of something grand and bizarre going on behind the scenes." Harrison also detailed how studies into eyewitness testimony as well as memory show that they are both highly fallible and, thus, do not constitute strong proof for paranormal events.

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During Open Lines, John in Los Angeles revealed that he had worked at NORAD during the late 1970's and was tasked with receiving calls about unidentified craft. According to him, there were "hundreds and hundreds" of such reports during the three years he worked there. In a handful of cases, he said, there were craft that flew from New York to Montana in mere minutes. Chillingly, he also once tracked a Russian plane that flew over the east coast of the United States, quickly turned around and flew away. The "visit" was so unexpected, John recalled, that the military could not scramble jets fast enough to intercept the Russian interloper.

Jeff in Kentucky shared the story of his encounter with what may have been a haunted vase. His tale began when he knocked over a box of items from an estate sale and accidentally broke the object. Seconds later, he began hearing very quiet whispers all around him and felt a presence lightly brush past him. While in bed later that evening, his attempts to roll over were thwarted when "something physically pushed my shoulder back down." Now quite frightened, Jeff went and cleaned up the broken vase, putting the debris into a garbage can outside. The following morning, he said, the trashcan was knocked over as if "whatever was in that vase had escaped, finally."

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Bumper Music

Bumper music from Friday March 02, 2012

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