Reporter Steve Volk joined George Knapp to talk about his journalistic journey down various paranormal avenues. As a child, he grew up in a home that was haunted by strange inexplicable pounding noises. His sisters had blankets ripped off of them in their bedroom and saw an old woman appear. Eventually, his parents sought out a priest who came to their house and conducted prayers and holy water rituals. That night, though, things got worse than ever, with the banging noises growing much louder, and then coming down the stairs one step at a time. "When it hit the bottom step, it did so with a terrifically huge thud-- everything shook, and that was it. We actually never heard it again," he recounted. Interestingly, Volk went back to the house to interview the current owners and they didn't wish to speak about it-- believing that you give these things power if you talk about them.
Volk discussed the difference between the paranormal (explainable) and the supernatural (unexplainable), and how the two sometimes become conflated. He was critical of the "skeptics" movement exemplified by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (csicop.org), suggesting that they don't approach investigations with an open mind. In particular, he singled out James Randi for misrepresenting his $1 million challenge, and conducting his own concerns with hypocrisy.
Volk reviewed his research into the late Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, known for her groundbreaking work on how we treat the terminally ill. She had uncovered many accounts of near-death experiences such as people seeing the 'tunnel,' but withheld a planned chapter on the topic from her book On Death and Dying, because she felt it would damage the credibility of her message. He also spoke about his look at the Stephenville UFO case, in which he found numerous locals that didn't want to talk about what they saw, as well as eyewitness Ricky Sorrells who said he was harassed by the military and told to keep quiet. For more, view Volk's blog on 'Fringe-ology.'
Castro, the Pope, & UFOs
First hour guest, Puerto Rico-based UFO researcher Jorge Martin, discussed a meeting he learned of between Fidel Castro and Pope John Paul II, in which they reportedly discussed the existence of life beyond Earth, and the Pope confirmed that it was probable. Martin also detailed how Castro had an interest in UFOs (a Cuban MiG was said to be shot down by a UFO), and was allegedly shown by Soviet authorities a captured alien spacecraft and the corpse of its pilot, during a visit to Russia. Further info here.