UFO Mysteries & Mickey Rooney

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

UFO Mysteries & Mickey Rooney

About the show

Ufologist Bill Birnes joined George Knapp to share inside details of his TV show UFO Hunters, and some of the cases they covered, during its run on the History Channel starting in 2008. In the latter portion of the show, Birnes talked about his new biography of Mickey Rooney, co-written with Richard Lertzman. Birnes believes that the History Channel canceled UFO Hunters for a variety of reasons, including the high cost of the show, internal changes at the network, and also because some of the episodes such as on Area 51 were revealing too much information.

One episode about anomalies and secret alien bases in the Dulce, New Mexico area was particularly controversial. In the program, they spoke with tribal police officers who described seeing various strange animals such as foxes with heads of rabbits. Gabe Valdez, a former state trooper, witnessed a helicopter hovering over a dead cow-- the cow was with calf, so a veterinarian was called to remove it. According to Valdez, what they found was a bovine fetus with a human head, and he took photos of it which were featured in the episode which aired in March of 2009. In April of 2009, a bill was submitted in the Senate to make it a crime to interbreed humans and animals, Birnes said.

For a time, in the 1930s, Mickey Rooney was the biggest Hollywood star, and kept the MGM studio alive, Birnes reported, citing that he was the first teenage star to create a youth market for a family comedy, and his Andy Hardy films were really the forerunner to all TV sitcoms. Yet, even though Rooney was highly successful, his life was very erratic with many highs and lows. He was married a total of eight times and his early unstable upbringing likely contributed to his problems, Birnes suggested. Rooney lost or gambled away millions, he added, and when he was in his 50s and 60s, as he was performing at prestigious Las Vegas venues, "he was actually doing debt collection for the Mob" because he owed so much to them in gambling debts.

UFOs & Govt. Documents

First hour guest, John Greenewald, of the Black Vault, a huge online repository of declassified government documents obtained through FOIA requests, reacted to the FBI and CIA recently highlighting some of their UFO reports in tandem with the return of The X Files TV series. He noted that the particular documents they were calling attention to had been released years earlier, and this was likely a PR campaign on their part to make the general public think there's nothing of interest about the UFO reports and move on. Greenewald also detailed how the Air Force deleted a passage about UFOs from one of their training manuals just days after Lee Speigel of the Huffington Post asked Pentagon officials about it.

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