Ackerman's Messages from Beyond

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Ackerman's Messages from Beyond

About the show

George Knapp welcomed Paul Davids on Sunday night's show to discuss his forthcoming book about life after death. In late 2008, many fans of horror and science fiction worldwide mourned the death of Forrest J Ackerman, super fan and publisher of the magazine Famous Monsters Of Filmland. Davids knew Ackerman for most of his life and considered him a mentor and friend who inspired him to make a career in the film industry, with Davids eventually co-writing and producing the 1994 Showtime movie Roswell, as well as many other films and documentaries on a variety of subjects. Renowned author Ray Bradbury once called Ackerman’s memorabilia-filled Los Angeles home the "Fort Knox of Science Fiction." Davids mourned his friend's death until a series of strange events in his life made him suspect that Ackerman might be trying to communicate from the Other Side. Before he died, the highly skeptical atheist Ackerman joked that if he experienced life after death, that he would try to communicate with his living friends.

In March of 2009, four months after Ackerman’s passing, Davids experienced an inexplicable alteration in a document that was momentarily left on a bed in his vacation home. He related that he was "really scared when this happened, I was alone in the house." Two words were partially obliterated in such a way that they appeared to specifically refer to a mutual friend who had a dream about Ackerman. Analysis of the document by two separate university chemists reveled that it was next to impossible for anyone to have altered it in the particular way that occurred. The studies eliminated Davids or anyone else as suspects, and in fact the chemists who performed the tests began to experience strange events in the lab and in their personal lives. Papers were strewn across the floor in rooms with closed doors and windows, and an unused and unwound clock began chiming as Davids interviewed forensic chemist Dr. John Allison on camera.

Based on a recommendation by Whitley Strieber's late wife Anne, Davids also contacted parapsychological researcher Dr. Gary Schwartz to apply his talents to the case. Schwartz located two psychics with good track records to do cold readings on Ackerman. Davids reports that both were uncannily accurate in details about his friend, such as his fondness for wordplay and the fact that he had written science fiction. One of Davids' friends wrote him just before the program with a Bible quote that warned him of dire consequences for dabbling in psychic phenomena. He responded that he feels that he is helping to advance science and knowledge and that his experiences indicate that he is still "seeing signs of the personality of a man that I knew."

Phoenix Lights Feature Film

First hour guest, filmmaker and video game designer Keith Arem discussed his new film The Phoenix Incident (video link) which combines fact with fiction in relation to the famous Phoenix Lights sightings in March 1997. The beginning of the film portrays the fictional disappearance of four people on the night of the sightings. Arem is from the Phoenix area, but was not there to witness the lights. His friends and family later told him compelling personal stories about that evening, as well as military and civilian advisers, who worked as consultants on his video game productions. There was consensus among them that the military may have used flares, lights, and possibly holographic projections to distract and cause confusion about what was seen. Sources also told him that jets were scrambled that night from the 56th Fighter Wing in Arizona and that some of the pilots came back "shaken" from some sort of aerial encounter. Arem also convened a roundtable of UFO researchers at the recent International UFO Congress to discuss the issues surrounding the sightings.

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