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UFOs & Belief Systems/ Barker Ranch

Date Saturday - March 12, 2016
Host Richard Syrett
Guests Randal MontgomeryPaul Dostie

Dr. Randal Montgomery joined Richard Syrett for the first half of Saturday's show. Montgomery is trained as a lawyer and psychologist and this informs his research into UFO cases. From the outset, he stated that he tries "to be inductive like a scientist and look at things dispassionately." He is skeptical of many "sacred cows" of UFO study, such as the Roswell Incident, which he says is mainly the result of witness confabulation (mentally filling in for poorly remembered events) and cryptomnesia (the memories of others are remembered as one's own.) He believes that it can be explained as a coverup of the then top-secret Mogul project, which sent balloons high into the atmosphere to detect Soviet nuclear tests. Dr. Montgomery also believes that the so-called "Ramey Memo" seen in a photo with the crash debris could have been completely unrelated to the incident at Roswell.

Montgomery is not dismissive of all UFO reports, and in fact holds the 1980 Rendlesham Forest episode in high regard because the multiple witness testimony by military personnel passes his test for credibility. He also believes that the famous Shag Harbour incident of 1967 from the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia is well-supported by multiple witnesses with essentially the same story. As far as the abduction scenario however, Dr. Montgomery said that "most of these events seem to be recalling dreams" and that the technique of using hypnosis to remember apparently anomalous and traumatic events is not an accurate method, especially in the hands of researchers who have a bias toward the alien idea. He added that the work of psychologist Julian James and his theory of the "bicameral mind" may be a better explanation. James thought that the human mind may have only recently evolved to separate abstract thoughts from reality and that people of antiquity believed that they heard the gods talking to them. According to Montgomery, something of this sort may be going on in the minds of abductees.

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Retired Mammoth Lakes (CA) Police Sergeant Paul Dostie came on in the second half to talk about Buster, his cadaver-searching dog and how he used the labador retriever to dig for human remains at the Barker Ranch, where the Manson Family went following the Tate-LaBianca murder spree of 1969 (related article). Dostie started training Buster to search for avalanche victims at the local ski area and found that the dog had a talent for the job, and more importantly a very good nose for the work. He decided to move into the realm of cadaver and grave location, since Buster was a "big dog with a big nose" that could detect scents that could not be found with scientific equipment.

Dostie has been tasked by non-profit organizations (such as victim's rights groups and another that locates the remains of MIA soldiers) who need to search for lost graves. After 40 or 50 years, human remains are far more difficult to locate, but Dostie related that Buster found sites where soldiers were buried after the WWII battle on Tarawa Island and at the Battle of the Bulge, where Buster located a human bone under 3 feet of mud at a B26 bomber crash site. Dostie recalled that there were "seven recoveries there—all airmen." His work has provided many relatives of lost servicemen with a sense of closure. He also described the problems he encountered with the authorities when searching for rumored graves of Manson Family victims. He has also developed a relationship with Manson himself in order to try and locate lost murder victims, and provided an excerpt of a recording of one of their phone conversations which was played during the show.

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