In the first half, professor of biology and environmental studies at New York University and consultant for NASA, Michael R. Rampino, discussed the latest findings from geoscientists on "neocatastrophism," which is the science behind major planetary upheavals and extinction events. Previous geological thought suggested that planetary changes happen gradually over long periods, but "the history of the Earth is much more cataclysmic," he said. From time to time, great catastrophes occur stemming from either inside the earth with volcanic eruptions, or from space with impacts of asteroids and comets. These events, he noted, have changed the course of evolutionary history. For instance, the dinosaurs were wiped out 66 million years ago when a 6-mile object hit the Earth-- yet this paved the way for mammals to thrive and evolve, he explained.
The most significant mass extinction event, he continued, took place 250 million years ago with a volcanic eruption in Siberia-- the outpouring of lava covered the size of Texas and led to a lethal global warming with 96% of species dying out. Rampino considers asteroids to be the biggest threat we currently face, and there have been a lot of near misses in recent years. If a huge asteroid, traveling at around 50,000 mph, hit the planet, the impact would be the equivalent of a magnitude 11 earthquake, he cited. If we can forecast an asteroid impact, we could potentially equip a rocket with a nuclear weapon or something else to nudge the deadly object out of its path, he stated.
In the latter half, author Mike Bara spoke about his new book "Lightbringer," as well as UFO news, and his investigation into the JFK assassination. The protagonist of his new novel is a female FBI agent who investigates a bizarre ritual murder of a NASA scientist and gets drawn into a conspiracy in which all life on Earth may be threatened. Writing fiction, he shared, has a kind of freedom that can be highly enjoyable after doing the more painstaking type of writing that comes with non-fiction.
Regarding the recent news coverage of the Pentagon's UFO program, Bara wasn't unduly impressed with the video footage associated with it, citing that the "unknown" vehicle looked to him to possibly be an X-47 stealth drone, which because it's unmanned can maneuver in ways that piloted vehicles cannot. According to Bara, Pres. Kennedy was ultimately inspired to start the Apollo space program in order to get to the moon to retrieve secret technology there, and this may have been connected with why he was assassinated.
News segment guests: John Curtis, Dr. Peter Breggin
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