In the first half, UFO investigative writer and artist Peter Robbins joined George Knapp to discuss his life studying UFOs, and the sighting he had as a teen that changed his world forever. During the 1960s, Robbins, age 14, and his sister Helen, 12, witnessed five silvery-white disc-shaped objects in a military-type V formation. The craft were metallic and close enough that they could make out detailing on them. Robbins and his sister (who grew up to become the punk rock performer Helen Wheels) suppressed their memories of the event but were able to share them with each other 14 years later.
She described seeing a beam of blue light shoot down from one of the ships and envelope Peter, but her next memories were fragmented. After undergoing hypnotic regression with Budd Hopkins (whom Robbins ended up working with for a number of years at his Intruders Foundation), she recalled "missing time" when she was aboard a craft with "little doctors with big heads and big black eyes, who spoke to me in my head." Her description pre-dated Hopkins first book at a time before "the Greys" were better known. He also talked about his work on the book, Left at East Gate, delving into the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, and some of its attendant controversies. For more on Robbins, view this recent article published on Ithaca.com.
In the latter half, Jamie Bartlett, director of social media analysis at the UK think-tank Demos, reported on how data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica affect our democracy. He argued that through our embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed, and civil society weakened. Living in a digital age with more information, connectivity, and devices it was thought that "we would make better, wiser, more rational decisions," but this Bartlett pointed out, "does not seem to be bearing fruit." People on both the right and the left have been less rational, and more emotional and anger-prone, he cited.
Cambridge Analytica, he continued, is just one of many companies that are collecting data about us without our general awareness. Cambridge had some 5,000 individual data points about each of the millions of Facebook users they were able to access. Bartlett sounded a further note of caution related to the multitude of household devices being turned into connected "data collection machines," further eroding privacy. He envisioned a time when someone might just consult an AI helper that has amassed data about them as to who they should vote for in an election that would be in their best interests.