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The Atomic Age & Sci-Fi / Spirit Rescue

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Date Host George Noory
Guests Robert J. Sawyer, Stephen Williams

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers to win all three of the world's top awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. In the first half, he discussed the birth of the Atomic Age - how this month is the 75th anniversary of the first atomic bomb detonation and its implications for humanity. He also covered the state of science fiction and how the genre has evolved. In his new novel, he created an alternate history related to the true story of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie Groves, Einstein, and others involved in the secretive Manhattan Project and building the first atomic bomb. The US didn't need to use nuclear weapons to end the war as Japan was ready to surrender, Sawyer noted, but Gen. Groves wanted to test the two different designs they'd developed –- the 'Fat Man' and 'Little Boy' bombs, to compare their effects.

The genre of science-fiction actually dates back over 200 years, starting with "Frankenstein." It was the first piece of fiction with a scientist as the main character, using contemporary science to propose a hypothesis that is tested out, he cited. Sci-fi is often about more than just science, he added, exploring such things as morality and ethics, as in some of the works of H.G. Wells. Sawyer's favorite sci-fi writer, Arthur C. Clarke, demonstrated that you could combine rigorous scientific ideas with an exploration of metaphysical questions. As a genre, science-fiction isn't always taken seriously, he commented, even though such books as "1984" and "Brave New World" have left their indelible mark. He suggested that the genre got derailed by Star Wars and the idea that it's only escapist fare. For new writers in the field, he recommended the Writers of the Future contest, where he serves as one of the judges.

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Intuitive paranormal investigator based in Memphis, Tennessee, Stephen Williams, specializes in spirit rescue - helping troubled and confused spirits move on. In the latter half, he shared his various techniques for investigation and spirit rescue, along with memorable stories of his encounters in haunted locations. His investigative focus, he explained, is not so much on gathering evidence like EVPs, but discovering if there are spirit energies at a site, and why they're there. Generally, when spirits are creating disturbances, it's a cry for help, he said. Williams, who has the psychic gift of clairsentience, and his current team (mediums Kayla and Jennifer), are able to counsel ghostly beings and let them know they have options and are free to move on.

In one of his early investigations, a little spirit boy named Henry befriended a young living girl. He was described as wearing knickerbockers (a type of baggy pants popular in the early 20th century). The spirit's mischief, along with his spectral sister, became so extreme that the family's electric bill was hitting $1000 a month. Williams spent the night there and helped the female spirit crossover but was never able to convince little Henry to leave. At an investigation at the haunted Thomas House, strange things were seen on the nearby road, he reported, including a white horse that seemed to have a spirit attached and an apparition of an angry hag-like woman who sped past in a wheelchair before suddenly vanishing. After helping spirits crossover at haunted sites, Williams said he conducts a final clearing of the energy with a tuning fork and rose quartz crystal.

News segment guests: Lauren Weinstein, Steve Kates

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