In the first half, electrical engineer and author Jim Elvidge discussed theories of a programmed reality in which we may be living in a giant simulation, as well as recent developments in cosmology, nanotech, AI, physics, and virtual reality gaming. He says the first paper on the possibility of the "simulation hypothesis" was written in the 1960s, but has recently been popularized by celebrity thinkers such as Elon Musk. Elvidge thinks that the simulation hypothesis is the best explanation that we currently have that answers questions about reality as it's observed, noting "the reality that we're in seems to be digital and consciousness seems to be part of it…it seems to come from the brain."
Elvidge said that the idea that we are living in what appears to be a simulation would explain many anomalous issues, such as near-death experiences, premonitions, and even UFOs. He surmised that we could get glimpses of the future because the mind is already playing out a simulation that previously existed as information. A simulation of reality would not necessarily need to be running on some vast computer, controlled by some alien or godlike programmer, he added. The simulation might have been set in motion by humans in the future and we are living out our own programming. He concluded that "perhaps there is no objective reality out there." Related images.
A former adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, Paul Hynek is presently a consultant for HISTORY's new series Project Blue Book, based on the real project to investigate UFOs from 1952 to 1969. Paul is the son of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer who worked with the US Air Force investigating UFO cases for Blue Book from 1948 to 1969. In the second half, he discussed his father's legacy and how he began his investigation with the USAF as a skeptic, but by the time the project ended, he was convinced some UFO cases posed a real mystery. Hynek said that his family grew up with the idea that "UFOs were just something that was accepted in our household" and even had family Christmas tree ornaments shaped like UFOs.
Hynek pointed out that his father was a trained scientist who worked on well-known projects such as satellite tracking and the proximity fuse in WWII before he was tapped to consult on Project Blue Book. After years of working with the Air Force, he came to the realization that his job was basically to explain away UFOs and not to conduct actual research into their cause or origins and to "make people feel comfortable and not panic-stricken." Paul also mentioned that his father stayed in the program for longer than he needed to so he could have access to the cases and data and study the phenomenon in detail, as well as found the civilian research group the Center For UFO Studies. One conclusion Dr. Hynek reached was that UFOs might not all represent visits from an extraterrestrial civilization.