Surviving Death / Interstellar Visitor

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Date Host George Knapp
Guests Leslie Kean, Ricki Stern, Avi Loeb

What happens after we die? A new Netflix docuseries explores personal stories and research on near-death experiences (NDEs), reincarnation, and paranormal phenomena. Based on journalist Leslie Kean's work, she along with director Ricki Stern joined George Knapp to discuss evidence for life continuing after death. The idea that people can have experiences when they are essentially brain dead suggests that human consciousness may not be generated in the brain, and the brain might function more like an antenna, Kean theorized. One of the NDEs featured in the documentary is an example of this-- Dr. Mary Neal drowned while kayaking in South America, and was underwater for 30 minutes before being revived. Yet during this time, she had vivid experiences of a heavenly realm.

Stern noted similarities that occur across NDE cases, such as people being told it's not their time to die, and then the sense of being pulled back into their bodies. Kean pointed out that for many who have NDEs, there are dramatic changes to their lives afterward, such as switching to different careers. She also detailed her personal research into mediums, including physical mediumship, where the practitioner is said to produce physical manifestations of spirit, such as ectoplasm. Kean described her sittings with Stewart Alexander, a physical medium in the UK, who enters a trance state, and allows "spirit controls" to take over. She witnessed levitation effects, voices coming from other parts of the room, and even a materialized hand.

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In late 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed an object soaring through our inner solar system. Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb concluded that the object (which became known as 'Oumuamua) was not an asteroid or comet; it was moving too fast along a strange orbit, and left no trail of gas or debris. In the latter half, he shared his controversial theory that the object was a piece of advanced technology created by a distant alien civilization, and the profound implications of this. The object had no trace of carbon-based molecules or dust around it, and because of the way sunlight reflected off it, Loeb determined that it was pancake or disc-shaped rather than the cigar shape that was popularly depicted (as in the illustration above).

Such flat objects are not produced in nature, he noted, suggesting that 'Oumuamua was artificially created. The interstellar object has been traveling in our solar system for 10,000 years, he cited, but if astronomers had spotted it during its closest approach, we could have sent a CubeSat to photograph it ('Oumuamua was discovered after it was already moving away from us). Loeb hypothesized that there may be numerous similar objects in our solar system, and their purpose could be as signposts for ET navigation or as a communication relay system. The object may also be a form of alien space junk, a defunct piece of equipment, with layers of it ripped away. Even if 'Oumuamua turns out to be natural, it's something we've never seen before, so it's worthy of close study, he added.

Knapp's News 1/17/21:

George Knapp shared items of recent interest including a piece about the looming deadline for a Pentagon report on UFOs:

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Bumper music from Sunday January 17, 2021

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