Behind-the-Scenes at 60 Minutes / Supernatural Manifestations

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Date Host George Noory
Guests Ira Rosen, John Russell

In the first half, award-winning producer Ira Rosen discussed his time working behind-the-scenes at 60 Minutes, the many larger-than-life personalities at the show, and the fascinating stories they covered. He was hired in the 1970s by the show's creator Don Hewitt, who was impressed by his investigative techniques and storytelling chops.  60 Minutes' best-known reporter, Mike Wallace, could be volatile and difficult to work with, according to Rosen. Wallace went public with his battle with depression, and because of his openness, helped many people, Rosen added. In his final years, he suffered from Alzheimer's, and couldn't remember working for the show.

In addition to Wallace, Morley Safer and Ed Bradley were also stalwart reporters on the show, and there was often fierce competition between them over stories. Rosen said his favorite correspondent on the program is Bill Whitaker (who is still with 60 Minutes). Whitaker was a highly diligent reporter who was always there for him. They collaborated on a story on the opiate epidemic in America that became the most awarded segment in the show's history. Rosen also talked about an off-camera interview with crime boss Joe Bonanno regarding who killed JFK. Bonanno indicated that the Mob was involved and that they tried to kill Kennedy first in Miami with Cuban exiles, and then followed up with "an offshore team – Corsican hitmen" in Dallas. The reason for the assassination, according to Bonanno, was that Kennedy had reneged on a promise after the Mafia helped him win the 1960 election.

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In the latter half, professional psychic and paranormal investigator John Russell shared accounts of ghosts, angels, spirits, and strange manifestations that he's seen. He described living in a haunted home in upstate New York. Shortly after he and his wife moved in, a muffled knocking was heard coming from the attic. The knocking grew more frequent and intense, eventually sounding like a sledgehammer, and was so loud that even the neighbors could hear it. Eventually, he found a lace heart under a lumber pile that had been moved (presumably by the spirit) in the attic, and after that the knocking ceased. While there's a wide array of paranormal phenomena that can be startling or unnerving, it doesn't mean that it's evil or demonic, he added.

Because we're immersed in a world of struggle, people sometimes try to blame their problems or bad luck on demons or negative spirits, he pointed out. Some unscrupulous psychics will even prey on clients, charging money to remove entities or curses. Russell said he's skeptical of the exorcism process and that most of the so-called possessed victims have been talked into their state of distress. To understand some of the more unusual entities, like nature spirits and fairies, we have to consider them on their own terms, he explained. In one of his stranger sightings, he saw something like two eyes coming out of the sky toward him, before they receded into a stationary position. This occurred in response to a request he made to be shown the intelligence behind crop circles.

News segment guests: Lauren Weinstein, Steve Kates

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