In the first half, researcher and professor David Shorter shared the story of his work in paranormal topics. Growing up with a father who contracted with the US government on highly secret projects in New Mexico, Shorter said, it was only natural that he would gravitate toward learning about UFO sightings. Although his father was extremely anxious about the possibility of being surveilled or harmed by entities like the Men in Black, he did share some of what he knew with his son, which included government knowledge of UFO activity and ethically questionable research. Shorter also recalled a highlight of his career: hearing the firsthand account, arranged by his father, of a medical nurse who claimed to have been on duty at a hospital in Socorro, New Mexico when live alien beings were brought in for emergency treatment.
"Aliens, Psychics, and Ghosts," the course Shorter offers at UCLA, is extremely popular among students, with long waitlists to enroll. Assignments in the course involve visits to psychics, guest speakers like Whitley Strieber, closely scrutizing recordings of medium John Edward, and more. But as receptive as his students are to what they learn in his class, Shorter observed, his academic colleagues are not as accepting of his beliefs about the paranormal. This may be due to the fact that among many fellow faculty, his work is not considered intellectually rigorous enough to merit serious attention, he speculated.
In the second half, disaster preparedness author and former investigative reporter Hugh Simpson expressed his concern for the vulnerability of the United States to catastrophes of various kinds. For example, he explained, our electric power grid is not a series of electrical networks that can function independently of one another, but is an integrated system susceptible to a "domino effect" that can lead to power failures across very large areas of the country. A grand solar minimum—which Simpson said we're due for soon—also endangers society by causing dangerous shifts in climate on Earth that could even bring about a "mini ice age," he continued. A moon wobble, expected around 2030, could trigger massive flooding at our coastlines as well.
Simpson argued that a recession is looming for the United States, which may be made worse by the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on the world's economy. He went on to cite other potential threats to America posed by Russia and other nations. In addition to the instability that could result from Russia's defaulting on its debt, a number of Russians who wish to harm the United States hold high positions in American corporations and government, he claimed. Weaponized electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) could be employed by unfriendly nations to inflict major damage on the country's electronic and utility systems.
As for precautionary measures, Simpson recommended a "Be prepared, not scared" strategy. He noted that he keeps a "bugout bag" ready at all times at home, containing items like freeze-dried foods, water, a survival knife, a compass, clothing, and fire-starting tools. On a more spiritual level, he related, he also looks to his Christian faith for guidance—particularly the advice of the book of Ephesians to wear the full armor of God for protection.