In the first half, UFO researcher Cheryl Costa discussed their series of books compiling reported UFO sightings by state. So far, Costa said, about 30 states have been covered in the series, with books on the remaining states to be published soon. The goal, they continued, was to provide a reference for all 50 states, geared toward anyone interested in UFO activity over the past 20 years, down to the zip code or hamlet levels of analysis. The largest sources of data for the books, Costa related, was from the National UFO Reporting Center and figures provided by MUFON. Although it would be impossible to determine how many of the nearly 170,000 reports in the books were genuine instances of UFO sightings, Costa said they were most comfortable with a figure of about five percent. This works out to over 8200 legitimate cases for the period the books cover.
According to Costa's data, the top two areas in the country for UFO reports are both heavily populated: Los Angeles County, California and Maricopa County, Arizona. This is misleading, however, Costa explained. In fact, they noted, in total most reports come from suburban, exurban, and rural areas, not large cities. And contrary to popular speculation, the data doesn't support the idea that UFOs congregate around nuclear facilities—but toxic dumps, heavily polluted areas, fault lines, and coastlines do seem to be of particular interest to our extraterrestrial visitors. States like Nevada, while low in population and lacking a coastline, do get a disproportionately high number of reports; this could be a function of the desert environment there, Costa noted.
Paranormal researcher and illusionist Professor Slim King talked about the case of the infamous skyjacker D.B. Cooper in the second half. His belief is that the figure we know as Cooper was probably a Naval rescue paratrooper. Incidentally, Walter Reca, one of the main suspects in the case, was trained in such a role, King pointed out. According to this theory of the crime (which King finds most credible), Reca parachuted to an area outside of Cle Elum, Washington, hiked to a nearby roadhouse, and contacted a confederate to pick him up.
King offered a number of factors that would make the official account of the 1971 skyjacking implausible in his view. He discounted the money purported to be part of Cooper's take in the hijacking, found at the Columbia River, saying that it was not consistent with the plane's flight path. In addition, Cooper doubted that authorities would allow a hijacked plane to fly over highly populated areas. Because of hunting season, he added, thousands of hunters were on the ground in the region where Cooper supposedly landed. Nevertheless, the Cooper case remains the single unsolved skyjacking case in American history.
Knapp's News 12/11/22
George Knapp shared a number of recent news items of interest, including articles about a quantum brain, new evidence in the JFK assassination, and the passing this week of ufologist A.J. Gevaerd:
- A "Quantum Brain" Could Solve The Hard Problem of Consciousness, New Research Suggests
- After Crackdown on a Pain Clinic, a Tragic Double-Suicide
- Ancient Environmental DNA Reveals Thriving 2-Million-Year-Old Life on Greenland
- A zoologist explains why the project to resurrect the woolly mammoth should go extinct
- Cyber, Speed, and UFOs: A Tour of Tech Provisions in the 2023 NDAA
- Reporter claims to have uncovered 'smoking-gun proof' linking Oswald to the CIA
- Brazilian ufologist A.J. Gevaerd dead at 60 (links to 2021 interview with George Knapp)