Jimmy Carter & UFOs / Documenting Spiritualism

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Jimmy Carter & UFOs / Documenting Spiritualism

About the show

UFO researcher Grant Cameron joined George Knapp in the first half to discuss Jimmy Carter's relationship to UAP. At a press scrum during his campaign for the presidency, Carter reportedly stated, "If I become President, I'll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available… I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one." Once in office, Carter allegedly sought out intelligence files on UAP, another sign that he took ET phenomena seriously. Cameron also described a 15-minute film depicting an alien landing that was possibly screened for Carter.

Although in Cameron's view, Carter has backpedaled a bit in his claim to have seen a UFO, he and numerous other US presidents have extensive knowledge of extraterrestrial activity on Earth. For political and personal reasons, he said, most high-level communications about alien life are done verbally, and are not part of official presidential records. This may be changing, however, now that discourse surrounding UAP is somewhat more acceptable and less stigmatized.


In the second half, photojournalist Shannon Taggart related the experiences that led to her fascination with Spiritualism, the belief in deceased individuals’ ability to communicate with the living. As a youngster, Taggart visited nearby Lily Dale, New York, which is the world’s largest Spiritualist community. There she was confronted with a family secret that the medium could not have known, prompting her to delve deeper into Spiritualism. Soon, she was hooked on the tiny town's powerful spiritual energy, embarking on a personal research project to learn as much as she could.

For Taggart, there's a synchronicity between the Spiritualist movement and the birth of photography. Both have their origins in western New York state— where she grew up —within a few years of each other, and both involve red light in dark rooms in their methodology. When her own photographs began to reveal otherworldly images, Taggart realized that there's something inherently significant about using photography to capture spiritual activity. An especially strange feature of Spiritualist photography is that subjects seem to spew ectoplasm, a gooey substance that captivated Taggart's curiosity.

The deeper question for Spiritualists is, why are the dead able to communicate with the living? Taggart noted that sometimes there's a practical need for the dead to relay a message to us. Dead celebrities commonly pop up in Spiritualist sessions, with Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, and Michael Jackson being among the figures often reported as making appearances. And sometimes, contact with the dead has a crossover effect with other paranormal phenomena like UFOs, Taggart pointed out.

Knapp's News 5/28/23

George Knapp shared recent news items of interest, including articles about ghosts and near-death experiences:

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