Portfolio

A small collection of my published work.

I Study UFOs and This Is the Best UFO Documentary Ever Made

I have seen a lot of UFO documentaries, and after a while, they start to get boring. They tend to tell the same old stories, or promote some snake-oil-selling UFO "expert." Perhaps the biggest issue I take with UFO documentaries is that they never focus on what actually matters: the people at the center of the frenzy, and the trauma they experience. By this measure, Alan Stivelman’s film Witness of Another World is the best documentary on the subject that I have ever seen. Witness of Another W

This Student Is One of the Top Scientists Studying Faster-Than-Light Warp Drives

Humanity ripping around the galaxy using warp drives is still the stuff of science fiction, but propulsion scientists are getting closer to understanding the physics that could take us there. And an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, is now one of the leading scientists exploring the physics. Popularized on Star Trek in the 1960s, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew could galavant around the galaxy all because of their ship’s warp drive. The original TV series was

Tom DeLonge's UFO Research Company Paid $35,000 for 'Exotic' Metals That Might Actually Just Be Slag

In late July, Motherboard reported that former Blink 182 guitarist Tom DeLonge’s UFO research company To the Stars was in possession of exotic metamaterials that, according to the company, were from an unidentified flying object. According to To the Stars’s September filings with the Securities Exchange Commission, it turns out those little bits of metal cost the company a cool $35,000. The UFO community has, for seven decades, been actively debating the existence of physical debris from uniden

UFO Lobbyists Are Trying to Get the Truth From Congress, and They're Winning

How do you make the government take UFOs seriously? With a UFO lobbyist, of course. In December 2017, the New York Times wrote about a de-funded secret Pentagon UFO program called AATIP, and revealed that several Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015 engaged in bizarre encounters with anomalous aerial objects off the coast of California and Florida. Eventually, three videos of “unidentified aerial phenomena” were released and have since been confirmed by the Navy as real. For years, Steven Bassett was

Did Canada Just Admit UFOs Are Real With a New Coin?

The Canadian government has issued a limited edition glow-in-the-dark coin to commemorate one of Canada’s most important historical events: a UFO crash. The Royal Canadian Mint has produced 4000 coins commemorating an event where the townspeople and fishermen of Shag Harbour witnessed a large luminous object crash into the water just off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Local RCMP officers were alerted by residents during the night of October 4, 1967 that an airplane had crashed into the wate

The Missouri Monster 'Momo' Is the Cryptid Time Forgot

In 1972, the town of Louisiana, Missouri was home to many alleged sightings of a large, Bigfoot-like creature. The story goes that two young boys and their sister first spotted the 7-foot-tall, hairy beast on the edge of the woods just outside of town. Emanating a foul odor, the creature was carrying a dead dog, according to the folklore. Sightings of the Missouri Monster, or “Momo," exploded that year, and the town experienced monster fever. At one point, a twenty-person posse was put togeth

There's a New 'Storm Area 51' Event With Running Water and Showers

With only days to go before various ‘Storm Area 51’ events, rural Nevada has become a hotbed of controversy. Last week, two Dutch YouTubers were arrested for trespassing onto the secretive air base. Two weeks ago, fearing a “possible humanitarian disaster,” the creator of the original Facebook Storm Area 51 event pulled out of the “AlienStock” festival, but organizers there insist the show will still go on. Meanwhile, Lincoln and Nye counties are bracing for impact this weekend. While several f

Why Alien Life Might Literally Glow

Those cheap glow in the dark alien toys sold at dollar stores across North America may actually be a helpful tool in how scientists plan to detect possible alien life. According to a recent paper in the Royal Astronomical Society, some organisms adapt to harmful UV radiation in a curious way: by glowing. Bioluminescence, in which an organism gives off light via an internal chemical reaction, such as a firefly, and biofluorescence, in which an organism takes in UV light and then re-emits at a lo

It Looks Like the Storm Area 51 Festivals Are Going to Happen: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In June, Matty Roberts started a viral Facebook event called “Storm Area 51.” His Facebook event has 2 million “attendees,” he’s launched a small business, and now he’s responsible for a festival in the Nevada desert that has stirred tensions with the local town. With tens of thousands saying they want to go to the festival in the next few weeks, will the Storm Area 51 event actually happen? A joke Facebook event has now spurred three supposedly real festivals over the weekend of September 20.

This Late-Night Glove Salesman Masturbating Story Is Very Weird but Also True

It was 3 a.m. in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the dead of winter—typical glove-wearing weather. Andrew Blackbird had just finished a bartending shift and his wife, who was supposed to drive him home but had presumably fallen asleep, wasn’t answering his calls. Then his phone died. With all the cabs taken up, he started the 25-kilometer [15-mile] walk home. It wasn’t long until a black SUV rolled up alongside him and a man who looked like Max Headroom asked if he wanted a ride. Desperate and freezi

Paranormal Filmmakers Are Skipping Streaming and Publishing Straight to YouTube

In a world where Ancient Aliens, Project Blue Book, and a host of other similar shows on mainstream cable, it may feel like we're living through a paranormal television renaissance. And we are. But the most interesting work isn't happening on cable or even streaming services like Netflix—it's happening on YouTube. Many filmmakers who work with the paranormal say they can tell more authentic, unsanitized stories on YouTube than they can on streaming networks. Dana and Greg Newkirk run the succes

This Crowdsourced Map Documents UFO Sightings, Cryptids, and the Supernatural

If you’ve had a weird unexplainable experience, two guys in Seattle want to help you log it and track it on a global map. I have a new favorite place on the internet, and it is Liminal Earth. Liminal Earth is a web based mapping tool designed to track the bizarre. Created by Garrett Kelly, co-founder of Hollow Earth Radio, and Jeremy Puma, a Seattle based author, their project “acts sort of like ‘Google Trends’ (which tracks sudden spikes on google search queries) for the collective unconscious

Tom Delonge’s UFO Research Center Is Making Politicians Demand Answers

Last month, Republican representative Mark Walker of North Carolina wrote a letter expressing concern over the recent surge in UFO-related events affecting American military forces. Walker’s concerns stem from the December 2017 article in the New York Times about the now defunded secret Pentagon UFO program called AATIP and the revelations that several Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015 engaged in bizarre encounters with anomalous aerial objects off the coast of California and Florida. The news that

Tom DeLonge’s UFO Organization Says It’s Obtained ‘Exotic’ Metals Unknown to Science

Former Blink 182 frontman and current UFOlogist Tom DeLonge says that his UFO research organization has acquired “potentially exotic materials featuring properties not from any known existing military or commercial application.” It has not yet provided any proof to back up this claim. For 70 years, the UFO community has been engaged in active debate regarding physical debris from unidentified flying objects, but the general public got a true taste of that in 2017 when the New York Times ran an

The ‘Storm Area 51’ Event Has Turned Into a Marketing Stunt

MJ Banias is the author of The UFO People: A Curious Culture. He tweets @mjbanias. With 1.5 million people RSVPed to the Facebook event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," the idea of going to meet some aliens has become a quick internet sensation. While the idea to rush a guarded military base in the Nevada desert is clearly stupid, the creators of the meme event have managed to capitalize and commercialize people’s beliefs in UFOs, aliens, and government cover-ups. Roughly 80 miles n
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