Are we humans alone in the universe? For me, this ranks as one of the greatest mysteries of life right alongside pondering what happens after we die.
There have been some brilliant podcast episodes and series that have explored these themes. Adam Frank, a biophysicist, spoke with rather an assuredness on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that mathematical probabilities point to the chance that there is life out there somewhere in the cosmos.
The End Of The World with Josh Clark delved deep into the Fermi Paradox, which simply yet profoundly asks if there is such a great probability of life out there in the universe then where are all the aliens?
There is a new offering from the world of podcasting, Extraterrestrial from Parcast, that is taking a constructive look at previously reported alien encounters and doing so in a narrative retelling of their tales.
The interesting twist on the approach that Extraterrestrial is taking in exploring these alien visitations, however, is trying to get to the root of any possible emotional or circumstantial reasoning for the purported engagements with alien life forms beyond having experienced an actual encounter.
People’s lives and the raw, intimate details that are often hidden away from the veneer of our superficial public displays are often just as fascinating and complex as a potential visit with a little green guy from Mars.
What could ever drive someone to claim a confrontation with an alien life form knowing the potential torment, ridicule, and utter disbelief that would be awaiting them on the other side of their admission?
What, though, if even a minuscule fraction of these countless episodes are the genuine article and we have been getting visited, swept up, probed and prodded for the entire history of human civilization?
It is these types of questions and this unique approach on Extraterrestrial that initially hooked me into the podcast series but also ultimately let me down in the delivery. I needed more exploration of the human element of these stories and a deeper look at the psychological underpinnings that could have driven these people to believe or fabricate their alien encounters.
Parcasters, the first episode of #Extraterrestrial is out and we're starting with the infamous story of Betty and Barney Hill. Their hypnosis sessions with Dr. Benjamin Simon are chilling. Long story short, we're fascinated by all of it!— Parcast (@ParcastNetwork) January 29, 2019
👽 https://t.co/LMq5Z8XWv3 pic.twitter.com/QZ0mCgkpDi
Barney And Betty Hill
The first story, a two-part debut offering from Extraterrestrial, only lends to further confound and confuse my own beliefs about alien visitations and perhaps that is why Barney and Betty Hill were the ideal case study to lead off the series with.
Barney and Betty Hill were an interracial couple living back in the early 1960s and from documented accounts feeling the societal pressures of an era not quite accustomed or fully welcoming to blended families.
If there were heightened extraneous pressures on this couple trying to build a happy and productive life together why would they ever invite such potential scrutiny and further stress into their lives by concocting an abduction by aliens?
Or, is it that very stress, that societal strain imposing such discomfort into their lives that they were driven to the shared delusion of this alien abduction as some sort of extreme coping mechanism?
That latter piece, the examination of potential strain and stress from an intolerant community is fascinating to me and exactly the type of unpacking of these stories I was hoping for from this podcast series. It is that element that I felt was lacking from the second story on Extraterrestrial.
Elizabeth Klarer And Akon
In the second story Extraterrestrial tackles, we are pushed to the extremes in testing our beliefs and our ability to stay open-minded through the dramatic recounting of Elizabeth Klarer’s inter-galactic love affair with alien physicist Akon.
It is important to note that Klarer’s story, which took place back in the 1950s and ’60s, rose to national prominence in its time. She authored a book and is credited with having one of the most widely hailed photos of an extraterrestrial space ship.
In the Klarer story, I felt Extraterrestrial was too satisfied to dramatically recount the titillating tale with the physicist alien Akon. They regrettably lacked in their stated mission of peeling back the onion of explanations on why Elizabeth either felt she had these encounters or was driven to make up the entire scenario.
Missed The Mark For Me
I love podcasts that can inform and educate or give me pause and make me question my own belief systems. I also enjoy podcasts that are simply fun and can serve as a platform for us as a listener to escape into.
Extraterrestrial podcast can be that rare type of show to do deliver all of these experiences to a listener in one tightly produced package. I just personally lost steam with the series after the Klarer story fell short of the mark in properly dissecting the human element of the story. The production felt too focused on the dramatic retelling and lacked the necessary follow up and real-world examination.
Do check out Extraterrestrial and leave us a comment with your gut reaction to the Hills and Elizabeth Klarer stories. Did they truly encounter alien life forms or was there something rather human as the driving force behind their claims?
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