The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Episode 193
The Shaver Mysteries (Part 2)

Warning: Listener discretion is advised. Dark, adult topics discussed.

In part two of our Shaver Mystery coverage, we look at the influence of Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver on Science Fiction, UFOlogy, and the cultural fringe. (Part two of our Shaver Mystery coverage featuring Drs. Jerry Drake and Jeb Card).

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Here are some more links to dig deeper into the topic

Some famous UFO cases referenced in part two

  • Dulce Base Conspiracy — this is a complicated tale of real craft, government manipulation, mental illness and expanding conspiracy narrative. Some of it is covered in the documentary Mirage Men which is available on Amazon Prime.
  • The Aztec UFO Crash — notable (to me) for being part of the famous UFO book Behind the Flying Saucers by Frank Scully. Although the case was a hoax (perpetrated on, not by Scully) and used as part of a criminal conspiracy confidence-game, Scully’s book about the story tied his name firmly to the foundational UFO lore in America. While there are many references online to Chris Carter naming his FBI character Dana Scully of the TV show The X-Files, apparently he actually named her after Vin Scully, the baseball announcer. (As of this posting, you’ll find conflicting info on Wikipedia but the article on Dana Scully says Vin is the source. Meanwhile the page on Frank Scully says he is the source. The Dana article doesn’t cite a source — but I linked to the LA Times on that. The Frank article links to a source but that 2007 book doesn’t seem to contain the reference as listed. I’m going to trust the LA Times on this.) [Additional update: Here is Carter saying where he got the name for Scully confirming the Vin Scully story.]
  • Ashtar — A space entity “channeled” by various UFO Contactees — most notably, George Van Tassel. GVT is famous for organizing the Giant Rock Space Conventions.
  • An interview with contactee Woody Derenberger. (Famous of The Mothman Prophecies)
  • The Philadelphia Experiment — the obsessive work of someone unwell becomes the basis of a huge bit of paranormal lore as well as a movie. I’ve linked to Brian Dunning’s nice skeptical summary of the case.
  • We also briefly discussed The Montauk Project — a “real” case where yet another unreliable set of stories become part of urban legend and fiction and were inspirational to Stranger Things.
Books behind this episode


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