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).

Listen to MonsterTalk via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn, and Stitcher. Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App for iOS, Android, and Windows.

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


Support MonsterTalk

The views expressed on this program are not necessarily the views of the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine.


Get eSkeptic

Be in the know.

eSkeptic delivers great articles, videos, podcasts, reviews, event announcements, and more to your inbox.

Sign me up!


Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

Copyright © 1992–2021. All rights reserved. | P.O. Box 338 | Altadena, CA, 91001 | 1-626-794-3119. The Skeptics Society is a non-profit, member-supported 501(c)(3) organization (ID # 95-4550781) whose mission is to promote science & reason. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Privacy Policy.