UFOs and Possible Aliens, with Seth Shostak – StarTalk All-Stars

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About This Episode

Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer and StarTalk veteran, discovers what it’s like to host StarTalk All-Stars when he welcomes noted skeptic Ben Radford and new comic co-host Ray Ellin to discuss unidentified flying objects, government cover-ups, anal probes, and space-faring dinosaurs. Discover the true story of the Roswell incident, including how a series of public relations mistakes by uninformed local military and government personnel turned a top-secret program to monitor nuclear tests by the Soviet Union, code-named Project Mogul, into the greatest conspiracy theory of our time. In response to fan-submitted cosmic queries chosen by Ray, Seth and Ben discuss, debunk and dismiss everything from crop circles, Area 51 and the infamous “alien autopsy” to the supposedly secret, subterranean joint human/alien government base harboring Bigfoot, the chupacabra, and multiple species of aliens below Dulce, New Mexico. Find out what the protocols are for an actual alien encounter, and how the real world and the media make them practically meaningless. You’ll also hear what questions Seth would ask an alien, and how he thinks we might be able to communicate with them should they show up. Finally, explore some of the psychology behind the third of the U.S. public who believe UFOs are really alien visitors, the people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, the role of the “Men in Black,” and the apparent alien fascination with cow anuses.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: UFOs and Possible Aliens, with Seth Shostak – StarTalk All-Stars.

In This Episode


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  • Host

    Seth Shostak

    Seth Shostak
    All-Stars Host, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute

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  • Co-Host

    Photo courtesy of rayellin.com

    Ray Ellin
    Comedian

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  • Guest

    Ben Radford

    Ben Radford
    Author, Deputy Editor of Skeptical Inquirer

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Episode Topics

  • Steph Beach

    Wow I didn’t like the conversation in this episode. Yes, it’s a ‘silly’ subject. We understand your disdain for this subject but you don’t have to keep telling us through
    your sarcasm. I’m not trying to be nasty here. It’s just that the conversation could have
    been more whimsical. It felt a bit mean.

    • Jonathan Ryan

      I completely agree, they were very dismissive of what I thought were thoughtful questions.

      • Steph Beach

        It’s too bad because this topic could have made a very FUN discussion. Oh well: Live and learn and look to the skies….it’s full of Stars! 🙂
        Thanks for the reply Jonathan.

    • dante

      back off men, I like this episode. feel it like no filter, like not trying to like us. sorry for my bad english

    • Robert Lyle

      that’s putting it lightly, but well said.

  • Michelle

    Hearing the host scoff at just about every question is very disapppointing. Didn’t have to be so pretentious.

  • Robert Lyle

    I couldn’t listen to this episode for another moment after a few minutes. Look, this is usually a pretty good podcast, but I think it’s clear the (skeptical) scientists that back the idea that all UFO enthusiasts are kooks, can’t be reasoned with, or conspiracy nut jobs is disingenuous and arrogant. I agree we’re not supposed to go off the deep end about believing all the stories out there, but hearing this one side of the story is as unbearable as hearing someone on the other side of the argument rant during the late hours of a Coast to Coast AM broadcast. You guys seem weary to invite someone one to offer a valid argument and straight talk with anyone on the other side of the fence.
    So, in order to fix this, you know what has to happen. Get a conversation going with someone (maybe Richard Dolan or one of the MU hosts from AUS, or all of them! screw it!) whom isn’t going to go for the crazy as hell argument and have a valid discussion about the possibility of interstellar or intergalactic visitation. Guys, this is a piss poor episode that “discusses” the UFO phenomenon, and these guys are already convinced of their arguments. Why even post an episode like this when you know good honest people would be disgusted to hear a one sided argument from anyone at all? critical analysis will help make this topic more bearable to listen, even if something seems ridiculous argued by either side.

    • Steph Beach

      COMPLIANCE! 🙂

      • Robert Lyle

        Thanks! understanding and compliance is the first step to good ole thoughtful critical analysis.

  • Mark61L

    Ya right, maybe we should have a rational discussion about the existence Santa Claus too, There has been NO proof ever and you want to hear the other side. Right.

    • Robert Lyle

      so it’s safe to assume a highly technological advanced civilization capable of intergalactic travel have not visited Sol’s neighborhood before?

      just want to read a skeptic say yes or no when asked this question…

  • jeff feldman

    Show could have been more fun. The comedian was great, and kept getting shut down by the host, who had a negative take on everything. Could have been lighter and more fun.

  • phyroxin

    Unfortunately this was a lesson in the stultifying nature of arrogance and/or hubris among scholars. A brave man once said: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. For something to be false it must be proven as such; the lack of evidence for either case can only mean the conclusion is uncertain. To determine an absolute in a universe of potential is short-sighted.

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