During the past six months I have contributed to five Fortean-themed podcasts reflecting the range of my UFO and legend-related research interests.
Brian J Robb who curates the monthly Sounds Peculiar round-up in the excellent Fortean Times magazine says that podcasting has been enjoying something of a boom recently.
Judging by the numbers of paranormal and UFO-themed podcasts currently vying for attention online it seems this medium provides a far better depth of coverage than mainstream media of contemporary legends and associated beliefs.
I was keen to see what all the fuss was about, so I started with possibly one of the best: Mark Norman’s Folklore Podcast @folklorepod, that celebrated its second birthday in July by hitting half a million downloads via its hosting site.
On New Year’s Day Mark featured my on-going research into the 1980s tabloid urban legend, The Curse of the Crying Boy, in episode 34 of the Folklore Podcast (time 50 minutes). His website also features podcasts covering the whole range of modern folkloric and Fortean beliefs and experiences: ghosts, fairies, black dogs, witchcraft and, of course, Slenderman.
In March I presented a summary of two decades working on the UK Ministry of Defence UFO files in a public lecture at The National Archives in Kew, southwest London. The lecture was recorded and released as a podcast (time: 1 hour, 8 minutes). It can be downloaded here.
The much anticipated release of the MoD’s final three UFO policy files were the hot topic from the spring of 2018 when The Guardian’s Damien Gayle broke my exclusive story based on their content.
In April former Kerrang! and LBC radio presenter Nick Margerrison invited me to talk about UFO-related conspiracy beliefs and my investigative work on the MoD’s secret files on his fortnightly show. The podcast that emerged can be downloaded here.
Following Nick’s interview in June I took part in Gimlet Media’s Science Vs special ‘UFOs: What the Government Covered Up‘. Despite the title this show concentrated on the standard ‘does ET life exist and is it visiting us?’ theme. Presented by Wendy Zuckerman it also featured contributions from astronomers Dr Jill Tarter, Dr Seth Shostak and Professor Jim Al Khalili (time: approx 38 minutes).
Last but not least on 26 July I spent two hours in discussion with Linda Moulton Howe and co-presenter John Burroughs on the KGRA radio show Phenomena. Topics covered included the Rendlesham forest UFO incident, Winston Churchill’s interest in flying saucers and my 20 year campaign, using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to persuade the British government to open up their UFO archives to the public.
The show can be downloaded as a MP3 from the KGRA-db archives here.