John Shirley: Less Believer, More Skeptical

The iconoclasitc and prolific writer John Shirley has been a friend of mine for over a decade now. We first met when he noticed me laughing at a line in a David Jacobs lecture at the Orange County MUFON meeting in 1994. While most of the crowd reacted with disapproval, John walked over to my table and introduced himself.

He later wrote a ficitonal piece called “Abducting Aliens” for my magazine, involving a SubGenius wildman who grabs cattle-mutilating aliens and rams things up their rear ends for fun. He used to write a segment on his website called “The Skeptical Believer,” where he examined a multitude of paranormal issues.

Since then, Shirley has written a modern UFO novel (Silicon Embrace), and horror and cyberpunk novels such as Spider Moon, Crawlers, The Other End, and Black Glass. He has also written television, movie, and graphic novel scripts, most notably the script for the original Brandon Lee Crow movie. He was also the recipient of the Bram Stoker award from the Horror Writers of America for his 1998 short story collection entitled Black Butterflies.

For this, John’s second appearance on the show, we talked about his frustration with UFO sightings and researchers, his belief that most if not all crop circles are made with boards and rope, and his interest in esoteric spirtituality such as the writings and teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff. I don’t agree with John on many issues; he appears to take things with more of a grain of salt than I do, but so what? We also discussed the BP oil spill, drug legalization, and his musical accomplishments with Blue Oyster Cult and various punk bands.

John says that his next appearance on Radio Misterioso will be his interview of me. I can’t wait.

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2 Responses to John Shirley: Less Believer, More Skeptical

  1. red pill junkie says:

    Nice interview. At first it felt like John was going all on his own without hearing (or minding) you, but there was a lot of interesting stuff covered.

    The most interesting thing to me was this speculation about the supposed luminous or “glorious” body one can create in order to transcend your consciousness after death.

    This concept it’s something I’ve encountered in all sorts of different sources —even Strieber mentions it on his book The Key— and although I also have no way of verifying it either, I’m deeply (mortally??) interested in the subject.

  2. SpaceBrother says:


    Thanks again. John DOES go on on his own until he is finished. That’s good. Not many people do this.

    It’s interesting to me that he maintains a “separation of church and state” in his mind. In other words, he doesn’t apply the same standards to metaphysics as he does to science and paranormal claims. I would tend to agree. We obviously disagree on some things, but so what? We can still be friends because we respect each other’s thought processes (to some degree!)

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