Chris O’Brien – Moving On

Chris was in Los Angeles last week after running video for the Contact In The Desert event over the previous weekend. I gave him a day to recover and then visited him where he was staying at a house on the cliffs with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Since we were there and I had my recorder, I asked Chris if he wanted to talk about some of his new projects.

He announced his official departure from the Paracast program, which he has co-hosted for almost 10 years, as well as “Out There,” his new podcasting and television venture, and his San Luis Valley Camera Project, which will consist of an automated system to record and document unusual lights and other objects in a world-famous hotspot for aerial phenomena.

Chris announced that he has also received an agreement with researcher Ray Stanford to reveal his technical UFO data, ending years of speculation about the nature of the evidence that Stanford has collected, and if he would ever share it publicly.

A short, but rich conversation. Enjoy!


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23 Responses to Chris O’Brien – Moving On

  1. Corvinus says:

    It was interesting to get an update on Chris’ remote camera/sensor node project and the Ray Stanford material both of which i recall hearing about quite some years ago now. As a software engineer and general tinkerer myself I was wondering if he and his partners in that endeavour might consider publishing an API and technical specs for their proposed system so that interested third parties might also contribute with sensor nodes of their own? As for the data itself, I wonder if they have considered applying some machine learning techniques to it in order to tease out potentially interesting patterns?

  2. GJ435 says:

    If they can get the issues of the UFO Newsclipping Service scanned and searchable that will be epic. That was ana amazing resource back in the day- I imagine 90% or more of the cases found in the Newsletter are not available online. All those cases from local papers forgotten. Wish there was a push to get local tv and radio stations to search for paranormal stories they’ve run.

  3. I just finished reading Project Beta. I very much enjoyed it. For my part, I’m satisfied that this entire UFO phenomenon is a counterintelligence and psychological warfare operation.

    I wish the book had included notes, though. Where did the stories of KGB operations come from, for instance? I’d like to read more about that. My research has led me to the sad conclusion that the bad guys won the Cold War.

    • Corvinus says:

      To your first point I think there are aspects to the UFO phenomena that suggest there are many actors, not all of them governmental in origin.

      To your second point, your conclusion seems to be (and my assumption seems justified by the nature of your website) that the ‘bad guys’ who won the cold war are the US and Western nations. By implication you are saying that the Soviet Union and the other Communist Bloc nations were ‘the good guys’ who lost. Frankly, this is a preposterous conclusion.

      • I used to think it was preposterous too, until I looked into it in depth. At any rate, if communism is wrong I don’t want to be right.

        • Corvinus says:

          Given that you are so enamored of the communist line of thinking how would you sum up your reasons for an “if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right perspective?” At the risk of being trite – what are your top X reasons? I’m genuinely curious.

          • 1) No homelessness
            2) 100% full employment
            3) Virtually no crime, especially violent crime
            4) Free healthcare (as in not out-of-pocket)
            5) Free education through graduate school
            6) Generous paternity leave, sick leave and vacations
            7) Subsidized transportation and cultural activities
            8) Generous and guaranteed pensions
            9) No exploitation. Equality. No poverty outside of the war years. 10 to 1 ratio of highest to lowest income.
            10) The working class, and NOT the rich are the ruling class of society.

        • Joe says:

          “if communism is wrong I don’t want to be right”

          With all due respect, you’re delusional. If history has taught us anything, it’s that communism is the absolute worst form of government that humanity has ever known. A quintessential failure of ultimate proportions. It stuns me constantly that some people haven’t learned this simple lesson. It’s very disturbing.

        • Corvinus says:

          I had a suspicion your list would be something along those lines. I will be answering your post on a point by point basis relatively soon and putting it on an external blog since I don’t want to further sidetrack Greg’s comments section with politically oriented stuff like this. I thank him for his tolerance of it up to this point. One thing I am curious about is whether you yourself have ever lived in a communist country for any length of time? I will post the blog URL as soon as i have it set up.

  4. I’d never heard of the Paracast program (I’ve listened to it since hearing this episode of Radio Misterioso), but I found the interview with Chris compelling. It brought me back to reading my first couple issues of Saucer Smear and being left with the impression that personalities and feuds of the UFO researchers might be as meaty as the reports of sightings. Nothing wrong with a little human drama. It connects us all.

  5. Lawrence says:

    Sheesh about time. O’ Brien was doing himself no favours here, by being a co-host with Gene. And I have a great deal of respect for Chris, he is one of the foremost researchers and writers on Fortean and paranormal topics in the world. His Stalking the Herd is the definitive tour de force on livestock mutilations. I wish you well Chris.

    Here’s hoping Gene eventually gets his act together, but you know it’s hard to change in old age, heck it’s hard to change in middle age.

  6. Best of luck to Chris on all his future endeavors.

    Ever since I heard about his camera monitoring project I was intrigued by it, but at the same time I wondered if Chris had considered the possibility that it could ultimately fail, because the phenomenon simply doesn’t like to be snooped around –something that became patently obvious to NIDS and all the people trying to conduct research at the Skinwalker Ranch.

    • Corvinus says:

      My question above related to open sourcing his system addresses this possibility indirectly. If we have enough sensor nodes out there monitoring at one time then can there be a point at which a sort of ‘critical mass’ is reached such that the phenomena must leave a definitive trace?
      Given the relationship of the phenomena to the human psyche could it be something similar to the phenomena of ‘sympathetic achievement’ (my term, not sure of it’s real name) where once one human breaks a record or develops something, then all of a sudden it seems that many others can achieve the same thing – much of the time at around the same moment in time.

      • Well, I don’t know. I recall Jeff Ritzmann’s frustration when he attempted to keep a monitoring system at his own home, and how the only interesting things happened when the cameras happened NOT to be recording. Unless you could come up with some sort of randomized system that governs the monitoring of the cameras –so that no one can tell for sure whether they are recording or not at any given time– I’m not sure how you would be able to ‘one-up’ the phenomenon.

        PS: And yes, I know Hessdalen has had a lot of continuing success studying anomalous atmospheric phenomena over at Norway. are these ‘TrUFOs’ to use a term coined by SMiles Lewis, tho?

        • Corvinus says:

          So the effects seen by Ritzmann are interesting because they suggest to me the possibility of a degree of influence over the manifestations on the part of the witness. Could there have been a subconscious fear of success in place that conspired to block any manifestation? This could exist as two opposed but coexisting fears. Both the fear of actually catching an experience on camera and thus making it “real” in an objective demonstrable way and the fear of having an experience while nothing actually shows up on camera could exist within the minds of the participant. Mutliply this by however many people are emotionally/mentally involved in it (e.g. Ritzman’s family).
          Another thing is that if the phenomena is represented by an ‘Other’, I don’t think we can assume that it is infallible…is there a way to trick the trickster? How do we tease out the limits on the phenomena?

          I am not up to date on Hessadalen, but it seemed like those effects were suggestive of some sort of plasma type phenoma realted to ball lightning, earth lights or the aurora…so many not TrUFOs? I could be way off base but it’s still interesting even if turns out to not be ‘paranormal’.

    • Only one way to find out Miguel… We’ll be covering 50+ sq miles of wide open SLV desert valley floor, the so-called “Skinwalker Ranch” is contained and verdant. The sight lines up there are not expansive, they are limited w/ a lot of trees and relief—the SLV is wide open.

      • Corvinus says:

        I think a sufficiently large array of such nodes would be a rich source of data even if from a controls perspective – i.e. corroborating or refuting sightings related claims.

  7. Frank says:

    When will the Out There podcast debut? I’ve searched
    My podcast app and don’t see it yet.
    I can’t wait!

  8. Lin Cornelison says:

    What is the latest on Chris getting Ray Stanford’s materials out?

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