BoA:Audio celebrates our 100th episode with massively popular investigative journalist George Knapp. George will discuss the evolution of his journalism career, his investigation into Area 51 and the subsequent fall-out in Ufology, his take on UFO studies, reflections on his research into the Skinwalker Ranch, and the latest news on his coverage of the Needles UFO case from earlier this Summer.
We celebrate our centennial with a bonafide A-list esoteric name in an episode you do not want to miss.
Full Preview: We kick things off with a little bit of background on George Knapp and his evolution as a TV reporter. We dive right into the UFO discussion by first talking about George's investigation into Area 51. He begins by telling us about the background to his research into Area 51, including the influence of esoteric players like John Lear, Bill Cooper, and Bob Lazar in helping to fuel George's discovery of the infamous esoteric landmark and the subsequent explosion of Area 51 as a paranormal meme.
This leads to us hearing some remarkable stories about the reaction to George's Area 51 work from his colleagues in the news media. We get George's fascinating insider perspective on the long-standing belief, in some Ufological circles, of a media coverup of the UFO subject. We also get his take on the apparent changes in the media in the last year with regards to UFOs and how the coverage seems to be getting more positive. He also talks about some of his dealings with the basic cable UFO shows and his disappointment with how some of them are put together.
Next we talk about George's initial introduction to the world of Ufology, including attending the infamous 1989 MUFON convention which saw Bill Moore reveal his government connections and John Lear stage a mutiny and attempt to form his own convention within the convention. He also talks about the fallout from his reports on Area 51 and how various camps in Ufology used the story to their own ends. This leads to a general discussion on some of the problems of UFO studies today.
Looking at the future of Ufology, we ask George if there's any way to "save" Ufology or if it has degenerated too far beyond the point of saving. He tells us about how organizations like NIDS might be the ideal scenario for serious investigation of the UFO phenomenon. This segues into a discussion on the "economy of Ufology" and how the problems of the field take their toll on the good researchers who need funds to continue their work.
Moving on, we get George's opinion, based on his research, on how much the government really knows about UFOs. He reveals what aspect of the UFO phenomenon and the potential government coverup has always interested him the most. We also get his take on the idea of a "global conspiracy" to keep the UFO subject secret by certain countries. We then find out why George does not foresee UFO disclosure by the government at any point in the future and what it probably would take to blow the lid off the UFO secret.
We also get his thoughts on the Exopolitics movement that has sprung up in the last decade. He details some of the political problems with dealing with UFOs and shares an amazing story of a 2000 Congressional hearing on UFOs that almost happened but was thwarted by the very people pushing for UFO disclosure. Staying on the topic of UFO disclosure, George tells us about some of the potential political stumbling blocks that would likely prevent such a release of UFO information. He also shares his opinion that if UFO disclosure happened, then there might be some kind of criminal charges filed against some of the people who have kept the "truth" hidden from the public. He also makes the Devil's Argument that perhaps the truth behind UFOs is "too much" for the public to bear.
Up next, we cover George's groundbreaking work covering the Skinwalker Ranch (about which he co-wrote Hunt for the Skinwalker with Colm Kelleher). We start by finding out why the story seems to still resonate so much with people, nearly three years after the book was written. We then talk about George's experience investigating the infamous ranch and he tells us about how the book came about in the first place. He talks about one story from the ranch that they debated including in the book, because it was almost "too outrageous," but they decided to include it after all. He also shares some great stories about his personal experiences visiting the ranch.
We then discuss some of George's most recent work in the UFO realm: his investigation into a reported UFO crash in Needles, California. He gives a detailed look at the story, including the "post-crash" fallout of the story. He recounts some of the reports of Men In Black in the area after the event and his remarkable run-in with government agents and gives his frank assessment of what happened during that incident.
Heading towards the close, we get George's perspective on hosting Coast to Coast AM twice a month. He also tells us what guest he'd like to have on the show and hasn't had the chance to interview yet. We also find out what's next for George Knapp in the esoteric field.
George Knapp Bio
George Knapp was born in Woodbury, N.J., and raised mostly in Northern California. He graduated from high school in Stockton, Calif.; earned a bachelor's degree in communications from West Georgia College; and later earned a master's degree in communications from the University of the Pacific, where he also taught speech and debate and served as director of forensics. George also taught speech at California Polytechnic University, coached the debate team at the University of California at Berkeley and taught broadcast journalism at UNLV.
Along the way, George also worked as a hodcarrier, farm laborer, carpenter's assistant and house painter. He moved to Las Vegas in 1979 and landed a job as a taxi driver. Later, he worked at KLVX-TV Channel 10 as a part-time studio cameraman and production assistant. KLAS-TV hired him in 1981 as a general assignment reporter. George also has co-anchored various newscasts for Eyewitness News.
He has earned two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a national Edward R. Murrow award for his investigative stories on the voter registration fraud. Nine times, he has won the Mark Twain Award for best news writing from the Associated Press. And in 1990, his series about UFOs was selected by United Press International as best in the nation for Individual Achievement by a Journalist. In addition to that, he has won 14 Emmy Awards.
He is also the co-author of Hunt for the Skinwalker and hosts Coast to Coast AM every 3rd & 4th Sunday of the month.