UFO Congressional Hearings, Skinwalkers, and More with Ryan Sprague – The Paranormal Podcast 734

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UFO expert, author, TV personality and podcast Ryan Sprague joins us to discuss the recent UFO Congressional Hearings and more!

You can find Ryan’s podcast and other info at somewhereintheskies.com

Thanks Ryan!

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-TRANSCRIPT-

This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Paranormal Podcast. I am Jim Harold, and so glad to be with you once again. My goodness, what an interesting time to cover the topic of UFOs, UAPs is the most recent terminology, and I can’t think of anybody better than our guest this week. He’s one of my favorite people and one of my favorite content creators, just an overall nice guy, but really on top of his game and what he does.

I’m talking about Ryan Sprague from Somewhere in the Skies, that great podcast. Also, he is an author of a book by the same name and working on another book, and we’ll talk about that. We’re so glad to have Ryan with us today to talk about all these developments in the UFO space. Ryan, welcome to the show and thank you for joining us.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Always a pleasure, Jim. Any time I can come on here and chat the latest UFO news is a treat for me as well. So thank you to you and your listeners.

JIM HAROLD: You’ve been in the UFO game for a while, and when you first started I don’t think we were anywhere near where we are in terms of developments and things. Have you really been amazed at the pace of things over the last couple of years, how things seem to be changing almost weekly?

RYAN SPRAGUE: Absolutely. When I first started, my first interview I ever did with a UFO witness was when I was 13 years old. I was obviously the youngest UFO researcher out there doing this thing, and it was very challenging to find people to come forward and talk about these things, let alone put their name out there. I can tell you it was a lonely road for many, many years, as many in the paranormal community or the UFO community have felt.

But ever since that New York Times article, which I’m sure many are familiar with at this point – ever since that came out, the entire landscape of talking about UFOs in a serious manner has changed. People are willing to talk about this. You don’t even have to pull it out of them anymore. They’re coming to us. So it’s exciting. Also, I’m no longer even close to being the youngest UFO researcher. [laughs] Which is depressing in some ways but very exciting in others. So yes.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, you see people like Cristina Gomez coming out on the younger end. You’re getting a little older, but still very youthful, the picture of youth. But you get these new people coming in, which is kind of exciting.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Yeah.

JIM HAROLD: Maybe the biggest headline over the last month or so – last month in May, not that long ago, three or four weeks ago – we had these UFO congressional hearings, which have been the first ones that were done since I think Gerald Ford when he was a representative in the House of Representatives for Michigan. He brought up the UFO topic, future president, and they had hearings in the ’60s. Are these hearings something to get excited about?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I believe so, yeah. This is coming off the heels of other major news stories that have broken in the past year or so, and that’s that we are now getting another official department within the Pentagon to investigate UFOs.

We had, like you mentioned, just a few weeks ago now this congressional hearing. This laid out the groundwork for what this new department is going to be looking at – the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group. Try saying that 10 times fast. They’re going to have to change that name. If anything came out of this hearing, it’s that they have to change the name of this thing. But it’s very exciting, Jim. Very exciting. And I’m sure we can go into some more details about what was said at the hearing.

But yes, nobody knew this was coming, and I think that’s very important for your listeners to keep in mind. When that New York Times story broke back in 2017, it was news to us in the UFO community, even. We had no idea about this secret Pentagon program that had been running. And now this congressional hearing came out of nowhere. Is this planned? Is this strategic? I can’t tell you. But it’s exciting nonetheless, and I can’t wait to see where it all heads.

JIM HAROLD: Here is the thing. It seems to me – because when we talk about the government, and I think I’m guilty of this too – in this case, we’re talking about the U.S. government, but when we talk about the government, we talk in terms of a monolith. “The” government. What does “the” government know?

But the more that I hear different governmental representatives talk, some seem to have one attitude; others seem to have another attitude. I don’t want to say conflict necessarily, but do you think there are different factions within the U.S. government – some that are more interested in getting “the truth” out, others who want us to go back to the old model of just “nothing to see here”? Do you think there’s competing interests and things going on?

Because even in the hearings, I think some people were like, “Eh, they’re not aliens,” and then you hear other representatives who seem much more open-minded. What are your thoughts?

RYAN SPRAGUE: One of the most interesting things about the hearing itself was the bipartisan nature of this. Again, there’s no arguing there is a divisiveness here in the United States unlike any time before when it comes to politics. Obviously, we won’t get into that. But what we saw at these hearings were members on both sides of the aisle coming together and just having a conversation and finally agreeing on something – and that’s that we need to understand what UFOs are, what they aren’t, and are they a threat? That’s what this hearing represented.

So you are seeing senators and congress members on both sides looking at this topic and coming to the same – not conclusion, but the same approach: we need to know what they are, we need to destigmatize this topic that has been ridiculed by the U.S. government, if we want to look at that monolith again, for so long since Roswell, and change the way we talk about these things.

If this is the one thing that members of political parties can come together on and start – whatever, putting that olive branch out there – I’m all for it. But yeah, we see members like Rubio who wants to know what this is. We see members like Senator Gillibrand as well. On both sides of the aisle, coming together and saying, “Hey, government, we need to know what’s going on. You need to be more transparent with the public about what you know and what you don’t know” – which I actually think is more important, what they don’t know about this topic – “and move forward in some sort of constructive way.”

JIM HAROLD: I’m looking at some reportage about it. BBC, for example, was quoting some of the various people testifying. One was Scott Bray, the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. He said, “We have detected no eliminations within the UAP taskforce that would suggest it’s anything non-terrestrial in origin.” That’s probably disappointing to some people – many people who think these are aliens visiting us. Was that universal within the hearings? Or was that merely Bray’s take on it, that nothing’s been detected that would indicate the possibility that these might be extraterrestrial in origin?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I wouldn’t necessarily say it was across the board. There were some times within this hearing where the topic of aliens was brought up, and hey, that’s better than nothing, in my opinion. There were some snickers when the topic of E.T. or science fiction came up, and again, that is this ridicule factor that’s been inherent with this topic since the very beginning. Sort of still there, but it is changing.

For members like Scott Bray to say we have no evidence that any of this is extraterrestrial – they also have no evidence that it’s not, and that’s kind of where we lay right now. Is this another adversarial nation? Is this their technology? Could be. It possibly could be. But when you look at how far advanced the United States is over many other countries, it doesn’t leave many other options.

A lot of people believe that a lot of this could’ve been Russian technology or Chinese technology, but we’re looking at what’s going on in the world today over in Russia and Ukraine, and we are not seeing any type of technology that could represent what these UFOs or UAPs truly are. Could it be China? Possibly, some of it. But not all of it. And there are still a million questions to be asked of what these UFOs actually are or aren’t. Scott Bray and members like Ronald Moultrie, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence who was at this hearing as well, are still scratching their heads and wondering, what are we dealing with if this is not Russia or China? What could we be dealing with?

Hopefully they’re going to keep looking for those answers within this new group that’s being formed within the Pentagon – and they’re also hiring scientists, Jim. That’s what I’m most excited about. These aren’t members of the military looking at this strictly anymore. They do want to do hard science and look at what these UFOs are and try to understand what they’re seeing, what our military pilots are seeing and being outmaneuvered by with technology that not even the United States has truly uncovered yet. Again, uncertain but exciting.

JIM HAROLD: My thought on the idea of “this could be Russia or China” – I think in some cases, some things that are identified as UFOs, or UAPs to use the popular new term, it’s possible it could be. But I think a lot of it is a copout. Here’s the thing – for example, hypersonic technology. A lot of people think Russia is significantly ahead of the U.S. in that. But then again, if the U.S. has hypersonic weapons that they have but they don’t want to publicize, would it work to their advantage to claim to be behind on that technology? You see what I’m saying?

RYAN SPRAGUE: Absolutely.

JIM HAROLD: So I could see certainly areas where maybe Russia and China could, might, be ahead of the U.S. But to me, maybe ahead by a little bit. Not these leaps and bounds like the Tic Tac video and the maneuverability we see. So to me, the Russia/China chatter is almost like, “We don’t want them to really pay attention to this, so we’ll just say it’s Russia and China.” Am I off there? Is that just a nice little cudgel to use when you want to say “nothing to see here”?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I think the “nothing to see here” is really the ace in the hole being played by all different countries at this point. We don’t know what UFOs are, so every country is going to use that to their advantage. I’ve said this to other UFO researchers out there – what we’re seeing now is almost another Cold War, but not so much with missiles or anything of that sort, but in terms of information. We know information, now more than ever, can be used as a weapon.

So what I’m really seeing right now with all of this is the “I don’t know” being used as an advantage. Is it Russia? Is it China? Is it extraterrestrial? We don’t know. But it could be the U.S. It could be China. You do truly have to wonder. So we’re seeing this new intelligence game being played out by a lot of these major superpowers, and “Hmm, we’re not saying it’s ours, but some of it could be, so you’d better be careful.” That’s sort of what I’m seeing.

JIM HAROLD: I have no doubt that some of the things seen and identified as UFOs by civilians, or maybe even military – because just because you’re in the military doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything the military has – I’ve no doubt some could be military technology. I’ve had Annie Jacobsen on the shows multiple times, and she talks about Area 51 and many of those things, going back to the U2 spy plane, being identified as UFOs because people didn’t know that they existed. And that makes perfect sense. But that doesn’t cover all the bases.

The other thing – I want to get your thoughts on this. I’m torn, because I consider myself – despite the problems of the country, I’m a patriotic American, and I understand some things have to be secret. Some things should be secret. And with this congressional hearing, after the public session, they went into private session that was classified. The UFO part of me, the UFO guy, the one who’s interested in all this, is like, “I want to know what they said!” But the feet-on-the-ground person says, “Well yeah, they can’t say everything they know in front of the cameras because of our adversaries.”

So even internally, it’s a push and pull on what should be disclosed and shouldn’t be disclosed. How do you feel about that?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I’m sort of on the same page as you. I completely understand the need for national security and for secrets and classified information. Where I argue the issue lays is over-classification. I think every single time something interesting was asked at this hearing by congress members, who work for us, the people, and want to get answers for us, the people who voted them in, there’s too much behind closed doors.

There were questions asked at this thing about UFOs being seen over bodies of water, the now famous Tic Tac UFO event or many other pilots coming into contact with these things over bodies of water, and that was immediately stamped down. They said, “We will talk about that at closed briefings.” Or the topic of UFOs being sighted over nuclear installations. “Nope, we’re not talking about that right now. We’ll talk about that at the closed meetings.” So it was very frustrating to watch this almost two-hour congressional hearing, and every time they asked a question that we really wanted to know the answers to, that was not for the public.

I think the most frustrating thing about this hearing was the classified nature of it, what congress members do know and are so angry with these people within the military for not telling the public. And that, Jim, is very important, because that’s when you get leaks.

That’s when members of the intelligence community or the military are sick of it, sick of the people out there not knowing the truth about this topic, and saying, “Here. Here you go, The Debrief. Here you go, the New York Times. Here’s a video that I took on my cellphone while I was in the cockpit of my plane. I know that the military’s never going to show you this, but I’m going to, and I’m going to risk my career to show the public that these things are happening and we can’t do anything about it.”

JIM HAROLD: Speaking of people – and I think since last time we had you on the show – I don’t think you’ve been on the show this year, but since you were on last year, we’ve had the passing of someone who was really important at getting the ball rolling, I think, on the governmental side: Senator Harry Reid passed in late December. He’s written forewords to UFO books. Very courageous. Maybe give us a thought or two on Senator Reid and the work that he did, because whether you’re an R or a D, you’ve got to give the man credit – he was out there in front when it wasn’t such a popular thing to do.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Absolutely. Senator Harry Reid, love him or hate him, like you said, really did push for transparency when it came to the UFO topic. He had a personal interest in it, and he used his influence and his power to create the secret Pentagon UFO program – key word being secret. Did he want it all to be secret? No. Did he want the public to know what was going on? Yes. Again, these are members that work for the public here in the United States.

So I do see him as one of those first people to go over, to be the first in line to take the hit. When we first discovered that he was the reason this Pentagon UFO program came to be, a lot of people scoffed at that. His reputation may have been a bit tarnished later in his life. But for many out there, he was a true hero when it came to this topic of UFOs. That’s what I will remember him as.

Like you mentioned, we did lose him quite recently, and I can only imagine the work that would’ve continued had he not unfortunately passed away. But that ball will be picked up by other people, and we’re already seeing that. Like I mentioned, Senator Gillibrand, Marco Rubio. Many of these people saw what Harry Reid was doing and said, “Huh, there’s something here, and we can’t just let that fade away and let this big secret continue. Let’s pick up the ball and let’s keep it rolling.” I think that’s fantastic.

JIM HAROLD: The thing that you mentioned earlier that I love so much, and we see so little of these days, is that it’s bipartisan. It’s not just a Democrat, it’s not just a Republican, but it’s both. There are people who seem on both sides to be very interested in getting as much information as is possible, and within national security bounds, out to the public. I applaud everybody on both sides of the aisle who does that. It’s so nice to see people working together for a change.

And I love working together with Ryan Sprague; he is our guest this week on the Paranormal Podcast. We’re talking all about UFOs and UAPs and congressional hearings, and we’ve got so much more to go – right after this.

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JIM HAROLD: We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast with UFO expert extraordinaire, Ryan Sprague from Somewhere in the Skies. That’s his podcast; be sure to check it out. We’re talking all about, of course, UFOs.

Ryan, to follow on to our topic before, the U.S. government is having hearings and expanding their investigation of UFOs, but it’s not just the U.S. You were telling me about some exciting hearings down in Brazil that are upcoming.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Yeah. I think one of the major aftermaths of this U.S. congressional hearing, just like the New York Times article back in 2017, is that other countries are paying attention. America has always been at the forefront and can influence politics, geopolitical things all across the world. So we’re actually seeing that play out right now where Brazil is now getting in the game.

Later in June, they’re actually going to be holding their own congressional hearings on the UFO topic, and this will be one of the first times in South America where this topic is going to be put in front of their government. Their senators are going to be asking questions not only of their Brazilian military and government officials, but U.S. as well. We’re just learning now that the former head of the Pentagon UFO program, Luis Elizondo, will be testifying at the Brazil event because he has personally investigated many cases of UFOs in Brazil. It was part of his job at the Pentagon.

Also, former members of the U.S. Air Force, most notably Robert Salas from the famous Malmstrom UFO event where UFOs were seen over a nuclear installation here in the United States. He’ll be testifying at the Brazilian event as well.

So this is amazing. We’re also being told that we’re going to get more hearings here in the United States on UFOs, and that this one a few weeks ago was just the beginning. So I’m looking forward to the Brazil event. I will be personally reporting on that. I’m not going to Brazil; I wish I was. But I will be reporting remotely on that event, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I think that’s quite exciting, and it’s interesting to see how different governments treat this differently. I was talking recently with Chris Rutkowski for one of my Plus Club shows, UFO Encounters, and he has a recent book out, Canada’s UFOs: Declassified. That’s roughly the title; I don’t have it in front of me. But talking about how the Canadians have treated it, and he said maybe more so than the U.S., Canada has treated this topic very scientifically, and some of their different departments that are in charge of sciences have looked at it more closely. It’s been a different treatment. And it is interesting to see how different governments differ in the way that they treat this subject.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Absolutely. Chris himself briefed the defense minister in Canada on this topic. I mean, talk about bragging rights. That’s something I can only aspire to. But I think it’s amazing. Canada has been quite reserved when it comes to this topic for many, many years, being our neighbor to the north here in the United States.

Again, I think what we are seeing is the U.S. really taking the forefront on this topic for their own reasons and for many reasons, and I think it’s very exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens in Canada. Chris’s book is fantastic; I highly suggest people check it out. Thousands and thousands of files have been declassified.

JIM HAROLD: Canada’s UFOs: Declassified. Make sure to check that out.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Yep. Amazing.

JIM HAROLD: And even with Canada, you think about Paul Hellyer, their former minister of defense. Imagine if a former U.S. defense secretary came out and said UFOs are real and all the things that Hellyer has said. But you have to remember, Canada is part of NATO. Canada has an agreement with the U.S. in terms of air space and so forth, and NORAD (I misspoke before; I said NATO, I meant NORAD).

The point is that U.S. and Canadian military are a lot closer than you would necessarily think because we’re on the same continent, and Canada is so close to Russia. It’s kind of one and the same in many ways militarily because if the Russians end up in Canada, we’re in trouble, and vice versa. I think people forget how closely those two militaries, particularly their air forces, are linked. So to have the Canadian Defense Minister come out and say this is real – that’s pretty close to having the U.S. Secretary of Defense come out and say it’s real.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Absolutely. Again, the fact that any government – any government – is coming forward and finally acknowledging that the UFO phenomenon is real, which many have not done for decades and decades now, is a huge step. A million questions come after “Is it real?”, but we’re there, and it’s baby steps. I think with patience and time, we’re going to finally find some of those answers we’ve sought for so many years. Folks like the late Stanton Friedman never got those answers.

So I feel very fortunate to live in an age now where those answers might come in some form, but I have no reservations in saying that’s only the beginning, and maybe my children or their children or their children will finally have all the answers to this topic. But I’m amazed at the progress that has been made in the last few years, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes.

JIM HAROLD: You just mentioned somebody, and I know we were going to talk maybe later in the show about him, but since you mentioned him, I’ll bring it up. Stanton Friedman, who we lost a few years back. You recently did a show on him, a tribute show, because we recently passed the anniversary of his passing. That’s truly one of those people who I just love to hear what he had to say about all this. why did you think it was so important to pay tribute to Stanton this last May?

RYAN SPRAGUE: For any of your listeners who have never heard Stanton Friedman speak, I can honestly say he is the reason that I continue this work, Jim. The UFO field can be very frustrating. There’s rarely any answers to any of it. Just like many other things, it’s filled with individuals who may not have the best of intentions and want to take advantage of people’s belief systems, this, that, this, that.

But at the end of the day, someone like Stanton Friedman just wanted the cold, hard facts, and that’s what led him to many of the major successes he had in uncovering those answers and investigating such cases as Roswell or the MJ-12 documents and things of this nature.

I had Stanton Friedman on my show on Episode 50, a very important episode to me. I never thought that the Somewhere in the Skies podcast would make it past a few episodes, to be completely honest. I wanted to do something very special, so I finally reached out to Stan, sort of the godfather of ufology, and interviewed him for over two hours. Learned all about his life and career. It was one of the most amazing conversations I’ve ever had.

Unfortunately, like I mentioned earlier, we did lose him somewhat recently. Very fitting; he died on his way home from a UFO conference he was speaking at, that you were at.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, just an aside, that was such a weird happenstance. I had interviewed him I think three or four times. He was actually the second guest I ever had on the Paranormal Podcast, when I knew nothing. I knew zip, zilch, and he was so kind to come on the show. I think it was kind of like, “What is this thing? A pod what?” Back in 2005, nobody knew what it was. But he was so kind.

And then I was so excited – I finally, after all these years, got to meet him. I believe it was 2019. George Noory’s people had asked me to be in a group of speakers he was going to have at a live event in Columbus, Ohio. Actually, Rosemary Ellen Guiley was originally scheduled to be there, that great parapsychologist and author, but she was ill, and unfortunately a few months down the road she passed. But they asked me to fill in, and I was glad to do it. It was very convenient, but I would have driven hours and hours to be involved with an event with George and Stanton and all that.

I got to spend probably two hours backstage with Stanton. It was almost like I was interviewing him. I was asking him all about his opinions and things, and he was great. He was fantastic. Super sharp. I thought, this’ll be fantastic because I’m going to let an appropriate amount of time pass; I don’t want to be pushy” – but we actually had dinner together with the Ghost Whisperer, Mary Ann Winkowski. That TV show The Ghost Whisperer that was very popular a few years back, she’s the one it’s based on.

It was kind of surreal. I was having dinner with them and I was like, “This’ll be great because I’ll reach out to Stanton and hopefully have him back on the show in a couple months. I don’t want to be pushy.” That was a Saturday night, and then I think Tuesday I opened up Facebook and I saw that he passed on the way home. But like you said, I think it’s almost the way he would’ve wanted it because he kind of died with his boots on. But I was just crushed by it. It was just so sad.

RYAN SPRAGUE: It was sad. He sort of served as a father figure to many of us younger UFO researchers out there. Like you, I had the pleasure of actually being at one of his last talks in Canada up in Nova Scotia. I got to be on a panel with him, which is a memory I will hold dear forever.

So that’s what inspired me to do this special episode where I reached out to folks like you and Jimmy Church and a lot of podcasters and UFO researchers to just remember Stan for the man he was, for the researcher he was, how he influenced all of our work, and even hypothetically, what he would think about where we are now in this entire conversation. What I did is I replayed my Episode 50 interview with him, and then I had, like I said, people like you, and Chris Rutkowski was also involved, and many other researchers in the field. Ross Coulthart as well, the Australian journalist, hopped on.

Everyone just gave their thoughts and memories of Stan and how he inspired their work. I just hope wherever Stan is now, Jim, he’s finally getting those answers he always sought in life. This was just my small, small way of trying to keep his memory alive and show how important and integral he was to all of our work in this field. Yeah, truly inspiring guy, and we will never forget him.

JIM HAROLD: Absolutely. Everybody check out that episode, as well as all of Ryan’s episodes of Somewhere in the Skies. They’re all excellent.

The one thing I would say is he was out there fighting this fight when it wasn’t so hip. It wasn’t so popular, and he was like the lone voice in the wilderness. Not that there weren’t other people like Budd Hopkins and Peter Robbins and other people, but he was one of those people who – to some extent people considered it tilting at windmills, “Oh, look at this silly guy talking about UFOs.”

But he wasn’t silly. He was extremely intelligent and he knew what he was talking about, and he got that across in such a great way, particularly when he was in debates with maybe skeptics. He could really get his point across, and he did everything from Ted Koppel’s Nightline to our podcasts. Anywhere there was a stage to tell the story of UAPs and Roswell and all of that, he would do it.

If the truth ever does come out, the full truth, he’s one of those people – it’s kind of like when you think about a famous invention, or you think about our modern life and how we live our modern life, and we have all these conveniences and things. You go back to somebody like Edison and say, well, he’s one of the people that got the ball rolling. I think we’re going to look back on Stanton Friedman as one of those people who kept the flame alive and was one of those Edisons of the field, so to speak.

RYAN SPRAGUE: That’s a perfect analogy, Jim. I couldn’t put it better myself. He did step on those landmines so that the rest of us could run through that field. I absolutely love him for the guy he was, for the researcher he was. Like you said, the future is bright, and we have him to thank for that, for everything he’s done in the past.

JIM HAROLD: Indeed, Stanton will be long remembered. Now, I want to talk to you about another recent – well, two guests you had, Colm Kelleher and George Knapp. You talked about Skinwalker Ranch. But before we get to them, actually, you have an exciting development with Skinwalker Ranch, don’t you?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I do. For anyone who doesn’t know, I work very closely with a publishing company as an author, called Beyond the Fray Publishing, who put out my last book. I signed a contract for a second book. I’m working on it as we speak, literally. I’ll be probably typing away the minute we get off here, Jim.

But I’m working on a new book where I’m going all across not just the country, but the world, and putting a microscope on not so much UFO witnesses, but on those who study these strange phenomena, these very anomalistic things, and what drove them to do it, what drives them now, and just getting to know them and what their lives are all about.

One of those individuals is the current owner of Skinwalker Ranch. This is the first time I’m announcing this, but yeah, I’m going to be interviewing Brandon Fugal, the current owner of Skinwalker Ranch. It’s a highly mysterious place, which we’ll probably talk about in a minute. But I’m going to be going to ground zero. I’m going to be going to the ranch; I’m going to be interviewing Brandon, the other members that work on the ranch, and paint a picture of who this guy is. Why did he buy this ranch? What does he want to get out of finding the weird answers he’s coming across when it comes to this highly strange place in Utah?

I’m very excited to do that. I’m going to be going to other countries as well and interviewing individuals, many of whom have been on your show, and mine as well. I can’t wait. So that book will be out at the end of the year. Yeah, I’m very hesitantly excited about going to Skinwalker Ranch, is the best way to put it. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Well, right after this break we’re going to talk about some of the spooky things that happen there, right after this on the Paranormal Podcast.

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JIM HAROLD: And those designs are really something, I’ve got to say. My daughters absolutely love them and they wear the shirts all the time. They kind of fight over them. [laughs] It’s kind of funny here in the Harold household. So where do you get the ideas for these designs?

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You’re listening to the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast with our final segment for this episode with Ryan Sprague. I hope to have many more segments with him in the years to come and follow his interesting work.

We were talking about Skinwalker Ranch, and I know that you recently had both George Knapp and Colm Kelleher on the show to talk about their work with Skinwalker Ranch and their books. I had Colm on my show as well.

The thing that amazed me, that stood out the most in that discussion, was this thing called the hitchhiker effect – that apparently Colm and other people who worked on researching UFOs would have other paranormal, anomalous things happen to them. That, to me, was like, whoa. Mind officially blown. What are your thoughts?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I’m the same way, Jim. The fact that I’m actually going to go there makes me think that I will become a victim of this hitchhiker effect myself. But I’m willing to do that. I might regret these words in the near future.

But this is very, very strange. Both Knapp and Kelleher have said that they both personally have experienced this hitchhiker effect where when they were on the ranch, they experienced very strange things happening, whether it’s anything to do with weird creatures or ghosts or UFOs – whatever these phenomena are happening on this ranch in Utah, they will follow you home, whether you like it or not. And they did interview many people who have been on the ranch, who worked on the ranch, who investigated these things throughout the years – for the U.S. government, I might add. There was money put into this by the government to investigate Skinwalker Ranch.

Many of these individuals, when they left, brought these things home with them. They would start having poltergeist activity in their homes, or they would start seeing UFOs in their hometowns – again, thousands of miles away from Skinwalker Ranch, where it all truly began.

Colm, as I know you interviewed him as well, recorded these and found patterns and was very stunned, as we were as listeners and readers of their book, that these things aren’t just confined to this ranch. They can follow you. They can be contagious. They can almost be like a disease. You truly have to wonder: are these events happening to these individuals after they leave the ranch truly connected to what happened there? I can’t tell you, but I might know the answer to that in the very near future.

JIM HAROLD: You might find out for yourself. The thing that got me was not only the people doing the investigation – you talked about the contagion factor; their families would start seeing weird things.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Right. Which is, again, very troubling, if you think about it. I’ve interviewed hundreds of UFO witnesses and claimed alien abductees throughout the years, and we hear that as well, that these things do follow lineage. That’s very interesting to me as a UFO researcher, but I think it should be interesting to anyone out there looking into any of these topics, whether it’s ghosts, Bigfoot, UFOs. Is there a connection with family? If that door is opened up for me to see a UFO, will my mother see one? My cousin?

Or here’s one for you, Jim. George Knapp has even mentioned people that have read their most current book, Skinwalkers at the Pentagon – just by reading that book, people are reporting that they’re having weird things happen. [laughs] It’s crazy to think of, but if there is something to it, my mind has been blown just like yours.

JIM HAROLD: It reminds me a lot of the work of John Keel. There’s a couple ways of looking at this. One would be maybe this is not alien – the whole ETH, the ET hypothesis, is off-base; maybe it’s something more supernatural, more ghostly. But then I go to the idea, maybe it is an ET, but it’s some super race of highly intelligent and telepathic aliens – and this is just speculation – who not only can read our minds, but they know our fears, and maybe if they don’t want us looking in certain areas, they can project these things. Like a sinister trickster element. What do you think about that?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I find that absolutely fascinating. It’s almost a defense mechanism in many ways. I recently did an episode of our show here at Somewhere in the Skies about folks who were paralyzed by UFOs. They had these physiological effects where they literally could not move when they saw these things. Again, is that a defense or is that an offense? We don’t know the answer to that, and that’s extremely troubling as well.

So yeah, could these highly advanced ETs or interdimensional beings or us from the future – whatever these UFOs represent, and they probably responsibility all of those in some fashion – do they have the ability to do things like that or mess with our minds? I don’t know if I want that answer. I truly don’t. But if I do find that answer, I don’t even know where to go from there, Jim. It is a little scary, not gonna lie. Let’s just hope that whatever these phenomena truly represent, they’re on our side. That’s all I can say.

JIM HAROLD: And it doesn’t have to be an either/or. You could have the alien trickster element and then you could have the good aliens. That’s not even to speak of the other hypotheses of time travelers and those kinds of things.

But one thing’s certain: Ryan Sprague will be out there exploring those mysteries. And in addition to the new book and the continuing popularity of the podcast, you have a new co-host, right?

RYAN SPRAGUE: I do. We’re almost up to our 300th episode of the show, which is insane for me to think. I never thought I’d make it past 10 episodes. As you know, Jim, this is your job. This is your life, what you do as a professional podcaster, and it’s something many of us in the podcasting world can only aspire to do. I’m one of those people who would love that.

As you know, it’s very tough to make a living doing this. It’s a rarity for that to happen, but I’m trying to make that happen. I have a day job. I have other interests. I’m a playwright. I’m a screenwriter here in New York City. Gotta pay those bills. I find it very hard and challenging sometimes to produce my show weekly, but I do love that weekly format, and I wanted to stick with that.

So I did bring on a copilot – a couple copilots; I should have more to announce in the very near future about that – to help me, and bring folks forward who I never would’ve even thought of interviewing. So I brought on Chrissy Newton. She is a researcher, a journalist, and works over at The Debrief, a news media website about defense tech and UFOs. I asked her, “Hey, you want to help me out here? There’s avenues I haven’t ever gone down when it comes to UFOs that I think you could look at.” She was very excited, and I’m just happy to have her along for the ride, and again, bringing people to the show that I never would’ve even thought of, and broadening the conversation that can be had when it comes to the UFO topic.

The future is bright. Chrissy’s been on the show for about a couple months now, and people really, really love what she’s doing. I’m excited to have her, and I can’t wait to see where we go next with that.

JIM HAROLD: Very cool indeed. Ryan, where can people keep this discussion going? Where can they listen to the podcast, check out your book? What’s the Ryan Sprague central for UFO activity, as it were?

RYAN SPRAGUE: [laughs] My hub is just somewhereintheskies.com. You can find out everything I’m doing.

I do have, I should mention, in July a new season of one of the television shows I’m involved with premiering, which is Mysteries Decoded on the CW Network. So I’m back out there investigating UFOs with my investigative partner, Jennifer Marshall, a former Navy vet and private investigator. I hope people will check that out. And they can find the podcast everywhere you find the Paranormal Podcast as well, and like I said, just somewhereintheskies.com.

JIM HAROLD: Ryan is one of the best, and he’s also one of the nicest. Ryan, thank you so much for joining us today and having a fun conversation about UFOs and UAPs.

RYAN SPRAGUE: Thank you so much, Jim. As always, keep looking up, man. The future is bright and I can’t wait to see what we discover together.

JIM HAROLD: Indeed. And thank you for tuning in to the Paranormal Podcast. We appreciate it, and I know Ryan agrees – keep your eye to the sky. We’ll talk to you next time. Have a great week, everybody. Bye-bye.