Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Conversation With Jason Colavito About Ancient Aliens, White Supremacy, and Fringe History

I would like to thank the kind and generous folks who have donated to the annual fundraiser here on We Are Respectable Negroes and As promised, once my goal for the year is met my NPR/PBS-like requests for material support will end.

We are still lingering at being 50 dollars away from the goal for the year. I hope that we can meet that today or tomorrow--at which point the fundraising drive will be over.

The podcast series on WARN is now in its 3rd season. It has been a great addition and has allowed me many great opportunities to chat with the smart and interesting people who have kindly shared their time with us. The podcast is a direct response to the requests of the friends, supporters, and fans of the site who wanted more and different types of content to learn from, share, and enjoy. 

Each episode is very labor intensive--usually taking several hours to produce through from the initial interview to the final product. 

If you like, enjoy and find value in the podcast known as The Chauncey DeVega Show--and are able--do please throw in some pennies, bills, gold, or silver for the fundraiser. 

A few kind donations will bring this year's winter fundraiser to a close. 

I also have a great surprise guest for the next episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show that I am sure you will enjoy.
"Ghetto nerds" is one of my favorite topics for discussion here on We Are Respectable Negroes and

It is a broad umbrella under which we have discussed everything from science fiction to hip hop and professional wrestling. As a child of the hip hop generation who grew up with Star Wars, I am a proud ghetto nerd: our shared cultural interests unite us across lines of race. In these difficult and challenging times during which white supremacy has reasserted itself without apology, the ability to talk about our shared generational and pop culture interests as we who are ghetto nerds is a welcome respite.

Many of my teen and early adult years were spent listening to Coast-to-Coast AM with Art Bell on late night talk radio.

His show was a post graduate education in ufology, cryptozoology, conspiracy theories, the paranormal, and hidden history. Art Bell's show was also prescient: no person who listened to Coast to Coast AM for an extended amount of time would be at all surprised by the "revelations" contained in the recent CIA torture report.

For this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, I had the great opportunity to talk with Jason Colavito. Our conversation is a real treat and gem for ghetto nerds and those others who are interested in fringe history and other types of "alternative" knowledge systems.

Jason is an expert skeptic whose work appears on his eponymous website He is the author of numerous books. Jason has also appeared in documentaries and other media where he offers up his direct, clear, and reality based expertise on mythologies and magical thinking such as the ancient aliens hypothesis, the theory of Atlantis, and the myriad of distortions and lies about human events that have come to populate the History Channel and its auxiliary H2.

As Jason and I discuss in this most recent episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, our world is full of wonder and amazing discoveries. Thus, there is no reason to lie, obfuscate, and generate from the ether, fringe histories, ancient aliens, and other like mess. Our world and universe is amazing enough without the need to create fictions that soothe our egos as opposed to nurturing the intellect.

In this wide ranging and very educational conversation, Jason and I discuss why the ancient aliens hypothesis is so compelling, the faux rigor and "scientific" approaches used by the fringe history community, the fixation that white supremacists have with UFO's, Vikings, and giants, the Afrocentic dreams of how black Africans discovered the "New World", and the oft discussed case of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple who were supposedly kidnapped by extraterrestrials in the 1960s.

My conversation with Jason was exceptional. I think you will learn at least as much as I did from Jason's sharing, insights, and patient teaching.

This episode of the podcast known as The Chauncey Devega Show can be listened to below or "watched" on the official Youtube channel for WARN and

Hosted by Kiwi6 file hosting.

Download mp3


James Estrada-Scaminaci III said...

Wow. I have to listen again. I've enjoyed exploring his website, which distracted from my listening. Unconventional beliefs are necessary to advance science, but they have to rest on evidence, not assumptions and speculations. There is nothing wrong with "magic." "Magic" is the art of creating illusions. I've got a great friend who does "magic" but he tells me they are illusions. They are fantastic illusions. They make you go, hmmmmm. How could that be done? There is a great book on illusions which examines how mirrors create illusions. I'm just immersed in reading his website. Will definitely buy one or two of his books, especially the one on Atlantis. I love reading stuff on Atlantis. I have an Amazon wish list on African-centric books that I'm going to have to bounce against Colavito's writings. I'm heavy into African-centric writings (see DuBois) and having visited Egypt after reading heavily on it. Egypt is absolutely fascinating as an ancient African culture. The Great Pyramids are the epitome of ancient human's creativity, engineering, and science. It is the only place on earth where I was completely in awe and reverence of ancient humans creating a structure that was amazing.

chauncey devega said...

He has some great materials on his website. He has put in real work and diligence in his craft. I am all for wonder and amazement. Like Jason relayed just because we don't understand something doesn't mean that we need to find a fantastical ufo explanation for it.

I am supposed to talk with the founder of the cryptozoology museum for a future podcast. Can't wait to learn from him too.

Justin M. White said...

I'm listening now but had to pause to pass along some preliminary thoughts.

Around the 30 minute mark where the discussion is about fringe beliefs and fringe politics, I'm reminded of creationist Kent Hovind, who was an evangelical preacher who specialized in selling false information about evolution to Christian crowds (if you're not familiar with Hovind, he's now in prison for tax fraud, and possibly about to face even more charges). He promoted a NWO/evolutionist/fascist conspiracy in some of his videos, which, even being familiar with the wacky beliefs of some evangelicals, surprised me in how completely he was allowed to delve into his conspiracy. You can see a brief clip of it here:

You also get right-wing political groups starting more mainstream historical fringe organizations. I hate to have to call them 'mainstream', but Christian Dominionists have done a good job in promoting their Christian Nation and related right-wing historical mythos: originalist constitutionalism (or at least what they perceive as original intentions); limitations on freedom of religion, speech, etc.; white supremacy and denial of modern racism. The Institute on the Constitution is trying to get into public schools, has been on Christian television networks, and has ties to the League of the South (which is becoming more white supremacist than it was before, if that can be believed). Warren Throckmorton has been doing a good job keeping tabs on IOTC and their mischief, and I'd recommend following his blog to keep informed.

Justin M. White said...

Question from around the 39 minute mark: with white anxiety over no longer holding the majority in the United States, what do readers here think will be the most likely outcome of these two options I'd like to propose:

1) We'll see an acceleration of the 4th enlargement of whiteness discussed by Nell Irvin Painter in A History of White People, so that more people will identify with white, thus maintaining demographic supremacy in sheer numbers. Here I'm thinking primarily of white Hispanics who have changed their identities on census reports over time.

or 2) This will actually reverse the enlargement of whiteness, with more people choosing their ethnic identities over whiteness, because of the rise (and perception/reality of acceptance) of American plurality.

Justin M. White said...

On memories, night terrors, and alien encounters: Carl Sagan had a book The Demon-Haunted World (1995) that made connections between medieval encounters with incubi/succubi, demons, and other creatures in the night, with modern UFO encounters.
My preferred explanation for many of these horrifying encounters is sleep paralysis. For those not ken to it, sleep paralysis is when you wake up from REM sleep, but the muscle paralysis that your brain activates to keep you from hurting yourself while you dream doesn't turn off. You are "awake", but can't move, and this usually is accompanied by extreme terror, and an attempted (or belief of) screaming out. I've experienced this several times, but what I haven't experienced is the reported experience of people whose minds rationalize the paralysis, and have different cultural myths fill the void. In the medieval world, it was incubi/succubi who sit on the chest, causing the paralysis. In Japan, it's an old woman who stares at you, pinning you down supernaturally (or physically). And in the modern US, it's alien tractor beams. Any time you see a myth of a creature that pins you down in the night, I suspect this is a manifestation of sleep paralysis.
I think the sexual nature of incubi/succubi also stems from traumatic rape experiences, particularly at night. I'm following Bertrand Russell here, who pointed out how many accounts say that rapist demons could oddly take on the form of known people, such as the parish priest. I believe this is in Russell's "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish".

chauncey devega said...

Thanks for the great sources!

I knew a woman who would call me late at night, telling me about the night witches that were riding her. Did I save her? Long story...

chauncey devega said...

Reply to come.

So glad you listened. What was your general impression of the conversation? Any tips for me on my end? Always striving to get better.

Justin M. White said...

It was a great interview. Your audio edits are kind of obvious, so be careful. People might suspect you are cutting out relevant information. If you want the interview to sound more authentic, you might intersperse breaks with breathing sounds.

chauncey devega said...

Appreciated. Funny thing is that I cut out breathing sounds. Good suggestion!

Justin M. White said...

I can't speak for everyone, but I'd say keep the intro under 45 seconds. That's the prime time for a punk song, that might as well be the prime time for an intro.

But, we all want to hear from you, so maybe use that info in text when you post the podcast.

Justin M. White said...

Very much depends. I'd suggest calming, suited help. You know (best) what is going on, so do what you think is helpful

kokanee said...

Add breathing sounds. Delete breathing sounds...I had no idea!

I love your intro. It's just awesome! And I love the rundown of the relevant news before the interview. If you promote it as part of the show then any objections will fall by the wayside.

kokanee said...

Hey CDV. I enjoyed the podcast. I also enjoy your personal sharing.

I have a related story. My father, with all his faults —racist, sexist —shunned all the supernatural including religion, ghosts, aliens, paranormal, etc. had himself an alien abduction in his older age. As I recall, he was walking through a park that I was working at after dark, naked, and climbed up on a picnic table. It was at this point he was abducted by "Ursula" and lifted up to a spaceship. He got nothing but ridicule from his family and then he wouldn't talk about it anymore. I image that he fell and then had his "experience."

I realize that there was no point to that story. I've never been able to make any sense of it. Sorry. Abduction stories are as old as time though. Leprechaun abductions come to mind.

Looking forward to the next podcast with Tim Wise. He's a great guy. Here's a primer while we wait for it: