Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

09 February 2010

The Mysterious "Mister Bill"?

If you were a fan of History's "UFO Hunters", you know Mr. William J. "Bill" Birnes as the show's cap-and shades wearing lead investigator and the publisher of "UFO Magazine". Bill and his team took some criticism from the "paranormal" community due to the fact that the show and it's investigations focused entirely on UFOs as "alien spacecraft" and the occasional top-secret military aircraft. No mention of extradimensional beings, no hint at the possibilities of time travellers, or thoughtforms, subconscious projections, paranormal entities, or God forbid, that UFOs themselves my be intelligent lifeforms.
Nope, Bill & company were strictly by the book, nuts-n-bolts old school ufologists. Maybe this cost them some viewers, or maybe they stuck their noses too far into some government secret, maybe there was "pressure" from a person or persons unknown, for whatever reason, according to Wiki:

History ended season three of the series abruptly on May 20, 2009 and the last four episodes that were produced were never broadcast. According to his Facebook page, Bill Birnes headed up an online petition for History to continue the series. On October 29, 2009, History aired the last four episodes as a four-hour marathon.

Okay, so History's UFO Hunters is, well, history. Like most viewers, I assumed Bill would go back to the offices of UFO Magazine, give the occasional lecture at the conventions and conferences, pretty much retreat from the "spotlight". So, imagine my surprise when on tonight's episode of "Paranormal State", there's ol' Bill again. Avec cap (once anyway, either by accident or design) sans shades, billed as "Bill, Paranormal Investigator". At first I couldn't believe my eyes, but there he was, tagging along with Ryan & a bunch of college kids in search of the Jersey Devil! How do YOU spell wtf??
With my journalistic curiousity thus aroused, I did a little searching on our by the book, nuts-n-bolt friend Bill.
First, I went to the UFO Magazine website. Bill is still listed as Publisher, however, the website proclaims that the magazine is "under new management", but I haven't found any details yet regarding the changes.
I also found that, in addition to his UFO literature, Mr. Bill has authored a couple of decidedly "paranormal" or at least "New Age" books. "Worker In The Light" and the follow-up "Journey To The Light" were published in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Bill co-authored both these books with George Noory, of Coast-To-Coast AM fame. Another book, The Haunting Of America, was also published last year. This book was co-authored with Joel Martin, and has an introduction by, (guess who?) George Noory again.
So, it appears that our Mr. Bill is more of a paranormal bent than the show and magazine led us to believe.
And, just in case you're not familiar with Coast-To-Coast AM, it's the most popular late-night talk radio show in the known universe.George Noory took over weeknight hosting duties from the show's original host, the great Art Bell. Topics range from Chupacabras to UFOs, to Secret Societies, to ghosts, to conspiracy theories and government coverups and disinformation. Linda Moulton-Howe, the pre-eminent investigator of cattle mutilations in the world is a frequent guest. Moulton-Howe has recieved funding in the past from billionaire Robert Bigelow.
And, the concept for the show originated from concept developed by Art Bell and none other than, (guess who this time!) Robert Bigelow. Bigelow supposedly dropped the concept, leaving Art Bell free to run with it.
So, "Mister Bill" isn't exactly what he seems, and he's teamed up with the clique of Noory, Bell, and Bigelow.
Are any of these people who they seem? Or are we all victims of yet another campaign of disinformation, coverups, and conspiracies?
Where'd I put that tinfoil?


Above the Norm said...

Even though I didn't watch UFO Hunters, (only a couple of eppys) I did notice that it wasn't anywhere to be seen on the History channel. Thanks for clearing it up and writing a excellent post about Bill Birnes. Ok, I have to say it..."Oh no Mister Bill!"

Autumnforest said...

Gummer, I love you! Awesome! I saw that too. If you ever wonder about the efficacy of "Paranoid" State show, you just have to look at another thing that happened on that episode. They had an elderly man talking about the creature and its eyes and they showed him the evidence at the end. That dude was on lots of other shows about Jersey Devil. He's one of the Leeds family. They didn't happen to mention that on the show and his interview about having seeing the creature was vastly different than other shows. He's just a dotty old man who likes publicity. The people they choose to talk to on that show and utilize and the way they film things and remove things in editing is just snakeoil with a big "S." I'm not surprised they used Bill on the show and didn't mention his UFO background. Bill's explanation was rather bizarre, but then on UFO Hunters he was the big "nutcase" one on the team as far as "everything is conspiracy, aliens, from another planet." I absolutely adored that show and miss it soooooo much!!! I don't understand why the removed it, UFOs are wildly popular and they actually did some amazingly cool episodes and had access to more info and equipment than any ghost hunting show. I'm waiting for them to make a Bigfoot Hunters show and I will plan my life around the time it's shown. I do wish they'd bring back UFO Hunters. I don't think another team could have accessed as much as they did. So far as "Paranoid" state--that show has no investigative value and is purely entertainment. Oh, and dudes, that was a deer! (city boys!)

Gummerfan said...

Yeah, I miss UFO Hunters.
And about that deer, yeah, as soon as I noticed they were using FLIR thermal as a substitute for real night vision, I knew what was coming! Ideally, you'd have both. Remember the "Preditor" thing in "Hunt For The Skinwalker"? It didn't show up on the night vision gear, maybe a thermal would have helped. And had the PS team had some night vision, they could have seen what it was. Did you notice that with the thermal there was no sense of scale or distance? That's no good when you're viewing something unknown. The deer was sheltered under a branch or something and the reflected heat gave it the appearance of having wings, but once it turned and ran it was definately a deer. With NVGs they would've seen that right away.

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