Ep 29: Encounters & Hyperobjects: A Conversation Between Diana Walsh Pasulka & James Madden
Welcome back to The UFO Rabbit Hole. I’m your host, Kelly Chase.
Today, I bring you something truly special. In this episode we’re welcoming Diana Walsh Pasulka back to the show to discuss her groundbreaking new book, Encounters: Experiences with Non-Human Intelligences. Encounters is a worthy and deeply challenging follow-up to American Cosmic, which we’ve talked about extensively on this show. I hope you’ll all read it, because we’ll definitely return to those ideas again and again.
I want to say ahead of time that this episode is going to be a little less accessible than the content I usually release here, and that is intentional. Diana has been doing the podcast circuit to support the launch of Encounters, and there have been some really phenomenal interviews going into the specifics of the book. In particular, I recommend her recent appearances on Somewhere In The Skies and That UFO Podcast—both did a great job of diving into the characters and experiences portrayed in the book, and they are worth your time.
Hardcore listeners of the show will know that, over the last year, my thinking around the subject of UFOs has been deeply influenced by Plato’s Cave, and particularly by a somewhat radical read on what it has to teach us that was first introduced to me by Diana and frequent guest of the show, James Madden. It was actually in one of Diana’s classes on UFOs and the Cave where I first met Jim, and eventually struck up a friendship. And I’ve spent the last 18 months processing and integrating the things I’ve learned from them both. I’m profoundly grateful for what that process has opened up to me, not just in terms of my understanding of the phenomenon, but with regard to the meaning and possibilities inherent in human experience.
On November 27th, Jim will also be releasing his first book on the UFO topic titled Unidentified Flying Hyperobject: UFOs, Philosophy, and the End of the World which is being published by my new publishing house, Ontocalypse Press. Back in October, I had the absolute pleasure of finishing up the edits on Jim’s book, while simultaneously reading an advance copy of Diana’s and I was fascinated by the interplay between the ideas in both. I found myself thinking that the episode that I really wanted to make with regard to both of these phenomenal books would be one that didn’t involve me, and in which Diana and Jim were given free reign to explore a conversation on their own. Luckily they agreed, and the result is the stunning conversation that I have the privilege of sharing with you today.
This episode is definitely challenging, but for those of you who’ve been following along on this journey, you’re in for a real treat.
I have links to both Jim and Diana’s books in the episode brief so you can get your hands on those if you haven’t already. In my opinion these are two of the best and most important books about the UFO phenomenon published in recent memory, and both are destined to be classics of the field.