Joe Rogan Questions EverythingEpisodes

Real Close Encounters
Season 1 - Episode 5
Real Close Encounters

Tonight! Joe Rogan gets to the bottom of the question: are there aliens among us? Given the infinite amount of square footage out there in space, he's pretty sure there's intelligent life somewhere else. But have these beings actually made the trip to Earth? And if so: wherefore art thou, proof?

Joe's first stop on the road to alien enlightenment is Bill Burns, the publisher of UFO magazine. Bill tells Joe he's been seeing UFOs since the 1950s. What brought it home for Bill, though, was a chance meeting with the Pentagon's UFO debris expert who had access to the Roswell crash remains -- and even saw an alien body! Joe cuts to the chase: he likes Bill a lot. He likes Bill's stories too. But stories are not proof, and he's going to need something a little harder to sway skeptics.

So Joe meets with Stephen Bassett, an alien lobbyist attempting to answer the mysteries of extraterrestrials via political action. Sounds like he's a member of the E Tea Party, hey-o! Anyways, Bassett lists the following statements as FACT: Extraterrestrials exist. The government knows about it. The government has withheld proof. And contact with the ETs is going on. But as Bill Burns just learned the hard way, Joe is going to need proof before he buys any of this space madness. Stephen explains: he brought 40 witnesses to Washington, D.C., air force officers even, to testify to their alien experiences with former members of congress. Joe's impressed with the work Steve's done -- calling it "sexy" -- but still wants something tangible.

Next Joe talks to Mike Gravel, a two-term senator from Alaska and a former presidential candidate who attended Steve's "Citizens Hearing on Disclosure." If Joe can trust anyone, it's a politician, right? Mike explains: materials that could provide proof have been absconded with and kept secret by the American government and military, who he describes as "secret mongers." But in a bit of circular logic, he explains that he believes all of this based on Stephen Bassett's hearing. So...if we didn't believe Steve, why do we believe Mike? We don't. Joe does get an interesting idea out of the discussion though: what if the government is reverse-engineering aircraft from recovered alien technology, and THAT'S what people are seeing in the skies?

Like Fox Mulder before him, Joe wants to believe, but no one has convinced him yet. And so, in the podcast bunker, Joe tags pal Duncan in for the next play: talking to Nicole Dome, an alleged-alien-abductee who claims to have received an out-of-this-world implant in the process. Duncan jokes: this sounds like his kind of girl.

Nicole and Duncan meet in a bar, where she proceeds to tell him that she was driving with a friend, saw a huge disc in the sky, got out of the car, and bam! She's suddenly two miles down the road, and she's got an incision line on her left side, right around her ovary. And then the interview starts to look more like a blind date than an investigation, so Duncan rejoins Joe, who is talking to Derrel Sims: ALIEN HUNTER. Derrel has a lengthy history in law enforcement, a collection of actual alien implants taken from abductees, and very creative spellers for parents. Joe inspects the implants with a magnifying glass, like the gumshoe he is. Derrel tells the guys they came from a six-year-old girl who sneezed them out of her nose. Duncan is dubious: why put the implants in there if they can be sneezed out so easily? Derrel doesn't know, and frankly, doesn't think his opinion is important. He wants just the facts, ma'am, so he lets Joe take the implants to an expert.

Joe, Duncan and Derrel head to SEAL Laboratories, where Dr. Arun Kumar explains that the sample has been placed in an electron microscope so it can be magnified 3,500 times. Then Dr. Kumar drops some serious science: he's checked out objects from Roswell, New Mexico in the past! Buuuuuuuut nothing was conclusive. Maybe Derrel's nose implant will be different? The zoomed-in picture comes up and Kumar tells us the implant is 75% gold, 24% silver, and 1% PURE MYSTERY, because the questions remain: did it really come from a kid's nose? Who put it there? Why?

Joe's frustrated, so he tries another route: journalist Jason McClellan. Jason tells Joe about Robert Bigelow, hotel tycoon/ET enthusiast who funds research group Bigelow Aerospace, a concern so legit, the FAA directs all UFO reports to them. McClellan thinks Bigelow might have a crashed spaceship, and might have reverse-engineered alien technology. The answers HAVE to be at Skinwalker Ranch, a property in Utah owned by Bigelow and purported to be the site of numerous alien activities. Unfortunately, Bigelow is pretty protective of Skinwalker, and unlikely to be plied by Joe's proposed "hot chick in an alien outfit" scheme. Where can he turn next?

Pal Duncan, of course! Joe sends his podcasting buddy to meet with Astrophysicist/former Bigelow employee Dr. Eric Davis, who performed forensic investigations at the Skinwalker Ranch. Dr. Davis tells Duncan that some folks he knows saw an eight-foot tall creature emerge from a door in the sky. They even took pictures! Which...failed to develop. Then Davis says he himself witnessed seemingly intelligent balls of light which watched and followed him and colleagues at the Ranch. They even took video! But...it's in storage and no one will get it out for him.

Back at the podcast bunker, Duncan relays everything he learned, which only makes Skinwalker Ranch a more appealing place to visit. Joe decides they're going with or without permission, and sure enough, he and Duncan are suddenly driving up to an isolated location with a barricaded entrance peppered with NO TRESPASSING signs. Citing his lack of attachments, Duncan decides to take a risk and walk up to the gate, shouting "Mr. Bigelow! We have pizza!" Even though, as Duncan says, everyone likes a slice of pie, nobody responds to his cries and the pair are left disappointed.

Mike Miller, a local in the Skinwalker Ranch area, aims to turn their frowns upside down with the story of a silent, rectangular, hovering...thing over his pickup truck. Plus: zig-zagging orange orbs of light! Mike assures the guys: these are not arbitrary weather phenomenon. They're "governed" by something, they're sentient beings. Incredible douche-y beings at that, because as Mike explains, dogs at the ranch once chased the orbs of light and NOW THEY'RE GONE. Whoa. Not cool, aliens.

Joe is really motivated now -- he wants to see what Mike Miller did. So he and Duncan go to Ryan Skinner, who knows every inch of the ranch. Ryan tells the guys to expect anything on this journey...even Bigfoot. Flashbacks to episode one, y'all! Mostly, though, Mike promises these mysterious orbs of light, which he once saw turn into a wolf. Joe decides if he's going to check out the ranch with Ryan, he's going to have to operate on faith, so he puts the questioning aside for a moment and jumps in feet first.

The trio climbs up a hill to get a better view of the area, taking in the security set-up around the ranch house. While Ryan tells Joe and Duncan about "bait-pens" set up so where scientists can observe alien cattle mutilations the guys discuss: Robert Bigelow has a research deal with NASA. Couldn't all these precautions be about protecting top-secret Aerospace research, and nothing more? Seems reasonable to them.

Giving it one last effort, Joe and Duncan start their "alien call," which sounds a lot like dueling didgeridoos. Then they stumble around with Ryan in night-vision goggles, talking about the "creepy" vibe around them. Joe tells Duncan he hears something. Maybe it's a...chupacabra? Or maybe it's all a set up for Joe to fart on his friend. The alien expedition is a bust -- something Ryan chalks up to "poor timing," but Joe's B.S. meter is on high.

So what's the takeaway of this week's episode? The world is amazing. If giraffe's exist, it's hard to imagine aliens don't too. There's just no evidence that they've come to Earth. Is it because they look at us the way we look at monkeys in a zoo? And if so, isn't that even scarier than being alone?

Also, are we the only ones with the X-Files theme song in our heads now? We're going to be whistling all night.

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