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Christopher O’Brien, an investigative journalist and author of numerous books related to paranormal activity, has appeared on many radio and television programs to speak of his research into UFOs and other strange phenomena.
By Tyler Midkiff
Larson Newspapers

Christopher O’Brien, an investigative journalist and author of numerous books related to paranormal activity, has appeared on many radio and television programs to speak of his research into UFOs and other strange phenomena. 

On Friday, Jan. 18, he’ll visit St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in West Sedona, to discuss various pop culture interpretations of UFO sightings, abductions, cattle mutilations, crop circles and other strange phenomena commonly linked to extraterrestrials.

O’Brien will strip away those interpretations to see what’s left, he said. Though what’s left may be a bit less romantic, it is still equally intriguing.

“I really strongly doubt that we’re dealing with extraterrestrials,” O’Brien said. “We’re too violent. We’re too primitive. We haven’t progressed far enough as a species to be of any interest to anything out there.”

Zecharia Sitchin’s “ancient astronaut theory” scenario, which suggests that aliens visited prehistoric Earth and created the human race for slave labor, has some ring to it, O’Brien said, but the idea that aliens are visiting the Earth to mutilate cattle, abduct people and perform fly-bys seems ridiculous.

“I cringe when people call me a ufologist, because to me it’s embarrassing to be lumped in with a bunch of people who really don’t have a clue,” O’Brien said.

UFO researchers must have filters in place to eliminate information front-loaded by UFO culture, books and shows like “Coast to Coast,” O’Brien said.

Many of what so-called UFO researchers tout as facts are actually highly dubious claims, O’Brien said. The Roswell, N.M., incident in 1947 is a classic example.

It’s such a red herring, O’Brien said. All one has to do is look at what was happening down the road at nearby White Sands, N.M., during the same time frame.

At White Sands, Wernher von Braun and other German scientists were brought to the United States after World War II as part of Operation Paperclip.

They tested rockets, experimented with anti-gravity and worked on other highly classified projects.

Meanwhile, all eyes were on Area 51, in Nevada,  and Roswell, N.M. To this day, people continue to invest energy into pressuring the government to come clean about alleged alien encounters and extraterrestrial space craft, O’Brien said.

“If the government was lying then, how are we ever going to know if the government is telling the truth,” O’Brien asked.

People should instead be focusing on hot-spot areas where there are obvious gateways to other dimensions — areas like the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, which has a history of unusual occurrences dating back at least 200 years, O’Brien said.

“The government is accessing some sort of exalted technology,” O’Brien said. “I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve seen planes blink out of the sky and there are dozens and dozens of reports of objects going directly into mountains.”

But there are ongoing efforts to keep people’s attention away from those areas, O’Brien said, and popular culture may be part of that effort.

“Keep focusing on Roswell. Keep focusing on Area 51. Keep focusing on abductions. Keep focusing on these other things, because then you’re not going to be focusing on what we really don’t want you to know about,” O’Brien said.

The San Luis Valley is important for some reason, O’Brien said. There are more UFO reports there per capita than in any other spot in the country.

He lived there for years before moving to Sedona and said he became the unofficial “deputy of weirdness” for his local sheriff’s department. When people called with reports of paranormal activity, they got O’Brien’s telephone number.

With a network of ranchers, U.S. Forest Service workers, law enforcement officers, ex-military personnel and even a mayor, O’Brien investigated more than 200 cases in the San Luis Valley, he said.

By crediting people and honoring all requests for anonymity, he was able to put 160 people on the record in his

first book, “The Mysterious Valley.”

Despite O’Brien’s extensive experience investigating perhaps the most anomalous area in the United States, it took Art Bell 15 years to invite him onto his radio show “Coast to Coast.”

He did so only at the insistence of fellow investigative journalist and paranormal researcher George Knapp, who recently guest-hosted the show.

O’Brien doesn’t take the oversight as an insult, he said.

“I’ve had a strong suspicion for years that Art Bell is one of the chief instruments of disinformation,” O’Brien said. “I know that I’m on the right track when the chief instrument of disinformation doesn’t want me there.”

A late-night house call, although much more terrifying, may also serve as validation for O’Brien.

Years ago, as he investigated a secret underground military installation, four men dressed in black and wearing night-vision goggles walked into his home in the middle of the night.

O’Brien said he awoke to the sounds of his file drawers opening and his maps being unwound. He made some noise and the men scattered, but they took with them several files, including U.S. Department of the Interior UFO reports, forensic autopsy reports of cattle mutilation cases, a map of Colorado, which marked locations of many UFO sightings, and a few other items.

They didn’t take everything and O’Brien continues to research, ask questions and write. His latest book, “Secrets of the Mysterious Valley,” delves even deeper into the vast body of unusual phenomena found in the

San Luis Valley.

In Sedona, O’Brien and others are working to assemble a monthly paranormal show at the Sedona Dream Theater in the Village of Oak Creek.

Dates and speakers will soon be announced and may be posted online at

In the meantime, those interested in hearing more may visit St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 100 Arroyo Piñon Drive, West Sedona, on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., for O’Brien’s talk.

For more information about O’Brien and his research, visit

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