This week on The Gralien Report, as many are reeling with confusion and division in uncertain times, we begin this week’s show by revisiting the words of the late Carl Sagan, who famously warned about his foreboding “of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues.” Sagan also urged that when the people have lost “our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” Perhaps it is wise to revisit such words on occasion.

In addition to news that’s been trending this week, Micah and Matt engage in a discussion about the ghosts of Classic Country Music, following Micah’s recent visit to the grave of the legendary country music singer Hank Williams. Many ghost stories have been associated with Williams’ passing over the years, and we spend a bit of time looking at these, along with other strange tales; one of these, sent along to us by podcaster Jim Harold, tells what must be one of the most strange stories in all the history of country music, as well as the study of parapsychology. If true, and not the work of pure embellishment, what might it tell us about the idea of “life beyond death”, something even the late Carl Sagan had, though cautiously, questioned at times?

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

2 Replies to “TGR 01.30.17. The Specters of Country Music’s Past

  1. Please don’t forget Sir John Hurt as “Max” in Midnight Express.. And Alien.

    Max: The best thing to do is to get your ass out of here. Best way that you can.
    Billy Hayes: Yeah, but how?
    Max: Catch the midnight express.
    Billy Hayes: But what’s that?
    Max: Well it’s not a train. It’s a prison word for… escape. But it doesn’t stop around here.

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