Leslie Kean made headlines investigating UFOs, now she taking on NDEs, mediums, and after death communication.
photo by: Tatiana Daubek
Today we welcome Leslie Kean to Skeptiko. Leslie is an investigative journalist with a long long list of credits from many major news outlets, but you may also know her from 2010 NYT bestseller, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record. Well, she’s back with another thumb to the eye of conventional paradigms with her new book: Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence of an Afterlife
. Leslie, welcome to Skeptiko. Thanks for joining me…
Alex Tsakiris: You’ve looked at these people square in the eye, you sat in the séance session, and not that you’re infallible or can’t be fooled at all, but you’re bringing something there that, I think, adds a certain degree of credibility for people like me… I think the journalist, in that position, is somebody I trust.
Leslie Kean: Well, I hope that’s the case and I’m glad you feel that way, I hope it came through that way in the book, because I certainly, even though I did have my own personal experiences, which really affected me, at the same time I remained in the role of a journalist and I even analysed my own experiences that way.
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Alex Tsakiris: Those are two topics that you talk about in this book and you draw these connections together, one is the physical mediumship that was demonstrated in the Scole Experiments
and the other is, Jim Tucker
does contribute to this book in terms of reincarnations. So, however you want to pick that up in terms of what’s in the book or how long that interest was there before you and those topics.
Leslie Kean: Yeah, I mean all those topics have interested me for a long time and when I did… I think it was in the early 2000s, I was working on my UFO stuff but I knew these two colleagues who were also involved with the UFO subject but I sort of helped them develop a proposal for a documentary on this topic, and they ended up doing a film and I ended up assisting with that film, so I got to meet a lot of the players in the field, but I wasn’t able to fully participate because my priority was UFOs and I was working on the book for that and everything and doing a lot. But this subject matter has always really interested me, it’s always been sort of in the background of my work and I’ve poked around with different things involving it. The reincarnation cases, the physical mediumship, both fascinating to me.
One thing that happened was in 2011, I was present when a very close friend of mine died and at the very moment that that person took their last breath, and that was something I’d never experienced before and it really was very profound for me to be there for that moment, and it brought up a lot of deeper questions in me; it sort of hit me over the head, like this personal experience that made me want to understand more about how… it’s just so…