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Writer/producer in features & TV. Creator, five primetime series. Ex: TV Academy CEO; CNN reporter; USC professor. Author: Beatles, JFK what-ifs. UFO analyst.

Dark Skies 25th Anniversary

The landmark NBC series Dark Skies had a subversive on-air storyline matched only by its off-air intrigue with real Men-in-Black. The alternate history cult-hit is more relevant than ever.

Dark Skies — Created by Bryce Zabel & Brent V. Friedman | Art by Alicia Fernandez

Twenty-five years ago this fall, Dark Skies came to public attention in all its radical, revisionist glory. It said that because the secret of extraterrestrial reality had been covered up for many decades that “history as you know it is a lie.” A major American broadcast network devoted over forty million dollars producing twenty hours of dramatic programming on that concept, and many millions more promoting its subversive slant through bus posters, magazine ads, and a collection of outrageously in-your-face network promo spots.

It was a thing to behold back in 1996 and 1997 and, given where we stand now…


Betty and Barney Hill 60th Anniversary

Barney and Betty Hill said they encountered extraterrestrials six decades ago, and their story still packs a punch. It’s a case that is all about firsts, but what really happened?

Look Magazine | Photographer: Paul Fusco | 1966

THE STORY IN BRIEF: On the night of September 19/20, 1961, Barney and Betty Hill, returning from a honeymoon in Canada, encountered a large UFO in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The next thing they remembered was being thirty miles down the road with two hours elapsed that they could not account for. Both physical evidence and nightmares alarmed them. Later, they were hypnotically regressed and recovered memories of being on board the craft and subjected to medical exams by non-human entities. Their story swept America in the mid-1960s, and remains the most famous abduction case in history.

A First Time for Everything

The…


9/11 @ 20 Years

Remembering the 9/11 Emmys — a lesson in crisis management from a show that was postponed twice — once over 9/11 and once over the invasion of Afghanistan. Were they a dress rehearsal for our increasingly chaotic world?

Chairman Bryce Zabel, Producer Don Mischer | Mathew Imaging

Since the Emmy Awards came into existence in 1949, they had never been postponed or canceled until 2001. In that year of 9/11, it happened twice — on my watch. That year, the Emmys faced an existential threat when 9/11 occurred five days before a scheduled telecast.

I was elected Chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in August 2001, naively thinking that being the first writer since Rod Serling to hold that post might be what distinguished my term in office. Then, just a month later, 9/11 hit. …


Guest Column

Whether it’s the lab-leak theory of COVID’s origin or the evidence for anomalous objects near Earth, those who insist uncomfortable ideas are unscientific are holding back potentially important discoveries.

‘Oumuamua’ by artist Joy Pollard

Written by avi_loeb
Loeb is the founding director of Harvard University’s Black Hole Initiative, director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the former chair of the Astronomy department at Harvard University (2011–2020). He is the bestselling author of “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” and a co-author of the textbook “Life in the Cosmos.”

In the printed version of a New-York Times Op-Ed, Bret Stephens commented on the lab leak theory for COVID-19: “Sometimes science is hurt most by those who think they are defending it.” This sentiment reverberates…


Cosmic Collision

40 years ago, after doing a ‘live’ half-hour show with Carl Sagan about Voyager II’s Saturn flyby, we debated UFO reality in a PBS parking lot. It was a close encounter I’ll never forget.

Bryce Zabel (L), Carl Sagan (R)

Okay, on one level, I get it. Dr. Carl Sagan was a very cool guy. He was a renowned astronomer and astrophysicist, popular around the entire planet. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and was practically a regular. That show taped in Burbank in the late afternoon which afforded him the chance to watch himself at 11:30 at night on tape delay and maybe smoke a bowl or two while doing it.

That’s right, we now know that Sagan had a thing about marijuana. He was a lifetime user, thought it enhanced his work, and advocated weed’s…


Getting There from Here

Here’s another way to look at how the truth about UAP reality rolls out to the public. What’s next could go fast or slow but the path is clear.

Image Capture from Showtime’s “UFO”

What exactly is a phase, anyway? The dictionary says it means “a distinguishable part in a course, development, or cycle.” The Moon famously goes through phases. So do teenagers, according to most parents. Marvel Comics runs its cinematic universe in phases.

Can the same be said for the disclosure process for coming to grips with the truth about UFO/UAP reality? The answer seems to be yes, and the key phases are coming into focus.

It looks like there are Four Phases (in America, anyway) that must be gone through until we get to the point of an actual Disclosure that…


Journalism and Media

It’s only 92 words long, but contains two fact errors. On the 60th anniversary of the Hill UFO abduction, it’s time to set the record straight.

Historical marker, New Hampshire | Photo, Jared Zabel, 2018

If you happen to take a vacation to New Hampshire and end up driving through the White Mountains on Route 3, you may come across this historical marker in Lincoln, near the northern end of the area’s quaint Indian Head Resort. It commemorates the famous alien abduction case of Betty and Barney Hill that allegedly took place nearby. The sign itself has become a tourist destination, and this is what it says:

Betty and Barney Hill Incident.
On the night of September 19–20, 1961, Portsmouth, NH couple Betty and Barney Hill experienced a close encounter with an unidentified flying object…


Nothing to Lose?

The world’s problems — pandemic, climate change, nuclear weapons, extremism, racism, war — are desperate and intractable. Disclosure of UAP reality could show us that we are more alike than different.

Is it time for the ultimate Hail Mary? Is it time to just get the inevitable UFO/UAP reality, big “D” Disclosure over with, once and for all? How bad do things really have to get before we realize that we have nothing to lose by just coming out and saying it?

We are not alone. We have company — non-human company — right here on Planet Earth. Now let’s get to work.

See? That wasn’t so hard.

The Three Big Problems We Are Not Solving

On the Medium site, writer umair haque has turned cataloguing the dire state of the world into something of a cottage industry. He’s…


Saucer Talk (August 2021)

Australian investigative journalist Ross Coulthart has been all over the UAP media promoting his new book. We’ve had a read and have opinions.

Trail of the Saucers editors Bryce Zabel and David Bates read Ross Coulthart’s new book faster than a speeding Tic Tac (not quite, but it’s a metaphor), and are ready to dish on it now in our monthly feature, “Saucer Talk.”

Bryce: First off, to catch everyone up, Ross Coulthart is an Australian investigative journalist, but that doesn’t really do justice to what it means that he’s spent the last two years digging into the issue of UAP reality. He’s a big deal Down Under, having won all the top journalism awards they give out there — they have names…


Culture Watch

Peloton’s most popular instructor is having a Zeitgeist moment. What does it say about him and about us?

We love you Cody, oh, yes, we do

The sassy and brassy Peloton instructor extraordinaire Cody Rigsby is having the ride of his life (and not just in spin class). Literally, in just the last week, he was featured in The Washington Post, The Evening Standard, and Insider. He has endorsement deals with Adidas, Therabody and GM. The Cult of Cody is in full motion. Who doesn’t love this guy?

“[I decided] to be myself, to be authentic, to lean into the things that I’m good at… People are really resonating with what I’m putting out there.”

Ten Things about Cody

I’ve been spinning with Cody Rigsby since my Peloton bike showed…

Bryce Zabel

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