Podcaster Payne Lindsey on What the Government Won't Tell You About UFOs

Podcaster Payne Lindsey admits he couldn't have planned a better promotional push for his new show about UFOs than the current news cycle.

The creator of successful true crime podcasts like Up and Vanished and Atlanta Monster has turned his attention to unidentified flying object sightings with his new show High Strange. Before there were Chinese spy balloons being shot down, and Joe Biden was giving a speech addressing UFOs, Lindsey spent over a year investigating UFO phenomena across the United States.

He shares his findings in High Strange, and ahead of its release on March 23, 2023, he spoke to Newsweek about the recent rise in UFO discussions. He gives his take on extraterrestrials and explains what he believes the government isn't telling us about unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).

Strange Timing

"It's very ironic. It's weird. I'm at a loss of words for how exactly I feel about it," Lindsey told Newsweek, commenting on the uncanny timing of the High Strange podcast.

He's even received online messages from people convinced the recent rise in UFO talk in the mainstream media is an advertising ploy on his part.

"To see things like this happening, that have seemingly never happened before, at least in the news—it's totally bizarre," Lindsey said, adding: "But I'm also totally with it. Let's see what happens next. I'm on the edge of my seat, just as an American at this point."

Payne Lindsey  and high strange podcast
Images show promotional material posted on social media for journalist Payne Lindsey's latest podcast 'High Strange'. The podcast looks at the unexplained UFO sightings over the decades. Instagram @highstrange

The premise for High Strange can be condensed into a simple question according to Lindsey: "What's up with UFOs?"

"So this podcast breaks down some of the biggest, most infamous cases in American history that have been the hardest to debunk or give a rational explanation to," Lindsey said.

As some have discovered from watching the news recently, the term UFO is not always associated with aliens, which is something Lindsey's investigations find time and time again in High Strange. However, there are many cases that are unexplainable, according to the podcaster.

"There's undoubtedly something going on that is either otherworldly or unexplained by our current rationale. And I think that the government also thinks that or they wouldn't have a UFO Task Force, and have been studying these things for 50-plus years if it was all just for fun? Something has happened where it made it real," Lindsey said.

UFO sightings are more common than just the Chinese spy balloon spotted in early February, and the three unidentified objects shot down over North America recently. The Pentagon released documents in January that revealed there were hundreds of UFO sightings reported to the government in 2022 alone.

Lindsey lamented that news headlines only discussed the sightings in terms of "space trash"; those aren't the ones of interest, according to him.

Payne Lindsey headshot
Payne Lindsey is a podcast and content creator best known for his true crime series 'Up and Vanished' and 'Atlanta Monster.' The premise for High Strange can be condensed into a simple question according to Lindsey: "What's up with UFOs?" BeckMedia

"We're not talking about [the explainable], we don't care about the ones that are space trash. The fact is there are hundreds of ones that they can't label. We only care about those ones.

"We know that everything is not a spaceship. But, we don't care if it's just one. It's like, we're talking about the interesting one. It's easy to frame it like, 'Guys, it's no big deal.' I think it's just a byproduct of them not knowing. The trope is that the government knows more, and they probably do in certain sectors, and/or did at some point, and some people probably died with that information.

"[I don't think] it's some big government secret. I think the general consensus is they don't know. And they probably have stuff, that they can't get it to work. 'It hasn't turned on since 1960,' it's probably something like that. The new raiders are picking up a lot of weird stuff," Lindsey told Newsweek.

High Strange is something of a departure from what Lindsey's fans will have come to expect from him. Inspired by Netflix' Making a Murderer, he started his own true crime podcast, Up and Vanished, which investigated the disappearance of beauty queen and school teacher Tara Grinstead. He followed that up in 2018 with Atlanta Monster, which shed new light on the series of murders committed in Atlanta, Georgia, between the late '70s and early '80s.

The upcoming High Strange will feature eight episodes in total, airing weekly from March 23, 2023.

Clocking in at around 40-45 minutes each episode, Lindsey admits there's so much more he had to leave on the cutting room floor.

"I could have made probably 20 episodes of this thing, but I just took the best of the best of the best and condensed it into eight solid episodes," he said.

While the episodes will drop weekly, avid listeners who subscribe to Tenderfoot TV will get access to all episodes at once.