An exploration of the world’s most fascinating, strange and inexplicable mysteries; Compelling contributions from scientists, historians, and witnesses as they seek to shed light on how the impossible can happen.

William Shatner on Intriguing and Mysterious Paranormal in The UnXplained
Written By: Heather Marczynski

William Shatner: Heather, Bill Shatner, how are you?
Heather Marczynski: Hi Mr. Shatner, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with History Canada today and speak with your Canadian audience.
WS: I’m anxious to get the message out, you know that on August 30th, Friday at 10pm, The UnXplained begins.

HM: What can viewers expect from this series?
WS: The UnXplained is about the mysteries around us, and just how the ordinary and extraordinary mysteries are explained. For instance, you and I are talking on a phone line, and this connection goes up to satellites in outer space – how does this truly work? So we are surrounded by seemingly ordinary mysteries, and our new show tackles the extraordinary mysteries. There are mysteries out there that just can’t be explained. Take for instance the story of a man who gets into a terrible car crash, and wakes up with the knowledge of being able to play classical piano without any formal musical training? How do we explain this mystery of the mind?

HM: Yes, and also, have humans tapped into the potential of using their whole or do we only use a small amount?
WS: Well we probably do use much more of our brain power than we even realize, and we just don’t recognize that we do. And that’s also a mystery – why don’t we recognize it? The UnXplained centers on intriguing mysteries that beg for an explanation.
And then some people attempt to come up with explanations that just don’t really make sense at all. For example, a group of Russian students go out into the Ural Mountains where there is lots of snow. These students are on a winter vacation when they disappear, and they are not heard from for several months. There are about twenty students missing, and when they are discovered their bodies are distributed all over the area of a square mile, and they are found in their under clothing. What seems to have happened is they cut themselves out of their tent and then they all ran in every direction because they are all scattered among this radius. Something frightened them so terribly, and mutilated their bodies. And, there’s no explanation to why this happened. Some people have tried to explain this situation saying there are some vicious winds in the region and the harmonics of the wind turned the students mad. There definitely seems to be some kind of madness there.

HM: We are wondering, have you ever had a personal paranormal encounter?
WS: No, and I yearn for it. I follow every mysterious circumstance that I hear of. Friends will say ‘oh I saw so and so today, and they were at my bedside,’ and for me that’s not paranormal, that’s a vision you are having. That’s what happens when you think you’re awake but you’re actually asleep. But there are other premonitions that people have had over the years that have come true. I’m currently reading a book about a medicine man who had a type of premonition that actually came true, and it brings into light that what we imagine can actually become a reality and come true. And these premonitions are not open to some type of interpretation, as you see with Nostradamus’ writings which are mysterious statements that you need to place into context. These premonitions by this medicine man were specific claims and he couldn’t have known that they were going to happen. How do they know? Are people in touch with the dead? When you think about the mysteriousness of our brains, we actually know nothing!

HM: And there are really two types of people – one who will believe in the possibility of the paranormal, and the other who needs hard facts or real-life explanations to understand events.
WS: That’s exactly right. There’s two philosophies that we work with: we must know and will know, or we don’t know and we can never know. And in between, in my opinion, is metaphysics.

HM: A sort of “divine science”?
WS: Yes, that’s a good use of that word, indeed.

HM: How thrilling or chilling can our audience expect these stories from The UnXplained to be?
WS: Well, they are in fact, chilling and thrilling [laughs]! The word I love to use is “intriguing” – it will no doubt give you a thrill to learn about these mysterious stories and learn what transpires in these people’s experiences, and these unnatural experiences that can’t be explained. To me, these stories are fascinating and I want to know more.

HM: Last question, if you could be beamed up to any location, real or imagined, where would you want to go?
WS: [Long pause] I travel a lot, and I was just in Las Vegas and Chicago. And I’m making my way through airports, being tagged and touched, and there’s bad food and long lines. And if I could have been beamed up to my house that would have been perfect. So, home, Heather! I would want to go home.

Watch William Shatner in The UnXplained on History, March 6 at 10EP.