MJ Banias is a journalist who writes about space, weird science, frontier technology, strange internet subcultures, and anything bizarre. He is a co-founder and editor at The Debrief. His work has also been published at Futurism, The Globe and Mail, Popular Mechanics, and VICE.

MJ has worked on numerous media projects including the History Channel's "The Proof is Out There," Discovery Channel's "Black Files Declassified," and he appeared on The CW's "Mysteries Decoded." He also was a researcher, consultant, and appeared in VICELAND's second season of The Devil You Know. MJ has also done consultation and research production work on documentary projects for VICELAND, VICE Studios, and Sony Music Entertainment.

He is the author of "The UFO People: A Curious Culture," and he has been interviewed by the BBC, Cheddar, Coast to Coast AM, ABC, The CW, History, and many other respected podcasts and radio programs. 

He lives in Canada with his wife, three children, and a massive cat. 

Below is a small sample of MJ's work.

MJ Banias

The Debrief

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Uncensored Satellite Internet Will Weaken Dictatorships

As low-orbit satellite internet providers, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink, begin testing their services, security analysts recognize the potential disruption these systems could cause to authoritarian regimes as people start accessing an open and uncensored internet. In countries like Russia, China, and North Korea, where information dominance and control are essential to the regime’s survival, low-orbit internet satellites could pose a significant challenge.

Lethal Drones Won't Transform Warfare But They Will Transform Terrorism

Lethal drones have become a mainstay of military arsenals worldwide over the last decade. World powers and smaller nations have been pouring significant resources into purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for defense purposes. Many believe that UAVs will reshape the overall nature of warfare itself, but experts are far more concerned that this technology will be truly transformative when placed into the hands of non-state actors and terrorists.

VICE

23 Years Later, the Phoenix Lights Are Still Unexplained

A new documentary series by filmmaker Seth Breedlove takes an in depth look into the so-called “Phoenix Lights.” On the Trail of UFOs doesn’t try to prove that the incident was aliens or flares, but instead expertly explores the cultural ramifications of the event on the UFO community. “As an event, the Phoenix Lights is important simply because it gained so much media attention, was witnessed by so many people, and today, can still not be precisely explained away,” Breedlove told Motherboard.

Those Colorado Mystery Drones May Actually Have Been SpaceX Satellites

In late November, northeastern Colorado was concerned with a series of mysterious drones flying over several counties in the state. Bearing various descriptions and light patterns, the large 6-to-10 foot mysterious drones made national headlines and left law enforcement scratching their heads. In a January statement issued by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the agency confirmed that 14 drones of the hundreds that were allegedly seen by the public “were visually confirmed to be hobbyis

UFO Over Magé, Brazil Sparks Social Media Panic and Conspiracies

Brazilians in the municipality of Magé, just north of Rio de Janeiro, reported seeing mysterious illuminated objects in the sky Wednesday. Several videos of the objects exploded on Reddit and Twitter, sparking incredible speculation about a crashed UFO that has been picked up widely in the Brazilian press. While the videos themselves are curious, though hardly evidence of anything otherworldly, UFO enthusiasts began to fall down the conspiratorial rabbit hole rather quickly when posts about the

Senate Intelligence Committee Confirms the US Navy Has a UFO Task Force

A recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on the bill, which concerns funding the government's intelligence activities, recommended its passing. It also asked for a “detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data and intelligence reporting collected or held by the Office of Naval Intelligence, including data and intelligence reporting held by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.” This report is to be submitted to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees

Head of Mutual UFO Network Arrested on Child Solicitation Charges

The executive director of the Mutual UFO Network, one of the oldest UFO research organizations in the United States, has been arrested on charges of soliciting a minor “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity,” according to police. Jan Harzan, who has headed MUFON since 2013, is accused of soliciting “sexual activity from a detective he believed was a 13-year-old girl,” according to a release from the Huntington Beach, CA police department. In recent years, the UFO research world has bee

Pentagon Announces Task Force to Study UFOs

"The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs," read a statement made by Gough. "The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze, and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security." The Pentagon's recent announcement comes on the heels of a provision added to the annual Intelligence Authorization Act titled "Advanced Aerial Threats." In the provision, the Senate Select Int

Japanese Military Announces It Will Track UFOs

On Monday, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono instructed Japanese military personnel on what to do if they spot unidentified aerial objects that could potentially pose a threat to national security. According to Japanese news agencies, Kono instructed the Japanese Self Defence Forces to record and report any sightings of unknown objects in Japan’s airspace. The move comes just weeks after Kono spoke with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a conversation that apparently touched on UFOs. I

The Subtle Art of 'Hacking' UFOs

Two centuries later, several news outlets reported that naval aviators flying America's finest aircraft off the coast of California in November of 2004 intercepted a bizarre and mysterious object. The pilots, who managed to capture it on video, later recounted its ability to move through the air without wings or a visible propulsion source. According to their testimony, this UAP, or unidentified aerial phenomena, performed strange maneuvers and accelerated at a rate of speed impossible to reach

Popular UFO Conspiracy Theorists Are Cashing In On the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wilcock and Goode first partnered several years ago, promoting each other's wild narratives. Their 2019 documentary The Cosmic Secret tells the tale of a global catastrophe which, according to what Wilcock describes as his telepathic communications with alien beings, will happen soon. The end of the world, more specifically, will be the result of a “global pole shift.” (While Earth’s poles have shifted and do undergo minute changes over periods of thousands of years, mainstream geomagnetists are

How to Get Into UFOs

While everyone is either officially quarantined or simply self-isolating, countless people are stuck at home with plenty of time on their hands. For a paranormal UFOnaut junky like myself, keeping my mind honed towards ‘high strangeness’ is tough. UFO and paranormal conferences are being shuttered and my travel plans have been derailed, I am unable to visit long abandoned bunkers searching for Mothman or chase a UFO in Utah. This lover of Forteana and the peculiar is left to sit on his couch and

Fringe Conspiracy Theorists Think Trump Is an Immortal Alien, Got COVID as Cover to Shapeshift

QAnon is not the only movement getting worked up over Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. Conspiracy theorists on the extreme fringe also suspect that Trump—who they believe might be an immortal alien—might have contracted coronavirus in an attempt to shed his mortal flesh and shapeshift into something else. Steenberg started an online petition three years ago called “Disclose: Humanoid Extra Terrestrials Live Among Us.” His website highlights the bulk of his theories and with nearly 30,000 Twitter

Ex Intel Official Says He Was the Source of the Pentagon's UFO Videos

In the recently released UFO documentary The Phenomenon, Chris Mellon, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, stated that he was the source who provided the New York Times with the three infamous UFO videos it published in 2017. Mellon, who is currently a member of Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy, told filmmaker James Fox in an on-camera interview that he met with an unnamed individual in the parking lot of the Pentagon and was handed a package containing the thre

23 Years Later, the Phoenix Lights Are Still Unexplained

A new documentary series by filmmaker Seth Breedlove takes an in depth look into the so-called “Phoenix Lights.” On the Trail of UFOs doesn’t try to prove that the incident was aliens or flares, but instead expertly explores the cultural ramifications of the event on the UFO community. “As an event, the Phoenix Lights is important simply because it gained so much media attention, was witnessed by so many people, and today, can still not be precisely explained away,” Breedlove told Motherboard.

How to Get Into UFOs

While everyone is either officially quarantined or simply self-isolating, countless people are stuck at home with plenty of time on their hands. For a paranormal UFOnaut junky like myself, keeping my mind honed towards ‘high strangeness’ is tough. UFO and paranormal conferences are being shuttered and my travel plans have been derailed, I am unable to visit long abandoned bunkers searching for Mothman or chase a UFO in Utah. This lover of Forteana and the peculiar is left to sit on his couch and

Those Colorado Mystery Drones May Actually Have Been SpaceX Satellites

In late November, northeastern Colorado was concerned with a series of mysterious drones flying over several counties in the state. Bearing various descriptions and light patterns, the large 6-to-10 foot mysterious drones made national headlines and left law enforcement scratching their heads. In a January statement issued by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the agency confirmed that 14 drones of the hundreds that were allegedly seen by the public “were visually confirmed to be hobbyis

Popular UFO Conspiracy Theorists Are Cashing In On the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wilcock and Goode first partnered several years ago, promoting each other's wild narratives. Their 2019 documentary The Cosmic Secret tells the tale of a global catastrophe which, according to what Wilcock describes as his telepathic communications with alien beings, will happen soon. The end of the world, more specifically, will be the result of a “global pole shift.” (While Earth’s poles have shifted and do undergo minute changes over periods of thousands of years, mainstream geomagnetists are

UFO Over Magé, Brazil Sparks Social Media Panic and Conspiracies

Brazilians in the municipality of Magé, just north of Rio de Janeiro, reported seeing mysterious illuminated objects in the sky Wednesday. Several videos of the objects exploded on Reddit and Twitter, sparking incredible speculation about a crashed UFO that has been picked up widely in the Brazilian press. While the videos themselves are curious, though hardly evidence of anything otherworldly, UFO enthusiasts began to fall down the conspiratorial rabbit hole rather quickly when posts about the

Senate Intelligence Committee Confirms the US Navy Has a UFO Task Force

A recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on the bill, which concerns funding the government's intelligence activities, recommended its passing. It also asked for a “detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data and intelligence reporting collected or held by the Office of Naval Intelligence, including data and intelligence reporting held by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.” This report is to be submitted to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees

Head of Mutual UFO Network Arrested on Child Solicitation Charges

The executive director of the Mutual UFO Network, one of the oldest UFO research organizations in the United States, has been arrested on charges of soliciting a minor “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity,” according to police. Jan Harzan, who has headed MUFON since 2013, is accused of soliciting “sexual activity from a detective he believed was a 13-year-old girl,” according to a release from the Huntington Beach, CA police department. In recent years, the UFO research world has bee

The Subtle Art of 'Hacking' UFOs

Two centuries later, several news outlets reported that naval aviators flying America's finest aircraft off the coast of California in November of 2004 intercepted a bizarre and mysterious object. The pilots, who managed to capture it on video, later recounted its ability to move through the air without wings or a visible propulsion source. According to their testimony, this UAP, or unidentified aerial phenomena, performed strange maneuvers and accelerated at a rate of speed impossible to reach
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