This issue of the journal profiles Race Hobbs, owner and producer of KGRA Radio and seasoned Field Investigator. We sat down to speak with him about alternative media, releasing information, and the importance of out of the box thinking for the growth of Ufology.
Journal: When did your interest in Ufology really take off?
Hobbs: As a child born in the 60’s, the Atomic Age had given birth to a new era called the Space Race. Since I can remember, the new frontier was space and all its mysteries were waiting to be explored. Everywhere I looked, the themes of space were all around me and I truly believed this exposure piqued the interest and in some way injected belief that life must be elsewhere in the universe. As we all know, when you’re a child, dreams are reality and what you see on TV, video games and in toys must exist somewhere. Growing up I remember my mother telling her personal accounts of seeing UFOs over our hometown airport as well as sightings over the Arkansas river. As I got older, around say 10 or 11, I started asking my mother about what she saw in more detail and she never hesitated to go over the accounts again. Her adding confirmation of the existence of UFOs by relaying an eye witness account told to her by my Great Uncle Ray Hobbs. Uncle Ray was a test pilot for the USAF during the time Saber Jets were being developed and what he told my mother was nothing short of incredible. He described flying a test mission over the desert when his flight team was buffeted by multiple metallic objects at high speed. They maneuvered in ways our planes could not and in fact out ran USAF Saber Jets easily in turning radius, speed and altitude. I never met my Uncle Ray, sadly he passed away shortly before I was born, but I remember wishing I could have talked to him about what he saw that day. Suffice it to say the interest was there at an early age, however, as for an active interest, that came on a summer night in 1990 when I was an on air personality for KZKZ-106.3FM. I received a call on the request line from a man who said he was looking at something he could not believe. He said he was pulled over in his car on the side of Highway 10 about 10 miles from my location and there was a massive black, cigar-shaped object above him as he was speaking to me and that it was slowly moving east with a blinding white light omitting from the forward section of the object. I was sure I could get a line of sight on this thing so quickly I put the caller on hold, ran out the back of the station, and there it was, an intense bright white light that I later compared to an electrical welding arch. I could not see the body of the object, only the bright light, floating across the horizon from my right to left. I was so captured by what I was witnessing; I forgot I was on the air and let the music run out till dead air. Realizing this blunder, I ran back in the station and tossed another song in the deck and hit play, picked up the phone call once again to confirm with the caller that I had also seen this object. He was what I can only describe as in shock. He said it looked like a big black submarine with a light on the front, floating with no sound. Since that night, I have been on the hunt for the truth about unknown Ariel phenomenon ever since.
Journal: When did the idea of alternative media come to the table?
Hobbs: In regards to the creation and development of the Global Radio Alliance, it truly happened organically. In 2011, I created a show with my good friend Royce Fitzgerald called Eye Witnessed Radio, sponsored by Four Leaf Creative Advertising and Arkansas MUFON, to help spread the message about the UFO phenomenon. The show premiered in August on a standing digital broadcasting network that hosts shows for a monthly fee to cover the production and streaming costs. By February of the following year, we became disillusioned with the direction the hosting network was going and decided to part ways to seek out another network to host our weekly program. After some extensive research on the web, there were literally dozens of networks out there in the paranormal genre and not one of them interested me in the slightest. The dissatisfaction I felt, left me with an overwhelming feeling that the UFO/Paranormal movement deserved something better, thus began my consideration of developing my own station to call home for our show. In the time it takes to drive to the store for a gallon of milk, I had the concept of the network created and the direction I wanted to go. The next step was to get partners involved to help with the huge workload it takes to get something this ambitious off the ground with only the money in our pockets. After selecting some very qualified and likeminded partners, the hard work began and we set off to change the game. The GRA (Global Radio Alliance) was formed, and the name reflected the project we had undertaken, a collection of shows gathered together in one place with the same mission, the search for the truth regarding the mysteries of the world with hosts active in the topics they covered. So on March the 30th of 2012, the GRA went live on the Air for the first time and we have been grinding away ever since.
Journal: To add to that, did you have any idea how you well your platform would grow?
Hobbs: Never… Not for one second. Calling on years of past experience in terrestrial radio, I simply saw a huge gaping hole that needed to be filled and I had a really good idea on how to fill it. In my professional opinion, the talk radio field in the UFO paranormal genre was lacking in content, delivery, style and most importantly integrity. That is not to say there were no examples of broadcast professionals doing it right in the singular term such as the late Jerry Pippin whom is sorely missed, and then there was of course George Noory of Coast to Coast AM, and many others but they were not by example networks. In regards to a station or network on the digital platform, honestly I saw no competition and still don’t to this day. I don’t say that out of ego or arrogance, it’s simply the way I see it. If you have no competition, all we can do is grow to succeed. I am extremely proud of the KGRA family and you won’t find a more experienced hardworking lineup out there anywhere with integrity and professionalism that one will on the KGRA-db.