EP 59 – Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross – Skilled Research Scientist Who Discusses UFOs and Other Anomalous Phenomena

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Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross is a researcher, scientist, anomalist, writer, presenter, and educator who began his professional career as a classically trained musician. By nature, Dr. Gross is an accomplished artist who chose music as his preferred medium of expression. However, out of necessity, Bob became a scientist and aggressive researcher. Currently, he is retired and living in the Chicago Area.

In 1970, Robert W. Gross received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His baccalaureate degree was followed by a Master of Education Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. By 1975, he had enrolled at Penn State University, where he studied filmmaking.

Bob taught in Pennsylvania’s public schools and held concurrent adjunct professor positions at Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a music educator. In 1980, he co-wrote a children’s musical play. This musical play was entered into a national competition sponsored by the Open Court Publishing Company, and open Court awarded the play second prize. Writing the musical play provided Bob with knowledge about human curiosity and mysterious experiences. The award led to Dr. Bob studying musical playwriting at Illinois Wesleyan University.

In 1984, Bob earned a Doctor of Education Degree from Penn State University. While at Penn State, he studied acoustics, aesthetics, music, and research design, among other subjects. His flawless approach to advanced research was a direct result of The Pennsylvania State University Graduate School awarding his dissertation an excellent rating.

In 1985, Dr. Gross began drafting another children’s musical play. The new play incorporated several contemporary popular topics: UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, spaceships, and outer space. To learn more about the UFO/UAP phenomenon, Dr. Gross joined the Pennsylvania Association for the Study of the Unexplained—a nonprofit scientific research organization and clearinghouse for UFO sightings.

During the summer of 1989, Dr. Gross confronted an unidentifiable aerial phenomenon (UAP) inches away from him. Throughout this close encounter, he experienced an unusually strong affective response. Bob realized that his intense aesthetic reaction involved a non-arts object. Dr. Gross’s interest regarding links among anomalies, aesthetics, intelligence, and the human brain was ignited.

From 1992 to 1998, Bob served as a member of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Arts Education Consensus Project in Washington, DC. As the project’s multimedia assessment specialist, Dr. Gross was introduced to the research of Dr. Howard Gardner. Dr. Gardner, a psychologist from Harvard University, developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences. In 1999, Dr. Gardner wrote about the possibility of expanding his Multiple Intelligences theory to include existential intelligence. In 2013, after conferring with Dr. Gardner, Dr. Gross instigated an independent research project that explored potential links among musical intelligence, existential intelligence, aesthetic experiences, anomalies, and unexplained phenomena. Through the process of conducting research for his independent study, Dr. Gross was introduced to neuroaesthetics. Neuroaesthetics is a relatively new subfield of neuroscience that merges neuroscience with observed aesthetics.

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross’s professional experiences embody a depth and breadth of understandings, skills, and habits of mind that translate into an acute awareness of what ought to be. He is an advocate of the creative problem-solving process. During his career, he has pursued a livelihood as a presenter and writer with more than twenty articles published in journals and on blogs. Bob has also delivered lectures at local, state, national, and international conferences.

Dr. Gross specializes in Anomalistics—using the scientific method to evaluate anomalies. He is the author of a blog titled: In Pursuit of Anomalies. Bob has also written a new whitepaper report titled: Relevant and Reliable Evidence Shows the Cornerstone of UFOlogy was a Program Developed by United States Entities. Dr. Gross is also writing content standards for an approach to teaching and learning he calls Interdisciplinary UAP Education. He is also writing an aligned UAP curriculum which engages deep scientific learning through higher-order flexible thinking.

Recent scientific studies show that human brains have systems specifically designed for appreciating anomalous phenomena. According to current research, aesthetic systems in the brain help survey and determine how appealing something is—it doesn’t matter if the experience of focus is a UAP, a work of visual art, or a musical performance. Both fine-art and non-art objects undergo aesthetic processing, and aesthetic experiences enhance thinking, wellbeing, and health.

Dr. Bob Wenzel Gross has more than 25 years of experience teaching at all levels of instruction. At the higher education level, he was an adjunct professor at Penn State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, New Mexico State University, and South Texas College. As a public school teacher, he taught in both elementary and secondary schools. In addition, Bob successfully worked for more than 17 years as an educational administrator, change agent, curriculum specialist, troubleshooter, and turnaround specialist.