Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chasing UFO's

As I am watching Chasing UFO’s on National Geographic, I find myself feeling much the same way I do about any shows of this nature. Lots of filler, no real substance. The current episode is entitled Alien Baby Farm. They are investigating some pretty interesting footage of an unknown object spewing out a line of other unknown objects, that was captured by two different people in two different locations. The footage looks genuine. They go down to Mexico City, where it was shot, and talk to the two witnesses. I would say, both witnesses have more sense about them than any of the people doing this show. They both referred to the object as possibly organic, like it was alive. And the second person pointed out that more UFO’s are seen when the volcano is active just outside the city. Now, this brings to mind the work of Paul Devereux, books like, for example, Earth Lights Revelation: Ufo's and Mystery Lightform Phenomena : The Earth's Secret Energy Force where he presents his evidence that UFO’s appear more often along fault lines than anywhere else. Andrew Collins also seems to be onto this idea with his latest work, LightQuest: Your Guide to Seeing and Interacting with UFOs, Mystery Lights and Plasma Intelligences. It seems like what the second witness was indicating is that volcanic activity may be a factor, instead our crack team goes with the idea that extra-terrestrials are visiting the volcano for some reason and set off to explore the volcano. So we get some nice shots of them hiking over a beautiful area and such, but really, this has nothing to do with the video at hand. Then we jump to another quite interesting video. But... what happened to working with the footage that they started with? Were those the only two witnesses?

On another episode, Alien Castaways, we see them investigating what they are calling a South American Roswell. Well, sure, considering Roswell was not a crashed UFO, this seems like a good comparison. Andrew Collins does a good job of debunking Roswell in his above book, as has John Keel for a few decades now. This 'investigation' really goes nowhere. They talk to a bunch of people and run around in the woods a bit. The 100,000 witnesses that supposingly seeing aliens run around down there, don't seem to be available for interview. The one group of women they do interview, seem very genuine, and likely had a real experience. It was, however, completely detached from any UFO sighting or crash. At the very end they decide to look at the photo that got them interested in the case, and oh, they realize it's a fake. Shouldn't they have done that first? There was no investigation, really, and at the end they had NOTHING to show for going down there.

These shows are not about the paranormal. This is what these big media outlets THINK that people want to see. You get the same formula on Ghost Hunters, Chasing UFO's, Destination Truth, etc. It's all about the people running around and usually making fools of themselves. Oh, and lets cut to commercial just when it seems like something major is happening, only to come back to reveal that it's absolutely nothing. Personally, the only show I think this formula works on is Ghost Adventures, or at least I find it amusing rather than aggravating. Here they make the people very two dimensional, you have three people here, one is a skeptic, one a true believer, and the other somewhere in between. Same formula as on UFO Hunters, and rarely are people like that in real life. James Fox, one of the main people on this show, does not seem to be so simple. I heard of this show from an interview he did on Coast to Coast AM, and at first wasn't sure what to make of him. By the end of the interview, I was mostly impressed with his open mindedness and intelligence. Watching this pile of crap, though, I find it hard to believe it's the same guy. In his defense, he did post to his facebook wall that he, himself, was very upset about the way the show turned out. This is what he wrote;

James Fox  I know how disappointed all of you are. I am too. It’s not the show that was sold to both myself and scientist Ben.
Two months into it, we were off to a great start; good locations, solid witnesses and some opportunities for Ben to apply his field research as a geologist at some crash sites. Very exciting stuff. Unfortunately, when we actually got out in the field we began to realize that they were more interested in poking around a night then allocating the time necessary during the day as apparently (so we were told) Americans love watching others sneak around at night from the comfort of their couches. Ben and I reluctantly played along…and it wasn’t always bad. We really set up field maps and surveillance at the Roswell crash site (with a slew of high tech gear) and ran out of daylight.
As it was in the middle of no-where we all decided to work through the night and did find something…there were other cases in the show where when witnesses claimed to see strange lights appear in certain areas and that too made some sense for us to go out at night…but for the most part it was gratuitous night time boloney. As far as the title, it was UFO Investigations until they switched it to Chasing UFOs after it was all shot and edited. So with a lack of control in the field and zero in post the show is what it is.
Having said that, all my previous works are circulating Nat Geo headquarters and I’ve been influencing and establishing contacts in the mainstream (middle america mainstream) and will continue to do so and I will only return if I’m on as a producer all the way through to the end. Will it ever be I Know What I Saw or Leslie’s great work…? No, but I’ll do my best to make is a credible while entertaining as possible (as that’s most important to Nat Geo). I promise I’ll either quit or change my position within the show because at least I can make it all make some sense. The show does get a bit better further down the road but not a lot.
Please bare with me a bit longer as I’ve jumped into the lions den to see what I could do from the inside. My credibility and reputation has, deservedly, taken a serious hit but know that I’m hoping to come out with an opportunity that otherwise would;'t have presented itself. Fingers crossed. James

So, at least he sees the problem. Overall, I wouldn't recommend to anyone serious about the subject that they waste their time on this series. It's not that entertaining, and really, aside from the Travis Walton interview (in the episode Abducted in Arizona I believe) and a few good videos, hasn't really been worth a damn. I think this is meant to entertain people who really don't know much about the subject, and who like reality shows. Lets hope that James and company do something more worthwhile in the future.