This week we go in to the realm of strange happenings and parascience with looks at UFOs,cattle mutalations, the Bermuda Triangle and other strange events. First up a documentary from HBO.
HBO documentary from 1983 was in its way a game changer in the field of UFOs. To my mind the film is responsible for all of the out of control nonsense that followed in it's wake. On the other hand the film is a damn fine piece of reporting.
The film is a look at UFOs and in particular what was going on in the Hudson Valley of New York (There was a major flap as UFOs were being seen almost nightly) as well as the first big media revelation of the Roswell crash, the Bentwaters case involving a possible UFO that landed near a military base in England and the possibly related Cash/Landrum case which happened a short time later and left the three people involved poisoned by radiation, which has lead some people to the believe Bentwaters sighting was a military project gone wrong.
For me the film was my real entry point into the world of UFOs. I had always liked the subject but this was the moment when I started to search out books and magazines and radio shows on the subject. This was the point where, for a while I went completely crazy on the subject.
This was the film that made everyone start to really take notice of the subject once again and spin it out in crazy directions. I guess the fact that this was on HBO meant that it was a subject that was at least being taken seriously.
Seeing the film again recently, I have a DVD copy that I made from a VHS tape, I found that the film still holds up really well. It is not a perfect overview of the subject, rather it's a beautiful snap shot of a moment in time in UFO investigation. Its a film that treats its subject with respect and doesn't make any wild claims, only that something is going on and someone should look into it.
This is the film that introduced most people I know to the idea of a UFO crash in Roswell New Mexico. Here is the story before it got blown out of proportion, before the faked alien films, before stories of additional saucers, before various people came out of the woodwork to tell their stories that don't fit into the available evidence. Basically this is the point before things got silly.
If you can find a copy of this film or if you can see it when it runs on an HBO station (amazingly it still gets run now and again) I highly recommend you see it since it will put the subject into proper perspective, and make it a subject that should at least be looked at with some modicum of seriousness.