It's funny how trends hit society, and how they come and go with a sort of middle high splash, then fade from the scene. Almost like a Bell Curve on steroids. Remember the hoola-hoop? Yeah, me too. Or how about that hippity-hoppity rubber thing with the handle that you and the whole family could bounce on. Remember that one? So it is with Frisbees, super 8mm home motion picture film cameras, only to be supplanted by high-8 video and home SFX kits.
Such it is with purported UFO sightings. I remember channel surfing one night when I caught this piece of garbage on a UPN affiliate. Having worked in special effects I was able to dissect every shot "caught" on home video and aired in the piece. All save for one which was later debunked by the CGI artist who confessed to creating the whole thing in the first place.
Hearing Frake's voice for the narration reminded me of another actor who worked on another very similar program, and who, by coincidence, also did a junk-science show after hitting the skids in his career. I of course speak of Nimoy in "In Search Of". Another show that capitalized on pre-90's so-called urban legends, only these were real legends; that is they were fake to begin with, but had gained a mythology all to themselves.
When I was growing up UFO sightings usually came in the form of hats and hubcaps being tossed in the air, then photographed. Whether it was a still photo or an old 16mm or super 8mm, it didn't matter. All the alleged "spacecraft" (or flying saucers) had a terrestrial quality to them. This trend continued into the home video market until, low and behold in the early 90's) home special effects kits came out for consumer video; specifically 8 and Hi-8 video; complete with blue screens. Suddenly there was an explosion of UFO sightings caught on video... go figure.
Funny how during the early days of home video (VHS and BETA, and that other format) how there practically no sighting caught on tape, save for those with access to editing facilities. It's even more intriguing how not a single millimeter of professional raw video (BETA CAM, 3/4" and even 1") footage has any sighting caught on its media of choice.
And yet Frakes and company give us an hour (or more... I can't remember, I didn't watch the whole thing) of home video of dubious quality, with inflections of tone to suggest the possibility of aliens visiting from afar.
I'm almost of the opinion that we need film-flam men to make life interesting. Who doesn't like going to a magic show, or watching a film, and getting lost in the illusion presented? But to present fiction as fact to the impressionable, with no apology, is beyond simply irresponsible. It is, in my opinion, criminal.
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