Sunday, January 27, 2008


ABC - Peter Jennings- repeating on NGC - Original Air Date: 2005

An interesting show combining interviews, recreations, skepticism by top scientists, and historical perspective. Topics range from recent sightings to Roswell to alien abductions to SETI. The late Peter Jennings does an admirable job of pulling together past and present UFO accounts. Of particular interest are the recreations, all of which -- according to a disclaimer -- have been approved by the witnesses for accuracy. That's a nice touch. It's also a nice touch that the recreations are labeled as such. (Many programs today mix "real" footage with fake and never distinguish between the two.) Many of the eyewitness reports are very compelling and well told. The show seems to suggest that Project Blue Book was not as rigorous as it should have been; this, of course, plays into the UFOlogist conspiracy theories. Certainly there are deficiencies on both sides -- and Jennings's reporting points that out. Neil deGrasse Tyson and several other scientists talk compellingly about evidence, and why eyewitness testimony is "the lowest form of evidence" in science. 'In science, seeing is NOT believing." Maybe that seems obvious, but the dispute over that idea is what keeps the UFOlogist community and the scientific community at each other's throats about UFOs. Overall, the show does a good job of presenting the accounts, uncovering the facts and evidence, and presenting the scientific and sociological explanations for many cases. Does it explain every sighting? No, nor does it intend to, but it's a good rational overview of the UFO phenomenon. A very well produced show to start exploring case.

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