Wednesday, April 2, 2008

UFO HUNTERS - Hist. - Vortexes

History Channel - Original Air Date: March 26, 2008

"There are certain places on earth UFO skeptics should avoid at all costs," begins this show.  "They are vortexes for strange encounters."  Are there really UFO hot spots in the Hudson River Valley, Stonehenge, and Sedona, Arizona?  The show posits that just as some places on earth have more rain, some places have more UFO sightings.  What conditions on earth could cause this?  Earth energy, or ley lines, the show suggests -- and, as always, the show speaks of these things as if they were scientific fact, rather than mere speculation by believers.  Are UFOs drawn to certain spots because of variations in the earth's magnetic fields?  This is an interesting idea -- but the show doesn't believe UFOs are magnetic phenomena, it believes the UFOs are alien craft drawn to these areas to refuel from them (or something).  Again, we have pseudoscience; again we have fuzzy photos and things that look like airplanes but "can't" be anything that simple.  (Though all of the proofs that they can't be airplanes can be explained by badly made time exposures.  Sorry, show folk, you can still get camera movement on a tripod using an electronic shutter release.  Ever hear of wind or ground vibrations?)  Again, all the experts on the show -- even the "scientists" -- are believers, so there's no chance for real critical analysis.  The show then connects the UFO reports to ancient chamber sites (which its posits are druid sites in the US -- though, again, there's no proof of druids being in the Americas).  According to the show, there are 4 criteria for a place to be a UFO vortex: 1) History of Sightings, 2) Sacred Reputation, 3) Military Presence Nearby, 4) Unusual Energy Field.  At Stonehenge, an analog tape purports to show UFOs in the sky, and strange black objects winking in and out on earth -- though it looked to me like these were fairly standard video problems.  The team then uses dousing rods to prove Stonehenge has ley lines running through it.  (Dousing has been thoroughly debunked by scientists.)  Not surprisingly, a magnetometer turns up nothing.  And, sorry folks, dousing blindfolded doesn't make this pseudoscience any more accurate or reliable.  But dousing is enough to prove criterion #4 for the show's "investigators."  Sidona, AZ presents similar sightings and proofs.  Now, I believe that people see UFOs.  I even believe that some of these sightings are unexplained.  I'm willing to buy that some UFOs may be magnetic anomalies.  After that, though, it seems to me that the most likely kind of UFOs you'll get near military bases are military aircraft -- both known and unknown.  In Sidona, the team sets up a night vision camera and catches something on tape -- airplanes.  One point to the team scientist for figuring that one out.  But people are still seeing something, and UFO Hunters has the recreations to prove it.  Need I mention that these recreations are CGI marvels bearing little resemblance to the reports?  Should I have to mention it?  Nope.  As usual, everything in this show supports its predestined POV and conclusions.  UFO Hunters is a show for true believers only; anyone looking for actual science or serious investigation should look elsewhere.

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