Wednesday, August 11, 2010

FACT OR FAKED: Predator; Red Sky at Night

SyFy - Original Air Date: 8/5/10

The show starts, as usual, reviewing videos and determining what cases to follow.  Stairway ghost turns out to have cuts, shadows behind ghosts, and 2 people pretending to be one on different floors.  Campfire creature they figure is just a person crawling at the edge of the firelight.  Russian Pyramid shows a pyramid-shaped UFO over Moscow's Red Square, but seems an obvious hoax, due to lack of witnesses in this very public space.  The cases they investigate are the Beast of Dartmoor, some kind of mysterious bounding animal that looks like a black lion, and El Cajon Triangle, a Feb. 2008 UFO sighting of red lights in a triangular formation.  Half the group goes to England while the other goes to CA.

The Dartmoor beast has a legend that sounds like The Hound of the Baskervilles - your basic hellhound haunting the moors.  (It looks like a gussied up hound to me.)  They locate the spot where the film was taken, then go to a local animal farm to film a pony, a Labrador-like dog, and a lion against a green screen to compare to the film.  Pony & dog don't look good on film; the lion looks similar, but not enough. A wild boar or a large black (zoo) cat, perhaps?  So they go looking with a local game expert and find a ram carcass scattered over a hillside.  They set up cameras and search in the dark (naturally).  They hear a deep growl, spot horses in the dark, and find another carcass.  Returning home, they create a composite cat-boar simulation in their computer.  (Why?)  England is home to no native big cats, yet people are seeing something.  They don't think the video was hoaxed (though I wouldn't rule it out), so there's "something" in Dartmoor. But what?

The El Cajon team interviews Paul, the video eyewitness. (I sense a voice analysis coming.)  The witness says the lights just hung out and then slowly went out; he wonders if it was a helicopter. The team goes to the Mojave to check out some theories.  Sky lanterns have trouble in the Mojave winds, but the team doesn't think it's the lights anyway.  Lights on a helicopter look right, but the helicopter is clearly audible. But what about a balloon with safety flares on a triangular rig - a simple hoax? Turns out, that's a perfect match, and the show declares the lights over El Cajon a hoax.  It's nice to see them come to this conclusion, as they'd "gone easy" (in my opinion) on many recent investigations.  And I'm still not convinced about that beast.  But how much can you do in a 1-hour show?  Thankfully, there is no bogus voice analysis this week, probably because they already ruled the "UFO" a hoax.

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