Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FACT OR FAKED: Raining UFOs - Ectoplasmic Pic

SyFy - Original Air Date: 4/6/11

Videos not investigated this week are: Poltergeist Down Under, from Queensland, Austrialia, which seems to show an invisible force moving  boxes and other things across a garage  -- and then similar happenings in a kitchen.  The analysis says these things could be mono-filament wire and simply throwing objects.  Government UFO, in Hawaii shows formations of lights moving over a government installation.  Bill and Chi-Lan point out this would be super easy to fake with CG.  Which leaves the two the team will check out - Seeding UFO a Christmas Night UFO, dripping sparks "seeding the earth" and the old spiritualist ectoplasm photos (including one with a face in the "ectoplasm") by T.G. Hamilton.

They head to Longbeach to check out the UFO, noting that no one yet has an official explanation for the incident.  They talk to the helicopter pilot that took the video, and then they start running experiments using a night vision camera like the one that took the original video.  They start with a military flare; it drips well, but you can see the parachute.  Next, they test a homemade hot air balloon, powered by candles; this is closer, but didn't get quite the altitude.  Finally, they attach sparklers to an RC plane.  Though this seems a dead-on match, they also do a night watch, just in case there are real UFOs.  But all they catch is a bird (which looks like a UFO in night vision).  Conclusion, the balloon or the plane are both good explanations.

The second team goes to recreate the ectoplasm photos in the same house where they were originally taken.  Despite the "experimenter's" precautions, these photos all look completely bogus to me -- and apparently to the team, too.  The first one the recreate by Gavin simply blowing cigar smoke out of the sides of his mouth.  The second they recreate with cotton wadding.  The third they recreate using Dry Ice to create a mist around a "sleeping" figure. The fourth they recreate using a seltzer tablet and a photo attached to the end of a q-tip.  While these are not perfect recreations, they are very good given the time constraints.  And it's worth noting that the original medium had a lot of time to practice her effects and a lot riding on people believing them. The crew concludes that she might have hoaxed everyone, including well-meaning experimenters.

My conclusion: One of the most rigorous episodes in the series.  Well done.

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