Saturday, May 23, 2015

"UFOs" Season 1 Episode 21

The episode "UFOs" first aired on July 13, 1977 . It was directed by H.G. Stark and it was written by Robert Long.

Something about Nimoy's tone and the eerie 70's background music, and this opening had the hairs on the back of my neck standing! After the opening in which Nimoy scares us into wanting to know more about the mysterious phenomena, he dives into the story of Kenneth Arnold. In 1947, Mr. Arnold was flying a plane when he reported seeing 9 objects flying near Mt. Ranier much faster than humanly possible. He is famous for coining the term "flying saucer" in reference to a UFO.

Nimoy draws a connection to this incident and an increase in reports in the years to follow. Nimoy focuses on an encounter a whole family had in Mellen, WI in March of 1975. The Baker family is interviewed, and they walk around their home in sort of a reenactment of the incident. The music, and the humility of the family all lead to a very eerie feeling as they describe what happened. The whole family saw an object land in the road near their house. They describe the size and unusual shape. They called the sheriff, and before they could do more there was a loud noise and the object was gone. They discuss fearing ridicule and so they didn't tell their story at first. It sounds like the torment of having seen this object and having no proof was worse than the actual sighting. Nimoy also interviews the sheriff and he tells us he believes they actually saw something that night. The sheriff says they received several reports from others that had seen objects in the sky. The sheriff and his deputies ended up seeing lights in the skies themselves after investigating the Baker incident.

Another incident is described by Carroll Kritchfield of West Virginia. He describes seeing a UFO and finding marks in the ground that could have been from the craft. They show us the folks who gave Mr. Kritchfield a polygraph test. According to them, he passed the test about bright lights, a diamond-shaped craft, and charred earth that he spotted in 1975.

 It's not clear if the polygraph test we see is a recreation or the original, but the whole test is showed to us in an effort to fill time or lend authenticity to it, or maybe both? Nimoy wants us to believe its almost impossible to fool a polygraph case. It's not easy, but we know that people can train themselves to fool polygraph machines. We next hear from Ted Phillips, who is an amateur scientist and UFO investigator, He claims to have evidence of 900 unexplained UFO sightings. He also demonstrates how he collects soil samples from landing sites.

Dr. Edward Zeller of the University of Kansas Aerospace Science Laboratory analyzes samples and states that ignoring UFOs is unscientific. Ignoring them might be, but Next, Janet Kay of Medford, MN, as well as her brother and mother describe the UFO they saw land on a football field. There is something about the way they always sort of re-enact their encounters and that strange 70's music in the background that always creeps me out.

Kay describes the burned spot they found in the spot where the UFO landed. Dr. Zeller says the charred soil contains luminescent properties and that it was exposed to high doses of radiation. Certainly this is strange. Kay and her mother discuss their fears and hopes for a normal explanation. So much for that! Kay's Mom says in a very believable and relatable way that if she hadn't seen it herself she wouldn't believe someone telling her they had seen a UFO.

"In a recent Gallup poll fifteen million Americans claim to have seen a UFO. Fifteen million. The same poll showed that fifty one percent of the adult population is convinced that flying saucers are real." Nimoy seems almost persuaded himself as he says this. He then shows some of the creepy drawings which dramatize the recollections of Carroll Kritchfield, the Baker family, and the Kays.

This was a good episode. I'm not sure what to think of UFO's in general. I believe that many folks are seeing strange things at times. But I'm not convinced they are alien space craft. The Government tests some secret things and I am guessing this is more likely the explanation. Either way, the stories told here were strange, creepy, and at least somewhat believable. This make for a good episode and one that I enjoyed.

You can watch this episode "UFOs" below.

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