Archive for the ‘aliens’ category

History’s Greatest Mysteries, Roswell: Parts 2 & 3

January 2, 2021


Happy New Year, intrepid explorers!  History’s Greatest Mysteries on the History channel has now devoted three episodes to their investigation of the Roswell incident in 1947, and for the sake of conciseness and brevity, I’m going to combine discussion of S1, Ep. 6 and 7 here, as they represent fully four hours of airtime.


The second episode in the series (S1 Ep. 6) was titled, Roswell: The First Witness – The Memo. The investigation by History Channel was headed by former CIA operative Ben Smith, who did provide some new or at least lesser known information. For one thing, two sites are involved in the Roswell incident, one the “debris field” on the rancher’s land, and the other an impact site 25 miles away where the alleged UFO finally came to rest after “skimming” the intervening distance like a stone in a damaged condition. The impact site is where it really gets interesting as there were said to be both debris and alien bodies located there.  General Ramey referred to in the episode title is seen in photos as holding a folded memo that may have referenced bodies recovered.


Now Jesse Marcel, the first government witness on the site, claimed in a 1980 TV interview that he had been forced to lie about Roswell. A body language expert consulted on the footage did not find Jesse Marcel’s testimony to be deceptive, and said that he believed what he was saying. Other officers have testified as well to the presence of alien bodies, which were spirited away by the government to Hanger 84. The Ballard Funeral Home in the area contended to have provided three child-sized coffins for the transport of said remains, but were rebuffed in their efforts for further information. The military attributed a disc supposedly recovered as a misidentified Mogul weather balloon, and this remains the standard official explanation.


Jesse Marcel’s journal was found by a handwriting specialist not to be written by Jesse himself, yet it was considered important enough to him that it was carefully preserved for decades among his possessions. Cryptographers failed to discern any decipherable “code” in the journal, although the presence of a private encryption code remains possible, one which may have been developed by and was known to only someone in Jesse’s “inner circle” in the 509th bomber group. Efforts to identify who that person might have been were stymied by limited samples of handwriting available known to be that of specific people; in some cases, only a signature was available and confirmed.

The third episode in the series (S1 Ep7) titled Roswell: The First Witness – The Writer looked at the interactions of Jesse Marcel with his family and others that he trusted, revealing that he told the same story with the same details to such individuals. He was open with his grandchildren and cousins, and even drew a picture of an alien that he had supposedly seen. That picture did not survive, but a family member drew a picture of the picture, the image resembling a classic “alien gray.”  Pieces of debris had reportedly been stashed in a water heater in the house that Jesse occupied at the time, but that house has since been sold outside of the family, and its new owners would not permit inspection of the property when approached by the investigative team; one can hardly blame them.  Upon viewing the debris field wreckage, Jesse repeatedly told others that it was “not of this world.”

The final episode also incorporated consultations with an accident site investigator, who felt that whatever crashed into the terrain wasn’t lightweight, and that “scarring” of the ground observed couldn’t have come from a weather balloon. Strange magnetic signatures were found in the area of the crash site, which could have been caused by a plastic or neoprene layer, which would favor the weather balloon explanation. Alien “bodies” and their removal reported by local people had been explained away by the government as experimental crash test dummies dropped from aircraft to research pilot exit and survival procedures.

A private but earnest UFO investigator in New Mexico who had studied the phenomena for 20 years contended that seven UFO crashes had occurred in the general area over several years due to high powered radar in use in the area by the military base that caused short circuits or something similar in the unknown craft.  His father had owned the bar where the rancher had initially come following discovery of the debris on his fields. The private investigator had joined a team combing the sites in question and had samples of unknown debris, but a piece taken for analysis could not be determined to be otherworldly. 


While it could not be conclusively determined who wrote the journal possessed by Jesse Marcel, the base adjutant Patrick Saunders seemed to be a likely candidate. He was in charge of assigning troops to clean up the debris field, and his daughter when interviewed said he knew that the debris wasn’t a weather balloon. Her father was also described as being involved in the subsequent cover-up and even file alteration.


Why then had so many people possibly participated in apparent misrepresentations and a cover-up? Government threats reported to their careers, safety, and even families were powerful motivators. Military people tend as well to have a strong sense of duty, of obeying superiors, and of protecting the country. As Jesse Marcel is reported to have repeatedly said, “there are things that this world is not ready for.” 

While no physical evidence of a UFO incursion or any “smoking guns” were found in the investigation, regardless of personal beliefs one is left with the impression that many key players in the Roswell incident carried a great and terrible secret about which they were both troubled and conflicted…

 

History’s Greatest Mysteries – Roswell: The First Witness – The Journal

December 15, 2020


The History’s Greatest Mysteries series is for me a mixed bag, with some episodes being captivating, and others less so unless you have a riveting personal interest in the topic under consideration such as D.B. Cooper or John Wilkes Booth.  The individual episodes are all rather expanded by most television standards for similar fare, clocking in at a movie-length two hours. Still, when the topic gets around to possibly new information on Roswell, the mother of all UFO sagas, my interest is definitely piqued, and I’m along for the ride.  That ride began with the Season 1, Episode 5 episode of History’s Greatest Mysteries titled, Roswell:  The First Witness – The Journal.

While what happened that July morning in 1947 in New Mexico will likely always be controversial and probably unknowable, we are left with the fact of rancher Bill Brazel finding his field littered with a massive amount of strange and unusual wreckage.  He wondered whose responsibility it would be to clean the wreckage up, and noted that his livestock avoided the debris field.  We animals have instincts about such things, ‘ya know! The rancher presented some of the wreckage to sheriff George Wilcox, who suggested reporting it to the military.

The first official military man on the crash scene was Jesse A. Marcel, an intelligence officer, who privately is reported to have thought that the debris was not of this world, and showed pieces of it to his wife and son, apparently retaining some.  The metal pieces were light but strong, and had shape-retaining characteristics when efforts were made to crush them.  Fiber optic-type filaments were also recovered that were unknown at the time, as were I-beam items with strange, hieroglyphic-type inscriptions on them. While the local authorities initially leaked stories that the military had a “disc” in its possession, the story was soon recanted and replaced by a government military version that the wreckage was nothing more than fragments of a weather balloon.  Jesse Marcel was reportedly sworn to secrecy by the military, and forced to participate in a cover-up.  Local residents were also reportedly warned to keep quiet about the incident or be charged with treason; surviving locals of the time continue to be tight-lipped, but generally convey that there’s more to the incident than the official account; they won’t talk, but will give you under the table a name of someone who will.  Mac Brazel, the son of the rancher, was said to have been forced to give up what crash debris he possessed, and to keep quiet or face imprisonment.  Agents appearing for retained debris reportedly said they wouldn’t take it from the family, but wouldn’t leave without it.  

Now Jesse Marcel kept a private handwritten journal which was cryptic, with speculation made that it may have held coded clues as to what actually transpired in the Roswell investigation.  The History Channel investigative team led by Ben Smith, a former CIA operative, consulted a forensic document examiner, who found that the document was genuine, and entirely written by Marcel. 

Using a magnetometer and ground-penetrating radar, team geophysicists investigated the Roswell debris field scene, finding a patch of ground with a high magnetic reading, a distinct anomaly. In a future upcoming episode, possible hidden clues in the journal and other questions regarding the Roswell incident will be further considered.  The History Channel investigation is hampered by incident details being strewn over three generations of people, with many key players being deceased and hard evidence not available. Whatever beliefs one may have about the veracity of the government’s account of Roswell, the eyes of Jesse Marcel as he poses with the “weather balloon wreckage” in the vintage photograph below appear to speak volumes…


 

“History’s Greatest Mysteries” on The History Channel

November 14, 2020

 

If you, like myself, are drawn to strange stuff, and might confess to watching an occasional episode of MonsterQuest or Ancient Aliens, you might be interested in a new show scheduled to debut on The History Channel in my area Saturday night November 14th at 9:00 p.m., History’s Greatest Mysteries.  Featuring Laurence Fishburne who will both host and narrate, the series will get into some of the strange and loose ends of history, such as the Roswell incident, the Shackleton Expedition, the sinking of the Titanic, and similar stories. 

The first episode will get into the strange story of hijacker D.B. Cooper.  While not all episodes are likely to be equally intriguing, they’re going to have three episodes alone on Roswell, for cripes sake!  I’ll withhold my coveted Pawprint of Approval rating until I’ve actually seen a few episodes, but History Channel usually does have good production values, and this new series just might be worth a look… 

 

 

Frank’s RedHot TV commercial, “Every Food…”

September 8, 2020


Even in the bizarre and unforgettable year of 2020, this Frank’s RedHot commercial stands out.  The announcer’s voiceover kicks the ad off, proclaiming how he “puts that s#!t on everything.” What follows are some of the qualifying items, like pizza, a co-worker’s lunch, and “whatever this is.”  We are then shown a woman (above) about to put the sauce on some kind of tentacled thing, which commendably is still alive, and fighting back in a spirited fashion with cutlery!  This would appear to be one die-hard dinner, which unfortunately the woman appears ultimately able to jab her fork into.  Poor, valiant octopus-like thing!–Hath not a cephalopod eyes?!

The brief commercial continues to say that Frank’s RedHot may be put on “astronaut food,” and we are shown an astronaut floating in an encapsulated zero-g environment, his leg and body enveloped by the flexible tentacle of his multi-limbed alien captor floating right next to him, who questions whether the sauce may be put on astronauts.  “Everything!,” reassures the announcer, to which the alien succinctly replies, “Yum!”

So there you have it…serving and being served, eating and being eaten, just part of the food chain.  And don’t forget Frank’s RedHot sauce, which is the “perfect blend of flavor and heat.”  You can “put that s#!t on everything.”  Bon appetit, y’all…

 

   

 

Wilford Brimley Passes..

August 3, 2020

He was a fine character actor, and although his commercials for Quaker Oatmeal could be annoying, I liked the old coot, who kind of presented on screen as everyone’s crusty, grumpy, know-it-all grandpa.  I don’t often memorialize actors here, but Wilford Brimley appeared in some memorable science fiction movies, which is one territory we visit here, especially as they involve alien concepts and life.  Brimley appeared in both Cocoon and The Thing, the latter a wonderful if dark and gory 1982 re-make by John Carpenter of the earlier classic.  As Dr. Blair, the chief biologist in The Thing, Brimley’s character was the first to recognize the global danger posed by the shape-shifting alien, and he took a radical approach to attempting to contain the threat.  Carpenter’s The Thing remains one of my personal faves, it’s aged well, and I revisit it often.  He’s pictured above in that role, minus his trademark walrus mustache.

Brimley was an ex-marine, and most don’t know that he had a fine singing voice, and played harmonica well.  Wilford got into acting with non-speaking parts in 1960’s westerns, and might be seen there hammering horseshoes in the background.  In addition to numerous film credits and diverse roles, he also starred in a TV series, Our House.

If Brimley were here, he might talk to us for a few minutes about diabetes, which came across as diabeetus.  He’d encourage us to eat our oatmeal (because if you hate it, it’s gotta be good for you).  Suffering is good for the soul, right?  If so, mine ought to be almost golden by now.  And remember, you’ve gotta contain those insidious aliens!  Maybe feed them some damn oatmeal so they won’t want our world…and “It’s the right thing to do.”             


The Feline Furries of Star Trek…

July 7, 2020

 

There are furries in the Star Trek universe, cat-people who were introduced with the character of  M’Ress in Star Trek:  The Animated Series in the 1970’s.  A lieutenant and operations officer, she was a felinoid-type alien of the Caitian species modeled after African lions, and included originally with the cast to make the series more friendly and attractive to young children.  While the artwork is stylized and somewhat minimal, it established the species well, and M’Ress remains a most attractive and intriguing lady, even if she does have a habit of purring or murring after every few lines of dialogue…

Caitians have also appeared briefly a handful of other times in the Star Trek universe, at times depicted with more feline characteristics than others.  In Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home, two Caitian males, completely fur-covered, were depicted as members of the Federation Council.   This depiction of the species is far more formidable, almost with a Klingon-type vibe.  One imagines that these cats could play rough…

In Star Trek:  Into Darkness, a young James T. Kirk was depicted romping in bed with two females generally regarded to be Caitians who had bare skin(?), but prominent moving tails.  I don’t know if these Caitians practiced full body shaving, represented a hybrid, or if it was just considered too disturbing to represent human-furry sex on the big screen.  Kirk, of course, is legendary for having had intimate relations with any number of female aliens, and a discussion of his libido and sexual conquests would consume far more space than we have here… 

In Star Trek:  Online, Caitians are playable characters, and I personally  like their more serious depiction.  The majesty and power of felines really shines through here, and I’d be proud to serve on board with any of them…

 

In a new upcoming animated series to debut in August 2020 titled Star Trek:  Lower Decks, we will again see a Caitian in the person of Dr. T’Ana, ship’s physician to one of the least important vessels in Starfleet, the USS Cerritos.  I’ve heard her described as Dr. Pulaski in feline form.  Lower Decks is billed as an adult comedy, although it will supposedly still deal with some serious science fiction themes and issues.  Detailing the exploits of junior support officers on the Cerritos, the series will debut in August 2020 on the CBS All-Access network…

 

So there you have it…a species depicted in different ways, from ‘toonish to sex-kitten, to impressive and formidable.  You can choose your preferred incarnation, I suppose, and I eagerly anticipate further expansion of the species in future developments of the Star Trek universe…

 

“A Quiet Place” Has It All…

July 1, 2020

In this time of the pandemic, it’s perhaps understandable that many of us would be drawn to apocalyptic fiction and cinema, and A Quiet Place (2018) is one of the best done and most striking films to emerge in this gendre in recent years.  It’s edge of the seat horror and  science fiction that blends elements reminiscent of the Alien, Cloverfield, and Walking Dead franchises, depicting humanity overwhelmed by vicious and powerful aliens who are blind, but hunt very effectively by sound.  Human survivors of this meteor-borne invasion are therefore forced to live furtive and hidden existences, avoiding the generation of sound, and communicating by sign language.  As a result, there is little spoken dialogue in the film, although captioned subtitles appear to translate the signing to the audience.

As for the aliens depicted in Quiet Place, they are neither warm and friendly nor possessed of high technology; they simply want to eat you, and are well-equipped to do so, possessed of clawed extremities and impressive dentition.  There is no evidence of higher cognition here, but rather animal cunning.  In appearance, they are somewhat insectile or bat-like, possessed of an armored exoskeleton of sorts and ambulating briskly on all fours but capable of rearing up on hind legs at which times they can appear disturbingly humanoid.  They use echolocation, and might not be able to perceive you as prey from several feet away if you are perfectly still and quiet.  Their auditory aurifaces when open dwarf any human ears…

Although a horror movie, A Quiet Place is of the rare type of horror movie with heart, as a family and its relationships is at the center of it.  There are unpleasant things to see such as the death of a child family member, but it’s handled non-graphically; a blur of motion, and he’s carried off.  The tension conveyed in the film, however, is almost palpable.  The survivalist husband and father (John Kasinski) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are rock-solid, and their  eldest child (Millicent Simmonds), a gifted young hearing impaired actress, projects a wonderful adaptive kind of Wednesday Addams darkness; she adapts and prevails.  The surviving female family members left standing at the end of the film are more than the equal of the vicious monsters headed their way, kind of like Ripley and Newt in a farmland showdown.  Catch A Quiet Place if like myself you enjoy intelligent innovative horror with heart… 

 

 

“Better Butterfinger” Commercial…

February 14, 2019


The Butterfinger brand has been bought out from Nestle by Ferrero, who have amped up the brand and its slogan with an alien presence in a new commercial.  The trademark admonition that “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger” has been said by many over the years, including Bart Simpson.  Last uttered in 2012, the slogan has now been updated to “Nobody lays a finger on my better Butterfinger!

In the frenetic ad, a yellow and blue alien (Butterfinger colors) escapes from a lab, helps himself to a dusty Corvette, and goes on a thrill ride with a hitchhiker he picks up who happens to be selling alien T-shirts!  The wild ride ends with the alien using his telekinetic powers to help himself to a Butterfinger bar, after which he proclaims the revised slogan.  

I saw this commercial for the first time after watching a recording of a Project Bluebook episode, and then seeing LaToya Jackson revealed as the Alien character on S1/Ep7 of The Masked Singer.  I think that the powers that be are trying to tell me something…

(Tip o’ the pen to Cary Comic for the idea for this post!)

  

“Project Blue Book” A Winner!

January 17, 2019



Think of a real-life X-Files series set in the 1950’s, and you’ve got the gist of what this ten episode dramatic series on The History Channel is like…and boy, did they get the period atmosphere and flavor right, down to the home decor and guys going everywhere in hats!  In addition to careful and authentic detail, there is superb acting and engaging scripts based on actual Project Blue Book investigations.  Aidan Gillen known for Game of Thrones gives a wonderful characterization of J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant but underappreciated professor called in by the government basically to put cases to rest but finding that science can’t explain everything away. He is pressured by his assigned partner Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) who in turn is pressured by military higher-ups to produce the desired investigation outcomes.  It’s all there, including shadowy “Men in Black” figures lurking in the background, and glimpses of a UFO hidden in a government hanger.  

Episode 2 concerned an investigation of The Flatwoods Monster, a close encounter of the third kind which occurred in West Virginia in 1952 and about which I blogged here way back in 2010.  The incident was previously highlighted in an episode of the late great series, MonsterQuest.  Anyways, in this Project Blue Book treatment Dr. Hynek explains away the alien sightings as being of an owl up in a tree so as to appear ten feet tall, but is beginning to doubt his own explanations as the episode ends and he is hustled off the case.  Future episodes will probably depict the continuing evolution of the character, and I look forward to seeing it, commending the series for your viewing…

 

“It Happens to All of Us” Laxative Commercial…

October 29, 2018

The world of commercials for toilet paper and, ahem, laxatives is a strange one indeed.  Frankly, it is a place that I prefer not to go for fear of encountering toilet paper-obsessed bears, or perhaps the Phillips woman jumping up on a bus and shouting, “Who suffers from gas?  Bloating?  Constipation?”  In approaching such a personal and delicate topic, however, advertisers have been driven into the realm of the memorably absurd.  Today’s exhibit centers on a Colace commercial entitled, It Happens To All Of Us.

Wisely, the advertisers have chosen the world of animation to deal with this topic.  In bright and cheery pastel tones, we are shown such things as a plump bird straining fruitlessly to poop on a passing car.  A dog being walked by his owner whines in his defecation crouch due to constipation.  And most memorably, an alien waits impatiently outside of the door of some kind of sanitary facility, frowning.  Constipation…It happens to all of us, you see…dum dum DUMM!

Now we are not told why the alien appears to be holding a rolled-up newspaper underneath his arm; I would have thought that an advanced race would have long since transcended such retro technology.  But perhaps this image gives insight into why aliens are reputed to conduct anal probes on abductees…they are researching the constipation problem. Perhaps we will also someday learn the truth behind all of the cattle mutilations, so watch the skies for constipated aliens this Halloween!

(…tip o’ the pen to carycomic!)