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Bill Knell, host of this documentary, is an UFOlogist, and has been for
decades. He does not consider himself what he calls a believer, and claims
he has dismissed many alleged UFO-sightings as hoaxes, but he also doesn't
consider himself to be a sceptic, as scepticism would cloud his mind. He
claims he's somewhere in between, which makes him the perfect researcher.
that all sounds very fine and dandy, unfortunately, it's not true. If
anything, Knell is a believer, but what's worse, a very rational believer,
someone who can spot a UFO-hoax if he sees one, and is able to apply his
understanding of science to various alledged UFO sightings - even if his
understanding of science proves rather limited at times. To speak in pop
culture terms, he is very much like the X-Files
Mulder, a man who wants to believe, but lacks a Scully who brings him back
to reality every now and again.
So at least to this documentary, Knell
seems to see UFOs everywhere, in blurred spots on photos that could be
anything including birds in flight, in lights in the sky for which he just
refuses to look for alternative, more rational explanations, and even in
an anecdote about Howard Hughes for which he only has a third-hand account
and that doesn't even explicitely mention UFOs.
Knell's line of
reasoning gets especially over-the-top when he quotes things like crop
circles that have long been debased as hoaxes as evidence, or tries to
take sightings that have been debased as hoaxes as actual fact by trying
to debase the hoaxes.
What's more is that Knell's evidence is very weak:
There are no actual interviews in this movie, Knell just quotes from them,
and the sources he frequently quotes, like the Fox News Channel,
British tabloid The Sun, the National Enquirer and even the
vintage mag Amazing Stories, are all on the lower end of the
reliability scale. Plus, the photos shown during Knell's monologue don't
always correspond with what he's telling and a lot of the time are
actually clearly fabricated pictures, most possibly from pulp mags.
all said, Aliens from Outer Space is at least kind of interesting
for two reasons: Firstly, there are the many vintage movie posters and
pulp and comicbook covers shown at the beginning of the whole thing, and
secondly it's an interesting document not of UFO-sightings but of UFOlogy
as such, a sort-of science borne out of a grain of truth, myths, hopes,
conspiracy theories and paranoia.
As for myself, do I believe
Quite frankly, I don't know.
I do believe there is a very
high probability that there is life somewhere in outer space. And if
there's life, there might be intelligent life. If there's intelligent
life, these aliens might have mastered the science and technology of space
travel - but they also might not have because they are more interested in
other things. If they are able to travel through space, they might be far
enough ahead of us technology-wise to have mastered the whole set of
problems of travelling to other galaxies. And if all this is the case,
maybe, just maybe, these aliens have visited earth. But if so, why
wouldn't they try to establish contact with humankind and would instead
get a kick out of flying through our nightskies in formation clearly
visible for everyone (at least according to Bill Knell)?
To come back to
the original question, do I believe in UFOs?
I don't know, but I believe
there is a possibility there are some (though they might not have visited
our solar system). And whatever Bill Knell has told me about UFOs and
aliens has done absolutely nothing to alter my point of view, or even
given me additional information.