The Reel Review

B

Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation is a surprisingly compelling History Channel docu-series (also available below on Amazon) starring Luis Elizondo, a former Defense Department employee who was featured in a much talked about, 2017 New York Times article that revealed the existence of a secret U.S. government UFO program. Elizondo, who says he left the DoD just before that article to continue his UFO research free from government bureaucracy, interviews former Defense Department officials, fighter pilots and civilians who say they have seen UFOs.

Much of the focus of the show’s six episodes is on the 2004 incident involving dozens of UFOs spotted near the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier over the Pacific Ocean south of San Diego. Elizondo also visits the almost Jurassic Park-like, remote Guadelupe Island, 150 miles off the coast of Baja California – a location that not only is the site of a rare electromagnetic anomaly, but where both military fighter pilots and local fishermen have reported seeing dozens of UFOs enter the ocean and travel underwater at unprecedented high speeds. The series also focuses on several UFO incidents in 2015 involving the USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier off Florida’s east coast – including videos released by the Defense Department.

Unfortunately all of these astounding tales of UFO sightings and detailed eyewitness accounts are diminished by astoundingly boring and incessantly repetitive narration and the same low brow  production values found in The History Channel’s garbage, fake-science UFO show Ancient Aliens. It is also hampered by lackluster opening and closing episodes, bookending the more intriguing material in the middle. Elizondo’s affiliation with former Blink-182 rocker Tom DeLonge (a UFO aficionado who helped bankroll the series) is also distracting from the more compelling interviews. But for believers and conspiracy theorists willing to look past this, some of the information contained in the docu-series is pretty compelling.

REEL FACTS

• In April 2019, the U.S. Navy acknowledged that it is drafting new guidelines for pilots and other military personnel to report encounters with “unidentified aircraft.”

• Guadalupe Island, where fishermen have reported UFOs entering the waters, is a desolate island 150 miles off the coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. It has a population of about 150 abalone and lobster fishermen, and a handful of Mexican Naval officers at a small weather station on the island’s southern tip.

• In 2015, former Blink-182 entertainer and ufologist Tom DeLonge founded To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, an organization to study UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Luis Elizondo is a member.

 

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