So all the grainy, out-of-focus home-video footage on TV newsmagazine shows still hasn’t convinced you that UFOs are real? Maybe the crack team of investigators in National Geographic Channel’s new series Chasing UFOs (Friday, June 29, at 9pm ET/PT) might make you a firm believer or an unswaying skeptic.
Lead researcher, tech guru and globetrotter Erin Ryder is an expert in using thermal cameras and night-vision equipment. Geologist, field explorer and radiation scientist Ben McGee — who actually has suborbital scientist-astronaut training — has an academic approach to UFO investigating. And “UFOlogist” James Fox is a documentary producer who claims to know the truth from researching government documents and hearing eyewitness accounts. Together, the trio heads to hotbeds of alleged UFO activity (even good old Roswell, N.M.) to examine the sightings.
But they’re not out just to collect more “lights in the sky” or alien-abduction stories, but to try to explain them scientifically and put theories to the test. Could military flares or a team of skydivers be responsible for the 1997 Phoenix Lights incident? Could a formation of airplanes really look like one large craft? Is evidence found at a suspected UFO crash site near Roswell part of a government coverup? And what’s with the mysterious tunnel they encounter in central California? As the team analyzes the data, they’re often left with more questions than answers.
National Geographic is also organizing a global Twitter event on Friday from 8pm ET to midnight, collecting all Tweets using the hashtag #ChasingUFOs and transmitting them into space. Though based on a lot of stuff we’ve seen on Twitter, any aliens that could possibly receive the transmission might be convinced there’s no intelligent life on Earth.
Credit: National Geographic Channels/ Snake Oil Productions/Brea Tisdale