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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 21

Sci Fi Channel Has Close Encounters

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose.nul>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 09:58:59 +0100
Archived: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 07:48:52 -0500
Subject: Sci Fi Channel Has Close Encounters

Source: Houston Chronicle.




Nov. 20, 2002, 6:28PM


Sci Fi Channel has close encounters; does it have answers?

By ANN HODGES,  Houston Chronicle TV Critic

Copyright 2002


Now we know where Bryant Gumbel went after hauling anchor at
CBS' This Morning show.

He's in the New Mexico desert, looking for UFO evidence and
little alien creatures. On Friday, he'll report what he's found,
in a two-hour Sci Fi Channel special, The Roswell Crash:
Startling New Evidence.

Gumbel and Sci Fi are dead serious about this, and for a
seriously synergetic reason. On Dec. 2, the channel will launch
its blockbuster 10- night miniseries, Steven Spielberg Presents

Spielberg's drama spans from 1945 to today, and weaves together
four generations of three families whose members experience
abductions by space aliens.

That, of course, also explains the hourlong special that follows
Friday's Startling New Evidence.It is titled, most
appropriately, Abduction Diaries, a parade of seemingly sound-
minded, intelligent talking heads, telling tales (with dramatic
re-creations) of what they say are their own real-life close
encounters with alien beings.

On both shows, statistics from Roper Polls 2002 beam up the
rationale for viewer interest in this far-out subject: Four of
10 Americans believe a spacecraft crashed near Roswell.

One in five Americans believes in abductions, and one in seven
knows or knows of someone who has seen or had a close encounter
with aliens.

Seventy-four percent of Americans say they're "psychologically
ready" for proof of extraterrestrial life.

Of these two specials, Abduction Diaries is the one most likely
to intrigue, by virtue of its personal stories. This makes no
attempt to question those stories, of course, and skeptics could
certainly point out that the fact that most of these tales are
very similar is not surprising at all. The subject of abductions
has been thoroughly covered already, over the many years that
people have been claiming them.

With these people, alien visitations began when they were
children, and dealing with them through the years has made their
lives harder. But now that they're older and wiser, most see it
as a positive thing.

"I've experienced it for 50 years," says Landi Mellas, who
claims she was first visited at age 7. She says they told her
they would help save some people when Earth was destroyed. "I
love many of these beings. I don't consider them aliens at all,"
Mellas says. "I'm very grateful. It has made me a better

At Roswell, it's the same familiar story -- the crash of July
1947, and years of rumors and claims that the U.S. government
covered up the crash of a flying saucer and the discovery of
alien beings, including a couple of survivors.

Gumbel's TV promise of "fresh, startling new evidence" relies on
three things:

New interviews with aging eyewitnesses or family and friends of
eyewitnesses, who say the time has come to tell that it was a
spacecraft and the creatures were real.

An archaeological team from the University of New Mexico,
digging in the desert to locate the crash site and debris that
would prove it was something from outer space.

A San Francisco computer researcher who claims to hold "the
smoking gun" to prove "creatures" were at the crash site. What
those investigators found is embargoed until after the show; Sci
Fi Channel made me promise.

I must say, though, that production-wise, this Roswell show is
pretty cheesy, and its spooky music and slippery subliminal re-
creations of "creatures" don't help. As for Gumbel's role -- I
couldn't help thinking of Geraldo Rivera's empty vaults.

Ah, well. They report; you decide.

The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence, 7 p.m. Friday, Sci Fi
Channel. Grade: C-.

Abduction Diaries,9 p.m. Friday, Sci Fi Channel. Grade: C+.

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