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

Roswell Dig On Sci-Fi Comes Up Empty

From: Loren Coleman <lcolema1.nul>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 22:10:20 -0500
Archived: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 07:58:30 -0500
Subject: Roswell Dig On Sci-Fi Comes Up Empty


Source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/96685_tv22.shtml

via: www.anomalist.com

Friday, November 22, 2002

Roswell dig on Sci-Fi comes up empty
By JOHN LEVESQUE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER TELEVISION CRITIC

The press material accompanying a videotape of "The Roswell
Crash: Startling New Evidence" warns that the facts revealed in
the documentary are embargoed until tomorrow, to prevent
sleazebag critics like me from spilling the frijoles before
tonight's premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel.

TV REVIEW
THE ROSWELL CRASH: STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE

WHAT: Two-hour documentary about the excavation of an area in
New Mexico believed to be the site where an alien spacecraft
crashed in 1947, hosted by Bryant Gumbel

WHEN/WHERE: Today at 5 and 8 p.m., Sci-Fi Channel
RATING: None
GRADE: D+

To that I say, "Embargo shmembargo! The public has a right to
know!" (Actually, I wanted to say, "Embargo shmembargo! Let's
all go to Key Largo," but wasn't sure how to support the
position, what with the bad economy and all.)

Here, then, is everything I discovered while sitting through
"The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence."

*    It's a startlingly bad documentary.

*    Bryant Gumbel apparently needs work.

*    My TV screen needs dusting.


There. Lock me up. Rattle my kneecaps. Take away my press pass.
I have divulged the undivulgable and, I believe, created an
indigestible new word.

Am I ashamed?

Well, only to admit that I watched the whole thing. But
sometimes a journalist has to step up. Face the consequences.
Show some courage. Be a man (unless he's a woman).

Like an underfilled burrito, "The Roswell Crash" has about 10
minutes worth of information wrapped in a two-hour package. And,
like most "documentaries" that know they've got squat to reveal,
this one keeps the big "surprise" till the end, making the whole
thing less of a journalistic undertaking and more of a snake-oil
come-on. At the risk of being tossed in divulgers' dungeon for
life, let me say the big surprise is roughly equivalent to
discovering that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are related. In
other words, you've kind of suspected it for years but just
needed some more corroboration.

Bags of materials excavated from the supposed site of a UFO
crash in Roswell, N.M., will be kept in a bank vault until they
can be extensively examined in a lab.

The network newsmagazines play this game all the time, baiting
incessantly with bits of chum. How else can they persuade us to
stick with an aimless ramble through an hour (or two) of prime
time? The hook here is that the U.S. government probably covered
up the facts of what happened on ranch land outside Roswell,
N.M., in July 1947. (Stop me before I divulge again!)

The believers say an alien spaceship, complete with alien crew,
crashed on the site.

The Air Force, in a "final" report issued eight years ago,
sticks with a weather-balloon mishap it postulated soon after
the incident.

I'm inclined to think it was some exotic military experiment
gone awry, which the government would be only too eager to cover
up. But that's just me, the Mad Divulger.

Of course, if extraterrestrials did crash and burn on a New
Mexico ranch two years after the end of World War II, the feds
probably would keep that sort of thing under wraps, too, at
least until it had done due diligence in ascertaining it wasn't
a commie invasion.

But the fact that our own government is less than forthcoming on
matters it considers strategically sensitive isn't exactly
breaking news. People who've wondered what happened outside
Roswell have been stonewalled by the Air Force for years. The
denials become more intriguing as retired servicemen who've been
silent for two generations begin to admit they saw things that
couldn't possibly have been part of a weather-balloon
experiment.

The low point of the Sci-Fi documentary, which centers on a
recent archeological dig while simultaneously filling us in on
55 years of Roswell history, is a failure to reveal any findings
from the excavation! The truth may be out there, but Sci-Fi
isn't telling. (Technically, I'm not divulging anything here
because, well, there's nothing to divulge.)

We presume that if anything interesting shows up in the bags of
dirt collected from the the crash site, we'll see it on another
Sci-Fi Channel special titled, "The Roswell Crash: More
Startling New Evidence." But the last we see of it in tonight's
program is when the bags are delivered to a bank vault by some
rent-a-cops -- security being a top priority -- pending further
examination.

Gumbel, host and narrator, has no problem telling us: "These
samples and artifacts will remain locked in the safe of the
Roswell Wells Fargo Bank until they can undergo extensive
testing at a materials lab." Famous for asking tough questions,
Gumbel doesn't seem concerned that Sci-Fi Channel couldn't wait
until the "samples and artifacts" were evaluated before it put
such a slapdash documentary on the air.

The reason, it turns out, is that "The Roswell Crash" is part of
Sci-Fi's buildup to the Dec. 2 launch of Steven Spielberg's
"Taken," a 10-night miniseries about alien abduction. (Another
documentary, "Abduction Diaries," follows "The Roswell Crash"
tonight at 7 and 10.)

So, in the interest of generating heat instead of light, Sci-Fi
Channel goes with programming that would get an "incomplete" if
it were turned in as a term paper. Maybe this shouldn't be
surprising when a channel with "fiction" in its name tries to
deal in fact.

John Levesque is the P-I's television critic. Call him at 206-
448-8330 or send e-mail to tvguy.nul


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