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History Channel Gets It Right

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 08:54:58 -0400
Archived: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 08:54:58 -0400
Subject: History Channel Gets It Right

Source: Devoid Blogs - The Sarasota Herald Tribune


August 26th, 2011

History Channel Gets It Right
by Billy Cox

Thursday night's "Secret Access" report by The History Channel -
UFOs On The Record - is the sort of crisp advocacy journalism
one might easily envision in PBS' "Frontline" rotation. Focused
(if not a tad overproduced), expertly sourced, and devoid of the
tripe that too often characterizes network programming on this
issue, "UFOs On The Record" is a foundational model for jump-
starting a national conversation so desperately overdue.

In fact, the logical next question might be: What, exactly, are
viewers supposed to do with this material? Contemplating citizen
action may seem premature, given the comparatively small niche
audience of The History Channel, but at least this week we got a
glimpse of what may lie ahead.

The 96-minute documentary, built upon Leslie Kean's UFOs:
Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, was
produced by filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sudberg, who
obviously know what they're doing. Having tackled atrocities in
Darfur, a racially motivated murder conviction in North
Carolina, and America's post-9/11 surveillance culture, among
other things, Stern and Sudberg have little appetite for
equivocation. Like Kean, they made no unsubstantiated claims and
dispensed with the uninformed ruminations of so-called UFO
skeptics that pass for "balance" in mainstream formulas.
Instead, they mined official documents and eyewitnesses to build
a compelling case for the serious disconnect between reality and
American public policy.

For Kean's readers, the "Secret Access" treatment covered
familiar turf: the Phoenix Lights, the Rendlesham Forest
incident, the 1989-90 Belgian wave, etc. But watching many of
the players in the book - like former Federal Aviation
Administration accidents division chief John Callahan, and
retired Belgian Gen. Wilfried De Brouwer - as they physically
reconstructed complex interactions between UFOs and jet planes
brought the enormity of the transactions to life. And, fan
though I am of the written word, there is no substitute for
listening to audiotapes of air traffic/ground crew chatter
trying to come to grips with a UFO idling over Chicago's O'Hare
International in 2006.

"On The Record" also introduced us to eyewitnesses who weren't
in the book, and gave a sendup to the National Aviation
Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, which is conducting the
sort of scientific research that sends our own government into
contortions to avoid. And it profiled an innovator who just
might someday land the biggest catch of all.

Hollywood special effects guru Douglas Trumbull ("Blade Runner",
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "2001: A Space Odyssey")
can spot UFO fake footage with a craftsman's eye. But lately,
he's applying his technological skills to a mobile camera unit
called Ufotog, with which he will scan the skies using optics
capable of gauging size, distance, altitude, velocity and
trajectory of unidentifieds up there, visible and otherwise.
This is exciting stuff.

What a rollercoaster month it's been for Leslie Kean. The
paperback version of UFOs On the Record rolled on Aug. 2, with a
fresh endorsement from heavyweight astronomer Derrick Pitts. On
Sunday, she was by the side of artist and abduction research
pioneer Budd Hopkins when he died at age 80. A couple of days
ago, she joined a panel discussion promoting the "Secret Acess"
documentary on CNN Headline News. A noteworthy venue, but it
should've been even bigger.

Things change, inevitably, whether we allow them to or not.
Thursday night, we got a glimpse of how a major shift might
begin. Given the MSM's track record for peddling dumbed-down
mediocrity, it's unlikely the "Secret Access" piece can provide
that momentum swing, which will occur eventually. What it did
was remind us of an even more fundamental truth - hard work pays

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