Reviews | Written by Nigel Watson 17/07/2020

UNIDENTIFIED: WHAT THE GOVERNMENT REALLY KNOWS ABOUT UFOs

DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: STEVE LAWSON / NARRATION: MARK TOPPING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

In the early days of ufological history, back in the 1950s ex-marine and aviation writer Donald Keyhoe made a nuisance of himself by badgering the United States Air Force (USAF) for information about their UFO investigations and to confess that they are of extra-terrestrial origin. His first book’s title The Flying Saucers Are Real, published in 1950, left no room for doubt, and his second book Flying Saucers from Outer Space was another bestseller that was used as the basis for the 1956 film Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.

The ghost of Keyhoe seems to haunt the Unidentified as chapter by chapter it reels off classic cases - like that of Thomas Mantell who crashed his aircraft chasing a UFO/Venus and the formation of lights seen and photographed over Lubbock, Texas, on August 25th, 1951.

We are guided through these cases and the investigations launched by the USAF by Gary Heseltine, the editor of UFO Truth e-magazine. He tells how the long-running Project Blue Book project was no more than a box ticking exercise by the USAF to discredit UFO witnesses and debunk UFO sightings.

The Roswell crash landing of a UFO in June 1947 is given two chapters, and Gary disputes the official explanation that it was caused by a top secret Project Mogul balloon that was being used to detect atomic bomb testing my the USSR. The Rendlesham Forest sighting of UFOs by USAF personnel in December 1980 is also given a chapter where Gary is sceptical that it can be explained by the misidentification of the nearby Orford Ness, lighthouse.

If it wasn’t for the Roswell case (that was a footnote in UFO history until it got revived in the 1980s), Rendlesham and the inclusion of the ‘tic tac’ UFOs filmed by U.S. Navy jets in 2014-2015, the rest of the cases are straight out of the pages of Keyhoe.

Like the ‘scientific’ ufology of the 1950s, the ‘Unidentified’ fails to acknowledge the wackier elements of the subject and says nothing about reports of alien entities, contact cases or abductions. On the other hand, Gary goes off piste by asserting that the Apollo moon landings were faked in a studio and there are bases on the moon!

As Gary is the only talking head in this documentary it is very one-sided and reflects an old ETH (extra-terrestrial hypothesis) view of the subject. Archive footage, simple dramatisations, flashing images and dramatic music fight to convince us that full disclosure is only a few years away and history will have to be re-written. We won’t hold our breath.

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