I love UFO stuff, so I approached this with anticipation, but straight off the bat, there are problems. Writer-director Clive Christopher’s Aliens Uncovered: ET or Man Made gives Tommy Chong top billing, but he isn’t in it that I could tell, or if he is, I blinked and missed it. In any event, it seems hard to justify his name being so prominent.
Otherwise, things start well enough. President Truman’s service in World War I is described parallel to the history of Luke Air Force Range in Arizona. A lot of time spent on Truman’s battlefield experience might have been put to better use, explaining the detail and significance of his having “had a hand in” an Aeronautics act relating to Luke. However, the film moves on to other topics.
The 1940s invention of Earth to Moon to Earth (EME) technology gets a lot of coverage, so it could have used a description (it’s early satellite tech that uses the moon to bounce microwave signals back to Earth). It’s suggested this caused some UFO crashes not long after, presumably from alien craft responding. Then Aliens Uncovered: ET or Man Made adds some warnings about solar flares, but it never really surfaced if there is a link between them.
Letters and memos make up a lot of the material explored. But if you pause to read them, you’ll give yourself a brain hernia trying to connect the dots. For example, a segment about Foo Fighters in the 1930s depicts letters from 2021. Conversely, “This is not real UFO footage” displays obvious CGI of a flying saucer, whereas material needing elucidation lacks any notation, excerpts, or highlights. What captions there are employ a variety of effects and formats that make them harder to read when it would have been better to keep the presentation uniform.
“…caused some UFO crashes not long after…”
There are no new interviews or quotes. Aliens Uncovered: ET or Man Made gets by with a script, a narrator, photographs, stock footage, and public domain material. The end credits thank the CIA and several other famed organizations, which implies meaningful contact, though the lack of fresh material indicates otherwise. Plus, I noticed a few inaccuracies and mistakes. A piece on wartime London contains film footage of artillery razing Berlin. this “video” is how all film is introduced, and the narrator pronounces nuclear as “nuclear.”
This is all harmless enough, but the suicide of a high-ranking government official is implied as murder with no evidence. Aliens Uncovered: ET or Man Made further insinuates JFK was killed because of Project Blue Book. It’s not great form to make foggy use of such tragedy, and it can hurt the goodwill one might have had for this as an indie documentary.
It also seems to stop on a dime. I couldn’t tell you what the point was, but as this is part of a series, perhaps it’s all leading somewhere. Frustratingly, I don’t even know who the omnipresent narrator was. I think they were listed several pages deep in the end credits under “voice-over” alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt, so I’m left wondering if the narrator and director fell out. Or maybe it actually was the director? Or Tommy Chong? I honestly don’t know.
I like UFOs and conspiracies, but I could only recommend Aliens Uncovered: ET or Man Made as freaky local history about Arizona. To make any further entries more compelling will require original content. Even interviews with other UFO theorists who presumably would be grateful for the forum. Or some location reporting. The Southwest is full of starving actors and journalists who’d love to be on screen. But as it stands, this is too much like being read to for 90 minutes, and Christopher could use some fresh material and a new approach if he wants his interests to be passed on to a wider audience.
"…freaky local history about Arizona."