UFO’s, aliens and abductions: will these mysteries ever be solved?

Is mankind alone in the universe? It’s a question that has fascinated humanity throughout history – and recent episodes of Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries offer unnervingly rational eyewitness accounts of what can only be described as technology that exceeds present human intelligence.

The original Unsolved show dates back to the late 1980’s and has covered hundreds of unexplained mysteries – from murders or missing person cases to paranormal and extra-terrestrial sightings. The aim is to solve these mysteries by increasing attention and encouraging viewers with any more information to get in touch, an aim that has not been unsuccessful: according to the executive producer Terry Dunn Meurer, the series has helped solve over 260 cases. Netflix has recently revived the show with a 2020 reboot, premiering a gripping third season this October. The style of dramatized retelling, with visual re-enactments overlaying the eye-witness interviews mean that the remembered emotion is palpable, underlining the authenticity of their accounts. Meurer discussed the need for the 2020 Netflix reboot: “There are so many mysteries out there that need to be solved. Every day there are new ones. It’s just a passion and a mission for us to try and solve as many as we can.”

‘Something in the Sky’ (E2 of the new Netflix series) stands out as an unusually rational witness to paranormal activity in the skies over Lake Michigan on the evening of March 8th 1994. Large unidentifiable objects were reported as behaving in ways that defy all known laws of physics by over 300 eyewitnesses. While the episode plays back recordings of authentic 911 calls from the night and interviews witnesses, it centres around the perspective of a National Weather Service meteorologist, Jack Bushong, who was stationed at the NWS radar for the night. He describes the majority of the details to us – 5 or 6 bright, noiseless lights, flickering from white to red, blue and green, moving with physically impossible speed and direction, splitting apart and eventually just disappearing.

Scrupulously researched and supported, the corroboration of so many builds to form a convincing account – and not just from civilians but meteorologists, policemen and pilots. UFO sightings are often regarded with more than a touch of impatience, disregarded almost immediately. The consistency of reports and confusion in people’s voices, however, as we listen to genuine phoneline recordings from the night of March 8th all point towards a very real and baffling sighting – callers seem not only rational but even hesitant to report the inexplicable activity in the skies above them.

In particular, the choice to have Jack – as a balanced, logical scientist – narrating the episode is one that supports the unshakeable feeling of truthfulness throughout. One review describes him as ‘a man who had his entire belief system utterly shaken and has been unable to get over it since; he comes across, in other words, like a scientist who saw UFOs’. The episode mentions more recent admissions from various agencies around the world of sightings that can neither be ‘confirmed nor denied’ of having extra-terrestrial origin, and the witnesses reflect on how this affects the memory of their shared experience on March 8th.

The director of the Something in the Sky episode addresses the raw emotion still felt by many witnesses even 20 years later, an emotion that is powerfully present in the Netflix documentation; “Was this extra-terrestrial?… We don’t know. But I’m convinced. I met these people. I talked to them. They’re not crazy. They all saw something. What it was is still to be determined.”

Can those lights in the sky be explained for sure by any human on the face of our planet? If not, what on earth were they – what did they want and will they come back? Are they friendly? For now, at least, it remains another unsolved mystery.

Image by Marek Piwnicki on Pexels


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