Like Bigfoot sightings, UFO sightings have been in decline…coincidentally, just as video cameras in our phones become ubiquitous. Unfortunately, that just means that the people who still believe have become even more obstinate and resistant to evidence, and the bizarre conspiracy theories and unlikely excuses get even weirder. All that means, though, is that the market has become even more hardcore, and has been distilled down to the most gullible. And that means money. The History Channel is there to rake in the loot.
Jason Colavito reviews the History Channel’s latest descent into ahistorical garbage, Project Bluebook. It stars Aiden Gillen as J. Allen Hynek — Gillen is better known as Littlefinger on Game of Thrones, which ought to be your first warning that no one is to be trusted in this ‘documentary’. You’ll also wonder where Arya Stark is when you need her.
I watched part of the first episode, The Fuller Dogfight. This is better known in UFO lore as the Gorman ‘dogfight’, after the pilot who took part in it, and I have no idea why they changed the name, unless it’s just to make it difficult to look up the facts.
Here’s a reasonably objective account of the event.
One of the early “classics” of UFO history involved Lieutenant George F. Gorman of the North Dakota Air National Guard, who said he had a twenty-seven minute “dogfight” with a UFO in the skies over Fargo.
He was on a routine cross-country flight in 1948, when he spotted an odd light in the sky at night.
Gorman informed the tower that he was going to investigate the other aircraft and pulled his F-51 up and out toward the moving light. He closed to within about l,000 yards and took a good look at the object.
“It was about six to eight inches in diameter, clear white, and completely round without fuzz at the edges [i.e., sharp and clear],” he said. “It was blinking on and off. As I approached, however, the light suddenly became steady and pulled into a sharp left bank. I thought it was making a pass at the tower.
“I dived after it and brought my manifold pressure up to sixty inches but I couldn’t catch up with the thing. It started gaining altitude and again made a left bank,” Gorman said. “I put my F-51 into a sharp turn and tried to cut the light off in its turn. By then we were at about 7,000 feet. Suddenly it made a sharp right turn and we headed straight at each other. Just when we were about to collide, I guess I got scared. I went into a dive and the light passed over my canopy at about 500 feet. Then, it made a left circle about l,000 feet above, and I gave chase again.”
Gorman said he cut sharply toward the light, which was once more coming at him. When collision again seemed imminent, the object shot straight up into the air in a steep climb-out, disappearing overhead. Gorman again attempted to pursue it but his plane went into a power stall at about 14,000 feet, and the object was not seen again. It was then 9:27 P.M.
Gorman was so shaken by the encounter that he had difficulty handing his plane, although he was a veteran pilot and a flying instructor during World War II. He had noticed no sound, odor, or exhaust trail from the object during the “dogfight,” and no deviation on his instruments. At times during the chase, he had pushed the F-51 to full power, sometimes reaching 400 mph. He described the object as round and somewhat flattened.
So…a small light in the distance, he couldn’t close with it despite chasing it, and then it disappeared. That sounds like an optical illusion to me, where he was somewhat disoriented and a poor judge of distances and size. The Air Force says it was a weather balloon, which would be significantly larger than 6-8 inches in diameter (which is also a bit on the small side for an alien spacecraft).
If you watch the History Channel BS, though, it’s remarkably dramatized. It’s a largish ball of light zooming around, and…Gorman opens fire on it. And the UFO fires back. That’s when I gave up. Nothing in any of the prior accounts claims that they exchanged gun fire — it’s a bit of excitement that the History Channel added. It doesn’t even make sense that an Air National Guard plane on a simple cross-country training flight would be carrying ammunition in peace time, firing guns over a city like Fargo would get him disciplined severely, and and getting shot at and hit by a UFO would leave physical evidence that no one has described before.
It’s not much of a story in the first place, but the History Channel just had to polish that turd.
In case you’re still wondering how absurd nonsense like this persists, it’s because there are cheap exploitive television networks that still promote it to credulous viewers. Colavito points out that it is bad television, wooden and boring, but even that doesn’t seem to matter. The gullible will steal eat it up.
Next mystery: was Aiden Gillen’s career also murdered when Arya Stark slit his character’s throat? Why is he stooping to such low quality trash as History Channel fakeumentaries now?