The National Geographic Channel really did break my heart. Not only did they decide to abandon years of decent, if not quality, programming in favor of the nonsense that is UFO Chasers, they did it with an awful show.
Karen Stollznow contributed a piece to the JREF’s Swift blog about the show, and I think, displays remarkable restraint when discussing the show.
The program seems to want to spend a significant amount of time on events that have previously been solved with reasonable, natural, explanations. Further, they seem inept to decipher the difference between flares, planes, and the like with unidentified flying objects. It’s embarrassing. To make matters worse, dubious claims, with no outside substantiation, are treated with an unreasonable amount of credulity. After the stories have been collected, the adventures traipse off into the dark with hopes of finding evidence or spotting one of those elusive UFOs…it is left entirely unclear as to why investigating at night is at all beneficial; however, night time investigations do allow for the show to be shot with night vision cameras and employ the nearly twenty year old film techniques of the Blair Witch Project. The bad news for the show’s producers is that Blair Witch came across more believably.
Look, maybe I am bit hyperbolic about these things. These shows exist because the lowest common denominator still exists, and so do folks who are very intelligent but desperately want to believe in such claims. These shows also exist because they are money makers. Fox Cable Networks (NewsCorp), National Geographic’s parent company, clearly sees dollar signs with this kind of show as well…after all, such programming has been wildly successful for competing networks like the Discovery Channel and the loosely monikered History and Learning Channels.
Lots of folks may complain to me, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.” That’s certainly true. I am not required to watch it. But, integrity matters to me. NatGeo has tainted their reputation with UFO Chasers. Further, I suspect that this show is the proverbial toe dipping into the water, and it won’t be long before we’re inundated with similar programming from them.
All that being said, don’t take my word for it. Try (and I emphasize “try”) watching an episode of the show. Or check out the show’s section of the NatGeo website that I’ve linked below. Cruise around, watch a few of the videos, let me know if you think I’m off my nut. I think that, even with a cursory viewing, one will find the show and the information it presents questionable at best.