ON THE TRAIL OF UFOs **** USA 2019 Episodes 1-8 Dir: Seth Breedlove. 263 mins
For a thorough and enjoyable expose of a very large, unattainable and yet very human subject look no further than Seth Breedlove’s intense, sometimes disturbing but always gripping documentary about the mysteries of the ancient and modern subject of ufology.
A most elusive of subjects that has taunted and entertained all of us from time to time. The series, if nothing else, is a great advert for US tourism as Shannon Legro narrates for us with her delicate mix of natural scepticism and acute enquiry in her own search for the truth behind the meaning of UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena), UFOs and extraterrestrial races that may or may not exist. The music by Brandon Dalo is awesome and keeps the tense but steady pace of the series flowing so that at no point did I lose any interest in an at once perplexing and almost haunting series that is full of ‘actual’ accounts and sightings that are (purposely?) clouded by Hollywood and global governments into conspiracy. The people featured here are all obsessed in one way or another with finding answers that may be out there in the ‘shadow of the fog’ as Shannon expertly sums it up at the end.
The visual FX, photography and artwork by Santino Vitale are generally excellent and visually stunning although as you would expect, some of the saucer shots are very grainy and lean towards hoax material, but that I feel is the inherent fascination and charm of this greyest of areas to people all around the world. Shannon’s journey is fascinating and well thought out as she tries to leave no stone unturned, interviewing a wide variety of witnesses, experts and investigators on her travels all across Northern America, showing us that a sighting is just as likely to happen in an urban setting such as New York as much as the desert wastelands of Nevada and Arizona.
There may be some truth out there, but will it ever let itself be discovered?
The centre of the series explores in some depth the massive role that government secrecy and conspiracy plays in confusing the truth seekers as Shannon spends time looking, but not entering, the notorious Area 51. And so we begin to explore the much darker sides of this vast subject.
But why do global governments around the world seem to stoke the public’s interest in ufology if it is all so clandestine?
Shannon then delves into the even more cagy area of alien abductions of which there appears to be only one eyewitness couple, Betty and Barney Hill who are now dead, so it seemed to me that these strange abductions were very unlikely to have happened in reality. However, Shannon and her team soldier on in their quest to try and find any truth behind all the government led lies and deceit, which is to be expected when politicians and top celebrities get involved in a subject that raises so much public awareness of self, especially in the US.
Why would such advanced and superior races, if they are out there, want to abduct one of us anyway, other than for food?
This is one of many questions that I kept asking myself as this highly enjoyable series and journey to the stars rolled me along in it’s spacecraft of wonder towards an ending that really tries to get to grips with such a huge and unknown subject which has left many Americans (mainly retired it would appear!) on the verge of exhausted obsession, but an obsession that has taken over their lives to a quite startling degree.
As the series winds up, it’s conclusion is very apt to the whole and really tries to bring any realism there might be to light and Shannon states that she has loved the journey as much as you will I’m sure. She willingly accepts that it is probably our own human instinct for all knowledge, especially the most unattainable, that often drives us all forward and sometimes crazy in our desire to know everything. Shannon also succinctly states that is often the lack of any truth that leads some of us to invent many of these realistic stories to pass down through
our generations to amuse and entertain ourselves around the glowing hearth or campfire.
TV and movies have helped to make them even more real to many for good or for bad which also sheds light on the sad fact that we often don’t know ourselves as a species, but I guess the aliens already know this as they watch from afar on what must seem to them like pitiful attempts at advancement.
Whatever you choose to believe, On The Trail Of UFOs will take you to the dizzy heights of your own belief scale but will safely land you firmly back on earth as Shannon readily admits that the odds of her actually getting a sighting were very slim as she highlights the main frustrations and motivating factors that pushes nearly all ufology enthusiasts on in what appears to be a never ending search for answers that someone or thing may not want any of us to find.
Shannon Legro feels a lot of sympathy for the apparent madness of some of the nicely eccentric enthusiasts that she meets and sees her expose of their mysterious subject as a way of helping them express thoughts that no one else will believe, a kind of ‘therapy journalist’ as she loosely describes herself later on.
I was dying to find out what her own experience was that she alludes to at the start, but she never tells.
Another mystery perhaps in a maze of mysteries and hoaxes?
Or a subject for another YouTube series?
Here’s hoping as this documentary was a fun eye opener into a world of ancient human ancestors, modern conspiracy theories and general murkiness that will always have more questions for the open-minded viewer out there. Overall, it is a well-balanced blend of honest scepticism and natural human flights of fancy that is well worth a look. The series will leave you to draw your own conclusions on what at times is a very awkward and difficult subject with it’s well presented and non-judgmental evidence.
Review by Nathan Sandiford
ON THE TRAIL OF UFOs is available on DVD and BLU-RAY HERE, as well as Vimeo OnDemand, Amazon Instant Video, and VIDI Space.