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Ufologists: A Cheeky Take on the Men Who Believe in Aliens (Feature Film)

— “Gorran here was abducted.”

— “Unfortunately they got him back…”

The mockumentary seems to be a beloved British tradition, mimicking the format of serious documentary films to parody all sorts of subjects —from rock bands in the 70’s (This is Spinal Tap) to how history is portrayed in contemporary cable TV (Cunk on Earth).

Ufologists, directed and written by Jason Gregg, takes a jab on the small groups of men —and they ARE mostly men— who set out to investigate alleged UFO activity in their local area; in the case of this fictitious group, the picturesque rocky landscape of Cornwall.

You can watch it in its entirety below:

Aside from the generic references to gray aliens, anal probing, and crop circles, more obscure ufological references like Ley lines and the Rendlesham forest incident shows that Gregg —who plays the part of Raun “Starman” Borlewen, one of the members of the Cornwall Ufology group— did his homework when writing the script. In fact, there’s a moment in the film which feels like an oblique reference to Stan Romanek, one of the most controversial figures in the early XXIst century’s UFOlogy.

It is also notable how Ufologists’ portrayal of the kind of people attracted to local saucer organizations (at least in the UK and the US) is not that off the mark: the enthusiastic members who unquestioningly believe in all this stuff even though they’ve never seen anything themselves; arrogant geeks who prefer to focus on the technical/science aspects of the phenomenon; retired military types who end up controlling the UFO organizations; and finally, those individuals who probably belong in a mental institution —I would say “you know who you are” but, sadly, you don’t (that’s the problem).

After watching the movie, you might end up thinking it was too mean-spirited against the demographic they are mocking, compared to more sympathizing sitcoms like People of Earth. As someone who’s been interested in the UFO phenomenon all of his life (and who sees something of himself in each of the fictional members of the group) I for one appreciate the value of self-deprecating humor —if you are able to laugh at yourself, you give less ammunition to the skeptoids and trolls.

I also can appreciate how, at the end of the day, the impulse to join a local UFO group or being an active member of an online paranormal community, is not just about trying to prove the reality of these phenomena per se with whatever scarce resources you might have at your disposal, but about finding like-minded people who won’t judge you for your wacky interests.

It is as much about looking out there, as it is about not feeling so lonely down here.

Special thanks to Jeff Knox for alerting me about this movie. If you are still hanging out there in Twitter, you would do well in giving him a follow.

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