The mystery of extraterrestrial life has been captivating audiences throughout all of cinema. Now, they remain a source of fascination and speculation, ripe for conspiracy theories, scientific exploration, and documentaries.
The topic became even more intriguing when a 2017 New York Times article revealed that the Pentagon had been tracking UFOs for years. The bombshell of this report wasn’t just the fact that the government deemed the possibility of alien life worth investigating, but that they made their findings incredibly difficult for the public to access.
That intriguing investigation served as a basis for the new Showtime docuseries UFO. From co-directors Mark Monroe (Icarus) and Paul Crowder (Riding Giants), UFO explores the sightings and theories surrounding them that made national headlines, sparking the interest of both government officials and average citizens. The docuseries is particularly invested in the American government’s secrecy surrounding their further investigations.
Lovers of documentaries with a conspiratorial lean will likely enjoy the storytelling: the series breaks down the reports with eyewitness interviews and traces the government’s response (or lack thereof). Even if you don’t buy into UFOs yourself, it’s hard not to be fascinated by those who are. Where do the theories originate? How are they justified? What exactly did people see? The added layer of government interest only increases the intrigue.
For a closer look at the four-episode series, check out the sneak peek below.
If you’re still not sold, Showtime has made the first episode of the series available for free on YouTube. It delves into the 2017 Times report before focusing on the “Pheonix Lights” case: a March night in 1997 where hundreds of people across the city saw a series of lights move silently across the night sky — including Arizona’s governor at the time.
Based on the sneak peek, the series will dedicate time to not just running through the details of sightings, but the investigations they spawned. One interviewee reveals that the government had specialists monitoring strange sightings via radar for several days. Another, a pilot, admits to seeing an unidentified flying object go right past them, mid-flight. Despite how deep into conspiracy the series gets, the directors stick to real footage and news clips.
Check out the official synopsis for the series below.
A four-part docu-series from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Glen Zipper exploring our fascination with unidentified flying objects, and what clandestine influence the American government, lucrative private companies and the military may have in shielding the truth behind extraterrestrial phenomena to further their own agendas.
All four episodes of UFO are available to stream on Showtime.
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